Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Book Club: Graceling

The big news: my school has an 8th grade book club. How cool is this?! I was dead excited that we get to talk about books over lunch once Friday a month with some great muffins. The past month we read Graceling. The book choice disappointed me a bit since I had previously read the book and detested it.

One of the downsides of blogging is that you hardly ever, if ever, get to have a live discussion about a book. What I love about our book discussion is that we got to talk with my friends over a YA book in a facilitated discussion.

SPOILER ALERT for Graceling

Some points we came up for after all reading Graceling
  •          The characters are pretty shallow, but may be developed better throughout the series. You can tell because it is very simple to predict Katsa and Po’s reactions. There was also the classic romance formula of “boy loves; girl has resistance or anger, but gives in at the end.”
  •          Romance didn’t exactly help the book, but without there would be no plot otherwise. The romance was also a bit rushed for the fact they had sex the first they kissed.
  •          The idea and setting were very original in terms of high fantasy.  Yet, we almost always see jealous kings and several kingdoms.
  •          We all wanted to be graced though. I was, of course, the only person grace with killing, though according to the quiz in the book you could be grace with relationship, intellect, fighting, and calming.
  •          Bitterblue would’ve been a complex character to know with her trauma and recent events. Without the influence of Katsa and Po we could’ve seen a little more of the girl, and what it was like to save her. (There is a companion book called Bitterblue)

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Blogoversary Panel

I'm officially one! Happy blogoversary to myself! I had a live panel (on Google Docs) about eight days ago with Summer and Anne about blogging. To celebrate my blogversary read on:

Amelia: Hey! Would everybody like to introduce themselves? I’m Amelia a 13 year old from YA Bookologists who lives in the US.

Anne: Hey (: I’m Anne from Anne Books, I’m 14 and from Germany.

Summer: Hi! I’m Summer from MissFictional’s World of YA Books, and I’m from the US and 16 years old.

Am: So… I mean how cool is it to be able to a have live panel about book blogging in three different time zones?

An: It’s really amazing! And you two are even from another continent!

S: That is SO cool. Plus, Anne, I love Germany, just wanted to put that out there XD.
An: Haha :D Well. And I would love to visit the US at some point.

Am: I think everyone loves Germany. So how did everyone get into book blogging? I started because I was bored before Halloween.

S: You know when you search up a book, and the Goodreads page comes up? Eventually I made an account on Goodreads, and I noticed that a LOT of people had book blogs, so I was curious and during winter break I created my blog. :)

An: For me it was because I just started watching booktube at the beginning of the year and then through this discovered some book blogs like The Mile Long Bookshelf or Feed Me Books Now. And then I wanted to start myself (: So I did in June. (I think it was June)

Am: I have to say that TMLB and Feed Me Books Now were probably the first book blogs I found.
S: Oh! I love their blogs! Especially because they’re teen bloggers

An: Me too! So much inspiration for a newish blogger like me

Am: Out of curiosity how old (blog) is everyone? I’m turning one. It’s a blogoversary celebration.

S: Almost 2 years old in December!

An: About half a year now. Well. I know. Really new.

S: Also, happy blogoversary Amelia!

An: From me as well!

Am:Thanks guys. So Summer, you’re the oldest one here. How do you balance life and book blogging?

S: I feel like in the past month, I’ve been a really crappy blogger in terms of that, but it took me a while to get a hang of the whole balancing reading, blogging, and life. I’ve started to set times for blogging, (on the weekend) and try to read whenever I can (yes, in-school reading is hard but super beneficial). It took time, at least for me, to learn how to balance all three, but it just comes with practice.

An: For me it was hard as well at the beginning because of school but now I just do my routine: Manly pre-writing the post through the app because I can do that wherever I am, then finishing it on the computer and then mostly scheduling it.

S: I do that too (even though the app kind of sucks sometimes)! Just doing a few paragraphs on a car ride or whenever you’re free really adds up.

An: Yes. Or when I’m waiting for my friend before school :D e.g. I just wrote 4 reviews on Thursday and scheduled them all like the Star-crossed one which was published today.

S: Oooh, the scheduling feature is every blogger’s best friend.

An: Yup. You can SO say that.

S: But sometimes, if I’m feeling a blogging/reading slump, it’s kind of hard to muster up the motivation to write a post. I don’t know if you’ve felt it yet, but it’s a bit difficult to overcome. That’s why I downloaded the app-- so it doesn’t feel like a chore if I want to jot a few sentences down instead of stressing about writing an entire post all at once.

An: Yes I knew that once in my summer holidays. I read so many books but because why ever wasn’t able to just turn on the computer and write a review… So there went the app!

Am: Don’t get me started on slumps. But I prefer to write a couple of words when reading the books then expanding later in a post.

An: That’s great when you’re able to write while you’re reading but I’m so unable of doing this. Don’t know why… Probably because I would be forced to put the book down :D

Am: I do it just before reading or when I’m taking notes or checking twitter and just a write a word or two. Summer what do you do? Why do you all like book blogging?

S: I usually open up a word document and basically rant (especially if the book was extremely bad or amazing.)

Am: Word for the win!

An: To be honest? I don’t have an answer to this.. But I think it’s because of like everyone else’s answer: To share my love for books to the world and to get to know people who are fascinated by books like I am and share my opinions on books and bookish stuff to the community.

Am: I do it for the fact that I always wanted to be able to make my “mark” on the internet. I liked books and it was a way to convey my passion.

S: I think it’s because whenever I would want to discuss a book with one of my friends, they wouldn’t really be interested, even if they liked reading. You know that feeling when you just have to let your opinion out on something? Yeah, that’s what drove me to create a personal blog.

Am: I’ve found that everyone in the blogging world is very opinionated and that we all respect those opinions. Many of us are people sitting behinds books and laptops that come from normal households/families. Most of my friends don’t read a lot or much YA.

An: Summer I so know that. Most of my friends read books I recommended to them but when I finished them: Nobody even knew about that book because of Germany -.- And even I dragged my friends to read in English!

Am: Anne, you are phenomenal at English to be able to read and write at the level of blogging and reading YA. Do most of us hide our blogging? I know I do because only a few close friends know that I run a blog.

S: Yes, Anne, your English is perfect! Amelia, I think my family and some friends know about my blog now, but at first, it was a complete secret (only my mom knew). But one day I was at my cousins’ house and they Googled my name, and my blog came up. So that was an embarrassing day for me. XD honestly have no idea how my friends found out, they even found my blog’s Twitter account somehow. >.> <.<

An: Really? Thanks :* I know my family and friends say that I’m good at it but they are Germans.. So yeah :D And to the hiding thing: Yes. I think now after half a year of blogging only about one close friend knows it because I send her some time a link to one review because she was at the time reading this book (: And to be honest I don’t know how I should say them I have Anne Books…

Am: I mentioned it off hand to my friends and they just took in stride with what I did in my free time (though no free time exists).

S: My mom is bit annoyed that I have an online presence, but according to her it’s good on college apps so ;)

An: Well that’s great Summer! I don’t know if it’s something good for in Germany ._. (how much I hate it sometimes..)

S: Youshould come to America for college!

Am:College application- blogging is good experience in terms of responsibility,deadlines, and figuring weirder stuff out (coughs- html).

S: I agree. Just the fact that you’re so dedicated and that you write so much (which colleges love) makes you unique from other high schoolers.

An: That would probably great but I think the UK would be better because it’s nearer to my family.

Am:I was also thinking about maybe the UK for college. In  conservative parts of the US though there is still prejudice for World War II because of some strange reason (people in some the US don’t understand the concept of 70 years). The WWII historical fiction is also way over done in the US.

An: I now! In France it’s terrible! I heard you just need to mention you are from Germany and you get a face ._. But for the html part: I have computer science (just needed to look up that word) in school and we need to do a homepage  as our long term project.. Do you guys do your layout by yourself or how?

S: What ven?? It’s been years, people, get over it.

An: They hould. But France and Germany were enemies for so many years until the end of WWII I think so I don’t even know..

Am: I learned html from some websites that have a basic template that you can modify. The best way is to look at a blog’s page source.  I copy and paste it and then screw around with it to get what I want. I use basic Blogger templates though.

S: For html, I suck at it. Google is my friend whenever there’s something weird with my blog or if I want a new design, because I can’t for the life of me figure it out myself. Amelia, I also use the basic templates! I would much rather have my own design and be more in control of how my blog looks.

Am: It was really fun talking with you guys and I  think we should wrap up soon. SO to close everything up what is everyone reading right now? I’m reading The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum.

An: It was an amazing panel Amelia and you’re right that we should do this again! I’m currently reading two books: First Goddess (a re-read) by Josephine Angelini and second Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini as well.

S: Thank you, Amelia, for holding such an awesome panel, and Anne, for being such a cool panelist! Being a person with a very short attention span I’m actually reading 3 books at the moment: Crushed, by Eliza Crewe, Exquisite Captive, by Heather Demitrios, and I Am the Messenger, by Markus Zusak (a re-read!).

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Short Story: Short ReviewThe Murders in the Rue Rogue

I've been reading some Edgar Allan Poe and would like to share some of my thoughts on his short stories.  I wanted to analyze certain aspects of short stories. Poe being the inventor of American gothic horror is simply a master of mood and feeling simple felt the right person to analyze.

The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe 


"The Murders in the Rue Morgue" is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe published in Graham's Magazine in 1841. It has been claimed as the first detective story; Poe referred to it as one of his "tales of ratiocination". Similar works predate Poe's stories, including Das Fräulein von Scuderi (1819) by E.T.A. Hoffmann and Zadig (1748) by Voltaire.

C. Auguste Dupin is a man in Paris who solves the mysterious brutal murder of two women. Numerous witnesses heard a suspect, though no one agrees on what language was spoken. At the murder scene, Dupin finds a hair that does not appear to be human.

As the first true detective in fiction, the Dupin character established many literary devices which would be used in future fictional detectives including Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot. Many later characters, for example, follow Poe's model of the brilliant detective, his personal friend who serves as narrator, and the final revelation being presented before the reasoning that leads up to it. Dupin himself reappears in "The Mystery of Marie Roget" and "The Purloined Letter".

The syntax in the first few pages of The Murders in the Rue Morgue is very confusing. You must make inferences for why Poe feels the need to discuss the difference between chess and checker players; to many of us it doesn't make a bloody difference. Poe uses it as a subtle tap on the shoulder in the right direction. By using a mellow example of analytical thinking in checkers he is explaining that Dupin thinks already on a much higher level. His words are meant to makes us feel confused in why checkers and chess strategies are involved in a grisly murder. The syntax makes a full circle at the end of the book showing us why this introduction is so needed to understand the mechanics of Dupin's logic.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Review Silver Shadows

Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead Goodreads | Amazon

#5 in Bloodlines

Published by Razorbill July 29, 2014

Source: Library Hardcover

Bookologists Analysis: The continuation of a romance that spans against all conformities and expectations. Yet, still the book did not conform.

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.

In The Fiery Heart, Sydney risked everything to follow her gut, walking a dangerous line to keep her feelings hidden from the Alchemists.

Now in the aftermath of an event that ripped their world apart, Sydney and Adrian struggle to pick up the pieces and find their way back to each other. But first, they have to survive. 

For Sydney, trapped and surrounded by adversaries, life becomes a daily struggle to hold on to her identity and the memories of those she loves. Meanwhile, Adrian clings to hope in the face of those who tell him Sydney is a lost cause, but the battle proves daunting as old demons and new temptations begin to seize hold of him. . . .

Their worst fears now a chilling reality, Sydney and Adrian face their darkest hour in this heart-pounding fifth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where all bets are off.

Silver Shadows was driven by an unknown force; it was unexpected.  I was stopped short by simply the metamorphosis of Adrian and Sydney since the first book. The setting had changed from a boarding school to a reeducation center to where ever Adrian chose to travel. Somehow we saw a world that’s been built tore down due to simply the fact that Sydney was taken by Alchemists in The Fiery Heart.

For everyone in this book it was a spiral. Adrian without Sydney twists back into his other lifestyle- drinking, gambling, and partying. I can’t pity Adrian for the fact that he stops trying to look for Sydney, but Spirit is getting to him and it won’t be pretty when we see him out of control. Sydney his unraveling her compassion even more in reeducation because of that many more people suffering. Their connection is not the same as Rose and Dimitri; it’s not fire and fire, but rather passion and love. The story of Adrian and Sage continues on, for better or for worse. 


Thursday, October 9, 2014

If YA Were a School

So I was thinking what would happen if I put my favorite books into classes. Think of it as the best school of my dreams. I would get to take the classes my favorite book characters do and have time to blog in school.{Click on it to make the schedule larger}

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Mini Reviews: Never Ending

Never Ending by Martyn Bedford Goodreads|Amazon

Published by Wendy Lamb Books March 11, 2014

Source: Library

When a family holiday ends in tragedy, the grieving parents’ marriage is left in ruins and, Shiv, their 15-year-old daughter, is tormented by what happened … and her part in it. Off the rails and unable to live with her guilt, Shiv is sent away to an exclusive clinic that claims to “cure” people like her.

But this is no ordinary psychiatric institution and Shiv discovers that her release – from her demons, and from the clinic itself – will come, if it comes at all, at a bizarre and terrible price.

Never Ending was a book I need at the time I read it, but looking back it was not something I would normally read. I don’t especially like books where it is all about psychological development. Yet , still with the flashbacks to Greece with where Siobhan’s brother died and the experimental Korsakoff Clinic the plot comes in a full circle. The book is cliché in what happens to Siobhan, yet still she is the only character who is pointed and full.

What really bothered me though was the lack of action and definite direction. Maybe, it was purposeful to avoid straight forward direction, but I didn’t enjoy it. The book felt a bit wishy washy in terms of what it was trying to speak about. The books made me feel disconnected as well as down because of how depressing it is. Rating:  

Thursday, October 2, 2014

September Monthly Review

Fall is officially here in full swing with tea, leaves, and books. September has had most of settling into the routine of school and other extra circulars. I, myself, have started being a bit strained by all that my schedule demands, but feel that I am now learning how to handle all of it.

July & August Monthly Review
Review We Were Liars
Journaling: We Were Liars
Review The Night Circus
Summer Vacation
Room by Book Marina
Review One Past Midnight
Review Suspicion
Goulash//Daughter of Smoke & Bone Style

Posts from Other Blogs I Enjoyed:
The Mile Long Bookshelf: The Emoji Book Tag
Feed Me Books Now: Discussion: Can Fiction Change A Person's Life?'
Miss Fictional: Six Degrees of Seperation {Bookish Version}
To Another World: The Bookish Confessionary: Fluff is Everything
It Was Lovely Reading: Things I Hear In Bookshops

I am having a little bit of trouble with computer (read: pictures hosted on blogger are not loading on my laptop). My blogging is turn up side down- I don't know what to do. I was confused and felt really out of it. Right now I have nothing scheduled for October. I think I'm going to take it a bit easy and see where everything is going.