One Of Us Is Lying– independent reading update

I am still reading One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus, and so far I really like it. It follows a mystery from the perspective of a group of high schoolers who were all in detention when their classmate had an allergic reaction and died. I’m kind of at a calm point of the story where nothing big is happening because of the investigation, but it still stays interesting throughout the whole story.

The Moment You Realize You´re Growing Up- Getting Older by Billie Eilish

This song represents the feeling of realizing that you are actually growing up. I feel like this song can relate to anyone in high school because high school is a time in life where you should enjoy every moment because it will go away very fast.

I’m getting older, I’ve got more on my shoulders
But I’m getting better at admitting when I’m wrong
I’m happier than ever, at least that’s my endeavor

This verse is a very important part of the song because growing up comes with a lot of pressure and there is a lot of responsibilities that you need to take care of. The realization of growing up is a very scary thing because you’re not going to be that little kid on the playground throwing snowballs to each other with no stress in life anymore.

Rebound Reading Update

In Rebound by Kwame Alexander Charlie is trying to figure out his life with his father died and his mom being over protective. In the summer his mom decides to send him to his grandparents house for the whole summer to keep him out of trouble.

The most complex character so far is Charlie, even though he hasn’t completely matured in the novel he is showing signs of getting better. In Rebound there are external conflicts but also internal. The external being Charlie vs his mom and how she is making him leave all his friend and go to his grandparents house for the summer. But it is also internal by Charlie trying to deal with his dad being dead and not being able to cope with that and confused why it happened.

The Loop Reading Update #2

The Loop, by Ben Oliver, takes place in the future where one man and the government control everything about people’s lives. The book follows a 16 year-old named Luka Kane who’s been wrongly imprisoned in a nightmarish prison, called the loop, where the prisoners are tested on horrible experiments, brutally tortured, and in solitude everyday until they die. But shortly after being in the loop for two years, things begin to change, and the daily routine of the prisoners begin to change

So far in the book, I have still not found out why the main character, Luka, was put into the loop in the first place. What makes the book so compelling is that now the story is starting to progress more and the everyday activities that the inmates do in the loop are disrupted. All the inmates are sent to a new area that little is known about. But thanks to a guard that Luka is friends with, we learn that it has made the inmates going inside of it crazy. The author builds suspense by slowly giving the reader little details about the loop and the outside world to not only progress the story, but to keep the reader engaged in the story as well. The most complex character in the story, right now, is Tyco Roth. Every day since Luka has been locked in the loop he says that he is going to kill him. They have never met before their time in the loop and Tyco has been saying it for, seemingly, no reason. But when the inmates are about to go into the new area, instead of just yelling about killing him, he asks Luka what he thinks is going to happen to them. Confusing the reader and building even more suspense about the new place.

Overall, I am really investing into this book and would highly recommend it if you are into the sci-fi genre.

Book review of Monster by Walter Dean Myers

Monster, A novel by Walter Dean Myers, is an enthralling book about a young man’s struggle with the American Judicial society. Steve Harmon, 16, was mixed up in a robbery of a drugstore in which the owner was shot and killed. No one knows who actually pulled the trigger, or even who exactly was involved. Steve is on trial for first degree murder, but in the meantime is locked away in the county prison. The story is told from two different perspectives; the diary in which Steve keeps as a record of his life and time in prison, and as a movie script. The diary and movie script is a very interesting way to quickly shift modes, and to give the reader a chance to speculate as to what is going to happen. With plenty of strong evidence from both sides of the story, and a relentless prosecutor hell-bent on proving Steve guilty, this story is sure to leave you breathless. As the story progresses, the tension builds, and one burning question is stuck bouncing around Steve’s mind: Am I guilty? Read Monster to find out for yourself.

Book review: The Block

The Block, the second book in The Loop trilogy is even more interesting than the first. Luka goes to new places, goes on more adventures, meets new people and obviously almost dies a lot more too. Things get more intense when Happy an AI that sees humans as a cancer steps up its efforts to wipe the final survivors out. I recommend this book to anyone that likes plot twists and adventures.

Book Update and New Changes

Rebound a book by Kwame Alexander goes through the story of Charlie Bell’s life. Charlie and his mother have not had the same relationship ever since his father passed. Charlie and his mother get into a huge fight due to them not being on the same page, the new changes in their life, and other things that are going on in their life. As the summer rolls around Charlie Bell’s mother is fed up and can’t take it anymore so she sends Charlie to live with his grandparents in Washington DC for the summer. After brief talk Charlie’s mother leaves and Charlie finds out his one task to do all summer which is to take care of the lawn.

Gregor Wakes Up as an Insect

I forced myself to read The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka in one sitting on a school night and finished it at 1am. This will, therefore, consequently have great influence on my review.

To begin, the main character, Gregor Samsa, wakes up as an insect. His first instinct is thinking how he is going to go to work. Later on in the story, this proves to be the least of his worries since as the days go by, he still is unable to return into his human form. I would say the story does not necessarily become more compelling as it goes on due to the fact that it is not very plot-oriented, but rather character-focused. It is a classic that one never forgets after reading considering it is really original and widely referenced. The Metamorphosis clearly shows why the term “kafkaesque” emerged.

This is a story I believe everyone should read at least once since it is a classic, it is short (70 pages or so) and it is very influential on other works of art. Although I speak well of it, I am not sure I would exactly recommend it, but maybe that was the effect of reading it in a rush in one sitting. That is where my bias begins to be questioned. Overall, in my opinion, the story deserves its status as a classic, but it is not one of my favorites.

The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey

This is one of the best books I have read in a long time. With a mysterious dystopian world presented right from the beginning, the formatting and storyline will hook you right from the beginning. If you like sci-fi and complex characters, I highly recommend this book. Warning to possible readers, there are a few slightly graphic scenes as this is an apocalypse book. Nothing awful, just your standard fighting-aliens-with-guns type chapters. Overall, the characters are very unique individuals and I enjoyed this book so much. It’s one of a trilogy and I’m working on reading the second book, The Infinite Sea, as we speak.

Ready Player One

While reading Ready Player One I have found that the main character Wade is a more dynamic character than I expected. His passion being Halliday’s Egg Hunt drives his character’s evolution. Over his five years of being a gunter (Someone looking for the “egg”) he is mostly static, but then he shifts dramatically after discovering a key clue in the hunt for Halliday’s egg. This book is an absolute page turner if you give it a chance. I haven’t been able to put it down at some points. You have to read this book.

A Poetic Song About Being Happy: “Walk of life” by Dire Straights

The song “Walk of Life” by Dire Straights in their 1985 album, Brothers in Arms is a very upbeat song that talks about a street musician that is happy with his life despite his seemingly poor circumstances. This song teaches us a lot about being content with our lives and just to be happy. Some lines related to these themes are:

"And after all the violence and double talk
There's just a song in all the trouble and the strife"

"Dedication, devotion
Turning all the night time into the day"

"And after all the violence and double talk
There's just a song in all the trouble and the strife"

To me these lines convey a sense of happiness and joy surrounding Johnny even though he is struggling to “make it pay.” I think the overall message that this song is trying to show us is to be happy with what we have and enjoy life more.

Regretting You

The book Regretting You by Colleen Hoover is an amazing book. The book is in a unique perspective where each chapter switches back between a mother and daughters perspective. In the book their family deals with tremendous loss and have to figure out how to now function individually and as a family. On top of the deaths secrets begin to be uncovered about those who died. Through the different perspective we get to see the mother and daughters different approaches. The book also has a romance factor with both the mother and daughter which makes life both tolerable but more complicated.

While navigating through these hard times the Mother daughter duo have to figure out how to work out their issues and begin to rely on each other without the family falling apart for good. I recommend this book it has so many levels, plot twists, and will keep you entertained and wanting to read more.

The Summer We Drifted

In Jenny Han’s “The Summer I Turned Pretty”, Belly can easily be shown as the most complex character. Throughout the many chapters, she develops in many ways, one of which being her moving on from Conrad, and dating Cam. While this may be out of spite, the two did love each other for the time being. Belly evolves by changing her views on her friends and the people around her, as well as venturing out to find new opportunities for herself.

The most compelling conflict in the book so far is external and between Belly and Conrad. They have been drifting ever since the beginning of summer, and up until now, Belly had loved him. They eventually get into a huge fight after Belly confronts Conrad about his closed off and drifting attitude, and eventually ends up confessing her feelings, which led Conrad to say, “I hate you.”

Monster- book review #2

Monster by Walter Dean Myers

Steve Harmon is put on trial for being an accomplice in a robbery, then murder, in a drug store in Harlem New York. James King, and Richard “Bobo” Evans are also on trial. Bobo and King both claim Steve was involved in the robbery, but he claims he wasn’t even at the drugstore at all. The whole story is written like a screen play for a movie because Steve wants to make movies. but there are also parts in the book written by Steve in his cell. The book has a great way of keeping the reader on edge and wondering what will happen next. It is a very good book for readers who enjoy suspense. And I highly recommend.

The Shining-Second Reading Update

The Shining is a horror novel written by Steven King. I have not finished this book yet, but I am deeply invested in it. Previously, I stated how the book goes into much more depth into the backgrounds of the characters than the movie did which I something I really enjoy. The more I read, the harder it is for me to see Jack start going to a murderous mindset because the book tells us how much of a terrible life he has had and makes us sympathize with him. Because the book is much longer than the film, we only at first see little signs of him going insane, which progressively get worse over time. This makes us fear for Jack’s wife and son, Danny and Wendy. Danny is also progressively getting more haunted by the hotel, luring him closer to his demise. Wendy is also starting to see the dark side of the hotel too, which the film did not cover that much. Overall, it is a very suspenseful but intriguing read.

Music Poetry: Riptide

“Riptide” by Vance Joy is a song about a guy who likes a girl and thinks about her a lot. While the guy likes her, he thinks that she’ll head down a bad path. When he sings,

“Lady, running down to the riptide
Taken away to the dark side
I wanna be your left-hand man”

it basically means that he’s worried that she’ll go down the wrong path and mess up her life. He wants to be there with her not only because he likes her but because he thinks he can keep her from messing up her life. Unfortunately, his love for her seems to become obsessive when he sings,

“I just wanna, I just wanna know
If you’re gonna, if you’re gonna stay
I just gotta, I just gotta know
I can’t have it, I can’t have it any other way”

He also seems to blame most of their relationship’s problems on the girl because of the bad choices she makes, and this convinces him that she’ll always make the wrong choice no matter what. I like how this song progresses because it shows how liking someone can become something toxic, without the person even realizing it.

Paradise, WV (Review 2)

I would say that I’m in the best part of the book. It is the climax of the book. What just happened was that all of the main characters went to investigate their father’s past. Jane went to talk to their dad about his time with the cult, then they went to talk to their grandfather about why he left Harlan as a kid. Henry went to the cult to investigate, but he got kidnapped. This is easily the best part of the book because of how much is going on and how much is revealed. I am almost done with the book, so I’ll see how it all ends soon.

Book Update: Wolf Hollow

Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk is an intriguing novel that follows a 12 year old girl as she grows up during World War II. All of the characters are well written and interesting. As you get further into the book, some of the characters start to change. You see sides of the characters that were not initially introduced, making them round. This makes the book difficult to put down because there is always something new to learn about the characters or the plot. The book is also full of mysteries that are slowly unpacked by the main character as she searches for answers. I am almost done with this book and I can’t wait to see how it ends.

Mortal Man

“Mortal man” by Kendrick Lamar off of the album To Pimp a Butterfly is a story between Kendrick and Tupac about racism and how Tupac was a voice for the black community similar to how Kendrick believes he is a symbol and a new generation voice for black people while also references Nelson Mandela being a voice for anti-racism similar to how Kendrick views himself. In the first few lines it says, 

“The ghost of Mandela, hope my flows they propel it

Let these words be your earth and moon

You consume every message

As I lead this army make room for mistakes and depression

And with that being said my n****, let me ask this question:”

which Kendrick uses “The ghost of Mandela, hope my flow they propel it.” as a metaphor for Kendricks “flows” being his raps and his songs being similar to his own voice for anti-racism like Mandela. Mandela’s views of racism play into Kendricks raps and songs showing that Kendrick is an anti-racism activist like Mandela but with his rap music instead. In the following lines, 

“You consume every message

As I lead this army make room for mistakes and depression”

Showing that Kendricks followers and fans consume his music to the fullest extent and with having that many fans and followers it causes him to make mistakes.

The Heavy Song of a Heavy Heart

The song is “Brutus” by The Buttress, from the album “My Name Means Heavy (demo version)”. It is inspired by the play “The Tragedy of Julius Caesar” by Shakespeare, in which the character Brutus, a friend of Caesar, conspires to kill him with others. The lyrics portray the thoughts of Brutus, his inner turmoil about what he is plotting. One of the overarching, subtle themes in the song is the concept of heavy. The beat is heavy, and the words seem to flow with it, emphasizing in lines like “I hate the air he breathes,” “This death will be art,” “I don’t want what you had, I wanna be you,”. It also ties into the heaviness of Brutus’ thoughts, of murdering his life long friend and his own raw desperation, as in the line “so with a heavy heart I’ll guide this dagger into the heart of my enemy,”. And it all comes together with his name, Brutus, which he states means heavy. This feeling of heavy is intensified by the slow rise in volume over the course of the song.