Thursday, 31 January 2013

Responding Book Review 2 ( ~ Someone like you by Sarah Dessen )

This was without a doubt a very well written book review for Someone Like You by Sarah Dessan, although I did have my own personal disagreements and thoughts towards the novel. Quinn’s book review was clearly thought out and included some of the major key factors from the novel. At one point in the review she says, “The theme of this book is how to deal with growing up. Halley has to deal with a lot of grown up things and she is having difficulty with this new challenge because she is still a teenager.” I disagree with this statement. I found that the theme of this novel was coming of age and discovering who you are in a world full of obstacles and disputes. Although I do partially agree that growing up plays a part throughout the novel and really helps it unfold. To me, growing up was the minor backbone of the novel. A statement she says that I completely agree with is, “I think that everything in this book is great advice to any teenager on the verge of being an adult.” I agree with this point entirely. I, as well as Quinn, came across little hidden snippets of advice Dessen was hinting on to readers throughout the novel. This is definitely a novel in which you really take something personal from and hold with you after finish reading it.
            Someone like you is a beautifully written coming of age novel. It was overflowing with vivid characters. One character that was the “diamond in the rough” to me,
personally, was Macon Faulkner. To me, Macon was endlessly evolving throughout the novel. He was most definitely a dynamic character, and this is something Quinn had not included in either of her paragraphs. I found that all of the characters in the novel were very easy to connect to and this led to me. I often found myself dropping into their shoes and walking around in their world. Another key aspect to the novel that she did not write about was setting. Most of the novel took place in the neighborhood of Halley and Scarlett, and at their public high school. Some other places that were briefly spoken of included “Sister Camp”, the house of Ginny Tabor and Milton’s Market. Each of these locations were vividly described and played a very large part in the novel. Although this was an all-around good novel, I did have some dislikes. During several bits and pieces throughout the novel, I found Dessen’s writing to be a bit childish and raw. I think this could possibly be because I have read some more harder-to-read novels in the past and therefore I’ve grown used to that style of writing. With this being said, I would recommend this novel to twelve to fifteen year olds who like an easy, girly read. But all in all, I would say that my peer Quinn did a good job of analyzing and reviewing the novel. 

Responding Book Review ( ~ Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater )

Shiver was, without a doubt, a very well-written novel, and I can easily say the same about my peer, Lauren’s, review on it. Although there were some points I disagree with, one of which being when Lauren says, “Grace is a very sweet character that you tend to like the minute you read about her. Her innocence is very affable and she has such a pleasant aura surrounding her.” I disagree with this statement. To me, Grace was a very predictable character, and was quite a bore. She was your typical heroine. At times, it was almost as if she was too perfect. Stiefavater in the novel, and Lauren in her book review, described Grace as humorous, sweet, clever and undeniably likeable, but there are no cons said about her. Everyone has flaws, and I believe that book characters, in order to be realistic, should also have flaws, so they can be more relatable. Other than that, I agree with what she stated. In another section of the review, Lauren mentioned theme. “The theme of this book is the fight for love, Sam fighting to be human and Grace fighting to keep him that way.” I agree with what she said here. The novel weaves through different struggles both Grace and Sam have to go through, but in the end they always find a way to fight against all odds, and I believe it is all for love.
Overflowing with action, witty dialogue and bittersweet surprises at the turn of every page, Shiver is the type of novel that you will not be able to put down. I would recommend this read to young adult readers that have a knack for supernatural creatures and mushy teenage romances. In Shiver, there are a series of stock characters that all play their own little part as the backbone of the love-struck teenagers Grace, the courageous and understanding girl next door, and Sam, the sometimes wolf, sometimes human teenage heartthrob. And to me, these stock characters all helped define the hero and heroine even better. As I stated earlier, I was very fond of this novel, but I did find some dislikes of my own. At times, I found the perspective change between Sam and Grace that alternated from chapter to chapter slightly confusing at times. One minute the climax would be at its highest peak yet, Sam, as a wolf, being deserted in the midst of the woods in the middle of the night, and the next thing you know it is back to an ordinary afternoon where Grace was in the middle of trigonometry class. Also, with these perspective changes, I found that the personalities, thoughts and mindset of the two were too similar at times. Other than this, I thoroughly enjoyed this action-packed read and I recommend it to all of you reading this!

Friday, 25 January 2013

Litpsiration Challenge 2.

Here are 51 of my all-time favourite quotes from my all-time favourite author, Nicholas Sparks, from some of my all-time favourite novels. The quotes that are bolded are some of my absolute favourite. If you would like to know which book any of the quotes belong to, just ask me in the comments. Oh and just a little heads up; Nicholas Sparks' books are all romance-based, so all of the quotes are full sap.

Credits to mah pal Shmag (Meagan) for coming up with this brilliant idea.


“I am nothing special, of this I am sure. I am a common man with common thoughts and I've led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten, but I've loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me, this has always been enough..”

“Love is like the wind, you can't see it but you can feel it.”

“I finally understood what true love meant that you care for another person's happiness more than your own, no matter how painful the choices you face might be.”

"Stay with you? what for? look at us, we're already fighting. 

Well, that's what we do. We fight. You tell me when I'm being an arrogant son of a bitch and I tell you when you're being a pain in the ass. Which you are, 99% of the time. I'm not afraid to hurt your feelings. They have like a two second rebound rate and you're back doing the next pain-in the ass thing. 
So what?
So it's not gonna be easy. It's gonna be really hard. And we're gonna have to work at this every day but I wan to do that, because I want you. I want all of you, forever, you and me, every day."

“Nothing that’s worthwhile is ever easy. Remember that.” 

“That's the big mistake a lot of people make when they wonder how soldiers can put their lives on the line day after day or how they can fight for something they may not believe in. Not everyone does. I've worked with soldiers on all sides of the political spectrum; I've met some who hated the army and others who wanted to make it a career. I've met geniuses and idiots, but when all is said and done,we do what we do for one another. For friendship. Not for country, not for patriotism, not because we're programmed killing machines, but because of the guy next to you. You fight for your friend, to keep him alive, and he fights for you, and everything about the army is built on this simple premise. ”

“You are, and always have been, my dream.”

“When you're struggling with something, look at all the people around you and realize that every single person you see is struggling with something, and to them, it's just as hard as what you're going through.”

“They didn’t agree on much. In fact, they didn’t agree on anything. They fought all the time and challenged each other ever day. But despite their differences, they had one important thing in common. They were crazy about each other.”

“Mom says it's because she has PMS.
Do you even know what that means?
I'm not a little kid anymore. It means pissed-at- men syndrome”

“If you like her, if she makes you happy, and if you feel like you know her---then don't let her go.”

“It's possible to go on, no matter how impossible it seems, and that in time, the grief . . . lessens. It may not go away completely, but after a while it's not so overwhelming.”

“And when her lips met mine, I knew that I could live to be a hundred and visit every country in the world, but nothing would ever compare to that single moment when I first kissed the girl of my dreams and knew that my love would last forever.”

“Truth only means something when it's hard to admit.”

“You have to love something before you can hate it.”

“Dreams are always crushing when they don't come true. But it's the simple dreams that are often the most painful because they seem so personal, so reasonable, so attainable. You're always close enough to touch, but never quite close enough to hold and it's enough to break your heart.”

“People come, people go – they’ll drift in and out of your life, almost like characters in a favorite book. When you finally close the cover, the characters have told their story and you start up again with another book, complete with new characters and adventures. Then you find yourself focusing on the new ones, not the ones from the past.”

“The saddest people I've ever met in life are the ones who don't care deeply about anything at all. Passion and satisfaction go hand in hand, and without them, any happiness is only temporary, because there's nothing to make it last.”

“We sit silently and watch the world around us. This has taken a lifetime to learn. It seems only the old are able to sit next to one another and not say anything and still feel content. The young, brash and impatient, must always break the silence. It is a waste, for silence is pure. Silence is holy. It draws people together because only those who are comfortable with each other can sit without speaking. This is the great paradox.”

“Love, I've come to understand, is more than three words mumbled before bedtime.”

“And I learned what is obvious to a child. That life is simply a collection of little lives, each lived one day at a time. That each day should be spent finding beauty in flowers and poetry and talking to animals. That a day spent with dreaming and sunsets and refreshing breezes cannot be bettered. But most of all, I learned that life is about sitting on benches next to ancient creeks with my hand on her knee and sometimes, on good days, for falling in love.”

“A woman shaking in fear from demons in her mind, and the old man who loves her more deeply than life itself, crying softly in the corner, his face in his hands.”  

“And I learned what is obvious to a child. That life is simply a collection of little lives, each lived one day at a time. That each day should be spent finding beauty in flowers and poetry and talking to animals. That a day spent with dreaming and sunsets and refreshing breezes cannot be bettered. But most of all, I learned that life is about sitting on benches next to ancient creeks with my hand on her knee and sometimes, on good days, for falling in love.”

“If you're a bird... I'm a bird...”

“I'd learned that some things are best kept secret.”

“I don't want to lose you.' His voice almost a whisper. Seeing his haggard expression, she took his hand and squeezed it, then reluctantly let it go. She could feel the tears again, and she fought them back. 'But you don't want to keep me, either, do you?' To that, he had no response.”

“Do you love me?' I asked her. She smiled. 'Yes.' 'Do you want me to be happy?' as I asked her this I felt my heart beginning to race. 'Of course I do.' 'Will you do something for me then?' She looked away, sadness crossing her features. 'I don't know if I can anymore.' she said. 'but if you could, would you?' I cannot adequately describe the intensity of what I was feeling at that moment. Love, anger, sadness, hope, and fear, whirling together, sharpened by the nervousness I was feeling. Jamie looked at me curiously and my breaths became shallower. Suddenly I knew that I'd never felt as strongly for another person as I did at that moment. As I returned her gaze, this simple realization made me wish for the millionth time that I could make all this go away. Had it been possible, I would have traded my life for hers. I wanted to tell her my thoughts, but the sound of her voice suddenly silenced the emotions inside me. 'yes' she finally said, her voice weak yet somehow still full of promise. 'I would.' Finally getting control of myself I kissed her again, then brought my hand to her face, gently running my fingers over her cheek. I marveled at the softness of her skin, the gentleness I saw in her eyes. Even now she was perfect. My throat began to tighten again, but as I said, I knew what I had to do. Since I had to accept that it was not within my power to cure her, what I wanted to do was give her something that she'd wanted. It was what my heart had been telling me to do all along. Jamie, I understood then, had already given me the answer I'd been searching for, the answer my heart needed to find. She'd told me outside Mr. Jenkins office, the night we'd asked him about doing the play. I smiled softly, and she returned my affection with a slight squeeze of my hand, as if trusting me in what I was about to do. Encouraged, I leaned closer and took a deep breath. When I exhaled, these were the words that flowed with my breath. 'Will you marry me?”

“Every couple needs to argue now and then. Just to prove that the relationship is strong enough to survive. Long-term relationships, the ones that matter, are all about weathering the peaks and the valleys.”

“Life, I've learned, is never fair. If they teach anything in schools, that should be it.”

“Spending time with you showed me what I’ve been missing in my life.”

“An ordinary beginning, something that would have been forgotten had it been anyone but her. But as he shook her hand and met those striking emerald eyes, he knew before he'd taken his next breath that she was the one he could spend the rest of his life looking for but never find again. She seemed that good, that perfect, while a summer wind blew through the trees.”

"I couldn't sleep last night because I know that it's over between us."

“Part of me aches at the thought of her being so close yet so untouchable, but her story and mine are different now. It wasn't easy for me to accept this simple truth, because there was a time when our stories were the same, but that was six years and two lifetimes ago.”

“Would you stop thinking about what everyone wants. Stop thinking about what I want, what he wants, what your parents want. What do you want?”

“It made perfect sense, and at the same time nothing seemed to.”

“Love is fragile. And we're not always its best caretakers. We just muddle through and do the best we can. And hope this fragile thing survives against all odds.”

“Deep in her heart, she wasn't exactly sure she deserved to be happy, nor she believed that she was worthy of someone like him”

“I had no choice. Love does funny things to people.”

“Don't take my advice. Or anyone's advice. Trust yourself. For good or for bad, happy or unhappy, it's your life, and what you do with it has always been entirely up to you.”

“I realize the odds, and science, are against me. But science is not the total answer; this I know, this I have learned in my lifetime. And that leaves me with the belief that miracles, no matter how inexplicable or unbelievable, are real and can occur without regard to the natural order of things.”

“Every girl is beautiful. Sometimes it just takes the right guy to see it.”

“It's possible to go on, no matter how impossible it seems.”

“It might seem as the hardest thing to do, but you have to forget the guy who forgot about you.”

“I love you more than there are fishes in the sea and higher than the moon”

“True love means that you care for another person's happiness more than your own, no matter how painful the choices you face might be.”

“Change isn't always for the best.”

“Love hurts. There is nothing as painful as heartbreak. But in order to learn to love again you must learn to trust again.”

“I truly believe that while love can hurt, love can also heal…”

“It’s never too late to do the right thing.”

“People will tell you most of the story… and I’ve learned that the part they neglect to tell you is often the most important part. People hide the truth because they’re afraid.” 

"A day spent with dreaming and sunsets and refreshing breezes cannot be bettered.” 

“You're still alive. And that means you'll love and be loved...and in the end, nothing else really matters.” 

“But most of all, I learned that it’s possible for two people to fall in love all over again, even when there’s been a lifetime of disappointment between them.”