Favorite Books of 2013 mid year

1 Jan - 30 Jun

Science Fiction

Pivot Point: 

1. “When I read, I feel emotion all on my own. Emotion no living person is making me feel.”

2. “One person can't change the future. Do you know how many people and things are involved in every major event that happens? Sure, you might be able to change some of the minor aspects of a day, but ultimately things that are going to happen, if you go along a certain path, do happen.”

3. “You like to assign roles to the people in your life. And when they don't play their parts right, you have a hard time accepting that.”

My Review

Cinder :

1. “Even in the Future the Story Begins with Once Upon a Time.”

2. "“Soon, the whole world would be searching for her -Linh Cinder.
A deformed cyborg with a missing foot.
A Lunar with a stolen identity.
A mechanic with no one to run to, nowhere to go.
But they will be looking for a ghost.” "

Chaos Walking Trilogy:

1. “Hope may be the thing that pulls you forward, may be the thing that keeps you going, but that it's dangerous, that it's painful and risky, that it's making a dare in the world and when has the world ever let us win a dare?”

2. “It's not that you should never love something so much that it can control you.
It's that you need to love something that much so you can never be controlled.
It's not a weakness.
It's your best strength.”

3. “Choices may be unbelievably hard but they're never impossible. To say you have no choice is to release yourself from responsibility and that's not how a person with integrity acts.”

The Magic Of Melina Marchetta

Jellicoe Road:

On the Jellicoe Road is lyrical, absorbing, and all around wooooow.  Jellicoe is one of my favorite Marchetta books, the other being Saving Francesca. Each and every thing she says is so enchanting, and designated to pull your heartstrings. Reading Jellicoe Road is like floating in water, sometimes smooth and soft, sometimes rough, but one thing is sure, you won't ever regret reading this book.

1. “It's funny how you can forget everything except people loving you. Maybe that's why humans find it so hard getting over love affairs. It's not the pain they're getting over, it's the love.”

2.  “But grief makes a monster out of us sometimes . . . and sometimes you say and do things to the people you love that you can't forgive yourself for.”

3. “Is a person worth more because they have someone to grieve for them?”

4. “How can you just forget a person completely until the moment you see his face again?”

Saving Francesca:

Saving Francesca is the sort of book which makes you laugh your head off one second, and cry your heart out in the next. It is also one of the best examples of Realistic Fiction, because, yes, it felt so genuine and happening in real life, like a memoir.

1. “I can't believe I said it out loud. The truth doesn't set you free, you know. It makes you feel awkward and embarrassed and defenseless and red in the face and horrified and petrified and vulnerable. But free? I don't feel free. I feel like shit.”

2. “Comfort zones are overrated. They make you lazy.”

3. “A piece of me is gone," she told me once while we were bra shopping. "I think we're made up of all these different pieces and every time someone goes, you're left with less of yourself.”

The Piper's Son:

The Piper's Son is a sort of sequel to Saving Francesca. The realness present in Saving Francesca is still intact, but Piper's Son has a more mature and serious narrative voice. The Piper's Son continues the story of the group of friends five years after the events of Saving Fransesca. Melina has an uncanny way of describing feelings which never fails to hit home. Familial relations have an extra stress in this one than in her other works, and they are all captured just so beautifully.  You just have to invest your whole heart and hope the characters are going to be okay and... I don't think I'll be able to justify it with my words. Just go and read it.

1. “I’m scared I’m going to spend the rest of my life in a state of yearning, regardless of where I am.”

2. “But grieving people are selfish. They won’t let you comfort them and they say you don’t understand and they make you feel useless when all your life you’ve been functional to them.”

3. “Maybe she'd always been there. Maybe strangers enter your heart first and then you spent the rest of your life searching for them. ”

Looking For Alibrandi:

At the surface, Looking for Alibrandi seems to be a lively, carefree book. Which is why the depth it contains might come as a surprise, but not for anyone who is familiar with Marchetta. Marchetta explores forgiveness and understanding like no other, and the warmth in her words is ever-present.

1. “Living is the challenge. Not dying. Dying is so easy. Sometimes it only takes ten seconds to die. But living? That can take you eighty years and you do something in that time.”

2. “Your problems are out there. But they're small. They only grow out of proportion when they climb inside your head.”

3. “I'm beginning to realize that things don't turn out the way you want them to. And sometimes, when they don't they can turn out just a little bit better.”

Others

Golden:

Golden is a truly inspirational novel. It is one that truly makes you think and look at things in a new light. Sometimes we are afraid of making a choice, but aren't the consequences of the choice that we are truly frightened of? The writing is beautiful, the story is bittersweet, but the Parker is extremely relatable, and the message she learns is a message for all of us.

1.“One often meets her destiny on the road she takes to avoid it.”

2. “But sometimes life gives us those rare moments where we do see chance as it’s happening. And in those moments, we have a choice. And sometimes we have to take a risk. And it’s scary. It makes us vulnerable. But I know now it’s worth it.”

3. “We're all more than the person we show to everyone else.”

Where She Went:

I know this is a sequel to If I Stay, but Where She Went had much more of an effect on me than the former. Gayle Forman has a knack in tackling grief that is so palpable. It like a punch in the gut, and so unpredictable at times. I didn't really understand what was going on with Mia and Adam most of the time throughout, but in the end, it was all worth it. And the lyrics at the beginning of each chapter - I loved them! The story of Adam is just so bitter, but it is al really beautifully and masterfully written.

1. "You crossed the water,left me ashore
It killed me enough,but you wanted more
You blew up the bridge,a mad terrorist
Waved from your side,threw me a kiss
I started to follow but realized too late
There was nothing but air underneath my feet"

—from the song "Bridge" on the Collateral Damage album

2. “But still, I find the need to remind myself of the temporariness of a day, to reassure myself that I got through yesterday, I'll get through today.”

3. “Her hands were freezing, just like they always were, so I warmed them, just like I always did.”

Speechless:

Speechless is a gentle, captivating book. This is a character driven book - the character development was excellently done, and the array of side characters provided the main strength for Speechless. It makes us look at the power of silence and saying things when they need to be said. Chelsea isn't perfect, but sometimes the truth lies in flaws, not in perfection. It carries a message for all, but at the same time it is a simple read that can be easily digested.

1.“Hate is... It's too easy. Love. Love takes courage.”

2. “You can be surrounded by people and still be lonely. You can be the most popular person in school, envied by every girl and wanted by every boy, and still feel completely worthless. The world can be laid at your feet and you can still not know what you want from it.”

3. “The truth is, the person I’ve been hating more than anyone is myself. It is so easy. So easy to look in the mirror at all my imperfections and think of all the ways I fall short of someone...”

A Straight Line To My Heart:

The story of Tiff is very realistic, funny, and drew a straight line to my heart. ;) I can't explain why I like it so much, but simply that I did.  The narrative style is unique and the characters are all oh so loveable.

1. “Sometimes words just don't get you there... don't let you say all the stuff from deep in your heart, stuff that no dictionary has a name for.”

2. “That day I think we really saw each other for the first time. I mean, saw beyond the bag of bones on the outside. You take away her pretty and my plain and what you get underneath is about the same: a couple of lost girls looking to be found.”


A thousand Splendid Suns:

1.“Of all the hardships a person had to face, none was more punishing than the simple act of waiting.”

2.“And the past held only this wisdom: that love was a damaging mistake, and its accomplice, hope, a treacherous illusion. And whenever those twin poisonous flowers began to sprout in the parched land of that field, Mariam uprooted them. She uprooted them and ditched them before they took hold.”

3. “I'm sorry," Laila says, marveling at how every Afghan story is marked by death and loss and unimaginable grief. And yet, she sees, people find a way to survive, to go on.”

The Book Thief:

1. “A DEFINITION NOT FOUND
IN THE DICTIONARY
Not leaving: an act of trust and love,
often deciphered by children”

2. “I wanted to tell the book thief many things, about beauty and brutality. But what could I tell her about those things that she didn't already know? I wanted to explain that I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race-that rarely do I ever simply estimate it. I wanted to ask her how the same thing could be so ugly and so glorious, and its words and stories so damning and brilliant.”

I am the Messenger:

1. “Sometimes people are beautiful.
Not in looks.
Not in what they say.
Just in what they are.”

2. “I think she ate a salad and some soup.
And loneliness.
She ate that, too. ”

3. “Big things are often just little things that people notice.”

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