Saturday, 23 July 2016

Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Whispered by Clara Cheng at 3:02 pm 0 lovely confession(s)
Publication Date: September 19th 2012
Publisher: Scholastic 
Genre: Paranormal, Young Adult
Owned, Paperback, 454 pages

Synopsis:
Even if Blue hadn't been told her true love would die if she kissed him, she would stay away from boys. Especially the ones from the local private school. Known as Raven Boys, they only mean trouble.

But this is the year that everything will change for Blue.

This is the year that she will be drawn into the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys. And the year Blue will discover that magic does exist.

This is the year she will fall in love.

My review: ★★★★☆

"She recognized the strange happiness that came from loving something without knowing why you did, that strange happiness that was sometimes so big that it felt like sadness." 

Reading this book required a good lot of patience. This masterpiece was mysterious, so magically mysterious that it had burnt a fair amount of my reading time to slowly devour the descriptive details. It was like a match - the plot constantly intrigued you, and you'd let curiosity to lure you in, hence you stayed and it unfolded layer by layer as you read, but still not enough to be fully grasped and thus hardly got you excited; it was still perplexing when you turned to the last page.

But the book was undoubtedly, beautifully written. The sentences were delicate with omniscient style that it felt like you were not merely reading. In fact, it occasionally sent me chills because it read like someone was narrating the ghostly atmosphere to me, and the scene was vividly depicted on my mind.

All of the characters in this imaginative story were very dynamic and distinctive from each other. Blue was unique and unlike the other heroins we had normally seen, eccentric but strong-minded. And there was a group of tight-knitted Raven boys - Adam, a boy who'd always yearned for more and strived to be better; Ronan, a troubled teenager who hid untold regrets and secrets with constant anger; Noah, who spoke the least and held the thinnest sense of existence but apparently knew more than the others; and also, Gansey, like a pack leader of four with some vulnerably soft spots who restlessly obsessed with the supernatural.

Speaking of which, I adored seeing the desperate side of Gansey. Perhaps it was the whimsical writing style that could speak through the words, I found his need to do something meaningful with life, the fear of oblivion was rather relatable. And oh, his banters with Blue were oftentimes entertaining and hilarious too!

"I guess I make things that need energy stronger. I'm like a walking battery.""You're the table everyone wants at Starbucks," Gansey mused as he began to walk again. Blue blinked. "What?"Over his shoulder, Gansey said, "Next to the wall plug."  

All in all, I was utterly enthralled by the beauty of this book. Despite being confused at times, I loved the way Maggie Stiefvater played with words to allow readers to effortlessly see the beauty in ordinary things.

"In the end, he was nobody to Adam, he was nobody to Ronan. Adam spit his words back at him and Ronan squandered however many second chances he gave him. Gansey was just a guy with a lot of stuff and a hole inside him that chewed away more of his heart every year."

Perfect for this book: 



Are you going to age with grace?
Are you going to age without mistakes?
Are you going to age with grace
or only to wake and hide your face?

When oblivion is calling out your name
You always take it further than I ever can


With love,
post signature

Saturday, 16 July 2016

July Haul: Books & Stationery from BookFest

Whispered by Clara Cheng at 9:53 pm 5 lovely confession(s)


Proudly presents you my almost-in-control books and stationery haul from BookFest@Malaysia 2016. It's forbidden not to be able to give in yourself entirely to the irresistible shopping impulses when your heart is endlessly screaming and uncontrollably cursing your soul, especially when you are one of the crews working there for the whole duration, to be constantly facing those evil temptations and yet torturing yourself to behave is a crime, am I right?

To defend myself, all of these are now belonged to me because they were tagged with special rebates. Also, I have numerously been indulged in the realm of rationality, then successfully, and cruelly, persuaded myself to put some of the books back to the shelves before I paid.

Please tell me that I'm innocent.

My BookFest haul is separated into few parts: English books, Chinese books and stationery. So here comes the English books first:

1. The Young Elites | Marie Lu
I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina's black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scare where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family's good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever's survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars ---- they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I'm allergic to the world. I don't leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He's tall, lean and wearing all black --- black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can't predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certain going to fall in love with Olly. It's almost certainly going to be a disaster.

When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they're broke, adrift and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic June, who serves as their center of gravity. Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he'll not only be unable to overcome --- but that will define his life forever.

4. The Unexpected Everything | Morgan Matson
Andie had it all planned out.

When you are a politician's daughter who's pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future.

Important internship? Check. Amazing friends? Check. Guys? Check (as long as we're talking no more than three weeks).

But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life.

Because here's the thing --- if everything's planned out, you can never find the unexpected. And where's the fun in that?

5. Finding Audrey | Sophie Kinsella
An anxiety disorder disrupts fourteen-year-old Audrey's daily life. She has been making slow but steady progress with Dr. Sarah, but when Audrey meets Linus, her brother's gaming teammate, she is energized. She connects with him. Audrey can talk through her fears with Linus in a way she's never been able to do with anyone before. As their friendship deepens and her recovery gains momentum, a sweet romantic connection develops, one that helps not just Audrey but also her entire family.


  
These gorgeous pastels are my Chinese book haul:

1. 但其實我們 | 橘子
我曾經哭著走完這一條街
而今
我坐在街角的咖啡店
看著曾經的那個自己
走遠

生命中曾經重要過的人。

那你記得嗎? 我曾經對妳的好? 我就只對過妳這麼一個女生好。怎麼會這份好到了最後就只剩下這一句: 你不可以這樣子對我。

我沒牽過她的手,可是我背過她走,我沒親過她嘴唇,可是我看過她掉眼淚,每一次的掉眼淚;我從來就不是她的男朋友,可是那幾年,陪在她身邊佔據她心底把她寵壞的害她依賴的是我,始終是我。而她不也是? 把我制約了害我習慣了,可最後我卻被判出局了,多餘的,不要的,太忙的。

出局。妳怎麼可以這樣子對我?

童話裡都是騙人的,可騙人的並不只是童話而已,騙人的通常是你自己。

2. 我不喜歡這世界,我只喜歡你 | 喬一
我很贊同林夕的觀點,喜歡一個人,就像喜歡富士山,你可以看到它,但是不能搬走它,你唯一能做的,就是自己走過去,去爭取自己的愛人。這個道理我花了這麼多年才明白,好在那個我以為一輩子都不會原諒我的人,一直站在原地等我。所以我說,遇到F,是我這輩子最幸運的事。我最不動事的時候曾經對他說,你走吧,你會找到更好的人的。他回了一句讓我至今震撼的話,他說: 「我從來不想要甚麼更好的人,我只想要眼前的人,妳究竟甚麼時候才會懂?」是的,現在我懂了,謝謝你始終沒有拋下我,謝謝你有足夠的耐心,去等一個女孩慢慢長大。

16歲時,我們共用一個課桌,胳膊與胳膊相距不過10公分,我的餘光裡全是他。26歲時,我從清晨醒來,側頭看到陽光落在他臉上,在這個善變的人世間,我想和他一起看一看永遠。

3. 比起說再見,我們更擅長想念 | P's
有些想念,不是想念,而是從未忘卻,從未告別。

再見是長度,想念是深度,我在心裡和你說再見,把你留給最想念的時空。要過了許久之後你才會明白,說得最疾聲的再見,往往都是因為不願再相見… 而說不出的再見,是為了在往後的日子裡,能以最溫柔的轉速吟唱想念的情歌。還有時間說再見的,都不算真正的逝去;還有空間去想念的,都還存在愛的動容。愛上了,你最怕的,是再也回不去一個人了;愛著時,你眼裡沒有其他光景,執拗到像個孩子;不愛了,你看向他的視角,只剩失焦般的濃霧;愛走了,你沉澱一切,好讓心在未來更富足。為了讓每個失落靈魂都能找到出口,P's暖心註解所有關於愛的習題,不論你現在是一個人、兩個人,都要快樂並勇敢得無愧於心。

4. 練習,喜歡自己 | 肆一
“你要第一個喜歡自己。不要把時間拿來擔心,不要活在別人的眼光裡,你的人生應該是在自己的手裡,你的快樂是自己的。”

這是一本自我療癒的書! 以往肆一總透過溫柔細膩的文字,陪伴在愛裡頭的戀人們走過心傷和孤寂。然而其實不管是在愛情、友情或者生活,所有的源頭都是要先學會喜歡自己。

今天也要好好的,明天也是。「每當看著大家的傷心時,總會發現大家都忘了自己其實很好,只是一味地否定自己。會自責、會失望,拼命想要對對方好、努力想要實現夢想… 你花了最大的力氣去喜歡一個人,但就是忘了要喜歡自己。」肆一如是說。

5. 那片星空,那片海 | 桐華
那個人,是我眼裡的璀璨星空;那個人,是我心底的無垠大海。愛情和人生一模一樣,永遠都是鮮花與荊棘同在。如果我的愛情是鮮花,我願意擁抱它的美麗芬芳;如果我的愛情是荊棘,我也會毫不猶豫地擁抱它的尖銳疼痛。因為,當我擁抱鮮花時,是吳局藍用甜蜜和微笑為我種下的美麗芬芳;當我擁抱荊棘時,他的整個胸膛早已長滿了用自己鮮血澆灌的荊棘。如果我們的相擁只能隔著荊棘,那麼我願意用力、更用力一點地抱緊他! 即使荊棘刺穿我的肌膚,刺進我的心臟,只要能距離他近一點、更近一點!

6. 半暖時光 | 桐華
青春最美好的記憶,是我悄悄地喜歡上人群中笑容燦爛到耀眼的你,告訴你我喜歡你,卻又落荒而逃,不敢面對你。而你並不像自己表現的那麼滿不在乎,緊張,不知所措。永遠不會忘記,有一個少年深夜守在電腦前,只為找到那一首我唱過的歌;也會躲在漆黑的陽台上,用走調的歌聲,為我唱一首全世界只有我聽到的歌曲。那樣的你,點亮了歲月,溫暖了時光。

不管是否願意,我們的生活永遠不會只有一種色彩,總是既有陽光也有陰影,有美好的一面,也有痛苦的一面,我們無法選擇遇見甚麼,卻可以選擇不同的態度去面對,你看待這個世界的角度,也決定了世界給你的溫度。

7. 他來了,請閉眼 | 丁墨
智商無上限、情商無下限的單細胞生物掉落愛情陷阱。她將他拉出孤獨的世界,他卻帶領她進入刺激肆意的人生。當你擁有了一個聰明、傲嬌又忠犬的男友…

約會時,他說: “我對這種事沒興趣。不過如果你每十分鐘親我一下,我可以陪你做任何無聊的事。”
吃醋時,他說: “與我相比,這個男人從頭到腳寫滿愚蠢。唯一不蠢的地方,是他也知道你是個好女人。”
激情時,他說: “雖然我沒有經驗,但資質和領悟力超群。順便提一句,我的觀察力也很好。”
求婚時,他說: “言語無法表達。如果一定要概括,那就是—我愛你,以我全部的智慧和生命。”

8. 你和我的傾城時光 | 丁墨
他今晚坐在她身旁時,用那雙漆黑的、沉如冬夜的眼,勢在必得地望著她說: “我想要得到的,我已經看到,觸手可及。” 林淺定了定神,抬起紅潤的臉,目光湛亮地直視著他的眼睛。“如果有一天,你愛的女人,帶給你抽筋剝骨那樣的痛苦,你又會怎樣?” 歷致誠也定定地回望著她。“如果是我愛的女人,那我只能…” 他輕聲答,“甘之如飴。”



Last but not least, I surrendered myself into the enchanting spell of stationery, and now I have a rainbow collection of pens and some pastel highlighters - Faber-Castell, Pilot, Zebra, Uni-Ball and Pentel. Aren't they gorgeous when grouped together?

Let me announce: I'm a happy kid now. But my wallet is crying hard.

How about you? What have you hauled in July so far? And if you are obsessed with stationery, which brand(s) is your most favorite?


With love,
post signature

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Review: Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

Whispered by Clara Cheng at 10:20 pm 3 lovely confession(s)

Hopeless | Colleen Hoover
Publication Date: October 8th 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Genre: Romance, New Adult, Contemporary
Owned, Paperback, 408 pages

Synopsis:
Sky Davis is starting sixth form having always been home-schooled, and wants to keep a low profile. But then she runs into Dean Holder - messy brown hair, smouldering blue eyes, and a temper straight out of Fight Club, someone who Sky is determined to avoid.

There is something about Holder that sparks memories of Sky's troubled past, those which she would rather stay buried. Little does she know that the mysterious Dean Holder is harbouring secrets of his own...

When the truth unravels, Sky must piece her life back together and learn to trust again. Only by facing the revelations together can the two of them begin to heal their emotional scars and find a way to live without boundaries.

My Review: ★★★★★

"Sky, I'm not kissing you tonight but believe me when I tell you, I've never wanted to kiss a girl more. So stop thinking I'm not attracted to you because you have no idea just how much I am. You can hold my hand, you can run your fingers through my hair, you can straddle me while I feed you spaghetti, but you are not getting kissed tonight. And probably not tomorrow, either. I need this. I need to know for sure that you're feeling every single thing that I'm feeling the moment my lips touch yours. Because I want your first kiss to be the best first kiss in the history of first kisses."

Sigh ---- that was the first thing I did when I read till the last page. I've used too much of my time and energy to dwell on this perfection. Believe me, as much as I wished to finish the book, I just couldn't. There was too much emotion pouring out. This book is full of feelings and my heart could hardly take up the limit.

I loved how Holder had constantly teasing Sky with flirtatious texts. I loved how their brilliant conversations had made me laugh. I loved how the story was switched back and forth to unfold those eventful things. I loved Holder, Sky, Breckin, Six, Karen and Jack. Their relationships positively showed the purest beauty of love, be it a romance, friendship or from a mother.

Even until now, looking into those loving quotes, the sparks of romance are still lingering in the air, can you feel them? And I'm not ready for it to leave just yet.

"I live you, Sky," he says against my lips. "I live you so much."

Perfect for this book:


Who says, who says?
Who says truth is beauty after all?
And who says love should break us when we fall?

But if we're strong enough
To let it in
We're strong enough
To let it go


With love,
post signature

Let the Chapter Begins.

Whispered by Clara Cheng at 6:35 pm 3 lovely confession(s)

So here I am again, back to the once-familiar blogging community to continue my voyage. I used to be an active Chinese (Mandarin) blogger when I was in high school, have been crafting my personal thoughts, feelings and even love stories over here. This habit has been persisted for quite a few years, and I'd have no choice but to quit due to hectic working schedule once I have stepped into the corporate world.

I never thought that I would be back to blogging anytime soon, until I was acknowledged by my friend that he has recently published a book and now become an author.

It was like a spark ignited my passion that has been long forgotten, and reminded me of my little dream to be a Chinese writer, which has been planted deeply since I was young. Hence, despite the lack of leisure time, I decided to give it a shot, again, because blogging has indeed contributed a lot in polishing my writing and organisation skills throughout the previous years.

Even though my first language is Chinese / Mandarin, that doesn't mean that I don't particularly fond of English. In fact, I am trying to engage in bilingual (English / Chinese) writing at the moment.

This blog will be mainly dedicated to jot down my random murmur, book reviews, writings and perhaps some bookish talks. If you would like to know more about me personally, you may leave your supportive footprints on the page About Me.

Welcome to my blog and I hope you will love it enough to stay with me.

Let the chapter begins.  



With love,

 

♥ La Sourire