A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Genre: Contemporary Fantasy Romance

8667848Reading Level: Medium/Hard

Pages: 688

Similar Novels: Soulless by Gail Carriger, Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz,

The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley.

Synopsis:

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness starts off with Diana Bishop – a young scholar, residing in Oxford as she studies old manuscripts in the Bodleian Library. Although she seems to lead a normal life, consisting of adamant tea-consumption and yoga, Diana is, in fact, a witch. However, despite her heritage, she refuses to acknowledge her magic abilities due to a traumatic childhood experience. On a regular day of reading manuscripts, Diana stumbles upon a particularly enigmatic manuscript. Shortly after, she has a run-in with vampire Matthew Clairmont, who she immediately distrusts because of the vampire reputation. However, as the supernatural world stirs due to her findings, she finds that she has no other choice but to turn to the man who seems to know more than he lets on – Matthew.  Soon enough, Matthew and Diana are forced across the globe, hunted because of the magical manuscript. A manuscript that she, alone, can unlock.

Opinion: A Discovery of Witches is a good book, with twists and turns, ups and downs, and a brilliant plot. Some things were a little mediocre – the characters were sometimes inhumanly peculiar, so much that the story became unrealistic, and it sometimes feels as if Harkness did everything she could to get a few more pages – but all that was overshadowed by Harkness’ wonderful writing style. Her writing captivated you, even when things in the story got uncomfortable. As well as the fact that the plot (although slightly superfluous in length) was quite superb. This is one of those books that always keeps you on your toes. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who likes Contemporary Fantasy, because, although not life-changing, it’s definitely read-worthy. The reason why I bought this novel was all in the chilling first three lines:

“It begins with absence and desire.

It begins with blood and fear.

It begins with a discovery of witches.”

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This is my new format for book reviews – like it? Who else has read A Discovery of Witches? Liked it? Hated it? Let me know in the comment section below!

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Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan

One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two teens—both named Will Grayson—are about to cross paths. As their worlds collide and intertwine, the Will Graysons find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, building toward romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history’s most fabulous high school musical. 

Hello internetees! So, it’s no big secret that I’m a John Green fan (I know, you’re shocked, right?) and to my complete surprise, I haven’t reviewed a single John Green book. What kind of a fan am I?

So, I decided to review the least cliché book of John Green’s – Will Grayson, Will Grayson.

If I had to summarize this book, using one word, that word would have to be adorable. Although, not adorable in the sense that a baby is adorable, but adorable in it’s a lovely story that I completely adore, kind of sense (and I just had an abundance of the word “adorable”, didn’t I?).

I am going to spoil the story a little bit, because I’m not really sure how to write this review without spoiling… so, here goes.

The “Gay-Will-Grayson” (Levithan’s Grayson) is a very bitter person, and although I think that Levithan may have overdone it with the “I’m-an-angry-teenager-and-I-hate-everyone-and-everything” concept, it does fit in with the characters personality.

A picture of what the cover of Will Grayson, Will Grayson, looks like.

A picture of what the cover of Will Grayson, Will Grayson, looks like.

The other Will Grayson is more approachable, in my opinion. Not only can I relate to him more (he is also a complete and utter geek), but also he’s very normal. Normality always makes a story better (for lack of a better word), because you can relate it back to things you already know.

The story so filled with, well, emotion – and I’m referring to the good kind of emotion. This book will make you laugh, it will make you cry, it will make you empathise. That’s, what I think, is one of the most important motif’s of this story – empathy.

The way Green and Levithan have made this story so impossible real, is because of their amazing ability to make the reader sympathize with the characters. We feel their pain, almost, as if it were our own.

The people in the story are so life-like – I could imagine myself around these people; I could picture myself into the story, which is really what all writers should strive for.

The only annoying part of the story was the fact that Levithan chose not to capitalize. At all. Seriously people, I’m not joking when I say that all the I’s were i’s. None of the names were capitalized, either. I kind of get what Levithan was trying to do – which was to more accurately simulate the mind of one of the “Will Graysons” – but regardless of that, it was just annoying to read. Not to mention difficult to read.

Personally, I liked Green’s Will Grayson more than I liked Levithan’s Will Grayson – I found Green’s Will Grayson more, well, human. But then again, I’m very biased towards Green.

I would recommend this book for everybody, but perhaps even more specifically teenagers. It’s an amazing book, and you’d be stupid to miss an opportunity to read it.

And yes, I realize how cliché this post is… but sometimes, embracing the clichés is really the only viable option, don’t you think?

Have a fantastic rest of the day, everyone!

An image of John Green (left) and David Levithan (right)

An image of John Green (left) and David Levithan (right)

 

 

Word of the Week – Sanguine

Sanguine

“Optimistic or positive, esp. in an apparently bad or difficult situation,” (New Oxford American Dictionary)

I have remained surprisingly sanguine throughout the trauma of my exams.

Hello everyone! I am in a surprisingly good mood, and I thought this word fit the occasion.

I’m so happy, I even made scones!

See you later!

The Importance of Punctuation

My fellow interntees, I have something of “vital importance” to discuss with you.

First and foremost, I want to say that I try to be polite. I believe in showing respect to my fellow human beings, I believe in saying “Thank you,” I believe in punctuality, and I think it’s very important to behave.

However, there are a few things that just make me want to explode. Punctuation is one those things. It’s actually rather ludicrous to get upset over the misuse of punctuation, I understand that, but it just bothers me. So bear with me while I rant.

Punctuation is imperative. Not only is important so that your colleagues and/or teachers take you seriously, but it’s also so that other people can understand you.

To get your attention, I have a few examples to show how punctuation errors can lead to, well, not good things.

Punctuation can save lives…

Lets eat Grandpa.

or

Lets eat, Grandpa.

This is a common “Dear John” letter – try and figure out which letter John would prefer:

Dear John:

I want a man who knows what love is all about. You are generous, kind, thoughtful. People who are not like you admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me for other men. I yearn for you. I have no feelings whatsoever when we’re apart. I can be forever happy–will you let me be yours?

Jane

And when we change the punctuation…

Dear John,

I want a man who knows what love is. All about you are generous, kind, thoughtful people, who are not like you. Admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me. For other men, I yearn. For you, I have no feelings whatsoever. When we’re apart, I can be forever happy. Will you let me be?

Yours,

Jane

A drug related punctuation error…

Say ‘NO’ to Drugs from the NMB Police D.A.R.E Officers.

What are those officers up to?

And finally, a gender comparison:

An English professor wrote the words:

“A woman with her man is nothing,”

On the chalkboard and asked his students to punctuate correctly.

All of the males in the class wrote:

“A woman, without her man, is nothing.”

All the females in the class wrote:

“A woman: without her, man is nothing.”

Observe the power of punctuation!

So, there you have it! Punctuation is more important than you think, so be sure to always spell check.

See you later, guys!

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On a side note, I’ve been thinking about making a series out of “The Importance of…”. What do you guys think?

The Importance of Bookcases

Anyone who reads my blog should have, by now, realized that there is one thing that I’m truly passionate about.

Reading.

Well, reading and writing, to be perfectly honest, but those two verbs sort of go hand in hand, don’t they?

Now, seeing as I’m a passionate reader, it’s only natural that I purchase novels every now and then, right? Well, I do, and I’ve got myself into quite conundrum… there is no more room in my bookshelves. Granted, I only have two bookcases, but they’ve filled up much too quickly…

So, I decided to go and look on the Internet for a future-solution to my “abundance of books problem”, and I’ve found some very interesting results.419319_367841723319856_286842695_n

My favorite book case was without a doubt the one on the right. When I was a kid, our house had a wine-cellar like this, and it could be that I’m just feeling sentimental, but this is one of the most epic ideas for a bookshelf that I’ve encountered thus far (I read the expression “thus far” in a book and just had to use it!).

Seriously people, this is something I’m definitively going to install in my future home.

YbLTDThe next bookshelf I’m only going to mention because of my love for Doctor Who. It’s actually not a great bookshelf, but I just couldn’t help myself!

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This next little bookshelf I completely adore because, well, look at it! Whenever I see it, I just want to make myself some coffee, grab a good book, and read. And that’s what these bookshelves should do, right? They’re supposed to not only provide a “home” for your books, but they’re supposed to make you want to read. They should be inviting.

Although, I’m not very partial to green – if I’m being perfectly honest…

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Now, I don’t particularly like this in itself, I think it looks a little sloppy, but I love the idea so much that it simply has to be on my Favorite Bookcase List.

Perhaps if the chair was in a more oval shape, so that you can lean… it does look rather uncomfortable, doesn’t it?

But then again, it’s so cute.

I believe I’m conflicted…

Anyway, this was my Favorite Bookcases List, and I hope you enjoyed it – as well as you got an unquenchable need to go and read!

What did you think? Do you agree with me? Disagree with me? Let me know in the comments section bellow!

And yes, I am a proud nerd!

Word of the Week – Laborious

Laborious

“(esp. of a task, process, or journey) requiring considerable effort and time.” (New Oxford American Dictionary)

My homework is almost always excruciatingly laborious.

Hello everyone! So sorry for my absence, but the workload over here has really been piling up due to my upcoming exams – wish me luck!

And yes, my example sentence is a personal statement.

The Oxford Comma

The Oxford comma (also known as the serial comma, or the Harvard comma) is a comma that is placed “after the penultimate item in a list of three or more items, before ‘and’ or ‘or’,” (New Oxford American Dictionary).

An example of the Oxford comma:

The man was wearing a hat, shoes, pants, and a jacket.

-Note that the Oxford comma is bolded.

The use of this comma is, in my opinion, imperative.

So, now you’re probably thinking, “What is she going on about? Why do people need to know about the Oxford comma?” (And Oh. My. God. I can’t believe I just wrote rhetorical questions… for those of you who don’t know, I kind of hate rhetorical questions – I’m such a hypocrite). Well, I’m going to give you the classic example of why you need Oxford commas:

With the Oxford comma:

We invited the strippers, JFK, and Stalin.

Without the Oxford comma:

We invited the strippers, JFK and Stalin.

-Note – read the examples out loud for full effect.

As you may have noticed, the one without the Oxford comma insinuates that JFK and Stalin are the strippers, which as you probably (and should) know, that’s not the case. This is why you should use it, people – it helps with clarification, as well as it helps to avoid awkward sentences.

Now, I’m no English teacher at Oxford (not even close), but I am a novelist, and I will preach about the necessity of this!

Do you also use the Oxford comma? Will you begin to use it after reading this post? Let me know in the comment section below!

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Click here for MLA citation of this post.

Preview of The Chance of Invincibility

Hello everyone! So, I was reviewing the first chapter of the book I’m currently working on, and I figured that I’d give everyone a sneak peek – a tiny preview if you will.

Now, this is still a first draft, and I haven’t even nearly finished the story, but I do rather like this very first page of the very first chapter. Check it out:

     I am alone.

     I have been alone for 6 months, now.

     Irrevocably alone? I hope not.

     Eternally alone? If there only was such a thing as an eternity, an endless continuity.

     Selectively alone? I think so.

     Depressingly alone? Probably.

    In my opinion, loneliness isn’t something that can be defined as “a complex and usually unpleasant emotional response to isolation”. It’s larger than that, isn’t it? It’s an esoteric, voluminous, void that essentially takes over the larger part of a persons life. There has never been a happy ending for someone who is completely, utterly, and dishearteningly, alone. There is no such thing as cheerfully isolated, or is there?

     Have I ever experienced loneliness? Unquestionably.

     Have I ever dreaded it? Perhaps.

     Have I ever relished in it? Can one even relish in seclusion?

     Am I lonely now? I’m doing this, so I guess it’s up to you to decide that.

     Perhaps there is something as blessedly alone? You can’t be expected to like everyone all the time. I mean, can people demand that you should constantly feel the ubiquitous presence of love, and completeness?  Or rather, people shouldn’t be expected to want to feel that all the time? What is so distasteful about being by yourself? Is it so iniquitous to want to be by yourself? I want to be by myself, so perhaps there is something wrong with me.

     Am I writing this surreptitiously? I’m not sure.

     Am I writing this openly? Define openly.

     Am I writing this biasedly? Anyone who has ever written anything has done so biasedly, have they not?

     Should I even be writing this? You tell me.

     I have often pondered over my emotions, perhaps more than I should have. However, I can’t help but come to the conclusion the concept of defining my emotions, such as loneliness, is a waste of my time. Why do I need to define what I’m feeling? Can’t I just feel what I feel, and you feel what you feel, and everyone just feeling what they’re feeling by their selves? I mean, why does everyone need to know what feelings mean? Shouldn’t the point of feelings be its elusiveness?

So… what do you think? Should I just give up writing all together because of my obvious “suckieness”? Tell me what you think in the comments section below!

The Host – Movie Review

Movie Information:

Director: Andrew Niccol

Actors: Saoirse Ronan (Melanie/Wanda), Diane Kruger (The Seeker), Max Irons (Jared Howe), Jake Abel (Ian O’Shea). Click here for a list of the full cast.

Runtime: 125 min

Release date: 29 of March, 2013

Genre: Sci-Fantasy, Romance.

So, for those of you who have been living in a cave for the past month, the Host is a movie that just came out, and it’s based off of Stephenie Meyer‘s international bestseller, The Host.

Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of human hosts while leaving their bodies intact. Wanderer, the invading “soul” who has been given Melanie’s body, didn’t expect to find its former tenant refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

As Melanie fills Wanderer’s thoughts with visions of Jared, a human who still lives in hiding, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she’s never met. Reluctant allies, Wanderer and Melanie set off to search for the man they both love.The-Host-Movie-Poster-Large

Now, that was the description of the book, and not the movie, but seeing as the movie and the book are about the same thing, I thought I’d be lazy and just use the book one.

I believe that the first thing I should discuss is, of course, my opinion of the movie, and there are a few words that come to mind. BrilliantPerfection. Awesome

Despite the fact that the movie leaves you with a severe “movie-hangover”, it was amazing (for some reason I am italicizing all of my adjectives… I’m not really sure why, though).

The movie did keep very well to the plot, in my opinion, but it did leave out somethings that I wanted to see. However, it did take away the parts of the book that I didn’t like, so I guess you could say that it balanced itself out.

Sometimes, it almost felt like they were downsizing Wanda’s role (a little bit), which is strange seeing as she is the protagonist, but not the point where it was noticeable for people who hadn’t read (and weren’t obsessed with) The Host (book). Or at least, the person I went to the movies with didn’t notice anything – and this person hasn’t read The Host.

The-Host-Affiche-Max-IronsThe acting was, surprisingly, good. In Twilight (also by Stephenie Meyer, for you cavemen who don’t know this) the acting wasn’t that great, to be honest. I like the movies just fine, and I adore the Twilight Saga books, but I didn’t really like the acting. However, I felt like the actors in The Host made the story so incredibly believable – and I did, in fact, cry once. Although, I cry on a daily basis, so it isn’t that much of an accomplishment, to be honest.

For all the women out there, I have to ask – are feeling as conflicted as I am? In the book, I adored Ian (to a point where it scared the-host-movie-poster1the people around me), but in the movie I, for some reason, felt more drawn to Jared (much to my disbelief/horror). I do find both actors attractive, it’s not that, I’m just liked Jared more.

(ARGH! Can’t handle all of these feels!)

The only part of the movie that I clearly disliked was the actor they chose (SPOILER ALERT!) to play Wanda after she “gives Melanie back” to Melanie. She seemed too… voluptuous for the sweet, pixie-like, person I’d envisioned in my mind. But then again, what do I know about casting?

All in all, it was a great film, and you’ll enjoy it even if you haven’t read the books.

Anyone else see The Host? Anyone going to see it now after my review? Let me know in the comments section down below. – Notice the excruciatingly bad rhyme I just did.

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