Slammed by Colleen Hoover

Colleen Hoover amazes me yet again. This is the third novel of hers that I am reading, and let me tell you, after Hopeless, I didn’t think Hoover could surprise me again. But she doesn’t disappoint, people. Slammed has got to be one of the most thought provoking books I’ve ever read.

I love the name Layken. Its very lyrical and I feel it has immense elegance. And I also love Layken’s character. She’s smart and tackles things very nicely, although I got a bit fed up with how easily she cried. Don’t get me wrong, she had every right to, and isn’t a Mary Sue by any means, but I felt she could have held off the crying, at least in some of the situations.

While I didn’t exactly fall head over heels in love with Will, I respect him as a character and love how he assesses his situation with Layken. While he might have been a bit boring at times, he made up for it with his brain. He’s the clear headed one, the calm and centered one – the deep one with a love for poetry.

While I’m not a huge fan of poetry, this book opened me up to it and I guess I understand it a bit better now. I especially loved Kel, Layken’s younger brother. He was endearing and wonderful and funny. All in all, this book, probably not Hoover’s best work, still amazes and astounds me. It’s wonderful, and I would honestly recommend it to everyone who loves reading.

You can also find this review (and many more) on my book blog, Symphony of Words.

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Dauntless Manifesto

We believe that cowardice is to blame for the world’s injustices.
We believe that peace is hard-won, that sometimes it is necessary to fight for peace. But more than that: We believe that justice is more important than peace.
We believe in freedom from fear, in denying fear the power to influence our decisions. We believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.
We believe in acknowledging fear and the extent to which it rules us. We believe in facing that fear no matter what the cost to our comfort, our happiness, or even our sanity.
We believe in shouting for those who can only whisper, in defending those who cannot defend themselves.
We believe, not just in bold words but in bold deeds to match them. We believe that pain and death are better than cowardice and inaction because we believe in action.
We do not believe in living comfortable lives. We do not believe that silence is useful.
We do not believe in good manners.
We do not believe in empty heads, empty mouths, or empty hands.
We do not believe that learning to master violence encourages unnecessary violence.
We do not believe that we should be allowed to stand idly by. We do not believe that any other virtue is more important than bravery.

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My Love For Literature

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/24/writing-challenge-reflections/

I have loved anything to do with words since I can remember learning how to read. As a child, I cherished all the books I was gifted, and read and re read them, again and again and again, and just wished that I was in there with the characters, prancing around and fighting crime with them and laughing and going around town with them and sleuthing and talking with them.

One if the first books I have ever read – believe it or not, was Nancy Drew. I guess I was in the fifth grade at the time, and for me, it was perhaps the first real series that mattered and affected me. It was the first series I read with complete understanding.

The first Young Adult novel I had ever read, was Meg Cabot’s Jinx. It was honestly very thrilling and I’m glad I read it, for a variety of different reasons, which, of course, include Meg Cabot’s snark. She has got to be one of the funniest authors I’ve ever read, and I hope to meet her one day. (Yeah, yeah, don’t confuse reality with fantasy). So she introduced me to the YA genre of fiction, and I must say I continue to enjoy it through and through.

The first story I ever wrote, was, in fact, a small “book” about me and my friends, who apparently got trapped in a broken down motel which was haunted by the ghost of a girl named Shaista. I called it Sealed, and I think me and my friends even enacted out its movie. Way back, mind you.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is, reading and writing is a passion of mine that’s always been there, from the very begining. I read to let go of all the reality in this world. The feeling of jumping into someone else’s mind, figuring out someone else’s problems, ( and falling in love with someone else’s boyfriend) is something I routinely enjoy while reading. Escaping my world and locking myself away in a bubble with the book and only the book makes me feel like I am a part of the world I am reading about, and for me there is no greater feeling.

I write because I love reading – reading what I write is a wondrous thing, and every time, it only gets better for me. Writing what I think, what I feel, and then reading it weeks or even months later, leaves me nostalgic, and at the same time, oddly sated and happy.

This is me reflecting on why I love what I love. What do you think, guys? Do you feel the same way? No? Tell me. I’m all ears.

Top Ten Tuesday

So I’ve officially launched my YOUNG ADULT BOOK BLOG, SYMPHONY OF WORDS. AND, I have today done, my first ever meme. YESSSS.

It’s called Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the Broke & The Bookish. The topic for today was:

TOP TEN BOOKS IN MY SPRING TBR LIST

You can view it (let me rephrase: you ARE ORDERED to view it) and please let me know what you thought!

http://symphofwords.blogspot.com/2014/03/top-ten-tuesday.html

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Abnegation – My Mother

Has anyone ever read the Divergent series by Veronica Roth?
Well, in this dystopian young adult book, the society is divided into 5 factions:

Abnegation : The Selfless
Dauntless : The Brave
Erudite : The Intelligent
Amity : The Peaceful
Candor : The Honest

When I read about how people lived in the abnegation faction, it grated on my nerves how nice they were. I mean, I’m all for kindness and love, but the degree of their selflessness was exhausting.

And now, people, I have realised that I’ve been living with an abnegation.

My mother.

She has possibly got to be the most selfless person I know. She’s an english teacher over at my school, in a place where everyone is looking for people to dump their work on. The one person who always says yes?

My Mother.

Honestly, I don’t know how she does it. She’s already got loads of corrections to do, she teaches grades 6th to 9th (that’s two classes per grade, mind you) and she’s basically the foothold everyone finds to give all their work to.

My school board has just introduced ASL, [I am not aware about the A, but the S and L stand for speaking and listening], and my school principal is basically my english teacher. So, it his job, you know, to take the speaking and listening skills. Apparently there’s this new rule that the teacher teaching the class can’t take ASL for them (which I highly doubt so yeah, OK, don’t take our ASL, but for God’s sake find another teacher.

My mom is loaded with work, she has to make an average of marks accounted by 40 students in 5 subjects, she has to take care of my brat of a sister, she has papers to fill and forms to collect and stuff to pack, and now she has to take my speaking skill.

I should be thrilled, right? This would seem like a free ticket to getting full marks in ASL. But no, I am not relieved. It is excruciatingly sick and I’m tired and bloody irritated about how the staff of my school take my mother for granted. They respect her, yes (as they’ve said countless times) but they still take her for granted. And it’s like she has a physical disability and can never, and I mean never, say no to these people.

It’s a quality I love about her – her faith in God and faith in herself and that no matter how much work she has, she can accomplish it, is what gives me my strength. But it gets very, very..gah, I can’t describe it. Try a mix of irritated, on the verge of breaking someone’s face, full of anxiety, troubled, angry. Mostly angry.

My mother, people, is the perfect abnegation. Maybe more so that the characters in the book. And while I love her for it, I can see why I am not abnegation. Someone needs to keep her from going off the map trying to save others who are going off the map. Or something.