RST: It’s Lord of Shadows Release Day!

Okay, so this RST is going to be slightly different from the others but not really. Who even cares, LORD OF SHADOWS COMES OUT TODAY!

Cassie Clare is my favourite author, this is no secret, and she could write a grocery list and I’d treat it like gold! I fell in love with TMI and TID from the moment I picked them up and my love for Cassie Clare as an author and a person has grown so much more over the years. She has written characters who have become a few of my favourite: Simon, Magnus, Alec and Isabelle and I cherish those moments I read about them.

When Lady Midnight came out last year I was there freaking out along with the rest of the fandom and it was a battle staying away from anything that could possibly be a spoiler to the book. Alas, I couldn’t read the book immediately because of my book buying ban and had to wait till the Shadowhunter Academy bind-up was released.

Fast forward a few months and I ended up buying both Lady Midnight and Shadowhunter Academy as Christmas gifts to myself. I waited until the new year to start them because of 2016 goals and whatnot.

Guys! I don’t even need to tell you because you already know, but the wait…omg the wait was frigging torture! Lady Midnight was so amazing and then I had to sit still and ‘patiently’ wait till LoS came out. Trust that I stayed away from those snippets Cassie Clare has been posting these last few weeks. I haven’t even read the first couple of chapters that she released a few days ago. I want to go into this book totally blind…except from what I know from Lady Midnight. I haven’t even read the synopsis.

A few weeks ago I got so pissed at the bookstore (not the people, at the actual bookstore) because ACOWAR wasn’t stocked the day it came out. As a joke, I decided to hop onto the bookstore’s website and lo and behold! There was LoS waiting to be added to my cart. I didn’t though because heaven knows how long delivery will take so I’m going to beg my dad to drive the half hour it will take to get me my precious.

I can’t even begin to express how excited I am. I’m literally putting all other books on hold (ahem, ACOWAR as well) so that I can start LoS the second I get it. I was in tears when I saw that it was after midnight and realised that today is the 23rd of May.

Speaking of, I was wondering what else happens today and in all my excitement for LoS, I totally forgot that today is my brother’s birthday. So uh, happy birthday, bro…but Lord of Shadows!

I’m trying to calm myself down because sleep must still happen but I honestly can’t. My eyes hurt so bad because I’ve been up all day but THE EXCITEMENT IS TOO REAL!

I’m going to leave now before this gets even crazier. The wait has been to d*mn long and I’ve only been waiting 5 months. I can’t.

Thanks for stopping by,
Caron xx

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Source: Gifs taken from Giphy.com

RST: My Mom and JKR

Okay! Let’s get this show on the road. Now it’s no secret that I never read Harry Potter as a kid and I’m still not over it. Do you know how much better my life could’ve been if I was introduced to the magical world of Harry Potter at a younger age?

I’ll tell you how all this started. I read one book as a kid, one. Want to know what it was? My yellow children’s bible. I had two copies of it, one in English and another in Afrikaans. I was so dedicated to that book, I refused to even look at another book. The thing is, I didn’t grow up in a house where reading was a thing. My parents didn’t read me bedtime stories- I read them to myself (yellow bible come through). I went to the library every week but I can’t tell you what books I borrowed because I can’t remember.

I was about 10 when I was introduced to Harry Potter. Right in time for my Hogwarts letter to arrive. But I can’t talk about Harry Potter and the magical world with mentioning my mom. My mother, sweet woman that she is, gets a bit crazy whenever J.K. Rowling is mentioned. Like any excited kid, naturally I went to my mom when my eyes were opened to Harry Potter and you know what she said? ‘I don’t want you watching that witchcraft.” Witchcraft? Hell yea it’s witchcraft! Guys, she wouldn’t even let me watch those shows about magic tricks. I ignored her and thank God I did because my life without Harry Potter would’ve been like a life without happiness.

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When it came time to my buy my first Harry Potter book- The Deathly Hallows- I’m telling you, a war broke out in my home. And here the worst part wasn’t that my mom was buying me a book filled with witchcraft, the book itself was hella expensive. I still have it though and I’ve read it thrice, so I don’t see the issue.

My mom’s the kind of person who wants to know what I’m reading and is very concerned because she knows that if you get too into something, it could take over you. She had absolutely no problem with Twilight and The Vampire Diaries but HP she has a problem with. Priorities, mother! When I explained to her that DH was the last and final book of the HP series and I just had to have it because the movie was going to come out in a year or two, the look on her face said it all…

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I got the book though so I think I won that battle.

Harry Potter marathons come on TV every couple of months and I always make sure I’m there to watch at least the first and last 2 movies. My mom always finds reasons to add in her own commentary. ‘I don’t like that woman.’ ‘How can someone write something like that? And for children no less.’ ‘She must be very evil to think of an idea like this.’ Yes! My mother called JKR evil. Who does that?

I got so defensive when she first started but now I laugh. I legit find it extremely funny that after all these years my mom still hasn’t let it go.

One thing’s for certain though, young or old, Harry Potter’s for everyone and if others can’t understand our love, that’s okay. At least we know the truth.

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So there you have it. Just a little humorous post to put smiles on faces. My mom may have her set ideas on some things but I love her regardless.

Thanks for stopping by,
Caron xx

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Stereotypes: Damsels in Distress vs. Guy in Distress

I’ve been thinking of doing this post for a while now. I first got the idea while I was reading Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined by Stephenie Meyer. I was thinking about how I liked that book so much more than the original and I wished that that was the story that was put out initially.

Damsel in Distress
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A young woman in trouble.
"She makes a rather sweet damsel in distress."

In the original Twilight Bella was what we’d call a damsel in distress. This wouldn’t have been an issue if she wasn’t always in distress. She was known to be clumsy and a magnet for trouble but did this stop her from going out looking for danger? You guessed it, no it did not. What further cemented the idea of this post is Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. As I read the book I thought: well here is a boy who notices a girl. She looks a little sad so clearly she must be a damsel in distress and needs to be saved immediately. Don’t get me wrong, I liked that book, this was just an example.

I have no major issues with damsels in distress, sometimes it helps with a plot line. No, my deal is that it’s sometimes used as an excuse to show that the woman is weak. To make her seem mild and demure. There is no problem with being or looking weak exactly. If you haven’t got the strength, no need to force it but if a character doesn’t develop over time and continuously has to be saved by the supposed hero of the story then what are we even doing here?

A person can be strong from the get go and that’s awesome, a person can start off weak and grow over time. It’s just one of my peeves when absolutely no character development in the department of noticing one’s own strengths, standing up for yourself, or taking charge takes place.

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I was posed with a question a little while ago asking who my favourite two male and female characters were and why. I could think of the males easily but I was having some difficulty with the female characters. This caused me to think about all the books I’ve read and which female characters I really liked and why.

Isabelle Lightwood from The Mortal Instruments: starts out strong from the beginning of the series and is an all round BAMF! Sure she has her ‘weak’ moments here and there but who doesn’t? When she comes back, she’s all the more stronger.

Sara Crewe from A Little Princess: This little girl allows nothing to bring her down. Even though she’s going through one of the worst things imaginable, she still puts others before her. This is proof that the good you do for others comes back to you.

Feyre Archeron from A Court of Thorns and Roses: I never thought of Feyre as a meek character. She got swept away by love and a fantasy of a better life and she drew the short end of the stick. It took some encouraging and persuasion but she broke free and showed what she was really made of and seeing all this happen, her starting out as character with guts then being mentally and emotionally beaten down and ending up as this- as Lilly would say- BAWSE was the main reason why she’s my favourite female character.

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I don’t have many favourite female characters as yet but I’m getting somewhere. I take note each time I read and one day I hope to increase the number on this list.

Here’s where I start sounding…hypocritical? I don’t wanna say a bit ‘feminazi-ish’, seems too strong but Guys in Distress? I live for it.

I have to elaborate and explain what I mean. It’s the same with a female character: I prefer- expect actually- character development and I’m always bummed when that doesn’t happen.

As I was growing up, I was exposed to many ‘teachings’ about how the world is and how men and women are treated. You get the man of the house, the person who wears the pants in the relationship- if it’s not the man, he’s ridiculed. A girl shouldn’t go out late at night without a man there to protect her. It’s not safe for a girl to live alone because that automatically makes her a willing victim. I’m going to cuss in a second, it’s not something I do often especially not on my blog but I’m going to do it just this once- I think that fucking bullshit.

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As soon as I realised that even though this was the way worked, my thinking didn’t have to reflect it. This is why I like it when men are sometimes portrayed as being in distress. I was taught that they’re supposed to be strong and to show no sign of weakness but I don’t believe that.

Asking for help is not being weak. Showing emotion is not being weak. Being human does not mean you’re weak. Cry your heart out if you want. Just make sure you keep yourself hydrated in the process.

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I find it an attractive trait when a guy can admit that he needs help. Show me you’re not a robot. When I read about guys like this in books, I admire them. Not everyone can admit that they need an extra hand, or that they’re lost…it takes courage me thinks.

I hope this post makes enough sense and that my mini rant in the middle didn’t take away from the enjoyment of reading. I’ll be seeing you, bye bye.

Thanks for stopping by,
Caron xx

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Gifs source: Google Images

RST: Characters I Can’t Stand

*Just a note: These are characters I personally can’t stand. If any of these are your favourite, then by all means, you do you. I reserve the right to dislike what character crosses my path should I feel inclined. While I do not like the characters, I bear no ill will against the actors.

I started making a list a while ago jotting down the names of characters that I really don’t like and these are what I came up with…so far.

Now I know that every story requires a good villain (if it’s that kind of story) that will stick with you and make you despise them as much as the characters in the book do. After all, no one likes the person who’s always trying to kill the hero of the tale.

Of course, then you get these characters who you’d just want to upper cut and knock out with a chair or five because what even are you doing here? No one asked for you to show up.

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Take Delores Umbridge for example. When she first appeared my first thought was: ‘Wow, that’s a lot of pink.’ Then I’m sure my face showed my shock and disbelief at the fact that the ministry sent her? Like, excuse you lady, but we don’t need you. Go back to your cubicle.

There’s something to be said when the fandom hates this toad more than the actual villain. Thank the heavens for the Weasley twins. Also, slow effin’ clap to McGonagall for being such a BAMF! and standing up to Umbridge.

I won’t say that there was no reason for Umbridge to be a part of the series because I do think that each character -especially in the Harry Potter series- no matter how minor their role, played a part of the bigger picture. Will I ever end up liking this woman? Hell to the no. Sounds like there’s a ‘but’ coming on here, doesn’t it? No buts. I will never feel sorry for Umbridge.

Next up on the list, we have Thomas from The Maze Runner series. There was a time when I felt guilty about disliking characters from popular series but now, I don’t really care. If I don’t like a character because of one or the other reason, I’m not going to go out of my way to change that to suit other people’s desires. When I was younger my mom taught me not to call other people stupid because it’s mean and rude but Thomas…sweetie, you’re lacking a few brain cells there. He just seemed incredibly clueless and needed to be pushed in order to get a move one. He was slightly better in The Scorch Trials (only book I liked in the trilogy), but went back to his slow ways in The Death Cure.

I don’t like Queen Levana from The Lunar Chronicles simply because I think she’s a cruel and selfish b***h. When I read Fairest and got an idea of why she is the way she is, I didn’t feel sorry for her. Many a time I feel like saying she deserves everything that comes her way.

‘Mad’ Matt from The Enemy series. All the awesome people are dying…when is it this insane dude’s turn? I’ve been waiting since day 1 for him to be hit by flying debris or burned at the stake or anything that will just remove him. I love this series and I can even contend with ‘King’ David but this guy has just got to go.Image result for ramsay bolton

I have to be honest and say that before I had finished the current published novels in the Song of Ice and Fire series (books 1-5), Theon Greyjoy was on the list. I have watched the TV Series, but I also know that it differs quite a bit from the books. Once I got up to date though…Theon redeemed himself in my eyes and Ramsay ‘Snow’ Bolton became public enemy no.1. I have a few other characters that I despise in this series: Joffrey, Shae (how dare you break my dear Tyrion’s heart?), Tywin, Walder Frey…a few others here and there. Ramsay stands out for me though. He’s the epitome of Evil. Everything about him rubs me the wrong way. I’m all there with season 6’s ending. Books…hmm, we’ll see.

Sebastian Morgenstern is only on this list because at the beginning I really, really, REALLY didn’t like him. He’s one of those characters that make you want to fall to your knees and beg the gods to deliver you from this cursed monstrosity. I will say that while I despise Sebastian, Jonathan is a different matter all together. Poor kid never stood a chance.

I wanted to use an image from The Vampire Diaries TV Series but I decided not to because I only watched the first 10 minutes of episode 1 so that’d be unfair. Elena is a tough character for me to judge because throughout the book series she changes so much and has so many different versions, you get to see different sides of her, which I liked. Enter Elena from The Return: Midnight and things just fell apart for me. I found her to be very annoying and since she’s the MC I can’t just move on from her since the entire story is well, her’s. Take me back to Bonnie and Damon’s POVs when everything was awesome. Ironically, I haven’t given up on this series. I may have DNF’d this book 3 times but I will one day push through and conquer this novel.

I recently finished A Court of Mist and Fury and my decision that I made in the first book was even clearer once I completed the second. Tamlin of the Spring Court is my ultimate most despised character. At the beginning it was just a bit annoyance here, a tiny dislike there, come the second book and I’m begging for someone to throw him out a window. Nothing he says or does will ever make me like him. CONTROLLING PEOPLE IS NOT OKAY! PEOPLE ARE NOT PROPERTY!  I can’t with him, I’m sorry. I’m leaving before this becomes a full on hate rant.

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Bella Swan from the Twilight Saga. I don’t actually hate or despise her. I just find her annoying and whiny and all ‘woe is me’ and not a very strong representation of any character to be honest. She always had to be saved. And the worst thing is, she herself went out looking for dangerous situations. The fact that everyone just fawned over her as if she was something special didn’t help matters.

I mean, it’s kind of obvious. If you know you’re a magnet for trouble, stay out of it. Don’t date the vampire. Don’t go after the werewolf and try to make him your rebound.

Bella is just a very annoying character that I feel needs to be slapped a few times so that she can get a clue.

I swear, I’m not as violent as this post is making me seem.

As I mentioned at Umbridge’s part, sometimes a character’s part is crucial to the story and no matter how much you wish for them to reach a violent end, it won’t always happen. Something a reviewer on Goodreads said in one of her posts, and I’m paraphrasing here, is that the reason why we hate certain characters to the point of planning their untimely demises are because they are so well written and that the message and emotion the author wanted to send across was well received. That made me sit back and think for a moment that this person was right. And I’m not talking about badly written characters or those that annoy us. I’m talking about those that the author wanted us to despise. The Tamlin’s and Levana’s of the stories.

Again, if any of these are your favourite characters, that’s your thing. This is my thing. I actually had fun writing out this post. Let’s hope I don’t meet too many despicable characters in the future.

Thanks for stopping by.
Till next time,

Caron xx

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*Source: All images taken from Google Images

Confession: I Suck At Vocabulary

Sometimes I’m so proud of myself because when I was taught the letters of the alphabet and how to sound them out, I was pretty much set where reading was concerned. The first word I read was ‘Stop’ from The Oprah Magazine and so started my reading life.

I could now read my bedtime Bible stories on my own and looked for random words on the street to read out. My mom even sent me to aisles in the supermarket on my own to fetch certain items. I always had a problem with ‘sugar’ and ‘flour’.

I’ve been a dedicated bookworm for about 4 years now and I’ve read almost 400 books in this time. They range from Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Biography, Poetry, Comic Books and Graphic Novels and I like to think that I don’t have much of a problem with reading in general right now.

Thing is: I do. I talk a lot, may even too much but lately I’ve been stuttering more, mainly because some words are difficult for me to find or understand.

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I have a word I want to say but when I say it, it doesn’t fit in with the sentence. Even as I write blog posts, more often than not, I open up a thesaurus or dictionary because I need to confirm if a word I’m thinking of actually is what I think it is. Sometimes I can only remember the synonym and not the actual word.

Maybe this isn’t that big a deal to others, but it is to me. I used to talk extremely fast but I had to slow down because being around people all the time who’s first language isn’t English, I wanted them to understand me.

I don’t know if I dumbed myself down somewhere along the way by not reading more, not wanting to learn more, but something’s gotta give.

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I took a vocabulary test online a few months ago as a joke and according to that, my vocabulary is quite good. My memory sucks though, but tell me something I don’t already know.

I do think I’m getting better. I’ve started this thing where I look up a word on my dictionary app on my phone if I don’t know exactly what it means. And I’ve started telling people that I don’t know what they’re trying to say if they use an unfamiliar word. Maybe I shouldn’t have dropped out of English in 11th grade but there’s nothing I can do about that now.

Now that I’ve highlighted the problem, it’s easier for me to fix it. And this is fixable. The only issue my teachers said I had in class was ‘not paying attention’ and that hasn’t changed now. I have a very short attention span but I’ve managed to work around that. I can handle this vocab issue. I got this.

Thanks for stopping by,

Caron xx

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*Source: Gif and Image taken from Google Images

RST: Adult Content in Fanfiction vs. Novels

Hi, my name is Caron and I read fanfic…yes, that kind. But who doesn’t? Shh, don’t judge.

I’ve been meaning to write this post for months now- it’s been sitting in my drafts since mid 2016- and my new schedule finally gave me an excuse. More like urged me on as my other option is to think of a new idea.

I’ve been reading fanfiction for a while now, since 9th grade I think so approx. 7 years and it’s gotten to the point where I’ve started shipping new couples because I’ve read almost all of the fics about my older ships.

I read anything from G to NC-17 and I feel like the G-rated stuff gets more of a reaction out of me because who can ignore fluff? That’s tooth rotting sweet stuff and I’d be heartless not to feel anything.

When I get to that more…explicit in nature fics- mentally I’m like:

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I’ve read this ish on the way to school, to work, on the two hour drive into the city and not a single expression was seen on my face. I’ve mastered the art of secretive undercover NC-17 reading. The only thing is though, that I get so into it, when someone calls my name I am so shocked, I fumble. Gotta work on that.

The thing about reading adult content in novels though… Now that’s a whole other story.

I feel so scandalised. I have to remind myself that I’m 22. I’m a grown woman who doesn’t need to feel shy, and yet I do. And you get those scenes that’s so unexpected! Like, excuse you, but I did not sign up for this. I need that warning label.

Funny thing: I’ve read 5 out of the 6 books published in the Throne of Glass series as well as ACOTAR and ACOMAF all by SJM and I. Keep. Forgetting! With each new book I’m surprised and those scenes come at the oddest times. My heart can’t handle this.

Don’t even get me started on City of Heavenly Fire. I skipped over that part. Thank goodness it was barely a page but Cassie Clare, my innocence!

One scene I will never forget: I was reading Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella. I was about 15 or 16 when I read that book and poor innocent Caron had to be subjected to the things that went on in between the pages. Every time I walk past the store Mont Blanc, I have to avert my eyes because of the flashbacks.

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For the novels, there’s still redemption for me. But for those fanfics…ha! I was doomed the moment I started.

I don’t know why I was taking so long to write this post. I had fun.

Thanks for stopping by,
Caron xx

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I Take Forever To Get To Review Books

So I suck at planning for time to read review books.

Let’s start off with where I get my review copies. NetGalley, Instafreebie, Read-to-Review on Goodreads, Giveaways (Goodreads or Book Blogs) and of course from the authors themselves. I don’t do R2R so often anymore because I’ve decided to limit my amount of review copies. I can only read so much in a limited time. I try to keep my NetGalley ratio above 80% (I don’t want to lose my badge) so I don’t request books often. I think my ratio’s currently at 95% with 4 books on my shelf.

I got my first few review books back in 2015 and some of them I read, some of them I forgot about (Bad Caron). I was so excited about being a reviewer that I entered every giveaway, said yes to every review request and signed up for any R2R that sounded remotely interesting.

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What this has taught me is that I should carefully read through the synopsis and take note of the genre as there are many things that I’ve come to like and dislike. e.g I don’t like Romance novels, or novels where Romance is the main factor, so I will not request books of this nature. I don’t mind retellings but some of the original tales, I didn’t like and it’s rare that I’ll like the retelling. I would consider giving the book a chance though because I know I can’t cast a writer or their work aside because I didn’t like the story their work was based off on. For me it’s Alice in Wonderland. Ever since I was a kid I wasn’t a fan of the stories and movies and when I finally read the books, I found that I didn’t like it.

I have books sitting on my iPad from 2015 waiting to be read. I feel so ashamed because some of these books weren’t even published yet and I put it aside because of other books that caught my fancy. Another thing, don’t feel bad if a book’s not ‘your thing’. If you don’t like it, that’s just what it is. I’ve DNF’d many books because 1. I didn’t like the writing style 2. There was too much confusion or 3. The book just wasn’t for me. I used to feel bad about that but I don’t anymore. I believe that there are way too many other books out there that I can read so I shouldn’t be wasting time on those that I don’t even like.

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I try very hard not to judge a book by it’s author. Just because I hated a certain works by a particular author, I don’t write them off immediately. I might take some time to read anything by them again but there’s always a chance that the next book could be better. I also try not to compare my opinions of a book to its author meaning that if I hated the book I don’t automatically hate the author. For me that doesn’t make sense. Just because I couldn’t stand Paper Towns doesn’t mean that I can’t stand John Green. They’re not interchangeable.

I’ve become a lot better at getting to books sooner. I made a list and currently I have over 20 books that I need to both read and review and I’m sure I’ll get to them before the year’s up. I like striking each book out as I finish it. It motivates me to carry on.

I don’t think I’ve ever said no to review requests from authors. As I said, I read the synopsis and if I like it-which most of the time I do- I accept. It’s no secret that my favourite genre is Fantasy and I do like Historical Fiction so I’ve gotten lucky in getting really good books to review. See my new Review Policy here. I figured I needed one since I’m really trying to establish myself as a serious reviewer. There’s no more time for games.

This post went a totally different direction than what I thought. I think I’m making some headway where reviews are concerned. I’ve figured out a way for me to decrease both my physical TBR and review list at the same time. I read one book off my TBR and one off my list. It’s been working for the past two months and because of my new review notebook I’ve even managed to get reviews out a lot sooner.

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I’m happy where this review road seems to be taking me and I don’t regret for one second that I became a book reviewer. This is the best unofficial job in the world!

Thanks for stopping by.
Till next time,

Caron xx

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