Melanie's Musings
January 19, 2015

My Read/Watch List for Winter 2015

Happy Top Ten Tuesday, my friends!

Is it just me, or is this winter simultaneously dragging on and zooming by??

Regardless, there’s plenty of time to read and watch awesome things.

Here are my top ten:

Random notes:

1. Australia day is January 26th, in case you were wondering. :D

2. I forgot to mention this, but the reason I initially picked up Under the Never Sky was because of its amazing book trailer.

3. Watch: East and West || Classic Alice || The Autobiography of Jane Eyre

And don’t forget to contribute to the Classic Alice crowdfunding campaign!

4. Awesome blogger shout outs: Sandy at Pirate Penguin’s Reads || Jess at Gone with the Words

5. And just to reiterate, if you’ve read Gayle Forman’s Just One Day, I’d love to hear whether or not you’d recommend it. I’m curious!

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Posted by Melanie at 11:59 pm - Comments (5)
Categories: vlog
January 13, 2015

The Young Elites by Marie Lu

The Young Elites by Marie Lu

 

The Young Elites is the origin story of a villain. It is set in an alternate fantasy version of Renaissance Italy. After the equivalent of the Black Death sweeps through the world, a few survivors come out of the illness with supernatural powers. The [story of the] main character, Adelina, chronicles her downfall into darkness (from Marie Lu’s tumblr).

 
Raised eyebrows was my response when hearing that The Young Elites was the story of a villain. After all, I like to root for my heroes to slay the villain from the beginning of the story to the end.

On the other hand, I’m fascinated by the complexity of humanity. The ferocity we use to protect ourselves, and sometimes those we love.

Protecting herself is in part, if not in entirety, what Adelina is trying to do. From her overbearing father who wants rid of her. The government who wants to kill her. The people who want to use her. From herself.

The story’s multiple viewpoints reveal what drives many of the characters, showing that the line between strong leadership and deceitful manipulation can be too easily crossed.

A harrowing quote: I will find you all. I will use everything in my power to save your souls. I was born to destroy you (p 119).

Though I found the writing awkward in a handful of places, with phrases that sounded thoroughly too modern for a “fantasy version of Renaissance Italy,” the the complicated characters and storyline made it a worthwhile read. Twisted love, a yearning to be accepted, and a power too strong to control collide in Adelina.

As much as I love stories of redemption, I’m unsure if The Young Elites will ultimately be one of them. Regardless, I can’t wait to find out a bit more in The Rose Society, The Young Elites #2.

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Posted by Melanie at 8:48 am - Comments (6)
Categories: book review
January 7, 2015

Finally Reading that Book of Poetry… And other 2015 Reading Challenges

Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair. That’s what I’m starting with for Savvy Verse and Wit’s Poetry Reading Challenge. I’ve read a couple of Pablo Neruda’s poems, and am somewhat fascinated by the mix of ethereal verse and frank sensuality. Here’s one of my favorite bits:

“I awoke and at times birds fled and migrated
that had been sleeping in your soul.”

Beyond Neruda, I’m not sure where I’ll head. Any suggestions? I’m terribly ignorant when it comes to poetry.

Saying I’ll be reading fantasy novels in 2015 is the equivalent of writing “eat a piece of decadent chocolate cake” on my TBR. The much (much, much, much) anticipated sequel to Seraphina, the second Young Elites novel by Marie Lu, anything by Maria V. Snyder I get my hands on… There’ll be plenty of fantasy reading on my end that’ll plop nicely into the Flights of Fantasy challenge.

Cook It Up!Ever since I expressed an interest in not burning things in the kitchen, an alarming amount of cookbooks have been gifted to me. In some cases, just to make space on the other person’s shelf (1980 Southern Living recipe book, I’m looking at you). Finding out which books are keepers will be a challenge and give me a chance to Cook it Up!

 

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“We want to relate, empathize, and be challenged by the situations and personalities we don’t know.” So begins the intro post for Dive into Diversity, perfectly summarizing my motivation for joining the challenge.

~~~~~~

 

 
I chose to officially limit myself to four challenges this year though I have many more reading goals, like reading non-fiction, listening to audiobooks, reading classics, and finding yet another book that’ll blow me out of the water.

What are you challenging yourself to read this year?

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Posted by Melanie at 8:53 am - Comments (11)
Categories: challenge