The girl and 15 Books (Part 1)

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At work we have a thing we do, when we have a new member of the staff. Since We are a lot, and it takes a while for us to complete introductions, we do it in a pretty simple way:

  1. Name
  2. Position
  3. How long have we been on the company
  4. Say something that you like (to do, to eat, to whatever)

These are usually my responses:

  1. Kourai (yes, people in real life actually know me with that name)
  2. Director
  3. 11 years, I started in the company since I was really young
  4. I like to read.

Yes. I read. That’s my defining feature. I may not have a lot of time to do it anymore, or even this year in general, but I like to do it as often as I can and I like to set myself unrealistic goals pertaining the amount of books I intent to read on a given year. This year it’s 15, and even though I hadn’t had time to do it much, I actually intend to carry it out. I am a reader.

The Last few weeks I’ve been tagged in a lot of “20 books to whatever”, “Famous person’s list of favorite books” kind of articles, and actually found some really interesting additions for my wish list, which got me thinking of my list of favorite, life-changing books. I’ve read a fair share of famous and non-famous books and even though you can easily access it through my Goodreads account, I decided it was about time to share it here, so, without further ado, here you have:

The Ponicorn’s 15 favorite books

(books that changed, defined and facinated me)

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These up here are my favorite books, in no particular order, and I’m going to tell you why.

  1. Of scars and star dust – Andrea Hannah
    heridasI picked this book, merely because I liked the cover, and it turned out to be a surprise. First thing you have to know it’s that it’s YA (for the uninitiated, that means Young Adult) which means, there’s a good deal of teenage drama, angst, snowflakey thoughts and the like; it even plays a little with the idea of something supernatural going on, but don’t be fooled, this is not a twilight story, it’s not the Fault in our stars romance; it’s something else. The narrator is unbelievably unreliable in a way that plays with the tropes commonly associated with YA stories, to deliver an ending that changes everything you understand about the story.
  2. Welcome to Night Vale – Joseph Finknightvale
    I’ve been into Nightvale for about 2 years, I got into it last year, when I found a post on tumblr talking about Sext from the Void, saying that’s the way someone imagined sexting working on Nightvale, it caught my attention. The story itself is not really focused on the podcast, but I wouldn’t go as far as saying that it’s something you can fully enjoy if you don’t have at least a minimum knowledge of how the Podcast story goes. Nightvale has its own intricacies, and even though the protagonists of the book are barely mentioned on the podcast, the mere workings of the town play a relevant role.
  3. Ready Player one – Ernest Cline
    readyThis was recommended by my boyfriend last year and I hold very fond memories of it. I was reading it a little before we decided to finally be together, and when I think of the book I remember how I felt in that moment. Yes, I’m sappy like that. But I digress, we’re kind of into 80’s-90’s nostalgia so this book was super fun to read. If you’re into old school video games, 80’s movies, music, series and internet in general, this book is fun, super-entertaining and well written. It’s not a masterpiece, but i enjoyed it a lot and will read it again very soon. It’s being made into a movie directed by Steven Spielberg in 2018.
  4. Before you sleep – Linn Ullmannbefore
    I read this book when I was about 15 and going through a very strange moment in my life, I was struggling with depression, on a new city, with barely any friends (which, to be honest was not really surprising, cause that’s me, but together with everything else was kind of heavy). The story itself moves between really adult topics, like adultery, mental illness, etc., while presenting fascinatingly charming characters. I felt very touched by the way the story was presented, and read it multiple times in the future. Years later, I even found another book written by Ullmann (She’s a Norwegian writer, so it’s kind of hard to find her books in spanish -I don’t like to reading English), the name was The Cold Song, and even though I was kind of scared to read it and end up disappointed by the weight of the idol I’ve built in my head, I ended up really pleased. No one portrays family realities the way Ullmann does.
  5. Paper Towns – John Green
    paperYes. I have John Green here. I know there’s a huge stigma attached to very representative YA authors and novels, and if the book was made into a movie, god forbid you ever like it, cause your intellect will be in question. But I love Paper Towns, I once read somewhere about John Green saying that Margo Roth Spiegelman is the deconstruction of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, and I couldn’t agree more. Besides, reading Paper Towns after reading Looking for Alaska brings a sort of emotional closure that even though it’s not meant to, made me feel better. I like the happy ending that is not a happy ending in the traditional sense. I like the feeling that some things are not meant to be, and still, life goes on, and you learn and live through.

So that’s it for Part 1 of my list. The First 5 books. It takes a little to give you my impressions on books guys and I really don’t want to bore you with super long posts.

What’s coming in part 2 or 3? Some Existentialism, Magical Realism, Erotica and more. Very, very soon, like probably this weekend. On the mean time, tell me if you’ve read any of the ones I’ve mentioned here, in this particular list you can find some relatively new titles. and I you did, what did you think of them? Are you planning on reading any?

Tell me!

Firma

Asylum… I finished it

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A few days ago I talked about me reading Asylum and how much of a big deal it was for me and all that. Well, I finished reading it two days ago, and I have some thoughts to share.

*Spoilers, my ponies!*

I’ve already read some reviews online, and yes, pretty much everyone thinks it sucks. And it does! I always feel like there are no bad stories, only poorly written plots. This, of course, was the case. I’m not going to attempt to review it, I am terrible at it, but I just need to vent some ideas, I can’t say I didn’t like it, cause I did, and it was a great way to tackle a lot of my fears, but character and plot wise, it was kind of a disappointment.

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First of all, yes, suspension of disbelief. Did I really believe everything that happened could actually happen, even within the universe? No. Seriously, they are 16-17 years old, Don’t they have parents concerned about them? Aren’t they afraid there’s a murderer somewhere in the school? As I said in my review, this would have been a thousand times some enjoyable if they were in college, living in a building that happened to be a former asylum, that at least would have given them a believable agenda.

What happened to Jordan on his psychotic break? If everyone, or at least the characters that start acting crazy are being “possessed” or at least connected to someone in the past. Who is possessing him? And why?

Why is it suddenly irrelevant that Yi was attacked? Why didn’t we ever hear from him? Or his parents? Or Joe’s parents for that matter? Why does a teenager, in a sort of summer camp, dies, and everyone just accepts it?

What’s the deal with Miss Reyes? Did she locked them in the basement? And even if she didn’t, why is the police so contempt by having just caught the murderer when it’s pretty clear there’s at least another person involved?

And speaking of… What’s the deal with the police? How are they implicated? It is mentioned constantly that they are nowhere to be found at key points of the story: when Dan finds Yi, when he goes to the vending machine, when they receive the last note asking them to go to the basement, when he’s trying to find a police officer to go find Felix together, when Jordan is looking for help at the end. And the worst part is that it’s never mentioned how guilty they look, they only ever hint at Miss Reyes.

I know this is not a standalone book, (which btw kind of annoys me a little bit, cause I’m a little tired of everything coming in sagas, and having to read book after book just to have real conclusions, and I really wanted to enjoy something that could be concluded within a book) but I can’t help but feeling they were lacking a lot to actually conclude the story developed in this one. What’s going to happen to Felix? What’s his connection to everything? What’s Daniel’s past? Who were his parents? They constantly mention him going to therapists, but, what’s really happening to him?

I don’t know… So many loose ends, and it’s not really about me, not enjoying the mystery leading up to the next book; I have no problem with cliffhangers, or saga-long mysteries (for God’s sake, I read – and enjoyed – Harry Potter), but when the loose ends seem more like a sign of a poorly written story, rather than mystery to build upon on the next book, they just strike me as lazy.

Anyway guys… I’m not going to say it was a bad book, as I said at the beginning, it was mainly disappointing, but I’m going to keep on reading the sequels to see if any of this becomes clearer with time… Though I actually doubt it.

What’s next on my reading list? I don’t really know… I left Allegiant 20 pages into it, and I am in no hurry of going back to it, but I’ve been hearing a lot about Rainbow Rowell, so I might give Eleanor & Park a chance…

…Or maybe I’ll finally start with The Cold Song, I’ve been avoiding that book like the plague, cause I have a big image of Linn Ullman in my head, given that Before you sleep is one of my favorite books ever, and I’m afraid it might not live up to my hype…

We’ll see

Firma

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