Graceling (A Comprehensive Analysis of My Feels)

Hey there!

So here’s the deal: I recently finished Graceling and I absolutely loved it. In fact, I loved it so much that I thought writing a review would be a waste of time because, quite honestly, there’s not a single bad thing I could say about it. So instead, I’m just going to freak out and rant in true fangirl fashion. The first half of this post will be reserved for spoiler free book-pushing, because I truly want everyone I know to read this book and love it as much as I did. The second half will be reserved for a spoiler filled feels explosion, because this book is chock-full of the feels.  Just know that if I were giving Graceling a rating, it would be 5 out of 5 stars for sure. This post is going to be VERY long, so bear with me. And, if you have the patience to read the whole thing, you deserve a prize, my friends.


First things first. Katsa is one of the best female characters I have ever read about. She’s strong and fierce like Celeana from Throne of Glass, but she doesn’t relish the pain that she inflicts upon others. Her Grace gives her the ability to be a very skilled fighter, but she never wants to abuse the power that she has. While the king does use her for his own purposes, she’s always hated him and wanted to break away from him but she’s just never known how. Also, she always avoids violence, especially killing, when she believes it to be unnecessary.

anger

The original photo for this edit is courtesy of Ajsena at Deviantart (http://ajsena.deviantart.com/art/Girl-with-a-sword-284414210)

Katsa has never feared anyone or anything but herself. She fears that one day her own anger will cause her to do something that she’ll regret, especially when she gets close to being pushed off the edge by her king (who is also her uncle).

monster

Katsa also has an internal conflict in which she views herself to be a monster, but she doesn’t actually want to be one. She doesn’t know if it’s because of her very nature or because of the choices she’s made. When she finally decides that she won’t be anyone’s weapon anymore, she begins to wonder if maybe circumstance had actually made her into the monster that she believed herself to be.

And now, I will move on to Prince Greening Grandemalion, Prince of the Kingdom of Leinid. Better known as Po.

eyes “His eyes. Katsa had never seen such eyes. One was silver, and the other, gold. They glowed in his sun-darkened face, uneven, and strange. She was surprised that they hadn’t shone in the darkness of their first meeting. They didn’t seem human. She couldn’t stop looking at them.”

Po is just amazing *sigh*. He’s an amazing fighter, quick and intelligent, and very perceptive. The perception thing plays a huge role in the book but I won’t elaborate on that because spoilers. beautiful

Po is kind and gentle. He balances Katsa out perfectly because he understands her, and he knows when she needs to be given her space. He never tries to force her into doing anything she doesn’t want to do, and he knows just what to say to calm her down when she’s on the verge of doing something cray-cray.

po If you learn one thing today, let it be that Po is very swoon worthy. If you can internalize that fact, then I have done my job.


 And now, for the spoilery fangirling!

sunset

Heck to the yeah. Katsa, how in the flim flam did you not realize how beautiful Po is? For crying out loud, his eyes are GOLD AND SILVER. Everything about Po is beautiful, physically and mentally and personality wise. He’s an amazing person and I’m just sitting here wondering how on earth you could miss something like that. But on the other hand, I can understand Katsa not realizing it because she’s always been detached from people and she’s never really thought of guys in THAT way before.

cry Ouch, the feels. But in all honesty, that period of time when Katsa realized her feelings for Po but was too scared to act on them was so beautiful. To me, it made the relationship that much more genuine and special. Also, it was understandable why she would feel that way because all her life she was sure that she’d never want to be tied down by anyone and, to her, a relationship would be the thing that would tie her down and take away her freedom.

Even so, I still feel like these gifs encompass my emotions when I THOUGHT Katsa was going to jump into Po’s arms and tell him how she feels, and she chooses to run into the forest and cry instead.

nodding

Before

no

After

 And also, when Katsa killed King Leck I just

go-vomit

And when Po and Katsa meet up again, but Po is acting weird and Katsa realizes it’s because the accident left him blind.

cry cry cr cry 2

pain

And also, did anyone else think that Bitterblue is the most bad-a** 10 year old in the history of ever?

go girl


Well, that’s it. Thanks for reading this massive post and let me know what you thought of Graceling, or if you feel more inclined to read it now. 🙂

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Under the Never Sky (Review)

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Release date: January 3, 2012

Borrowed from local library

My rating:  

Are we there?” she asked. She hadn’t felt them land. The Hover still hummed with noise. The Guardian’s voice projected through a speaker in his helmet. “You are.” The door opened with a blast of light. Hot air gusted into the cabin. Aria blinked furiously, willing her eyes to adjust. She didn’t see a hangar. She didn’t see anything that looked like Bliss. Empty land ran clear to the horizon. Desert, reaching as far as she could see. Nothing more. She didn’t understand. Couldn’t accept what she saw.

A hand clamped onto her wrist. She screamed and reeled back. “Let go of me!” She grabbed the seat restraints, clutching them with all her strength. Hard hands fell on her shoulders, crushing her muscles, tearing her from the straps. They pulled her toward the edge in an instant. She looked down at her cloth-covered feet. They were inches from the metal lip. Much farther below, she saw cracked red earth. “Please! I didn’t do anything!” A Guardian came up behind her. She caught a glimpse of him as his foot crashed into the small of her back, and then she was falling through the air.

Aria’s mother goes missing, and she takes it upon herself to try to find out how and why. Suddenly, Aria finds herself in the desert with no one to help her and no way of finding her mother. Having been raised in a world where most of her life was lived through virtual realities, Aria has no idea what she needs to do to survive. In comes Perry, an “outsider” whom Aria realizes she needs the help of if she wants to survive. Together, they work to uncover secrets about both of their pasts.

There are many aspects of this book that I personally really liked. One of them was the interesting contrast between the two settings, and the way the story is told. The book is told from third person omniscient point of view, which means it’s third person but it still gives out a large amount of insight on the characters thoughts and emotions. While it is third person, the chapters alternate so that one chapter will be focused around Aria and the next one will be focused around Perry. I liked this form of story telling because it served to create a cool contrast between the settings for the two characters in the beginning of the book: Aria lives in a futuristic setting with interesting technology that includes virtual realities; Perry, on the other hand, lives like the “old times”- he still hunts and fishes and relies on whatever nature provides for him and his people.

I also really enjoyed the characters’ personalities. Aria initially came across to me as someone who may be weak simply because of the lifestyle that she was used to. She pleasantly surprised me, however, when she refused to back down and fought her way through even the most difficult situations. Perry, on the other hand, is very quiet and thoughtful. He isn’t very talkative, and yet he finds ways to convey how he feels to the people that matter. Both of them are restless and very loyal to the people they love, and would do anything to protect them, which is admirable.

In terms of the relationship between the two characters, it was interesting to see their relationship transform from hatred to dislike to grudging respect to something more. Their relationship was realistic, and didn’t feel rushed to me, which was good. Also, I liked how they were both willing to “do their own thing” and not feel like they couldn’t survive without one another; they’re both dedicated and headstrong people who know their goals and keep them in mind.

I’m honestly not sure about why I didn’t give this book a higher rating. I can’t even pick out anything in specific that I didn’t like about it! It’s good and there are quite a few aspects of it that I enjoyed, but it just wasn’t very exciting for me. I’m still planning on reading the next book in the series in hopes that I like the next one just a little bit more than the first. Overall, however, it’s worth trying for yourself to see whether or not you like it. 🙂

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The Gif Tag

Hiya! I was unofficially tagged for this by Natalie over at Science, Books and Silly Things, so here goes nothing.

Basically, how this works is I’m given a list of books, and I have to react to the books using gifs. If you’re confused, just scroll down a little and it’ll start to make more sense, I promise. After this, I’ll share my own list of books and tag some people as well. 🙂

So, without further ado:

Percy Jackson & The Olympians by Rick Riordan

I read it back in middle school, and I really loved it then (not sure how I’d feel about it now, though).

The Mara Dyer trilogy by Michelle Hodkin

That series seriously gave me the creeps, but in a totally good way! Still haven’t read the last book though…oops.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Haven’t read it.

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

I read it, but I wasn’t super into it. I managed to finish it, though, so I feel like that should count for something. No? Well, okay then.

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

and also

Fantastic series. Can’t go wrong with Harry I-love-me-some-tacos Potter.

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Haven’t read it and I’m not a fan of the whole vampire genre in general. And this was me back in 7th or 8th grade when everyone was reading Twilight:

Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Haven’t read this one either.

Graceling by Kristing Cashore

Nuh-uh. Although, I have heard great things about this one from multiple people. And it seems that Natalie is a pretty big fan too ;).

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

 Looking for Alaska by John Green

I’ve seen some great quotes on the internet from this book, but I haven’t actually read it. This is my favorite: “If people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane.”

Here is my list of books:

1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

2. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

3. The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

4. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

5. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

6. Fallen by Kate Lauren

7. Delirium by Lauren Oliver

8. Divergent by Veronica Roth

9. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

10. The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

And I’m tagging: 

1. Eden from Blogging Between the Lines

2. Brin over at Brin’s Book Blog 

3. Jessica and Amber from The Book Bratz

And anyone else who wants to do it!

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Words of Advice From Ananna (The Assassin’s Curse)

Calling all wannabe pirates and cutthroats! Have you ever found yourself in a sticky situation that you wished you were better equipped to handle? Do you want to take your pirating skills to the next level? Or become a better thief? You’re in luck! Ananna of the Tanarau has some great advice for you lot (featuring some side commentary by me-just because).


“One of the first lessons Papa ever taught me, back when I could barely totter around belowdeck, was how to sneak around. “One of the most important aspects of our work,” he always said. “Don’t underestimate it.”.

It probably goes without saying that if you’d like to be an A-list thief, your sneaking skills must be top notch. Also, pirates often have to rely on the element of surprise. So, if you’re bad at being sneaky, put that at the top of your “things I need to work on” list.

“Escaping’s always easy, Papa taught me (he’d been talking about jail, not marriage, but still). Staying escaped is the hard part.”

Okay, so say your sneaking wasn’t as good as you thought it was, and you got captured by another group of pirates. You need to be able to make a quick getaway, but it’s not that simple. Just because you’ve escaped doesn’t mean you’re home free- you still have to be on your toes and ready in case the  people you ran away from come back for round two.

“Not that I have any qualms about thievery, but it’s always easier to do things on the up and up when you can.”

As a pirate, you never want to draw attention to yourself, unless it’s intentional. Also, stealing things is always more difficult than paying for them. So, to avoid the hassle, try to pay for things every once in a while. (PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: I am in no way serious about this. DO NOT steal. Stealing is bad. That is all.)

“Avoid lying whenever possible. Always leave out information when you can.”

Any good pirate knows that you never want to give away too much information about yourself to others. Mystery is good- it prevents certain people from using personal information against you, and it prevents other certain people from finding you when you don’t want to be found. BUT, you don’t want to lie too much, or else it’ll become difficult to keep your stories straight and it’ll become obvious to people that you’re not telling the truth.

“Cockiness is useful to fake on occasion, but it’ll only get you killed if you believe it.”

Sometimes you have to fake a little bit of cockiness in order to look confident, but don’t ever let that fake cockiness get to your head- it could be fatal.


“But if a girl don’t have her intuition, she don’t got anything. That’s what my Papa taught me.”

Trusting your gut can often be the best way to go when you’re trying to make a spur of the moment decision.


“Ain’t no shame in running from a losing battle, he told me once. Better that than dead”

For those of you who think it’s cowardly to run away from a fight, there’s a difference between being a coward and being smart. Some fights you just can’t win, and you have to be smart enough to recognize that.

“you sometimes got to trust the one person you don’t want to trust”

Pirates must always be ready for when things don’t go as planned, and part of that includes accepting help from people you may not necessarily enjoy being around. Kind of like being tutored by your high school archenemy.

“Beautiful people, things are too easy for ’em. They don’t know how to survive in this world. Somebody’s ugly, or even plain, normal-looking, that means they got to work twice as hard for things. For anything. Just to get people to listen to ’em, or take ’em serious. So yeah. I don’t trust beautiful people.”

Never. Trust. Beautiful. People. So if you see Tyra Banks or Chris Pine coming toward you, you just run as fast as you can in the other direction. No good can ever come from people with looks like that.

“You can’t escape an assassin.”

Not ever.

“Hangings, bumbling bureaucrats, dishonest crewman, jail – those you can talk your way out of, you try hard enough. But this kind of death is the only kind of death.”

Like I said, not ever.

Well….Ananna does find a way around that, but you’ll have to read the book to find out how 😉

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Outfits Inspired by The Grisha Series

Here are 4 outfits inspired by the characters of The Grisha series by Leigh Bardugo. And yes, I am aware that Mal is missing from this post, but I’m still bitter about the ending of Ruin and Rising so I refuse to acknowledge the fact that he even exists. For all you Mal lovers out there: *sticks out tongue*.
Alina
Alina
The Darkling
The Darkling
Genya
Genya

 

 Nikolai
Nickolai

P.S I LOVE NIKOLAI. NIKOLAI IS AMAZING.

That is all.
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The Assassin’s Curse (Review)

HAPPY NEW YEAR AND WELCOME TO 2015! Here’s my first review of the year:

The Assassin’s Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke

Release date: October 2012

Borrowed from local library 

My rating:

              

The vendor shouted behind me, angry curses that would’ve made a real lady blush. Then Tarrin joined in, screaming at me to come back, hollering that he hadn’t been joking about the assassins. I squeezed my eyes shut and tugged hard on the camel’s reins and listened to the gusts of air shoving out of his nostrils. He smelled awful, like dung and the too-hot-sun, but I didn’t care: We were wound up together, me and that camel.   I slapped his reins against his neck like he was a horse and willed him to take me away, away from my marriage and my double-crossing parents. And he did.

After her parents attempt to force her into an arranged marriage with the son of another pirate clan’s captain, Ananna escapes and goes off into the dessert. The clan is bitter, however, and they send a deadly assassin to go after her. After finding herself face-to-face with the assassin, she accidentally activates a curse that binds them together and forces him to become her guardian. Together, they must work to break the curse.

This book has multiple aspects that make it an easy book to fall in love with. First and foremost is the protagonist. Ananna is a hard-core pirate who never backs down from a fight. She’s strong, clever, funny, and endearing. Her experience as a pirate serves her well throughout the book, and her bravery is admirable. She can be hilariously crude and waveringly stubborn at times, yet she always knows when there’s business that needs to be taken care of. I LOVE this character.

The second aspect of this book that I enjoyed is the magic. The different types of magic present in The Assassin’s Curse give the novel a mystical feeling and also add an air of mystery to it. Ananna doesn’t use magic very often herself, which makes her even stronger (in my eyes) because all of her power and strength comes from HER.

Third, I enjoyed the setting of the book, and the whole pirate theme. It was nice to read a book where the characters were something other than anglo-saxon. Also, the fact that Ananna and her people aren’t necessarily the most honest or trustworthy group makes them all the more interesting.

Fourth, I really loved the relationship that goes on between the two love interests in this novel. It’s a believable relationship that takes time to develop. Those of you who enjoy reading the whole insta-love/ love at first sight type of deal will be disappointed because *MILD SPOILER* there’s not a single kiss in this book.

Overall, I would say this is a fantastic read that everyone should try. I have now added it to my list of favorite books ever!

-Batool