a different kind of paperdoll

when i was a kid, my sister & i had these special Japanese colouring books. they were otherwise normal colouring books, except that they were small (about 12 cm wide and 25 cm long), each page only consisted of 1 manga-style woman figure in certain positions, and each page were meant to be cut in 2 places (the cutting line were marked on the paper) exactly cutting apart the head, the torso + hands, and the legs. the idea was that we could mix and match the heads/hairstyles, clothes, and shoes that the woman figure on each page had. it was like a different kind of paper doll. and as a paper doll lover, you can probably imagine how much i loved those books. i could not properly colour them back then (i was probably younger than 5), but i liked flipping the pages randomly and got a random mix & match fashion tip of the day (or more like tip of the minute, since i did it ever so often!).

fast forward a few decades and i stumbled upon this book when i was in Amsterdam last year. it’s called Flip Fashion, illustrated by Lucille Clerc.

i was drawn to it because, well, i get easily drawn by anything that has to do with fashion illustration. when i opened it… it was exactly like that colouring book i had!! except that i don’t need to colour it anymore, ha! 😀 and instead of 3 parts, each page on this book has 4 parts. that’s more fun!

i didn’t immediately bought the book back then though… but i kept thinking about it, dreamed about it, because honestly, i missed playing with my old colouring book! so finally, a year later, i decided it was time to ‘spoil’ myself with it.

another difference is that this book has ‘labels’ on the left side of each page. but i’m not complaining. this was one of my first randoms: Romantic Ivy League Casual Countess.

and then there’s (left-right): Edgy Rodeo Anarchist Chick. next came Sixties Noir Fairytale It Girl. and lastly (for the day), meet Twenties Clubbing Classic Lolita.

i’ve got plenty more randoms, but i’m sure you get the idea already. 😀 this book is my new inspiration bible.

so, the verdict: if you love paper dolls, need fashion inspirations, like finding random things to do with your free time, love fashion illustrations, get this book. or, if you just like randomness, get this book.

i got mine from Book Depository for around 12€ (free shipping worldwide!), and i can personally guarantee you loads of fun.

a book review: Alif the Unseen

Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

i came to know about this book after seeing it on the front page of the Book Depository online store. as usual, it was the title that intrigued me. that, and the fact that some critics compare this book to Harry Potter. 😉

upon reading it, i was not disappointed. it really did remind me of Harry Potter, with a lot more of computer/techy things. i enjoyed the main story, and reading this didn’t take a long time for me since it was quite fast paced.

however i couldn’t help feeling that some things are left unexplained (possibly purposely?) or very shortly introduced and then never described deeper. i was lucky enough to be brought up in a superstitious environment where djinns (and their world) are not completely foreign. if i wasn’t though, i don’t know if i would actually understand the story in the book. also since everything was crammed into one book, yet the story is somewhat long and complex, i feel like i haven’t gotten the chance to properly know the characters yet (the main and the supporting ones, Vikram, Azalel, etc.) to actually feel any sympathy to whatever happens to them.

for the ending, particularly the romance part, i must say it was predictable. 😀 not that i mind, but just that it was unsurprising. from the fantasy/techy part, i must say i don’t really grasp the whole idea or how it works, except that it does work and i guess i’ll just have to accept that fact. so it was a tiny bit disappointing, as i like to understand things 100%, but since it is a fantasy book after all, let’s just say anything is possible.

i was going to leave this review at this, but i couldn’t help adding one more thing. i read a few other reviews of this book before i wrote mine, and was a bit surprised to see how some people seem to not get a clear picture of what’s going on in the book at all. somebody thought the setting of this story is in India (which is wrong, it’s set in an unnamed emirate). another one wondered why the prison guards didn’t bother to catch our hero(es) in the desert (the answer: because, as it is written in the novel, during the car chase sequence, our hero(es) went over a very high dune and after the dune it was all bare desert that the prison guards would much rather leave them to die out there than to try to catch them and bring them back). it made me realize that perhaps the way the story is written is sometimes unclear to people.

or perhaps, just like the Alf Yeom, the book always look different to different people. hmm. 😉

anyway, i highly recommend this book to those who enjoy fantasy stories. the main story is interesting, new (= techy) yet traditional (= religions/myths/beliefs & djinn world), and if you read it without any expectations, you’ll find it to be a very entertaining book. 🙂 now i would love to find out if the Alf Yeom book is real or not.