Tag Archives: books

Book Club: The Mortal Instruments; Yes, or No?

So recently i have been burying my face in books basically.

Basically.

When is it that i’m not yeah?

I’m actually re-reading The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare. And i don’t really recall when i had this crazy thought before, but i remember posting once in an entry saying i wanted to try reading the Twilight saga. I know, i might get stoned to death for even thinking this, but there *are* millions of fans of the series, that eventually got me curious (i am not a fan, just let this be clear). I am actually mortified to even be admitting this, whatever cool factor i had before is gone. I would not even be willing to bring the book out of the house where people can see i am actually reading it. I’m talking about Twilight. I mean considering 50 shades of grey was actually based on it, Now that shit is funny and i hope to god i would never feel compelled to read it because i think i might get more excitement at pornhub.. NOT that i have. But Twilight Saga — a story for later.

Well anyhoo this is actually getting awkward. But i am here for a short chat about one of these books first, i might be 3 or 4 years late.. it depends. I am a late bloomer anyway. I know neither of them are related to the other, but they just remind me of each other.

So i have read TMI before. The series, like once before and i just got the 6th book middle of 2014; City of Heavenly Fire, which is by the way, like stunningly thick a book. This past two weeks i have been re-reading the The Mortal Instruments series with new, fresher eyes. So fresh, i could promote Freshkon if i were wearing any of their contact lenses. No, seriously though. Really. I follow Cassandra Clare on her tumblr, and i like reading her responses to her own readers regarding her characters, the plot and her future plans. I wouldn’t really call myself a fan, i would just say i am a reader of her books. She’s got a great humor and it is evident in her books, which i really appreciate. I enjoy humor in my reading materials.

So when i was re-reading these books, i am currently in book 5; City of Lost Souls, i couldn’t help but reflect that the books are actually, if you read deeper, minus the wit, very darkly themed. You know, a lot of blood and demonic based rituals and sacrifices. It was just a little disturbing. Just a little bit. I mean there are pentagrams and the summonings of greater demons, hybrid creatures among it all, that if you visualised it being on a screen, it could be quite scary.

What i enjoy about Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments (TMI) however, that keeps me buying her books, is her world building. She has built a very interesting world, and i would say she is pretty good at it. Instead of a magical world being in an enchanted forest like it is usual, she has successfully integrated the magical world into an urban environment: New York City, its way more relatable for us city folks. She’s very descriptive, i really enjoy the restaurant settings she has in her books, like Taki’s and all the rest, i like the part that has the wolf pack’s hideout being in an abandoned police station that is glamoured as a chinese restaurant named “Jade Wolf”. I thought that was cute.

I don’t really *like* Clary, much like how i have a  feeling i wouldn’t like Twilight’s Bella when i start reading it, but i think i would like Clary better than Bella? I don’t know. We’ll have  to see. But anyway, the reason i dont have an affinity with Clary, the main character, is because her mental thoughts, as is written out in the books, especially in the first two books City of Bones/City of Ashes, were really quite shallow and irritating. She would irrationally feel like smacking Jace because he looks good, or feel hate for Isabelle because she looks good too, which i find quite unnecessary. To be honest, throughout the series, it was a parade of beautiful people after beautiful people, it seems that everyone in the books are beautiful.. the faeries would favor the prettiest people too, and there were extensive descriptions of beauty.. It was like an obsessive theme in the book, which after a while i found quite.. umm, boring. Just remember that she is writing about 16 year olds and they look like that. I don’t think many 16 year olds look as other worldly  or quite as perfect as these people in her books. I don’t mind the beauty quite so much, i mean, it is  a fantasy book afterall, Clare can write whatever she wants and if all her characters in the world she built is beautiful, then so be it, but its the repetitiveness that i found quite annoying.

And then also, every single damn time Jace (main character Clary’s love interest) is in the scene, it would be the same repetitive description of his angelic beauty. AGAIN. How his eyelashes are brushing over his cheekbones or his curling blond halo-ed hair in the sunlight or his hard washboard abs or whatever. I mean we GET IT, Jace is beautiful, even evil queen faerie likes him a lot *just because* he is pretty. I get it. Just.. i.. one more  time i read about how he looks young in his sleep and his curling hair, i  will eat my arm. I don’t like Jace as a person either, he’s too full of himself and his arrogance is breathtaking. He’s completely unlikable, all sensitive-tortured-soul. Infact, come to think of it, the whole nephilim lot and clave are unlikable. You know what it stinks like?

It stinks like our own classism and racism. I’m not sure if that was the inspiration behind her writings. But the werewolves, vampires, and faeries, are classified as “downworlders” and are written off as unworthy unlike nephilim blood (which are the special snowflake shadownhunters) who are all-important and (precious snowflake). I am glad that the attitude towards the downworlders further on in the books, improved slightly, with the downworlders having a place in the council as representatives and are treated with a little bit more respect and equality.

Ah, equality. Always a continuing subject of discussion even in the real world.

One last thing, Clary sounds like a sulky brat, whereby whenever she isn’t allowed to go somewhere she would throw a tantrum about it, but i shouldn’t be surprised, she *is* only 16 afterall.

Overall, i enjoy the world that is created, and good job to Clare for involving a lot of taboo/inappropriate elements in her book without making me feel too turned off, it’s just like watching a show so horrifying you just want to keep on watching it. I don’t particularly feel an affinity with any of the characters. I just enjoy the story. So i would rate the series now, eventhough i haven’t finished reading City of Heavenly Fire.

Perhaps after the 6th book i will come back to this post to edit or create another new post and talk about it as an individual book.

So Overall ratings for The Mortal Instruments Book 1 to 5:

7/10.

Minus 3 points for repetitiveness, underdeveloped/underwhelming main characters and supporting characters, and lastly; Jace. I utterly dislike Jace and wonder why he didn’t stay dead when he died. He is just such a jerk and insufferable. Apparently Clare’s other books “The Clockwork Prince” series has Will Herondale as another pain in the damn arse, completely similar to Jace’s character, but that is another story for another post.

But A+ for decent storytelling in third person (always preferred but not always an easy style to write), imaginative, well developed world building and descriptiveness of environs, much entertainment value, and for it being a series.

Looks like there are equal pros and cons? I guess i enjoy reading for the pleasure and entertainment, but i do honestly enjoy The Mortal Instruments and would recommend it to people who enjoy YA fantasy and who want to experiment with reading new books. Never stop reading, i say. 🙂

If anyone is interested in checking out Cassandra Clare’s books, she has her books on Amazon, box sets and all. I think she has written some other stuff as well, The Infernal Devices trilogy being another, which i am now trying to collect as well, and will re-read them and we’ll include it here soon too. The latter having very attractive book covers and is set in the victorian shadowhunter era. So we’ll look forward to that.

Oh! Before i forget, yes, i did buy the Twilight Saga but NOT in full price, i bought it off online, from a seller i now regret buying from. When i met her, she arranged to meet at 313. When i reached 313, she asked me to come to the coffeebean. I stood around waiting nearby the coffeebean, and she msged me telling me to come to where she is sitting down. When i  approached her, she didn’t even stand up to greet me like a civilized, well mannered, normal person would, in fact, she looked at me rather coldly with a smile that didn’t seem sincere, she didn’t want to look at me, nor make small talk, she made everything awkward and mildly rude. I know meeting carousell strangers can get weird, but the least you could be is customer-centric, polite and make people feel a little more comfortable, least you could do, say have a great day or whatever, she didn’t give a closing by the way. No bye or anything, she just expected me to float away after giving her the money. Geez.

Moreover this girl was selling it at $25 when i could have gotten it at a lower price but i didn’t want to back out as she confirmed the appointment at the last minute when i was about to look for new sellers, and she wasn’t fussy either.

So i’m just glad she wasn’t a fusspot and the books were in excellent condition, but she was one of the most unpleasant meetup i have ever fucking encountered upfront. I am surprised she even had the cheek to sms me to leave her a feedback, with a smiley face. I don’t know, maybe she is just socially awkward or stiff, i’d give her the benefit of the doubt. I only left a feedback saying she was early for the meet and a legit seller, and to thank her for not being fussy. That is considered nice on my part, i’m just relieved i got my items i guess.

But whatever.

I just opened the first Twilight book and was overwhelmed with hilarity. I still can’t forget all the funny comments about it and i felt weirded out that i am now attempting to read it… and it’s written in first person perspective, and unrelatable at all.

I’m going to try again ok. Clean slate.

hahahahahahahahahaha sparkly vampire though.. hahahahahahahahhhahahaha

ok goodbye now.

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The Expo of Rude People

So yesterday sisters and i went to the Art Science Museum at MBS to go to the Da Vinci exhibit (which we never had enough time to finish, so it wont be long before they see my face there again). It was a lovely day, nice and sunny and everything, some people were late *camera pans over to Myst Exile*.. and some people were pissy and grumpy because they haven’t eaten.. *camera pans to Strange Tea*.. and then, there were also some people who just couldn’t have their bubble burst because it was a Sunday *camera pans over to me, grinning manically*

And aside from a rude, questionably dressed white guy who was impatient that it took awhile for us to pay for our tickets and bitchily said loudly “yaaay! they finally learnt how to paaaaay” to our retreating backs. It was a lovely, educational trip. So to the white guy who looked like he belonged in a circus with his ridiculous top hat, red military looking jacket and black shorts, I just wanted to inform you that there are no circuses here as far as i know, i mean hello, CAVALIA left like last year August 2014. Did they not want your avant garde ass anymore? Please buy some manners and a new fashion sense if you have the money to be spending at museums which you obviously just disinterestedly skim through. Geez, why the hell were you even there.

Before i continue on  though, can i just say i am really liking where i’m working now, do you know how many books i have finished while there’s not much to do? DO YA? No you don’t. It’s plenty of books okay. At the rate i’m going i might as well just swallow all my books.. and my sisters’. HAH . So they can’t have them when everyone of us move out of this house. There will be no squabbling over the books, and if they want to see the books i swallowed, they need to press my belly button and i shall just recite the summary and story from memory.

But anyway, shh. Don’t be telling the company. And i also got my first nastiest customer by the name Mr Robin (there are a lot of robinses in this world, i trust, yeah? I shan’t put a fake name because then that name belongs to someone else and no name deserves to be tainted by this mofaka’s terrible, terrible, terrible manners and lack of respect for people, sorry to the other Polite Robins in the world) I got this idiot on the phone like on my second day of work. His issue was that he was using an iphone, but he can’t seem to open up any apps on his phone.

So as per our training (and as is usual if you’re in cust svc), we need to relay back to the customer the information he had given us to confirm that it is correct and that it is understood. So that is what i did.  He started flipping out when i merely repeated back what i understand to him, he flipped out, my friends. He legit went berserk over the phone on me and verbal abused me. He called me stupid, asked me which part did i not understand, what language will make me understand, is it tamil, tagalog or what language i need, and repeatedly called me stupid.

It was my first or second day, and already i got such a shit excuse of a 40+ year old person verbal abusing me on the phone. I was, needless to say, super shocked. I was in shock. I didn’t know how to handle the call, all i did was just try to understand his issue and situation so i could further help him better, and instead of helping me and just as easily perhaps just agree with me that yes, that is the problem, he hurled insult after insult at me. I think if i recall correctly i was already breaking out in sweat and my mind was blank, all prior solutions i’ve learnt flew out of the window, i felt like crying.

I put this asshole on hold, tried to find a senior for help. The senior looked as if he was seasoned with this kind of behavior, i, on the other hand, have never experienced such complete and utter rudeness, not in person anyway, and i guess it is easier to hurl insults at people you can’t see, right? What a coward. Although i can’t be too sure — remember the recent viral video of that other ugly looking uncouth idiot who was shouting at a taxi driver non stop throughout the ride? Perhaps this Mr Robin i encountered is as ugly in person as he is on the phone. I don’t know. I know that i couldn’t imagine being this rude to someone who wasn’t rude to me in the first place. I was brought up with manners i suppose, which some people deeply lack, sadly.

So when i calmed down, i released the hold and told Robin to just backup his iphone and restore the software. There was no thanks, no nothing, only asked if he needed to wait for me to do anything to which i said no. Then he hung up.

What a rude person. I wonder if he would die of a heart attack one day if he could easily just blow up about nothing. It makes me hope.

I took down his IC number, home address and phone number. Anyone wants to have some fun or feel like harassing people justifiably, get in touch.. and then we’ll pretend we never had that conversation.

3 more hours for me to go before i can go home.. Hmm.. to surf the net or read my book? Ahh.. the struggle. :p

By the way! There was this pop up store at CityLink called Booktique and they had the most beautifully covered books i have ever seen so far. They change locations from time to time, thats what the person told me, but they have very very interesting books and i got myself one titled: “Black cats and evil eyes” by Chloe Rhodes. It’s for inspirational purposes, writing-wise 😉 fun.

 I suggest anyone who is remotely even interested in books to please check them out and give some support!

Food festival and some recommendations

Adam Road's Nasi goreng merah Special Combo
Adam Road’s Nasi goreng merah Special Combo

Wah.

This picture? I’m just leaving this here for myself (and anyone else) to just stare into.
Continue reading Food festival and some recommendations

Guidebook intro: How to keep your sanity, living with distasteful people

Right,

So i’ve been a busy busy busy bee.. or not.

Taking care of my sickly little prince Owinge, reading book after book after book (i’m in the chick lit phase now, the more material extravagance in the stories, the better) and Candace Bushnell always hits bulls eye. On top of all that, and in light of the festive season closing in on us, i have actually been trying to pen a little guide book of my own. The cynic in me shines:

And i’d just like to share a sneak peek.
Continue reading Guidebook intro: How to keep your sanity, living with distasteful people

A day

Today was quite a lovely day.

No work.

Cleaned out some stuffs (i have some beauty stuff still in excellent condition which i should be giving away again. sigh)

I changed my cupboard to a locker! An actual locker, know what ‘m sayin’?? I am so HAPPY about this. Thanks to my sisters.. wheee~ But there’s only two lockers, two levels, which’s why i had to throw and clear a lot of stuff away. I mean, i can lock my stuff and all. Do you know what this means? This means i get to keep my stuffs under lock and key. No sneaking of moisturizers anymore, ok? Why? cos it’s unhygienic and.. i don’t really like you.

Anyway, moving on..

I cleared out my bed too.

I feel so damn zen right now, as if i just did yoga or exercised. Neither of which i am a willing participant of..

I also went out with my sisters today! We were supposed to do something more exciting. Like adventure cove [again, i am unwilling. i would prefer not to sun myself for now] but i totally don’t mind if we went cycling or something.. or the beach, or the flyer.. or the gardens by the bay.. you know.. stuff on dry land.

But whatever. We had lunch nearby, the mushroom soup could’ve been thicker. *sigh* but the garlic bread was really tasty. I miss the garlic bread now.. i really love garlic bread.. hint hint.

Then headed back to Ms Manis’ place and spent an interesting while over there, with the nephew playing noisily and hearing him speak in a notably British accent i don’t know where it came from. It’s cute.. and puzzling.

Well, i won’t bore anyone anymore with this entry. I shall stop.

I just wanted to type something here. 🙂

I got new emoticon stamps and a sticker book.

Oh. And i fought with a customer yesterday. peachy huh? i still don’t know what i am doing there. On a brighter note, i had lunch with my lovely Mak Jah, who came down cos she was buying art supplies. That was nice! It so happens i didn’t have anyone to lunch with yesterday.

Ok.

Goodnight

p/s: idk. i guess i kind of like thick skinned people. I also think i am chameleon-like and quite adapting to different sorts of people and their personalities, we have the hyper person, we have the awkward humor etc.. I guess you could say i fake quite well. Is that bad? Being fake. I always thought it’s a useful skill. No? ok. i guess there needs to be a line drawn somewhere of course.. because then i wouldn’t know where/when to stop, huh?

p/s: Why is it it’s either i read 400 pages a day or 20 pages in a month? tsk. Nevermind. I’ve got several books still yet to read.. hee. Just need to steadily pace myself ok.

pp/s: i’m still getting the email that says somebody is requesting to reset my password? what the hell is going on?