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. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Summer Reading Books are the Reason

Kids, adults, humanity, generally dislikes reading.

And that is incredibly depressing to people adore books.

I honest to god, as a newly high school student, hate most summer reading books. I had to read one about a woman who conformed to the sexist ideals of Troy and another that wasn't half bad, but the utter half was crap.

Each year, we read about the same things over and over again; racism and great quests. Now, let me say now, that I know racism is a prominent problem in today's society, but after reading about it year after year in school and only getting to know that one societal problem gets annoying.

When it comes to human rights and world problems, I tend to be the strongest protester in sexism, ageism, and mistreatment of the LGBTQA community.

It's kind of sad that schools A. Don't have kids learn more about prominent world problems B. interesting engaging books C. and the occasional fiction book.

I'm not saying that all schools are terrible at picking school books, but I wish reading was incorporated more in the American education system.

I want my younger sisters and my friends and my fellow teens to be more into reading. I want them to learn about the communist and Hitler-like ruling of Kim Jung Un in North Korea. I want them to be educated on the sexism in the American government and sixteenth century-like treatment of women in other countries. In my opinion, the generation that is currently ruling America is lacking education. Not education from the side that won or is more prominent, but the losers and minorities.

I hope that my generation is the one that steps up and says 'I know how to solve this problem,' or 'this is not fair or just.'

And if not mine, the one after that.

I hope to one day work towards worldly education one day, but for now I'll do it in simpler ways.

Ways so simple that even you could do it sitting at your computer.

Educate your friends, family, teachers, etc. on topics that you think could change. Voice your ideas ever if you think they are ridiculous or wouldn't work. Talk to people in authority about improving certain situations.

It's the small things that count.


Monday, August 18, 2014

My Comic Con Series: Introduction


Hello readers,
      Now obviously if you haven't heard of Comic Con, specifically San Diego Comic Con International, then you either live under a rock or don't care about fictional universes. Either or, you probably wouldn't read my blog. 
      So assuming you know of the con ways, I can skip over explaining what a panel is and why John Barrowman is too gay to function. 
      Over the past few years, Wizard Con, what runs San Diego Con, has expanded its venues and grown in proportions. To see if that expansion has come to your area, you can look on their website. 

       I myself will be blogging from Chicago Comic Con, where I will be cosplaying, meeting actors, and attending panels. 

This series of posts will be dedicated to my planning, cosplays, and advice I have afterwards. I hope you find it interesting and informative!

To read about my con experience more in person follow my tumblr, myconexperience.

Till later, Monty

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Testing Trilogy by Joelle Charbonneau

Author: Joelle Charbonneau

Publication: 2013-2014 HMH Books for Young Readers

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

My review for this book can be found here

My review for this book can be found here

My review for this book can be found here.


I was amazed at how fast this series was written. I mean, you have to assume that Joelle completely outlined out all three books before she started writing because of the balanced of writing time and detail. 

These books were an excellent example for what a dystopian book should be; detailed, deep, and well though out. 

The setting of these books were set up so well, that you believed that this happened/could happen. 

Future News

This is the end to the trilogy and so far there is no news on whether or not the author will be continuing with the story.

An Interview with the Author
  • Did you plan out the series extensively before writing it? 
I wish!  I never know where a story is going before I start.  I only know who the main character is, what they are hoping to have happen and what the first big event is that will occur in the plot.  After that, I tend to improve my way through the story.  It's a scary way to write--and especially to write a trilogy where I knew the themes of each book, but not the plot-- but I find that I never lack for motivation to sit down and work each day because I am dying to find out what happens next. 
  • What was you inspiration or original idea for the story?

I teach private voice lessons and a large number of my students are singers who are interested in pursuing musical theater or voice in college.  The college admittance process is incredibly stressful for any major, but even more so for theater and music major who have to audition for the program in addition to applying to the school.  The stress of taking the college admittance tests and going through the auditions gets more intense every year and I suddenly found myself wonderful what kind of process could be created that would be even worse for college bound students.  And The Testing was born.
  • If you were put in Cia's position, do you think you could survive The Testing?

I doubt it, but I think I would give it a really good shot.  I might be able to make it through the first three rounds.  The fourth round would be a crap shoot and depend on how the other candidates around me approached that final tests.  I tend to look for the best in people.  That could totally get me in trouble if I had to go through The Testing.
  • What was your favorite part to write?
THE END of each book:)  Actually, that isn't a lie.  I loved writing various characters, but really, for each book I adored writing the end because I was uncertain until the final moments as to what was going to happen and I was so excited to find out what turn the story was going to take.
  • If you went to the University, what class would you be in?

Hmmm…I think I would probably end up in Education or Government.  Trust me when I say that no one wants me in biological or mechanical engineering since I tend to break things and my thumb isn't exactly green.
  • Would you add anything to the books if you could? A specific scene? A character?
I always feel like I should say yes to this kind of question since there are always parts of the story that are never seen.  And yet, I don't think I will ever wake up one day sad that something is missing because the story is no longer mine to tell.  The story now belongs to the readers.
  • Do you have a favorite book/series/author?

I have LOTS of them.  However, if you really pressed me to narrow it down I will say that my favorite series is The Belgariad series by David Eddings and the follow-up series the Mallorean.  If you want me to name the author that I grew up admiring and I still admire to this day I would have to say it's a tie between Stephen King and Lois Lowry.
  • Do you plan on continuing Cia's journey in the future?
I can't say that I have plans to continue Cia's journey.  However, if I think of an idea for a new conflict in Cia's life, I would love an excuse to revisit the world of The United Commonwealth.
  • Bonus Question: What Hogwarts house do you think Cia would be sorted into?
Cia would be Gryffindor all the way.  Loyalty is her finest trait and her biggest downfall. 

Thank you so much Joelle, and I cannot wait to see what you have for your fans in the future!


Monday, August 11, 2014

Comic Con and Life

Hey friends, 

Long time, no see. I've been away at camp for three weeks. I let a few posts get posted while I was gone just so I could get them posted instead of attacking you with posts now. Considerate, yes?

Anyway, I have a good deal to talk about. 

First off, school's about to start. I am stressed out beyond belief. I don't know how this year is going ot go and how much I'll get to read. From what I've heard, high school can be a real bitch, so yeah. 

I don't know what this year will be like in relation to blogging. 

On a nicer note, I will be at Chicago Comic Con and I plan on making posts about my experience since I could not find very good guides and advice for going to smaller, but still big, comic cons. I will have posts here, but you can follow the whole adventure here.

Look for an Introduction post on that subject soon.

I also need to post my interview with Joelle Charbonneau, the absolutely fabulous and friendly author of The Testing Trilogy. She is such a super cool person and hope The Testing blows up in the reading community, especially now that all the books are out.

I also want to talk more on the subject of summer reading books and David Levithan. Two things that I have a lot to talk about.

Otherwise, stay happy and stay healthy and expect to hear more from me soon.