So you know that voice inside your head that narrates the story as you read the text on the page?
I just realised that most authors that I have read up to this point in my life have been of either American or British descent and also almost all of the books I have read were published in western society.
This got me thinking
The voice the author had while writing say a set of dialogue is different to the voice I hear when I read the exact same dialogue.
For example, if I’m reading a novel where two American teenagers go to a burger joint I’m assuming the author gave them American accents and western mannerisms.
As reading is a subconscious endeavour, despite the characters being American I give them the Australian accent I grew up learning. This is simply because I haven’t been exposed to real world American accents as much
Doesn’t that strike you as the weirdest thing?
50 people in a room could be reading the exact same page but since they have different backgrounds, life experiences etc ultimately they’re never really reading the exact same page.
I guess this is a really good way of understanding diversity and how when we travel beyond surface level everybody has a completely different worldview from yours.
I feel like John Green always delivers a unique addition to the coming of age genre. This wasn’t my favourite book ever or anything but like any other John Green book, it left its mark
The protagonist Aza is unlike anything I’ve ever read before. Right from the beginning the reader can tell that a lot of research and meticulation went into creating this character with all these problems. She almost felt too flawed at times but maybe that was the point. This book allows you to get inside the head of someone who is literally struggling with their mental health on a cellular level. It’s not an easy task to put yourself in someone’s shoes so deeply and Green does that beautifully.
In terms of the plot itself, while the mysterious disappearance does attract you at the beginning, you soon realise that it is not the main attraction of this novel. I think the message Green was trying to send across by making the mystery secondary was that in real life mysteries aren’t all that grand. This isn’t a dramatic thriller novel after all. It does however, work as an element of intrigue throughout the whole novel.
In comparison to Aza the rest of the characters felt quite flat, like they were placeholders. I really didn’t feel the overwhelming romance shining through. I did however, enjoy the perspective that the novel gives you. I mean you’re always going from being close to Aza on a cellular level to zooming out and seeing the story as a whole.
Pieces is a new addition here on Infinity Reads where I share some fictional pieces of writing I have written. Happy Blogmas Day Six!
Trojan’s War was a spur of the moment writing adventure. The original story is five pages so I’ve decided to add only a little snippet
“Watch your step, girl”
Spat a toned man as she bumped into him.
Probably another blood thirsty bastard from the fighting pits
She could take him down. A jerk in the knee, a twist of the shoulder and a revolver to his head would bring the coward out in him.
But no. Trojan wasn’t here to attract attention, pulling her hood even lower she continued into an alley where it was hard to find ground amongst the sewage water. Trying to ignore the smell of shit she entered the first house on her right.
What was supposed to be a hospital had become the equivalent of an overflowing refugee camp. The sick lay on either side of her as she walked down the aisle trying not to step on a bleeding arm here or a disfigured face there. The only nurse in sight fed someone from a cup, she eyed Trojan suspiciously but by now she must’ve been used to the unexpected turnout of people so one more didn’t exactly matter.
But that wasn’t even the worst of it.
It was the wailing that drove Trojan mad.
Children wailing from hunger, men and women wailing to the Gods above for mercy, the old ones wailing for death to take them. So much sorrow and she couldn’t do a thing to help.
Because she was here to pick up a bomb.
“Within the storage room at the back, you will find a box of syringes, in there should be another box, wooden, you’ll know when you see it, and it’s very small but highly lethal”
Lord had given her those instructions while briefing her mission but as always, he’d forgotten to be specific enough.
It was a hospital which meant the storage room was full of syringes and with the welcome she’d received upon entering who knew however many sorts of diseases these things were carrying!
Using the folds of her robe as cover Trojan gingerly pursued from one shelf to another.
No. Wool gauges no. Ew was that blood. No. Oh wait yes
A dusty, transparent box full of syringes opened and unopened now rested in Trojan’s hands. Instead of digging her hands into the horrifying stack she emptied it on the floor hoping the noise wouldn’t bring any attention.
It stood out like a thorn between roses, smaller than her palm and wooden as Lord had said, it was ugly.
But Trojan liked ugly, ugly meant anger and she had plenty of that
“Twist the knob on the bottom, give it ten seconds and boom”
Lord had gestured so wildly with his hands and the glint in his eyes had made even Trojan uncomfortable.
“You know what that means right”
Lord had said, trying to look sympathetic but failing, no, he knew how this was going to go down all along.
Pieces is a new feature here on Infinity Reads where I share some fictional pieces of writing I have done over the year. Happy Blogmas Day Two!
The first installment is a monologue I had to write for my English class. It portrays the internal battle writers experience in a field where rejection becomes second nature. The monologue was inspired by Slyvia Plath’s poem ‘Words’
My tears transform into blood and submerge amongst the words imprinted upon the ominous letter. Each line of criticism is like the blow of an “axe” to my already fragile mind. Self-doubt courses through my body in a series of waves like those of an ocean filled with restless energy. There is an air of anticipation, specifically the gnawing sensation that this might be the time I won’t emerge from the depths of this ceaseless darkness that remains deeply ingrained in my existence.
The monster hides in the darkest crevices of my mind, bearing hot pincers and razor-sharp teeth, to whisper devious encouragements in the dead of the night. A false sense of purpose overpowers me until the words: like a galloping “horse” in an open field, begin to flood the pages, and I am left drowning and devoid of energy. Days and nights blur into the meaningless expanse of time, where my mind recognises only the cravings of the monster, and I subject myself to its will just to keep writing. My writing becomes my life.
Then the letters arrive. Each like a knife searing through my brittle existence, annihilating through my writing, through my life. The monster punishes me by digging its pincers into my brain, persisting with reckless abandon that I am to blame for the demise of my art, somewhere in my heart I believe it to be the truth. My state of being is defined by the food left untouched on the table, as well as the refusal to confront the plethora of unread messages on my phone. The “sap” of “tears” that floods not only from my eyes, but from my art, is a failed journey towards healing. Most prominently it is a reminder of the rejection that I ascertain will define the deterioration of my soul.
The monster, now seemingly satisfied with the depth of suffering I’ve endured, instructs me to fight back. It reassures me that rejection is part of my cosmic existence, and in order to relieve the pain, I must simply embrace it. There is a voice of reason in my mind that despises the idea of my art fading into oblivion, and it knows that fighting back will simply mean I further lose myself in this labyrinth of suffering. This voice knows that to preserve the remainder of my sanity, I must hide in the recesses of my mind. I decide to “submerge” myself in the mundane, like a stone hiding under the water in blissful ignorance. My art becomes an echo of a past lifetime: the words disappear under the weight of this world, replaced by a “weedy green” life of celebrating another’s success while my life-work resides in oblivion.
“Years later I encounter” my art in the crevices of moving boxes where dust has settled onto the pages, and the words have become “dry and riderless”. There remains nothing to give them life, as the spark inside me extinguished long ago. The memories of the monster and its encouragements are now but a distant echo. Yet, as I light fire to the pages, the words “govern a life” of their own: they dance among the ashes, away from this world that never saw their beauty, travelling into a realm that has the ability to cherish the power they possess.
As I turn away, I feel pincers clawing in the back of my mind. Blood, axes, horses, tears, my art, and a voice with razor-sharp teeth whispers into my consciousness.
Mary Shelley began writing Frankenstein when she was only eighteen. At once a Gothic thriller, a passionate romance, and a cautionary tale about the dangers of science, Frankenstein tells the story of committed science student Victor Frankenstein. Obsessed with discovering the cause of generation and life and bestowing animation upon lifeless matter, Frankenstein assembles a human being from stolen body parts but; upon bringing it to life, he recoils in horror at the creature’s hideousness. Tormented by isolation and loneliness, the once-innocent creature turns to evil and unleashes a campaign of murderous revenge against his creator, Frankenstein.
Frankenstein, an instant bestseller and an important ancestor of both the horror and science fiction genres, not only tells a terrifying story, but also raises profound, disturbing questions about the very nature of life and the place of humankind within the cosmos: What does it mean to be human? What responsibilities do we have to each other? How far can we go in tampering with Nature? In our age, filled with news of organ donation genetic engineering, and bio-terrorism, these questions are more relevant than ever
Deemed one of the first science fiction novels ever Frankenstein delves into human nature, morale and the age old question of: Are people born evil or is it circumstance that makes them evil?
Simply written in the typical 19th century prose Frankenstein is narrated from various first person points of view, first through an explorer sending letters to his sister then through Victor Frankenstein and then through Frankenstein’s monster’s point of view which I found very interesting. The language is what intimidates people from getting into classics but I can vouch that this book is very easy to understand.
The plot of Frankenstein is not so much horrible as it is tragic. Set amongst some of the most beautiful places in Europe the story progresses as one event after another unfolds smoothly until you’re drowned in misery and you feel Frankenstein’s doom yourself.
The characters for me were the most intriguing part. The parallels between Frankenstein and the monster and how they’re often compared to Adam and Satan or good Vs evil really got me thinking because Frankenstein and the Monster are in such similar circumstances. People have literally written essays about those two so check them out if you’re into deep analyses of characters.
The Monster seems to invoke empathy in me for his need for affection and friendship was so strong. Humans tend to be quite prejudiced towards someone that is different and “ugly” and to me the Monster seems like a metaphor for how people are treated not very nicely just because they have a different skin colour or whatever, just my opinion.
That was my take on Frankenstein which I’ve been meaning to read since Halloween last year. Definitely a worthwhile read!
I recently acquired some books, most of these I stumbled upon by accident and decided to purchase (that always happens by the way). And yes all of these excepting All The Bright Places were $3, I know ABSOLUTE STEALS RIGHT?
And yes I just had to feature my Penguin because who doesn’t love Penguins?
All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven– Been stoked to read this since the beginning of the year. There’s a picture of me smelling the book on Instagram so why aren’t you following me? (@infinityreads03)
Popular- a memoir by Maya Van Wagenen- I’ve heard so many good things and apparently the author’s only like sixteen which is incredible. And it’s non fiction so all the more reason to read it!
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins- I have read Anna already and I do own it in hardcover but I have the old one (remember those?) and these new covers are just so gorgeous so I just had to okay
My sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult- Since like 2013 I’ve been trying to get into Jodi Picoult so now the opportunity presented itself so I decided to pick up one of her most popular works duh.
Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult- Don’t know what it’s about but sounds interesting.
Just One Year by Gayle Forman- Sequel to Just One Day which I’ve yet to buy (I know, Stupid). I adore Gayle Forman so for obvious reasons I wanna read this series as well then I would’ve read ALL her published works which is SO COOL.
That concludes my book haul. I am so content with the newest additions to my shelf and cannot wait to whiz through them all!
Buy any new books lately? Let me know in the comments and KEEP READING!
This year I’ve decided to participate in this meme where we list the top five things in accordance to the topic. If you wanna join the group feel free to check out their Goodreads group and Join in!
Without further ado, here are the series I aspire to begin in 2015.
Splintered by A.G.Howard
Did someone say fiary tale retellings? heck yes! well it’s not exactly a retelling but rather about this descendant of Alice from Alice in Wonderland and I think she’s going back to wonderland? idk sounds cool. And since I just snatched the first book for a bargain I cannot wait to dive in. The covers look absolutely gorgeous and the writing in the first book is PURPLE oh God I need to contain myself!
Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry
I’ve been meaning to start this series since like 2012 (uh oh). These are more companion novels than sequels which is cool. Also, I’ve been meaning to indulge more into contemporary so these seem the perfect match.
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Another one I’ve been meaning to start but never did. The cover of the third book seems so gripping that I HAVE to get to these! Also since it’s about mental health I definitely wanna read it sooner rather than later.
Just One Day by Gayle Forman
If you haven’t been following this blog for long you wouldn’t know but I am a HUGE Gayle Forman fanatic. I mean if reading If I stay, Where She Went and watching the If I stay movie wasn’t enough I also received an early copy of her book I was Here which comes out January 27th! But yeah I can never get enough of Gayle Forman
Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgad by Rick Riordan
I need my yearly dose of Rick Riordan and since Percy Jackson has forever said goodbye to me I have nothing to do but start this new series. It’s about Vikings okay, I don’t know anything about them but I’m sure I’ll be an expert after reading this series.
That concludes my top 5 series I want to start and hopefully I’ll get to all of them! Check out other people’s top 5 series here and let me know yours in the comments!
2014 was the year I established a new found love for Fantasy, that is all thanks to this series. I started reading Game of Thrones to better understand the show but soon realized just how epic the books are on their own.
I cannot stress how much I love Rick Riordan’s writing. This was a bitter sweet year as the Heroes of Olympus series came to an end but it went out with a bang, humour, adventure, relationships and sarcasm saw my best friends in one of the best worlds ever created.
The second installment in The Fifth Wave series, this was one of the first books that kept me up as it’s the kind you gotta read in one go. So much thrill, adventure and speculation over where the final book is heading.
Vivid, haunting and extremely thrilling Gone Girl was one of those books that gripped me in its sharp claws from the very beginning. The movie did not disappoint either but the book remains my favourite nonetheless.
The third installment in the Lunar Chronicles series saw the same excellent world building, emotional involvement and kick ass female characters that I have now come to associate with Marissa Meyer’s writing. The game elevates in every book and I can only imagine what the last book might hold.
One of the few classics i delved into earlier this year. How on point George Orwell is gave me chills and made me reflect at the things going around in the world. One of those novels that makes you think, love that.
Isla and the Happily ever after By stephanie Perkins
Okay I’m not much into contemporary or romance so if you get me hooked to books from either of those categories you’ve won. And that’s what Stephanie Perkins has done. It is love and other emotions at its strongest and let’s not forget the swoon worthy boys.
A.S.King is the Queen of YA as she write about bullying, dealing with your sexuality, you know issues that need to be addressed since teenagers are going to be reading those books. And she does it in such an honest and witty way but there is a deeper meaning to it which when you think about it is truly beautiful.
I don’t read many books with major plot twists so it was no wonder I was literally glued to this book to find out the twist. It is the most heartbreaking and obsessive book in the world and the underlying meaning of what the protagonist is going through is so haunting.
An Honourable Mention to…
Half Bad by Sally Green
Since the post was limited to ten books I was truly shattered that this didn’t make it, this is one of those rare Gothic fantasies which you’re not sure you like but you wanna keep reading it because it’s so intriguing and you can’t make your mind up about it.
That concludes my list of Top Ten (or eleven) books I read in 2014. Most of those books I read and reviewed so if you’re interested to know more then be sure to click the links!
It’s that time of the year again. Fairy lights, trees, Christmas movies and an endless list of people to buy gifts for.
Fear not because I am here to make your job easier. Compiled below is a list of books categorized by genre that upon my recommendation you can give to anyone and they will kiss your feet. Because these books are just that good, they’re worth it. I have read all of the following and I have a reputation for only recommending the best.
Also Happy Summer Solstice to all my fellow Southern Hemisphere peeps!
Do note that most of these books are young adult but everyone can read them because putting an age on a book is not on.
I hear this is most people’s favorite genre, not mine but most people’s.
How do you like the sound of love in Paris, San Francisco and Manhattan paired with YA’s most swoon worthy boys? If this tingles your hormones then you have to check out Stephanie Perkins’ range of companion novels. Beautiful covers are a must too!
Not into reading series? How do you like the sound of an emotionally powerful stand alone that has the most beautiful love story? You.Need.To.Read.This
This is one genre I never knew I could appreciate as much as I have. Packed with just the right amount of action, thrill and drama these novels create a healthy blend of future swag and some of the best characters. One of them is even becoming a movie!
Look out for mega movie mania in 2016 when this hits the cinemas:
For the series lovers I’ve picked out The Lunar Chronicles. This takes fairy tales to a whole new level. Some of your favorite princesses such as Cinderella, Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel return as Cyborgs, genius hackers and farm girls who deliver goods in hovercrafts. yep.
I absolutely freakingly had to put this one in. This has been hands down one of my top ten this year. If you love a good plot twist you have got to get your hands on this book. It is seriously underrated I believe and we need to create more hype!
My most unexpected favorite. I have read so many truly epic books this year and you need to join the band wagon. Don’t be intimidated. You just need to embrace the coolness.
When I say fantasy what is the first thing that comes to mind?
If you said Lord of the Rings we can’t be friends. Jks. But Game of Thrones. Some classic fantasy right there. You’ve probably watched the show but the books are more extensive and they’re just books. We all love books.
NOTE: There is an extremely pretty box set of Game of Thrones in Dymmocks Australia but I can’t seem to find it online. It has like the scenery of Westeros and it’s paperback. If anyone can find it online please let me know, I’ll give you virtual lollies. 🙂
Adding onto the Game of Thrones. Fancy a history lesson in Westeros paired with amazing artwork?
It just hit the shelves in October so you can be like one of the first and the coolest people to get it.
You can’t be a reader without having read at least one classic in your life. Well to ease your pain of reading ancient English I present to you these beautiful covers!
I am a lunatic for abstract covers so these caught my eye immediately. There are hundreds of novels in these type of designs and for the purpose of looking pretty on your bookshelf I suggest you get them!
Of course I can’t write a recommendation post without giving a shoutout to my favorite author. Queue the John Green feels.
This box set is like the best thing you could get or give someone for Christmas. The ultimate John Green set has most of his novels: The Fault in Our Stars, Paper Towns, An Abundance of Katherines and Looking for Alaska
There you have it! Only the best gift recommendations from Infinityreads. I hope this helps you choose presents for yourself or others and I sure hope you have a very Merry Christmas 🙂