1. A book you started but never finished…but want to finish. What stopped you from continuing to read it?

Laini Taylor’s Lips Touch. I devoured Laini’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy and still remember the painstaking wait for my local bookstore to get the third and final book in stock. I was roughly ten pages from finishing Days of Blood and Starlight when I attempted to buy Dreams of Gods and Monsters…only to be told that the store had sold out. I simply stared at the sales assistant, dumbfounded. “You don’t understand,” I whispered, “I only have ten pages left to read…”. I couldn’t simply finish the book and wait. I craved a smooth transition from one to the other. I gave the sales assistant my details, assuming it would be quicker to order it directly through the store. I figured it would arrive within a day or two.

It didn’t. I had to wait a week, a week in which I had to make those ten pages last. It was like making a bottle of water last while stranded in the desert, only taking small, tentative sips every seven hours or so. I called the bookstore everyday, sometimes twice a day, to see if it had arrived. I was desperate to read that damn book.

So when I heard Laini had brought out a book of three short stories, each hinged on a single, life-changing kiss, I bought a copy without a moment’s hesitation. I read the first story and the book has since sat abandoned on my bookshelf. I started it mere weeks before my life-changing trip to Japan and I suddenly found myself caught up in a flurry of saying my goodbyes, packing my suitcases, finishing my job and making other travel preparations, such as sorting my visa.

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2. What elements attract you to a book, which makes you need to read it?

Relatable, realistic characters. I don’t like generic characters, characters who are forgettable and interchangeable. I like characters who are individuals in their own right and have a strong personality. If I can read a section of dialogue and think “That’s such a <insert character’s name> to say.” then I know an author has succeeded in crafting a good character. I like to read the next book in a series and feel like I’m catching up with old friends.

3. Which books do you prefer, e-copy or hard copy?

Hard copy! Sure, e-books are great in that you can buy books instantaneously (which is great when reading a series) and you have a huuuuuuuuuuuge variety of genre to choose from, more so than you perhaps would in an actual bookstore…but it’s just not the same. I have so many books lining my shelves that are well-thumbed, with cracked, faded spines and I gaze upon them fondly because they evoke memories of just how much I enjoyed reading them. It’s an effect that e-books simply don’t have on me. Plus, I like sniffing the pages of books, new and old alike. I can’t really sniff an e-book. Well, I can technically but…well…I just wouldn’t.

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4. What book are you currently reading or going to read next?

I’m currently rereading Angel’s Blood, the first book in Nalini Singh’s Guildhunter series. The latest book is out in November and I want to ensure I’m fully immersed in the events and characters before I read it. It’s such an incredible series and I’m excited to experience the magic of it all over again!

5. Is it fair to judge a book by its film?

No, not at all. The first example that comes to mind is the 2011 movie adaptation of Jane Eyre starring Michael Fassbender and Mia Wasikowska. Jane Eyre is one of my all time favorite novels. It defies the stereotype of the traditional Victorian novel; it’s passionate and it’s scandalous. I loved the BBC’s take on it so I was really excited to hear of the upcoming movie. When the end credits rolled, though, I was filled with disappointment. Though the movie contained two fantastic actors, they just didn’t seem to have good on screen chemistry. It seemed stilted. It seemed dry. If I’d seen the movie before reading the book, I would have definitely thought it to be some stuffy period drama.

Also, speaking of Jane Eyre, check out the brilliant Jane Eyre/vampire mash up, Jane Slayre by Sherri Browning Erwin!

6. What book did you badly judge by its cover and ended up loving?

Probably Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion. I’m quite a visual person and I find the cover is usually the first thing I notice about a book. The cover for the UK edition (I’m not sure about other editions) was just so plain that I wrongly assumed the story within would be too.

I’ve never been so wrong about anything in all my life (except a few boyfriends perhaps). I read the book cover to cover in mere hours and was full on weeping when I reached the bittersweet ending.

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7. Which book character have you felt the most kin with and able to relate with?

I’m gonna sound really weird saying this…but Frankenstein’s ‘monster’ (and I say that in inverted commas because I truly pity the big guy). It’s been a few years since I read the book but when I did, I loved it so much that I actually went to see a live performance of it starring Benedict Cumberbatch.

Anyway, there’s this heartbreaking scene where he’s in the woods and he’s just so overcome by the beauty of it all. He simply cannot seem to comprehend that the world is filled with such splendor. After a while, he continues on his journey but is attacked by the inhabitants of a village he passes through. It’s a scene that’s stuck with me. He so badly wanted to believe that the world was a good place and this is a belief that I desperately cling to as well. Like him, though, I’ve come to realize that many aspects of the world are ugly and cruel. I just wanted to crawl through the pages and give him a hug.

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*sniffling pathetically* I’ll be your friend, big guy.

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