Saturday, 30 November 2013

The Nerd List - November 2013

Firstly, apologies for my absence. I’ve been writing exams for the whole month, and to say it was a nightmare of note is an understatement at best. I didn’t even have time to breathe, and the few books I did decide to read I immediately regretted, because of the waste of precious time that could’ve been spent cramming for the lurking Physics paper just around the corner.

Anyway, as of Thursday it all ended, but I still get the fright of my life followed by a feeling of, “Oh my word I haven’t studied for…” every time I see a textbook lying around my room – and let me just tell you that there are at least 16 000 pages of my notes littering the floor in piles of doom just waiting to be tripped over. So this nerd list is going to be mainly focused on exams, seeing as that’s basically what I’ve been eating, breathing and seeing for the whole month.

And I promise to make it as entertaining as possible, even though exams are no joke and scare my very soul out of its hibernation of procrastination and laziness.



Books I’ve read this month:

Book of the month 

As always, this is a difficult one. The choice between a classic that I actually really enjoyed, but took me forever to read, and a novel that I practically inhaled because it was so amazing, is going to be the death of me some day. I would like to prolong the inevitable for just a little longer, so for this month I’m going to have to say that The Great Gatsby takes the metaphorical prize. It was fantastic, and F. Scott Fitzgerald is pure genius to say the least. And I dare say that it probably tops my list of favourite classics, even overtaking Pride and Prejudice and The Secret Garden. If you don’t read The Great Gatsby before you die, you have not lived. End of story.

Book quote of the month

 "I like large parties. They're so intimate. At small parties there isn't any privacy." 
- F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Book boy of the month

Well to be perfectly honest I have no intention of ever daydreaming over Jay Gatsby or any of the other characters in The Great Gatsby, even if I am totally in love with everything to do with the early 1900s. Apollo, however, from Kendare Blake’s Antigoddess, is the reason we nerds think we’ll ever have a chance with  a Greek god… or just somebody who looks like a Greek god, for that matter. He’s sweet, loyal, brave, and handsome, not to mention that Cassandra didn’t even need to get involved in a pesky love triangle to fin out that he was “The One” all along, which has to say something about his pure awesomeness, right?


Fangirl moment of the month

Umm… I’m going to have to say that my fangirl moment of the month has to be the moment when I finished exams on Thursday at 10:00, and realized that my book purge was over, and that I could read again because there was literally nothing more I could do if I failed school. So I went a bit mad, and finally bought Allegiant by Veronica Roth, the third and final book in the Divergent series, which I forbade myself from reading during exams because I knew that I would just read, not study, and then probably have to repeat the year because all I could write on my Physics paper would be something about Tris and Tobias. And so far, it’s amazing. I’ll add a link here once I’ve finished it.

Facepalm moment of the month 

Catching Fire came out in cinemas while I was writing my Music paper. I nearly died. Then my sister went to go see it while I wrote Physics 1. I nearly shot her. And whenever somebody want’s to talk to me about it, but I can’t because I HAVEN’T SEEN IT YET CAN YOU JUST SHUT YOUR MOUTH PLEASE AND THANK YOU GOD BLESS, I have to refrain from stabbing them in the eye with the pen I just used to write the exam that they should’ve also been studying for when they were allowed to go watch the reason for my existence.


Song of the month 

Somewhere in Neverland by All Time Low is the reason I don’t have a pencil stabbed into some part of my body by now. It’s sort of Peter Pan-themed, which just makes me so happy because I just love the whole concept of a person who can fly, and would take me away from this cruel world where we are forced to write exams as an indication of our knowledge.

Oh, and the chorus, “Wendy, run away with me. I know I sound crazy; can’t you see what you do to me? I wanna be your lost boy. Your last chance, a better reality. Wendy we can get away. I promise if you’re with me say the world and we’ll find a way. I can be your lost boy. Your last chance. Your ‘everything better’ plan. Somewhere in Neverland,” is so definitely my lyric of the month.

Album of the month 

I haven’t bought a new album. I haven’t listened to a new album. The only album that got me through this month of hell was The Great Gatsby Soundtrack, and I know it’s won before, but sometimes greatness just needs to be recognized again.


Movie of the month 


Tweet of the month

dont judge a book by its cover

my math textbook has a picture of someone enjoying themselves on it

i did not enjoy myself at all


Hope you enjoyed my Nerd List! Feel free to comment and subscribe to get a notification whenever I post a new blog or review!

Monday, 18 November 2013

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Date finished: 18 November 2013

Rating: 5*

I am completely and utterly ashamed to admit that – although I started reading The Great Gatsby a month or so before the film came out – I went against my most sacred law for reading classics: I went to go see the movie before I was even halfway through the novel. I am even more ashamed to admit that I then watched the film twice more because I happen to worship the ground that Baz Luhrmann (the director) walks on, and only picked up the novel again a couple of weeks ago to finally finish reading it, because it was haunting my dreams that I had left such a beautiful book unfinished for so long.

May God forgive me for my sins.

Anyway, I’m not going to lie and say that the film didn’t completely change my perspective on the novel. I forced myself to start it from the beginning when I picked it up again a few weeks ago – partly as punishment for watching the film before finishing the book, and party because a small part of me wanted to compare the entire book to the entire movie. Don’t get me wrong, I loved both the film and the novel, and praise F. Scott Fitzgerald for being one of the best authors of all time, but I will forever regret not finishing the novel before seeing the film.

As with all books – both good and bad – the movie completely changed my perspective on the characters, setting and themes of the novel. You can never forget what you’ve seen on a movie screen, but for some odd reason it’s easy to replace your own imaginings of people and places with whatever they looked like in the film. Unfortunately, this completely ruined my experience with the novel. Instead of being able to appreciate Fitzgerald’s genius on its own, and clearly see how amazing his writing style and descriptions were, my mind was constantly flicking back and forth between the movie and the novel, reminding me of what would happen next, what the actors looked like in a specific scene, how they sounded. It stopped me from appreciating the novel without appreciating the movie at the same time.

Nevertheless, I still thought that The Great Gatsby was incredible – it’s called a classic for a reason, right? The writing was beautiful, the story was breathtaking, and the characters were both bizarre and wonderful. It was just pure brilliance, and reminded me why I resent being born in this century.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Antigoddess by Kendare Blake

Date Finished: 16 November 2013

Rating: 5*

Series: The Goddess War, #1

I made a pledge not to read anything exciting during exams, and to refrain from doing anything I actually enjoyed, so that I could concentrate on the Physics textbook that has been slowly draining me of all hope for humanity. (Sorry, I also banned myself from blogging, which hopefully explains why I’ve been MIA – yet again – for the past two weeks.) And I was doing so well. I made it through two whole days of exams before letting my family drag me to Exclusive Books – and then all hell broke loose.

I have too many feelings right now. I can’t deal with this. It’s too much.

Let me just start by saying: Kendare Blake, you are pure genius. I actually physically have so much respect for you now that you are right up there on that list of favourite authors, somewhere between Meg Cabot and Suzanne Collins. I knew from the moment I saw “Author of Anna Dressed in Blood” on the top of Antigoddess that I was going to be in deep trouble.

The Greek Gods of old are dying. Desperately seeking answers to the cause of their slow, miserable deaths, Athena and Hermes begin a search for the only person who could help them escape their fate: Cassandra, a reincarnated prophetess from the Trojan war. But Cassandra is blissfully unaware of her past - or the existence of gods - and her boyfriend Aiden, will do anything to keep her safe from the dangers tracking her. Even if it means war against his immortal family.

Antigoddess is filled with everything that makes a YA book not only worth reading, but enthralling. It's packed full of suspense, romance, tragedy and action, not to mention the fact that ninety percent of the boys are super-hot Greek gods.

I love Greek mythology, and I love it even more when authors decide to put their own spin on it and put it into a modern context. I think my obsession with these types of novels started with Abandon by Meg Cabot, but to be honest most of the Greek-mythology-based books I’ve read center around the myth of Persephone, so I was getting a bit bored of them until I stumbled across this one in my Exclusive Books raid yesterday.

May I just point out now that if I fail the exams that I was supposed to be studying for today, I am going to be sending Kendare Blake an e-mail asking her to explain to my teachers WHY I was unable to study.

Back to the book: It was incredible. Just… Wow. Everything was perfect. The characters were beautifully realistic, and I feel like I bonded personally with each and every one of them. The storyline was amazing. I was enthralled from the very first page. How do you even come up with an idea like this? And then have the talent and perseverance to write a story that made me wish it could carry on forever? As I said before, I’m extremely impressed by Blake’s genius and writing style.

Oh, but before I get all lost in my admiration for the book… I’m not forgetting that you pulled a J. K. Rowling on us and made us bond with a character for the entire book, fall in love with them, and then brutally kill them off, Kendare Blake. So, thanks for making me really confused as to whether I love or hate you right now. You’ll be hearing from my lawyer when I’m put in an asylum because of the extreme mixture of depression and happiness – among other emotions your book has caused me – that I’m currently experiencing.

And also: 2014? No, I think that’s a bit too long to wait for Aristeia. Just consider maybe releasing it a bit earlier on behalf of me and all the other people I’m going to force to read this book. Just like… Tomorrow. For the sake of our mental health. Please.