Search This Blog

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Field Notes On Love Review

Title: Field Notes On Love
Author: Jeniffer E. Smith
Release Date: March 5, 2019
Age Range: 12 and up
Genre: Contemporary

Stars: 4/5


Synopsis:

Having just been dumped by his girlfriend, British-born Hugo is still determined to take his last-hurrah-before-college train trip across the United States. One snag: the companion ticket is already booked under the name of his ex, Margaret Campbell. Nontransferable, no exceptions.

Enter the new Margaret C. (Mae for short), an aspiring filmmaker with big dreams. After finding Hugo's spare ticket offer online, she's convinced it's the perfect opportunity to expand her horizons.

When the two meet, the attraction is undeniable, and both find more than they bargained for. As Mae pushes Hugo to explore his dreams for his future, he'll encourage her to channel a new, vulnerable side of her art. But when life off the train threatens the bubble they've created for themselves, will they manage to keep their love on track?
  

Review:

This book was just what I needed to get out of my reading slump.

It’s a short and fluffy book that still manages to deal with hard topics that teens face as they head into the next step of their lives, college and/or the great unknown.

Field Notes On Love is pretty accurate in describing how I felt with school coming to an end. Do I go to college right away? Or do I take a gap year and discover myself and explore before deciding what I want to do? But Field Notes On Love confronts more than just the big what do I do now questions, it also confronts the realities of being a teen in a large household, (spoiler) the loss of a loved one (end of spoiler) and young love. She hits it all in just a few hundred pages and a one week long trip on a train.

But Jennifer E. Smith does such a wonderful job at portraying the struggles these young adults are going through that you understand and you feel the struggle and the confusion and for some it’s relatable. This book is soft and innocent yet so true to what many teens struggle with.  I wish I had this book when I felt lost on what I should do after high school.

I'm not a fan of insta love because how do you really know a person in such a short time? But Jennifer did an amazing job at writing their relationship and the feelings they're going through. With their skepticism and the two of them helping each other over come the hurdles holding them back, I actually loved it.

It’s sweet and simple but yet impactful to it’s audience.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

2019 Goals Time

The new year is upon us and that means everyone is making goals and resolutions to aim for and stick with this time of month (or for those who don't procrastinate like me, last month). Instead of choosing one goal, I have a few for different things. Some are to better myself while others are to help me relax and stick with my commitments.

Blog Goals!




Reach 200 blog followers - This next year I want to grow my blog some more and hopefully reach my goal of 200 followers. It seems high but the book blogging community is full of some pretty awesome people, so I have faith that it can be done. *Laughs nervously* Please help. I don't know why I do this to myself.

Reach 5,000 views - I've been going back and forth with this one for the last few days. My number goal of views has changed several times because I can't decide if the goal is too ambitious or if my goal is too small. So I've decided to stick with an even number between 1 and 10 (or 1,000 and 10,000) I think it can be done and I don't think it's too small.

Make new blogging friends - This one is extremely hard for me but also extremely important. I'm always super awkward and panic when people reply to my stuff or ask me things and I never know what to say, but I love it when these things happen because I feel like I'm not an outsider to the community. My goal is to put myself out there more and comment on other people's post and make some friends. Because friends in a community are important.

Now if only I could tell myself that when it comes to making friends in person :,)

Reading and Writing Goals!

 


Read 50 books - Last year I went over my Goodreads goal of 24 books and went on to read 25.

*Gasp* one whole book.

So this year I'm planning on doubling what I read last year. My goal is to read 50 total books, which is doable if I set my mind to it . . . and read more comics, graphic novels, mangas, and audio books. hahaha I can totally do this, there totally is no doubt in my voice right now. It is in the bag *finger guns to convince you that I do, in fact, have this in the bag*.

*Stares at the 30+ un read books on my shelf and slowly backs away*

Get at least 3/4th of the way done with my book - For those who haven't read the little intro below my blog title, I am a writer. I have nothing published but I do have approximately 20 wip's and counting.

*Distant sobbing*

But there is one book (Series? Trilogy? We'll see once I plan the third book) that I've been working on for the past year and have finally figured out the plot and finished plotting it out. I was 40k words deep when I cut the first half and fell back to about 17k words. I got it back up to a little less than 25,787 words during NaNo a few months back . . . plus a few hundred words since than to make it that number.

But this year I plan to write more since I got this first book planned out. I just need to write it and I plan to get it almost finished, if not all the way done, by the end of the year. *Determined nod* I don't know how, but I will.

Make more writing friends/make an effort to keep talking to the ones I have - Listen, everyone knows I suck at staying in contact. I'm just afraid that I'm being a pest to people or that I'm talking too much (I hear that I talk a lot from my family and yeah, it's taken a toll on my confidence in that department.) So I tend to fall out with a lot of the people I talk to on Twitter because I don't put in the effort. I'm going to work on that this year because I like my writer friends I've met and I want to make more. The whole community is so supportive and I love being apart of it but I have to shovel my weight and give back what I get and I've gotten a lot from everyone.

Personal Goals!

 


Find a job - I'll be graduating high school at the end of March. I was held back in the first grade and then fell behind in high school, so it was looking like I wasn't going to graduate until two years after my original graduation date, but then I went to this community school that I could get a lot more credits during a shorter work week and I'm graduating a few months earlier then my new grad year (2019 instead of 2018 like I was supposed to before I was held back.) 

Because of all that my focus has been more in line with making sure I have what I need to graduate instead of juggling school with other things. I'm thankful I had the luxury to do so but after the third month of the year, I've got to get ready to dive into my first job. It's a bit intimidating but I'm ready to move on from high school and actually get my life started. I've got big plans.

Being more positive - This one is very personal to me. I'm known in my family for being very pessimistic and looking at the worst things that could happen or focusing on the bad instead of focusing on how else I can accomplish the thing I was trying to do and failed at. So this next year I want to be more positive. I want to look at what I can do to fix a problem instead of things 'great I failed, now time to scrap it.'

Eating healthier - Yeah, yeah. I know this and the next one are some pretty stereotypical goals but I really do need to eat healthier. I've gotten sick a lot this past year and I've felt pretty sluggish and I know that partially has to do with me treating my body like crap. I need to eat some more fruits and veggies this next year. It's not like I don't like them, so there's really no reason for why I'm not eating healthier anyways.

Exercise more - This goes with the one above. *Shudders* I need to exercise more. I haven't exercised much in the past 2 years since I quit cheerleading (Also had a year break from when I did Junior high cheer) and I can really feel it on my body.

I love exercising because it makes me feel good and (as much as I hate admitting it and giving my mom, dad and step mom the opportunity to say I told you so) it helps with my anxiety and depression when I do it regularly. So hey, I should make an effort if it shows benefits.

What are your goals for 2019?

Monday, December 31, 2018

Rating Book To Film Adaptions

Let's get down to business to defeat . . .

Ok sorry we're not defeating anything, we're just going to agonizingly talk about film adaptions of some books I've read and I'm going to rate them on a 1-10 scale on how good they were!

I'm going to list a book and rate it, 1 being the 'film adaption' has absolutely nothing in common with the book and 10 being it's a five hour adaption with every scene in the book making it into the movie.

Let us start this agonizing remembrance of how many times we've been robbed or pleasantly surprised.



Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda 
8.5/10

I know some people will argue with me on this but gosh damn they did this movie justice and you can pry this rating out of my cold dead hands. I cried tears of joy just for the pure fact of how accurate to the book it was. Other movie makers and script writers, take notes. This was almost pure perfection.

Of course it wasn't a 10, but it's still one of the best book to movie adaptions I've seen in a while. It might actually be the best adaption I’ve seen overall. And I'm so proud that it was a gay romcom.



Percy Jackson
3/10

Don’t hurt me for this one. I know many would probably give it a straight up 1, but let’s take a moment and be kind (even though they completely botched the movie and I’d like to take a fork to the hand of the person who thought it would be a good idea to stray this far from the book). We just need to take a step back from our anger and notice the accurate things that they put in the movies.

The names, they’re at a camp, children of gods, the parents to the children, uuummm I’m running out of correct things, they have to retrieve the bolt and give it to Zues, Gabe, that Meduse head at the end.  There’s probably more but wow, small details. Not much. I really had to search hard for those.

AND THAT SECOND MOVIE. JUST CAUSE YOU DYED HER HAIR BLONDE-



Beautiful Creatures
4.5/10

The movie was alright. It wasn't the worst movie adaption, but it also wasn't the best. I'm a bit indifferent to it. Would I watch it again? Yes. Was I disappointed when I first watched the movie? Yes.

But now it's been so long since I read the books that I could probably watch the movie without feeling frustrated with it. So I'm giving it a 4.5, still more accurate than Percy Jackson but not accurate enough to be considered a good adaption. To be honest this rating is strictly based off of me going "that wasn't in the book" to my mom in the movie theater and the old people going "This movie was so good" in front of us and all I wanted to do was lean forward and whisper, "It's a book and that [whatever part it was] wasn't in the book. They could have done way better." Early teens me would be very disappointed if I gave this one a higher rating, I just know it.



Eragon
2/10

I'm being a bit mean here because I could probably give it a 2.5, but I'm tired of giving half ratings right now. Let's be real right now, the Eragon movie is the worst book to film adaption. I first watched the movie when I was a little kid. I didn't know it was a book and when I got older I got excited only to be crushed by reality when I finally purchased the movie to watch after I read the whole series. My younger heart was in shock at how bad it was.

They could have done so much with that series *Insert tear drop smiling face*. Just like the PJO series, they had so much to work with and they just *insert hand gestures at the mess*.



Harry Potter
7.5/10

They did alright. I will give them that, they did pretty good with what they had. It's one of the adaptions that did alright at sticking to the book considering how big those books are later on in the series. But even the Harry Potter movies are not safe from being snitched out. There are somethings that were changed that shouldn't have been.

*Prepares fork and searches for the fool that thought this was a good idea* Ginny Weasly  deserved better. How far do you have to stray to completely change a character? She just *waves hands frantically* How? Why? I watched the movie first and was pleasantly surprised that she was a bigger and stronger character in the books than she was in the movies. I'm never going to let this one go. Honestly I could go on for ages, they did her dirty by only making her a love interest.

"Did you put your name in the Goblet of Fire?!" HE SAID CALMLY. sorry, but I was rolling at this one because he came bursting in all frantically and it's one of the scenes from the book I remember well. I just had to put that one detail in here.



The only thing I cling to is the fact that nothing will be as bad as the live action movie adaption of the Avatar: The Last Airbender cartoon (Even though it's not a book, it's a cartoon). let's all take a moment to appreciate that we have some version of these characters to watch. But we also need to take a moment to mourn what could have been.

What's your favorite book to movie adaption that not a lot of people like?

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Heartstopper Kickstarter and Webcomic Review

Title: Heartstopper
Author: Alice Oseman
Genre: Contemporary
Publish date: February 7, 2019
Webcomic link: Tapas

Stars: 5 of 5



Synopsis:

Heartstopper follows two boys, Nick and Charlie, as they navigate school, friends, family, sexuality and their growing relationship.

Review:

AHDAHDSHAKSAAK JUST READ IT. GUYS IT'S SO FREAKING ADORABLE.

This book is like laying down on to the fluffiest bed that has been invented, covered in a blanket that hugs you in a nice warm embrace and pillows that swallow your head in a cloud of fluffiness.

The artwork in this graphic novel/webcomic is beautifully simple and the story flows so nicely. The characters are created and developed amazingly throughout the whole story, even if it's just a little. Alice also did such a great job at portraying the awkward first love and anxieties some have when they think about coming out or they're questioning their sexuality.

I need, like, 12 more queer stories that are just as cute and light as this one. I'm always so excited for the webcomic updates on Tapas, they practically make my week (especially when it's been a crappy week). I would try and wait for the rest of the graphic novel to be published (as the first volume is coming out in 2019!!!!) but I have no self control for things that make me excited and also no patience that will last longer than the times between updates haha.

Honestly, I wish I had more words to describe how much I love Heartsopper and how much it means/meant to me as I explored my sexuality. I've never been a huge comic or graphic novel fan. I have no problem reading them, but I've only had one other experience back in elementary school where I actually loved the story so much that I was impatiently waiting and agonizing over how long it was until the next volume would be out, so I'd say my love for it is one reason to go and give it a read.

All I have left to say is we need more queer stories/graphic novels like this one.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

I Dnfed My First Book

I have never dnfed a book.

No matter how much I struggle to read a book, I will always finish it. Once I start I either feel obligated to finish the book or I convince myself that it may get better. Other times it’s because the book is popular and I feel like I should read all of it or I wont be ‘on the in’.

But I’m working on this. I’m trying to be better at cutting off the books that aren’t working for me. I’ve come up with the rule that if it’s not working once I pass 100 pages, I’ll stop and not force myself. When I force myself to finish a book, I set myself up for the daunting book slump and I hate that feeling of not enjoying or being able to read books I’m excited for.

So, I decided to dnf my first book and it’s a book I’ve been really liking.

I decided to dnf Radio Silence by Alice Oseman. I think part of the reason I’m deciding to dnf it is because I’m struggling to read it.  I connect with the characters very well and I absolutely love how it’s written. There’s nothing wrong with the book that’s making me put it down, it’s more me.

It’s my mental state. My mind isn’t in the right place to be reading a heavy book (or at least it is to me). I push my self through chapters and it’s just not healthy, even if I do enjoy it.

So I’ve decided to put it down for now and focus on reading something light and fluffy until I’ve dragged myself out of this slump. But I do plan on picking it back up in the future and finishing it because these characters, I love them. And the book is so life like, I can relate to it on certain things.

Now I feel able to move on since I got it out of my system. It’s not easy for me to admit that I’m not in the right state to do things, usually I push through them, so this, it feels good.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Books I’ll Be Screaming About Until I get My Hands On Them

AAAAHHHH LOOK AT THESE BOOKS ON THIS LIST. GO LOOK AT THEM. THEY’RE SO BEAUTIFUL.

Honestly, this is a very short list. Of course there are tons of books I look forward to reading and can’t wait to be released. But this list, this list is the ones I’d journey through the depths of hell to retrieve.

*Side eye* wow. That was a bit extreme.

Anyways, let’s continue.

I don’t even know what book to start with. They’re all so equal in my mind for different reasons and I don’t think I could choose one over the others.

Heartstopper by Alice Oseman:

Alright, I’m starting with this one because I’ve already read it. In fact, you can read it too. It’s a webcomic over on Tapas. And I have the Kickstarter copy of this book but IT’S GETTING PUBLISHED! I WILL BE SHOUTING FOREVER ABOUT HOW YOU SHOULD PRE-ORDER IT. And it means so much to me I need every copy of it.

It’s a cute little fluffy story of two teens navigating school, family, and discovering themselves and it means a lot to me. It’s happy, for the most part, and it’s one of the first books/comics I read with gay characters when I was struggling and trying to figure out my sexuality. This is a story that I will always hold dearly.

I CANNOT WAIT FOR IT TO BE PUBLISHED AND HAVE THE PHYSICAL COPY IN MY HANDS <3 I’M GOING TO BE SHOUTING IN TO THE VOID ABOUT THESE CHARACTERS UNTIL I DIE AND EVERY ONE READS IT.



Red White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston:

This one is a new adult romcom and I’M LIVING FOR IT. Honestly every time I see snippets of this book I die on the inside knowning I have to wait so long for it to be in my hands. *Cries in corner at the thought.* It’s got a president’s son and royalty in the form of a prince in a fake friendship with each other and this is the plot to a book i’ve been wanting for ages.

I just-I’m so excited all I can think of  doing is printing off a picture of this book with the description and gesturing furiously at it. How can you not like it? It’s like my dream book in physical form. And if you're just as excited for this as I am, but can't find the pre-order link, here it is. I WILL BE SHOUTING ABOUT THIS FOREVER.



I Wish You All The Best by Mason Deaver:

I’M JUST GOING TO SHOUT THAT THIS BOOK IS SO IMPORTANT. I ALMOST FEEL THE NEED TO TYPE IN ALL CAPS TO GET THE POINT ACROSS (but I’m not because that hurts my eyes to read). As someone exploring their gender and not being quit comfortable using the title nonbinary or asking people in real life to use certain pronouns because of some family, this book is so freaking important.

I cannot stress this enough. Every time I hear about it, I get the same giddy feeling I had when I yearned to read Simon Vs. because it was the first book that I heard about that represented me as a gay person. And I’m so excited that there is a book that has a nonbinary main character. There’s the little hope that, oh, there are people like me out there and they feel the same things as me. It’s like a validation that there’s nothing wrong with you, that it’s everyone else who should change not you.

And I know people have said there are other books with nonbinary main characters out there, but this one is close to my heart because it’s the first one I’ve heard about. I’ll probably cry reading it like I’ve done before with my other ‘first’ queer book/s. Just go on and pre-order this book everyone.


Hot Dog Girl by Jennifer Dugan:

Hi, yes, this book owns my heart and I haven't even read it yet. But the synopsis sold me and it just kept getting better with every line.

GUYS AS A KID I DRESSED UP AS A HOT DOG FOR HALLOWEEN. The title alone had me hooked and ready to read.

[Picture as proof. My family tried so hard to get me to go as something else. I was in 3rd grade and not going for it]



Trying to set her friend up and scheming to get closer to someone BUT IT'S A QUEER BOOK. Hello, yes, it's my favorite story trope and I want it.

I'm sorry but "coming-of-age queer romance stars a princess, a pirate, a hot dog, and a carousel operator" I'M IN, I AM SOLD. THIS IS A BOOK I'D DROP EVERYTHING TO READ.

I honestly need more info on this book because this is not enough for my excitement and I am an impatient bean.



Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins: I talked about Red White and Royal Blue, now it's time to geek out about this YA royal story with a girl and her princess roommate.

My little gay heart is freaking out peeps.

AND IT'S AT A BOARDING SCHOOL . . . IN SCOTLAND. SCOTLAND PEOPLE, SCOTLAND.

THE ROOMATE IS A PRINCESS . . . OF SCOTLAND, A LITERAL PRINCESS.

AND THEY CAN'T STAND EACH OTHER. BUT LIKE FIND THEM SELVES IN THE SORTTA FRIEND SORTTA GIRL FRIEND AREA.

IT'S LIKE MY DREAM BOOK IN FRONT ME. JUST *GRABBY HANDS*.

I need more f/f books of my favorite tropes and such.



So yah, I’d sell whatever’s left of my soul to read these books right now and cradle them in my arms. These books deserve so much hype and these authors and the teams behind them deserve so much love for bringing them in to the world.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Girls of Paper and Fire Review.

Title: Girls of Paper and Fire
Author: Natasha Ngan
Release Date: November 6, 2018
Age Range: 15-17
Genre: Fantasy

Stars: 5/5


Synopsis:

 Each year, eight beautiful girls are chosen as Paper Girls to serve the king. It's the highest honor they could hope for...and the most cruel.

But this year, there's a ninth girl. And instead of paper, she's made of fire.



In this lush fantasy, Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most oppressed class in Ikhara. She lives in a remote village with her father, where the decade-old trauma of watching her mother snatched by royal guards still haunts her. Now, the guards are back, and this time it's Lei they're after--the girl whose golden eyes have piqued the king's interest.

Over weeks of training in the opulent but stifling palace, Lei and eight other girls learn the skills and charm that befit being a king's consort. But Lei isn't content to watch her fate consume her. Instead, she does the unthinkable--she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens the very foundation of Ikhara, and Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide just how far she's willing to go for justice and revenge.

Review:

OH MY FREAKING GOSH THIS BOOK IS LIFE!

I was in a dark room and this book was like a burning flame that gave me hope.

There are no words to describe how much I love this book. There are several different reasons that I can list. Natasha Ngan did such a wonderful job and I wish I could do her justice in this blog post. I’ll try, but I don’t think I can..

First off I would like to say that this book does have trigger warnings for violence and sexual abuse.

But how she wrote the characters coping and living through the sexual assault makes it feel so real. And through the different characters she portrayed the many ways people cope or see the situation because not everyone thinks and experiances the same things. She wrote it raw and true and didn’t hold back.

And the historical inspiration and influence of imperial China and Chinese and Asian history that she’s talked about bringing into the book. Once you read it, you really see it. It’s so beautifully described and explained through the main character Lei that you can vividly see the setting and life in your mind.

The most exciting thing for me was the f/f rep that was in the book. She wrote the struggle so true. I have several places sticky noted and my favorite saying where she speaks of love. It was so heart wrenching and true that at several parts where Lei talks to or about her love interest, I had to set the book down and take a moment.

Let’s not forget the badass group of characters. Everyone was created so well. All of them strong women with their own personalities, well rounded in my book. Even the paper girls you didn’t like, you couldn’t help but feel their pain and emotion and love them. And Lei, the main character, her development through the story is amazing. The demons (Moon caste) and partial demons (Steel caste) were so well written, from the ones who helped Lei to the ones who were horrible. She managed to bring life to them all and make them human. As a writer who wishes to publish their work, I can only hope my characters are as well written as Natasha’s.

I’d also like to talk about the different castes just for a quick moment. Can I just say that she did a phenomenal job at writing the structure and power struggles between them. It feels so life like and you can picture it in our world today.

Thank you, Natasha, for such a wonderful and touching story that I will cherish forever.