RST: Book Worlds I Would and Wouldn’t Want to Live In

I’m pretty sure most of us have read a book and fallen in love with the world it took place in. The way the author/character describes this magical (or not so magical) place is very important especially to us readers because we want to travel with the characters; see what they see, feel what they feel.

I’ve come across quite a few book worlds over the years that I pretty much have a set opinion on. I either love it and want to pack my bags because when are we leaving? Or…I want to hide behind a brick wall and never see its likeness again.

I will start in the order of my favourite worlds I’d want to live in instead of which I discovered first.

World of the Shadowhunter Chronicles

 

 

I’ve been yelling out into the high heavens that The Mortal Instruments is my favourite series, and since my death wouldn’t be imminent upon my arrival, naturally I’d add this to book worlds I’d gladly live in.

I prefer The Infernal Devices over TMI because the way the Victorian Era was described makes me want to sit down for tea while we discuss how we’re going to handle the demons that are running wild in the city. Obviously I’d have no internet which might pose a problem for me…

Either way, I’d love to see what I’d end up being if I stepped into this world. Shadowhunter, vampire, werewolf, warlock, faerie? A Demon?? *takes break to go find out*

Buzzfeed tells me I’m a shadowhunter. I can deal with that. I would’ve had a problem if I came out being a regular human. Nothing wrong with that but it’s so…mundane. If I stepped into another world I wouldn’t want to be what I am already, you know?

I always have difficulty choosing between Middle Earth and the Wizarding World. The time is now.

Wizarding World of Harry Potter

There are countless fans out there who’s dreamt of living in the wizarding world. I can’t even say how many stories I’ve read from people who waited for their Hogwarts letter to come when they turned eleven. I’d heard once that someone said J.K. Rowling created a cult which according to Merriam-Webster: “great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work (such as a film or book) criticizing how the media promotes the cult of celebrity; especially :  such devotion regarded as a literary or intellectual fad” is not entirely wrong.

I myself have imagined being a witch and attending Hogwarts and becoming a Potions Mistress or a Professor…maybe I’d have even become a Healer. Who knows. Watching the Harry Potter movies and reading the books, then placing myself in those situations really makes me feel like I’m living the story. God bless JKR. She’s helped so many people with this series and I find it amazing that there are people out there having Harry Potter themed baby showers and freaking out in general whenever new news about the fandom is released.

I’m just saying…if I’d attended Hogwarts, I don’t think I would’ve disliked school Not at all.

Middle Earth

Oh the beautiful Middle Earth. I’m pretty sure I fell in love with this world at first site. I’d watched the LoTR movies before I started the books but the love was there, and it was real. I have yet to read The Return of the King but soon I’ll devour it just like I did the others.

The world that J.R.R. Tolkien created is so beautiful and so amazing, I’d be honoured to live in it. Playbuzz tells me I’m a human. Hmm…apparently I’m proud of my people. Is there a downside to this? I don’t know yet. We’ll see how well I fare in battle.

I feel like going on an adventure right now. Where’s is my Gandalf?

 

There’s only one world I’m on the fence about. I can’t decided whether I’d actually want to live there or not.

Inkworld

I watched the movie adaptation years ago and I didn’t know that it was originally a book back then. It took me a while to actually read the book and when I did, I took my sweet old-time with it.

I liked the idea of the story. That for a gifted few, when they read out loud, they literally bring the story to life. That’s awesome me thinks.

The reason why I’m on the fence about this is because imagine if I had this talent, and I lived in this world…I’d never be able to read to my kids. What if a monster popped out. No thank you.

 

Last but not least, the worlds I would not want to live in.

Panem

I love The Hunger Games trilogy. It’s very good and I’d read it a million times over if I could. I would never want to live in that world though. Here I am, going about my business, and suddenly I hear my name being called out. No sir, I’m not here for this.

Another thing…many of these districts suffer because they are disregarded by those who believe themselves to be better. I’d feel bad no matter where I ended up. If I were a part of the poorer districts, I’d resent those that seem to have everything. If I were from a well off district…I’d resent myself because how could I live in luxury when there are people suffering and I could’ve helped.

Basically, it’d be a bad idea for me to live in this world. Nope, I do not volunteer.

The World of Ice and Fire

No, nope, nein, nee, la. Definitely not. I do not even want to risk what kind of power I’ll have in this world, and if I have none, I’m doomed.

The lengths one has to go to in order to stay on top in this world is insane and I do not want any part of that.

I love the books and the show but that’s as far as it goes for me. I’m getting shivers just thinking about it.

Honourable mentions:

  • Doctor Who – Yeah!
  • Star Wars – Yes, please
  • MCU – That’d be cool
  • World of Hannibal Lecter – Oh hell to the no

That concludes this post. It took me a while to figure out what should go and what should stay. I’m sure there are many other worlds that I’d either want to live in or not, but these were what came to mind first.

Thanks for stopping by,
Caron xx

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Source: Gifs taken from Giphy.com

Going to Picture-Perfect Places With No Books for Pictures

Ever gone somewhere and the scenery or view is so beautiful you wish you’d brought a book with because the moment is perfection?

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Yea, happens to me a lot. It’s usually my own fault because I don’t really like carrying things so when I do go out I’m always wearing a jeans with pockets so my phone can come with me. If I need money…pockets. It’s very rare that I’ll bring a book with me and even if I do end up reading on a long trip, it’s on my iPad.

These book-related pictures have to be planned to the smallest detail. Where are we going? When are we going? What’s the weather like? What’s the location like? I need to know all these things and only if I feel like it will I risk my books leaving the safety of my library.

There are the odd times when I’m in the mood to go wild and will take a book or two out with me. One that comes to mind is when my family went out for a desert photoshoot and I thought eh, why not, and just took some desert-themed books along for the ride.

I’m not really a photo junkie so I don’t take pics often, be it of me or things in general. Most of the time I forget because I get so lost in actually looking at the thing in real life. The other night on our way back home, there was this beautiful display of lightning and we wanted to take pics but we kept missing our opportunity so we just enjoyed it for what it was. <<<This is not me saying ‘put your phone away and live in the moment’. I think it has a lot to do with personal preference.

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There’s this mountain-ish hilltop in the area I live in and people go there often. I prefer being indoors so I don’t always take the opportunity to go up there but when I do…I don’t have a book with me. It’s so funny though because I could always just leave the book in the car so there’s no excuse really but still, it’s like I’m allergic or something.

My point is, all of these are missed opportunities for me because I forget that pictures are a thing and I’m usually so busy freaking out that the thought of sharing my excitement doesn’t even cross my mind. I’m lucky that my house is beautiful enough to allow me to still take pretty pictures. Most of my bookstagram pics were either taken on my balcony or in my dad’s garden.

A few pics I took on location:

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So that’s it for this post. Maybe I’ll be able to take more pics in the future. I currently don’t have a car so I can’t just leave when I want but a girl can dream.

Thanks for stopping by,
Caron xx

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Gifs source: Google Images

My Thoughts on DNF’ing Books

A little while ago I watched a video by Catriona from Little Book Owl on YouTube where she talking about DNF’ing books and I thought: ‘Hey, why not’

To start off, for those who don’t know what DNF is, it stands for ‘Did Not Finish’. There are many reasons why a person can choose to DNF a book and I myself am no stranger to this act. My main reasons for DNF’ing a book revolves around a lot of things. I go through this whole thought process before I actually mark a book as Unfinished. Sometimes I say ‘unfinished’ because maybe I’ll get back to the book but that’s not always the case.

I’ve said in my Review Policy that I try not to judge a book by its author and there are one or two authors whose books I won’t read because I’ve tried a few and there’s no…spark for me.

Things that could possibly make me decide to DNF:

  • Annoying main character
  • Writing style that I’m not a fan of
  • I found the book boring
  • It ends up involving a genre that I have no interest in
  • The plot makes absolutely no sense

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My main reason for DNF’ing would be an annoying MC. I don’t care if any of the supporting characters are annoying, but if the MC is, then that’s an issue for me. I have to go through this entire book that’s narrated by this person who I imagine horrible things happening to and that poses a problem for me because sometimes I really want to like a book, but the MC gets in the way.

I applaud authors who have the guts to go out there and have their work published. It helps readers like myself have more books to look forward to. It helps reviewers help them get the word out that there’s a new book on the market. I said in a post a while ago that even though anyone can write, there is some talent behind it. You have to be able to draw a person in and then also keep them interested. The writing style of an author plays a big part for me where reading is concerned. I may like the characters, the world, the plot, even how the author went about with the idea of the story. But if I don’t like the writing style in general, everything else that the book holds would have to be really good to have me continue till the end. I’ve finished books that I didn’t like (because of annoying characters, poor execution) just because I was a fan of the writing style. I do think that it’s possible to grow as an author and become better so there’s hope for everyone.

I have this thing, almost like a motto where I believe that if I’m not liking the book and/or I find it boring, life’s too short for me to waste time on it. I can read any other book that I might enjoy a lot better. At first I thought that this was a bit mean but now I make no excuses. There are many books out there that want to be read so why should I use my energy reading something I’m not even enjoying? It’s as simple as that. *Another thing to add is: if I feel like a book is sending me into a reading slump, I’ll put it down and read something else and get back to it at another time.

I love unpredictability in a book. I live for it. When I’m hit with a plot twist, I feel giddy because the author got me this time. I actually want to say: I did not see that coming. Of course a book can have multiple genres and that’s awesome. But if the book was categorised as a Fantasy/YA/Suspense, for example, that’s what I’m going to expect. If I read this book and there’s hardly any fantasy, no suspense because everything is so predictable and romance on every page, I’m not going to be happy. Why? Because…was Romance listed as one of the genres? No, it was not. I ge that to some this might not be a big deal but we each have our genres that we stay away from. Mine is Romance. I don’t even watch RomComs (sometimes, but those are usually throwbacks to my preteen years). I’ve encountered a few books like these over the years and sometimes I feel tricked because what I read is not what I was promised. The betrayal is real.

A confusing plot can possibly ruin the story for me because what was the person trying to achieve? Sometimes I try really hard to understand and most time I shrug it off and end up DNF’ing the book because somewhere along the lines a game of Broken Telephone was played and what I heard is not what was said. Time to put that book down.

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You’d think that with how much I write in these posts, that I’m saying all I need to say. Nope, I still talk a lot in my daily life.

Anyway, this was my take on DNF’ing books. Clearly I’m all for it if the situation calls for it. There are a few books that I’m going to get back to (Marley & Me, The Return: Midnight, The Sky is Everywhere) but it might take some time.

That’s all for now.

Thanks for stopping by.
Till next time,

Caron xx

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*Source: All images taken from Google Images

RST: We Found A Bookstore!

This post is ridiculously delayed! For shame.

A few months ago my friend and I went into the city in search of this bookstore that she’d found online. Secondhand bookstores are hard to come by here, so the fact that we’d found one was big news.

This bookstore- Book World Trading- is hidden between two other stores and you won’t see it unless you know what you’re looking for. It’s safe to say that we knew, so our path was practically lit up in front of us. Behold!

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I honestly can’t remember if I’ve ever been in a used bookstore before but I do know that I’ve walked past plenty.

Stepping into this place was amazing. I’m so grateful that they didn’t try to spruce up the place with air freshener or something because that would’ve taken away from the magic that’s inside. I always smell a book just before I start reading it and I don’t own many secondhand books but this bookstore…the fragrance of old books were everywhere and I loved every moment I spent there.

I’m not entirely sure how long my friend and I spent there but I know it was a while. We went through every aisle, searched almost every shelf. We found gems, books that we’d been searching for, books I haven’t seen since I was a kid.

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I ended up buying a few books. One of them being one that I was contemplating on for a while- The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan. The last time I had a chance to buy it I chose The Sword of Summer over it. We’ll see if I regret that choice because I wasn’t a fan of The Sword of Summer. I also got The BFG by Roald Dahl since the movie was just about to come out then. I think the third book I got was The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson. It’s hardcover and I thought it was a good bargain. I’ve started the book but I put it on hold because I think that’s one of those books you need to be in the mood for.

I love being able to explore and find new things especially if they’re book related. It makes me feel some semblance of peace and belonging because even though I know that are other people who feel the way I do, I don’t always see it.

Here’s to hoping that more book finds await me in the future.

Thanks for stopping by,
Caron xx

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Source: I took these pictures myself.

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