All American Boys

Ive been reading this book for a while know and I have to say it one of my favorites.The writing is good and the characters are great there is a real undertone in the book about facing racism and facing what is right and what is wrong. I think everyone should pick up this book if they ever get the chance to at the library I will give it a 9/10.

The Loop Reading Update #3

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.

Where I’m at in the book right now, one of Luka’s friends, Wren, who is a security guard, goes crazy while trying to set him, plus a bunch of other cellmates, free. Trying to kill them for no reason at all. Luka manages to contain her in a cell and escapes from the prison into the city. But, life in the city isn’t any better, it’s actually worse. Almost everyone in the city has gone crazy, as well, with the same thing that Wren has mysteriously gotten. So, Luka goes back to the Loop to form a team in order to find out what’s happening to everyone.

The story is definitely starting to amp up the action. I would highly recommend reading this book.

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick Book Review

As with any intense and interesting story, it was a real challenge to put this book down. Matthew Quick did a really nice job of starting off strong, by giving a short but sweet first chapter that outlined the rest of the book. As the story progresses, it highlights real-time action, while also indulging in flashbacks every few chapters. The book follows 17-year-old Leonard Peacock, living in Philadelphia, who is struggling immensely with his mental health. His parents, a one-hit-wonder rockstar and a ludicrously vain fashion designer, refuse to help him or even give him attention. However, he has made a few friends at his school, which is what the story is centered around. In the very first chapter, Quick tells the reader how the book is going to end: Leonard will, with his grandfather’s Nazi P-38 pistol, kill his former best friend and commit suicide. But before that, he will give gifts to each of his 4 friends he made along the way, all on his 18th birthday. The novel shifts from giving backstories of characters to them receiving the gifts in real time, and eventually concludes with the final gift being given, and of course, Leonard’s plan to “go out with a bang”. Overall, this was a really interesting book with a lot of cool characters, and I would definitely recommend it to someone who is looking for something good to read.

Reading Update: Go Ask Alice

Go Ask Alice (anonymous author) follows the story of 15 year old girl named Alice who struggles with reoccurring drug abuse. This book shows her normal day to day life in the form of a diary entry which later describes how she copes with drug addiction and it illuminates the hard times that she faces. In the beginning of the book she talks about her body insecurities and her struggles that she experiences throughout her teen years. I think that Alice is a very complex character because in some chapters/days she wrote in her diary, she would talk about how good life is and how she is extremely happy to be alive. Then she also sometimes talks about how she hates her life and talks about how she is struggling with her mental health. So far, I would definitely recommend this book because it gives a new perspective no one has ever seen before, her life.

The Leavers

The Leavers (by Lisa Ko) starts off by telling us about Deming, who’s the main character. The book starts ten years before his mom died, and shows a moment where he and his mom were on a walk. They were just talking about stuff and laughing about things. Deming explains his relationship with his mom. He explains how he really enjoys spending time with her and how he would always try to make her laugh. It’s nice to see their relationship before she passed away. Even after that, it’s nice to see how she stuck with him .

Everywhere to Look, Nothing to Find

In Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, on the anniversary of the flawless Dunne couple, Amy Dunne goes missing. The entire town searches for the poor woman and as her disappearance does not leave a logical trace, all eyes turn to Nick Dunne, the husband, who has been acting strangely throughout the process of the disappearance of his wife. The novel is formatted in an unconventional manner. The narrative is told by Nick’s perspective, and also through Amy’s old diary entries, both revealing different aspects of the crumbling dynamic of their relationship. Although Nick appears suspicious, the reader is unsure on whether to trust his words or not, as he is the main narrator.

I find Nick quite unlikeable. I prefer to read Amy’s entries, but I do recognize he offers an insightful take on the situation. I usually don’t enjoy reading thrillers, but I am enjoying this one. What I particularly like about Gone Girl is its wit. The observations are very sharp. The language is shocking, raw, and brutally honest, which makes it an enjoyable read. Additionally, I really like that this thriller also focuses on the characters and not simply on its plot.

I am not very far in the story, but I am intrigued to discover what is to come. I am very hopeful about this and looking forward to the “Cool Girl Monologue” that this book is famous for.

Book Review- One of Us Is Lying

Overall, I really liked and recommend One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus. It keeps you interested throughout the whole story, although there are some parts you have to be patient with, especially because the mystery isn’t solved until the end. The sudden, mysterious death of Simon happens at the beginning of the story, and the characters present for it are drawn into the mess that unfolds the rest of the story. Throughout it you learn secrets that contribute to the complexity of the mystery, especially the ones about Simon and the truth behind the sudden death and who was really involved. Almost if not all of the characters featured are dynamic because it really thoroughly describes each individual character’s thoughts along the way. The chapters are set up to rotate through each character’s perspective which also keeps the story very interesting during the entirety of it.

Book Update: Some Marvel comics including a Moon Knight comic

Since the Marvel comic format leaves a lot to be desired from character development and insightful narrative I can’t exactly review them properly, though I’ll gladly review them my way.

I’ve always liked the Marvel comics that play a darker twist on things. Like the comic with Spider Man and a bunch of his clones, where somebody cloned spider man a bunch and then they cloned his dad and gave him the memories of Spider man’s dad, only for Spider Man to find out that all these people coming back to life are just clones, and it really just seems messed up. I also read a Moon Knight comic since the show seemed to be pretty popular, and his whole schtick is that he’s insane, and honestly it was pretty cool, the whole insanity thing I feel allowed for the writers to come up with whatever wacky thing they wanted, because Captain America wouldn’t strap a rocket on his arm and punch a dude, pretty cool comic.

Fresh Ink Choice Reading- Super Human character development

In the coming of age story Super Human by Nicola Yoon, Syrita is a dynamic character who is overwhelmed with and learning from her emotions. She was the first person to ever be saved by the superhero, X, and has been sent to stop him from destroying the world. She first admits that she has changed since being saved: “That’s how Syrita felt about herself too. There was the Syrita she’d been before she was almost killed—rich, frivolous, untouchable. And the Syrita she’d become after, was still becoming, really” (200). Syrita first acknowledges that she is still finding herself and who she is since that traumatic experience happened to her. The visit with X is making her confront a lot of things about herself and her connection with him. Furthermore, she is constantly trying to analyze and understand X to get to the reason why he wants to destroy everything and everyone. “And those black eyes are looking at her with equal parts pain and wrath. She wants to tell him not to be angry, but how can she ask that of him?” (207). She learns that X was shot by police earlier in his life just because of his race, and starts to see a whole new, complex side of him. She realizes that his past experiences are influencing him and his decisions more than she thinks. This allows her to make a big decision that will hopefully bring out the side of him he is losing. “She’s counting on his humanity. She walks over to the edge of the roof and falls backward” (209). Syrita is putting herself at a huge risk to show X that humanity is still valuable, and there is still a lot to live for. Overall, she has to  learn a lot about X and what will convince him to spare the earth during a short period of time, with intense pressure, and everything at risk. There had to be a lot going on for her internally to be able to handle this situation.

“Tags” Static Character Argument

The short story, “Tags” by Walter Dean Myers, is about a group of ghosts that all meet up at a wall to spray paint it in order to keep they’re names and memories alive. One of the protagonists, D’Mario, is a static character because even after he learns about the things he did to one of the other ghosts, J-Boy, he doesn’t care about his situation and doesn’t try to help or comfort him.

J-BOY “I ain’t leaving. You got no power over me, sucker.

D’MARIO “Fool’s dead and still talking smack! And tagging with a spray can. That’s old. You can’t tag with no spray can.”

This scene shows D’Mario’s personality towards other ghosts and how he likes to insult others, even when he’s just meeting them for the first time. His smack-talking personality also shows up when another character, Willie, talks about his death.

D’MARIO “How did you go down?”

. . .

WILLIE “Yeah, and all I wanted to do is get some cigarettes, let the fool know I could have robbed him, and walk out the damned door! but now I’m struggling with this old man and he’s holding onto my gun and crying and begging and carrying on. I ain’t letting the gun go and he ain’t letting the gun go. Then the two sisters come in ans see what’s going on and duck right back out. I think they might be calling the cops or something, so I let go of the gun and punch the old man, and it goes off and hits me in the neck.”

D’MARIO “You killed yourself!”

Even after Willie opens up and shares his story about his death, all D’Mario does is make fun of him, again not caring about his words or actions. Even during emotional moments, D’Mario doesn’t care about his actions, or the people around him. This type of characteristic appears again later towards the end of the story where he finds out that he had killed one of the ghosts that were also in the room with him,

J-BOY (Reaches for D’MARIO but goes through him) “You killed me, m***er***r! You killed me! you killed me!”

. . .

D’MARIO “Man, I didn’t know what was going on. It was an accident!” . . . “You can’t do nothing to me now. I can’t do nothing to you. It’s too late. The shit is over. We can’t turn it back.”

This scene is the most key evidence that D’Mario is a static character because after J-Boy breaks down in a state of emotional distress, learning that D’Mario killed him, all D’Mario says to him, is that J-Boy being killed, is just life. Never once apologizing for his actions, or comforting him as he breaks down crying.

“Tags” Argumentative Essay

The short story, “Tags” by Walter Dean Myers presents the ghost of Big Eddie as a round and dynamic character. To start off, Big Eddie is shown to have emotions inside of himself, even though he is in the afterlife. The story is set in a place where the dead walk upon the living, with “Tags” being the way people could remember the deceased. Big Eddie confirms this by saying, ‘”When that old dude told me you could still be in the world as long as people kept you in their minds, I knew what I had to do. They see these tags and they remember”‘ (Pg.74). Eddie explains how he knows that if someone makes tags, people in the non-deceased world remember them. This reveals how Big Eddie is someone who has hidden emotions by hinting that he fears being forgotten in the world, further developing his character. Additionally, Big Eddie explains how he died, which is able to make the reader to figure out more clues about the character. Big Eddie claims, ‘”I told this dude to meet me in the park and he said okay. When he showed with the money, I tried to take him off, and he flashed a badge on me.’ ‘A cop.’ ‘Yeah. I had my piece out and was about to hit the dude, when his partner shot me”‘ (Pg.74-75). Big Eddie opens up that he was someone who was killed by a police officer for selling drugs and attempted assault. This unlocks the fact that Big Eddie was someone who was caught up in the criminal lifestyle and paid the heavy price. This is able to make Big Eddie much less admirable, but a much more depth character. To finish off, Big Eddie is able to show more feelings about himself, unlocking a new door in his mind. In the story, different characters are explaining to each other how they died, with a few of them freaking out about what happened. Big Eddie does not freak out but he does say this, “‘Being alive ain’t tagging. Being alive is walking the damned streets, and making love, and listening to some music. This is just hanging on to what you know already is gone. This ain’t nothing like no life”‘ (Pg.83). Eddie realizes that this life in the afterworld is much more than being alive. This predicts that Big Eddie regrets his actions that caused him his death. He realizes that the rest of his afterlife is in shame and pain. He can never go back, which makes the reader come back to respect him once again because he is ashamed of his actions. These pieces of evidence prove that Big Eddie from “Tags” is a round character in the story.

A Boy’s Duty “Next Year”

It’s been a while since I visited the cafe. I also haven’t seen my old friends since the last day before I left to join the Navy. I have three more years and then I’m off to college. I’ve met so many new people here in the Navy. Mostly People were sent here by their fathers because they weren’t behaving or didn’t have the money to get their kids through college. I’ve still been working on paintings and work. A new opportunity has opened up for me to show my paintings at a show. David a guy I met here says he would be happy to show my work at a show. “Are you ready for the big day? only three weeks left.” He says to me. “Yup, the painting is almost ready for the show,” I respond knowing I am not 3/4 of the way there. I’m hoping the painting sells well that way I can show that I can show my father that there’s more to life than a farm and I also need the money. I continue working on my painting It’s hard finding time to work on it for multiple hours. It’s not easy balancing between working on the painting and being in the Navy.
Three hours until the show and I finished my painting yesterday. I go to check into the show in the lobby of the local Marriot. “Table number 5, 3rd row.” The lady says to me when I walk in. I’m surrounded by art work that glows and sticks out. It is gonna be hard to get mine notice. After the long five hours I spent telling people about my work saying the same 3 lines, they announce whose art work sold for the most. “Congratulations, to all the contestants but now to reveal the biggest earning. The painting that sold for the most is Mr. Zakary in row 3.” I go to collect the money and think about what I will do with it. I know I will save most of it and it is also nice to have this money going into college.

Coming of Age in “Be Cool for Once”

In “Be Cool for Once”, the author makes Shirin a dynamic (though still very cliche) character, by using the difficult decision coming of age trope. Shirin is at a concert for her favorite band when she sees her crush, Jeffery. At the beginning of the story, she is terrified of having to speak to him because she lacks confidence in herself. “And that’s when he caught Shirin staring. Shirin jolted, then froze, an electron trapped in the beam of a microscope. Her location known, she couldn’t move.” (57). This establishes Shirin’s fearful attitude about Jeffery at the beginning of her character. Without this anxious starting point, there wouldn’t be room for the growth that comes later.

After talking to him for a little bit, Shirin builds up the courage to confess her feelings. However, she still isn’t fully confident in herself. “‘Jeffery I have been in love with you since forever.’… ‘I’m going to leave, and you’re not going to follow me, can you do that?’… Shirin didn’t turn around as she left, because she didn’t think she could bear it.” (66). Here, Shirin starts to grow by confessing her feelings to Jeffery, but she still hasn’t completely overcome her fear, because she left as she was too scared to see what Jeffery would say. This marks the halfway point in her evolution as a character.

Finally, at the end of the night, Shirin finally overcomes her fear and summons the bravery to talk to Jeffery after confessing her feelings. She learns that the feeling is mutual and ends up kissing him. “Jeffery smiled from ear to ear. Shirin returned the grin. She took his hand and pulled him outside… ‘Come on,” she said. ‘We’ve got a date with a band.’” (70). Shirin has fully completed her arc of growth through a difficult decision, as she kissed Jeffery and held his hand confidently, without any of her previous fear. Through making a difficult decision and overcoming her fear, she was able to become confident around Jeffery and leave behind the stress of her previous self. The difficult decision trope allows Shirin to develop as a character, making her a dynamic protagonist.

Tags Argument

In the short story “Tags” the story is about a couple of boys that are into graffiti but they also live in a dangerous area where many of them make illegal deals with people. Many of the people in there town carry guns including them. In tags there is a character named Willie who is a dynamic character. Towards the start he is very relaxed with the lines, “Yeah. This your first wall tonight?” on page 73 showing that they are going to spray paint multiple walls that night. Also in the line, “No, I ain’t scared. You know some dudes just give up, but I ain’t stopping, man. I got to hold on. How about you?” on page 74 shows that even if it starts to get dangerous he won’t stop the graffiti. But, later on in the story he starts to get amped up and started to exert more feelings in the lines, ” On a humble! I went into this bodega to get some cigarettes, and the owner-this old fucking dude-is eyeing me like I’m fixing to steal something. So just out of spite, I put my gun in his face. He panicked and started saying something in Spanish and English about “just take the money.” But he grabs hold of my nine and he’s afraid to let it go.” on page 79 and the lines, “Yeah, and all I want to do is get some cigarettes, let the fool know I could have robbed him, and walk out the damned door! But now I’m struggling with this old man and he’s holding on to my gun and crying and begging and carrying on. I ain’t letting the gun go and he ain’t letting the gun go.Then two sisters come in and see what’s going on and duck right back out. I think they might be calling the cops or something, so I let go of the gun with one hand to punch the old man, and it goes off and hits me in the neck.” also on page 79. In another line it shows that he can’t even finish the story due to him getting emotional, “No! The old man had his finger on the trigger! The shot broke something in my neck and I didn’t feel anything. I know I was on the ground and… (Willie is breathing heavily as he remembers the moment.) I thought I was just hurt bad. When the ambulance guys got there and looked me over, right away they started making nice-nice to the dude who shot me, trying to make him feel better. Then they put me in a bag and started… (Willie can’t continue.)” These lines show the fact that Willie can get very emotional and very heated fast just due to a memory

A Boy’s Duty

A Boy’s Duty : by Sharon G. Blake

Zakary James, the main character of “A Boys Duty” ( by Sharon G. Blake) is a  character whose goal solidifies through hardship, which makes him a dynamic character. Zakary was a sixteen year old when he left his father’s farm to pursue his dream of becoming a professional map maker. Unlike other kids his age who leave home, Zakary wasn’t running away, he was running towards his goals. Zakary demonstrates his commitment to his dreams many times in the story. One example is where he is offered money and doesn’t take it because he doesn’t see himself as homeless or a person whom would take a handout (Blake, 127). Zakary is different from his friends because he doesn’t steal, he finds a place to live, and he earns his keep. There is a turning point for Zakary when his friends rob the café Zakary lives in. At first he runs with them to avoid the police, but then realizes this won’t help him achieve his goals. Instead he goes back to the café and takes responsibility for his actions (Blake, 131-132). Zakary chooses hardship to fulfill his dreams, and doesn’t take the easy way out like his friends by stealing because he feels like that’s giving up on his dream. Zakary´s dynamic shift is the process of holding onto his dreams through adversity.

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.

“Sing About Me, I’m Dying Of Thirst”

by Kendrick Lamar -album “Good Kid” 2012 http://genius.com

this sing was part of the album “Good Kid” from 2012, this song towards the start talks about how foster kids are treated, what they went through, and how they get around. In this song it has a many key hints that this song could be poetic for example, “Tired of running, tired of hunting. My own kind.” this line shows how many African Americans that go through the system our scared of what they have to face to get around. “These foster homes, I run away and never do miss’em.” this quote is a powerful view on how the system for foster kids can be ruff and sometimes very uncaring, and cruel. “Am i worth it? Did i put enough work in?” this quote really shows how the system can make kids minds warm into thinking they are never good enough.

Analyzing Music Dying: “American Pie”

The song that shows poetry is “American Pie” by Don McLean. This shows poetry in the way that the song has a deeper meaning. The first example is the line

Can Music save your mortal soul?

That is saying that Music is the replacement for religion. The song starts off with him as a boy delivering papers and talks about how music had died.

I can't remember if I cried 
When I read about his widowed bride, 
But something touched me deep inside, 
The day the music died

This expresses emotion and uses the literary device of Imagery when talking about delivering the paper. The line “

Oh, and as I watched him on the stage, 
My hands were clenched in fists of rage
No angel born in Hell
Could break that Satan's spell
And as the flames climbed high into the night
To light the sacrificial rite
I saw Satan laughing with delight
The day the music died

That line says that the devil must have had something to do with music dying and how it was such a tragedy.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid The Long Haul

The Long Haul is a book written by Jeff Kinney. This book is about Greg Heffley and his family. After Greg’s mom sees an idea about going on adventurers in her parenting magazine she wants to make that a reality. Their journey starts off full of promise, then quickly takes several wrong turns. From a gas station bathroom, crazed seagulls and a runaway pig. This trip is not what Greg would call ideal. But even the worst road trip can turn into a great adventure.

Book Update: Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

I’ve been reading the Hitchhiker’s Guide for the last few weeks, about up to page 155, and it is a comedy book without a doubt, there are a few jokes I don’t understand due to the characters being British and the author being British but other than that the book has been hilarious. So far the earth has been blown up to construct a galactic super-highway, the president of the galaxy stole the fastest ship in the galaxy, and two nuclear missiles have been turned into a sentient pot of petunias and a blue whale. The book is awesome and I’d recommend it 100%.