3 Days, 3 Quotes Challenge – Day 2

Today is Day Two of the 3 Days, 3 Quotes challenges. I was nominated by Keira at Signing On, and mohiletanvi92 at Anything and Everything.

Today’s quote is from Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz:

To be careful with people and with words was a rare and beautiful thing.

aristotle and dante

This book means a lot to me and I love this quote a lot. And it really does speak for itself.

Today’s nominees are:

Miles to Go

Book Delights

The Crazy Perfectionist

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3 Days, 3 Quotes Challenge – Day 1

I am so behind! Everyone is doing the 3 Quotes, 3 Days Challenge, and I’ve been nominated twice, by the lovely Keira at Signing On, and the amazing mohiletanvi92 at Anything and Everything. Thanks guys, you’re made of awesome!

The deal is for three consecutive days, I post a quote, and then nominate three people, for a total of three quotes and nine nominations. The quotes won’t be a problem.

…but I don’t even think there are nine people left who haven’t done this tag.

*sighs* This is why I have a natural instinct to get things done on time. Otherwise, this happens!

Anyways, let’s start with the easy part. Today’s quote is from the best science fiction novel ever: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. 

“Life, although it may only be an accumulation of anguish, is dear to me, and I will defend it.”

These words are spoken by the Creature, when he confronts Frankenstein for not taking better care of him. I love the monster’s articulation—Mary Shelley was absolutely amazing with words—and this line just reeks of it.

I think it’s also a rather hopeful line, despite the sadness surrounding it. The monster is depressed because he can’t fit into society, and yet he recognizes that life is precious. And despite my life not (so far) being an “accumulation of anguish,” it always comes up in books that whatever we gather in life, we lose one way or another. Memories fade, people die—but the point is we lived them.

And on that note, I tag the following bloggers:

Turn The Page Book Reviews

Paperback Beauty Pageant

Partners In Books

Good luck!

Notable Quotables | Daughter of Smoke and Bone

I forgot to do something when I reviewed Daughter of Smoke and Bone. And that is to praise Laini Taylor’s writing style because while her pacing is off, her sentence structure is absolutely gorgeous.

I’d make a typical Notable Quotables post…except for the fact that I’d have to quote the whole book because every single line is amazing.

From Zuzana’s puppetry, to the systematic division of wishes, to Madrigal’s whirling emotions, every single word in this book has been carefully chosen. Taylor’s vocabulary is broad and she shows it off without being pretentious about it. Her description of Prague alone paints a picture of the city so vividly:

The first time she’d come to Prague, she’d gotten so lost exploring these streets. She’d passed an art gallery and a few blocks later doubled back to find it, and… couldn’t. The city had swallowed it. In fact, she had never found it. There was a deceptive tangling of alleys that gave the impression of a map that shifted behind you, gargoyles tiptoeing away, stones like puzzle pieces rearranging themselves into new configurations while you weren’t looking. Prague entranced you, lured you in, like the mythic fey who trick travellers deep into forests until they’re lost beyond hope. But being lost here was a gentle adventure of marionette shops and absinthe, and the only creatures lurking around corners were Kaz and his cohorts in vampire makeup, ready with a silly thrill.

Taylor even has the ability to make the cliche “Once upon a time” sound majestic:

Once upon a time, a little girl was raised by monsters.

But angels burned the doorways to their world, and she was all alone.

There’s a solemnity to it. There’s a chill.

I have no doubt that Karou’s crazy artistic mind sprung as the brain child of Laini Taylor because Taylor is an artist with words. And it’s not closed off at all. Unlike Milton’s whose high writing style pushes the reader away, Taylor’s draws you in. The writing is almost seductive in that sense—it pulls you in because it’s beautiful and intriguing and you want to see more of it because, hell, it could be talking about people ripping their teeth out with pliers but you don’t care because it sounds good.

Funnily enough, that actually happens in the novel.

It’s the kind of writing I want to be able to do one day. Like Ransom Riggs’ style. Geez, I’m jealous of these people!

Any authors whose writing style you would love to have? Let me know in comments!

Notable Quotables | Clockwork Prince

There were certain things I wanted to have happen in this book:

  • The central romance to develop properly
  • To learn more about Jem
  • For Will’s character to become more than the stock character presented in Clockwork Angel
  • For Tessa to grow and learn more about herself
  • For Henry to do something to prove he was actually in love with Charlotte

…and it all happened!

This book made me see why everyone likes Will. I mean, his compositions give off so much of his real character:

For Tessa Gray, on the occasion of being given a copy of Vathek to read:
Caliph Vathek and his dark horde
Are bound for Hell, you won’t be bored!
Your faith in me will be restored—
Unless this token you find untoward
And my poor gift you have ignored.

“Demon pox, oh, demon pox, Just how is it acquired?
One must go down to the bad part of town
Until one is very tired.
Demon pox, oh, demon pox I had it all along—
No, not the pox, you foolish blocks,
I mean this very song—
For I was right, and you were wrong!”

I’ll admit it, I was grinning from ear to ear as I read the demon pox scene, and I had to hold myself back from laughing out loud as I pictured Will dancing around in utter and complete glee.

Tessa’s character also becomes much stronger in this book. She’s more determined, more sure of herself. For goodness sakes, she comes up with one of the best threats ever:

“If you do not help me,” Tessa said to Jem, “I swear, I will Change into you, and I will lift him myself. And then everyone here will see what you look like in a dress.”

But my favourite character is still Jem, with good reason. Clare developed his character so well in this book. He’s not this perfect little angel, and Clare explores the darkness that the drug has put in Jem’s life:

She had assumed his kindness was so natural and so innate, she had never asked herself whether it cost him any effort. Any effort to stand between Will and the world, protecting each of them from the other. Any effort to accept the loss of his family with equanimity. Any effort to remain cheerful and calm in the face of his own dying.

But the real star of the novel? Clare knows how to write dramatic romance. Just read it:

“I—I would have wanted to—to court you first. To take you driving, with a chaperon.”
“A chaperon?” Tessa laughed despite herself.
He went on determinedly. “To tell you of my feelings first, before I showed them. To write poetry for you—”
“You don’t even like poetry,” Tessa said, her voice catching on a half laugh of relief.
“No. But you make me want to write it. Does that not count for anything?”

“I had always thought one could not be truly lost if one knew one’s own heart. But I fear I may be lost without knowing yours.”

“I can offer you my life, but it is a short life; I can offer you my heart, though I have no idea how many more beats it shall sustain. But I love you enough to hope that you will not care that I am being selfish in trying to make the rest of my life—whatever its length–happy, by spending it with you.”

“Reading your words, what you wrote, how you were lonely sometimes and afraid, but always brave; the way you saw the world, its colours and textures and sounds, I felt—I felt the way you thought, hoped, felt, dreamed. I felt I was dreaming and thinking and feeling with you. I dreamed what you dreamed, wanted what you wanted—and then I realized that truly I just wanted you. The girl behind the scrawled letters. I loved you from the moment I read them.”

The best of these moments is definitely Henry and Charlotte. (Please excuse me while I squeal.) They are just too cute to read about, despite how limited their scenes are:

“You are not plain,” Henry said, his face still blazing. “You are beautiful. And I didn’t ask your father if I could marry you out of duty; I did it because I loved you. I’ve always loved you. I’m your husband.”

“I thought you might come to love me, in time.”
“That’s what I thought about you,” she said wonderingly. “Could we really both have been so stupid?”
“Well, I’m not surprised about me ,” said Henry. “But honestly, Charlotte, you ought to have known better.”

But my favourite quote has to be this one:

She had never imagined she had the power to make someone else so happy. And not a magical power either—a purely human one.

I forgot to mention this last time, but I really should mention the intertexuality of the novel. Clare prefaces each chapter with a quote from English literature, all of which I love, but won’t mention since they aren’t her work.

She even references Donne…my favourite metaphysical poet!

Notable Quotables | Clockwork Angel

The review for Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare will be up soon! For now, here’s some notable quotables!

Tessa is a pretty strong female lead. I like how she’s inquisitive and loves books.

“One must always be careful of books,” said Tessa, “and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.”

“Only the very weak-​minded refuse to be influenced by literature and poetry”

But Tessa’s character also struggles with her identity in the novel. This leads to some good quotes:

What if one of the times I Changed, when I turned back into myself, I didn’t do it quite right? What if this isn’t even my true face?

“But now I cannot help but wonder if perhaps the life I had before was the dream and all this was the truth.”

How strange to have the power to literally transform yourself into other people, and yet be so unable to put yourself in their place.

…But what I like even better is Jem’s response to her identity crisis:

Whatever the color, the shape, the design of the shade that conceals it, the flame inside the lamp remains the same. You are that flame.”

“Sometimes,” Jem said, “our lives can change so fast that the change outpaces our minds and hearts. It’s those times, I think, when our lives have altered but we still long for the time before everything was altered–that is when we feel the greatest pain.

“You’ve always been what you are. That’s not new. What you’ll get used to is knowing it.”

Jem actually gets the best lines in this novel. Besides those, there are also:

“Inanimate objects are harmless indeed, Mr. Mortmain. But one cannot always say the same of the men who use them.”

I do not believe you can threaten people into goodness.

It is as great a thing to love as it is to be loved. Love is not something that can be wasted.”

I’m am a little questioning about the syntax and diction in the novel, since it seems a little more modern than Victorian. But if it gives my cheeky lines of dialogue like this:

“let me give you a piece of advice. The handsome young fellow who’s trying to rescue you from a hideous fate is never wrong. Not even if he says the sky is purple and made of hedgehogs.”

…I think I can manage.