Sunday, 29 April 2012

Cinder


"Vanity is a factor, but it is more a question of control. It is easier to trick others into perceiving you as beautiful if you can convince yourself you are beautiful. But mirrors have an uncanny way of telling the truth."
- Cinder by Marissa Meyer

I love fairytale retellings and this book was by far one of the best fairytale retelling I have ever read. Cinder is the first book in the Lunar Chronicles and I must say I'm quite excited for the future books to come. This book takes all the elements from the original tale and crafts it into an amazingly beautiful and dark story, Marissa Meyer I salute you congratulations in creating such a wonderfully brilliant novel. Oh, by the way our newly improved Cinderella a.k.a Cinder is a cyborg (well at least partially anyway), that pretty much raised the excitement and love for this book even before reading the damn thing.

PLOT

If you haven't already guessed this book is a retelling of Cinderella however it takes an epic turn from the old original story and reveals instead to be set in a futuristic place called New Beijing. Cinder lives with her step mother Adri and her two step sisters Pearl and Peony in an apartment complex and works everyday at Adri's shop in the marketplace. Cinder's only companion there is her mechanical friend and assistant at work, Iko. Cinder is gifted when it comes to fixing and working with mechanical things and is known to be the best mechanic in the country, but still some how manages to live poorly (I wonder why...) however due to her skills as a mechanic she gets an unlikely customer, Prince Kai, who comes to her disguised as a normal civilian rather than someone of royalty. He asks her to fix his android and of course being the Emperor's son, agrees to do it for him but after he leaves Cinder hears a scream and realises that someone has the plague. The plague is a huge issue that ravages throughout the six Earthen countries (Eastern Commonwealth = New Beijing) and is commonly known as the letumosis. Letumosis is lethal, anyone who is infected with this disease dies a painfully slow death, it is highly contagious, and there is no cure for it. So when the plague hits someone in the marketplace the emergency crew seal off the area for quarantine. Cinder manages to sneak out and gets home, after this and that one of her sister gets the plague and her stepmother blames Cinder for it. Enraged Adri volunteers Cinder off to the research labs for the development for the cure and what frightens Cinder most is that no one ever survives the test labs.

CHARACTERS

  • Cinder: partially a cyborg due to an accident when she was young, since then a lot of her body has been replaced by mechanical parts including an awesome computer overlay over her eye which can detect when someone is lying, handy. She is kind yet flawed in many ways that makes her such a real character, she is intelligent, and so independently strong as a character. 
  • Prince Kai: the dashing "prince charming" but not so perfect in this story, not in a bad way of course but in a way that makes him feel like a real character and not some annoyingly perfect male being who happens to be rich and powerful. Well he is rich and powerful, I mean he is The Prince of the nation but he is flawed as well and struggles daily, and is burdened continuously throughout the book all for the his people and his kingdom (he will be a great ruler one day if he is mentioned again in the books to come) a great male lead indeed. 
  • Iko: an old robot who continuously malfunctions but has an amazingly hilarious personality, she was such a cute and loveable character who is probably Cinder's best friend and only friend. 
  • Adri: Cinder's evil stepmother yet she wasn't as evil as I thought she would be, surprisingly. I kind of ended up pitying this woman towards the end but of course she did make some horrible decisions and wasn't all that "nice" but still wasn't someone I hated. 
  • Pearl: one of Cinder's stepsisters, this girl was annoying as heck at times but since Cinder wasn't bothered by it as much I wasn't either. She wasn't as evil as I would have imagined her to be but she was still a bitch at times. 
  • Peony: Cinder's other step sister and my my what a surprise she was, I was amazed at how nice this girl was especially towards Cinder. Peony was quite possibly Cinder's only human friend in this book, she was just such a lovely character, I loved her. 
  • Dr. Erland: is the scientist who takes care of Cinder when she is sent to test labs. He was by far one of my favourite character in this book. He was kind of the "fairy Godmother" for this retelling, always advising and keeping Cinder out of trouble, always helping her whether it be secretly or knowingly. 
There are a couple of other characters that are quite significant in the story but I can't mention them without spoiling the story if you get what I mean.

The world building in this book was amazing, Marissa Meyer did an incredible job in bringing this place and futuristic setting alive. Her writing style was were beautifully written in way that depicted the settings so well yet could be easily read without being too poetic.
The only real problem I had with this book was that some aspects of this future world was not entirely explained properly like the other five colonies, this book is focused within the Eastern Commonwealth however we get no information on the other countries of the Earthen world but I can forgive Marissa for that as this is the first book in the series and the rest of these countries are bound to be answered in the books to come. We also have the divide between the Lunar people (a hated alien race who live on the moon and do look human but have a seductive ability in manipulating the feeling and sight of humans) and the Earthens, how these Lunar people came about and why they are separated from Earth were not clearly explained but these again can be answered in the next books in the series so I wasn't too upset about that either.

Overall I highly enjoyed Cinder, flew through the damn thing, the pacing was amazing and fast (definitely a page-turner), I loved the new take on Cinderella, so many things happen in this book and there are so many problems that need to be solved throughout this book making into an epic adventure even though everything happens in one city, it was amazing. This book is was so good and I highly recommend it to you all.

5/5 SMILES

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Graffiti Moon


"Let me make it in time. Let me meet Shadow. The guy who paints in the dark. Paints birds trapped on brick walls and people lost in ghost forests. Paints guys with grass growing from their hearts and girls with buzzing lawn mowers."

- Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowely

So I read this not too long ago... okay back in January and I've finally decided on to actually review books on my blog. I don't usually read contemporary books as much and this was the first in over a year (I think... my mind is like a goldfish sometimes) and it was surprisingly good! It was a short, fun, and enjoyable read.

Before I go further with this and I promise you this is not a spoiler don't worry but...
  • Shadow = Ed
  • Poet = Leo

Sorry just needed to clarify that before going any further, just avoiding some confusion I tend to refer both those characters by both names at times. 

PLOT

Basically the story is revolved around Lucy but the chapters alternate between Lucy, Shadow, and Poet although the Poet's chapters aren't consisted of a narrative of his point of view but of poems which was quite unique! I highly enjoyed that. Anyway moving on now, so the story begins with Lucy and it's here last day or should I say night of high school, finally finishing off Year 12 and she wants to spend this night looking for an unknown street graffiti artist by the name of "Shadow". On this exciting and adventurous night of stalking her beloved artist, Lucy somehow gets stuck with Ed. She's obviously way too busy looking for Shadow and really doesn't want anything to do with Ed but he claims to know who Shadow is and agrees to help her look for Shadow. So together they begin an all-nighter search for Shadow, visiting places where his works are displayed throughout the city. But what Lucy fails to realise is that the very person she is looking for has been right in front of her all along. 

CHARACTERS
  • Lucy: she a very real personality and quite relateable in my opinion... well on most things anyway. She was artistic, funny, independent, and smart. What I found interesting was that although she was just a normal average girl she was very strong as a character in ways you will learn when you read the book. 
  • Ed (Shadow): he had a sense of humour (thankfully) who is very passionate about his artworks, he tends to evoke his emotions and feelings right into his works a true artist indeed. Artworks don't lie though and he is a broken character as well an tries not to show it (that cutie), he was depressing at times and was loaded with insecurities about himself especially around Lucy. But somehow manages to cling to a glimmer of hope here and there thanks to Bert and Lucy.
  • Leo (Poet): Ed's best friend who has a thing for Jazz who is Lucy's best friend (what a coincidence), he's like Shadow's sidekick in the art world, and also suffers from insecurities here and there but overall a funny guy to hang around with. 
  • Al: an elderly man who owns an art studio in which Lucy works at in exchange for art lessons, he also makes his artworks out of glass which was surprisingly cool. Al is overall an awesomely nice character and is very supportive of Lucy, I seriously loved Al!  
  • Bert: another elderly man who owns an art supply shop in which Ed works at, he is like Ed's teacher in many ways, always encouraging Ed and is probably the reason why Ed didn't loose his mind to depression. 
Minor characters such as Jazz, Daisy, Dylan also contributed to the flow of this story, making it all the more enjoyable to read with their sarcastic, fun, and hilarious personalities.  


Can I just say the way some parts were written in this book really took me into another world... well not really but it's like I was actually looking at the artworks themselves. I swear if this is ever adapted into a movie I could imagine it being an awesomely artistic and trippy explosion of glory! And did anyone else think that  Shadow's graffiti artworks reminded you of Banksy's works?

It's amazing how so much happens in one night. WHAT?! Yes I said it, the whole story is set within one night yet their was so much exploring and discovery. Its's such a thin book if you ever come across this you'll know what I mean IT IS SO THIN! Yet Cath Crowley did such an amazing job at bring this story to life. Thank you Cath Crowley for writing such an amazingly beautiful book! Highly recommend it to all out there! 

5/5 SMILES!

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Picasso - La Lecture


So I went to the Art Gallery of New South Wales just about 5 days back, I guess I forgot that I had an online journal, called the blog.
Anyway the art gallery was hosting a Picasso exhibition by the title of

Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris 

It was was a really good experience, in my opinion and it was definitely worth my money.
If you live in Sydney and you're into art I really recommend you to go see his works for yourself.
It ends at 25 March 2012, so any time between now and then. GO.
One of my favourite works from the exhibition was La Lecture (The Reader) 
not just for the vibrant colours and expressive curves, it reminded me of books. Bing! A bonus. 
Apparently it's a portrait of Picasso's lover, Marie-Thérése. 
Anyhow there were so many more artworks there that I liked, I was surprised to see some classicism there, I only knew him for being a cubist and surrealist so it was interesting to see a different style. 

So if you do end up going, enjoy!


Sunday, 29 January 2012

Hello There Stranger.

That look.
                          That pale skin.
                                                  That hair...



Okay stop looking at the picture. It's only there because I want it to be there.
When all you do is sit all night and collect pictures of other peoples works, feel the need to share it around, and stare at it for hours at end before thinking to yourself. Hey I feel like picking up a pencil.


That's what I call an inspiration.



P.S - Welcome to my blog