Showing posts with label Young Adult. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Young Adult. Show all posts

Friday, July 10, 2015

2 weeks 2 books

Hello lovely readers,

When I decided to do this challenge of reading 26 books in a year I thought it would be quite a challenge but I have just finished book 17! I am thankful sometimes to a long commute to an from work... it really helps. I have loved this challenge because minus 2 books I have read completely new books, and some books I probably never would have read had it not been for this challenge (I have a habit of reading the same books over and over again).* So here are the 2 books I have read in the 2 weeks, both very different but both with compelling stories.

1) Paper Town by John Green. I read this one for theee reasons. One: I loved The Fault in Our StarsVlogBrothers and Crash Course very cool. Also he just has lots of inspiring quotes that I have found through my time on Pinterest. Two: I saw the trailer of the movie (coming out) and I was a little more intrigued by what the book is about... I am a big believer in reading the book first before seeing the movie (if you can do so). I didn't know if I wanted to read it for this challenge or get to it when I could, but on one of my flights (from all my recent travel) a woman was reading this book and I asked her about it. She told me she was reading it in her mother daughter book club (which sounds awesome by the way) and she really liked it. I don't know why I took a strangers advice on a book, but I decided to put it a hold on it at my library.

Overall I liked it... I mean I probably won't be going out and seeing the film in theaters but I will see it eventually. I mostly like reading it because it was told from a man's point of view and I don't read a lot of books from a man's point of view. I also found myself relating to Quentin, because he wants to do something great with his life but he doesn't have the courage to until Margo Roth Spiegelman climbs into his window and forces him out on a night of adventure (to read more about the plot click here). I like how John Green almost always referred to Margo Roth Spiegelman by her whole name, she was almost suppose to be this mythical figure because Quentin loved her from a far for so long, and referring to her like that kept that up well. I know when I was in high school my love from a far was always referred to by his whole name (at least in my mind).

So the reason why I wouldn't rush out to see it in theaters is because while it was good characterization and full of memorable quotes (example above) I just didn't get to attached to the plot. I found it a little far fetched to be honest, but maybe when you are seeking out the love of your life you need to be a little far fetched.

2) Light between Oceans by M.L. Stedman was great. I was intrigued by this book since the moment I saw it floating around my Pinterest book. It takes place in Australia after World War I, I know I know I will read anything about WWI but I felt this was a good mix because it was in Australia and I personally never thought abut Australia in this time. The story focuses on Tom, who is a returning solider and taking up post at a light house on Janus Island, a very secluded life he seeks till he meets Isabel. Their life turns from happiness to pain as Isabel suffers miscarriages and a still birth, until one day a boat is washed ashore with a dead man and a very adorable baby girl, they name "Lucy" which means "light" (for another review click here). 

Overall the story is powerful and captivating. I found myself in moments of heart ache and moments of joy. Even if you don't like historical fiction I think you will like this story as it is more than just history but a powerful story. It is a story of the strength it takes to get through life when you are beaten down, it is a story of great sacrificing love, it is a story of some bad decisions but made with good intentions. Even though I know little of Australia and light house I found it breath taking.
This is M.L Stedman's first book and I will be looking forward to reading her other books. The review mentioned above says: "I highly recommend this book for anyone who loves great literature ... because I believe this book is going to be considered a classic in years to come" and I hope she is right. 
I know this quote comes from Emily Dickinson, but it was brought to my attention in Paper Towns and while these books are very different they both encouraged me to live in the present and realize the decisions you make now have impacts on your future.

Just for fun an example of John Green's Crash Course "Who Started World War I":

*Though I will admit once this challenge is over I do look forward to re-reading my Jane Austen and maybe reading more books on WWI (as my work in progress continues).

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Book blurb... Fangirl

To continue my summer I just finished the book Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. I picked it up because lately I have caught myself having some fangirl moments and I thought maybe this book would help me understand the obsession some of get into.  Okay I am a fangirl but I don't write fanfiction but the main character Cath does. She writes fanfiction about the Simon Snow books (which seems kind of like Harry Potter to me) and while this seems crazy to her college roommate her writing is actually her escape from the world (which I understand). 

The book takes place in Cath's freshman year of college. She and her twin Wren go to the same college but Wren seems to have no interest in being with her sister anymore and this leaves Cath feeling a bit abandoned and instead of embracing college and all its new experiences she kind of holds up in her room. This pushes her into the presence of Levi (who is always hanging out in their room). Cath tries to ignore her growing crush on him as she thinks he is her roommate's boyfriend... but her crush grows and so does their friendship. On the other side her world is feeling like it is more and more falling apart with no Wren and her dad is struggling back home... That is all I will say about the plot because I don't want to give Spoilers. 

I don't know why, but this summer I felt I have read more YA books than any other, and I have loved them. I think this is my first YA book that is set in present time (not like Hunger Games or Divergent) and it felt natural and true in her thoughts and the conversation. This book is full of college crushes, angst about finding who you are, and first loves. There were so many passages of the book I felt like I knew exactly what she was going through. And on multiple occasions I would be reading and pull the book close to my chest as to give her hug (I am sure it looked weird on the T). I also like the fact though Cath and her roommate, Reagan, didn't get along at first eventually they got into their own rhythm and they grew to like each other and there was a few moments that Reagan even stood up for Cath. 

What I didn't like was occasionally an F-bomb would be dropped... it only threw me off once then it just felt normal for the tone of the book (so if you are sensitive to that I wouldn't recommend it).  
Illustrations of the main characters

Thursday, May 22, 2014

2 books in 2 weeks

... okay maybe in 2 1/2 weeks.

Now that Grad school is over for the summer and thanks to some vacation time (with long flights) I was able to get in some fun reading. I read two very different books... one I thought I would love as it is about WWI and one I wasn't so sure about but ended up loving.

Click on link below for another review
The first one was Stella Bain by Anita Shreve about a WWI nurse, and at the start of the novel has lost her memory and we follow her as she tries to paste her memories and her life together. While it starts in WWI, it seems to be more background to the story and sadly did not satisfy my WWI taste. I wish I could write more about the plot but I feel I would give some spoilers away. I will say even though it is written in third person, which usually as a feel of the author knowing all that will happen it had a feel that the author was discovering things as we were. This made for some choppy sentences and it took a few pages to get used to but once I did it made me feel like I was going on the journey with Stella Bain. The worst thing was I never really felt I related to Stella and while she goes through so many struggles I also didn't really have empathy for her. I saw this book last Christmas in an airport book store, and I almost bought it on whim but after reading it I am glad I waited to check it out from the library and save some money.


The next book was Divergent by Veronica Roth I am not ashamed to admit that I am jumping on the fan wagon of this book post movie, but I am not reading it because of the movie, which I have not seen but want to now. I am reading it because my friend recommended it to me. I don't usually read futuristic books (minus the Hunger Games) because for the most part I'd rather live in the past, however I loved it book. It is another post-apocalyptic world, though unlike the Hunger Games, the society is trying to create a perfect utopian society, though that seems to be a veil hiding true struggles. The society is broken up into different fractions in order to preserve order of society, even though as children they go to school together, they hardly interact with each other. Beatrice "Tris" is raised in the Abnegation fraction, which focuses on selflessness and humbleness, but she has never felt to truly belong. The book starts on the day she and her brother, Caleb. take a test to see what fraction they should spend the rest of their lives in. When Beatrice takes the test she is said to be Divergent, which means she has broken the system which makes her a danger to the structure of society so she must keep it a secret. Now she must choose if she wants to stay in the Abnegation fraction or choose her own path. (I don't want to give it away what she chooses because I feel like its a spoiler but because movie trailer ad basically gives it away, I will say she chooses Dauntless). Dauntless are the fighters and the warriors of the society. Though this fraction so different than anything Tris has known she learns to fit in, and make friends, but she is always worried her secret will be found out...

I am so glad I saw this book on sale and my mom bought it for me. These post-apocalyptic books are not my norm so I can only compare it to the Hunger Games. I was talking to my friend, who recommended it to me, and she and I agreed we could relate to Tris more than Katniss (I guess we are still teenagers going through angst). I also liked that Four (the crush) because he was a fighter. I mean Peeta is great for his pure heart but he wasn't much of a fighter... which is why I liked Four he could be strong without taking Tris' strength away (as a character) and though he was strong he had fears to overcome. One thing I didn't like was how fast the action went sometimes I had to go back and re-read passages to make sure I understood what was happening.
Divergent Trailer

Now I don't like waiting for book two... I know it is published (but I am on a long waiting list at the library) and I could buy it but I feel hesitant buying books because in a few months I will be moving to a new apartment and I don't want to pack up more books.  

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The fault was in our stars

I am still reading Little Dorrit, but sorry Charles Dickens it is really taking me all the energy I have to get through your writing. Plus a month ago I put this book on hold and I was 92 on the list of 65 copies so I thought I would be done with Little Dorrit by the time my time came. I got the book last Thursday and finished it on Sunday, probably could have finished it faster if I didn't have to work those days. And to be honest I felt robbed because I thought the book was 331 pages and it was only 313, darn John Green for not writing 18 more pages.

I don't know if I can write about this book without giving away any spoilers and I think everyone should read this book. Yes it is is a Young Adult novel, but the story so so moving (carry tissues), and so beautiful that you can forget that it is young adult and just read it.

Basic plot- Hazel at 16 has a terminal cancer meaning she is living with it and medication and an air tank is keeping her alive. The action of the story quickly starts when she meet Augustus Waters at the cancer support group. He is hot (Hazel's words not mine) and she is surprised he likes her. But they do start a relationship and not to give too many spoilers... he uses his "Make A Wish" to take her to Amsterdam to meet an author they both like. The story goes on from there but like I said I don't want to give away a lot of spoilers.

Why I read- Because lately I have found a lot of quotes on Pinterest by John Green and they seem very motivational, so I was intrigued to read his writing. I first heard of this book when I one of the many fan pages for the Lizzie Bennet Diaries posted a video of Ashley Clements and Daniel Vincent Gordh reading from the book, seemed quite captivating. (Wasn't able to post video here but here is link to video Then my friend, who is working on getting a master's in Library Science for Young Adult Services posted about how she cried on the T while reading the book. So with all this I thought this was a book worth checking out.
good example 

What I liked- As most of you know I'd rather live in the past than in the present so I spend a lot of time watching Period Dramas or reading books set in the past, but I found this book just as absorbing as any of those books and I will be adding Hazel Grace to my list of heroines to admire. While my friends who had read the book said they cried and it is about teenagers with cancer, I found myself laughing out loud on the T. It wasn't that it was a funny topic but just the honesty of it and the way Hazel and Augustus talked was just funny. But at the end I loved the characters so much that when it ended I did cry mostly because I didn't want it to end.

What I didn't like- I will say though it was a young adult there was some language that I didn't like, but I didn't think it was over used and I thought sometimes probably very truthful. I don't like swearing, however if I was going through what these characters went through I would probably swear too.

Over all great book, I don't know if I would put it into life changing as it has been labeled, but I am super glad I read it. Seriously have tissues on you.

This has been a good summer so far of some new books to love and some re-reads I adore. I feel very weird now that most of my books are packed up in preparation for my move.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The ABC's of Me

I thought I would end this week on a more positive light hearted note. Copied from Desirous of Everything
Found at Pintrest
A. Age: 25
B. Bed size: Single
C. Chores: Scooping my cat's litter box (fun right).
D. Dogs: I had a few dogs growing up but I have had malteses (little white balls of fluff), a silky terrier and a Lhasa Apso but now I have a cat but would one day love a King Charles Spaniel
E. Essential start to your day: Coffee and mascara
F. Favorite color: Pink, then blue and then maybe purple tied with green
G. Gold or Silver: Silver
H. Height: I am not sure 5'6" to 5'8"
I. Instruments you play: Nothing... tried the piano and viola but I am not musical though I do love to sing.
J. Job title: Membership Processor/ Student
K. Kids: Some day (2 hopefully then maybe adoption)
L. Live: Boston!

Found at Pintrest
M. Mother’s name: Lisa
N. Nicknames: BBB (from Dad), Little Bit (from Step-dad), Hiebey, bbhiebsch, Bliz
O. Overnight hospital stays: Well when I born.
P. Pet peeves: A few but sniffling annoys me the most
Q. Quote from a movie: "Now I need not call you Mr. Knightley, I can call you my Mr.Knightley,"- Emma from Emma (with Gwyneth Paltrow)
R. Right or left handed: Right.
S. Siblings: Hunter, Tyler, Laure
T. Time you wake up:  8:30 most days. 10 AM if I had a choice
U. Underwear: Not to bed.
V. Vegetable you hate: Brussel Sprouts
W. What makes you run late: Trying to decide on what to wear.
X. X-Rays you’ve had: Teeth
Y. Yummy food that you make: I like to bake cookies.
Z. Zoo Animal: Koala Bear. Cute and Awkward.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The book should be a ball of light in one's hand.

Quote comes from:
Properly, we should read for power. Man reading should be man intensely alive. The book should be a ball of light in one's hand.
-Ezra Pound
US poet (1885 - 1972) found at:

Today on the blog Austenprose I read about a new book called Sass and Serendipity by Jennifer Ziegler and while I hope my story that I am writing is kind of like Sense and Sensibility what struck me most about the Austen prose article was that Jennifer Ziegler called Jane Austen a Young Adult author and I was a little surprised by this but I must say she makes perfect sense. Ziegler says...

" I think, in some ways, Jane Austen wrote YA. Before anyone tosses tomatoes at me, please allow me to explain… Austen’s books centered around young women on the verge of adulthood. They are nearly ready to leave the nest and take their spot in the world – and in the Regency era, the best landing of all would be that of a happy marriage to a good and prosperous man. Standing on this threshold of life is the emotional setting for all young adult novels. Teens are caught between the insular world of the childhood home and that of society at large. Even if they don’t strike out on their own at the end, they have surely become more “adult” by the final page.
Austen never makes the search for a proper husband the point of her stories. In every case the main character needs to go through some significant growth first. Whether it’s Elinor learning to trust her feelings as much as her intellect, Marianne coming out of her fantasies and into her senses, Elizabeth learning not to judge too prematurely, Emma learning not to meddle in other people’s lives, and so on, Austen makes sure her heroines recognize and overcome character flaws in order to earn their happy-ever-afters. Such maturation is central to young adult literature, as it is with all good character-based fiction. However, in YA, the age of the protagonists is key. Teens and early twenties don’t know as much about the world or themselves quite yet. Because of this, the problems they face are brand new, but also – and this is critical – their emotions are brand new. This is first love, first heartbreak, first crushing disillusionment. "

For full article click here

I guess when I started reading Jane Austen I thought them as so high class literature that in a very geeky way I thought I was cool that I loved Jane Austen and I could appreciate her. But in high school I couldn't share my love to people other than my mom because all my friends were reading Harry Potter or other books that I had no interest in. So I kind of kept my love a secret, it wasn't until I college I met other lovers of Jane Austen and it is like this instant bond. One of my best friends and I started talking only because we both loved Jane Austen and since a beautiful friendship has grown. But I still until reading this article would have consider Jane Austen Young Adult only because sadly sometimes, young adult literature is looked down upon from a scholarly point of view.

I am here to say that I like Young Adult novels (other than ones about Vampires or Werewolves but if that is your thing be proud of it) and I like reading stories about first loves, first heartbreaks, over coming maybe childish things, and experiencing the world for the first time. I am not ashamed to say it. Whatever you read is good just read!

So I wanted to give a shout out to two Young Adult novels that have really shaped me...

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine this book I read in the 6th grade so might be a little to young for Young Adult but I owe this book a lot of credit in my life. I read this book in the 6th grade and since then I have not stopped reading. Now I know Anne Hathaway (who I usually love) made a movie of this book but don't waste your time watching the movie read the book it is so worth it. It is kind of Cinderella story as Ella has the curse of obedience with over her and she has two mean step-sisters that she knows might threaten her life if they find out about her curse.
A good book review click here
And one day I hope to give it to my niece and let her experience this book I first loved... of course that won't happen for a few more years she is only 18months old now.

A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly is another book that I like to give a shout out to. I read this book my freshman year of college and I re-read it the summer before my senior year. Though this book and I have had an interesting history. While I was re-reading it my purse including this book was stolen. While the purse and a few items were returned to me this book was not. That made me sad because it was so good but I hope that this book didn't end up in a dumpster but some one picked it up and was able to read it. I then checked it out from the library to finish re-reading it. And until recently I didn't own it I just knew I read it. In a moment of retail therapy I bought another copy for myself so now I own and have read everything that Jennifer Donnelly has published and when The Wild Rose comes out I will own that too (can't wait).

The reason the story impacted me was that as a wanna be author I like how Donnelly blended kind of two stories in one (a thing I have always wanted to do). But as a person I love how the main character Mattie is under hardship being the oldest girl of a farm family but she still has goals to go to college and write. I won't ruin it for you but it is a good read. For a good review click here

I will also be sharing this one with my niece when she is older.

Probably the best known Young Adult book (and if its not it should be)
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson show a darker side of High School but maybe me laugh when she wrote about the "Lies they tell you" for example the teachers are always there for you.

I won't go too much into this but its a good read rather you are in high school or not.

For more click here

Oh yeah for my readers who want to know more about my story (as the last few blog postings have been about my life) I am working on it... grad school is taking up a lot of time but I am still writing.