Thursday, March 5, 2015

Harry Potter Moment of The Week - The One Who Had Everyone's Back

I stumbled upon this meme while checking out another blogger's posts and fell in love with this idea! I cannot believe that I hadn't stumbled upon Uncorked Thoughts blog before or this meme. So I'm going to try to participate weekly with this meme starting this week! If it sounds like fun or you are a super Harry Potter fan, check it out!

Best "Neville Moment"
I've decided that Neville is one of my favourite characters in the Harry Potter series and this is only years after finishing the books and watching the movies. I believe if you have time to reflect on the books you read that you can form opinions you wouldn't have originally had. You need time to absorb and contrast everything. And now when given the task to pick my best Neville moment, I've decided that he is surprisingly the most deserving of the Gryffindor name. He was loyal to a fault, he is extremely humble and honest and he is one of the most fierce friends you could ever hope to find in a lifetime. His speech to Voldemort shows how he has evolved into the perfect Gryffindor. Watch this clip so you can see for yourself and you'll see why it's my favourite Neville moment. 


WARNING: Spoilers if you haven't read all of the books!


Neville had the chance to just walk away from it all and go with the flow of everything that was happening around` him, but he chose to keep the fight alive while Harry was away and keeping Dumbledore's Army running. It takes a lot of bravery to step up and defy those in charge. 

I think this article from Tor.com says it best - Neville Longbottom is the Most Important Person in Harry Potter.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Scent of Butterflies by Dora Levy Mossanen | Review & Giveaway

Scent of Butterflies by Dora Levy Mossanen
Published: January 7, 2014
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Pages: 282
Received: for honest review via publisher and TLC Book Tours

A novel singed by the flavors of Tehran, imbued with the Iranian roots of Persepolis and the culture clash of Rooftops of Tehran, this is a striking, nuanced story of a woman caught between two worlds, from the bestselling author of Harem, Courtesan, and The Last Romanov.

A Love So Deep Can Forever Scar the Soul

Such audacity she has, Soraya, a woman who dares to break free of the diamond-studded leash of her culture. A woman who refuses to accept the devastating betrayal her husband has perpetrated. A woman who refuses to forgive her best friend.

Soraya turns her back on Iran, fleeing to America to plot her intricate revenge. The Shah has fallen, her country is in turmoil, her marriage has crumbled, and she is unraveling. The cruel and intimate blow her husband has dealt her awakens an obsessive streak that explodes in the heated world of Los Angeles.

Yet the secret Soraya discovers proves far more devastating than anything she had imagined, unleashing a whirlwind of unexpected events that will leave the reader breathless.


A love so deep can forever scar the soul. That one line is everything. Soraya, escapes Iran for America when she feels her world is crumbling around her. Little does she know things are far worse than they appear. She loves her husband so fiercely and so completely that she is almost shattered to pieces when she stumbles upon his indiscretion.

After stumbling upon the affair between her husband and best friend, Soraya leaves everything behind to try and sort out her life and come up with some sort of revenge. Surprisingly, I don't think she had originally intended for things to get so out of control, but finding the estate Chateau Laurier-Rose Blanc, named after a poisonous flower, I think it may have added to her delusions. With the vast space for a large garden, Soraya transforms the abandoned space into a luscious butterfly friendly haven and renamed it Paradise of Butterflies, supposedly to honour her dear friend Parvaneh (Butterfly).

It is with deep hatred that we watch Soraya gather and complete a collection or dead butterflies and with such determined revenge that she collects sultry photographs of men with her camera. Both are signs that she cannot forgive her loved ones for their betrayal. 

Throughout that story we learn about her life in Iran via flashbacks to childhood and life before fleeing to America. We learn about the history of the marriage she so strongly wishes were not falling apart before her. We learn about the fall of the Shah and the turmoil in Iran. We learn about the way her shielded life in Tehran is so much different from the open views of America. She can shed her covers and not hide away from the world. In my mind, she has shed more than just her chador and coverings. She has begun to allow a part of herself to come forward that was hidden all this time.

The visit from her husband and friend, not only opened old wounds and brought surprises that I wasn't ready for, but it changed how I viewed this woman. At first, I was completely on her side and felt for her. I wanted to root for her to somehow show them how they hurt her so much, but over time I was afraid for her. Her mental state changed so quickly and even after the twist is revealed, I wasn't sure how she would manage. She also had her share of secrets to reveal. Not everyone is perfect.

There is so much more to this story than just an affair and the build up of revenge. The ending surprised me completely. I'm still not even sure what to think of it, though I realize it is left open for our imaginations to fill in. Perhaps love can't conquer everything, but the scars it leaves behind are deep enough it can see you through?

Check out a great guest post by the author at Books a la Mode or the rest of the tour at TLC Book Tours.


About the Author:
Dora Levy Mossanen was born in Israel and moved to Iran when she was nine. At the onset of the Islamic revolution, she and her family moved to the United States. She has a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from the University of California-Los Angeles and a master’s in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.

Dora is the bestselling author of the acclaimed novels Harem, Courtesan, and The Last Romanov. Her fourth and most provocative book, Scent of Butterflies, was released January 7, 2014. She is a frequent contributor to numerous media outlets including the Huffington Post and the Jewish Journal. She has been featured on KCRW, The Politics of Culture, Voice of Russia, Radio Iran and numerous other radio and television programs. She is the recipient of the prestigious San Diego Editors’ choice award and was accepted as contributor to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Dora Levy Mossanen’s novels have been translated into numerous languages world-wide.


 

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Guiltless Pleasures: TV Shows

Normally people talk about their secret obsessions with television shows, certain genres of books, music, etc that are not always loved by others and they call them GUILTY PLEASURES. But in all honesty, I think they should be call GUILTLESS PLEASURES. Why should we feel guilty of loving something that others do not?

There are tons of shows, books and people that others adore and I do not, so why should I feel weird about enjoying a show that isn't IN or others don't like? I'll be writing some posts about my favourite guilty pleasures in all things pop culture of the next few weeks: TV shows, movies, music, books, etc.
Here are my television guiltless pleasures. Do you have any shows that I should try?

 

So far I've watched the entire Gilmore Girls, Breaking Amish and Bones seasons. I'm a big fan of 19 Kids and Counting but have only watched this past years episodes with the weddings and such (probably won't go back for the previous seasons). I'm in the middle of catching up on Glee as I've only watched until season four. I watch Criminal Minds all the time, but I know I've missed many episodes so I'll be on the hunt to try and watch them all. And my most guiltiest of guiltless pleasures is Long Island Medium... I watch from time to time and am fascinated by what she can do. 

*Sidenote: I also love Buffy the Vampire Slayer and own all but one of the seasons on DVD.

And the few shows that I'd like to start watching are Sons of Anarchy, Dexter (I have watched the first two seasons and own four seasons on DVD, so I should probably catch up), The Walking Dead (I've only watched the first two seasons), House and Supernatural.

What are your GUILTLESS PLEASURES?

Book Budget | February 2015

It was originally thought up by Felicia at Geeky Blogger's Book Blog.
MY RULES
1) I can buy 2 books a month or spend a MAX of $20, whichever comes first.
2) Only accept/ask for 2 review books per month. Including NetGalley.

At the end of each month I will post a recap and we will see if I stayed within my limits.
*Prices are subject to change as I do not control sales and some of the books listed below are from online specials.

PURCHASED: 

FREEBIES:

BORROWED FROM LIBRARY:
 

REVIEW COPIES:



TOTAL: $0.00
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