Friday, June 27, 2014

You don't love the Crazy, Sullen Girl (Looking for Alaska FEEEEELS)

Hi darlings!
So this week brought forth a news that really made me giddy with joy--and, well, kind of scared at the same time. LOOKING FOR ALASKA is gonna be turned into a movie!!!

(photo not mine)



Well, I'm happy because Looking for Alaska is one of my favorite books of all time. If you've been paying attention, you probably would've noticed that this blog's name (THE ENIGMA OF HERSELF) is an homage to the book. It's from one of my favorite passages from the book, which goes something like this:

"When she fucked up all those years ago, just a little girl terrified into paralysis, she collapsed into the enigma of herself."
Here's what LOOKING FOR ALASKA is about:

Before. Miles "Pudge" Halter's whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the "Great Perhaps" (Fran├žois Rabelais, poet) even more. He heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.
After. Nothing is ever the same.

Well, this book broke my heart in more ways than one. For starters, Alaska Young is one messed-up, complicated character. She is someone who once dreamed to much, believed in the good things, and did one big stupid mistake that would haunt her for the rest of her life. Alaska is a character that says so much about life; about death; about our choices; about how, no matter what we do, sometimes, the universe just has a different way of going about with things. It is a gripping, haunting, beautiful book. Something you'd want to read over and over again. 

This book is also really special to me. It's one of those stories that have stayed with me through time and basically, I really like Alaska. (Twitter Handle's also partly dedicated to her) 

Another reason why I'm excited for this is because of the great SARAH POLLEY who's such a brilliant filmmaker. Of all her works, I'm most passionate about MY LIFE WITHOUT ME, a story about a young woman who deals with the fact that she has Cancer and how she can live her life to the fullest. I'm telling you, though, it's not your typical love story plus it has Mark Ruffalo in it--which makes it all the more awesome :>>>> but seriously, it's a beautiful film and if you want to see how Sarah operates, you better check that one out.

hehe..this pic's from my old movie reviews on tumblr

Now back to LFA. I'm just scared that it will be hyped up too much the way TFIOS was and it will lose its brilliance. I'm also scared that some people will just join the bandwagon but then again, I really like the story so we'll see. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. 

Anyway, let me share with you some of my other favorite quotes from the book:

"Is the labyrinth living or dying?"
 "...If people were rain, I am drizzle and she is the hurricane."
"What the hell is instant? Nothing is instant."

"I may die young, but at least, I'll die smart."

"That's the whole point: You never get me."

"What you must understand about me is that I'm a deeply unhappy person."

"I would always love Alaska Young, my crooked neighbor, with all my crooked heart." 

"After all this time, it seems to me that straight and fast is the only way out."

"She had embodied the great perhaps."

"You love the girl who makes you laugh, and shows you porn and drinks wine with you. You don't love the crazy, sullen girl."
Ah, I could go on all day! HAHA! Oh, and I made a little playlist for Alaska, too. I'll probably be adding more songs in the future, but here's the playlist for now:



Incubus-Drive
Velvet Underground - Stephanie Says
The  Pretty Reckless - Champagne Supernova
Sarah Mclachlan - Adia
Coldplay - The Scientist
The Beatles - Strawberry Fields Forever
Lana del Rey - Brooklyn Baby
Lorde - Bravado
Ellie Goulding - Explosions
Ryan Cabrera - 40 Kinds of Sadness
John Mayer- No Such Thing
Jason Mraz - Back to the Earth
John Mayer - Why Georgia

 I absolutely cannot wait. Happy Weekend, darlings!



Sunday, June 15, 2014

A Dreamer Dreams, She Never Dies

Well, this is basically a "I'm still alive, I'm just spacing out" kind of post because I am still alive but I really have been spacing out a bit lately. Must be the weather and all these things in my mind. I also haven't been reading much this week (I've been DNF'ing too much because I feel like there's nothing good to read although I'm currently reading ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE OF MY HEART and that's pretty nice)  and I did read my first Choose Your Own Adventure book (second, but this is the first one I've owned) and that was fun.

Anyway, I've been listening to a lot of songs lately (some old, some new) and I just wanna share some of them with you...

THE PRETTY RECKLESS - CHAMPAGNE SUPERNOVA (COVER)

(I've loved this song for years but this version is just MASSIVELY.AWESOME.)


Wake up the dawn and ask her why/ A dreamer dreams, she never dies/ 
Wipe that tear away now from your eyes

LANA DEL REY - BROOKLYN BABY

(She just never fails <3)






They say I'm too dumb to see/ They judge me like a picture book/ 
by the colors/ like they forgot to read

LORDE - BRAVADO




I'm faking glory/ Lick my Lips/ 
Touch my Hair/ And turn the Smile On
I'll find my own Bravado

MARY LAMBERT - SHE KEEPS ME WARM

(There's something about her voice that just keeps me warm...)





What's your middle name?/ Do you hate your job?
Do you fall in love so easily?/ What's your favorite word?
Do you like kissing girls?/ Can I call you baby?

And there are a lot more but internet connection sucks so...Happy Sunday, darlings. :)

Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Secrets of Lily Graves: Book Review

The Secrets of Lily Graves 

                                                The Secrets of Lily Graves


With the intrigue of Pretty Little Liars and plenty of romance, bestselling author Sarah Strohmeyer weaves a story of secrets and lies—set in a funeral parlor.


Growing up in a house of female morticians, Lily Graves knows all about buried secrets. She knows that perfect senior-class president Erin Donohue isn’t what she seems. She knows why Erin’s ex-boyfriend, hot football player Matt Houser, broke up with her. And she also knows that, even though she says she and Matt are just friends, there is something brewing between them—something Erin definitely did not like.

But secrets, even ones that are long buried, have a way of returning to haunt their keeper.

So when Erin is found dead the day after attacking Lily in a jealous rage, Lily's and Matt’s safe little lives, and the lives of everyone in their town of Potsdam, begin to unravel. And their relationship—which grew from innocent after-school tutoring sessions to late-night clandestine rendezvous—makes them both suspects.

As her world crumbles around her, Lily must figure out the difference between truth and deception, genuine love and a web of lies. And she must do it quickly, before the killer claims another victim.

***

THE SECRETS OF LILY GRAVES will mystify you. 

The Secrets of Lily Graves tells about the story of Lily, who grew up with a family of embalmers and who lives in a funeral parlor. She has dealt with death her whole life but is now forced to deal with the death of her classmate, Erin, the ex-girlfriend of the boy she always had her eyes on (and who's also her bestfriend), Matt. Lily gets in the middle of this as she's one of the most obvious suspects--or is she?

And then there's Matt who broke up with Erin. Did he actually do it so he could get together with Lily? That's what you'll find out.

I gotta admit, the "intrigue of Pretty Little Liars" line was what caught my attention since I'm a big fan of the series (both the books and television show). Well, this book had so much premise but did it deliver? I'd say half and half.

You will enjoy this book, for sure. It has just the right amount of mystery + romance but somehow, it lacks the power to hold you down. I did read this in one sitting though, as I do with most mysteries, but I think what made me not like it as much as I should've was the fact that I instantly knew who killed who. I'm not sure if it's  just me or if it's been obvious since the beginning and since those lines that made me think about this certain suspect, but once that happens, it makes me wish I didn't know so that I'd enjoy the book even more.


BUT the writing was well-done. The author sure made use of puns and had the power to spin this story into something that's still readable even if you kind of already know what's going to happen. The characters kind of lacked depth, though, but they're still believable (although some instances aren't)  so it would still be good for you to read this book. And there's that cliffhanger chapter that will leave you saying all expletives and maybe break you apart but you have to read through to the ending of course, to get the whole thing. 



TOXIC: Pretty Little Liars #15 -- Book Review

Title: TOXIC (Pretty Little Liars 15)
Author: Sara Shepard
Rating: 3/5 
One A has been captured…but the most dangerous A of all is still out there in the penultimate installment in Sara Shepard's #1 New York Times bestselling Pretty Little Liars series.

High school seniors Aria, Emily, Spencer, and Hanna barely survived their most recent encounter with A. And it's not over yet…. The police don't believe there's another, deadlier, A out there, but the girls know what-and who-they saw. If they don't track down this final tormentor soon, A will silence them forever.

Sara Shepard's fan base continues to grow as ABC Family's hit Pretty Little Liars TV show draws in new readers to the #1 New York Times bestselling series. Full of unexpected twists and shocking revelations, the second-to-last novel ramps up the stakes for the jaw-dropping series conclusion in Pretty Little Liars #16.


***
Seeing that I actually managed to read through the series and have just finished reading this 15th book days ago, you can say that I'm a fan of PRETTY LITTLE LIARS. 

You see, there was a time (by book 12) that I felt like this series has gone on for FAR TOO LONG. But by book 14 (DEADLY), I felt like, hey Sara's back in shape! She's making sense and the series is finally good again, so yey and I waited a couple months for TOXIC so when I finally got my copy, I was ecstatic. 

I wanted so much to like this book. I wanted it to be as great as Deadly or as great as the first novels. But somehow, it lacked luster. It was just all over the place. Some plotlines were just a rehash of things that have already happened before and CREEPY ALI IS JUST CREEPY. Plus, it has a Gone Girl-esque thing to it (which wouldn't have been bad because I like GONE, GIRL, but is bad because I LIKE GONE GIRL, you know what I mean? ) and I'm not sure if Sara deliberately did that or if she was even aware. 

It's not a toxic book though. To be honest, I still enjoyed it. One of the best things I like about the PLL series is that Sara always gets you hooked. She makes you just want to crave for more so you'd end up finishing the book in just a couple of hours. And that's important to me because I have very short attention span.

I wish though that as a penultimate book (if it's really the penultimate one) that some ends were closed and that the questions have been lessened but well, there's book 16 (Vicious, out in December) for that. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

THE POLARIS UPRISING - Excerpt Reveal + GIVEAWAY!


Title: THE POLARIS UPRISING (Polaris, Book 1)
Genre: 
YA Dystopia
Author:
 Jennifer Ibarra 
Length: 120K words

Synopsis:

No citizen shall be left behind.

Life in Neress is simple. For nearly four decades, people have known exactly what’s expected of them. Obey the rules, follow the path that’s been laid out, and everything will be provided for: food, shelter, education, safety. No need goes unmet.

But the cost is steep: you lose all rights to make your own choices in life.

In seven years, eighteen-year-old Ryla Jensen will come of age and take over for her father as president of this idyllic nation. Groomed since childhood to take on a role she’s not even sure she wants, Ryla’s only escape from the pressures of duty is her sister, Alanna. But when her eyes are finally opened to the oppressive regime her father built, she begins to question everything she’s set to inherit—and finds herself at odds with her sister’s blind allegiance to their father.

Torn between loyalty to her family and the fight for freedom, Ryla must decide just how far she’s willing to go to make a stand and risk losing the person she loves most in the world: Alanna.

Links:
HERE'S AN EXCERPT:

"Water had gathered on the ground, picking up the drippings of melted snow that had trickled through the tunnel entrances. There were puddles everywhere, all along the winding underground paths. Ryla had started off trying to avoid them, but she gave up after a while, letting the water splatter all over her boots—and sometimes even jumping into it with both feet to get a smile out of Tyson.
She got a few eye rolls at first. But soon enough, he broke down and grinned, and when she offered her hand, he took it, hopping straight into a particularly large puddle that splashed water all over her front.
“Oh sorry, I should have been more careful, Your Excellency…”
She kicked at the water, returning the favor.
“Hey!”
“Stop calling me Your Excellency.”
He laughed and put his hands up in mock surrender. “All right, all right. Just trying to get under your skin a little. Old habits die hard.”
She smiled. “You get under my skin just fine.”
Flustered, he broke the eye contact, but she saw his cheeks redden, and she knew she’d gotten to him with the remark.
“Come on,” he said. “This way’ll be faster. It cuts across the city center.”
He led her forward into another tunnel that branched off somewhere from the main artery. They all looked the same to her, no matter what direction they were headed. She wondered how he’d ever managed to learn his way down here. 
“You know, under normal circumstances, this might qualify as a date,” she said, looking up at him.
Silence stretched. His cheeks darkened even more.
“There isn’t a lot of dating that goes on around here,” he said. “Not with a revolution to plan. And besides, what’s the point, when we’re all going to end up in loveless genetic matches anyway?”
“They don’t have to be loveless.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jennifer Ibarra grew up on a steady diet of books, Star Wars, and other fantastic feats of the imagination. Her debut novel, The Polaris Uprising, is the first book in a trilogy and mixes dystopia with family drama, romance, and political intrigue.
She lives in Silicon Valley, where she does marketing for a tech company and spends her time running, cooking, baking, and keeping up with celebrity gossip.
Author links:
A note from the Author:

Cancer has touched all of us in one way or another. Those who have read THE POLARIS UPRISING will know that I dedicated it to my dear friend, Brittanie, whom we lost to Stage IV ovarian cancer in 2010. She was only 26 years old. In her memory, I am pledging to donate $1 out of every sale on Amazon and Barnes & Noble to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society from now until October 6--the day she was diagnosed with the disease that took her life. Every donation up to $2,000 will be matched by my employer, so your generosity will be doubled! Thank you in advance for helping me in this special cause.

GIVEAWAY TIME



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