Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

So I read this one book. Eleanor & Park. And because my mind is currently a dry inkwell (that was for you, my dear gang), I’m gonna post my review of it. Yeah. (This review also appears on Goodreads.)

Eleanor & Park

 

I didn’t realize it was possible for a book to be so real. Sometimes I stopped reading and did a double-take because it was just so dang believable.

 

I don’t read many YA contemporaries (well, this isn’t necessarily contemporary…It takes place in 1986…But it’s like a YA contemporary.). To be completely truthful, I prefer to stick with the blood-guts-save-the-world-and-maybe-fall-in-love-with-a-devilish-assassin stories. But the thing is, I can’t always relate with those stories. I’d love to be a crazy poisoner/assassin/ninja who goes on quests and can do flips and has mad aim with a bow. (And always manages to seduce the aforementioned devilish assassin who can also do flips and has mad aim with throwing knives or something.) But I’m not. Unfortunate, I know, but true. And that isn’t really the point of fantasy/sci-fi novels, anyway. Their purpose is expressly to be out of the ordinary, et cetera. The point of YA contemporaries, however, is to be completely in the ordinary, completely believable, and completely real.

 

Eleanor & Park was so real, it was scary.

 

Rainbow Rowell managed to capture the very essence of teen romance, and all of the little things that make it so special. The simple joy you get whenever you’re around the Other Person. The way the lovely memories repeat nonstop in your head during any given moment of the day. The way you store up all of the little moments that you can, just in case you won’t get any more. The way you never ever want to think about the After–when “us” ceases to be. (If it ever ceases to be.) And most of all, the crazy feeling of wonder you get when you realize that the Other Person really, truly likes you just as much as you like them.

 

All of these little things matter. And all of them were in Eleanor & Park. Crazy sauce, right?

 

I could go on for ages about the beauty of the characters, the simplicity and elegance of the writing, the realness of the dialogue, and the emotions that were so eloquently conveyed. But I don’t need to do that. All of those aspects were exceptionally well done, and that’s great. But what’s most important is that Eleanor & Park was so very real to me, so relatable to me, that those other things don’t even matter.

 

This book spoke to me so much, and it made me feel so many emotions. It almost, almost made me cry. This is a good thing. This means you should find an edition of this book by whatever means necessary, and read it.

 

Read it right now.

 

Rating: 5/5 gold stars

 

And there you have your daily dose of philosophical words! Have you read Eleanor & Park(If you haven’t, I pity you. If you haven’t and don’t plan to, I…that’s sad. Wow.) Whaddya think of it? Let me know in the comments! Yay!

 

Annnnnnnd yeah, see you when I see you.

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Or is this just fantasy?

Yeah, I’m blogging, peeps. This feels so weird.

A lot has happened since I last blogged more than a month ago. So much has happened that I simply wasted time on Facebook couldn’t find time to blog! Such problems, I know.

And now it’s September-almost-October. The sun goes down earlier in the evening, the days are chillier, and there are little pops of color on some of the trees. Not to mention that people are getting ready for Halloween. Pssh, Halloween. I’m getting ready for Nano.

At the beginning of the year, I started a challenge to read 50 books during 2013. I also started Erin’s Epic Reading Challenge, in which I challenged myself to read specific books within 2013. Now that it’s September (WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN TELL ME PLEASE THIS IS NOT REAL LIFE), I figured I would post an update on how I’m doing with Erin’s challenge. So. Here goes. Yeah.

  • Everlost, by Neal Shusterman. Haven’t read–I’m not sure I will by the end of the year, either. It’s not high on my to-read list right now. Oh well.
  • Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins. Read! It was just as spectacular as I remembered it to be, and I might read it again before the movie is released. (Which I’m extremely excited about. The movie, that is.) 5/5 stars for sure.
  • Les Misérables, by Victor Hugo. Haven’t read–Excuse me while I roll around on the floor, laughing until I puke. I didn’t even start it yet. And given that it will probably take me about a year to finish it…I’m not sure I’ll finish this one by 2014, either. I sort of missed the Les Mis Summer Reading Binge I had planned, due to unforeseen circumstances. (like my social life, for example.)
  • How to Save a Life, by Sara Zarr. Read! Aw, yeah! It was a really beautiful novel, and I’m so glad I read it. 5/5 stars.
  • The Percy Jackson series, by Rick Riordan. Read! This series is so fun, it just makes my day. I read these books a long time ago, though, so I can’t recall my specific reactions to them. They’re pretty great, though. 4/5 stars overall.
  • The Help, by Kathryn Stockett. Read! This book is just so good. I’ve never been one for historical fiction, or the era in which The Help takes place, but this book was written so amazingly well that I couldn’t help but love it. Read it, everybody. 5/5 stars.
  • DragonQuest, by Donita K. Paul. Haven’t read–Ha. Ha. I completely forgot that this book even existed. Or that I had challenged myself to read it this year. Chances are I won’t get to it before 2014, either. Meh.
  • Ship Breaker, by Paolo Bacigalupi. Haven’t read–With all good luck, I might finish this before the end of the year. But there are a lot of books that I’d like to read before this one, so it might not happen. I’d still like to reread it sometime, though, if not in 2013.
  • Scarlet, by Marissa Meyer. Read! IT WAS SO AWESOME. I love Scarlet. And Wolf. And Scarlet+Wolf. Oh, and Cinder/Kai are all right, too, I suppose. (I’m kidding, I love them both…but I love Scarlet and Wolf more, that’s all.) Now I’m eagerly anticipated Cress, which is expected to be published February 4th, 2014.

So all in all, my reading challenge has been pretty successful. Except for a few books, but that’s irrelevant.

I’m hoping to publish posts more frequently in the coming days, but as y’all know, my Blogging Hopes mean next to nothing. I’m probably going to widen my blogging horizons, however. I mean, I can’t always blog about books and writing (no matter how epic both of those pursuits are). So you can expect a variety of posts soon. Or not soon. Whatever.

See you when I see you.

Hi! Hello! Hola! Bonjour! Konnichiwa!

I am BACK in the blogosphere, after taking a slight hiatus. And truth be told, blogging feels sort of foreign now. So please forgive me if this post isn’t the most intelligent thing you’ve ever read.

To celebrate my long-awaited return, I’m participating in a weekly link-up at The Book Chewers!

Book Chewers

Here is the prompt:

Have you read a book starting with every. single. letter from the alphabet?! Make a list of books you’ve read, from A to Z! (Bonus points to those who’ve read those tricky letters, like X and Z.) Also, you can bypass “the” or “a” in titles, if you need to.

Ooh, this will be fun.

>>>

A: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

B: Blood Red Road by Moira Young

C: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

D: Dark Triumph by R.L. LaFevers

E: Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

F: Fablehaven by Brandon Mull

G: Graceling by Kristin Cashore

H: How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr

I: Insurgent by Veronica Roth

J: The Janitor’s Boy by Andrew Clements (I read this a reallllly long time ago, but, hey, it starts with a J.)

K: Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross

L: Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

M: Molly Moon’s Incredible Book of Hypnotism by Georgia Byng

N: New Moon by Stephenie Meyer (Yes, you read that right. It’s a particularly gruesome form of self-torture, see.)

O: Olive’s Ocean by Kevin Henkes

P: Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

Q: Quidditch Through the Ages by J.K. Rowling (Take that, Q!)

R: Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

S: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

T: This Must Be Love by Tui T. Sutherland

U: The Unidentified by Rae Mariz

V: The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg (I read this a long time ago, too. But it still counts.)

W: The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

X: ??? X is stupid. It’s the only letter preventing me from WORLD DOMINATION. Stupid X.

Y: You by Charles Benoit

Z: Zoobreak by Gordon Korman. (YES! I READ A BOOK THAT BEGINS WITH Z! HALLELUJAH!)

>>>

Anyways, there you have it! A blog post! That was really fun, actually. So…yeah.

Have a nice day.

The Notebook Sisters are having a party! *blows horn* And what’s a party without games? A horrible party, that’s what. So I am participating in their sweet version of pass the parcel–otherwise known as a tag. :) How I love tags!

bookparty_zpsaff53714

And now I must answer questions.

1. Name your top 5 favourite YA authors! Five? This is torture. Well, let’s see…Maria V. Snyder, Suzanne Collins, J.K. Rowling, R.L. LaFevers, and Rae Carson. (Sorry, Neal Shusterman. You got kicked off the list. Don’t cry, please.)

2. What’s the last YA book you read and what did you think of it? I finished Crown of Embers (Rae Carson) about a week ago. OHMYGOODNESS it was amazing. It’s the second in the Fire and Thorns trilogy, and…I can’t even. It was so spectacular I nearly died. Also, Hector.

3. What’s your favorite YA genre? (Dystopian, romance, sci-fi, contemporary, etc.) High fantasy (the likes of Poison Study, Throne of Glass, Grave Mercy, Girl of Fire and Thorns, you get the picture). Especially if it involves assassins, castle intrigue, and/or romance.

4. Let’s talk characters! Pick a character you love and tell us why? I would have said Hermione from Harry Potter, but several people have already talked about her, so I won’t. Let’s see…HECTOR! Yes, Hector from the Fire and Thorns trilogy by Rae Carson. He’s the Royal Guard, so obviously he’s quite skilled in the fighting arts and all of that spectacular wondrous-ness. Not only that, but his character is just fascinating. He is first and foremost true to his job, and tries his very hardest never to let personal emotions get in the way. He shows admirable effort, but sometimes his façade cracks and we see the true Hector, who cares very much about his home country and Elisa. (Duh, guys. Did you really think I’d talk about Hector without mentioning the romance?) Speaking of romance, he’s not dumb about it. He realizes that he has to honor his family and his position as Royal Guard first, and isn’t stupid like Edward and Bella. Ahem. Anyways, he’s awesome.

5. Top YA villain? President Snow. Yes, this is a clichèd choice, but he’s just so creepy and awesome. He certainly knows how to get his way and stops at nothing to do it. Creepiness overall.

6. Top YA couple? You’re truly asking me to choose? This is impossible. But…after long deliberation…I’ve got to say Ron and Hermione from Harry Potter. They’re absolutely perfect together. Oh, but we can’t forget Scarlet and Wolf! Or Yelena and Valek! Or Avry and Kerrick! Or Ismae and Gavriel! Or Celaenia and Chaol! OR ELISA AND HECTOR! There are too. Many. Choices. *agony* *breaks into song*

7. With dystopian on the decline, what do you think will be the next hot-trend in YA? I do think it will be high fantasy. (This isn’t just me dreaming.) There have been a good number of high-fantasy releases lately, and I think people will start catching onto the fact that it’s completely boss.

8. What’s the next YA book on your to-read pile? Poison by Bridget Zinn. It looks like a perfect fluffy fantasy, but I fear I shall not be able to finish it before I return it to the library (because SOMEBODY has a hold on it *coughcoughIvyI’mlookingatyoucoughcough*).

9. What’s the fastest time you’ve ever finished reading a book in? (And what was the book?!) Uh…let’s see….oh, yeah, that. This summer I finished Sidekicks (Jack D. Ferraiolo) in the space of 24 hours. Awwww, yeah! Granted, it wasn’t particularly hard reading, but it was fairly long.

10. (And now for the burning question) Do you think books should be sorted according to colour or title? (This matters.) Well, of course it matters! This stuff is important! I have to say by title, because I’m a tad bit OCD and alphabetizing books (…and everything else) is my thing. But now that you mention it, sorting by color would look really cool…hmm. I’ll still stick with title, though, because…just because.

Well, that was fun! Be sure to stop by the Notebook Sister’s epic blog, because, well, it’s epic. I’m not going to stop linking until you click, you know

Also, be sure to check out all of their party info! It’s great fun, so consider participating, too. :) (I hear there are prizes involved, too…) And if you wish to be tagged in this particularly splendid tag, well…TAG! You’re it.

Speaking of parties…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sQyIFd2FD4

This might possibly be my favorite comedic musical theater solo. Genius, I say. GENIUS.

Anyways, have a great day! I’m going to dust off the old weekly-blogging initiative, so you can [possibly] expect more-regular-ish posts soon! [I’m not promising anything, however] And I’m working on a review for a movie that some of you like quite a lot…so there’s that. I’ll keep you hanging.

Bye-bye, lovelies!

(You didn’t think I’d end this post without linking to the Notebook Sisters one more time, did you?)