WWW Wednesdays – July 30

WWW Wednesdays is an event hosted by Should Be Reading that asks three questions:

What are you currently reading?
I’m currently reading The Stranger by Camilla Lackberg. I’ve only just started it but so far, I’m really liking it! I love the Swedish setting and characters in the book. I’ve never read one set in a northern European country before, so it’s interesting to experience!

What did you recently finish reading?
I’ve just finished A Home at the End of the World by Michael Cunningham. I’ll have a review of it up soon.

What do you think you’ll read next?
Well, I still have two other books from my little holiday book shopping spree, so I’ll read one of those. It’ll most likely be Silent Killer by Beverly Barton. I’m also going to pick up George R. R. Martin’s A Feast for Crows again. I’d taken a break from the ASOIAF series to read other books, but I miss it and I want to read some more of it.

What have you guys been reading? Any suggestions? Let me know in the comments!

-Christie xx 🙂

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Fandom Friday: Supernatural Nails!

Hello my lovelies!  I re-did my nails Supernatural-esque a few weeks ago and when they started to chip, I just couldn’t let them go. So I did them again! I forgot to take a picture of my first attempt because I’m an idjit, but here’s my second attempt:

Supernatural Nails 2
So on my right hand, I decided to embrace the blood-soaked culture of SPN and went with blood splatters, the Angel Banishing sigil, and the Zoroastrian symbol.

Supernatural Nails 1
On my left hand I did the Devil’s Trap (which took me bloody forever…), KAZ for the Impala’s S1 licence plate, and a tiny (slightly blurred) Cas wing.

These were a lot of fun! Have you guys done any cool DIY stuff recently? Let me know in the comments!

Happy Weekend!
-Christie 🙂 xx

WWW Wednesdays – July 23

WWW Wednesdays is an event hosted by Should Be Reading that asks three questions:

What are you currently reading?
I’m still reading A Home at the End of the World by Michael Cunningham at the moment. It’s taking longer than I expected, plus, school’s just started back, so I’m getting less opportunities to read at the moment. I’ll hopefully have it finished in the next few days though!

What did you recently finish reading?
Well I haven’t finished any other books since last week, but I forgot to mention in my last post that I have also (finally) read John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars! I challenged myself not to cry while reading it because everyone I know had cried over it. Needless to say, I lost that challenge. Honestly I cried so much, it’s embarrassing…

What do you think you’ll read next?
My eyes are still set on Camilla Lackberg’s The Stranger which I’ll start as soon as I finish my current book!

What have you guys been reading? Any suggestions? Let me know in the comments!

-Christie xx 🙂

WWW Wednesdays – July 16th

This is my first WWW Wednesdays post! I’ve seen so many other blogs that I follow participating in this that I thought that I’d give it a try!

WWW Wednesdays is an event hosted by Should Be Reading that asks three questions:

What are you currently reading?
I’m currently reading A Home at the End of the World by Michael Cunningham. I don’t know that much about the author and this is the first book of his that I’ve read, and I’m only a couple of chapters in so it’s a little too soon to be decisive on whether I like it or not, but I think it has great potential to be a very interesting story.

What did you recently finish reading?
Early last week I finished The Book of Jonas by Steven Dau, the review of which can be found here. It was a really good and rather sad story about the struggles of those who have survived war having to again adjust to a normal life, and what I found interesting was that the story followed a teenage boy, which I felt was an intriguing and really effective way of telling the story.

More recently I finished reading (twice) the second-to-last instalment of Derek Landy’s Skulduggery Pleasant series, Armageddon Outta Here. It is a collection of short stories and novellas following the adventures of the characters of Pleasant in between each of the main novels. Maybe my judgement is a little clouded because of my long-standing attachment to the Skulduggery Pleasant series, but I loved this book so much! I found the stories both hilarious and intense, the action sequences keeping me glued to the book and on the edge of my seat. I can’t wait for (but also dread) the coming of the last book! I know it’ll probably end up with a lot of crying and tea and days spent in my pyjamas.

What do you think you’ll read next?
I went to the city the other day and found myself in a bookstore in the middle of a clearance sale (fancy that), and I bought a couple of thrillers (three for $12! I dunno about the rest of you but in Australia, that’s a bargain!) Of the three that I bought, I think I’ll read The Stranger by Camilla Lackberg next!

What are you guys reading? I’d love to hear, and if you have any suggestions or recommendations, let me know in the comments!

-Christie 🙂 xx

 

Fandom Friday: Armageddon Outta Here!

My copy of AOH *sobbing*

My copy of AOH *sobbing*

Guys guys guys guys guys!!! The new Skulduggery Pleasant book is out now!

I got it on Tuesday and I’ve already read through it twice hehe!

So this is Derek Landy’s second-to-last book in the Skulduggery Pleasant series and it’s a collection of short stories detailing events that occur in between the main stories. It contains 11 short stories, three of which were created in the wake of a series of competitions that Landy held on his blog wherein he asked for people to create their own Skulduggery Pleasant characters. The book also includes two novellas; a brand new one and the World Book Day novella, The End of the World, and an exclusive chapter from the final book.

The stories were absolutely amazing, and some had me in fits of laughter as I was reading. It was actually rather embarrassing. I was on the train and I started laughing during one of the stories and there were these two old ladies looking at me like I needed help. So yeah, moral of the story, don’t read Derek Landy’s books in public. You will frighten old ladies.

I am however, rather sad. Skulduggery Pleasant has been a part of my life for eight years now, and it saddens me knowing that it’s soon going to come to an end. But I am comforted however, by the thought that, as long as I keep coming back and reading each book again and again, the magic will never die.

Have any of you guys read the Skulduggery Pleasant series? What are your thoughts on the latest book? Let me know in the comments!

Christie xx 🙂

What is it like to lose everything?

Today’s review: The Book of Jonas

Author: Stephen Dau

Cover of The Book of Jonas by Stephen Dau

Publisher: Plume (The Penguin Group)
Number of pages: 258
Genre: Fiction/Contemporary/Coming of age/War
Series: Standalone


Jonas is fifteen when his family is killed during an errant U.S. military operation in an unnamed Muslim country. With the help of an international relief organization, he is sent to America, where he struggles to assimilate-foster family, school, a first love. Eventually, he tells a court-mandated counselor and therapist about a U.S. soldier, Christopher Henderson, responsible for saving his life on the tragic night in question. Christopher’s mother, Rose, has dedicated her life to finding out what really happened to her son, who disappeared after the raid in which Jonas’ village was destroyed. When Jonas meets Rose, a shocking and painful secret gradually surfaces from the past, and builds to a shattering conclusion that haunts long after the final page. Told in spare, evocative prose, The Book of Jonas is about memory, about the terrible choices made during war, and about what happens when foreign disaster appears at our own doorstep. It is a rare and virtuosic novel from an exciting new writer to watch.

-Goodreads.com

 

The Book of Jonas is the story of Middle-Eastern youth Jonas as he struggles to adjust to American life after being rescued from his ruined village that was destroyed after a U.S military operation went wrong. After it is discovered that Jonas suffers from lapses in his memory about what ensued at the time of the incident, he is sent to a therapist in an attempt to recover the memories he has lost. Aside from this, Jonas is sent to live with a host family, and attends high school with their children. Jonas, as it turns out, is a brilliant student, achieving the highest results in all of his classes with ease and minimal effort. He becomes fascinated with the workings of Christian religion, spending hours at a time researching everything he can about God and his Will. As is to be expected, Jonas is singled out by other students, and is targeted for the colour of his skin, his funny accent, and his quiet nature. When pushed over the edge however, Jonas is unafraid to fight back, and soon earns a reputation as someone to be admired and slightly intimidated by.

As his sessions with his therapist, Paul, ensue, Jonas is unsure as to whether he simply cannot recall anything that happened before he was sent to America, or whether something deep inside him is refusing to release his knowledge of what happened. Due to his continuing brilliance, Jonas receives a scholarship and attends the University of Pittsburgh, where he meets his first love, Shakri. Shakri urges him to delve into his past and make more of an effort to find out what happened to him, and Jonas discovers the existence of Christopher Henderson who, according to therapist Paul, was the soldier who saved Jonas’ life when his village was destroyed, but has now gone missing. In an attempt to find out more about his past and heal his emotional wounds, Jonas meets with Rose, Christopher’s mother, and it is this event that releases his memory. He starts to open up about what happened after his village was destroyed.
His new knowledge however, takes it’s toll, and Jonas soon finds himself resorting to comfort in alcohol, and ends up on the wrong side of the law. With the help of his therapist Paul and the information that Rose Henderson has shared with him, Jonas is able to piece together his life, his identity, and what really happened to him and Christopher Henderson the night his village was destroyed.

I enjoyed this book and I’m glad that this was the book that I randomly pulled of the shelf of my local library. I found it very interesting to read about not only war, but its after-effects, particularly from the point of view of a teenager. It was sad to witness how someone as brilliant and gifted as Jonas could be pulled down into the depths of his trauma, and to resort to drinking away his problems, but I suppose it’s understandable why someone would do that if they had lived through what Jonas had.

I did find Dau’s storytelling a little disconcerting at first. It would alternate between present-day Jonas, Jonas when he lived in the Middle East (this was before he changed his name and was known as Younis), the events of Jonas’ therapy sessions, Rose Henderson’s point of view, and Christopher Henderson’s journal entries. The amount of jumping around made the story hard to follow at some points and I became surprised by the amount of time that had passed, but it got easier the further I read.
I also felt that some of the supporting characters were a little underdeveloped, and could have contributed to the story a little better, like Jonas’ friend Hakma, and even Shakri, who we really don’t find out all that much about. The story did tend to drag at some points as well for example, there is a whole chapter (granted, it’s only two and a half pages) dedicated to Jonas filling out forms. It was things like this that I felt were rather unnecessary.

Aside from these little things, I ultimately found the story very enjoyable. Jonas’ very thoughtful, detailed observations were fascinating to read, and the contrast between his life in the Middle East and America made for interesting reading. The beginning of the story brings with it a lot of confusion about where it is going and what it is about, but by the mid-way through to end of the book, everything makes sense, and the reader finally discovers what happened to Jonas on that fateful night, although what you find out is not exactly pleasant.

I would definitely recommend this book for others. It sheds new light on the horrors of war and how it pushes humans outside of their boundaries to do extraordinary and unthinkable things.

Rating- 8/10