How I deal with Depression

When I’m in a bad place (emotionally speaking) I always turn to things which comfort me. This summer, I could not turn to comfort food, since I am trying to keep track of my calories. I did turn to my one and only, however I really did not want to be too clingy – the poor guy needs his space after single-handedly taking care of all the house chores, etc for the past two and a half-months, so I had to lay off in that sense. And that, of course, left ‘comfort-books‘!

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Some books are a guilty pleasure. As the years roll by, I read them again and again at studious intervals, associating certain books or book series to certain mind-sets. Now, don’t laugh at me, but I actually have a book which I like to read each year when the first big storm hits after an arid summer. The book in question is ‘I Capture the Castle’ by Dodie Smith. There is also a series of books I read when I’m feeling particularly witty or frolicksome (mainly Neil Gaiman), and books I just love to read at Christmas-time, because, you know, they put me in the mood. Whenever I am about to travel on holiday, I also try to find books with a story based in that particular country, and I always manage it! I really had a field day when I went to Venice (why do books set in Venice always seem to be erotic romances?), and of course, the UK is easy. And so on.

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Since this summer was a terrible one for me, as I had to spend most of it in bed and in pain due to health issues, I obviously gravitated towards those books which comforted me. The 10-book part series I read, is the one which first introduced me to epic fantasy books, and the one which made me fall in love with that style of writing when I was 13 years old. I am speaking about David Edding’s Belgariad (first five books) and Mallorean (another 5 books).

635922775449353047712033543_The Belgariad Series

Recently I discovered that these book series are considered to be YA. They were actually written in the 1980s, a time when the term and concept of YA novels wasn’t thought of yet. So even though some readers may consider them to be YA, I do not, as they are certainly not as vapid, mediocre or predictable as YA books usually are (yup, you got me, I hate YA books in general, though there are exceptions).

The plot is basically a bildunsgroman, that is, a coming of age story. We see Garion, a naive boy living on a farm, realize that the world, and the people around him are, and were never, what he believed them to be. The world is complicated, mysterious and wonderful, and Garion finds that he himself is a very special person, destined to change the course of the known world forever. I am not going to go into any more details as I do not want to give any spoilers. Suffice it to say that I really love the cast of characters presented by Eddings. Their repetitive banter may irritate one after a while – still I read all the 10 books in around 3 weeks (remember I’m house-bound here), so one must take that into account. The books are not as lengthy as the tomes I am used to, and the old Maltese Pound price tags attached to the covers make me even more nostalgic, remembering how happy I was about buying these first books out of my own pocket money. Books which, for the first time, no one had chosen for me because they were ‘what children read’, but which I had chosen for myself, deviating from the norm. 

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If you haven’t read the Belgarion and the Mallorean, I strongly suggest you do. They are not as popular or well-known as book series like Robert Jordan’s ‘Wheel of Time’ or George R. R. Martin’s ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ (Game of Thrones), but they are still worth a read. Then again, I’m biased, hehe…

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What to buy a Bookworm for Xmas

DEFINITELY NOT BOOKS!

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People who are not bibliophiles (or those who think they are and enjoy telling everyone how much they read, when in reality they just read ‘chick-trash’) will tell you that buying Xmas gifts for bookworms is easy. You just go to the local bookshop and purchase something from the ‘Top Ten’ shelf, right?

WRONG

TOTALLY WRONG

WRONG A MILLION TIMES OVER

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First of all, how on earth do you know which kind of books your friend/partner/family-member likes? Secondly, if you DO know them that well, how on earth do you know whether they already have that particular book in their collection or not? Or whether they have already read it (and maybe hated it) or not? If you ask them which books they want, that might be ok – however that depends on whether you want the pressie to be a surprise or whether you just want to ease your conscience from the start, and just set out to take the easy way out, by asking about it.

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Personally, if a gift is not a surprise, I don’t see the point of it, so there you have it. You just can’t ask someone what they want for Xmas right? It’s downright rude. Like asking a new date whether they love you or not during the first hour of making out for the first time. Rude or kinda angsty teenager drama behavior anyways.

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I remember once someone I was dating tried to be clever by giving me a set of books for my birthday. BIG MISTAKE. That was actually the first indication that I needed to give the guy the sack, right there and then (my big mistake was that I waited a couple of months after that first signal). The guy actually showed he did not know me at all. Imagine giving ME ‘Supernatural teenage romance’ – you know that kind of romantic triangle mush which actually makes ‘Twilight’ look like just vomit, instead of 100-year old drainage. Yes, that bad.

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So, no, if your partner, your friend, your mother, your neighbor or your teacher is a book-maniac, DO NOT take the easy way out and gift him/her with the first book you ‘might think’ is their style or which you ‘might think’ they have not read yet.

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Give them a cute owl-patterned blanket, give them fluffy house slippers, give them an Alice in Wonderland gothic tea-set, give them panda ear-muffs or a new Gorjuss diary.

Or to be on the safe side, and make them 100% happy, just give them a voucher from Book Depository, and let them decide what to buy for themselves.

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Thank you very much!! ;0p

Book Review – The Evolution of Mara Dyer – Michelle Hodkin

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I just finished ‘The Evolution of Mara Dyer’, and I must say, it was SOOOO MUCH BETTER than the bad review I gave on here – https://ddmoonsong.wordpress.com/2015/02/20/the-unbecoming-of-mara-dyer-michelle-hodkin-book-review-spoilers/  with regards to the first book.

Well done Michelle Hodkin, you managed to improve yourself a lot since your first novel, which was, let’s face it, pretty tripe in a nice packaging.

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The second installment to the trilogy not only had be hooked, but contained some really interesting revelations. It focused a bit on the love story, but also explored the realm of the psychological, not to mention revealing more stuff about the characters, making them well-rounded and believable. I also simply adored the ‘past lives’ angle, and it was a really good idea for Mara’s power to be genetically inherited – makes a lot of sense and is very plausible.

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Not wanting to give any spoilers, I will try not to write anything else, apart from illustrating how much I am looking forward to the third installment of the trilogy. I honestly never encouterd any trilogy I had such a low opinion of while reading the first part, while being totally engrossed in the second, since usually the second book in a trilogy is the one which lags the most.

So, surprised and pleased me, gives you the over and out 😀

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The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer – Michelle Hodkin – Book Review (SPOILERS)

I am currently of two minds about this book. Having just finished it, I am still oscillating between amused interest and irritated indignation.

Following the Twilight destruction phenomenon, a spate of wanna-be teenage angsty star-crossed lovers ‘novels’ started to come out, all aimed at young people and all of them the same.

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Mara Dyer Book 1 started with a very interesting (although not at all original) premise. The reader is unsure whether Mara is suffering from post-traumatic stress psychosis or if there’s something else. We see flashes of the truth, but the narrator is fallible, so we are still not sure what is happening. Everything is exciting, mysterious and a tad uncanny.

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And then, everything goes to rot.

Enter Noah – the new Edward. Perfect in every sense, every girl wants him, but for some strange inexplicable reason he only wants quite, introvert Bella.. er I mean Mara. Noah is elusive and special. Rich and adored. And he has special powers! Surprise, surprise!

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By the way, have I mentioned Noah’s equally perfect ex who bullies Mara with the help of her friend the blonde-Mr America? Are all the characters so beautiful and picture perfect? Yes! Gods even this is enough to irritate the hell out of me! Where are the fat chicks, the pimpled cowards, the bitchy sluts and the insecure people you REALLY find in every school in existence?!

Anyways, to be fair, there are many differences which tend to try and put Mara Dyer outside the Twilight zone… maybe I have become too adept at perceiving similarities everywhere? Hmm… Maybe it’s just me? Or not?

Anyways, Bella… I mean Mara, feels physical attraction towards Noah, but he keeps back (even though apparently he’s shagged every other thing in skirts), because… well no actual reason is given. He just refuses her advances… sounds familiar? To make matters even more… *cough*cough* cheesy, we realize that Mara too has special powers! Oh these two are so special! Their special powers complement each other so specially, driving the point home that, as Noah said ‘We are made for each other’… honestly, the syrupy sweetness is enough to curdle bacon.

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And yet… there could be something there… something more…

Maybe it’s just the awesome book-cover which is still getting to me lol (for some reason it seems familiar too…?)

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Yes, I’m going to start reading the second book of the trilogy, ‘The Evolution of Mara Dyer’… maybe it will get better.

I surely hope it won’t be worse.