M's blog.

A teenager in quest for knowledge.

Inside the Palisade

Inside the Palisade - K.C. Maguire Received this in exchange for an honest review.

This book has a decent writing style and a seemingly very interesting plot, enough to get the readers all hooked up. Rarely does an idea of a world where genders are divided by a giant wall cross my mind. The characters are somewhat annoying, but I can see that their actions are legitimate. A little more on the prose and this would be nearly perfect.

The only thing that I'm concerned with is with the nonexistence of religion in this dystopia, Omega knowing the world "pray" is quite strange, isn't it?

Also, thanks goes to the author for kindly providing me a copy of this book :).

Another

Another - Yukito Ayatsuji 3.5 stars

Watched the movie beforehand, so I can't help but felt that the author cheated a little bit at the end. Intriguing and fascinating, nonetheless.

Tazaki Tsukuru không màu và những năm tháng hành hương

Tazaki Tsukuru không màu và những năm tháng hành hương - Haruki Murakami, Lương Việt Dũng
Années de pèlerinage - I. Suisse - 8. Le mal du pays

Simple but nostalgic, and very hard to achieve such delicate style.

The Heir

The Heir - Kiera Cass EDIT: I changed my mind. The more I think about this, the more I hate Cass's series. 2 stars -> 1.5 stars

- This was rated 1.5 stars mostly because Eadlyn, bratty or not, is still way more refreshing than her mother. I'm sick of America. Although, to be honest, Eadlyn is not even a wise leader, let alone the heir to the throne. She was described as "manipulative", however in reality very childish and constantly whining. Of course, 2015 is feminism's year, so better go along with it, right? Every single heroine is becoming exactly the same.

-
It felt like the universe was plotting against me, its arms taking turns swatting me down.

You've been using the same sentence in 2 books.

-
"Smell this," I insisted, holding up a jar to Kile.
"What's that?"
"Saffron. Doesn't it smell delicious?"

It's not a very good idea to store saffron in jar, given the palace's kitchen is a very luxury one. It would be better to wrap it in foil to avoid light exposure.

- Cass's dedication to God: I'm not going to make a comment on it. However, she (probably unconciously) inserted it in to The Heir, which raised a question: Why did the whole world turn into monarchy and what are their religious systems?

Who should win

I would be very happy if Kile win. Not for the sake of romantic moments, but for Illéa. A person who is as intelligent as Kile would be a nice prince consort, and the papers would be "all about childhood friends becoming lovers". In conclusion, very beneficial. The only downside (that I can see) is other provinces complaining about the royal family being unfair, but other than that, none.

The One

The One - Kiera Cass Not counting the extremely predictable plot, the characters in this book were mostly either awfully convenient for America's development or really annoying.

Elise

"The Asian girl that would stab herself if she dishonered her family", y' know? Just try to imagine a stereotypical Asian girl. Yeah, that's her.
"Where is your pride, America?" Elise begged. "Where is your sense of duty or honor? You're just a girl; you aren't even the princess.

"I would never dishonor my family by quitting," Elise said.


Celeste

Conveniently killed off

America

Ughhh...

Maxon

Awfully naive.

Anne

Also conveniently killed off

I give up. This is a bad dystopian novel, and not a good romance either. There are so many flaws that I'm too lazy to type here.

Destroy Me

Destroy Me - Tahereh Mafi 1.3 stars

- As someone who actually liked the insane side of Warner, I thought that this was just a pathetic excuse to shows how deep his love for Juliette is. Sure, he loves her, but since this was classified as a dystopian novel, we need to know others things in his mind, too. And then Mafi gave us this:
My motives were my own.

But these truths and my real motivations will be buried with me.

That would have worked. Except that she was writing in Warner's POV.

- I was hoping that maybe the author would show us "mentally disordered" side of Warner, but seriously. he just sounded like someone with a contamination / washing type of OCD, and a not so severe one:
I like to take long baths.
I've had an obsession with cleanliness for as long as I can remember. I've always been so mired in death and destruction that I think I've overcompensated by keeping myself pristine as much as possible. I take frequent showers. I brush and floss three times a day. I trim my own hair every week. I scrub my hands and nails before I go to bed and just after I wake up. I have an unhealthy preoccupation with wearing only freshly laundered clothes.


- So, I am now interested in Warner's dad instead. Also, since when did he has the same way of thinking as Juliette? Repeating and repeating and repeating words like this like this like this. Another one:
These letters are all I have left. 26 friends to tell my stories to.
26 letters are all I need. I can stitch them together to create oceans and ecosystems. I can fit them together to form planets and solar systems.

Damn.
- Warner is, surprisingly naive, espescially since he was described as "extremely manipulative".

The Mathematical Analysis of Logic: Being an Essay Towards a Calculus of Deductive Reasoning

The Mathematical Analysis of Logic: Being an Essay Towards a Calculus of Deductive Reasoning - George Boole 3.8 stars
I presume that few who have paid any attention to the history of the Mathematical Analysis, will doubt that it has been developed in a certain order, or that that order has been, to a great extent, necessary—being determined, either by steps of logical deduction, or by the successive introduction of new ideas and conceptions, when the time for their evolution had arrived. And these are the causes that operate in perfect harmony. Each new scientific conception gives occasion to new applications of deductive reasoning; but those applications may be only possible through the methods and the processes which belong to an earlier stage.

A few years ago, when I first heard of Boolean algebra, I was immediately fascinated by it. Logic and algebra, though certainly related and can be successfully expresses by the language of each field, the global theory is nonexistent.

However, in this book, Boole has made it unnecessarily long and a not - so - easy read, and I'd prefer books that are straight to the point. Also, one detail that I particularly dislike is the use of adverbs of certainty in a scientific paper. It is quite a pet peeve of mine.

Despite the minor mistakes, to see the remarkably charming relationship of mathematics and logic expressed into printed words is such a pleasure, so, a rating near to 4 stars.

Sự Biến Mất Của Suzumiya Haruhi

Sự Biến Mất Của Suzumiya Haruhi - Nagaru Tanigawa, Noizi Ito, Minh Trí (Solarius), Vân Phiên #booksiboughtonsummervacationcuzijustcantresistthetemptationduh no.10

Ah, brought the wrong book in the series. I haven't even read book 3 yet. Oh well.... :/

I loathed the first and second book, I just couldn't like Suzumiya's character. But this was different. Despise not being able to understand some of the events that were mentioned (due to the reason above), this volume was strangely charming. Tanigawa was able to keep record of all of the events in his plot, although the timeline in this book is not at all straight. Also, the characters, and the mechanics behind their power are very elaborated. What excited me the most, are the numorous astronomical references.

About this version

It was such a pain reading this in Vietnamese, due to the science - fiction terms. What the hell does thể ý niệm hợp nhất even mean?

Recommended for

Anyone who loves hyperactive schoolgirls + passive dudes + aliens + book - loving robots.

The Elite

The Elite - 'Kiera Cass'
Kiera Cass’s The Elite is a must-read for fans of dystopian fiction, fairy tales, and reality TV. This sequel to The Selection will enchant teens who love Divergent and The Bachelor.

Plot
I weighed Maxon and Aspen in my heart over and over, and neither of them ever had a true edge. Except, maybe, when I was alone with one of them.

That's it. That's basically the whole book: America switching back and forth from Maxon to Aspen. It's like Cass is trying to satisfy all of her fans.

Setting

I appreciate Cass's efforts of making this better by adding the detail of Illéa's diary, but don't. This would be even better if it's only a romance novel, not as some dystopian one. It looks like she's trying to shove all of the information on the Internet into The Elite. New Asia, especially. lol

Conclusion: Overall, extremely boring to read. Will still read the 3rd one though.

Lưng chừng cô đơn

Lưng chừng cô đơn - Nguyễn Ngọc Thạch #booksiboughtonsummervacationcuzijustcantresistthetemptationduh no.9

One rainy day, I was wandering on an empty street, at about 21:00 P.M. Found a bookstore / coffee shop and decided that I'd buy some books. This particular one caught my attention, because of its title (lưng chừng = halfway?, cô đơn = isolated). I thought that the book was about solitary. Needless to say, I was greatly dissapointed.

Dislike

- N.N.T on women:
Chứ thực chất từ sâu thẳm trong tâm hồn, đàn bà luôn muốn, luôn cần một người đàn ông bên cạnh.

Translation: Deep in their souls (???), women have always wanted, always needed a man by their sides.

Nếu một người đàn bà đến gặp bạn bằng gương mặt nhợt nhạt phấn son, chắc chắn trong lòng họ, bạn chẳng có gì quan trọng.

Translation: If a woman on her meeting with you goes with a no - makeup face, surely in her heart, you must be insignificant.

N.N.T on men:
Rõ ràng so riêng về việc chọn lựa, đàn bà phức tạp hơn đàn ông, vì đàn ông từ hai mươi đến sáu mươi, chỉ cần chọn đàn bà với hai tiêu chí: mười tám, ngực to.

Translation: Clearly, comparing only the intersexual selections [of the sexes], women are much more sophisticated than men, because men from twenty to sixty years of age, only choose women based on two primary qualities: eighteen year - old, big boobs.


Honestly, I expected that a person who roots for gay rights be more open - minded about gender stereotypes.

- Pg. 165: Mistaken between 2 genres: horror and mystery. For a writer, that is even more unacceptable.

- The whole book revolves aroung a concept called duyên phận, or 緣分, a word in Vietnamese / Chinese that means something like the red string of fate. Which was boring considered how N.N.T. was continually talking about the love that was decided by an all - knowing power. Like the whole book.

Like

- The last chapter of the book, which was about the author and his mother's memories of her first meeting with N.N.T's father, who would be her husband then dissapeared (without the cause actually mentioned in this book), when the author was born and how he grew up, under the caring hands of his mother. That was stunning, for the lack of a better word. It really showed the mature N.N.T that I was looking for in the whole book. However still not good enough to make me change the raing to 2 stars.

Conclusion: Although I did not enjoy this book, it doesn't mean that other people won't. No book is going to work for everyone. Therefore, I reccommend this book for people who's currently dealing with rejection, or hopeless romantics, perhaps :) ?

Are the Planets Inhabited?

Are the Planets Inhabited? - E. Walter (Edward Walter) Maunder 1912 was quite a great year for astronomy, in my opinion. Physicists William F. Schulz and Jakob Kunz make their first astronomical observations using a sensitive alkali hydride photoelectric cell instead of selenium cells. They observed the star Capella. Not really monumental compare to other events, but still great for me.

Humanity has been wondering whether we are truly alone in this vast universe from long ago, however, in reacting to the technological advances in the 1910s, our minds began to question even more aggressively. Thus, a book was then published on the topic of Life on other planets: Are the planets inhabited? by E. Walter Maunder.

Overall, Maunder has done a good job at presenting and analysing the states of the planets in our Solar System, at least until this:
But if Science is dumb, if the utmost exertion of human energy and power of research can throw no light on a future of which we have no experience, we are not left without an answer. A voice has been heard, the voice of the Son of God Himself: "I am the Resurrection and the Life. He that believeth on Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." And accepting His word, the Church in all ages, and among all nations, peoples, and tongues, as made reply: "I look for the reurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come."

How life first came upon this Earth, or when, or where, is beyong the power of science to determine.

Science is but organized experience, and experience of the future we have none.

Personally, I thought that the author shouldn't have mentioned statements like these in a book for beginners. However, given the published time, these mistakes can be passed over.

Đong Tấm Lòng

Đong Tấm Lòng - Nguyễn Ngọc Tư #booksiboughtonsummervacationcuzijustcantresistthetemptationduh no.9

3.5 stars

I was promptly fascinated by this book at first sight when reading the summary, mostly because the lifestyle that was touched upon in this book was in contrast to mine: the hospitable and affectionate people of the Mekong Delta, or the Western Region of Vietnam.

The short story that left the strongest emotional impression on me was cách nào cũng nhớ: an old woman who was tormented by her homesickness when she left for Kansai to take care of her grandchildren. She desperately tried to fill her own mind with hurtful memories such as a fight in the neighbourhood, or when she was pickpocketed, as to erase the vague silhouette of the balut - seller on the pavement. Somehow, it reminded me of my grandmother's story.

Đong Tấm Lòng, a lovely book for those who wants to escape an uproarious atmostphere of some city.

description

Ame & Yuki - Những Đứa Con Của Sói

Ame & Yuki - Những Đứa Con Của Sói - Mamoru Hosoda I didn't think that there would be a day when I actually like a story about human and wolf falling in love. Well, guess there's a first time for everything.

The story revolves around Ame and Yuki - the children of a wolfman (?) and a girl named Hana. This books is an alluringly - written tale of the struggles that their family had to face, growing up without the present of their father and of the ways that both Ame and Yuki have chosen to follow, to step into adulthood.

I took a strange liking to Yuki. Maybe because we share the same reason behind our name?

Yes, it's a simple story, however a memorable one. Recommended to anyone who is a fan of Shinkai Makoto, Hosoda Mamoru, or even Ghibli films.

description

Shatter Me

Shatter Me  - Tahereh Mafi This time, there will be no "Like" or "Dislike" part. Simply because I couldn't think of a single thing that I like about this book.

Writing style

- At first, Mafi's i'm-trying-to-be-poetic notable writing style seems promising. But when you overuse something, obviously, it starts to lose its effect..I hereby present you, a few of the shittiest most uncanny quotes in Shatter Me:

The sky is raining bricks right into my skulls.

I study every quivering branch, every imposing soldier, every window I can count. My eyes are two professional pickpockets, stealing everything to store away in my mind.

I want to stamp him into my skin and save him forever.

The sun is revolving around the moon when he responds.

His lips are 2 pillows, so soft, so sweet.

... and one day I will pluck the moon from the sky and fit it in your mailbox. (Acknowledgement)

I'd like to cry into his eyes.

(nevermind, I'm too lazy to type the rest of it.)

- Also, something is wrong with Juliette's organs:
My lungs are swinging from my rib cage.

Every organ in my body falls to the floor.

There are 400 cotton balls caught in my windpipe.

My spine is conducting enough electricity to power a city.

Try to keep my organs from falling out.

Especially her jaw:
My jaw falls off.

I manage to pick my jaw up off the floor.

My eyelashes trip into my eyebrows; my jaw drops into my lap.

And I have to make a conscious effort to keep my jaw from unhinging.

My jaw is dangling from my shoelace.

- Present tense? It's not really profitable to you, Mafi. Especially since your characters are so one - dimensional.

-
There's a queen - size bed in the middle of the space, lush carpet gracing the floors, an armoire flush against the wall, light fixtures glittering from the celing.


This is not how you write descriptions. Elaborate. Also, Mafi is writing from Juliette's POV, a person who notices like, every single of her surroundings.

- Too many hyperbole like this:
It takes 5 years to walk to the elevator. 15 more to ride it up. I'm a million years old by the time I walk into my room.

Characters

- Juliette

+ Our protagonist is supposed to be an insane person with an incredible power. But here's the problem: I don't think she's insane. Adam is correct about one thing: Juliette doesn't seem like a person with mental illnesses, just traumatized based on her interactions with other people. We all know "that girl": the Mary Sue one who is so pretty and cares about everyone. Yeah. That's Juliette for you. You wouldn't even think that she's been in isolation.

+ Also, I think that making Juliette vulnerable and helpless is realistic. However, it also made the book so fucking boring quite uneventful. Juliette doesn't actually develop anything until the last few chapters, and no, it's not good either. Because...

+ You think that a girl who was traumatized during her childhood can actually use a gun successfully when she's previously so afraid of hurting people? fuck you fuck you fuck you. No

+ Her stupidity made me cringe so many times I lost count.

+ She also have night vision? Damn. How incredibly convenient.

+ Doesn't know how to drive and anything about cars at first. Knows what a rearview mirror is 5 minutes later.

+ When you're half through the book, you will probably think Juliette is not human anymore. She's always melting into something:
James and Adam glance back at me and I melt into pink Play - Doh.

...but I melt until I'm a handful of hot butter dripping down his body.


- Adam

+ The most boring boyfriend ever His appearance did nothing to the book overall and unnecessary, even if he was the main character in this book. Well, at least that's how we see him through Juliette's POV. He's just a bunch of muscles and we know it's beautiful already allruing pale blue eyes. Seriously.

+ They were running for their lives and he stills want to make out with Juliette.

- Warner

+ The only character that has potential in the whole book, since he's truly insane. As some of you who are currently reading my review may have noticed, I love psychotive people. However, Mafi is turning him into a love interest and failed miserably by making him said so many fucking cheesy things things that are totally out of his characters. So this is your plan of making the "Warner Team" readers buy your next book?

- Kenji

+ Annoying as hell Quite tiresome, to be honest. Are you sure there's nothing wrong with his jaw, Mafi? He grins so much I thought that he must have broken it by now.

+ He has the power to turn his clothes invisible too?

- Winston

+
It's just a nickname - his last name is Kishimoto. He gets mad when we chop it in half. Gets sensitive about it.


You're a dick, Winston. Man, no wonder dude is pissed.

- Castle

+ Mafi tried too hard to make Castle a "mad scientist" of some sort.


Setting

- Dystopian my ass. Action my ass. This is disguised paranomal romance for teenagers: Lots of steamy scenes, zero sex. There are way too many convenient scenes in this. For example:
The keys are in the ignition.
There's a bag of groceries in the backseat.

- Shatter Me is like a 1984 - wannabe. I really hope that there will be more details about the society in the next book.

- This doesn't even deserve to be shelf in science - fiction. Mentions of too many impossibilities without reasoning is unacceptable. Will look into the so call "serum which tracks location and work with human bodies' natural processes, however stops working when counteracts with radionuclides". Mafi seems strangely fond of the word "molecular".

Alternative titles

- Creative Writing gone wrong.
- Tahereh Mafi: The discovery of a thesaurus.
- Touch me touch me touch me plz touch me.

Best enjoy with: A cup of vinegar. [not pictured]

Tớ là Dâu

Tớ là Dâu - Joe Ruelle So, I've had the honour to temporarily acquired this book from one of my acquaintances a few days ago. I was very excited at first, because I've rarely seen a foreigner who used Vietnamese this fluently.

Tớ là Dâu is a collection of blog posts by Joe Ruelle, a Canadian writer in Vietnam, originally published on Yahoo 360. Of course, Ruelle has only stayed in Vietnam for 3 years, quite a short period of time if you want to thoroughly understand a different culture, if you ask me. However, his book is a great source of entertainment, especially if you want to hear what "Westerners" think of Vietnam. I thought that Ruelle's love for bún chả and his amazement when he discovered "Asian karaoke" were adorable:
Mình cực kỳ thích bún chả. Mình không biết tại sao Bộ Y tế Việt Nam không tổ chức một cuộc vận động phát triển nhận thức cộng đồng về sự nguy hiểm của món bún chả, tại vì so với một bát bún chả ngon thì thuốc lá chẳng ăn thua gì đâu.

Reading about a Canadian perspective of a country he's only been to for a short time and his enthusiasm, can be a pleasuring read once in a while.

Favourite part: "Vietnamese chat language"
kÁc bẠn cÓ bÍt FíM sHiFt hÔg? MiN sẼ dZùNg kÁi Fím Áy đỂ tRaG tRí vĂn KủA MìN mỤt ChÚt. ;-) FảI LuN LuN Cố gẮg Để cHữ kỦa MìN đẸp HơN ChỮ KủA nG` kHáC cHứ! gỌi Là Sĩ dZiỆn ĐiỆn tỬ đẤy!! :) Hihi!!!! :P.

I laughed so hard on this one so the chair lost its balance. I found myself with an aching head on the floor 3 seconds later.

Best enjoy with:
As the title suggests (Tớ là Dâu = I am Strawberry??), the book is sweet and can be used for stress relief. Soda and strawberry syrup, perhaps?

Creative Writing Career: Becoming a Writer of Movies, Video Games, and Book

Creative Writing Career: Becoming a Writer of Movies, Video Games, and Book - Justin Sloan Received this book in exchange for an honest review.

I found this book particularly very helpful and informative. Creative Writing Career is a collection of interviews with writers. Especially when Sloan interviewed Joshua Robin, a videogame writer, since I'm a big fan of Assassin Creed myself and I haven't thought about researching for more info at this certain field.

So, definitely recommended.

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