Angry Girl Review: Eleanor and Park

bookgeekconfessions:

angrygirlcomics:

One time in college I turned in an essay and my professor underlined a sentence I’d written and told me it wasn’t the appropriate register for a university essay and I have crazy respect for her so I tailored my papers for the rest of the semester but this isn’t a university essay so I’ll start off with

WHAT

THE FUCK

WAS THAT

Let’s start with the most glaringly obvious: the racism! 

The sad thing is that half these descriptions are obviously supposed to be flattering except they’re… not… 

image

Wow ninjas and East Asia what a novel concept wow 

image

Wow because East Asian men aren’t emasculated in American media at all

image

THIS KIND OF SPEAKS FOR ITSELF.

by the way this is so very Memoirs of a Geisha-y because Park happens to be a half-Korean kid who LOOKS more Asian than his brother

image

But Park has green eyes!!!!! so magical!!!! So EXOTIC!!! Also “almond-flavored” please that’s not the most cliched description for Asian eyes in the book

Here have some more grossness around those oh-so-exotic “Asian” eyes

image

image

Please let that sink in for a moment. Like Ming the Merciless. Who, as you might know from the Flash Gordon comic, was originally introduced in 1934 and is a pretty clear stand-in for, uh… yellow peril. upon googling, looks like this:

image

Sooo…. yeah.

But then Park has a couple of self-hating moments where he of course implies that Asian women have it easier:

image

image

"White guys think they’re exotic". And that is flattering why, Park? "Exotic", really? And Eleanor isn’t exactly doing a great job of not contributing to this harmful mentality when she explicitly thinks that he’s "prettier than any girl". Again:

image

But then!!! Eleanor makes it all better!!! By saying this!! In the middle of a STEAMY LOVE SCENE!!!! (which by the way neither steamy nor lovely just creeped me out a lot because of the following passage):

image

This Othering, this fetishization, does not stop through the entire book. Finally, we get towards the end: 

image

So no, Eleanor never gets over Othering her boyfriend.

Wait hold on Asian women don’t get a pass either, as Park’s mom is painted as the oppressive parent who doesn’t like “weird white girls”, but according to Eleanor…

 image

"his" Dainty China person because of course Park’s mom isn’t a person, but a literal object to be moved and shifted according to the whim’s of Park’s dad, a Korean war vet. 

Here have some more bad stereotyping of Asian women as “thin pretty and petite” and Eleanor’s own self-hatred and fat-shaming:

image

Black women aren’t exempt from being props to uphold Eleanor either. Her two “friends” at school (I say “friends” in quotes because they don’t really comment on anything except how cute Park is and they all make fun of those OTHER nasty white girls in gym class together), oh, and Rainbow Rowell writes them like this:

image

"It was an honor that they’d let her into their club"…the "you’re not like THOSE white people club???" 

image

"I got a man", REALLY??? 

Park’s “Asian”-ness As Other and He Could Have Been Edward Cullen, What is the Goddamn Difference

I would have felt better if Rainbow Rowell had written Park as a vampire or a werewolf or some other inhuman creature, the stuff of teen girl YA fantasy because a) vampires and werewolves don’t actually exist and therefore you can write them any way you want, albiet cliched, whatever—at least you’re not contributing to some very harmful societal stereotypes. 

Park, as you can see from the previous citations, is written out to be this “edgy” indie boy who wears eyeliner and listens to the Smiths (which wow I rolled my eyes at) and is also a loner at school in and his edginess and “magic” make him stand out in much the same way a vampire or a werewolf or otherwise nonhuman creature would. These descriptions of Park really made me think of Twilight and no, not because they are things that “normal” teen girls say or think but because we’ve seen this archetype of, for lack of better word, “magical boy” that comes barging into sad-manic-pixie-dream-girl’s-but-not-like-the-other-girls’-life and sweeps her off her feet:

image

How artsy, edgy, and NOT PREPPY, he wears all black.

image

Who else had a face “like a chiseled marble statue in its perfection”? (psst, it was Edward Cullen)

image

image

who else was described as “godlike” “angelic” and all that crap? Vampire boy Edward Cullen. Louis and Lestat and Claudia, all of our favorite too-gorgeous-to-be-real fairytale creatures.

But when you use those kinds of descriptors for a character who is very visibly POC and then give them an uncommon feature like ~green eyes~, do they not become a kind of mythical creature in, the stuff of exotic fantasy? Do they then become dehumanized and not real, only the kind of boyfriend a girl can aspire to get?

The answer, of course, is yes. But dreaming about dating a vampire or a werewolf is so very different and again does not carry the same weight as being hellbent on dating a ~perfect Asian boy~. Because at this point it is not about Park. This is not Park’s story, even though he shares half the title. This is Eleanor’s story, the manic pixie “not like the other girls” girl, with her crazy red hair and her weird clothes and her desire to get away from it all. 

Eleanor’s entire story is painted on a canvas of abuse and neglect and sadness, so of course she needs some magical boy to literally swoop in and save her— at the end, Park takes her to Minnesota where her uncle lives, away from the safety of her stepfather who is out for her blood. Eleanor is the most precious person in the world to Park, so much that he doesn’t care about his family anymore and the only person he cares about is her. How the hell is that any kind of healthy way to have a relationship?

Park’s Asian-ness is only brought up in the context that it is different to what Eleanor is used to, that it is EXOTIC and MAGICAL and because of that she likes him. No, but it’s in the text, where Eleanor openly admits to fetishizing:

image

I didn’t end up CARING about Eleanor’s family situation at all. Her relationship with her mother was completely one-dimensional, as was the relationship with her siblings and her stepfather. It was almost as though the backstory was there to make Eleanor more sympathetic to the reader, which as a reader I didn’t end up buying because there was literally no depth to any of it.

Similarly, Park’s relationship with his parents is weird and disturbing and also one-sided. His mom speaks broken English and is demure but madly in love with his dad, who, need I remind you, “liberated” her from her oppressive country. Miss Saigon, anyone? Park’s dad is typical American machismo, a simple kinda guy, but at heart a good one. I feel like the PARENTS’ relationship was something I was more interested in than Eleanor or Park, had it not been written like a weird yellow-fever wet dream, where the white dude comes home and just makes out with the Asian woman all the time and she stays home and tends to their perfect house and their perfect family. 

Rainbow Rowell has explicitly stated in an interview that one of her inspirations for writing Eleanor and Park and for making Park Korean was that her father had been in the Korean War:

1. My father served in Korea, in the Army.

This is probably the most obvious explanation.

My parents separated when I was in the second grade, and I never knew my dad that well. I didn’t grow up with him around. But I remember being fascinated by the fact that he was in the military – and stationed in a place where there had been an actual war, even though he was there decades after the worst of it.

There was this photo of him, in uniform, hanging over my grandmother’s coffee table – an unrecognizable teenager with short hair and tiny wire-rimmed glasses.

Every once in a while, if he’d had a few drinks, my dad would talk about the Army. How he signed up at 17 to avoid getting drafted and sent to Vietnam. The Army wouldn’t send a 17-year-old to Vietnam, he said. (I have no idea if this, or much else my dad told me, is true.)

He was especially proud of having protested the Vietnam War while he was in Korea. There was a clipping from a military newspaper with photos of the protest. I was 12 or 13 when he showed me this, and I definitely didn’t get it.

Over the years, I’ve had people tell me I must be confused about my dad, that there weren’t Americans soldiers left in Korea in the ‘70s. But there are still American soldiers in South Korea. We never left.

Anyway, the other thing my dad would talk about, every once in a while, was a girl he’d known in Korea. My mom says he carried this Korean girl’s photo in his wallet for years after he came home. He’d been in love with her; my mom thought he still was.

I used to wonder about that girl. About how he met her. Whether she spoke English. Whether she was his age. Whether it was some secret love affair, or something her friends and family knew about … What if she was his soulmate?

What if fate and circumstance and the U.S. government had come together to deliver my father across the continents to his soulmate – and he just left her there.

He could have stayed, I thought. He could have brought her back. Omaha is a military town; people bring wives and husbands back from all over.

I remember being so angry with him. First for leaving the person he was meant to be with; then for leaving my mom, the person he wasn’t meant to be with; and then for leaving all my brothers and sisters and me in his wake.

So … in Eleanor & Park, Park’s dad gets sent to Korea because his brother has died in combat in Vietnam. He meets his soulmate there. And he brings her home. 

He “liberates” her. And puts her in his pocket like a China Doll, right?

These were only a few selections out of the many, many in the novel. Over and over again we’re slammed in the face with the fact that Park is Asian, he’s half-Korean, but only in the way he looks and almost always in the context of his relationship with Eleanor, never by himself. Half the book is supposedly written from Park’s perspective but he never really introspects on his identity except during that scene when he’s with Eleanor, bitter that there aren’t any “hot Asian guys.” Not even Asian AMERICAN, just “Asian”. As though the author were not aware of the hybrid culture that exists in the country—maybe because Park’s “the only Korean in Omaha?”

What first love story is there to tell? They start off hating each other and he makes her a mixtape and asks if she listens to the Smiths, and given that this book came out after Five Hundred Days of Summer… 

I’m not sure what the point of the book was. To make people want hot Asian boyfriends?

This read like bad Tamora Pierce Circle of Magic Trisana Chandler/Briar Moss AU fic.

THANK GOD, someone did this. Eleanor & Park is so very racist. I can’t handle it that people seem to ignore it or are completely ignorant of all the things in this book that are just awful.


So I’ve been really bad about posting lately, and I wanted to let you know it’s not for the normal reasons like laziness or…mostly laziness… it’s because I have the draft for the review of CoHF sitting here and I just can’t bring myself to write it. Like I was really really pleasantly surprised and it’s really messing with me, and I was an emotional wreck afterwards so that’s hard to put in words but I promise it’s coming (and also bob saget’s autobiography…so there’s that….)


50shadesoftobias:

me *walks in the bookstore*

"Oh I have read that. And that. That one too. And this one, this is good. Oh, that one isn’t."

sis: “stop.”

(via readaroundtherosie)



lbardugo:

#GrishaTrilogy inspired gel manicure for #SDCC and #FierceReads Block Party at the Grove! Thanks to Amy at @nailserviceusa for the beautiful work. #nailartclub #nailart #RuinandRising #ShadowAndBone

lbardugo:

#GrishaTrilogy inspired gel manicure for #SDCC and #FierceReads Block Party at the Grove! Thanks to Amy at @nailserviceusa for the beautiful work. #nailartclub #nailart #RuinandRising #ShadowAndBone


I Am Malala
Malala Yousafzai
Summary:

When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. 
On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive. 
Instead, Malala’s miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize. 
I Am Malala is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for global terrorism, of the fight for girls’ education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons. 
I Am Malala will make you believe in the power of one person’s voice to inspire change in the world. 

If you think you don’t want to read this book, you’re wrong. Read it immediately, like literally, just get it right now. It’s beautiful and sweet and sad and perfect. I love everything about it, but I really love how throughout the book, while talking about horrific things that are going on around her, she’ll still make references to Twilight, or talk about arguments she had with her brother. This book is so real and beautiful. Just read it. 
5/5

I Am Malala

Malala Yousafzai

Summary:

When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. 

On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive. 

Instead, Malala’s miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize. 

I Am Malala is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for global terrorism, of the fight for girls’ education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons. 

I Am Malala will make you believe in the power of one person’s voice to inspire change in the world. 

If you think you don’t want to read this book, you’re wrong. Read it immediately, like literally, just get it right now. It’s beautiful and sweet and sad and perfect. I love everything about it, but I really love how throughout the book, while talking about horrific things that are going on around her, she’ll still make references to Twilight, or talk about arguments she had with her brother. This book is so real and beautiful. Just read it. 

5/5


Hollow City
Ransom Riggs
Summary:

The extraordinary journey that began in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children continues as Jacob Portman and his newfound friends journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. There, they hope to find a cure for their beloved headmistress, Miss Peregrine. But in this war-torn city, hideous surprises lurk around every corner. And before Jacob can deliver the peculiar children to safety, he must make an important decision about his love for Emma Bloom. 

If any of you read my review for the first book in this series, you know that I really didn’t like it very much. Or at all. Which is why I really really didn’t want to read this book, and I kept seeing it and feeling so conflicted, because I NEED to finish series I start, but it was just really really not my thing.
So finally I broke down and read it, and I was surprised that it actually was a bit better than the first one. I still really didn’t like it; I disliked the characters less in this one, but I still didn’t like them. I really still don’t like the writing. I can’t really put my finger on it but it’s kind of boring and superfluous at the same time. 
The one thing that really got better was the plot. I found myself actually interested in what was happening, and I kind of couldn’t put it down for a while. I still didn’t really CARE what happened, but I was pretty interested, if that makes sense..
3/5

Hollow City

Ransom Riggs

Summary:

The extraordinary journey that began in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children continues as Jacob Portman and his newfound friends journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. There, they hope to find a cure for their beloved headmistress, Miss Peregrine. But in this war-torn city, hideous surprises lurk around every corner. And before Jacob can deliver the peculiar children to safety, he must make an important decision about his love for Emma Bloom. 

If any of you read my review for the first book in this series, you know that I really didn’t like it very much. Or at all. Which is why I really really didn’t want to read this book, and I kept seeing it and feeling so conflicted, because I NEED to finish series I start, but it was just really really not my thing.

So finally I broke down and read it, and I was surprised that it actually was a bit better than the first one. I still really didn’t like it; I disliked the characters less in this one, but I still didn’t like them. I really still don’t like the writing. I can’t really put my finger on it but it’s kind of boring and superfluous at the same time. 

The one thing that really got better was the plot. I found myself actually interested in what was happening, and I kind of couldn’t put it down for a while. I still didn’t really CARE what happened, but I was pretty interested, if that makes sense..

3/5


Alan Mendelsohn, The Boy From Mars
Daniel M. Pinkwater
Summary:

Leonard Neeble, a short, portly, wrinkled kid with glasses, was pretty well ordained to be an outcast at Bat Masterson Junior High School. Especially after he sat down on somebody’s half-eaten Good Humor bar in the school yard. 
In fact, his new life in the affluent suburb of West Kangaroo Park was generally a washout as far as Leonard was concerned. Until Alan Mendelsohn turned up in his class and being weird became interesting. 
The search for additions to Mendelsohn’s collection of over two thousand comics led to some unique new experiences, including Mind Control and the Bermuda Triangle Chili Parlor.
And more. Much more. 

I really enjoyed reading most of this book. I thought it was pretty adorable and had some funny parts, but for a lot of it I realized I just felt really really bored? Like I was more excited to finish it than anything else. It’s kind of hard to explain, but I liked it and didn’t at the same time. I really just don’t know. 
3.5/5

Alan Mendelsohn, The Boy From Mars

Daniel M. Pinkwater

Summary:

Leonard Neeble, a short, portly, wrinkled kid with glasses, was pretty well ordained to be an outcast at Bat Masterson Junior High School. Especially after he sat down on somebody’s half-eaten Good Humor bar in the school yard. 

In fact, his new life in the affluent suburb of West Kangaroo Park was generally a washout as far as Leonard was concerned. Until Alan Mendelsohn turned up in his class and being weird became interesting. 

The search for additions to Mendelsohn’s collection of over two thousand comics led to some unique new experiences, including Mind Control and the Bermuda Triangle Chili Parlor.

And more. Much more. 

I really enjoyed reading most of this book. I thought it was pretty adorable and had some funny parts, but for a lot of it I realized I just felt really really bored? Like I was more excited to finish it than anything else. It’s kind of hard to explain, but I liked it and didn’t at the same time. I really just don’t know. 

3.5/5


Still Lolo
Lauren Scruggs (and the Scruggs family)
Summary:

Join Lauren Scruggs as she reveals the story of the night that changed everything for her….

I think sometimes it can be really rough to try to read an autobiography by someone you’ve never heard of, and no matter how interesting the book looks, I usually worry about that in a situation like this, but I had no reason to worry about this one. 
If you’ve never heard of Lauren Scruggs, let me tell you: she’s adorable and inspiring and really really interesting to read about. I adored this book, especially because it cycles through lots of different viewpoints to tell the story of Lauren’s whole life, with the (spoiler alert!) plane accident that led to this book even being published playing a relatively minor role. I honestly found it much more interesting than many autobiographies written by people who I already knew about, which is pretty impressive.
5/5

Still Lolo

Lauren Scruggs (and the Scruggs family)

Summary:

Join Lauren Scruggs as she reveals the story of the night that changed everything for her….

I think sometimes it can be really rough to try to read an autobiography by someone you’ve never heard of, and no matter how interesting the book looks, I usually worry about that in a situation like this, but I had no reason to worry about this one. 

If you’ve never heard of Lauren Scruggs, let me tell you: she’s adorable and inspiring and really really interesting to read about. I adored this book, especially because it cycles through lots of different viewpoints to tell the story of Lauren’s whole life, with the (spoiler alert!) plane accident that led to this book even being published playing a relatively minor role. I honestly found it much more interesting than many autobiographies written by people who I already knew about, which is pretty impressive.

5/5


Brunette Ambition
Lea Michele
Summary:

Lea Michele is one of the hardest-working performers in show business. Whether she’s starring as Rachel Berry on Glee, rocking a glamorous look on the red carpet, recording her solo album, or acting as the spokesperson for L’Oreal, Lea is the ultimate multitasker. She knows better than anyone that it is difficult to be your best self and keep things in perspective when your to-do list is overflowing and you are faced with challenges, so she’s developed a foolproof system for remaining healthy and centered. 
In Brunette Ambition - an illustrated book that’s part memoir, part how-to, and part style guide - Lea reveals lessons and advice that have worked for her, from how she keeps comfortable on the red carpet and maintains flawless hair and makeup all night, to how she stays motivated to work out (even when she just wants to sit on the couch!). Lea shares her favorite recipes - for the hair masque she uses to restore fried ends, the comfort soup she eats to unwind on Sundays, the vegan grilled cheese she indulges in when she wants a treat, and many more. Most important, she reflects on ways she remains grounded, centered, and true to who she is. 

I really really love Lea Michele, and I really really loved this book. It was really cute and actually had some great recipes and things (I think I may actually end up buying the book), and it was just really adorable all over, as I would expect from her. 
My only problem with it is that sometimes the format seemed to be sort of trying too hard? If that makes sense? It was usually really great, but sometimes I just felt like it would have been better to just read as a book than a scrapbook-type format. 
4.5/5

Brunette Ambition

Lea Michele

Summary:

Lea Michele is one of the hardest-working performers in show business. Whether she’s starring as Rachel Berry on Glee, rocking a glamorous look on the red carpet, recording her solo album, or acting as the spokesperson for L’Oreal, Lea is the ultimate multitasker. She knows better than anyone that it is difficult to be your best self and keep things in perspective when your to-do list is overflowing and you are faced with challenges, so she’s developed a foolproof system for remaining healthy and centered. 

In Brunette Ambition - an illustrated book that’s part memoir, part how-to, and part style guide - Lea reveals lessons and advice that have worked for her, from how she keeps comfortable on the red carpet and maintains flawless hair and makeup all night, to how she stays motivated to work out (even when she just wants to sit on the couch!). Lea shares her favorite recipes - for the hair masque she uses to restore fried ends, the comfort soup she eats to unwind on Sundays, the vegan grilled cheese she indulges in when she wants a treat, and many more. Most important, she reflects on ways she remains grounded, centered, and true to who she is. 

I really really love Lea Michele, and I really really loved this book. It was really cute and actually had some great recipes and things (I think I may actually end up buying the book), and it was just really adorable all over, as I would expect from her. 

My only problem with it is that sometimes the format seemed to be sort of trying too hard? If that makes sense? It was usually really great, but sometimes I just felt like it would have been better to just read as a book than a scrapbook-type format. 

4.5/5


Starclimber
Kenneth Oppel
Summary:

Pilot-in-training Matt Cruse and Kate de Vries, expert on high-altitude life-forms, are invited aboard the Starclimber, a vessel hat literally climbs its way into the cosmos. Before they even set foot aboard the ship, catastrophe strikes:
Kate announces she is engaged - and not to Matt. 
Despite this bombshell, Matt and Kate embark on their journey into space, but soon the ship is surrounded by strange and unsettling life-forms, and the crew is forced to combat devastating mechanical failure. For Matt, Kate, and the entire crew of the Starclimber, what began as an exciting race to the stars has now turned into a battle to save their lives. 

I have one complaint about this book. There isn’t a sequel??? And he isn’t even writing it???? MAYBE there will be one eventually?? I 100% fell in love with this series and I am nowhere near ready for it to end. It did get a teensy bit formulaic by this book, so maybe he’ll write a new one eventually and it’ll be totally fresh and beautiful. 
5/5

Starclimber

Kenneth Oppel

Summary:

Pilot-in-training Matt Cruse and Kate de Vries, expert on high-altitude life-forms, are invited aboard the Starclimber, a vessel hat literally climbs its way into the cosmos. Before they even set foot aboard the ship, catastrophe strikes:

Kate announces she is engaged - and not to Matt. 

Despite this bombshell, Matt and Kate embark on their journey into space, but soon the ship is surrounded by strange and unsettling life-forms, and the crew is forced to combat devastating mechanical failure. For Matt, Kate, and the entire crew of the Starclimber, what began as an exciting race to the stars has now turned into a battle to save their lives. 

I have one complaint about this book. There isn’t a sequel??? And he isn’t even writing it???? MAYBE there will be one eventually?? I 100% fell in love with this series and I am nowhere near ready for it to end. It did get a teensy bit formulaic by this book, so maybe he’ll write a new one eventually and it’ll be totally fresh and beautiful. 

5/5


Today’s library haul. I had to tear myself away from the bio section to end up with only these. 
I also got a new Emma Donoghue book I hadn’t even heard of, so I’m excited for that!

Today’s library haul.
I had to tear myself away from the bio section to end up with only these. 

I also got a new Emma Donoghue book I hadn’t even heard of, so I’m excited for that!


Vampire Academy
Richelle Mead
Summary:

Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with a rare gift for harnessing the earth’s magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest vampires - the ones who never die. The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa’s best friend, makes her a Dhampir. Rose is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making Lissa one of them. 
After two years of freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir’s Academy, a school for vampire royalty and their guardians-to-be, hidden in the deep forests of Montana. But inside the iron gates, life is even more fraught with danger…and the Strigoi are always close by. 
Rose and Lissa must navigate their dangerous world, confront the temptations of forbidden love, and never once let their guard down, lest the evil undead make Lissa one of them forever…

For the most part, I really enjoyed this book. The story was great and I ended up really caring about the characters, and I was super invested in what happened, and I read it really really fast.
It was just so cheesy. I think maybe I’m at fault this time, rather than the book, because I think I need a break from YA, since I just can not appreciate the language authors seem to think teenagers really use?? 
But it was really so good and interesting, I’m excited to read the second one. 
4.5/5

Vampire Academy

Richelle Mead

Summary:

Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with a rare gift for harnessing the earth’s magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest vampires - the ones who never die. The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa’s best friend, makes her a Dhampir. Rose is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making Lissa one of them. 

After two years of freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir’s Academy, a school for vampire royalty and their guardians-to-be, hidden in the deep forests of Montana. But inside the iron gates, life is even more fraught with danger…and the Strigoi are always close by. 

Rose and Lissa must navigate their dangerous world, confront the temptations of forbidden love, and never once let their guard down, lest the evil undead make Lissa one of them forever…

For the most part, I really enjoyed this book. The story was great and I ended up really caring about the characters, and I was super invested in what happened, and I read it really really fast.

It was just so cheesy. I think maybe I’m at fault this time, rather than the book, because I think I need a break from YA, since I just can not appreciate the language authors seem to think teenagers really use?? 

But it was really so good and interesting, I’m excited to read the second one. 

4.5/5


Books read in (the last part of) June:


thewellofastarael:

thebookslist:

Sabriel
Garth Nix
Summary:

Ever since she was a tiny child, Sabriel has lived outside the walls of the Old Kingdom, away from the random power of Free Magic, and away from the Dead who won’t stay dead. But now her father, the Mage Abhorsen, is missing, and to find him Sabriel must cross back into that world. 
Though her journey begins alone, she soon finds companions: Mogget, whose seemingly harmless feline form hides a powerful - and perhaps malevolent - spirit, and Touchstone, a young Charter Mage long imprisoned by magic, now free in body but still trapped by painful memories. 
With threats on all sides and only each other to trust, the three must travel deep into the Old Kingdom, toward a battle that will pit them against the true forces of life and death - and bring Sabriel face-to-face with their own hidden destiny.

This was my second try on reading this book, and I’m actually really disappointed in myself for not finishing it the first time, because it’s so interesting and well-written, and the overall story is really enjoyable.
My only problem with this book is that it was difficult for me to get my mind into Sabriel’s world. The politics made very little sense to me and I couldn’t really fathom any of the imagery? It was a strange feeling that I can’t really describe, but it just didn’t pull me in as much as I would have liked it to. 
4/5

Worldbuilding is one of Nix’s weaknesses - I love these books but I’ve read two of his standalones and half of The Keys to the Kingdom, and I can tell you that yes, this is a consistent problem.
The Old Kingdom series is kinda weird, because the next two books (Lirael and Abhorsen) are actually supposed to be one big book, and they’re set basically 19 years after Sabriel. Then there’s a short story (The Creature in the Case) set 6 months-1 year after the end of Abhorsen. Then there’s Clariel, set 320 years before Sabriel (not out yet). AND Nix is working on a sequel to Abhorsen/The Creature in the Case.
The world does get fleshed out as you go through the subsequent books, so if you liked Sabriel enough then the next few books should help expand the world.

This is really really good to know! I already have the next one on hold at the library, and I was a little worried I would just get more confused!!

thewellofastarael:

thebookslist:

Sabriel

Garth Nix

Summary:

Ever since she was a tiny child, Sabriel has lived outside the walls of the Old Kingdom, away from the random power of Free Magic, and away from the Dead who won’t stay dead. But now her father, the Mage Abhorsen, is missing, and to find him Sabriel must cross back into that world. 

Though her journey begins alone, she soon finds companions: Mogget, whose seemingly harmless feline form hides a powerful - and perhaps malevolent - spirit, and Touchstone, a young Charter Mage long imprisoned by magic, now free in body but still trapped by painful memories. 

With threats on all sides and only each other to trust, the three must travel deep into the Old Kingdom, toward a battle that will pit them against the true forces of life and death - and bring Sabriel face-to-face with their own hidden destiny.

This was my second try on reading this book, and I’m actually really disappointed in myself for not finishing it the first time, because it’s so interesting and well-written, and the overall story is really enjoyable.

My only problem with this book is that it was difficult for me to get my mind into Sabriel’s world. The politics made very little sense to me and I couldn’t really fathom any of the imagery? It was a strange feeling that I can’t really describe, but it just didn’t pull me in as much as I would have liked it to. 

4/5

Worldbuilding is one of Nix’s weaknesses - I love these books but I’ve read two of his standalones and half of The Keys to the Kingdom, and I can tell you that yes, this is a consistent problem.

The Old Kingdom series is kinda weird, because the next two books (Lirael and Abhorsen) are actually supposed to be one big book, and they’re set basically 19 years after Sabriel. Then there’s a short story (The Creature in the Case) set 6 months-1 year after the end of Abhorsen. Then there’s Clariel, set 320 years before Sabriel (not out yet). AND Nix is working on a sequel to Abhorsen/The Creature in the Case.

The world does get fleshed out as you go through the subsequent books, so if you liked Sabriel enough then the next few books should help expand the world.

This is really really good to know! I already have the next one on hold at the library, and I was a little worried I would just get more confused!!


1 2 3 4 5 Next →

About me:


I have a gigantic, ever-growing list of books that I want to read, and have read, since approximately the beginning of 2011. This will be where I give reviews and suggestions. My favorite genres are YA, fantasy, and autobiographies, but I will literally read anything, so please feel free to give me suggestions. Please feel free to contact me if you have a book you'd like me to review.


Currently reading (July):

Starclimber (7/5)
City of Heavenly Fire (7/23)
Lirael
Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars (7/8)
Beautiful Creatures
Hollow City (7/13)
Brunette Ambition (7/3)
Still Lolo (7/5)
Frog Music
Dirty Daddy
Silverwing
I Am Malala (7/18)