Writer / Reader / Fandom Extraordinaire
Yearly Archives: 2015
Chiara / December 17, 2015 , Thu / this book is lgbtqia

This Book is LGBTQIA+ is my way of putting a spotlight on books that may not be widely recognised as such. I want these books to have as much exposure as they can, and I hope you add some of these titles (or all) to those never-ending TBR piles!

Today’s book is:

hushed by kelly york

hushed

Title: Hushed

Author: Kelly York

Publisher: Entangled Teen (Embrace)

Genre/s: Thriller

He’s saved her. He’s loved her. He’s killed for her.

Eighteen-year-old Archer couldn’t protect his best friend, Vivian, from what happened when they were kids, so he’s never stopped trying to protect her from everything else. It doesn’t matter that Vivian only uses him when hopping from one toxic relationship to another—Archer is always there, waiting to be noticed.

Then along comes Evan, the only person who’s ever cared about Archer without a single string attached. The harder he falls for Evan, the more Archer sees Vivian for the manipulative hot-mess she really is.

But Viv has her hooks in deep, and when she finds out about the murders Archer’s committed and his relationship with Evan, she threatens to turn him in if she doesn’t get what she wants… And what she wants is Evan’s death, and for Archer to forfeit his last chance at redemption.

Why This Book is LGBTQIA+

Now, it might seem obvious from the synopsis (although I’m making this post because this book needs more love in general, and in terms of being LGBTQIA+), but the protagonist is bisexual! Which is so awesome, because bi characters seem to be quite rare in the YA book world, and when there are books with bi protagonists, sometimes they are … really awful. But Hushed is not awful! It’s kind of wonderful, in a really creepy way.

One thing I really appreciated, in terms of queerness, was the fact that Archer never freaked out about being attracted to Evan. I am so over the sexuality awakening novels. So it was just really refreshing to read a book about a character who just accepted the fact that they are attracted to both sexes. AND it’s a thriller book, not a contemporary. Pretty much all the points to Hushed. *gives gold star* You can read my full thoughts on this book here.

(Trigger warnings: murder, forced suicide, and non-explicit rape and domestic violence in this novel)

Chiara / December 3, 2015 , Thu / books & reading, general

The question of “is it the book, or is it you?” can also pertain to movies, and TV shows. So in all reality, the title should probably have been “is it the source, or is it you?” but I wanted to reel people in, and ‘source’ doesn’t really get the point across as well. BUT ANYWAY.

I’ve been thinking about this for a while, but I still haven’t really ascertained an answer. I think it depends on what book you’ve read or movie/TV show you watched, and what kind of love comes from it. Hang on, let me explain.

example #1: book

raven boys

The Raven Cycle is one of my all time favourite series, discovered only at the beginning of this year. Now, while I REALLY enjoyed reading the books (the first and third were five stars, and the second was four stars, you can catch my reviews here), it was everything outside of the book that made it special. Talking about it with friends, making playlists, writing fanfic, reading friends’ fanfic.

My love for The Raven Cycle stopped essentially being just ABOUT TRC, but rather about all the things that came from it. Friendships, fun, conversations, analyses, fanfic. All of the stuff that is still centred on the books, but actually coming from me and what I put into my love for the books. Transforming it from just a: I love this series!!!!! feeling to: I am going to buy things with Ronan’s face on it, and write sexy AF fanfic, and make playlists, and scroll through every page of Maggie Stiefvater’s Tumblr just so I can compile all the songs she tagged with JUST Ronan and Adam.

So was it the book(s) that made this series so special, or was it what I took from them and made my own?

example #2: tv show

merlin

I barely have the words to describe what this show means to me, to be honest. My love for it knows no bounds. At all.

This is slightly different to TRC, though, because whereas my “outside” love for TRC began practically as soon as I read it, my “outside” love for Merlin didn’t start until the show had actually ended. I adored every minute of watching it, cried every tear in my body when it was finished, and loved it for itself without engaging this love in anything beyond the show.

I started to miss the show, and created a Tumblr account just to reblog Merlin related things, and made friends who love the show as much as I do. And then I started writing fanfic, and my friends read the fanfic, and I forced persuaded them to then go and watch the show. (I also purchased a ridiculous amount of beautiful fanart.)

So I think in this case the boundary between ‘the source’ and ‘me’, was clearer. My intense love for the show required nothing but what it gave me. This love only grew once I started adding to this love myself.

example #3: movie

p and p

When this movie released on DVD I rented it from my local DVD rental store, and returned it before watching it. And then, about two years later, my best friend was talking about how much she loved it, and then we watched it. We had to pause the movie every five minutes for her to explain exactly what the hell the characters were actually saying, and I naively thought that Mr Wickham was a slighted poor soul (oh how I was wrong), but I loved every second of it.

From then on, it became one of our traditions. We’d watch it regularly and flail about Mr Darcy (especially the hand flex), and swoon along to the soundtrack. It was one of our most precious ~things~.

I think it’s pretty clear from the fact that I didn’t watch it when I had the chance that as beautiful and gorgeous as this movie is, it was the happiness and measure of closeness that it brought to my best friend and I that made it so special to me. Without that, I think it would have probably remained unwatched, or at best a movie I thought was lovely. It would never have become one of my favourite movies that I somehow manage to watch without much time passing at all. It was me, in this case. I am sure of it.

But there are other cases when I’m really not sure if it is the source or me that makes something special. Perhaps it is some magical mesh of the two of them. Because no matter how much outside love I bring to something, if the source didn’t exist, the love wouldn’t either. But I also think that outside love can make something infinitely more special, because it becomes more than just a book, or a TV show, or a movie. It becomes the thing that gives you inspiration, or happiness, or a beloved tradition.

Let me know your thoughts! Is it the source, or you? Or a mix between the two?

Chiara / November 17, 2015 , Tue / films & music

I’m here talking about horror movies (again – I did tell you I would talk about them, did I not?). And some horror movies for people who don’t like horror movies, because I plan to take over the world by forcing persuading people to watch and read the things I love to watch and read (my plan is perfection, obviously. You’ll all be bowing at my feet one day soon, I am sure).

Sometimes, when I mention my love for horror movies, my friend or random person will gasp: oh, how I detest horror movies!

Which will elicit a confused expression on my behalf, and a bewildered wondering why on earth anyone would detest horror movies. The thrills! The fear! The avoidance of the bathroom and all dark windows and mirrors! It’s all fun. So, today, I am recommending five scary movies for people who do not like scary movies. Which makes perfect sense, yes? YES. Okay, here we go. (All the source links will take you to IMDb.)

1. an american haunting

an american haunting

(source)

Okay, so apparently this movie flopped big time, and I’m guessing it’s because it can make it onto a list like this. I REALLY liked this movie, because even though it has some of your typical ‘noises in the night’ tropes that a lot of scary movies have, the base storyline is heartbreakingly emotional. Besides a few moment of “oh noes, there’s scary shit going down”, the movie is ultimately an awesome one that isn’t so scary.

2. cry wolf

cry wolf

(source)

OHMYGOSH. I still remember how incredibly amazing I thought this movie to be when I first watched it at a high school sleepover. I fell absolutely in love with it, and have since watched it numerous times. Cry Wolf is all up in the teenage boarding school drama and creep factor, and is just dripping in mystery. Yeah, there are a few deaths which some might say are gory, but the thrills are more “who the fuck is doing this?” than anything else. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND. (Don’t take any notice of that creepy AF cover. Totally misleading.)

3. dream house

dream house

(source)

I was not expecting a lot from this movie. I almost put it back when I was renting it from my DVD rental place, because I had a feeling I’d seen it before (which I hadn’t). But I relented, and ended up loving it. Similar to An American Haunting, there are bumps in the night creepy moments, and a dude who you see outside of the house, but all in all Dream House is an emotional story that had me in tears. TEARS, I tell you. Obviously it can’t be too scary (I promise they were tears of sadness, and not fear).

4. the haunting in connecticut

the hanting in connecticut

(source)

Hands down one of my all time favourite horror movies. This movie is precious. It stars one of my favourite actors, who just has a face that SCREAMS vulnerability, and begs you to wrap him in a blankey and protect him from the world, which I guess is why he’s so good in this role. The scary moments aren’t so big in this movie, but they are there. However, the main focus of this movie is what happened in the house in the past, and how it’s affecting my precious baby. Not to say there aren’t creepy moments, but they’re not ones that’ll keep you away from bathrooms.

5. passengers

passengers

(source)

I thought this movie would be filled to the brim with murder and mayhem, but it’s not. It’s a thriller, rather than a horror, so there are no monsters ripping up people, but the thrills are little to none. Passengers is more of a mystery drama than anything else, but I won’t tell you why it still needs to be in the thriller section. Just trust me that it’s worth watching because there’s a greatly emotional storyline to it, and cute romance, to boot!

So there you have it. My five scary movie reommendations for people who do not like scary movies! If you’re one of those people, I really recommend giving these a go (starting off with Passengers and Dream House, and then moving on to the Haunting movies, and finally Cry Wolf), because they are 100% worth the watch.

Do you have any favourite scary movies? Or scary movie recs for people who don’t like scary movies (or who do)? Let me know!

Chiara / November 5, 2015 , Thu / rejection (x3)

Rejection, Rejection, Rejection is my way of: a) sharing things with you that I fully intended to through publications but that were rejected, and b) show you that being rejected is part of being a writer. I really hope you like this series, because I was ridiculously over-excited about it when the idea came to me. I hope you like these pieces that nearly missed out on being seen by your eyes.

#2 – poetry

This piece is one that I submitted for a poetry anthology. The theme was ‘tempest’. This poem was inspired by Captive Prince by C.S Pacat.

RUIN

It wasn’t a sword with which he took my life,

But a look

A glance

A stare

So full of undisguised emotion

I felt as if I could drown in the blue of his eyes.

He thought that his best used weapons were his words;

I’m sure he wouldn’t believe me if I told him otherwise.

If I told him, straightforward and fiercely:

Your eyes are the very things that ruin me.

He would likely laugh, mirthless, and try to cut me down with his collection of letters.

But it would be the subtle change in his eyes,

A tiny, infinitesimal transition

From disbelief to confusion and calculated assessment

That would reduce me to nothing.

This piece is full of feels for me, because the Damen/Laurent (Laurianos) ship is one of my OTPs. I hope you enjoyed reading this poem of mine!

Until my next rejection,

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