2013 Book Meme

Since I’ve actually kept track of what I read this year, thanks to Goodreads, I decided to do this book meme found here.

Best Book of 2013
This was a toughie for me since I read a couple of great series, and I tend to lump the books in the series as a whole. So I then thought about what book in the series I like the best, but since these are series, I just can’t choose a single book. Therefore, the best book(s) of 2013 are: Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan and the Leviathan trilogy by Scott Westerfeld.

Worst Book of 2013
The Diary of the Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney falls in this category for me. I am fond of children’s book, but I ended up really hating the protagonist within the first few pages, so I just decided to stop reading it. Sure, I can see why kids like it, but I sure don’t!

Most Disappointing Book of 2013
A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snickett took the cake for me. I wanted to like the book, because I do like the characters and all, but the writing style of defining every word on a page just got to me. So I was disappointed that I couldn’t get into the series by that.

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins was also that for me. It wasn’t horrible per se, but after the first two books, it just left me quite disappointed.

Most Surprising (in a good way) Book of 2013
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi ended up being a good read for me since I wasn’t expecting it to be that good! Same thing with A Chinese Life by Li Kunwu. Both of these graphic novels introduced me to a country and culture I wasn’t familiar with, so I liked the educational value of them as well.

Book You Recommended to People Most in 2013
Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan and the Leviathan trilogy by Scott Westerfeld were the series I recommended to my friends. I just couldn’t believe how much fun I had reading these, and I wondered why I hadn’t read them sooner! I love the modern interpretations of the Greek myth Rick Riordan showed in the Percy Jackson books, and I love the alternate history of WWI Scott Westerfeld crafted with the Darwinists and the Clankers. Just absolutely brilliant.

Best Series You Discovered in 2013
See the previous question :D

Favourite New Authors You Discovered in 2013
Rick Riordan and Scott Westerfeld hands down!

Most Hilarious Read of 2013
Uh, I went through my list, and I have to say none of the titles really stood out as a hilarious title. But if I were to pick a scene, it’d be the whole “Dam” incident in The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan. It was just “dam” hilarious.

Most Thrilling, Unputdownable Book in 2013
The Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. The world in the book and the situations Katniss was put in were enough to make me read these two books on the edge of my bed, and I really couldn’t stop reading because of the intensity of the plot!

Book You Most Anticipated in 2013
The Sandman and the War of Dreams by William Joyce. Unfortunately, I haven’t read it yet. Will remedy that soon, but I really was looking forward to that book!

Favourite Cover of a Book You Read in 2013
I never really judge book covers . . . so N/A on this one.

Most Memorable Character in 2013
Katniss Everdeen from the first two books of The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. I really admired her strength in those books. I just hated her change in the third book.

Most Beautifully Written Book in 2013
Though I haven’t finished it yet, I have to give props to The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. It really is beautifully written for me. I especially like how Death narrates the book, so it gives it a more surreal quality to the writing.

Book That Had the Greatest Impact on You in 2013
Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan and the Leviathan trilogy by Scott Westerfeld did impact me in literary way, but I have to say that Quiet by Susan Cain impacted me on a personal level since I learned a lot about introversion and how it applies to me!

Book You Can’t Believe You Waited Until 2013 to Finally Read
Everything I mentioned above. Really. I don’t know why I waited so long to read some of these series, and I am glad I did!

Leviathan Squeeing

In May, I devoured The Hunger Games Trilogy, and in August, I did a Percy Jackson and the Olympians marathon.

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve been reading a lot of BL Novels, that are quite mediocre, but is something I consider to be fast and easy read. Two days ago, I started on The Leviathan Trilogy by Scott Westerfeld.

OMG. As a fan of alternate history, steampunk, and young adult, this trilogy was something I’d looked forward to reading, but at the same time I was worried that it’d be a colossal mess. My fears proved to be wrong, and I was swept away in a thrilling adventure with Prince Aleksander and Deryn Sharp, and their world of Clankers and Darwinists. I adored the whole premise of the plot, filled with a fascinating world where DNA fabrication is the way of life with steam-powered machines. I enjoyed watching Alek and Deryn grow into their characters, as well as the diverse group of the supporting cast. I geeked over all the historical figures that appeared in the trilogy, and it was a good refresher for the WWI era.

Bottom line, I am glad I read this trilogy. I just wished I’d known about it earlier!

Fanfictions Are Not Horrible

I discovered Kindle Worlds last night. I already mentioned on my LJ about how I think it’s not a great idea, and how fanfictions should remain non-profit.

One of my friends shared this blog post, and I read through some of the comments, and I stopped when I read a comment saying that all fanfictions are bad, no exceptions. Huh. I admit, I may be biased, but as a long time fanfic reader (over ten years, holy crap!), I have read my share of horribly written fics, but I’ve also read many fantastic ones. The ones that I find to be better than the original stories, the ones that leaves me aching for more, the ones that stay with for years . . . these are the stories that make fanfics worth reading. Yes, I have to sift through many bad ones before I get the good ones, but when I do find that good fic, it’s just worth it. All those days and nights spent reading something that are the length of a Russian novels are not something I regret at all.

So to say that all fanfictions are bad — NO. It is like saying everything on Fanfiction.net is bad. Yes, there are a pile of stories I’d not touch with any length poles, but there are hidden gems there, too. And I love it when I stumble upon them or when I find them because of other fans recommendations.

The Hunger Games Trilogy

I was stuck at the hospital for a long time on Thursday, so I decided to finally start reading something in my Kindle backlog. I started reading the first book of A Series of Unfortunate Events, but I actually found the author’s style of defining terms on a regular basis annoying. Thus, I decided to start on The Hunger Games trilogy instead.

Oh. Em. Gee.

I was hooked. So hooked, that I stayed up late on Thursday night and Friday morning finishing the first book and started on the second book. Then I stayed up until 7:30am on Saturday finishing the second and the third book. I just could not stop reading. I found myself really liking the first and the second book. The third book, while providing a good finale, was the weakest in the series, and I felt it was awfully rushed and kind of confusing.

Despite that, the book’s characters and plots really grabbed me. The dystopic setting, the totalitarian nation of Panem and her districts — all of them just gripped me like one of the Capitol’s citizens watching the game. Yet the harshness of the game, the cruel fates awaiting for the Tributes, and the whole political shebang of the trilogy have left me quite horrified at the same time. The philosophy of the books reminded me of Animorphs; both series made me question the world and how it’s not always black-and-white. Really, it has been a long time since I’ve read something so impacting. I am only sorry it took me this long to read it, but at the same time, I’m glad I waited for the whole trilogy to be completed instead of waiting around with a nasty cliffhanger living in my head.

Mini-Reviews: Kindle Paperwhite & Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward

Within the last week and a half, I’ve been abducted by the thing known as work. Despite the abduction, I’ve become familiar with Hikaru the Kindle Paperwhite, and I beat Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward. Now I am here to present my thoughts on the two.

Kindle Paperwhite
I like it. I find it to be a tad bit slower than my Kindle Touch, but the fact that I can read in the dark makes up for it. The bottom part of the screen does emit the “glow/shadow”, but I was able to ignore it after a while. I’m just thrilled that I can read in the dark, and the lighted screen has served its purpose for me. Plus, I like the idea of having a device that I can carry 2910920 ebooks instead of carrying the said amount physically. Yes, I will always prefer real book, but ebooks are appealing in their own ways compared to real book.

Unfortunately, like my Kindle Touch, the readers are crap for manga reading. So while I love the Kindles for reading simple text-based ebooks, I won’t be using it to read graphic-based books like mangas. A pity, really, since I do like mangas. Nonetheless, I do like my new Kindle, and I am glad I upgraded for the lighted screen!

Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward
After falling madly in love with Hakuouki in December, a game full of samurais, wars, and pretty boys, VLR’s different genre threw me off for a loop. Yes, both games have murders and killings, but Hakuouki had a fairly straightforward plot. VLR ended up being a total mindfuck and all the twists and turns put me through one hell of a ride. Here’s another spoiler-free reaction post I wrote at NokoNoko. I really did enjoy the game, even if I did prefer 999 over it.