Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Book Review: The Queen of Attolia (The Queen's Thief #2) by Megan Whalen Turner

             The Queen of Attolia, book 2 by Megan Whalen Turner 
Release Date: January 24, 2006 
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Source: Library  

When Eugenides, the Thief of Eddis, stole Hamiathes's Gift, the Queen of Attolia lost more than a mythical relic. She lost face. Everyone knew that Eugenides had outwitted and escaped her. To restore her reputation and reassert her power, the Queen of Attolia will go to any length and accept any help that is offered...she will risk her country to execute the perfect revenge.

Eugenides can steal anything. And he taunts the Queen of Attolia, moving through her strongholds seemingly at will. So Attolia waits, secure in the knowledge that the Thief will slip, that he will haunt her palace one too many times. what price?
When Eugenides finds his small mountain country at war with Attolia, he must steal a man, he must steal a queen, he must steal peace. But his greatest triumph, and his greatest loss, comes in capturing something that the Queen of Attolia thought she had sacrificed long ago...
*There will be spoilers for the first book in this series!*
I am always a little bit weary when it comes to reading the second book in any trilogy or series. I am always afraid that the second book will fall pray to the second book syndrome. But when it comes to The Queen of Attolia, the second book in Megan Whalen Turner’s The Queen’s Thief series, there is absolutely no room for second book syndrome. With new adventures, new and beloved characters, plot twists and more, The Queen of Attolia was a book that stole my heart.

First and foremost, this book is written in the third person point of view allowing the reader to see into the minds of the characters from Gen to the Queen of Eddis and the Queen of Attolia to the magus and on. This narration allows the reader to see the development of character in all of the major players. One of the biggest aspects of this novel is the fact that not only is Gen captured by Attolia, but when she executes her revenge on him, it leaves him broken in more ways then one. The plot also centers around the war that is declared between Attolia and Eddis but also the looming threat from across the sea from Mede.

I won’t lie, the title of the third book gave away an important part of this book and that dealt with the relationship between Attolia and Gen. Even after she has had her revenge, the act leaves Attolia in a state of duress because she has a hard time accepting what she did. Gen, on the other hand, has to learn to live his new life when this drastic change occurs. For the sake of spoilers, I won’t give away what happened but the constant turmoil these two characters went through, my heart ached for them. It was a great way to see them both grow as characters but still hurt. Eddis and the Magus and Sounis were also wonderful characters and I loved see them change and grow. Surprisingly, Eddis captured my heart and I was hoping for the best for her and her country.

The writing is not only impeccable but one of my favorites. I’ve found that many fantasy novels have paragraphs or pages of information: just filler words to pass the plot along but with The Queen of Attolia? I couldn’t pin point any filler information. Everything seemed to not only matter but it made sense. I wasn’t confused during this book at all.

Overall, I don’t have any more words for this series because like so many others, I am hopelessly in love with this series. I can’t wait to read the next few books in this series (I have books 3 and 4 on my night table at this very moment) because I am dying to know what happens next. It’s a breath of fresh air when books in a series don’t end on a cliffhanger yet this still make you want to get the next book as soon as possible.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Personal Challenge: Library Books!

Ever since I returned from my vacation about a week ago, I've been itching to go to my library. But instead of simply growing in the library, I decided that I would browse online and request a few books. A few meaning about three books. Just 3. In the end, I ended up requesting 11 books, 7 of which I got today.

For those of you who don't know, I'm currently participating in a read-a-thon called the BookTube-a-Thon (and I'm on YouTube now!) for which I'm attempting to read 7 books (what's with this number?). And according to my GoodReads count, I'm 17 books behind my *old/new* goal of reading 100 books this year. I initially had my goal set a 100 but quickly changed it to 50 because I wasn't sure if I could do it. But I have decided that YES I will read 100 books this year. Even if it kills me. SO if I read the 7 books for the BookTube-a-Thon and the 7 I currently have from the library, I'll be a 14 books.

So here are the 7 books I will attempt to read by JULY 31, 2014. This is when my books are due and even though I know I won't get to some of these books, it'll be better then nothing! So here are the books!

*    * *   * *
*Keertana's reviews for these books made me realize that I needed to read them ASAP!
**All images link to GoodReads page for the books* :)

I have 14 DAYS to read all of these books :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Discussion: Privilege and Disabilities

Happy for vacation! 
For the past few weeks I have been away in Jersey for vacation. I will not deny that I know I'm lucky to be able to afford to fly to New York but it is something I like to keep private. I have always kept my privilege in check or in other words, I admit to the privilege I have and I rarely talk about it to others. But as I sat at one of the iPad hubs in LaGuardia Airport, I overheard a conversation between two women. While it isn't necessarily a big aspect of this post, I would like to point out that these two women were Caucasian and at least in their late thirties (their age is something I am guessing based on their conversation I heard).

Anyways, they were discussing students and how they wanted to help the students who were incredibly bright but were often held back from the work they were required to do. One of the women's students was so bright that he would often finish one classes work well ahead of time and would often be left to do nothing else. I thought that this was a great conversation to have until they began talking about disabilities. One of the women was talking about a speech impediment a news anchor (or some job in the broadcast business; I didn't clearly hear it) had. According to the woman, he had a lisp that would often make the woman frustrated because while she could understand him, it baffled her that he couldn't just go and get help for the lisp. Then the conversation went onto about how the other woman had a mechanic who had a lisp and then a child of a friend who had another type of speech impediment.
This made me stop reading my book and pause. At first I thought that yes, the broadcaster should go and get some help for his lisp...but then I stopped. Who was I to decide that this broadcaster or the mechanic or a child should go and get help for something that I had a problem with? What if these people couldn't afford the help they didn't specifically need but could get to change something about them? Who the heck was I to say "Hey, you can get some help for that lisp because it would make me happier."

It made me think of privilege and disabilities and what people do and don't consider "socially appropriate." And how exactly could we change the way people think so that a disability, no matter what disability it is, isn't considered that person's flaw? For the purpose of this blog and because I usually talk about books, diversity in books. If we could have more books that showed characters with disabilities that didn't disable them then maybe we can change the way people think.

People with disabilities are people first and foremost. Their disability doesn't define who they are. It's their actions and feelings and what they say that matters. It doesn't matter if this person has a lisp or stutters or is in a wheelchair; they are people and deserve the same amount of respect as anyone how doesn't have disabilities.

In the end, these two women left before I did because I was so upset with their conversation. Yet the most shocking aspect of this conversation was the lack of awareness these two women had. They honest to goodness thought that what they were saying was relevant and right. They honestly thought that what they wanted to change about these people to fulfill their own desires was the right thing to do.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is why we need diversity in books. We need to see teenagers and adults and just characters with disabilities who aren't defined by them. We need to show all people that no one needs to change or should be asked to change so that our personal wishes are granted.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Hey, Look! I'm on YouTube

This is a freaky post to write. I NEVER thought I'd write it but here I am! Yes, it's a bit of shameless self promotion but this is my blog and it is for my YouTube Channel (!!!!!!!!!!) so that makes it okay. I think.

Anyhoo, for those of you who don't know--and unless you watch book tubers or follow them on Twitter and Instagram, you probably don't know--that the Booktube-a-Thon is currently going on. So I decided to jump in at this time after contemplating for about five months and made a YouTube channel.

You get to see my face and hear my voice and oh my gosh this is crazy. But here it is:
 Yep. That's me!

So, if you want to, go watch and subscribe or share it. I don't really know...But it would be appreciated!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Living in a Book: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

I recently found The Autobiography of Jane Eyre, a web-series, modern adaptation of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte and I have binge watched this entire web series in one day. It’s been inspired by The Lizzie Bennett Diaries but has no connection to it.

While it’s a good web series, I’m not it’s biggest fan. Some aspects of it just don’t work for me BUT it did get me thinking about what it would be like to live in a book. What would happen if I found myself living in one of my favorite books? Regardless of the time period, what would it be like if I lived among my favorite characters and world? Well, this is where this post is coming in!

I don’t know if I’m going to make this a feature or a mini-series but I’ll just go with it. Some posts will be based on a specific book but others will be a combination of one genre or sub genre. We'll see what happens!

And for today's post, I'll be talking about Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte because it only makes sense. After all, this book did inspire this feature!
The Time Frame
While the year in which Jane Eyre starts is never actually stated, some research showed that it was set between 1720is through 1820 OR in the early decades of the 19th Century.
The Location
Hello, England! Yes, if I was living in this book then it wouldn't be much of a surprise but the thought of me living in this country? Heck to the yes! There's just so much I love about England and one of my favorite aspects about this novel is that it's set in the country side and not a bustling city. Yes, I am a city girl at heart but I would be happy with living anywhere in England.
The Lifestyle
I won't even deny it, I would HATE living here. I'm way to accustomed to running, clean water and showers and toilets and air conditioning and wonderful hygiene so living in a world without it? I don't even know. Transportation consisted of horses and carriages so it wouldn't be the end of the world. The uneven roads would be a killer but I'd assume I was used to it if I lived in this time period. I would also need to put aside my vegetarianism because there would be a lot of meat eating during this time. Depending, of course, that I'm in the same economic status of Jane because a lot of the poorer people couldn't afford meat. Since the whole idea is to live in the world of the character (and maybe even in place of the character), I should be good.

Also, the dresses! Oh goodness the poofy dresses. I can't decide if I would like it or not. Present Me would hate it because hello shorts! But Book Me? I'd have to get used to.

Furthermore, I would have to convert my religion so that would be interesting. Normally religion wouldn't come up but during this time period and to Jane, it's very important. It's not a bad thing but it would be interesting.
The People
Hello, Edward Rochester. How are you doing today?

Now that I've got that out of my system, I think I would LOVE meeting Jane Eyre in person. She's so head strong and loyal and just so many things! I love how firm she is in her beliefs and her ability to speak her mind is rare for that time period. I think for this reason I wouldn't want to be Jane but to meet her. The discussions we would have would be so deep and meaningful; at least that's what I'm assuming.
The Story: Would I Want this Life?  
Nope. Jane's life is very hard and I don't think I'll be strong enough to handle it. I have anxiety so I don't know if the bullying (even though I've dealt with it) and the constant change would be okay for me.
Would I Like It? 
Er. No. I KNOW. I'm shocked too. I love Jane Eyre so much but living back then? I don't think I could do it!
While this won't be present for all of the posts, I've come across some great adaptations of this book.
2011 Film:
 I haven't seen this movie yet but I wanted to include a film at least.

BBC 2006 Mini-Series 
Can BBC do any wrong? I LOVE this adaptation and I have seen it numerous times. I wasn't able to find a trailer for this mini-series but this would be the first adaptation I would recommend anyone. 

Had to put it in here because hello? It was my inspiration! 

Jane by April Lindner and A Breath of Eyre by Eve Marie Mont 
I haven't read Jane yet but it was one of the books that came first to my mind. 
I've read A Breath of Eyre and it's rather good. You can ready my review to see how I felt about this book. 

Yes this post ended up being longer then I anticipated but it's all because of the introduction. So the next post won't have it! I might add some more questions but I don't want to over due anything. I want this to be fun, not boring. What do you guys think? 

Saturday, July 05, 2014

New Blog Name!

Welcome to: 
 Life According to a Bibliophile!
I was 14 years-old when I decided that I would name my brand new, shiny blog Reading the Best of the Best. Now at 19 I realize that it was not the best choice I could have made. If I were to ever attend BEA or other bookish conventions with business cards, saying "Hi, I'm Kailia from Reading the Best of the Best" would not be the best for me or my blog. Sure it sounded good when I coined (is that even the right word to use?) the name but now it didn't fit me as much.

So, after taking some time and making sure that none of my choices were already taken, I had some help from Racquel of The Book Barbies in deciding which name to use. I'm hoping that this name will take me far and I am so excited for this change! 
happy gif glee

*Also, I got a new signature: it's simple and cute and I love it!*