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March 13, 2018

When Books Attacked

'When Books Attacked' is not exactly a good title for a post but I like it and it suits this post. Anyway, over at Top Ten Tuesday the prompt is Books That Surprised Me (in a good or bad way) which there are a few and then I thought of all the other emotions involved. So this is a mixed list. I'll be using the word 'surprise' a lot to appease anyone looking for surprises.

Books that made my eyes watered with joy because they are visually stunning

[ illustration by Jimmy Liao in the Chinese edition of Sound of colors]
01/ The Sound of Colors by Jimmy Liao > link
I love like anything Jimmy Liao illustrates. I aspire, well, I sort of aspire, to create works like Laio's because they are just so wonderfully drawn. Even though they seem so simple, they really aren't. I could list all Liao's books but I thought The sound of colors is a good introduction to Liao's work. I prefer the Chinese edition because there are more artworks in that edition than the English version. I'm surprised they left out some of the illustrations as I really didn't see any reason to do so.

[ cover image of The Snow Queen illustrated by Vladyslav Yerko - click on the image for a closeup ]
02/ Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen Retold by Nicky Raven, Illustrated by Vladyslav Yerko > link 
If you have this book, you'll want to spend hours looking at the illustrations instead of reading the story which is also good but the illustrations by Vladyslav Yerko are so detailed, so perfectly created that you'll just want to stare at them for a long while. If you look at the illustrations close enough, you will find many little surprises in the details. (Take a look at the image above.)

Books with endings that provoked a bit of frustration & anger

03/ The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey > link
I love the book except for the ending. The whole book seems to build up to some magical revelation or mystical path but then reality gets thrown in like some unwanted surprise. I think the ending just came out of nowhere, like the author just decided that's enough fantasy, let's throw in reality to destroy all our dreams, yeah, it will definitely make everyone believe the story more. So maybe I wanted it to end the same way it started. Can't we stay in that fantasy world and have a happy ending? I don't read these for a taste of harsh reality. I really don't.

04/ Stardust by Neil Gaiman > link, movie link >
The ending seems a little weak to me. I mean, if you have been chasing after something for so long and so hard, then give it up at the very last moment, well, it just seems pretty dumb. I think the movie is better and not because of the better ending but because Tristran seems more likable, Tristran and Yvaine's seems more believeable as a couple and all the best parts of the book is in the movie and they removed that elf/dwarf/whatever strange creature that befriended Tristran which I can't even remember his name because he's that unlikable. And what surprised me most is the sex scene in the beginning of the book. I actually did not expect it at all. I really did thought it would be like the movie as I did see the movie before I read the book, so yeah, there's that surprise that I really didn't want. So basically, if you love the movie, don't read the book because you'll be very disappointed. Perhaps I should stop reading Gaiman's books. I seem to be get disappointed by his books often.

Books that bored me and I have no idea why

05/ The Dragon with the Chocolate Heart by Stephanie Burgis > link 
This would be a book that I would love because it have all the elements of a good fantasy book - magic, dragons, chocolates, wizards (in the beginning of the book) - but I don't know what happened. I just find it so boring that I skimmed to the end. But I love the cover art. What suprises me is that all the reviews I read all said how good this book was, they all said they loved the book, they find the book so much fun to read but it was boring to me.

06/ The Lost Kingdom of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine > link  
The story sounded good. The beginning is wonderful. And then it all just became a bore suddenly. I don't even know what went wrong. I tried re-reading it but I was basically just bored. I'm surprised I didn't quit reading but I did skimmed toward the end.

Books that made me sad but I love them anyway

07/ The Girl With Glass Feet by Ali Shaw > link
So maybe I was a bit sad by the ending because there really is no solution but I really did wish for a happy ending because these characters just seemed like they lived such sorrowful lives that they deserved to be happy. Actually, the revelation of how the girl came to have glass feet did suprised me a little.

08/ One Thing Stolen by Beth Kephart > link
This is a beautifully written book. I really like the perspective and how her mind just seems be linear even when it seems a bit jumbled. This is just one of those books that make you hope she would be cured at the end somehow. It is an open ending but you sort of get the feeling it's not all hopeless. I'm surprised that it isn't longer because I really did want to know more even when they changed perspective to someone else.

Books that made me laughed out loud

09/ Poison by Bridget Zinn > link 
I totally adored this book. There are fun and funny moments. There is one scene that involved the protagonist crossing a river with a piglet on her head while she is in her under garments because she didn't want to get her clothes wet. And I was kind of surprised by the ending's revelation but in the back of my mind, I did expected it but I was still a little surprise.

10/ Postcards from a Dead Girl by Kirk Farber > link
So I may have mentioned this book a million times already but this book really did made me laughed out loud. There is one scene involving Sid (the protagonist) trying to talk on a phone while someone is screaming bloody murder in the background that I really, really thought is funny. There's another one that involves Sid's deceased mother, which might be a surprise but probably not. It's just a really fun, easy read. There may be some sadness involved but what book doesn't have that?

Have you read any books that provoked you lately?  For more Top Ten Tuesday, visit That Artsy Reader Girl here.
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