Tuesday, 30 December 2014

These Books Have it All

It's amazing what book vouchers and cheap books can do.  Being overseas, I've been forced to only read books bought, not borrowed, and it's done quite a bit to my book selection.  There's no second-rate books or books that bore me to death.  No.  Since I've been here I've read three books in a row that seem to have the whole package.  They've all got mystery, new societies or universes, a forbidden romance, deception, ethics and very very good concepts.

 The first of the three is a book called The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski.

The protagonist is a girl named Kestral, a Valorian, daughter of the powerful wealthy general who took over the Herran land.  Despite her father wishing for her to be a soldier, she's not a natural fighter and would much rather turn to music.  She is, however, very deceptive, able to win any game, able to strategize perfect plans.

One day she goes into the markets and finds herself bidding for a Herran slave, and winning.  And just so you know, he's the love interest.  But he's not quite who he says he is.  He's pretty deceptive too.

It's a story set in a world of court policies and military plans.  It's a story of power.

The second book I read is called The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel

One small town survived the war.  In it were two sides.  One wanted a monarchy, with presidency passed down the bloodline.  They wanted to live life for the good of the group, with arranged marriages and women producing children for the good of the population.  The other wanted a democracy, with the rights of each individual in mind. The monarchy side won.  And from that year onwards, the daughters of the losing side were forced to marry the sons of the winning side, a sign of peace.

Ivy is being forced to marry the son of the president, Bishop.  All her life her sister and her have been home-schooled by their father, turned against the system of their current society.  All her life Ivy has felt second best to her sister.  And for two years she's been dreading and preparing for this moment.  Her mission is to kill Bishop.

But maybe things aren't as they seem.  Either he's a really good actor or Bishop's not as bad as she thought he'd be.  Maybe her father isn't completely right.  And maybe the president isn't completely bad.  Maybe there is no wrong or right.  But then, what's right?

This one's a story of ethics and morals.  What's the right thing to do?

The third book I read is called A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray.

Marguerite's the daughter of two fantastic physicians.  All her life she's lived amongst science, taught that anything's possible.  She's had her sister and the extra family of all the grad students coming in and out.  Most importantly and recently are Paul and Theo.  Paul is large, a little awkward, and kinda quiet.  He's brilliant though, and he's the one Marguerite likes.  Then there's Theo, who's arrogant and flirty.  He's smart, but not quite as brilliant as Paul.

Marguerite's parents have just made a breakthrough.  They've created a device that can jump between dimensions (but all the stuff explained about that is too complicated to tell you here).  But before they're even able to test it out, Marguerite's dad is murdered and the prototype is stolen, the murderer and thief being Paul.

Soon Marguerite and Theo are on a quest after Paul, hopping from dimension to dimension.  But what happens when Marguerite meets a different version of Paul?  What happens when what happens is not quite what it seems?

It's just one confusing jumbled up story, containing everything, that you will greatly enjoy.

And you know what?  I could've made it four in a row if only I'd remembered to bring this book.

Oh well.  But guess what else these three books have in common?  They all have a sequel that hasn't come out yet.  Ugh.  I hate waiting for anticipated books.


Tuesday, 2 December 2014

These MTV tv Shows

For some reason I haven't been able to stop watching mini marathons of these two TV shows, day after day, until finally I have now caught up.  And now I'm despairing over having to wait a whole week to see the next episode, with nothing left to do in my now empty life.  What can I say?  I'm obsessed.  These shows are so filled with romance, laughter, heartbreak and buckets full of drama. 

You know, I'd always thought these TV shows with the high school drama and the bad acting that's really addictive were stupid.  Well, I certainly got the addictive part right.

Let's start with the first of the two, Awkward.  I first saw it at a friend's house while some episode in season 4 was playing, and I couldn't take my eyes off the screen.  That was it.  I needed to know what had happened before.  So I went home, sat through the extremely awkward and inappropriate first episode, and after that I loved it.

Awkward is amazing, let me tell you that.  Jenna Hamilton, the main character is invisible, and she's a blogger that types out her deepest feelings, just like a lot of us bloggers like to think we do.  Her parents are freakin awesome, with her mum having had her as a teen, and her dad being disturbingly hot.  She also has a dramatic best friend named Tamara, who is obsessed with popularity.  And then there's Matty Mckibben, hottest guy in school, and his reputation certainly doesn't disappoint.  He really is hot.

Matty and Jenna literally have the best relationship.  I mean, maybe not at the start, but throughout the seasons they just need to be together.  And they do succeed, but every relationship goes through ups and downs, which means they go on and off, and yeah... it's complicated.  But I'm not kidding.  They're super cute, and they're good friends at the moment.  Matty's best friend, Jake is also pretty cool.  He's such a nice guy.

The thing about Awkward is that it's not stereotypical.  The kind of "head cheerleader mean girl" is overweight and has some major issues.  Then there's a Jesus obsessed girl, and these two make the "popular" girls.  Val, the school counsellor, is so quirky and makes an amazing friend, funnily enough.  There's also an Asian friend who gets swept into the Asian Mafia which is literally the funniest thing because Asians know all :')

And if Awkward isn't stereotypical, Faking It is even less so.  It's basically about two best friends who pretend to be lesbian to be popular in a very alternative school.  The only problem is, one of the best friends actually turns out to be a lesbian, in love with her best friend, and the other is really only doing this to get the "hottest" guy in school.

Amy's the actual lesbian best friend, and she's from a Southern kind of family.  Her mum's a weather woman into girly pageants and manners and stuff, and her step dad is like her mother. The interesting part though is her step sister, who's tiny, blonde and a bitch.  The thing is, she's actually got this huge secret that's so unpredictable when it comes out.  I actually want to spoil so bad, but I won't.

And then Karma, the straight best friend, comes from a hippy family.  Her parents are so funny and do drugs and stuff and yeah, they're hilarious, and totally in support of anything lesbian.  Karma may seem really annoying and a stupid character at first, but trust me, she gets better.

What I'm really interested in is Liam Booker, the "hottest" guy.  Man, he's perfect.  You may remember him as Mason from Wizards of Waverley Place.  He's an artist with a super funny gay best friend whom I love and is actually a whole character of his own, not just a sidekick, Shane.  He's also really good-looking and rich, which you'll find the details of later.  The only problem is he's a playboy, but don't worry, Karma tames him.

Now please don't judge me for explaining these TV shows I've been obsessing over.  I get that they may sound outrageous and stupid, but just you wait.  Once you watch a few of these episodes, you'll be converted too.  But if you don't, just know I'm not that insane.

Ugh.  Everyone has their guilty pleasures.  But I'm not alone.  I have quite a few friends that like these shows too, even though I may have been the one to introduce them.

Just try a few episodes, for me?