Review: Another Day

Another Day
Another Day by David Levithan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Every day is the same for Rhiannon. She has accepted her life, convinced herself that she deserves her distant, temperamental boyfriend, Justin, even established guidelines by which to live: Don’t be too needy. Avoid upsetting him. Never get your hopes up.

Until the morning everything changes. Justin seems to see her, to want to be with her for the first time, and they share a perfect day—a perfect day Justin doesn’t remember the next morning. Confused, depressed, and desperate for another day as great as that one, Rhiannon starts questioning everything. Then, one day, a stranger tells her that the Justin she spent that day with, the one who made her feel like a real person…wasn’t Justin at all.

I’ll be honest – when I was wishing for the sequel, I thought we’ll get a little more beyond the story of Every Day, particularly what A really is and how that body jumping thing works, as well as how that person who could stay actually did it/figured it out. What instead I got was the same story, from Rhiannon’s POV. Granted, I love the fact that we are getting some other parts of the story, as well as some blanks filled in, and why she is such a doormat when it came to Justin, a whole novel for it? Probably would have been better as a novella. The ending was sad, but perhaps not as much as when reading Every Day (perhaps I was desenstized since I just read that yesterday), but more importantly – damn I need some answers!

Now that that proclamation is out of the way, let me start by saying I loved how Leviathan handled this story. Rhiannon’s character is so well-written – she is not just some kind girl who suddenly became the light of A’s life. She is a survivor, a girl who learns to love beyond what she has been thinking she was meant to love. She has faced being almost suicidal, and she stops relying on other people for her happiness. At first, she is all about Justin – so much so that her friend Rebecca is us – why are you staying with such a jerk? But then you realize she is stuck – and until nearly the end, she doesn’t realize that she doesn’t have to be in another relationship to get out of the one with Justin. She does cheat on him, and while most books would have it like ‘he deserved it, he was such an asshole’, this book actually brings a little complexity to his character too. Sure, he is not a good person, but not the spawn of Satan either – just broken and she was thinking she could fix him. He was an asshole, though, and emotionally abusive – which is sometimes worse than being physically abusive.

The thing about Rhiannon’s situation is – she is heterosexual, and all her life she just sees love in the form of the person. She keeps wishing it was A in Justin’s body forever, and finds it very difficult to look past the package. She feels uncomfortable expressing affection when A is female. But eventually, she says this one quote I really loved from the book –

Part of the problem is words. The fact that there are separate words for he and she, him and her. I’ve never thought about it before, how divisive this is. Like maybe if there was just one pronoun for all of us, we wouldn’t get so caught on that difference.

Received a free galley from Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers via Netgalley; this does not affect my opinions or review.

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Review: Every Day

Every Day
Every Day by David Levithan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I wake up.

Immediately, I have to figure out who I am. It’s not just the body – opening my eyes and discovering whether the skin on my arm is light or dark, whether my hair is long or short, whether I’m fat or thin, boy or girl, scarred or smooth. The body is the easiest thing to adjust to, if you’re used to waking up in a new one each morning. It’s the life, the context of the body, that can be hard to grasp.

Every day I am someone else. I am myself – I know I am myself – but I am also someone else.

It has always been like this.

When I was a kid (and even now) I used to wonder what life would be like as a different person. What would it be like to live as another? It was perhaps the inherent escapism in me, that I found books and tempered that sonder. But Every Day took me to new levels of experiences, with A, a character who fully embodies the ‘carpe diem’ philosophy. A is agender/gender fluid, so describing A as he/she is difficult. Since A did call himself Andrew at one point, I’m going to refer to A as him. Now he doesn’t know why he is like this, just that each day he occupies a different person, of the same age progressively, leading him to believe that is his true age as well. Imagine living countless lives, and each life a chapter – that’s what the book is firstly about. Each day, A becomes a different person, and for that day, A becomes a girl, boy, or whatever that person is. A doesn’t have the feelings of that person, just the memories, so navigating a person’s life is a little difficult, especially when you don’t want to interrupt their lives. That all changes the day A wakes up as Justin and falls in love with his girlfriend, Rhiannon. She has been in this dead almost-one-sided relationship with Justin a year now, and A feels a pull towards her and simultaneously feels for her. So, when the next day brings a new body, a new life, A starts breaking self-made rules to chase her.

The most glaring fact is that, being A, there is no chance for a regular relationship. Each day the body changes, so Rhiannon is firstly stumped by seeing a new person everyday. She has it hard, in the way that she has to look for A every time, see beneath the skin, into the soul. She is also heterosexual, which makes it slightly weird for her whenever A is female, but she still goes along with it. It’s a meeting of souls, but a relationship between them – especially a physical one is complicated. And each time the body is also a matter, however you look at it. Love is part affection and part attraction – and every time the new body is something Rhiannon has to get used to, forget being attracted to. It’s lucky that A’s soul is transferred around the same state, because being shuffled around the world would have made it impossible. Even with A’s virtual life as an e-mail account, which is the only way A can keep in touch, there is still the question of him never being able to be there for her, never being able to stay. There is another person, Nathan, who A had once occupied and was left with remnant memories of the occupation. The background as to what A is, isn’t even hinted at until nearly the end of the book – but that suspense wasn’t the only thing driving the book. It was the beauty of A’s existence and also the pain of it – the ability to live such myriad lives and yet never truly be a part of it. It was heart-breaking, I tell you, and I cried at times. This book left me broken down, crying at the end, which is too painful and also very spoiler-y. But man, such beautiful lines in this book – I would have read it faster if I hadn’t stopped and shared every beautiful quote on Tumblr. Basically, what I am saying is – go read this book!

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ARC Review: Heart in a Box

Heart in a Box
Heart in a Box by Kelly Thompson

Release date: September 29, 2015

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When the Man with No Name breaks Emma’s heart, she wants to die. But you never die from these things; you just want to. In a moment of weakness, she wishes her broken heart away and a mysterious stranger–who may or may not be totally evil–obliges. But emptiness is even worse than grief, and Emma sets out to collect the seven pieces of her heart spread across the country, a journey that forces her to face her own history and the cost of recapturing it, and leads inevitably to a confrontation with the Man with No Name himself!

Heart in a Box has a very interesting plot – the concept of hearts being a commodity that can be wished away and traded. When Emma gets her heart broken by a guy (Man with No Name, seriously – his name is never mentioned), she wishes that she could get away from her feelings; essentially she wishes her heart away an agent, a Acquisitions one, comes to take it. Naturally, later she realizes what a big mistake it was to give your heart away, and asks for it back. He tells her that her the pieces of her heart are scattered, and she will have to go get them back, whichever means works.

The means of getting a heart and varied, as well as the ways of giving them. There is forcibly taking by death, willingly wishing it away, or leaving a piece behind. What I found beautiful in the story was how initially she had to take a piece by violence, but as the story progresses, she gets it by love. She even questions whether to get it, the call of her heart and the feelings of it a strong lure, but the methods hurting her even more. It was sad, but touching, and the story’s open ending fits the flow so well.

This was one of the few graphic novels I have appreciated; a beautiful story being the focus and not the artwork. The artist does have a good style, and the fact that Emma’s character was drawn as an average woman, not an ‘ideal’ woman was bonus points in its favor. Her overly huge eyes – almost cartoon-ish, were a bit distracting, though. Overall, I enjoyed this book, so much so that I was surprised when it got over so soon.

Received a free galley from Dark Horse Originals via Edelweiss; this does not affect my opinions or review.

View all my reviews

Book Blogger Hop: Aug 21-26

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Coffee Addicted Writer

This week’s question is:

When you read a book that isn’t for review, do you still feel the need to write a review of it?

Answer:

I don’t feel like I need to write a review, but honestly I am so used to writing one after every book, I end up doing so. Besides, it feels good to let out any excitement/rant in writing. But sometimes, when I am marathoning a series, chances are I will skip the reviews just because I want to start the next; bulk writing reviews at the end of a series is difficult.

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Auto-buy Authors

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish wherein each week bloggers list out their Top Ten. This week, it’s authors I’ll just add to my TBR, no questions asked. I love their writing and I hunt down every book they publish and add it, sometimes even not looking at the blurb.

Laini Taylor

Sarah J Maas

Maggie Stiefvater

Ilsa J Bick

Cecelia Ahern

Julie Kagawa

Melissa Marr

Cassandra Clare

Maria V Snyder

Richelle Mead

Review: Teen Titans Vol. 1: Blinded by the Light

Teen Titans Vol. 1: Blinded by the Light
Teen Titans Vol. 1: Blinded by the Light by Will Pfeifer

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

You know, Teen Titans was my favorite comic series growing up – I loved the show and the chemistry between the original team. And sadly, this one – it’s just ruining my young-adulthood. I know it’s a reboot or the new 52 whatever, and to keep up with the times, it’s all tech-y and teenage-ry but bottom line – they are still teenagers. So when I first see the cover on the galley, and see Wonder Girl, a teenage girl, in a hyper-sexualized, totally non-practical costume, this comic lost my vote for the reboot right then and there. It’s not limited to her, but it is glaringly in your face – a mockery of any progress made for female superheros in recent times. And while it does have good representation for POC (Power Girl) and LGBTQA (Bunker), I feel the latter’s storylines revolves around being LGBTQA and his aggressiveness about it, which actually doesn’t paint the community in a good light.

Aside from those problems, I guess the storyline was good – they were fighting a psuedo AI called Algorithmn, along with some side arcs like Power Girl and Raven having their own fan clubs; STAR labs being a nefarious organization (called it!) and Teen Titans actually living actual lives besides their superhero business – except for Red Robin (god knows what he does in free time). The artwork was also good; nice coloring and good attention to detailing. I would still, however, not pick up any further installments in this series.

Received a free galley from DC comics via Edelweiss; this does not influence my opinions or review.

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Book Blogger Hop: Aug 14-20

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Coffee Addicted Writer

This week’s question is:

Are you ever without a book?

Answer:

Considering I have a kindle app on every device of mine, as well as I make sure to carry a printed book while travelling, I think it’s safe to say I always have my books with me. ;)

 

New ‘Shadowhunters’ Photo Features Clary in the City of Bones

Originally posted on TMI Source:

SHADOWHUNTERS - "1002" - Clary's memories might be the key to finding her mother and the Mortal Cup. (ABC Family/John Medland) STEPHEN HART, KATHERINE MCNAMARA SHADOWHUNTERS – “1002” – Clary’s memories might be the key to finding her mother and the Mortal Cup. (ABC Family/John Medland)
STEPHEN HART, KATHERINE MCNAMARA

A new still from the second episode of Shadowhunters has surfaced, which features our lead heroine Clary (Katherine McNamara) with the Silent Brothers in the City of Bones.

The shot was featured in a Variety article which discussed the new wave of genre adaptations on television, after the likes of Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead have proven successful.

Here’s an excerpt featuring Shadowhunters:

Producers need to do more than pay lip service to a fandom and instead identify what makes a story unique, as demonstrated by the failed film adaptation of Cassandra Clare’s “The Mortal Instruments” novels. A proposed movie franchise was scrapped after the first installment, “City of Bones,” grossed only $31 million domestically, resulting in a TV reboot, ABC Family’s “Shadowhunters.”

Showrunner Ed Decter

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Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I’ve Read The Most Books From

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish wherein each week bloggers list out their Top Ten. This week, it’s authors I’ve read the most books from. Now, logically, that would be manga authors topping the list, with their long list of volumes for each series. But, to be fair, I have separated them in two lists – one for the regular novels, and one for mangaka. The list also includes novellas, or short stories – basically, anything the Goodreads considers books.

While making this list, I also realized that women authors have shaped the majority of my reading choices. So, let’s begin, in order, shall we?

Meg CabotMeg Cabot

I have read, in total, 51 of her books, including the series The Princess Diairies, The Mediator, Heather Wells, Queen of Babble, Boy, Airhead, All-American Girl, 1800-Where-R-U, Abandon, Insatiable, and Avalon High. Most of these (there are some adult ones) being YA, she was my primary author when I first started reading YA. I devoured series after series, and her writing is one of my favorites.

Kate BrianKate Brian aka Kieran Scott

Before I knew of Pretty Little Liars, Kate Brian’s Private and Privilege series were the ultimate teen thriller series for me. As Kieran Scott, I’ve read the He’s So/She’s So and True Love series, bringing up the total read to 32 books.

P.C. CastP C Cast

Well, most of her series were adult – Goddess Summoning and Partholon, and my teen self relished the sexy scenes. Later on, I even loved her House of Night series, but haven’t been able to complete that one yet. Book count=26

Kim HarrisonKim Harrison

I first came across her when I read a story of hers in an anthology – from the Madison Avery series, and later on went to read her dystopic The Hollows series. Book count =  21

Julie KagawaJulie Kagawa

First read her The Iron Fey series and its spin-off, then loved the Blood of Eden and now on the Talon series. Book count = 17

Sara ShepardSara Shepard

Her Pretty Little Liars series is the very definition of a long-run series, which I still haven’t been able to let go of. Her other adult-PLL-like series, The Perfectionists and Heiresses, also runs the risk of doing the same to me. Book count= 17

Ellen SchreiberEllen Schreiber

Post-Twilight, when angsty paranormal YA was at its peak, her Vampire Kisses and Full Moon series were a refreshing change. Book count = 15. And Vampire Kisses even got it’s own manga series.

Cassandra ClareCassandra Clare

The queen of the Shadowhunter universe, I’ve devoured her The Mortal Instruments series (nearly) and The Infernal Devices, as well as the Bane Chronicles. Book count = 14

Melissa de la CruzMelissa De La Cruz

The vampire-angel Blue Bloods series were the first to make me fall in love with her writing, then came The Beauchamp Family with its Nordic mythology, and Wolf Pact which linked the two series together. Book count = 14

Richelle MeadRichelle Mead

Still too invested in the Vampire Academy and Bloodlines universe. Sydrian is my OTP! Book count=13

Special mention to Lauren Kate and Pittacus Lore who could have been on this list, but had a higher number of non-primary books so couldn’t.

And now, if you are interested, here are the mangaka:

CLAMPCLAMP

I’ve read Cardcaptor Sakura, Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles, xxxHolic, and the respective ongoing spin-offs of the latter two, Tsubasa World Chronicle, and xxxHolic:Rei, as well as the new Gate 7. The wonderful thing about the CLAMP universe is the crossovers these four magnificent and talented women create, which can be amazing most times, but frustrating too. They also made their own adaptation of the Blood franchise, Blood-C, which had a good manga but terrible anime adaptation. Book count= a whooping 70!

Tachibana HiguchiTachibana Higuchi

Her Gakuen Alice (aka Alice Academy) series of 31 volumes alone brings her to the second position in this list. It’s more of a middle grade series, but the themes in it are quite young-adult-ish.

Kanan MinamiKanan Minami

Loved her slightly smutty shoujo series Kyou, koi wo Hajimemasu, Renai Shijou Shugi and Rhapsody in Heaven. The artwork style is usually exaggerated, and there is lots of angst but I still enjoyed those series. Book count=26

Hiromu ArakawaHiromu Arakawa

Writer of the famous Fullmetal Alchemist series. The anime FMA:Brotherhood follows its storyline. Book count=26.

Tomoko NinomiyaTomoko Ninomiya

Nodame Cantabile is the work I’ve read, and the book count = 24.

Natsuki TakayaNatsuki Takaya

Fruits Basket series – seemed very simple, and shoujo-ish, based on the zodiac animals. Heart-wrenching series, with pain, loneliness and loss. Book count=23

Karuho ShiinaKaruho Shiina

Wrote the extremely cute Kimi ni Todoke series. Book count=20

Matsuri HinoMatsuri Hino

Wrote the Vampire Knight series; I loved her artwork, especially her delicate artistic rendition of hands. Book count=19

Book Blogger Hop: Aug 7-13

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Coffee Addicted Writer

This week’s question is:

Do you ever do a review post based on a holiday? For example review Christmas theme books in December

Answer:

I don’t even read according to theme, so no.

 

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