Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books That Made Me Cry

Hello! Time for some Top Ten Tuesday:)
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely book blog: The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's topic is ... a FREEBIE! It took me forever to choose a topic because there are endless possibilities but I couldn't resist writing a post of books that broke my heart in two...
This powerful and lovely quote by John Green sums up how I feel about most of these books: "Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book." A book doesn't need to be sad to be meaningful or life-changing, but these are examples of books that are well worth the tears and the money the tubs of ice cream will cost you afterwards.
Warning: I cry quite a bit...;)
  1. Percy Jackson series (ESPECIALLY the last one) by Rick Riordan: Did I mention this is one of my favourite series ever? No? Because IT IS undeniably soBut it would take me beyond infinite hours to tell you why I want to hug this book for its retelling of entrancing greek myths, its ability to make me give reading a chance and eventually become so very bookish and its array of hilarious, troubled, broken, brave, compassionate and just EVERYTHING characters (and *cough* Percabeth;) *cough*). I want to visit Camp Half Blood (if it were real...) because imagine the strawberry fields, the satyrs, each cabin crafted to fit its God or Goddess and the food (Blue cookies in a drink? yes please!) So many characters in this series have remained in my heart - Percy himself is such a lovingly crafted character that you can't help but love the guy and his story - and when characters have a difficult (to say the least...) path ahead, you go on that path with them. But it's not only the protagonists who are constructed three-dimensionally with insightful and emotional backstories, which leads to a whole lot of loving and crying. So, Rick Riordan basically made me run out of tears from crying so much!
  2. Harry Potter series (every single word and punctuation mark can make me dissolve into tears - especially from Prisoner of Azkaban and onwards) by JK Rowling: You know, I think that we're all truly waiting for one little letter that can change our lives to come to us one day... via owl perhaps? I think we all know of the emotional turmoil JK Rowling has put us through - in fact, sometimes if I just think about certain parts of the book I want to melt into tears and I do inevitably because JK Rowling is just that wonderful at creating a story that will forever be haunting me and making me smile at the same time! Since this is no spoilers (but if you've read the series I think this one's an obvious pick;)), I'll just say that JK Rowling is not afraid to make you cry - for example with the unexpected depths of the characters, the strong messages on love, family and strength, the characters to look up to (I want to ace my O.W.L.S like HERMIONE!) and the twists in every book that send us to Heartbreak Hotel (metaphorically so). Additionally the sorrow of never receiving an acceptance letter to Hogwarts to become a wizard (Who wouldn't love a wand, meeting animagi, Dumbledore, Wizarding tournaments, enchanted joke stores, magical food and being up to no good?) hurts too.
  3. The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini: My lovely, lovely best friend got me hooked onto these - they're just heartbreaking in the strangest and most obvious ways. Once I cried because I was so shocked about a happy moment in one of these books - real happy tears! Both books wowed me because of the way every detail of the character's journeys becomes your life. I want to fly beautiful kites with Amir and Hassan and I never want them to grow up, I want to reread the last page of Kite Runner endlessly because of what is says about hope or hopelessness, I want to create a wonderful and hidden place where Tariq and Laila can hide from their problems forever, I want to tell Mariam that she's been braver than brave right from the first word and I want you to experience these life changing books so that you know how it feels to cherish these books like I do!
  4. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak:  Oh how unexpected a book about WWII... BUT it's unique and wonderful and blew me away. Firstly, it's written by Death, funny thing Death sure knows how to make me cry, who happens to be very funny, poetic, sombre and reflective - some of his lines just stepped on my heart! I didn't know this book was going to make me sob but Zusak taught me I don't know anything. Liesel Meminger is one girl I'd love to meet - she has lost so much but books give her power - they give her the strength to survive and love, which I love. Rudy, the boy with hair the colour of lemons who wants to be just like Jessie Owens, is the best friend Liesel could ever have and he could make me cry just from everything sweet he does with his big blue eyes shining at his Saumensch:P If you want a book you'll always hold close to your heart and that can leave you crying at 2am in the dark of the night then this is it.
  5. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green: I'm pretty sure I put off this book for months because I was not "emotionally ready" as I weirdly said but every tear, every punch in the gut, every slow smile, every hysterical laugh - it's all worth the ride a million times over. I didn't expect to become so attached to this book but John Green's original, quirky, honest, whimsical and intelligent writing pulled me in, only to tear me into pieces. Hazel is a character that is prepared to let life go by despite the humour, love and Hazel-ness she can bring to it while Augustus is someone who can make you smile when you least think you can. I think I just sat by myself crying for a few minutes, hours, or days because of this book - gosh yes the fault is indeed in our stars sometimes, Sorry Shakespeare, but life can be so unfair to lovely characters like the ones in this book.
  6. The Name of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss: This book was the startpoint on my roadmap into fantasy and wow did I surprisingly enjoy Kvothe's journey immensely. I mean, it does start slow but once it gets into the action it gets magical and never turns back. We see Kvothe grow up from a boy who loses his parents, to a courageous teenager looking for a future of adventure, learning and a great and seemingly impossible love and the book is structured so that we also see him in the present as a lonely, sad man with his bright red hair still as bright as ever but his smile dulled. Kvothe just made me want to hug him so many times - so I blame Patrick Rothfuss for making Kvothe so so hurt by tragedy (and playing his lovely tragic songs), as it hurts me too.
  7. Allegiant by Veronica Roth: Okay, so I didn't like this book to say the least...;) But I did love Divergent - I loved Tris' unusual choices, her bravery which occasionally became dangerously close to recklessness, Four (his strength, his dark blue eyes, his hidden sweetness (for Tris<3), the idea of society being separated according to factions such as Erudite and Dauntless was also intriguing and really well set up in Divergent. But Allegiant lost the plot (in my opinion) - the characters diluted into something else, the plot became less meaningful and got confused in trying to explain the premise - YET what made me cry was reading the end - it wasn't that I particularly enjoyed the ending but that it shocked me to the core - it made me hurt for the characters - the characters in Divergent that I grew to love suffered so much throughout the series so no matter my disappointment in the last book I still feel connected to them and to their sorrow. Veronica Roth created a wonderful book so I'll always respect her choices but I just, personally, felt a bit broken about the end.
  8. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald:  I haven't read as many classics as I would have liked to just yet but this classic would make me read them all because it's truly a golden star on a dark night. It's all about idealism, the destructive nature of love, hope, the American Dream and loss - a perfect combination! Gatsby's story and Fitzgerald's writing (which reminds me of fairy lights, strawberries and cream, stars and salty tears) together is just bound to make you feel something NEW. You feel nostalgic and freshly infused with dreams with Gatsby, confused and unsatisfied with Daisy and curious and entranced with Nick. The end of the story and the build up to it scream tragedy a million times over - they roar it and warn you but this book is too good to stay away:)
  9. Graceling by Kritsin Cashore:  I didn't expect to cry with this one but one moment near the end just led to tears leaking from my misty eyes because it's a moment centred on loss. When you realise how that character must feel and how alone they feel in their struggle to continue to appear strong to others you just want to give them a cuddle. The characters' interactions in that moment of the book just spill with accepting and undeniable love (not just attraction but compassion) and break you with a shock but build you up again with hope.
  10. I think that the Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski will make me cry...: I'm about halfway through the Winner's Crime and I already adore it endlessly. It took me out of an exam-induced reading slump because I was instantly transported into this story that I didn't want to leave - that familiar feeling of falling into a book with characters you already know and love is wonderful! I just care for this series so much that I feel like this book has the potential to get a tear out of me - because there are too many decisions and sacrifices made by the characters that feel like my own personal problems - If I went to a counsellor, I'd probably be talking about Kestrel and Arin's problems and how much it all stresses me out!

Thanks for reading! What's your WoW?:)

Friday, 15 May 2015

My Dream Cast: Legend by Marie Lou

Recently, many books that we all know and love are being adapted into movies. It's a very bittersweet experience at first because you never know how the movie will turn out but sometimes the movies become new favourites. I've always been interested in the casting choices as soon as I hear of a new movie coming out since I feel almost like the protective older brother of these book characters. So after many of my favourite books have become movies like The Fault in Our Stars, The Book Thief, Percy Jackson, Harry Potter, The Great Gatsby, Divergent etc etc... I have decided to have a little bookish fun and really think about my dream cast for some books that have been optioned to become movies and some that I can imagine as movies

Here are a few actors and actresses that I would cast for the lovely and diverse cast of Legend!

June was one of the hardest characters to cast because I have a rough picture in my head of this dark brown haired girl with eyes so dark they're black with glinting golden specks (I would love if that was what my eyes looked like!).  Her head is always held high and her eyes are forever scrutinising and calculating but sometimes a glowing warmth exudes from them. I just feel like she radiates intelligence and strength but a slight wariness too. But one thing that always stands out on her proud and unreadable face (except to maybe Day and Metias!) is the undeniable kindness she can't hide.

Nina Dobrev
I think she could be a great June! I don't watch Vampire Diaries but from all the love fans of the show give her, I imagine her to be a pretty capable actress:) Someone who can show all the complex layers of the Junebug we all admire and root for (eventually;)). And she's got a look which suits June's description and can perhaps make it feel like she's broken out of the book and onto our screen.

Kaya Scodelario
You may know Kaya from Skins or Maze Runner and she also unexpectedly jumped into my mind when I thought of June! She still has many physical similarities with June - maybe not as many as other actresses - but after watching her play Effy Stonem during the first generation of Skins I couldn't help but know her acting would do June justice. Effy always seemed to walk around with a black cloud around her end but it was never overdone - she came off as in control, confident and rebellious but also always loved her older brother (*cough* Who does June love? Her older brother Metias! *cough*) and took care of him when he needed her most. And at the same time she was lost and lonely with a deep sadness ingrained in her - the way Kaya played her with quiet and reluctant smiles or anger subtly exuding from her matches with how I imagine June in the beginning. 

I love Day! I'm pretty sure I swooned from the get-go and never stopped. His determination to survive and keep fighting for what's right, his love for his family, his undeniable connection to June and the way he respects her enough to have her give him a chance but also not be intimidated enough to actually get her to crack a smile. I know he has long and almost Rapunzel-like hair (okay... not that long but you get the idea...;)) but I always pictured him with slightly shorter than shoulder length hair. One of my favourite details about him was his sky-blue, seven seas, soul-searing blue eyes - except one eye is coloured differently to the other but I think that shows what he's been through (eyes are the windows to the soul!) and honestly eyes like that are filled with stories and I want to listen to his stories all day.
Alex Pettyfer
There are so many actors who fulfil the whole blonde hair, blue eyes, lean and muscular thing which Day's got going on but Day's different - he's one of a kind - he's the feeling of daylight breaking out in the sky after a long and lonely night - so I tried my best. 
Do you know how hard it is to choose one picture?:) I chose this one because of the way he looks at her- staring at this picture is like watching someone fall in love for the first time (there's this tenderness, awe, realisation and love in his look which I think mirrors how Day looks at June). I think we all know Alex Pettyfer - ever since Wild Child a little piece of my heart belongs to his characters. He would be my number one choice for Day because I think he'd be able to show everyone how strong, loving and loveable Day is.

Mitch Hewer
Another Skins alum here (that wasn't intentional...)! When I saw this picture and remembered how endearing Mitch was on Skins (and how much everyone swooned for him) I couldn't resist pitching this;) He has this gentleness in his face and untamed blonde hair that I can see cascading down like Day's. He's also got a big grin which suits Day's mission to spread joy with his infectious smile.

When June loved Metias we loved him too. He deserves the Best Brother award for the way he's always looked out for June - and he calls her Junebug which is plain adorable! The whole story is kicked off with June wanting vengeance for his death- she needs it to heal and become whole again... or so she thinks...:P I admired his intelligence and the way he rubs off on June - and as the series goes on we learn more and more about him which was as delightful as chocolate. I envision him with this face that makes you just want to hug him, a slightly cheeky and nerdy smile and as someone who almost seems to have light radiate from them like an angel... yup not easy criteria... This one's not in a particular order!
Matt Lanter
He may not have been exactly how I initially pictured him but then I can't help but think he'd be wonderful! He fulfils all the seemingly impossible criteria doesn't he?<3 He just has this radiance (like a permanent pregnancy glow:P) and friendliness just escapes from his eyes. I think he could play Metias well and Metias would be a huge change from his character on 90210 but I wouldn't typecast him due to his most famous role.

Nicholas Hoult
Whenever I think of flashbacks June would have of her brother - the happy moments - I picture Nicholas Hoult as her smiling, modest and composed brother who you can't help but root for and adore. His acting skills are forever golden in my opinion. He would be able to play Metias the way he deserves to be played- with an air of modest confidence and a melody playing harmoniously around him. 

Willow Shields

She popped into my head when I thought of the determined, frail and protective Tess. I always see her as being very lean because of her life so very delicate in a sense and with big eyes reminiscent of Alexis Bledel or Amanda Seyfried. I think Willow Shields (who played Prim in the Hunger Games) embodies the traits of Tess and can play the girl with the broken heart who becomes stronger and stronger each day.

Thanks so much for reading my looooong post

Who would you cast?:)

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we're eagerly longing for and anticipating!

My choice is Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon!

This innovative, heartfelt debut novel tells the story of a girl who’s literally allergic to the outside world. When a new family moves in next door, she begins a complicated romance that challenges everything she’s ever known. The narrative unfolds via vignettes, diary entries, texts, charts, lists, illustrations, and more. 

 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 certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster..

Date of Publication: 1 September 2015

This book sounds like as enticing and unique as a Willy Wonka golden ticket! I've never read about a protagonist who is allergic to the world around her - and I cannot imagine the agony of that condition because it means she has to live trapped most of her life... but you know what they say: love can set you free! Her isolation will make this love story beautifully new and something that I can call new territory for me. One thing, other than the premise and the vibrant eye-candy of a cover, that drew me to this book was the rave reviews about it. When so many book lovers swoon for a book - a book that has the potential to be quirky in an enchanting way, emotional, and shocking -it feels like coming across some hidden treasure just waiting to be loved! I just hope it doesn't disappoint:)

Also doesn't the idea sound reminiscent of Rapunzel? The idea of a girl isolated from society finding love - except a much less romanticised/Disney version;)

Thank you for reading!
What's your Waiting on Wednesday?:)