Sunday, 19 October 2014

Wish You Happy Forever

By Jenny Bowen
SUMMARY
In the summer of 1998, Jenny Bowen looked out her kitchen window onto her garden, and her life changed forever. Her 3-year-old daughter Maya, whom she and her husband adopted months earlier from an orphanage in China, had transformed from a frightened, sickly little girl to a joyous being thriving in an environment where she knew she was loved. Watching her daughter play, Jenny was overcome with the desire to help the orphaned girls she couldn’t bring home. And that’s when Half the Sky was born.

Wish You Happy Forever tells the story of China’s momentous progress in its treatment of orphaned and abandoned children. When Jenny began Half the Sky in 1998, determined to bring a caring adult into the life of every orphaned child, it seemed impossible that China would allow a foreigner to work inside government orphanages, let alone try to bring change. But gradually, after witnessing Half the Sky’s quiet perseverance and miraculous success, the Chinese government now not only trusts, but partners with Half the Sky to make life better for the children in its
 
 
5 stars.
I loved this book a lot, and not because I would be evil not to, but it helped prepare me for meeting my relatives in China, whom I had not seen for more than 4 years. It helped me see the Chinese--myself included--as people who care.
    Let me explain: I was born in the year 2000 in Guangdong province. I, a girl, was born without government permission(that's the story my mother used to tell me), and right there and then, my life, whether I lived or not, was dependent on one literally life-threatening choice.
    As you may have guessed from the fact that I am alive and live now live in Canada, my parents did not give me up for adoption--because no sane and able person would abandon their chid simply because they didn't not want her. And plus, my parents was able to afford the penalty fee, so I grew up knowing nothing about my ' other sisters', who were not so fortunate.
    Before I read this book, I knew that some Chinese couldn't support their child, but what was front and centre on my mind(and no, I did not spell centre wrong)was that China is an evil country and I was ashamed of being Chinese, and wanted no part in this. But whish You Happy Forever showed me that Chinese do care, do love, and that my grandparents may be nicer than my memory suggested.
   I read it, it helped, and I cried.

Three Months later...
    Well, my family is exactly as I remember them. My uncle (dad's brother) called me fat and told me to lose weight...on my birthday. Most family members from dad's side told me the same thing in one way or another, then criticized me for not eating enough or for not having a second helping of rice.
    But I liked the immediate family members from mom's side. they were nice. PoPo (granny) boils rich soup, and I consider my Uncle (mom's brother) as the best cook in the world( he cooks beef with cola--tasted really great).
    I also met 2 great people who I attended sewing classes with. They are open minded people that the world needs more of.


Thank you, Jenny and Dick Bowen, for all you've done.
祝你(们)永远幸福快乐
Wish You All Happy Forever

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage

 
色彩を持たない多崎つくると、彼の巡礼の年
(Shikisai o motoanai Tazaki Tsukuru to, kare no junrei no toshi)
 
Tsukuru Tazaki had four best friends at school. By chance all of their names contained a colour. The two boys were called Akamatsu, meaning ‘red pine', and Oumi, ‘blue sea', while the girls' names were Shirane, ‘white root', and Kurono, ‘black field'. Tazaki was the only last name with no colour in it.

One day Tsukuru Tazaki’s friends announced that they didn’t want to see him, or talk to him, ever again.

Since that day Tsukuru has been floating through life, unable to form intimate connections with anyone. But then he meets Sara, who tells him that the time has come to find out what happened all those years ago.

    Colourless Tusuku Tazaki is exactly as the summary said: a story of friendship. There was once a tightly knit group of five friends. All had colour in their name, all but one. Colourless Tazaki. Years later, the colourless one was rejected dejected pushed out of the group and into the sea. And he swam that ocean alone at night (that's a metaphor, by the way) in till the (possibly) love of his life helps him confront his past and find the answers as to what happened 16 years ago.
    The pace was slow and smooth and slightly calm and I loved it. The style of the story, I felt, was a bit unusual, but I liked it. The main character is your usual everyday single man with a troubled past he would like to put behind him. He has this fascination with trains and also designs train stations, which is cool...and unusual and slightly weird. And he considers himself colourless because he has nothing remarkable to offer to the group of friends nor the world other than train stations.
 
 
    The book was full of flashbacks, which, from what I've heard, is a signature move for Murikami. Tsukuru does confronts his past, and the results were very shocking.
    There were surprised and heart-pounding moments; bizzar, strange, painful, and WOW! moments; and there were moments where the past was revisited. And there was the end, which was incomplete. But, honestly, with everything that had occurred and the lids unscrewed from pot of secrets and memories, I was satisfied with it.
 
    There are writers who Tell and not Show, those who Show and not Tell, and there are those who Show and Tell.
    I received and ARC of this from Random House of Canada--thank you.
   

Friday, 13 June 2014

Un-named Short Story

This story was part a dossier(anthology) of poems and such that I did for school. I had no idea where this story was headed, but just wrote what I felt like, and this was what came out--best way to break  writer's block.
Oh, and, as you can see, this story has no name; if you think of something, put t in the comments below, please and thank you.
 
Short Story (without a name)
Unedited and unrevised version

    I never saw it coming. No one did.

    I mean, we always knew she was mental and crazy, but she’s been pretty normal lately, docile, and nobody wanted to break the peacefulness that settled over the house. We never suspected a thing. And it cost us.

    I just came back from our worst game ever—we lost by a land slide to the Kanyon High Cougars—and was surprised and relived that my brothers weren’t waiting at school to tease me about it. I headed home, taking the long way, all the while dreading what kind of humiliation they had planned for me for losing the game. Now that I look back, I would have done anything to have stayed in that moment, where I worried only about trivial things.

    I arrived home half an hour or fifthteen minutes before sun down, and sensed something strange. You know that sixth sense that warns you when something bad was about to happen? Yeah, that’s what I felt, and ignored.

    I walked up the porch steps of the white and blue Victorian style house—built 2005—and found the door to be locked. I knocked, no one answered. This was nothing new or weird because my brothers and I did it all the time to her. Guess I was due for a little pay back. And our parents were out of town for the week, so we wouldn’t get in trouble.

    “Hey, open up!” I yelled as I knocked again. I had given up and was prepared to knock the door down or spend the night outside when I heard the click. I grabbed the knob before someone could lock it again and went in.

    The smell was the first thing that greeted me. It was coppery and musty. I could never have guessed what it was then.

    Then she appeared from behind the door.

    “Hello, big brother,” my nine-year-old little sister said to me. Her small, timid voice betraying nothing of what I later learned had occurred.

    I had not closed the door, and the setting sun could still be seen; that might have been what saved me. She raised the knife, sunlight bouncing off of it, in a ready-to-strike position. “Let’s play a game,” she took a step forward. Her voice was no longer timid. Instead, it was now louder, an octave higher and showing the signs of her schizophrenia. “The others didn’t want to play with me.”

    What happened next was nowhere near heroic. Not at all. I was simply not raised that way, and neither was she.

I turned and ran. I did not need to stay; I already knew where they were and what happened to them—to her otherbig brothers. I had the visuals in my head; I did not need nor want to see it with my own eyes. I ran through the neighbourhood, not making any sounds. I was scared—okay, frightened—and nonplussed. I was always this way, a ‘fraidy-cat. Coward. Though my public persona never showed it, and the mask eventually stuck and I pretended to be this hero who loved his sister. It was all fake.

    I wasn’t sure what happened next. The sky grew dark. I couldn’t see, then, I felt pain and collapsed to the ground. Then I felt nothing, either.

                                              . . . . .

One week later

I hit a lamp post and passed out. How lame is that? I bumped into a lamp post and passed out. Told you I was no hero, and the evidences were right in front of me. The three coffins, one of them kid size, being lowered to the ground could attest to that.         

But what did I do? I pretended.         

I let some tears fall. I kept quiet. And I said the eulogy that I did not write. They fell for it, ate it all up. This is the mask that I would hide behind for the rest of my life—and I was vain enough that I was okay with that.

Hiding behind a mask.

 

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Looking for Alex




By: Marion Dillon


First off, I was given a temporary copy for viewing from NetGalley(thank you!), and because I had only a few more hours before it expired, I had to skim and skip a lot.
On May 13, 2013, Dan--who was a little boy the last time Beth saw him--conveniently showed up to see if the name he saw matched the person from his memory. It did, and his visit brought Beth's memories of the summer of 1977 back to the surface--memories of a one-sided friendship, rebellion and punk, loves and losses.
The book alternated between flashbacks and the present.
A little summary:
In 1977, Beth best friend, Alex, ran away. Beth got a phone call from Alex, and followed her to London to bring her home. The Alex that greeted her was not the girl she knew anymore.
Alex refused to come home, stating that her father hit her and her mother never did anything about it. For the duration of the summer, Beth and Alex lived with strangers, until Alex ran away again, and Beth's parents showed up.
In the end, she--I think--with the help of Fitz, tracked down Alex and adult Beth and a different Alex talked things over, forgiving the already forgiven.
The adult Beth saw that Alex's reasons were weak, while younger Beth couldn't see that Alex didn't just ran away, she disappeared(and let's just say that she was really good at it, too). How well do we know our friends, now, compared to the past or future, was the thought it provoked. And, like the cover said, there are 2 sides to every betrayal.

LET'S TALK ABOUT FITZ: music nerd, loyal, pretty decent cook, and had an Irish accent. Gush!

Was Looking for Alex, good? Did I enjoy it? Yes, it was overall a 'good' book. I liked it at some parts, but I couldn't get through it all. I could only give this book a 3, though I might have enjoyed it more without the deadline a few hours away--damn myself for not reading this sooner! But, yes, this was an interesting book--especially Celia, with her jungle room.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Double Dare

We were given partners and had to write a short story that is about self-discovery or  responsibility. While my partners wrote the majority voted story, I could not stop myself from writing this story that bloomed in my head a week ago in Health class, where we were recommended to try this thing called abstinence.
I apologize for any grammar or spelling mistakes since I just finished writing this ten minutes ago and had yet to go over it with a fine-tooth comb.
And to my ELA teacher: I know some of the words in here are inappropriate for school but the only rule you set was that it had to be of grade 8 level; I did not break any rules.

Ladies and gentlemen, here it is:  
Double Dare
                            A SHORT STORY BY SUNNY YANG
 

            Jenna Follisco is a slut. Really, just ask anybody, and they would all agree with me. Everyone in the cafeteria saw ‘it’ when she tripped and ‘it’ fell out of her backpack—and, honestly, who would lug a backpack around, and it was not even designer.

            Most of the tables fell silent when they heard the rattling sound of pills due to the fact that we all went through Nurse Anne’s health class in junior high. Felicity, my bestie, got up and walked over to Jenna, who was on the floor, dazed and tense from tripping over Brandon’s sudden outstretched leg—such a klutz—and picked up the bottle that fell out of the brown girl’s backpack.

            She examined the bottle, and, with a look of disgust, dropped it on Jenna’s head.

            “You’ll need that, slut,” she turned on her heels—“And don’t get yourself pregnant, you know pills only work 90 percent of the time”—and walked away.

            See? The evidence was right there! Jenna is on the pill, and, therefore, having sex at the ripe old age of 14. And, by the end of the day, everyone knew her for what she was; a slut, and soon-to-be prostitute—there was no denying where she was headed in life.

                                                                            . . .                                                                           

            That night, we were at Delilah’s house for a little get-together, and it was y turn.

            “Dare,” I chose, and gave everyone a look that dared them to think up something good. Only Felicity spoke.

            “I dare you to befriend the harlot,” she deadpanned.

            I bent on knee and rested my chin on it, “Go on.”

            “I want the inside scoop,” something gleamed in her eyes. “In three hours, rumors, if we add all the names, managed to say that she slept with nearly half the freshmen-male population, and a few lesbian—but I want the exact number.” Now, I recognized the gleam in her eyes as malice.

            I accepted the dare because I’m a dare kinda girl.

. . .

            Eleven days later, Wednesday, the harlot showed her face, again.

            “Look at her,” Felicity snorted. “Acting all high and mighty when there is nothing to be proud of.”

            Jenna was walking down the hall with her head held high, face expressionless, and medusa eyes that made all who looked flinch and turn away with guilt. She had quite a backbone for a lower-classman.

            The loud whisper resumed when Jenna turned a corner, and I do mean loud.

            Brandon, my twin, stared at the corner where Jenna turned into with remorse. He was the one who tripped her, and he had done it on purpose, then, and now regrets it dearly—he told me so last night after dinner, about the way his buddies mocked the Follisco name and how he wanted to speak up, to defend with violence, but didn’t.

            I felt no guilt. Unlike all the nimrods now rushing to class, I told no lie—I had evidence, they didn’t.

. . .

            I gritted my teeth. Here I was, a senior, sacrificing my time to talk to the school slut, and not even a thank you. I was a dare kind of girl, so I accepted the dare and here I was, trying to befriend this ungrateful inferior.

            “I just want to help,” god, I sound like a kids show.

             “You’re Felicity’s friend,” she insinuated.

            Felicity’s friend? Was that all I am? Why she…I was the class president three years in-a-row in junior high, captain of both the math and soccer team and lead us to nationals. I was not some dumb blonde who followed Felicity, the cheer captain, around like a puppy. And besides, my hair was red, not blond.

            I grounded my teeth together, the sound loud and obvious outside on the empty school lawn. Again, I said something ridiculous and could only be found in children television shows; “I wanna be your friend.” Felicity so owed me for this.

            The insufferable thing leaned back into the tree behind her, crossed her ankles and placed her hands behind her head. My blood boiled seeing her be so confident when she has no right to. “If you’re wondering if the rumors are true, the answer is no; I’ve slept with more than half the freshmen population. As for everything else, yes, they’re are all true.

            “Now that you have completed your dare, you can run along back to your mistress.”

            I lost it. “No one owns me, you spoiled brat!”

            She smirked, “Look who’s talking.”

            I was angry at her—and me. She remained calm and collected while I reined in my temper. When at last I did, I said “You a dare kind of girl?”

            “Takes one to know one,” she said, the smirk gone.

            I took a deep breath and sat down, took a pear out of my book bag, and bit into it. We stayed silent, residual anger still seeping out of me while she was all cool and calm―she’s worse than Felicity. But it wasn’t every day I met a fellow dare-girl, so I wasted my lunch hour outside with bugs again the next day, debating the topic of the apocalypse with a harlot, and it continued like this for while. She stopped insinuate that I was Felicity’s lap dog, and I, in turn, did not embarrass us both with dialogues that belong in early childhood and children’s television.

            I completed only half of the dare, I kept telling myself. And I am only working on the other half, not, in actuality, befriending the harlot. But I found myself enjoying Jenna’s company and always looking forward to talking about random subjects and conspiracies that Felicity always brushed off as too ‘childish’ and a ‘waste of time.’

. . .

Three months later, Felicity confronted me. I had been dreading this moment, and was surprised she didn’t do it earlier; I just wanted to get this over with as soon as possible.

She came to my house on a Sunday in December. I saw her coming from my bedroom window, answered the doorbell before it rang, and, all in one breath, said “Felicity, hi! Sorry we haven’t chat lately, but, um, I still haven’t broached the subject of the pills, yet. But the numbers turned out to be higher than―”

“Is the harlot pregnant?” She asked matter a factly.

My expression must have been answer enough, because she pushed past me and walked in―without taking her shoes off. “Take off your shoes,” I yelled after her, and she stopped in her tracks, and did as my mother had always told her to the few times she had come over.

I sat at my desk, and she on a bean bag chair in the corner of the room, talking. While I had the flu and stayed home, so did Jenna. But rumors, being rumors, had the crazy idea that

Jenna was knocked up and was not at school because she had an abortion or miscarriage and lost lots of blood―which was ridiculous and absurd on its own. And I could not believe that Felicity would fall for the idiocy of it. Where was the evidence?

            When I pointed this out to her, she countered with a “That’s what I want you to find out,” then got up and left.

. . .

Though I still believed Jenna was not a virgin, I no longer saw her as a slut or harlot, and her future seemed to hold more than prostitution. But I still felt the need to see for myself what was going on with her. She had been acting a bit skittish for the past 2 weeks, very un-Jenna; no longer the cool cat, but the frightened mouse.

I called her cell phone, but no one answered. I tried again; still no one answered. I called a third time and ended with the same results. Left with no other option, I got ready to brave the snow outside.

Brandon was at the door when I came down bundled up in a thick, blue coat―I was very sensitive to cold. One look said what was needed to be said, and we headed towards Jenna’s house together.

Brandon had joined our daily chit chat one day and he and Jenna instantly hit it off. I was amused. He caused Jenna to let her cool slip a few times and a kid showed up from under her persona; and Jenna got Brandon to blush like a school girl with her wild tales of night time activities that always ended with a wink, wink.

After all that, Brandon still felt responsible for everything, especially the graffiti of words in both the boys’ and girls’ bathroom―even though he was the only one who bothered trying to wash the vulgar words off and ended up painting over them with pink. In both the boys’ and girls’ bathroom.

. . .

Brandon was holding Jenna in a position that allowed her to vomit into the bucket beside her bed. Once she was done throwing up, she went limp as a rag doll in Brandon’s arms. I grabbed the bucket of vomit and dumped the contents into the toilet and flushed it, then washed the bucket and returned it to its original spot beside Jenna’s bed.

In the other room were Jenna’s parents. Jen’s mom, Elle Follisco was at the last day of her menstrual cycle, and faring better her daughter, who was not as used to it as she was. They both have primary dysmenorrhoea.

Jenna took the birth control pills to delay and regulate her periods to every three months, not because she was having sex. I should have known―well; actually, I couldn’t have known that she took the pills for any other reason than to keep from getting knocked up because her public persona was the kind of confident one who was complimented on a daily basis would have. But Brandon had guessed, I think; he was the only one who managed to unearth the child underneath the mask, and the one who stopped Jenna’s tears―pain killers helped, a bit.

That day in the cafeteria, I was the first one to say that she was indubitably having sex because...what else would you need birth controls for? Tomorrow, I would patch the hole I made and other, too.

But first, I had something I need to do; I could tell Brandon and Jenna would remain just friend forever if I don’t give them a push in the right direction.

“Hey, Jen,” I said after she woke up and was sure she was not going to throw up any time soon.


“Yeah?”

“You a dare kind of girl?”

“Takes one to know one.”

“Then, I dare you to kiss Brandon.”

Both their heads shot up and they stared at me.

I laughed, and teased them “Go on, you know you want to­―and Brandon’s too chicken to make the first move.”

They blushed and peaked at each other. It looked like something out of a cheesy YA romance novel.

“Well, do you accept the dare?” I felt the beginning of a grin on my face.

She looked straight at me, the cat back, and didn’t say anything. Instead, she and Brandon stared at each other, adoration in their eyes, and I took that as my cue to leave.

 

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Dreams and Shadows--movie adaption

published February 1st 2013
 
SUMMARY
A brilliantly crafted modern tale from acclaimed film critic and screenwriter C. Robert Cargill—part Neil Gaiman, part Guillermo Del Toro, part William S. Burroughs—that charts the lives of two boys from their star-crossed childhood in the realm of magic and mystery to their anguished adulthoods

There is another world than our own—one no closer than a kiss and one no further than our nightmares—where all the stuff of which dreams are made is real and magic is just a step away. But once you see that world, you will never be the same.

Dreams and Shadows takes us beyond this veil. Once bold explorers and youthful denizens of this magical realm, Ewan is now an Austin musician who just met his dream girl, and Colby, meanwhile, cannot escape the consequences of an innocent wish. But while Ewan and Colby left the Limestone Kingdom as children, it has never forgotten them. And in a world where angels relax on rooftops, whiskey-swilling genies argue metaphysics with foul-mouthed wizards, and monsters in the shadows feed on fear, you can never outrun your fate.

Dreams and Shadows is a stunning and evocative debut about the magic and monsters in our world and in our self.
 
 
Now, if I were rating this on a plot-only scale--meaning, based on just what happened and how awesome it all was--I'd give it 5 stars. But if I were to add in the character analyse, and thought of the story as a whole with what in and out--if I was a really hard-core critic--and if I based my judgements on what is correct and incorrect and not by whether or not I had fun while reading it, then I'd give this book a whopping 1; one away from being trash.
    But I did enjoy reading this book and loved it and the only flaw that irked me was the grammar. And the strangest thing occurred; I am a person with responsibilities who is afraid of the dark and thinks there is a blood Mary-zombie monster/ghost in my bathroom sometimes--but this gruesome-bloody-gory book did not scare me. And I' m talking about child-snatching, mother-hanging-herself-because-her-changeling-son-told-her-to, turning-people-inside-out-and-the-innards-spilling-out, and Wild Hunt-from-Hell scary.
    So, yeah, I liked this book a lot and recommends it to all.
    But now I, if I was viewing this from a tough critic's view, then I'd still love it because that critic would be me, but I would also point out that the characters all seemed flat and there weren't many, if any, development in characters.
    And I feel I should point out that this book would make a great movie/show--not just horror, but also romance with a pinch of funny. It seems obvious, though, considering the author is a film critic, it was completely expected that the book read like film.
  
    Sunny~  

 


Friday, 30 May 2014

Psychos: a White Girl Problems

 
SUMMARY:Fresh from a four-month stint in rehab for her “alleged” shopping addiction, Babe Walker returns home to Bel Air ten pounds lighter (thanks to a stomach virus), having made amends (she told a counselor with bad skin she was smart) and confronted her past (after meeting her birth mother for the first time—a fashion model turned farmer lesbian). Although delighted to be home and determined to maintain her hard-won inner peace, Babe now faces a host of outside forces seemingly intent on derailing her path to positive change. Not only is she being trailed by an anonymous stalker, but she’s also reunited with the love of her life, a relationship that she cannot seem to stop self-sabotaging.

Babe’s newfound spirituality, coupled with her faith in the universe and its messages, leads her all over the world: shoulder dancing in Paris, tripping out in Amsterdam, and hooking up in the Mediterranean, only to land her back in New York City, forced to choose between a man who is perfect in every way (except for one small detail) and a man who could be The One if only he didn’t drive Babe to utter insanity.

REVIEW
 
Please don't take this personally; I did not like this book all that much and couldn't finish it. I only made it to page 13 before giving up because Babe was not the type of character I liked--the truth is, from the start, I did not like her, at all. I do feel her character will develop further on in the book but I just could not stand her character:
 "I was annoyed that the focus wasn't 100 percent on me an my struggles, because I'm pretty sure I was the one who just got out of rehab, but I just smiled and nodded." Ugh.
Babe was once a shopaholic but went into rehab and is now an overly confident non-shopaholic who--from what I saw of he fashion sketch--has a cool sense of style but still, in my opinion, spends too much time on her appearance.
Don't take my words too seriously, though, because this book happened to be the sequel to a book I have not read and I was not the targeted audience for Babe Walker; I might have enjoyed reading this if I was. What I read from other reviews on this sounded really interesting but I hated he characters too much.
If you happen to like this of story, then go for it. Read it--then gush about how much you loved it to everyone because someone needs to do it, and I am an unwilling participant for that job.
Sunny~

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Days of Blood and Starlight




SUMMARY
Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war.

This is not that world.


Art student and monster's apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is—and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.

In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life.

While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope.

But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?


REVIEW
                                                         ...this is me speechless...
Laini Taylor did a magnificent job of world-building and don't even get me started on the flashbacks--genius. Makes me wanna SING praises. Perfectly crafted and timed, I loved this book even more than the first one and is very exited to get my hands on the third book.

Full review will be written after I've read the third book

Friday, 9 May 2014

Mother's day

I don't know if any of you have noticed, but, Mother's Day is this Sunday. I already have Sunday's meals planned out and I sure hope you have something planned for your mothers because carrying that extra weight for 9 months is not fun (not that I have first-hand experience). And if you haven't and need something, there are a plethora of Mother's day songs on the internet.

Below is a few plus a tribute video I found.





I know, this one isn't really suitable for Mother's day, but I like it--plus, it's titled Mama's song.



And here's the tribute video I found--you might even see this in ads across Youtube.



Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Allison James prologue



The beginning…what was it? Some would say it was the day they were born, while others would say it otherwise.

I am if the former.

I was given life at birth—that was my beginning, the day I became a living, breathing being.

But I am also of the latter.

 

I watched her from the door. The doctor was checking her symptoms over, and over again, looking for the cause of the illness. He checked her temperature once more; cold. He shook his head, said something to John in a foreign tongue I had yet to master but could now translate to, “There’s no hope; give her this, a swift death,” handed him a little brown bottle from his bag, and left.

And a swift death was given.

I watched her as she took her last labouring breath, as she was lowered into the ground, as she was buried in the earth she once walked upon. I did not watch as

John gave her the swift death, I knew.

I retreated into myself, reading at the table that was now too quiet and empty without her. I read the books we used to read together, continued my studies but not understanding them without her guidance. I could not make sense of the science of the Earth without her there.

Three months later, I took ill. The same symptoms of her illness showed on mine. The doctor, once again, could not determine a diagnosis.

“I’m afraid there is nothing I could do.” He sighed, shaking his head of a ridiculously tall, white powdered wig, and left. No little brown bottle, this time.

John read to me. Or he tried to, at least. I had corrected him for what seemed like the millionth time when I broke into a coughing fit.

When I stopped exhaling my lungs out through my oesophagus, I said, “I wish to die.”

John closed the book. “If you are gone, who will teach me to read?”

Even then, with the pain and cold, I had chosen to stay. But that didn’t mean I did not still wished for death.

I repeated the words, “I wish to die,” in many forms until I was too tired to move my lips. My blink drooped and froze at a shut position.

A pregnant moment later, John spoke. “Allison?”

I managed a hum that indicated that I heard him.

“It’s October 16th.”

I cracked open an eye to peer at him, “Mama’s birthday?”

He nodded. “And yours.”

Mama, her mother, and I were all born on the 16th of October. Some said it was fate or the work of God; I don't believe it to be so, or a paranormal occurrence— it was just pure coincidence and genes, nothing more, nothing less.

“Let’s go see her.”

I nodded and coughed a little before weakly climbing out of bed. We took twice as long to arrive at the final resting place of Jane Jones; a poppy garden, the tissue-y flowers covering Poulton Hill Grave half genetically engineered and half natural.

As we stood in silence before my mother’s grave, thoughts struck me. I was alive while she was not; I lived.

 

Before I lived, I was halfway dead.

           

            I live.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

 
 
SUMMARY
Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands", she speaks many languages - not all of them human - and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?
 
REVIEW
 
This book should be in the suspense genre--oh, wait, *checks genre list*, it is--on my bookshelf, that is.
Laini Taylor made everything drag on, kept mysteries for chapters at a time, and wrote in a cryptic, riddling way, and, at times, was funny and quirky.
    
    AND I LOVED IT! And she didn't drag EVERYTHING. Fight scenes--minus one--were short--which I liked because fight scenes aren't really that easy for me patiently read; I'd never completely read a fight scene, ever.
 
   I loved the suspense that seemed to lure me in, made me turn the page until the end. And there was a lot of flashbacks and memories, most of them needed to be shorten or placed at some other part of the novel--but never removed. NEVER REMOVED.
   I confess, I was listening to the audiobook--I know, lazy me. And the characters were all so interesting and real--probably because I was listening to the audiobook instead of reading.
I will atone for my audiobook-sin by READING the next 2 books using my retina instead of auditory cortex (I might have gotten those science-y words wrong).
    I really wish all authors could write with such perfect balance of creativity, writing technic, and suspense. Scratch that, too much suspense is not good for my heart.
 
    I am currently reading Days of Blood and Starlight and LOVING it to DEATH--there is a lot of DEATH, blood and starlight in the second novel.
 
Sunny
 
Postscript. Will write a full-scale review/praise/book talk once I've read the third book, which came out a month ago--good thing, too, 'cause I don't think I could have quietly waited, this time.

Friday, 25 April 2014

Cress

Cress

by Marissa Meyer
 
 
SUMMARY:
 
   In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

   Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who's only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

    When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.
 
 
REVIEW/BOOK TALK (SPOILERS):
    Holy. Crap.
    OMG! So much suspense! And Cinder has no idea how to be a leader. But Kai will help her.
    So much happens in this book, and we meet Cress, who, if you haven't guessed already, is Dr. Erland's daughter! But the reunion was not the usual kind of heartwarming. And Throne, so charming, even in dangerous times. He likes a challenge; "no survival skills? let's honeymoon in the desert. Can't see? let's play poker." Iko gets a new body; n escort droid.
    Cute, funny, action and adventure-packed, I loved it, absolutely loved it. For those of you who have been fans of the Lunar Chronicles, let me mention to you that there is only one more book before the chronicle comes to an end. I'm feeling nostalgic and emotional, but I know the 4th installment will be fantastic with an ending to end all endings. And we'll see more of princess Winter, who, if you've read Cress, had only 2 friends. One of whom I suspect is Cinder because Winter mentioned something about one friend turning to ashes of something when she was little.
    I'm so psyched for the next book!
 
     My favorite part has always been ones where Cinder and Kai are together. In this book, there aren't many of those scenes, but they're there. Was anyone else frustrated at Cinder for not just telling Kai straight up? And WTH? there is only ONE kiss scene--ONE!
    I don't remember any cliff hanger for his book, and I think Meyer ended it perfectly.
    "You said yourself that the people of Luna need a revolutionary. So I'm going to Luna, and I'm going to start a revolution."
    That. Was. Amazing! It ended one story and I don't feel like there is any cliff hanger at the end. Though, through out the book, there was suspense with every chapter.
    Share your thoughts and join in on discussions on Goodreads.


Thursday, 24 April 2014

Book Tigress 2

ATTENTION!!!

    After many editing fails, I've decided to not move to a new blog. So, yeah, sorry guys, but my Youtube Channels are still up, so, if you want to check those out in 2 to 3 months, great! I )hopefully) see you then.
    Oh, and Tiger Childrens have been changed to Tiger Children (without the 's')

Book Tigress

    ATTENTION!!!
    SunnyWorkshop will be moving to a new web page: Book Tigress. Meaning, I will no longer post here. This page will stay, though (hopefully), and all post here will be re-posted on Book Tigress.           
    Also, check out my Youtube channel, Tiger Childrens (yes, with an 's' at the end), in 2 to 3 months to see me eat bloodwurts(I think that's what it's called), failingly teach you all to read in Chinese while struggling to comprehend the language myself, and come with me on mountain climbing trips in China. Of course, no summer is complete without my mother dragging me to shopping malls. Oh! I forgot to mention the markets--trust me, you will not find anything like it anywhere else other than Asia.
    And there's my book talk channel, Book Tigress, too.
 
See ya
Sunny~


Monday, 14 April 2014

Moonlight

Moonlight

Published March 3rd 2009 by HarperTeen
 
 
SUMMARY:
I see him and I know what this turmoil inside of me means: He's the one. My forever. KAYLA is the nature lover, the all-American beauty who can't understand why she's so drawn to distant, brooding Lucas. Adopted as a young child, she has no way of knowing that she's inherited a terrifying-and thrilling-gene that will change her life forever.

LUCAS is dangerous, gorgeous ... and a werewolf. As leader of the Dark Guardians, shape-shifters who gather deep within the state park, he has sworn to protect his pack. But when Lucas finds his true soul mate, his love could put them all in harm's way.

As Lucas and Kayla struggle with their feelings for each other, a greater danger lurks: Humans have discovered the Dark Guardians and are planning their destruction. Kayla must choose between the life she knows and the love she feels certain is her destiny.
 
REVIEW 1 star
    Boring and a complete mind-candy.
   Every problem was solved just *snap fingers* like that. There were no actually solving the problems. And the main character, Kayla, was immensely boring. In fact, all the characters were improbable--no, impossible--and absurdly underdeveloped. As I was reading, all my thoughts were:
    "Oh, my goodness, is this a joke?"
    "This is ridiculous."
    "Hawthorne just had to make Lucas a hot and thoughtful guy, didn't she?"
    "This book is a total mind candy."
    And many more.
    There were no plot. It's as if the author thought this as she wrote: "This and this will happen, but how will the problem be solved, oh, I know; this and that will happen, everyone lives but for the villain, and TADA! happily ever after. The End."
    And throw in an orphan female character with a troubled past while you're at it, will you?
    Oh, and swearing an oath to be on a council-of-sort that protect the entire wolf pack. That's it? All you have to do to become a dark guardian, a protector, is to swear a simple, cliché oath. What if the person swearing the oath was insincere or weak? Shouldn't the test be harder? One where they had to pass trainings, win fights, show bravery, strength, loyalty, and selflessness.
    There was only one part that I tolerated because it was adorable. Puppy adorable.
    Don't even bother to read it to see if my words were right.
    I was disappointed from page one because I kinda liked Hawthorne's Year Abroad trilogy and had expected more from this novel.
 
    Signed,
    a very gloomy and somber Sunny~
 
 
 

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

John Dreamer

John Dreamer

published February 1st 2014
 
 
SUMMARY
Andy wasn’t usually sure about much, but she was absolutely certain this was the weirdest day of her life as she stood stranded in the middle of a great white room with six strangers. Well, they were mostly strangers. She could have sworn she’d seen the guy with the green eyes before, and maybe that was why he kept staring at her.

When a man calling himself the Guardian appeared and said they had come to make their deepest dreams come true, they embark on an adventure none of them ever imagined, and the consequences of their actions would change them forever.

REVIEW
    No. No, no, no, no, NO! She could not end it like that--she just COULN'T!
    But she did, and she could...'cause it's her book.
    John Dreamer was entertaining, at times funny, and...eccentric. For one thing, there was this one character who was 80's disco theme, then bathtub shower(it's a private joke). Upon finishing, I was mad and screaming no, no, no, no, no, no, NO! Yeah, there is a cliff hanger that I suspect will ever be unhanged.
    This book is about 7 teenagers who suddenly found themselves in a white room with no recollection as to how they got there. They all had some kind of issue--things happened to them. You know, the usual; bullying, teasing, ignored-and-invisible, fear of something, self-doubt, family issues, etc. And, coincidentally, their birthdays all landed on March 3rd. 
    In the white room,  they had to face their fears and they will 'never be the same again'.
 
                 "The only thing in this place that's true; you will not return to he life you knew."
   
    The main character, Andy, was first to arrive in the white room. She then saw John, and as she fell in love, she said, "Scientists states that it only takes eight-and-a-half seconds to fall in love at
 first sight". Seriously, she counted. "One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, eight-and-a-half".
    I never knew the characters all that well before they were sort of 'killed off'. If I had to choose a favorite, I would indubitably choose the Guardian. He's like a child in a grown man's body and also the 80's-then-bathtub guy I talked about in the beginning.
    John Dreamer has its ups and downs and I would give this book a 3.7 or 4 star depending on what mood I am in. Right now, I am feeling 3.7. It's a book for...people, I guess. Someone who does not like this type of literature might like it more than someone who live and breath contemporary-fantasy--who knows. It's just the type of book that if you liked it, you liked it no matter where your usual interest lie.
 
Beware the cliff hanger
Sunny~