Monday, October 6, 2014

Prepping for the End

This book, these books, built me, structured me, into who I am today.

I saw people writing their story, so I thought it was about time wrote mine to remember who I have become and to honor the books that opened me to a new world.

I had just finished Harry Potter, and it was the summer between fourth and fifth grade. I don't remember exactly how I first learned about them, but I do remember borrowing the first book, The Lightning Thief, all tattered and ripped from my neighbor, and then I read all of them. In two weeks, I was absolutely changed and obsessed. Those five books became my world and my mantra.

The new school year started off, a bit roughly, but I excitedly awaited The Lost Hero. I remember dragging my mom to a huge school, where Rick himself would be appearing, signing up for my library card, getting a free umbrella, and waiting in line for six hours to meet the man himself.

This is a bit of sidenote, but I didn't know anyone there, and I don't remember being that social, but there was one person there that I would, two years later, become best friends with and travel to far off lands to go to Comic Con together.

So I met him, stunned into silence, and only getting the courage to choke out my name when he asked.

He signed my book and I was the happiest girl in the world.

The school year continued on and I went through some darker points and showed that it was time to change schools.

The new school year came and so did Son of Neptune. Then the next year, and by that time, I was obsessed with the young adult genre. I wrote fanfiction and I blogged and I fangirled about it.

I was bloody unstoppable.

I stayed up until midnight to read the reuniting seen of my favorite couple. I read it throughout the day and tried to wipe away obvious tears when I read it under the desk in the middle of class.

I was Annabeth for Halloween. I was proud.

I did the exact same for House of Hades and my friends said I was crazy (even though they totally understood).

Percy Jackson got me through dark times. Times when I thought I would be consumed by work and school. Times when I questioned who I was, what I wanted to become, how I would let the world affect me.

So, I guess here's the point where I go through the seven individually.

  • Percy Jackson: Be you, because no matter how dorky, scared, or confused you are, being you will keep you grounded. Be your own hero, and make sure you protect the people you care about the most before anyone else. Stand up for those who can't stand up for themselves because you know what it's like to not be able to stand up for yourself.
  • Annabeth Chase: Intelligence is beautiful and strong. You don't need to be skinny or stupid to fit in when you can rule the whole world by being bold and smart. I idolize Annabeth Chase, and I will continue to idolize her. 
  • Thalia Grace:  Be punk rock cause nothing is better than punk rock. 
  • Grover Underwood: Your idols can let you down, so become your own and change the world. 
  • Jason Grace: Be brave and be a leader, but know when to be a follower. 
  • Piper McClean: Be beautiful, bold, and witty. Love love, but don't encompass yourself around it. This was a good thing for my young (and current) self to know. 
  • Hazel Llevesque: Live a bit in the past, but not too much. You have to develop who you become, you aren't immediately great. 
  • Frank Zhang: Awkwardness is key. It keeps you who you are and humble. 
  • Nico di Angelo: Stop hiding, holding grudges, and closing yourself off. Fight your demons. And maybe, every once and a while, trust someone. 
  • Bianca di Angelo and Zoe Nightshade: Be brave and don't fear the unknown. 
  • The Mentors (Chiron, Hedge, etc.): Listen to your teachers, cause sometimes, they might have something useful to say.
This is my family. I will love and defend these characters with my final breath. I am so thankful to have these books. I never thought I'd be here, five years later. But the real question is, 

Do I really have to grow up just because its over?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Reading Slumps

So, all of your have to be back in school about now, wherever you live.

I just started my first year of high school, and am incredibly tired and angry all the time. That's what I was warned about.

I also was told I wouldn't have time to read. And I didn't believe that; until it happened.

The first month and a half of school has been painful and continues to be painful, both physically and mentally.

And they were all right. I didn't have time to read. I didn't have time to do anything I love to do (playing music, writing songs, writing stories, reading books). And that made me fall deeper into myself and deeper into the black whole that is school.

Sure education is important, but is it really that important when you are tearing yourself apart to even scratch the surface of succeeding or if you can't do what you love to do.

And I think that is where (American) educations has fallen out.

But luckily, I have found time to read. I am trying to read at least a hundred pages a school night, and two hundred throughout the whole weekend.

It means that I don't get very much sleep at night, because I study till nine o'clock and read for about an hour and half afterwards, but that doesn't really matter to me anymore.

I will live off of six or seven hours of sleep if reading and studying can coincide in my life.

But that's how I'm feeling right now. I will try to get more posts out, but it is harder nowadays. I love this blog, but, as I said above, time is precious and little to none.

If any of you are having the same problem, I feel for you and would love to talk to you. But for now, have a good day or night and good luck in life.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Asylum by Madeline Roux

Author: Madeleine Roux
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Goodreads Blurb: Asylum is a thrilling and creepy photo-novel perfect for fans of the New York Times bestseller Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.

For sixteen-year-old Dan Crawford, New Hampshire College Prep is more than a summer program—it's a lifeline. An outcast at his high school, Dan is excited to finally make some friends in his last summer before college. But when he arrives at the program, Dan learns that his dorm for the summer used to be a sanatorium, more commonly known as an asylum. And not just any asylum—a last resort for the criminally insane.

As Dan and his new friends, Abby and Jordan, explore the hidden recesses of their creepy summer home, they soon discover it's no coincidence that the three of them ended up here. Because the asylum holds the key to a terrifying past. And there are some secrets that refuse to stay buried.

Featuring found photos of unsettling history and real abandoned asylums and filled with chilling mystery and page-turning suspense, Madeleine Roux's teen debut, Asylum, is a horror story that treads the line between genius and insanity

Published/ing: August 20th, 2013 Harper Teen
Rating: 3.5/5

This was a really interesting book. If you have read Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, then you already understand how this book is written.

If not, then be ready to stop reading at night.

Madeleine Roux takes her sci-fi zombie apocalypse writing to the haunted halls of Brookline Dormitory/Asylum.

The book's writing is a bit boring at some points, and less personable, but coupled with the ghoulish pictures, it creates a horror film in your mind.

Dan, the main character, is also less a character, more a detail of the plot. He doesn't have many specific interests and is more the one that opens doors and gets in trouble so that the plot can keep moving.

There were many points in the book that were a bit blurry as well. The plot was well thought out and was left open at the end so that the second book can come in, but some of the details weren't as clearly written.

The setting was interesting too; a college dormitory in a small town in Connecticut. It didn't really affect the plot, but it was an interesting choice of setting.

I don't think this book was great, like other horror books I've read or Madeleine's other books, but it was worth reading.

Future News:
The second and final book in this duology was published on August 26th. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Where She Went
Author: Gayle Forman
Genre: Contemporary, Angst, Music
Goodreads Blurb: It's been three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life.

And three years he's spent wondering why.

When their paths cross again in New York City, Adam and Mia are brought back together for one life-changing night.

Adam finally has the opportunity to ask Mia the questions that have been haunting him. But will a few hours in this magical city be enough to lay their past to rest, for good - or can you really have a second chance at first love?

Published/ing: April 5, 2011 Dutton Juvenile
Spoiler Alert: You want to have read the book. 
Rating: 4/5


This book was a lot different than its counterpart. While If I Stay was a tragedy, but still light-hearted, this book was pure angst from the side character in If I Stay, Adam.

We start out the same way we did in If I Stay, in the present. But throughout the book Adam flashes back to after the coma. Mia's adjustments and how she persevered and played cello despite the piggy backing that she could've taken. She eventually goes to Julliard and becomes a huge cellist.

Adam, on the other hand, blew up in fame with his band Shooting Star. They traveled and did tours and produced platinum albums and lived the rock star life.

This book did not show the over-glamorized rock star life though, and that was probably one of my favorite aspects of the book.

Adam went through some serious internal conflict, dealing with depression, addiction, and suicidal thoughts. He didn't know what to do and didn't really want anything to do with life anymore. He didn't want to remember Mia or talk about Mia.

That is, until the night he watches her in Carnegie Hall.

That, in my opinion, was the climax of the book. He finds her, she finds him. She takes him on a journey, they fight, and then they find each other all over again.

And that what makes this duology an amazing story. The fact that they are two separate characters, totally separate people dealing with loss and depression and tragedy, who find each other and help each other through it.

They aren't perfect or happy all the time. They don't break up to break up. They go through their own shit and further help each other through their opposing shit.

Now that I've fully voiced my feelings on that, I'd like to completely spin off that topic and talk about the setting, New York. The spot for great, fantasy adventures and for aliens to destroy the earth and for cheesy briefcase love stories.

What I really enjoyed about this novel was the fact that it looked at New York under the microscope. They ran through the streets and took cabs and stood on a ferry. She minimized the great picture of New York to apply to the feelings of the book. I believe it added to the theme that things can seem so far apart, but still be very close together.

In summary, this book was very cool. It was realistic, without being boring. It continued with the last plot line, while creating a new one. I would definitely not suggest forgetting about this book after you read If I Stay.

Future News:
If I Stay, the first book in the duology, has been recently turned into a major motion picture.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

If I Stay
Author: Gayle Forman
Genre: Contemporary, Tragedy, Romance, Music
Goodreads Blurb: Just listen, Adam says with a voice that sounds like shrapnel.

I open my eyes wide now.
I sit up as much as I can.
And I listen.

Stay, he says.

Choices. Seventeen-year-old Mia is faced with some tough ones: Stay true to her first love—music—even if it means losing her boyfriend and leaving her family and friends behind?

Then one February morning Mia goes for a drive with her family, and in an instant, everything changes. Suddenly, all the choices are gone, except one. And it's the only one that matters.

If I Stay is a heartachingly beautiful book about the power of love, the true meaning of family, and the choices we all make.

Published/ing: April 2, 2009 Dutton Juvenile
Rating: 5/5
Spoiler Alert: This review does have mild spoils in it. If you've seen the movie trailer, then there are no spoilers. 

Something rare has occurred. I picked up this book, because the movie trailer looked cool.

Usually I wouldn't do something like that. I'd read reviews, talk to my friends, and then maybe pick up the book.

But no. I took one look at the trailer, almost cried, and bought the ebook.

This book grabbed my attention from the beginning, with the fast moving plot, beautiful writing, and heartbreaking story.

Mia, the main character, is very relate able to young girls. She has a passion, is slightly scared of intimate situations, and has a best friend. I loved that throughout the book, you see this coming-of-age kind of theme going on.

Along with that, the flashbacks show her growth from a young girl, slightly scared of stepping out of her comfort zone and not exactly ready to travel far away from her boyfriend and parents.

After death, she realizes that she has to grow up fast and make a large decision, will she stay or will she go?

Besides the heartbreaking tragedy that is the main plot in this book, overall it is very light-hearted. In the flashbacks, we see happiness and family and friendship.

To use something to compare it to, The Fault in Our Stars was mostly heartbreaking because we knew it was coming and the concept of death was overlying, while in this book, death was instant.

The idea of the after life in this book was also very intriguing. I have read many books with many different perceptions of the after life, but I liked how this one was plain and simple. She had the choice. There was no "ghost-physics" or "alternate-dimensions," just a simple, 'she is here and she has to choose if she'll stay.'

In summary, it is an extremely heart warming and breaking book with music, love, and tragedy. I would recommend it to anyone and everyone for its plain and simple young adult theme and John Green like plot line. I am very excited to see if the movie lives up to my love for this book. 

Future News:
If I Stay was just recently turned into a major motion picture.