Wednesday, 24 February 2016

DISCUSSION - RATING CRISIS



I got this idea from Emma's latest video titled THE GREAT RATING CRISIS OF 2016 where she discusses her struggles with rating books. If by any chance Emma is reading this, I want you to know, that yes I have thought about me rating books, if my rating is bias or not and if I even deserve to rate books(more on this later in the post).

Rating Scales

First point of this discussion has to be rating scales. I personally use both the 5 star scale and the % scale. Like Emma pointed out, the % scale gives a lot of anxiety. But I personally have dealt with that with saying to myself, "You are not a professional reviewer, it won't matter." Which then raises the question, "Should I even give a review? because I am not qualified to give a review." and my mind debates that "Not everyone is a professional reviewer, probably most people aren't but they still do it." and finally "But just cause everyone does it, doesn't mean you should do it as well." This conversation between my mind and my mind always ends with me distracting myself with something that won't finally blow my mind, out of a debate that can never be won.

Probably my biggest problem with both scales is, "Am I using these scales right?" The answer to that is probably not. The % I give while using the % scale is dependent on the criteria on which I judge books on. In my case it changes for genre. For Example if I am rating Illusions of Fate, I would rate it on everything I judge a fantasy book on except for the literal world because in that book I think it is more about the romance, language used, politics and mystery than the world itself. But this brings the problem of not everyone is rating every book on the same things because there aren't any set of characteristics that you need to rate it upon. The % scale takes more time for me to figure out and it probably is less of me FANGIRLING and more accurate than the 5 star scale. In the 5 star scale, I don't evaluate on specifics, I evaluate on how much I liked it or not. So when I rate with the 5 star scale, it is total bias and how much I love the book personally.


Individuality vs Comparison

I personally think Individuality with a tiny bit of Comparison is the more professional way to rate books because you are rating them on what they are Individually but also Comparing them to what is popular and so making a better more accurate rating. When Emma mentioned this a new debate started "What do you rate books on, Comparison or Individuality?", to which my answer is I don't know. But the more likely of these two is Comparison because all I do is compare. When I read Throne of Glass, I instantly began Comparing it to The Ixia Chronicles and even the Kane Chronicles which I loved but because of Comparison I went around to lower their rating. But on the other hand, I change my rating criteria according to the certain book. So I think I equally rate them on Comparison and Individuality.


Bias

Everyone has some kind of Bias and consciously or sub-consciously it will effect your rating. My would probably be Magic. If a book doesn't have enough magical scenes in it I will rate it less than 5 with the exception of this being Poison Study. This probably comes from me being effected by the rest of the series but I don't care cause that book barely had any magic until the last parts and I utterly loved it. But this Bias only effects ratings negatively because it probably won't boost a rating unless we are talking about types of magic. Types of Magic is another Bias of mine that effects my rating positively because if like Truthwitch and The Ixia Chronicles, the world is enriched with magic and different magic popping up everywhere then my rating will be increased!!  


Final Thoughts

Finally I think that everyone should let their Bias effect their rating because that is what makes everyone's opinion unique. Also if someone knows they like books that you like, not letting that Bias effect your judgment is making you less 'authentic'. And my final, final thought is that I should start trying out different scales and see which best works for me so if there are any other scales that are not % and a star scale, please let me know in the comments or tweet me @duanethereader.
_____________________________________________________________________________

I hope you enjoyed my first Discussion and please let me know what you think about this topic and what I could improve next time in a discussion post and if there are any topics that you want me to discuss leave them in the comments below!! :)

Saturday, 20 February 2016

BOOK REVIEW #3 - THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS : CITY OF ASHES BY CASSANDRA CLARE




City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
Genres : YA, Urban Fantasy, Romance and Paranormal 
Series : The Mortal Instruments
Point of View - 3rd Person
My Rating : 

Synopsis
Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what's normal when you're a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who's becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn't ready to let her go — especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary's only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil — and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings — and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?

In this breathtaking sequel to City of Bones, Cassandra Clare lures her readers back into the dark grip of New York City's Downworld, where love is never safe and power becomes the deadliest temptation.
_____________________________________________________________________________


No Spoilers Here!


City of Ashes was an enjoyable read and I liked it but not as much as City of Bones. I was warned before that City of Ashes was going to probably be a less enjoyable book but overall I still liked it.

My biggest problem in this book was probably Clary. In the first book I tolerated her but I couldn't tolerate her anymore. I still haven't pin pointed what of her character annoys be but I can't stand her and I would rather if the books were from Izzy's perspective cause I love Izzy so much. Both Izzy and Magnus are my favorite characters but I usually like Izzy's scenes a little bit more.

I loved Cassandra Clare's writing just as much as in City of Bones but I felt like the plot in this book was dragged out and that is mainly why I didn't like it as much as the first one.

I recommend this series to anyone who loves different magical races and such. It is a great series and even though magic

My rating is 60% / 3 stars. 
_____________________________________________________________________

SPOILERS AHEAD

If you haven't read the book go to the end where you can find 
_____________________________________________________________________

This spoilery part is a little bit small because I lost most of my notes and only have favorite quotes. BTW are all from/about Izzy.

"Isabelle with her whip and boots and knives would chop anyone who tried to pen her up in a tower into pieces, build a bridge out of their remains, and walk carelessly to freedom, her hair looking fabulous the entire time."

I love that because I could vividly imagine Izzy doing that and it is such a beautiful thing to think about. :) But then this comes next :

"This made Isabelle a hard person to like, though Clary was trying."

As I have already stated in the non-spoilery section, I had a big problem with Clary and her thinking that Isabelle is annoying made me so angry and made me literally laugh out loud.

 ""Honestly, Clary if you don't start utilizing a bit of your natural feminine superiority - i just don't know what I'll do with you." "

SLAY QUEEN SLAY!!! :)

""It is my motto", said Isabelle, with a sultry smile. "Nothing less than seven inches." "

I love badass female heroines that fight in style and seven inch heels. WOW!!!

And lastly I want to end with my biggest fangirl moment disappointment. Alec didn't admit to his parents that he is Gay and MALEC are not married. Devastation has claimed me. I want them MARRIED NOW!! 
_____________________________________________________________________

Links to purchase the book:

Paperback: Book Depository and Amazon
Hardback: Book Depository and Amazon

_____________________________________________________________________

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

WITCHLANDERS BOOK TAG



This Tag was originally created by the wonderful Ali from the YouTube channel AliBabaDeBooks
I was not tagged by anyone but I just decided that I want to do this tag.
You can check the original tag here : ORIGINAL

DO NOT VENTURE BEYOND THIS POINT IF YOU HAVE NOT READ TRUTHWITCH AND GO READ IT BECAUSE IT IS AMAZING I JUST LOVE IT SOOOO MUCH!!

1) Safi, the main character, was born into the royal class. 
Who is your favorite fictional princess?
My favorite fictional princess has to be Nehemia from the Throne of Glass series. She is absolutely fantastic and she broke my heart with doing THAT!!! (If you haven't read the Throne of Glass series go DO IT NOW) 

You can find my favorite drawings of her : HERE


2)  Safiya is a Truthwitch who can tell truth from lie, which is why she's being hunted.
What book had a hidden twist that BLEW YOUR MIND?

Shadow Study by Maria V Snyder. I cannot say what the twist is of course cause that would be MAJOR spoilers but if you have read it you know the 'Last Sentence' of the book. You could not have been expecting that at all. RANT: I really wanna kknow what happens but I was waiting Book Depository to have the cover I wanted for sale and they don't so I will probably buy the one that matches with my other which is the UK edition instead of the Australian edition.


3) Iseult is Safi's best friend and a diverse character.
What is your favorite diverse character in fiction?



My favorite diverse character has to be my book boyfriend MAGNUS BANE. He is so hot in my mind and also on the TV show and he is just amazing. He is a diverse character in many ways. He is Asian(sry if I am wrong about the exact ethnicity), he is gay and he also is a Downworlder which in the TMI books is Diverse you the Shadowhunters.

4) Iseult is a Threadwitch who can see the relationships between people.
What is your favorite fictional friendship?


My favorite fictional friendship has to be ... Ari and Janco from the Ixia Chronicles. They are just the best Dynamic Duo ever. Ari is like his Dad/Brother character and Janco is just a little child. I loved them since they first appeared in the books a low-level soldiers until the point where they are at the end of Shadow Study.

5) Prince Merik is a Windwitch and ship captain.
Who is your favorite fictional pirate or ship captain?


Of course it is the Hunkiest of them all .... 



Captain Hook from Once Upon a Time




6) Aeduan is a Bloodwitch who catches onto Safi's scent and begins tracking her. 
Since Aeduan can control blood, what is one book or book character that makes your heart pound?


Just gonna make a list!!

The Study Series by Maria V Snyder
♥ Valek
♥ Ari

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
♥ Baz
♥ Simon

The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
♥Simon
♥ Jace
♥ Magnus
♥ Alec
♥ Luke

Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J Maas
♥ Dorian
♥ Rowan

The Healer Series by Maria V Snyder
♥ Tohon
♥ Kerrick 

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
♥ Aeduan
♥ Merik

7) Together, Safi and Iseult have to find a way to stop the Witch Wars.
What book do you think has the best action scenes?


I am totally torn on this between The Ixia Chronicles, The Throne of Glass series and Truthwitch. I can visualize all action scenes in these books very easily and vividly and they are so amazing. I decided to rate them from 1 to 5 on Visualization, Epicness in the midst of Battle and Ending of Battle Scene Epicness since I am so indecisive to see which I like best and even mathematically I cannot choose cause ... just see for yourself:






I Tag Sierra from Yearning to Read and 

Em from Piplup's Shadowy Bookshelf.

If you haven't already go check out my Read Along post and sign up for the Read Along hosted by me and Em from Piplup's Shadowy Bookshelf.

I hope you enjoyed this Tag post.
____________________________________________________

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

THE GREAT SOOZ READ ALONG



In this Read Along hosted by EM from Piplup's Shadowy Bookshelf and myself we will be reading all of Susan Dennard's Books. Starting with Something Strange and Deadly in March and finishing up with Truthwitch in April. Each book will be split on two weeks except for Truthwitch. At the the end of each session (Details below) both me and EM will be posting a Discussion post about that certain half of the book along with some questions. You are all also welcome to join in and post your own posts.

We will also be having two Twitter Chats which we still have to decide a date for but they will probably be in the middle of the Read Along and after the entire Read Along. You can check #TGSRA for updates on twitter chats or follow EM and me on twitter.
                                        @duanethereader     @piplupsshadow

We will be having Discussion Questions set for the posts that will be coming later. For now you can see the full schedule for the reading sessions are as follow:





These are just suggestion dates EM and I made and we do not expect everyone to be able to follow the schedule.

If you are taking part you can sign up in the link below and if you are going to do the discussion posts you can put a link to your blog in the form so that I can put you in the list below.

If you have any more Questions please contact EM or myself on twitter.
@duanethereader     @piplupsshadow


I hope you will be joining us for this Read Along :D

SIGN UP 

Discussion Posts Blogs


                       







Wednesday, 3 February 2016

WRITING - MY WEIRD WAYS TO GET IDEAS










I think that everyone has one special way that can make them get their ideas faster and many of them probably use the shower. I don't use the shower itself but I use the bathroom. I choose to only plot out where and how everything is going to end, the main characters, mythology and a detailed plot of my magic system/s so that I make sure not to contradict myself while writing.

I mostly think of the magic system in the bathroom but I don't just sit on the toilet/ shower step and think about it because that would just lead me to one thought like for example : Writing Magic ; and that would be it. but instead I act it out. So for example using Writing Magic I begin to move around 'write' symbols on the wall with my finger and imagine the things happening write their in front of me.


This method usually helps me think of what the magic would look like more vividly and would usually lead me into sub consciousness or wherever because once I act out one idea, others start flooding in and I continuously act them out until I click back into reality and I remember I had come in the bathroom to take a shower.   

My other method that I usually use to create characters/creatures is drawing while in a class. I get really bored in some classes because I either the topic we are discussing is not interesting to me or we have done this topic way too many times. So I usually start drawing either on my hand or on a piece of paper. As I begin drawing i begin to look around the class and I think of the most boring non-living things in the class as I keep drawing. Later when I finish drawing (really badly because I cannot draw) something that I had no idea what it was going to be when I started I take a look at it and assign characteristics to the creature/character.

Later on when I am writing I usually think of these ugly drawings and remember the characteristics I gave them and I think of which are best fit to be characters/creatures.

My last way to get ideas which I mainly use for settings is when I am in an urban area I image how it would be if it was over run by plants, destroyed or not there at all. I do this often and the things I think of and 'see' in those moments are usually forgotten so that is why I think that using a Notebook will help me to write better descriptions of places.

These are my main ways to get ideas for writing. What are yours? Comment them or tweet me a link to your post about them @duanethereader

________________________________________________________________________________________