[FBCYA] The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Howdy y’all! Last April, our Fanboy Book Club Book of the Month was a book that I found to be refreshingly engrossing what with such an unusual concept and subject that most books usually don’t revolve around. It is:

 

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The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

 

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This happened to be my first read from Maggie Stiefvater and also my first read about equestrian creatures. Simply put, it was about deadly horses and equally deadly horse racing of which did not fall short on giving us an epic and beautiful storyline.

 

To discuss it more in detail, however, the book is much more than horses and horse racing, as opposed to what the title may lead us to believe. I found that it goes much deeper than that: it’s about being connected with your roots, embracing it, and loving it. The two main characters, Sean Kendrick and Puck Connoly, perfectly exhibit this. Judging from what you may read in the book, there is nothing more that these two will love than being with their horses and staying in the island that has watched them grow, Thisby. I especially like how much they love the horses and the island so much that it’s almost impossible for a reader not to feel the same way. I may be speaking for myself – But then again, maybe not. 😉

 
Despite being a book the Fanboy Book Club has picked, I am thoroughly pleased having read some undertones of feminism in the text. It was shown in several scenes of which occur because the men competing in the Scorpio Races believe that the races are no place for a mere girl like Puck.

 
It was delineated very well in the story with Puck keeping her stand with letting her, girl, compete in the Scorpio Races despite practically everyone in the island telling her to quit and she showed that just because she’s a girl doesn’t mean her opportunities are limited. As I have always said, I feel quite frustrated with how society dictates that girls should only do girl things and boys should do boy things when both sexes are very much capable of doing anything if they set their mind to it.

 
In the book, these pestilent water horses are called capaille uisce. The very facts that they are bloodthirsty and deadly are what makes the locals afraid and tremble before them. But despite this, they still admire the capaille uisce for their beauty, speed, and strength. Corr, being one himself, embodies how things could be monstrous and beautiful at the same time; how you could still love something that has potential to lead you to your demise or utter happiness; how much you can love and connect with your roots, no matter how complex and daunting it may seem.

 
The race itself was swift and vivid. As I read it, visualizing the race wasn’t hard and it made it easier to immerse myself in the book. Although it didn’t last long as others have expected it to, I couldn’t think how it could have been executed more perfectly.

 
And let me just put it out here that I most especially appreciate that finally, we got to read a romance that did not ruin the book but even made it better. The blossoming affection between Sean and Puck was there but it didn’t go in the way of what the story wanting to push for. Most fantasy books tend to lean more on the romance and forget the action-filled aspect of the book. It did not happen here and it makes me so happy.

 
Overall, the story was well-paced and so beautifully written that by the end of the book you’ll want more capaille uisce, more Thisby, more ocean, more Scorpio Races. With all these said, I rate this book a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

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Thanks for reading! Til the next post 💙

 

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Fanboy Book Club: More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

Howdy y’all! It’s been a long while since I posted here and I missed reviewing books, so let’s get to it! For this month, the Fanboy Book Club‘s book of the month is:

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More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

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In the months after his father’s suicide, it’s been tough for 16-year-old Aaron Soto to find happiness again–but he’s still gunning for it. With the support of his girlfriend Genevieve and his overworked mom, he’s slowly remembering what that might feel like. But grief and the smile-shaped scar on his wrist prevent him from forgetting completely.

When Genevieve leaves for a couple of weeks, Aaron spends all his time hanging out with this new guy, Thomas. Aaron’s crew notices, and they’re not exactly thrilled. But Aaron can’t deny the happiness Thomas brings or how Thomas makes him feel safe from himself, despite the tensions their friendship is stirring with his girlfriend and friends. Since Aaron can’t stay away from Thomas or turn off his newfound feelings for him, he considers turning to the Leteo Institute’s revolutionary memory-alteration procedure to straighten himself out, even if it means forgetting who he truly is.

Why does happiness have to be so hard?

 

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I read this book without knowing or reading about its plot or summary. All I knew was I was reading about a book with a male lead. As I read further, I realized this was no ordinary book with a male-lead. It was a diverse book that talked about being gay in a world where it wasn’t socially acceptable and that hiding who you really were and forcing yourself to be straight for the sake of other people’s opinion was more important.

This book made me feel a lot of feels. It made me cry in some parts, and empathetic in most. I felt for the main character, Aaron, in this book so much that I also felt whatever experiences and feelings he had as I read it. One of the most important things I’d like to emphasize here is how this book opened my eyes to the challenges faced by people labeled as “abnormal” and “outcasts” just because they finally decided to be true to who they were. People calling them hurtful names and ostracizing them as if they weren’t humans apparently wasn’t enough. Some people even resort to physical assault to express their hatred for the gay community. Now you tell me, how does punching and kicking and hurting gay people make you any more human than they are? Does calling them names make you proud? Stronger? Smarter? How is it fair that their happiness is deprived for another’s satisfaction? I couldn’t logically think of a reason why people would label the LGBTQI community as anything less than a human being. No matter what a person’s sexual preference is, they are still human. They will always be. Perhaps even better humans than those who criticize them.

The book started off taking on a light and funny route, but as you read further, lines start blurring for Aaron and he starts to question things happening in his life and his identity until things go so wrong he attempts suicide, and eventually pursues undergoing procedure in Leteo Institute, an insititute that helps you forget memories, just so he could forget about being gay and be accepted by his friends and family again.

All I wanted to do was go inside the book and give Aaron a hug and tell him he was more precious than he thought he was. It hurt me to read that he said it was better off being brain dead than waking up as himself. It makes you think: the ostracizing and the judging of people are getting so out of hand that it drives some people to sacrifice their own happiness and change themselves just to feel welcome and feel that they belonged.

The book was about finding happiness and there are two major things that the book taught me: First, I think happiness is found when you let yourself be happy despite everything — all the hardships and challenges — you’ll inevitably go through. Happiness is a choice and you shouldn’t let other people dictate your own. You hold it in your hands and no one other than yourself has the right to make you feel wrong about it; and second, that life is definitely worth living. And there’s one quote in the book which I really love in relation with this:

I’ve become this happiness scavenger who picks away at the ugliness of the world, because if there’s happiness tucked away in my tragedies, I’ll find it no matter what. If the blind can find joy in music, and the deaf can discover it with colors, I will do my best to always find the sun in the darkness because my life isn’t one sad ending  – it’s a series of endless happy beginnings.

This book definitely made me more happy than not and I’d rate it a 4 out of 5 stars.

I really enjoyed reading this book and I hope more people will get to read it and love it as much as I did. 🙂

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Thanks for reading! Til the next post. X

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[Fanboy Book Club] BOOK TALK: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

Howdy y’all! As I told you in one of my posts earlier this month, I am a part of this awesome book club whose proprietor is Bianca @ notoriouslaylow. This is also co-hosted by other awesome bloggers namely MC @ blameitonthebooks; Nicka @ readbynicka; Trisha @ thebookgasmblog  and yours truly.

This month marks the club’s official start and our first Book of the Month is one heck of a book indeed. It is also what we are reviewing for today. It’s none other than

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HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE BY J.K. ROWLING

 

I’m going to pretend most of you aren’t basically experts on the awesomeness that is Harry Potter so here’s a summary:

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Harry Potter thinks he is an ordinary boy. He lives with his Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia and cousin Dudley, who are mean to him and make him sleep in a cupboard under the stairs. (Dudley, however, has two bedrooms, one to sleep in and one for all his toys and games.) Then Harry starts receiving mysterious letters and his life is changed forever. He is whisked away by a beetle-eyed giant of a man and enrolled at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The reason: Harry Potter is a wizard! The first book in the “Harry Potter” series makes the perfect introduction to the world of Hogwarts.

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DISCLAIMER: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS MILD SPOILERS

Before anything, I don’t know how I can truly and eloquently justify how much I loved reading the book, but I shall try.

In all honesty, I am no stranger to the Harry Potter movies but this was my first time reading the book. Yep, you’ve read it right. I’m one of those few who haven’t read this series yet, which is why I saw this as the perfect opportunity to get it started.

Well, I finally did it, and what I could say is that it was a joy to read. It was very light and easy, and there were several parts that made me laugh and chuckle and of course some parts that frustrated me with the unfairness of Harry’s life and all. I can also say that it is one of the best starter books I have read; no wonder it became such a big hit and no wonder why the hype is still as strong as it is today.

In terms of visualization of the characters and the setting, I didn’t experience any difficulty, having watched the movies first before I picked up Sorcerer’s Stone. I loved how the movie portrayed the characters as close to the book as possible and how Hogwarts in general was perfectly exhibited – from the grandiose Great Hall to the simplicity and the coziness the common room brings. It was easy to lose yourself in the pages as if you were in the scene that Rowling wrote.

Something that stood out to me the most while reading the book was the premise of friendship and the kind of familial love you still receive even from those beyond your bloodline. I empathized for Harry and kind of related to how ignored he felt sometimes but he never lets this bring him down. I liked that about him. As this club emphasizes male leads, I felt that this particular male leads sets a great example for Muggles *oh, sorry,* readers like me, in terms of rising to the occasion – numerous occasions, in fact.

In the book, he was found at the doorstep of the Dursley’s house one night and they have adapted him ever since. For ten years, Harry lived with them, having the cupboard under the stairs as his room, having Dudley’s, the Dursley’s son, old clothes as his, not to mention being bullied in school for it. But he didn’t act like someone you would pity. He didn’t cry and sulk of the miserable things and people surrounding him. That, for me, already says a lot. It sets quite an inspiration for people who were bullied or lived an unhappy [childhood] life.

The character that I connected the most was not Harry, though. It was Ronald Weasley. Personally, he’s the type of person you’d notice, but not entirely conspicuous kind. He’s always ready to help his friends and is brave enough to fight for them when situations get tough. The fact that most of his things have a great tendency to be hand-me-downs are just another  thing to add to the list of the things I can relate with this fellow. And as one of the male leads in this story, he also sets a great example and influence to those who have the privilege of getting to know him.

I particularly liked the twist at the end; how certain characters have been the epitome of deception. You would never have thought that Professor Snape wasn’t really out to get Harry, but quite the opposite. Throughout the book, several instances appeared as though he were trying to sabotage Harry’s Hogwarts student life and get him kicked out of there as soon as possible. The bigger shock was how one stuttering Professor Quirell didn’t seem to be the coward he pretended to be. You would never know between those stutters and that absurd turban that a Dark Lord would ever choose him to carry his wicked endeavors.

Over-all, I had fun reading this and by the end of the book, I found myself wishing that I would be a student at Hogwarts, myself. Even if I am technically a muggle, I refuse to think so and would prefer I’d be someone like Hermione, perhaps? Wouldn’t it be cool to receive a letter from owls and just go through life with the power of magic? Or when you want to contact a person, wouldn’t it be more fun saying “send me an owl” rather than “here’s my e-mail”? Man, oh man. Let me pick the next book up and take me back to Hogwarts.

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What do YOU think about Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Thanks for reading! Til the next post. X

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Fanboy Book Club: Introduction

Howdy y’all! The Fanboy Book Club’s amazing mastermind is none other than Bianca @  The Ultimate Fangirl and she will be hosting for the month of February. For those who don’t know what Fanboy Book Club is or does, Bianca has a post all about that right here.

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I’m very honored and happy that I’m a part of this book club and I hope to be introduced to new, interesting titles as much as the next reader. So let’s get this introduction post kicking!


 

  1. Tell us a bit about yourself.

Hi! My name is Maan and my name is usually spelled like “Ma-An” but I spell it straight because I’m too lazy to explain why there’s a dash there. I am open to reading any genre so this book club pushes me to challenge myself. Well, challenge accepted!

2. How did you come up with your blog name?

One of my favorite YA romance novels is Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire. And the male lead, the totally dreamy Travis Maddox, describes a pigeon as “a kind of soul that didn’t impede on anyone; just walked around worrying about its own business, trying to get through life without pulling everyone else down with its own needs and selfish habits. Brave. A communicator. […] Unattainable until she has a reason to trust you.” I love this so much all my social media handles have “pigeon” on it.

3. Who is your favorite male character?

There are two who are infinitely tied in my first place of most favorite male character ever. William Herondale from The Infernal Devices and Daemon Black from the Lux Series.

4. I’m giving you the freedom here. Who are your book husbands/book boyfriends?

TOO MANY TO MENTION. (But I will name a few.)

  • Will Herondale & Daemon Black
  • Chaol Westfall
  • Tamlin
  • Travis Maddox
  • Liam Stewart
  • Levi
  • Jared Ryel
  • Aaron Warner
  • Etienne St. Clair
  • Ezra Mason

5. Book with a male lead that really stuck to your heart?

Clockwork Princess. I will never forget how much I grieved a fictional character’s death. I’ve gushed about this book a gazillion times you probably already know what I’m talking about. 😛

6. Link to your social media accounts.

TwitterInstagram * Tumblr

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Thanks for reading. See you on the next post! x

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