April 2015 Reading Round Up

Junk by Melvin Burgess

After reading Melvin Burgess’ Kill All Enemies I was interested to read more of his books. Junk was the title that clearly stood out. Skimming through Goodreads reviews, it sounded like the perfect read since my fascination is held by books of a controversial nature what with the drugs and teenage pregnancy. Besides it’s content, the fact that it’s UK YA had me sold. Junk is about two teenage runaways named Gemma and Tar who start a love affair with heroine while living on their own and with a few friends named Rob and Lily. The story is told from multiple characters points of view, in keeping with Burgess’ style and what I love about his books in the first place. The struggle with addiction feels real and investing to read in this way. One thing I’ll always remember from this book is when Lily is breastfeeding and still continued to take heroine, injecting the veins between her breasts. The description of the damage done to her other veins is good enough for drug abuse PSA. Junk is raw and unapologetic, though I must say I was waiting for even more serious consequences to befall the main characters, it still is an interesting read.

Verdict: It took me two days to read the book and that says it all. Grab a copy!

InuYasha Volumes 10- 24

Sango is one of my favourite characters in the series and I’ve always thought she and InuYasha are alike in demeanor so when they fight each other in the 10th volume, I found it interesting. Once the misunderstanding between the two of them is cleared up, she journeys with Kagome, InuYasha, Miroku and Shippo, the last to join the gang. Her emotional torment stems from the loss of her family and Naraku controlling her brother Kohaku. Apart from Sango, I was excited about Koga’s introduction and his recurrence across these volumes. Koga and InuYasha’s enmity is an interesting dynamic, always quipping with one another and fighting over Kagome. I like how they’re allies who refuse to admit it (or are in denial about the fact). The most interesting developments in these volumes is how InuYasha transforms into a full-fledged demon and loses all sense of reason, becoming a killing machine incapable of controlling himself. This leads to the discovery of why his father entrusted him with his sword Tetsusaiga. I enjoyed the little filler story arcs in these volumes like that of the monkey demons and Shippo’s love interest.

Verdict: These volumes delve deeper into the characters pasts and stories, peppered with the usual amount of action that makes it interesting.

*Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K Rowling

This is my favourite book of the series!  Check out my re-read post about it.

Verdict: Do I need to actually say it? READ!

* Re-Read Challenge

Little Bookfessions

Source: Google Images

i. In my old house, I didn’t have room for a bookshelf because of all the built-in closet space. One time, a friend came over, saw it and said, “Wow, you must have a lot of clothes.” Another friend who knew me better corrected, “No, half of it’s purely for her books.” What’s in your closet speaks volumes; it’s like compartments of you in physical space. And books may as well be half of me.

ii. I love flipping pages of books. Admittedly, half the time I’m reading, I’ll stop, look at my progress and just flip to my hearts content. That feeling of paper brushing fingertips is incomparable. (And the habit is contagious, just ask some of my friends.)

iii. I’ll never succumb in the argument of paperbacks/hardcovers versus e-books. I know e-books are so much more portable and don’t take up any physical space but isn’t that the point? I want something to take up space in my life, whether it’s in a bookshelf or on a coffee table, I want it there. It’s better than being littered with charger wires.

iv. But in the battle of hardcover versus paperback, I always choose paperback.

v. This summer I’d gone back to my old house to find termites festering in my bookshelf, eating away at the pages and crumbling the spines of my books. My heart broke and I mean that. They weren’t just material possessions. Those books were pieces of me, memories, emotions and gifts from people in my life especially my dad and I felt shattered at the prospect that they could be taken away. Paper perishes. Just like people.

vi. My fondest memory of my dad was going to stores and getting so engrossed in the book sections. I’d show him which ones I liked and never even needed to ask for them. He’d buy it no matter what. He’d never say no to buying me a book. To me, that says everything about his character.

vii. In elementary school in Ottawa, I was that kid who’d get extremely excited about the Scholastic flyers and ordering books off it. I’d count down for the book fairs and don’t even get me started on how awesome the Bibliobus was.

viii. Libraries, to me, are more beautiful than monuments. They’re invaluable and that feeling of walking along the many, many aisles of bookshelves is almost like walking between worlds. They’re right there for you to discover. Plus, they’re so peaceful it’s like time has slowed down or even stopped, in the most wonderful way imaginable.

ix. I really liked the way my teacher in 3rd grade labelled all her books and did the same with mine. One nasty boy in my class ridiculed it.I was quite angry and went into Hermione Granger mode all over him. It’s funny to think about now. ( I was quite the Monica Gellar as a child…I still am now, actually.)

x. In my fourth semester of college I discovered that the most satisfying time to read a new book is during exams. I’d study faster (improperly sometimes) just to settle into bed and read. It really helped take my mind off the tedium of writing those ridiculously long papers.

xi. It doesn’t matter how long my TBR list is, I’ll keep adding to it. It doesn’t matter if I have a lot of unread books sitting at home. I’ll still buy a dozen more.

xii. I enjoy owning books more than borrowing them.

xiii. If my worst enemy gave me a book that I’d love, I’d melt like Olaf in Frozen. Because some books are worth melting for. And I’d have no room left for enmity.

xiv. In rough times, I turn to books. They’re a solace and oh so safe. It’s lovely to be wrapped up in between pages just as you would be in your bed sheets.

xv. The success of finding a new book that doesn’t disappoint is worth celebrating. Usually with another book.

xvi. Re-reading is re-living.

xvii. In the 5th grade, I was in a book club that would read newly published books in the library during recess. It was just as enjoyable as playing outside

xviii. My dad was the one who got me interested in reading and I’ll always have him to thank for the person I am today i.e a bibliophile.

xix. Since I was a child, I always read beyond my age. By the time I was ten, I’d begun reading adult novels. Now that I’m an adult, I so enjoy reading books aimed at younger readers. The grass is always greener on the other side, I suppose.

xx. I don’t mind dog-earing pages and I hate books that have been read and still look brand new. It’s eerie.

In Hospital

I heard a schizophrenic
Patient say inner beauty
Is better than putting on
A plastered face

That a little electricity
In the right place
Can make a difference
Even if only a microvolt

Piles of cases, papers
Stitched into a history
Peppered with mild doses
Of diazepam and loxapine

In the corner sits
A standby defibrillator
The switch with a red light
But can precaution
save the fated?

I do not know.

But I do hope.

So I started interning at a neuro-psychiatric hospital and this was inspired from the happenings inside.


Cedar Toes

Toes dipped in cedar green
Gold manacles clinking in time
To the wind lifting noir fringe
Brushed with velvet fingertips
The tap of storeyed footfalls
With the hesitation of peppermint lips
In a plum dress
Designed for a soirée
In a world of effervescent sparkle
Remember to dance with your eyes
Dizzy them like a paper airplane
The flashes will fall in line

The Re-read Challenge: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

When I first read

I hadn’t been in on Harry Potter from the get go, only having jumped on the band wagon after the first three books were published so the Goblet of Fire was the first of the series that I had to wait for in agonising anticipation and boy was it worth it. I devoured the book in less than four days and was already itching for more.

What I remember

With the first three Harry Potter books  I was completely familiar with Hogwarts but the Goblet of Fire expanded the world of magic from just Hogwarts to an international world cup and to the introduction of other magical academies like Beauxbatons and Durmstrang through the Triwizard Tournament. The Quidditch World Cup was an exciting start to a game changing book in the series. Not only does the magical world seem more concrete but it also seems more dangerous because of the ominous emergence of Death Eaters and the return of Voldemort. That was why I found the fourth book so intriguing when I first read it!

Why I want To re read

As I’m re reading the entire Harry Potter series it’s inevitable but since the Goblet of Fire is one of my favourites I was eager to revisit it!

How I felt after re reading

The Triwizard Tournament is brilliant as far as I’m concerned. It’s such a a great way to break the tedium of the school year and read about so many new things and new characters like Mad Eye Moody.

Sirius is a great god-father and it’s nice to read about he and Harry keep in touch through out the year, finally a parent figure for Harry to confide in and look to for advice when he really needs it. Of course, what makes it even better is Dobby working at Hogwarts. His misunderstanding of how socks are not supposed to be matching is endearing and I love how Ron takes a liking to him as well, giving him his Christmas jumper.

I think Hermione’s efforts in securing wages and holidays for elves is underrated and needs more attention. She’s fighting for what she believes in and it’s admirable, though her determination is frequently met by road blocks. It’s a shame the movie didn’t bother to include this important side to Hermione’s character. She’d make a great lobbyist!

On the down side, I’ll always hate whenever any of these characters fight, particularly Harry and Ron. When Ron disbelieves that Harry put his name into the Goblet and gets jealous of all the attention Harry gets, it marks the worst fight they’ve had so far which leaves Hermione as a referee between the two of them.

Though they have a huge fight in the Goblet of Fire, I still think this is the book that highlights how important Harry’s friendship with Ron is to him. Though Hermione still talks to him during their spat, Harry himself says it’s not the same,  with much less laughter and much more library hours and books. Then when it comes to the second challenge, the most important person to Harry turns out unsurprisingly to be Ron.

Rita Skeeter’s trash about Hagrid being dangerous was what made me angry the most. Poor guy can’t catch a break even though he’s one the kindest character in the series.

While Skeeter is a right old hag who should mind her own business, as we all know, I confess myself disappointed (get it?) that Mrs. Weasley actually believe Hermione was two-timing Harry with Krum. I didn’t think she was that daft to believe such dribble considering she actually knows Hermione. It just highlighted that girls get the brunt of media attacks and people seem predisposed to falling for it.

The drama around the Yule Ball was Romione-centric more than anything else. Ron is a disaster when he sees Hermione with Krum which I feel was a a needed kick in his ego. Harry’s not any better since he’s just glum that Cho went with Cedric. Though I know where they’re coming from, it doesn’t justify how they treat Parvati and Padma at the ball. I’d be mad too if my date just sat around sulking while everyone’s having a good time.

On the lighter side, I have to say I was in splits at times while reading this book. I could not stop laughing when I read this sentence:

Snape stretched out his hands like a blind man and began to move up the stairs… (trying to find Harry wearing his Invisibility Cloak).

I guess I was having too much fun imagining Alan Rickman doing this on the stairs in the middle of the night 🙂

I also had to put the book down when reading about Dobby waking up Harry ten minutes before the second challenge and offering him the Gillyweed:

 Dobby cannot let Harry Potter lose his Wheezy!

How I love that Dobby calls Ron Harry Potter’s Wheezy. It’s just too good. And if you don’t laugh at that then I’m not sure I know what sort of sense of humour you’ve got. Just kidding.

I just love this book so much.

Would I re read again

Would Dobby help Harry no matter what?
The answer to both questions: Of course.