Lord of the Flies (book update)

I have just started reading this novel, yet I can already tell it is going to be good. Aside from it being a classic and well renowned book, the story is very intruding and as long as you can get past the somewhat old writing style, I think it is well worth the read.

In case you are unfamiliar, the book is about the group of English school boys who have just survived a plane crash. This crash leaves them stranded on an island, where they attempt to create a democratic society amongst themselves. This all works out at first, but what happens by the end is a violent and chaotic tale about how laws and rules can come crashing down very quickly without proper morals or intentions.

Lavinia by Ursula K. Le Guin

In this book by Ursula K. Le Guin, Lavinia, a side character from the Aeneid, is given a whole plot. She becomes a person with emotions and thoughts and a role to play, instead of just Aeneas’ wife. This book showcases the world even before Rome was built, and goes deep into culture and the inner workings of a city during times of trouble. Overall, the story manages to take many characters and make every single one of them fleshed-out and alive. Definitely worth a read.

The Summer I Turned Pretty Book Review

Jenny Han’s, “The Summer I Turned Pretty” was a great read. The book hooks you in from the beginning by introducing the reader to complex characters in a short amount of time, all of which are really easy to fall in love with. The tension between Belly and the boys is prominent from the beginning, which helps make almost all of the characters complex and dynamic, all coming with their own personal backstory.

The plot of the story thickens as Belly has her best-friend Taylor come for a visit, forcing tension with Taylor and Jeremiah, and Belly and Conrad.

Belly is left with the choice between Cam, Conrad, and Jeremiah, which she struggles to pick throughout the book

Towards the end of the summer, when the teens find out about Susannah’s sickness, readers are left on a cliffhanger about what Susannah is going to do to either combat her illness, or accept her fate.

Overall, I recommend this read to anyone who likes an easy read, multiple perspectives, a beachy setting, and a lot of romance.

Six of Crows reading update #2

The book Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo is an enthralling adventure that makes you wish you had more time to sit down and read. I almost finished with this fantasy novel and would highly recommend to anyone looking for a new adventure to follow and a new world to be introduced to. The story revolves around six older teenagers, who work as a team for the sole purpose of pulling of a very risky heist. What makes this story even more complicated though, is that each chapter is told by a different one of them and you get to know them and their backstories very well. The author makes this a funny, but also serious adventure that focuses on love, revenge, and greed as they navigate their lives in a magical world.

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.

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.

“Ride” By 21 Pilots

“Ride”Blurryface by 21 Pilots is a song to conceptualize, but the theme is also directly implied. I believe it is up for concept because of its indirectness in some areas of the song as the artist uses personification on objects such as the sun to create metaphors of what i infer is the song artists minds and complex thinking. The literary devices used in the indirect areas of the song makes it feel powerful and gives you the same feeling of complex thinking that the artists could be trying to get the consumers/ audience to relate to. I also believe it is directly implied because the 21 pilots are literally explaining their thoughts, feelings and complex feelings within the lyrics.

My concept of the song is a deep indication on the artists minds and complex thinking because of the first (indirect) six striking lines in the lyrics . ” i just wanna stay in the sun where i find, i know its hard sometimes. Pieces of peace in the sun’s peace of mind, i know it’s hard sometimes. Yeah, i think about the end just way too much, but its fun to fantasize” These lyrics indicate that the song is up for complex conception and the show the speakers wanting of what i infer is to stay on earth ( “i just wanna stay in the sun”) and is aware of the troubles and small “pieces of peace” but has the understanding that it will come to an end and is ready for it (“But its fun to fantasize”).

“I’d die for you” that’s easy to say, We have a list of people that we would take, A bullet for them, a bullet for you, A bullet for everybody in this room, But I don’t seem to see many bullets coming through, See many bullets coming through, Metaphorically, I’m the man But literally, I don’t know what I’d do

“I’d live for you” and that’s hard to do, Even harder to say, when you know it’s not true, Even harder to write, when you know that’s a lie, There were people back home who tried talking to you, But then you ignore them still, All these questions they’re for real, like “Who would you live for?” “Who would you die for?”
And “Would you ever kill?”

These lyrics indicate that the song is quite direct, and with this, the artists or audience may believe the theme of the song “Ride” is about the journey of life. Throughout the song, the artist’s lyrics indicate that he feels like dying is easy, but to find something or someone to live for is life’s challenge, also relating to the quote “easier said than done” by an extent.

The Watchmen-Review and Analysis (No Spoilers)

The Watchmen is a graphic novel collection Written by Alan Moore

Alan Moore greatly shows the superhero genre in a way that has not been seen much before, most but one of the characters aren’t actually super, creating an interesting and human dynamic that allows readers to deeply connect with the characters.

Speaking of characters, the book has really greatly developed characterization as well, each character being unique and different from others in a very notable and memorable way, each with their own quirks and talents, covering each area of what a hero could be. There are those who are dark anti-hero vigilantes, those who inherited the act of heroism despite disliking the idea, and those who are treated as celebrities and famous icons.

It also captures the regular life aspect of the characters as well, featuring returning side characters who help to move the story forward without taking part in any heroic or villainous actions, such as the news vendor, who have a fair share of memorable moments as well. The book has no clear protagonist, rather it follows each character as they live in a large metropolitan city.

The book is regarded as one of the best current superhero comics of all time, and it certainly holds up to these standards. It feels memorable, has unique characters, a thematic art style, and well fitted cultural events that can be related to regardless of who the readers are.

8/10, have not finished it yet but am excited to see how it ends. Would recommend.

Sweet and Bitter Magic Review

Novel written by Adrienne Tooley

Sweet and Bitter Magic was a book I planned to read for a long time, and I knew what to expect from the book, thanks to it being popular on ‘booktok’. My bars are set high for any book, but particularly queer books, especially fantasy and queer. There were many plot twists and it was very creative for a common prompt. The plot and characters created by Adrienne Tooley are amazing. Her work hooked me instantly, and inspired me to start writing my own books again. I really hope we get more books from Adrienne Tooley soon, especially with Tamsin, Wren and Marlena

The Hate U Give: Book Update

Author: Angie Thomas

In my opinion, the most compelling internal and external conflict in the book “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas, is Starr’s conflict. Starr feels as she needs to “code switch” between Williamson Starr, her more kept away less “ghetto” version of herself, and her regular Starr, just her. Externally, Starr’s actions and the way she would handle things are very different when code switching. She makes a promise to herself to never ever let anyone see her as “ghetto” or “loud”.

Starr consistently claims that being cool as a black girl is different than being cool as a white person at Williamson, and since her school is dominantly white, she has to code switch. I believe that the internal conflict that connects with this is the way Starr didn’t really have the energy to code switch after the incident. She kept getting angry with people at school for making racist remarks and the subtle microaggressions. Usually, she would let it pass, but since shes been dealing with it so long internally and the incident, it all just came spilling out. Starr felt alone, embarrassed and confused because she felt as no one would understand her, she felt as she was betraying the black community, and she felt as all her hard work and energy she put into code switching was all for nothing because she had now been officially seen as “The angry black woman”. Stereotypical.

The book builds tension by explicitly describing the way Starr feels about her actions and code switching. The narrator is from Starr’s POV making the book more interesting and easier to connect with when her thoughts, emotions, and feelings are shared. Angie Thomas also leaves space for the reader to infer what she is thinking.

Book review: Binti

Binti” by Nnedi Okorafor follows the story of the main character, Binti. Binti is about a 16 year old girl who gets accepted into a university named Oomza Uni. Her parents are pressuring her not to go and stay on her planet because of her culture and customs. She decides to do what she thinks is best for herself and goes against her parents wishes. On the way to Oomza Uni, she encounters challenges and conflicts that she could never imagine. In the beginning of the book it gives a tremendous amount of details and descriptions of the futuristic world they live in. I would definitely recommend this book because if someone doesn’t like reading longer books, this book is short, profound, and entertaining.

The Loop Reading Update

The Loop, by Ben Oliver, takes place in the future where 1 man and the government control everything about people’s lives and even the environment. The book follows a 16 year-old named Luka Kane who’s been wrongly imprisoned in a nightmarish prison where the prisoners are tested on horrible experiments, brutally tortured, and in solitude everyday until they die.

So far, I have been really invested into this book because of the extreme setting that the main character lives in and it’s interesting how he is able to survive and keep going, even though he has been stuck in there for 2 years. I like how the author doesn’t tell the reader why Luka was falsely imprisoned in the first place, and instead takes time to introduce the setting and all the characters.

Overall, I would highly recommend this book if you are into the sci-fi genre.

Did he jump.. or was he pushed..?

Harry Dolan, the author of Bad things happen, completely hooks you from the start with the first scene being the main character buying items from a store to conceal a MURDER. You are introduced to a cunning and calculated killing pair who will stop at nothing to not get caught. This is a very interesting book so far but takes a while to get into the plot because it starts out very messy and complicated. Although, this book definitely introduces you to a new world because it takes you into a perspective that many people never consider. The mind of a killer. These characters explore every single outcome until something sinister happens….

The Fault In Our Stars

The book The fault In Our Stars follows the story of a teenager hazel who is living with cancer. Hazel doesn’t see her cancer as a battle to Hazel cancer is reality. The fault In our stars is a love story between too teenagers who have the constant reminder of death and loss always with them.

Gus and Hazel’s relationship (the two main characters) is so unique and special and it shows in the story. The book not only focusing on their love story but it focuses on bigger ideas and questions. On their journey they experience Loss, hopelessness, and illness while the story also questions everything. The word that Hazel would use to describe their time together would be simply “honest”. Honest is truly the perfect way to describe their lives. Even though these characters are fiction the story it follows is completely honest. Gus and hazel both know what it’s like to live with cancer but even though it is their story we also see how cancer has impacted the people around them.

I recommend this book. It was a really easy book to get into. It was entertaining and inspiring.

The Summer I Turned Pretty

The Summer I Turned Pretty” by Jenny Han centers around the main character, Belly. Belly is completely obsessed with summer, so when her mom’s friend, Susannah, invites Belly and her family to their beach house each year, she is ecstatic. Belly is accompanied by her mom, brother (Steven), Susannah, and Susannah’s children, Jeremiah and Conrad. Isabel (Belly) Concklin has loved Conrad since she was a little kid, and although Conrad, Jere, and Steven treat her like a sister, she loves each one of them in a different way.

From the beginning, readers are hooked. The descriptive setting of their shared beach house makes readers want to be there with the 4 “siblings.” The apparent love triangle between Belly, Jere, and Conrad always leaves you wanting to know what happens next between the three of them.

The new world presented in the book is called “Cousins.” This is where the beach house that the two families reside in for the summer is located. The author makes you want to be able to visit Cousins as it’s portrayed as a beautiful stretch of land with beaches, whales, boardwalks, and so much other stuff to do! Overall the book has been really interesting and fun to read so far.

Internment by Samira Ahmed

Internment by Samira Ahmed is a beautifully written book that is intended to both educate and scare the reader. Not in the sense that it is terribly violent (though it does have its scenes), but it is a projection of the future based off of America’s history.

The main character is Layla Amin, a seventeen-year-old Muslim American. Her family is forced into an internment camp with other Muslims, forcing Layla to leave her life behind, and the conditions there are very bad. Due to this, Layla and a few of her new friends decide that they want to fight back against the Director.

I highly recommend reading this book, it was eye opening and inspiring, and the characters are well developed with incredible motivations and personalities. It only took me a few days to read because of how well it hooks the reader. It is 275 pages long.

Reading Update/Review #1

*Remember, avoid spoilers as much as possible, since your thoughts might inspire others to pick up the book.

The must-haves: create a post about your independent reading. See below for posting options. Also, make two comments on your classmates’ posts. Comments can be brief but they need to have substance, not just saying you like it (there’s actually a button for that).

If you have not completed your book during the past two weeks, post a reading update of at least one paragraph based on the reading focus for this week, which is Beginnings. Answer the following questions, explaining your answers:

  • How does the book hook you from the beginning? Or does the reader need a little patience? Why?
  • How does the book immerse you in a new world? What are some details of that world?

or

If you completed a book, post a book review of at least one paragraph, which will include answers to some the following (these questions avoid questions of plot, which will help you avoid spoilers):

  • How does the book hook you from the beginning? Or does the reader need a little patience? Why?
  • How does the book immerse you in a new world? What are some details of that world?
  • What is the most complex character or characters in the book? What makes them round and dynamic?
  • What are the compelling internal and external conflicts in the book? How does the book build tension?
  • Would you recommend this book to any reader? Would you recommend it to particular readers? Why?