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Review – Big Magic

24453082Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
Non Fiction, Self Help, Writing
Published by Bloomsbury (2016)
Sinopse:
Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert’s books for years. Now this beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives. Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the “strange jewels” that are hidden within each of us. Whether we are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in our work, embark on a dream long deferred, or simply infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy.

Links: Goodreads // Amazon // Book Depository // Author //

Rating: 5/5 stars
Elizabeth Gilbert is able to bring creativity to life and show that everyone is capable of being creative, even if you think isn’t the case. The simple language and encouraging optimism will make you want to discover the artist in yourself.

Discussion:
As an aspiring writer this is the book I needed.
Many times I found crossroads and hurdles. Big ones. I know that a craft has growing pains and I cannot tell you how the author was able to pin point all of them in this book. As I was reading passages from the novel, I just felt a warmth inside that was hard to explain. This book spoke to me on a personal level and I wish I had found it sooner. So I want to thank my best friend for lending this to me. It was my favorite read of the year.

Besides this personal ramble, I believe this is a very accessible book. The author is able to convey her messages in short passages, always pairing the advice with a story that helps you to visualize how it can apply to real life. Another aspect to praise is that the book it’s still grounded in reality. It shows the hardships of the creative process and it shows that it’s though and you can only do it if you truly love it.

And why do I believe this is book is for everybody?

Because we all struggle with ideas. Not just artists. Professionals in creative fields, workers that have to pitch to their bosses, an individual afraid to try something new… So if you ever found yourself in a position similar to those, this is the book for you. Creativity, as the author puts it, is everywhere and it’s waiting for you to work with it. So, be brave and try! Failure is just one of the possible outcomes.

If anything, the book will lift your spirit. Be sure to give it a read.

 

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Books/Livros · Cultura · English · Toughts

Booktube made me do it – April 2018

In the hype of book communities and booktubers, there are a few chosen that no one seems to stop talking about. So, I decided it’s time to discover what lies beneath the suggestions. So, this time booktube made me read:

0525555366Turtles All The Way Down by John Green

Young- Adult, Contemporary, Mental Health,

Published by Dutton Books (2017)

Synopses: Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.
Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

In his long-awaited return, John Green, the acclaimed, award-winning author of Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, shares Aza’s story with shattering, unflinching clarity in this brilliant novel of love, resilience, and the power of lifelong friendship.

Goodreads // Amazon // Book Depository // Author

What I was promised: The best John Green novel until date. A life changing experience in a novel about mental health.

What I found: It was ok. In terms of writing, it could still be improved in character development and by focusing only on Aza’s life. I didn’t feel it was the best John Green book. Regardless, it’s still an important book for mental health representation and I think it’s a good way to have a glimpse on what it’s like to deal with this condition on a daily life.

Final rating: 4 stars.

 

Books/Livros · Cultura · English · Toughts

Colliding Skies (Review)

colliding-skies-by-debbie-zakenColliding Skies by Debbie Zaken
YA, Sci-fi, Romance
Oftomes Publishing
Release date: 06 of March of 2018

Sinopse: Since Skye Reilly can remember, she has been looking up to the stars. With high school graduation upon her, her telescope in one hand and her college acceptance letter in the other, she has life as meticulously mapped out as her star chart. That is, until the Celeians arrive and she meets Ethan, an alluring alien. Ethan collides into her like an asteroid, causing a gravitational shift in Skye’s trajectory and hurling her life into a cataclysmic collision course of interplanetary proportions.
The Celeians promise many things. An end to disease, global warming, and famine. The knowledge to help humankind. Despite the suspicions surrounding the intriguing aliens and rising anti-alien protests, Skye gives Ethan her trust, and eventually her heart. The very heart he could stop with a lethal electrifying touch of his hand.
When the Magistrate, a council of alien leaders, threatens to put an end to their interspecies relationship, following her heart could cost Skye her life and the lives of everyone she loves.
Not even light can escape the pull of a black hole.

Links: Goodreads // Amazon // Bookdepository // Author //

I wish to thank the publisher for sending me a review copy. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars
An amazing debut novel that will take you by surprise, if you are willing to take the journey with the characters. I recommend you pick this novel for a fresh take on the alien invasion story and if you enjoy a lot of romance in your books.

Discussion:
Can I tell you how much this book took me away? As I started this novel I was sure that it was going to be a good experience. I saw some things that made me roll me eyes with the obvious scenarios but it got good. Really good! By the time I realised the story was at the end and I needed to find out what happens next. So now I have to wait until next year! Well played, Debbie… Well played…

All jokes aside, I really enjoyed this novel.

My review might contain light spoilers, so I advise caution from here. Pick up the novel and comeback to this review if you don’t like to be spoiled at all. You have been warned.

Plot:
Clever and well structured.
I feel the author did a lot of research and was able to use scientific terms correctly. I’m not an expert on the astrophysics field but I think she used most of the concepts correctly and was able to put it in a simplified manner that allowed young readers to grasp the message.

I was very happy with the Celeians. I enjoyed the all the moments they were on the page and the differences between them and humans. There was a lot of thought put into them and I appreciated the fact that we got to know them well in the first book. I believe in the sequel there will be a lot of conflicts that will arise and I think it opens space for interesting debates on morals and ethics. (Well, that is what I hope at least. I know everyone is here for the romance…)

The romance is never my favorite element of a novel. It takes me a while to actually root for the couple, if something more interesting is also happening in the book, but I liked Skye and Ethan as a couple. At first it was odd, but there is a point in the book were all makes sense and when that clicked, everything else also did.

In my opinion, the love triangle wasn’t believable mostly because they date for a week or so before she falls for someone else and yet Taylor acts as if they were dating for months or years. I get teenage love is intense, but as a reader I just didn’t care much for what it seems to be a fling.

I will like to give a special nod to the parents, that are present and actually are an important source of conflict. I liked that the author didn’t whisk them away and they help shape the narrative and keep it more grounded to reality. That was something.

Characters:
Skye was a refreshing protagonist, specially because she had an interest in astronomy. Overall, she developed and was a very intelligent character, able to question her attraction for Ethan in a very logical way. I was rooting for her and she showed bravery in though situations. I liked Skye.

Ethan was a bit trickier… I was always on the fence with him but I did liked how similar he is to Skye. As the novel progresses you see more of him and he is, by far, one of the most interesting of the Celeians.

The secondary characters were great. We had a good mix of people and they brought something to the narrative, specially the aliens. Also, I was happy to see some Portuguese thrown around, it’s quite a rare occurrence.

Small quirks:
I feel that this might make some people confused, if they are not willing to open their minds. This is not your typical alien invasion novel, it builds up slowly, the author is good at giving hints on what to come, so it might feel that you are reading a contemporary more than a sci-fi. If you can’t depart from this, you might have troubles with the novel.

Another thing that might make people unsure is that there are many YA clichés or things you have seen a million times before. As the novel progresses, the characters become more fleshed out and so is the world. The progression is slow, however. So, it’s something to keep in mind if you are going to pick it up.

Hope you enjoyed this long review. Please, pick it up if you can!

L.T:Htlls

Bilingual · Books/Livros · Conspicuous · Cultura · Toughts · Writing

Breaking the process

[ENG] Today, when looking for tips on writing to help new authors we have a lot of info-graphics and preconceived formulas. You name it and you will find it, structure, character arc, story type, etc… While some are helpful, like synonyms, I always take a step back. Isn’t writing suppose to be a creative endeavor? By looking into this information it seems that the exercise is less about conveying emotions and it resembles more a student repeating formulas in order to memorize them for class.

And then I read Slaughterhouse 5.

There, I faced an almost psychedelic experience were the long chapters, like the memory of our protagonist, struggle to find a logic sequence of ideas.

So, sometimes it’s better to throw caution out of the window and just go with your gut. By no means I say that every book should be like this one, it takes a fantastic storyteller to pull this off, but sometimes the best way to write is just to put words on the page.

What do you think?

L.T:Htlls

~*~ ~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~

[PT] Hoje em dia, ao percorrermos os muitos sites e imagens que tentam ajudar os escritores novatos existem mil e uma fórmulas e info-gráficos. Sobre a estrutura, o arco de personagens, o tipo de história, etc… Embora alguns ajudem imenso, por exemplo sinónimos, fico sempre com um pé atrás.Não é suposto a escrita ser um desafio criativo? Ao olhar para toda esta informação parece-me que o exercício é menos sobre expressar emoções e assemelha-se mais a um aluno a debitar técnicas e fórmulas numa aula de memorização.

E depois li Slaughterhouse 5.

Aí, deparei-me com uma experiência quase psicadélica onde tínhamos capítulos longos que, como a memória do proagonista, debatiam-se com uma sequência lógica no encadeamento de ideias.

E lembrei-me que talvez o melhor seja mesmo esquecer todas estas ajudas e deixar que o ato da escrita seja o que for. Não digo que todas as narrativas devam seguir este exemplo, é preciso um nível elevado de domínio sobre narrativas para fazer algo assim, mas por vezes o melhor é mesmo escrever numa página em branco.

O que te parece?

L.T:Htlls

Books/Livros · Cultura · English · Toughts

February Wrap up

Fev

The Good:

(*♡∀♡)  The Crown by Kiera Cass

The finally for the Selection series was so good! I enjoyed every minute of this wild ride and was hooked until the last page. One of the most entertaining series I read, I’m sad that is finally over.

The Disappointing:

(╬ Ò﹏Ó) On Myself due to the lack of time to review so many amazing books! I don’t want to jinx it but March you might be spammed by the reviews pilled up in my notebooks.

The Revelation:

Σ(O_O) Colliding Skies by Debbie Zaken

This was a thrill ride, one I haven’t experienced with YA in a while. I had the pleasure to read it as a review copy for the launch that will happen on the 6th of March of 2018. So expect a full review at that date and don’t forget to support the author on her debut novel. If you like sci fi with a extraterrestrial romance, this is for you!

Honorable Mention:

(・ω<)☆ The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde

This was everything I expected and more. Oscar Wilde was able to merge severe social criticism with a bold perspective that was modern and transgressive. It was also a convincing horror story that took me off guard. A classic that holds it’s place extremely well, by far one of my favorites.

What did you read in February?

L.T:Htlls

Books/Livros · Cultura · English · Toughts

Janeiro 18 Wrap UP

Jn 1

The Good:

(*♡∀♡)  Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut

There are many to pick this month, all good books, but I had to pick Vonnegut. What an amazing novel! It was everything I expected and more, filled with quirks and tricks and I will probably review it next. Mandatory read for everyone.

The Disappointing:

(╬ Ò﹏Ó) None, all of the books I’ve read were good! I’m so happy this month this category isn’t used, it’s the sign of a good reading month.

The Revelation:

Σ(O_O) Carrie by Stephen King

Finally! I finally, after two years, found a good Stephen King book. I struggled so much to find a book of his that I thoroughly enjoyed and Carrie did the trick. A really good book for fans of the terror/horror genre.

Honorable Mention:

(・ω<)☆ Memorial by Eusébio Catanho

I enjoyed reading a story about recent history, in this case of Madeira Island, but the narration style was a bliss. It made me connect a bit closer with my grandmother that experienced some of the events that the protagonist of the novel also went through. For that, it deserves a special mention.

What did you read in January?

p.s I will try to review most of these novels in my blog, but if you have a request feel free to leave them in the comments.

L.T:Htlls