Monday, 31 March 2014

The Nerd List - February/March 2014

I don’t know if any of you noticed, but I kind of maybe forgot to do a February Nerd List.

If you did realize, kudos to you, because I didn’t until 15 March…

So, seeing as I have done pretty much nothing but work, study, work, study, and procrastinate by watching YouTube videos, I decided to do a joint February-March Nerd list. (When I say I’ve done nothing, I mean NOTHING. I think the last time I actually managed to read more than a chapter out of a book that I didn’t HAVE to read for school or whatever must’ve been early January. This is actually such a joke, and I don’t know what’s wrong with me.)

Don’t judge me for my lack of reading/writing/blogging/generally having a life. THIS IS A NO JUDGMENT ZONE.


Books I’ve read (and finished) these past two months:

I told you I wasn’t kidding.

Book of the month

Even if it wasn’t the only book I’d read (that sounds so terrible – “THE ONLY BOOK I’VE READ” – oh my word I can literally feel my literacy slipping through my fingers and descending into a deep, dark hole of terrible grammar and spelling) Seeing Through Stones would’ve gotten this award. It was magnificent. Paulus has such an incredible gift for writing, and I totally idolize her for this series. I highly recommend reading it.

Book Quote of the month

“We’re here, and then we’re gone, and it’s not about the time we’re here, but what we do with the time.”

Book boy of the month

Lagan (from Seeing Through Stones) pretty much gets down on one knee and hands me a silver platter of hope for the males of this generation. I have never come across a book character more perfect. Like, you know how in all of those famous novels like The Hunger Games and (dare I say it) Twilight, the main characters have their flaws that inevitably end up messing with the heroine’s emotions and breaking her heart? Yeah? Well, Lagan has none of those. Not a single one. He is literally that boyfriend that girls sit in their room and fantasize about.


Fangirl moment of the month

There are too many things that I’ve freaked out about in the past two months. I actually have a countdown app on my phone telling me how much longer it is until all of my long-awaited, much anticipated events occur, and the amount of times I’ve had mini fangirl sessions in the middle of school just because “IT’S ONE DAY CLOSER THAN IT WAS YESTERDAY” is quite phenomenal. It’s just unfortunate that everything exciting is happening in April. For example, from today, there are 4 days until the Divergent movie is released in cinemas, 16 days until school ends, and 22 days until I leave for Cultural Tour in Europe (expect a blog soon).

Facepalm moment of the month


I think at this point we are all well aware of the fact that I am probably one of the clumsiest human beings ever to have walked – sorry, tripped – on planet Earth. My general clumsiness is pretty much enhanced by the fact that my limbs are freakishly out of proportion compared to the rest of my body, and to top it all off I have tiny feet that surprisingly don’t do very well at the whole “graceful ballerina” thing. Tripping both up and down stairs is a daily occurrence for me, as well as falling over my own feet, walking into glass sliding doors, and generally accidentally breaking anything breakable within reach.

However, in the past two months my clumsiness has – unfortunately – been taken to a new level. I have not only tripped down the stairs at school multiple times, publicly humiliating myself in front of people who already think I’m beyond weird, but on one occasion where I did not trip down the stairs at home, I got so incredibly excited that I ran face-first into a door. No joke – my sister witnessed the whole thing and I practically had to peel her off the floor she was laughing so hard.


Song of the month

Terrible Things – Mayday Parade

This song actually made me cry. I don’t even remember who told me to listen to it, but when I find out who you are, I may just strangle you in your sleep and then put a gold star on your forehead for exposing me to this incredibly, unbelievably beautiful, HEART WRENCHING piece of music.

It may not sound like much at the beginning, just a stripped down piano track and vocals telling a tragic love story, but if you stick around… Wow. The piano dies out softly, and tears are streaming down your face because it’s so depressing, and you think it’s all over, but no, it isn’t. The electric guitar and bass and drums come in with this amazing emotional vibe and by then you’re on the floor in a ball and you can’t stop the tears because you’ve entered a dark place in your mind and there’s no going back. But by the time it ends you’re on cloud nine for the rest of the day because you realized just how incredible that song was, and you just have to share it with somebody else and completely rip their life to shreds as well.

Album of the month

She Looks So Perfect EP – 5 Seconds Of Summer

After YEARS of waiting for their stupid debut album, 5 Seconds Of Summer release an EP. Again.

Although I shouldn’t be complaining. The EP is incredible – a perfect mix of pop, rock, and a bit of punk, but still with meaningful lyrics and a beat perfect for dancing around in your bedroom. I love it.

Lyric of the month

“I’m just a moment, so don’t let me pass you by. We could be a story in the morning but we’ll be a legend tonight. I’m just a moment, so don’t let me pass you by. They can speak our names in a dead language, but you and I, we’re alive. But just for a moment.” – All Time Low, Outlines.


Tweet of the month:

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Get it? Because he’s… And it’s the lyrics to… But it's funny because his hair looks like...

Okay well never mind I thought it was really funny.

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Saturday, 1 March 2014

ARC: 'Seeing Through Stones' by Rajdeep Paulus

Date finished: 28 February 2014

Rating: 4*

Paulus has – once again – astounded me with a beautifully tragic novel. Her sequel to Swimming Through Clouds follows the healing process of the Vanderbilt siblings as they struggle to flee their history of domestic violence. Talia’s much-awaited story continues as she hides in a safe house for survivors of domestic violence, and Paulus contrasts this with the excitement of the story of heroic Jesse, who searches for his father in the streets of Chicago, thirsty for revenge.

Paulus’ slow, steady and intricate development of characters is going to be the reason I need emotional counseling. Thinking back to the first novel, where Talia was too afraid of her father to even talk to a single other person outside of her house, and comparing it to the way Talia grows throughout the second novel until she is finally presented as a strong, healed, independent woman brings tears to my eyes. And don’t even get me started on Jesse…

I’m not going to lie, when Paulus started the story with a chapter in Jesse’s point of view, I was more than a little cynical, and immediately felt a strong dislike towards his determination to get revenge on his father. However, about two-thirds of the way into the novel, I suddenly realized exactly how connected I felt to Jesse, and how I was empathizing with him even though I have never experienced anything remotely close to what he went through. Somehow, Paulus had managed to subconsciously attach me to Jesse as the story progressed. That is good writing at its finest.

Another thing that makes me go a little gooey inside is Talia and Lagan’s relationship. Usually, I despise perfect, overly cute and fluffy love stories, and yet somehow Paulus managed to make me fall in love with the way Talia and Lagan are in love. Despite the numerous times I had to groan at Lagan’s cheesy pick up lines, I had to smile just as often at the way their love story was beautifully unconventional. And I think Rajdeep Paulus should get a prize for inventing the most adorable relationship that manages to avoid the clich├ęs constantly presented in romantic comedies that our society has grown to love.

Paulus’ seemingly effortless knack for comparisons made a serious impression on me as well. There were times when I had to pause for a moment so that I could think about their sheer genius before I carried on reading. Not only does each and every metaphor make complete logical sense, but they are also impressively unique and poetic.

I’ll admit, there were times where I started to find the story a little dull and repetitive, but as soon as I started to get bored, suddenly another climax would jerk me out of my daydreams and I would be caught up in a whirlwind of emotions once again. Let me also just point out that it is not a good idea to read the last few chapters of Seeing Through Stones in public, because the amount of times I gasped, squealed, bolted upright, and protested loudly against some of the events that occurred was enough to make my family later admit they didn’t want to be seen with me in public any more (let it also be known that I was inside my house at this point – so ensure you are in a soundproofed room as well).

Overall, this was another stunning and breathtaking novel from Rajdeep Paulus, and one that I highly recommend reading.