Weekly Wrap-Up #4

Another week has gone by. I’ve had projects due, more homework, and I read a book (or two). I also lent If I Stay and Fangirl to some friends. Let’s get on to the posts!

On Saturday, I did the TCWT blog chain. It was about my favorite book endings and beginnings. Go see the Teens Can Write, Too blog here. The question was really fun and I had a blast [Does that sound weird?] answering the question. If you have a blog and haven’t done the TCWT chain before, do it!

On Sunday, I reviewed Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, which I loved so much.

On Monday, I introduced 10 simple things to do for a blogger. Dare you to do all ten today! :P

On Tuesday, I participated in Top Ten Tuesday and talked about Banned Books Week. What *banned* books did you read this week?

On Wednesday, I added Chapter Twenty-Three to Nakoma and reviewed Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige. [And my power cord for my computer broke.]

On Thursday, I participated in the first ever linkup for Loony Blurbs, hosted by Emily @ The Loony Teen Writer, whose blog you can see here.

I’m still going at the 100-4-100 challenge…Except I didn’t write yesterday. But I will today! Promise!

Also: I want some beta readers for my novel. I want people who:

  1. Will give me honest feedback.
  2. Will give me constructive criticism.
  3. Know their way around a novel.
  4. Have enough time to be a beta reader.
  5. Enjoy the plot/genre of my novel.
  6. Are supportive.

If you can say YES to at least half of these and are interested, please comment below. I will have to email you each chapter, so be sure you’re comfortable with that. If not, and you still really want to, we can work something out.

Do you participate in TCWT blog chains? Do you like them? Did you read any *banned* books this week? Did you participate in Loony Blurbs? Are you interested in being one of my beta readers? Tell me in the comments below.

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Banned Books Week and Top Ten Tuesday

Thank you to Ava for recommending that I post about Banned Books Week.

This week, Sep. 21-Sep. 27, is Banned Books Week!

What is BBW?

Well, I didn’t know until I looked it up. Here is an overview, straight from their official website.

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community –- librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types –- in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982 according to the American Library Association. There were 307 challenges reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom in 2013, and many more go unreported.

This week celebrates the freedom of reading and, mostly, banned books.

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What types of books are considered banned?

Here are the top three reasons for banned books:

  1. Material considered to be sexually explicit.
  2. Material has offensive language.
  3. Material is “unsuited to any age group.”

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What can I do to celebrate BBW?

Most obviously, read! Read anytime you can, to show others that you can read and you are allowed to. No one can tell you not to. [Except maybe your teacher…] And read banned books. You can find a list of challenged authors from the 21st century, up to 2012, here. J. K. Rowling and John Green make the list! Basically, you can read almost any YA book. Because most contain “offensive language.”

You can also participate in some events. If you live in the USA, here is a list of states and their events.

And you can participate in a Virtual Read-Out. More information about that can be found here.

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For TTT, I decided it would be fun to make a list of [in my opinion] top ten books that should be/are challenged. This doesn’t mean I don’t like them; this is for fun!

TTT is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

TTT is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

My Top Ten Banned Books

1. Paper Towns by John Green

2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

3. If I Stay by Gayle Forman

4. The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare

5. Ink by Amanda Sun

6. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

7. Where She Went by Gayle Forman

8. A Dark Sky by Giselle Rocha

9. The Princess and the Pauper by Kate Brian

10. Geek High by Piper Banks

Sorry I didn’t include pictures. I’m too lazy. XD

This post was extra-long!

[Added after a comment I saw.]

I find the whole concept of BBW to be a joke. These books are normal, everyday books that everyone reads. There’s no point of them being banned, in my opinion.

What are you doing to celebrate Banned Books Week? [BTW, I made up the acronym.] And what books are on your banned books list? Tell me in the comments below.

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Book Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

 Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Title: Fangirl

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Number of Pages: 445

Genre: YA Contemporary

Overall Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Summary From Cover: A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love.

 Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

 Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan…

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words… And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind

Discussion: Right from the start of this book, I was hooked. I. Could. Not. Put. It. Down. [Mind you, there were some slow parts. But I pushed through!] Let’s do this as a list.

  1. Cath. She is super-sweet, and absolutely brilliant. I’m very surprised she’s not a blogger, because as I was reading, I was thinking, Hm, sounds like something Emily would do. Oh! Sam would so do that. Cath is the very definition of “fangirl” and “bookish.” This is Cath talking about Simon Snow. Imagine that she’s saying “Simon Snow” instead of whatever else.mila kunis animated GIF
  2. Cavi/Leth. Those are supposed to be ship names. IDK. :P But I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE Cath and Levi’s relationship. I just wish Cath wasn’t so secretive and closed off sometimes. Grr. Super-introverted people annoy me sometimes. [I couldn’t find a GIF for this, so, whatever.]
  3. The writing. OMG. Have I mentioned before that I love Rowell’s writing? Because I do. It is truly awesome. despicable me animated GIF

This is a really bad review. I’m sorry. I’m kind of rushed, so this is hard. I don’t do well under pressure.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book!

Here are some negatives:

  • I didn’t like when there were excerpts from Simon Snow. They were boring to me. Boring, but clever.
  • It makes college seem really scary! O.O Like, really.
  • There were some slow parts. But only a few.

I recommend this book to people that like:

a) love stories

b) fanfiction

c) fangirling

d) fandoms

and

e) contemporary

This was the lamest book review ever. I promise to try harder next post. Gimme a break, anyway. It’s 9 AM. I haven’t had my tea yet.

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Stacking the Shelves, Marissa Meyer Events, and Book Review of Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

I did some major stacking of shelves today. At Target! It was literally [almost] my entire TBR list. I had to take some off, though. :( The grand total was about $85.

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From top to bottom…

The Book Thief

Eleanor and Park

Fangirl

Dorothy Must Die

The Darkest Minds

Where She Went

I know, I’m behind on all of these! But I’m so excited to finally be able to read them. Since I [somewhat] recently read If I Stay, I’m reading Where She Went first.

I am subscribed to Marissa Meyer’s (the author of The Lunar Chronicles) blog, and today I got an email update of a post. There are a few things about it.

One. Marissa Meyer is releasing Winter in November 2015! Thought it would be sooner? Read on…

Two. She is releasing Fairest, the prequel to The Lunar Chronicles, will be released January 27. That is why! Are you stoked? I’m stoked!!!

Three. This is the greatest, in my opinion. Marissa Meyer is in the Fierce Reads Tour throughout the USA, visiting bookstores with Jessica Brody, Gennifer Albin, and Nikki Kelly! And she is coming to my state near me so I will probably see her!!!! I am sooooooooooooooooooooo happy about this!!!!!!!!!!!! Go here to see the dates for the tour.

Four. This doesn’t concern me, but I though you should know. There is an essay contest with the prompt “With all of the new forms of media appearing every day, how do you think the experience of reading books will change over the next ten years?” The winner will have dinner with Marissa Meyer during the Baltimore Boom Festival. I wish I could participate, but I don’t live near Baltimore. :( Go here for details.

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

Title: Number the Stars

Author: Lois Lowry

Number of Pages: 132

Genre: Historical fiction

Overall Rating: 4/5 stars

Summary From Cover: Ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen and her best friend Ellen Rosen often think of life before the war. It’s now 1943 and their life in Copenhagen is filled with school, food shortages, and the Nazi soldiers marching through town. When the Jews of Denmark are “relocated,” Ellen moves in with the Johansens and pretends to be one of the family. Soon Annemarie is asked to go on a dangerous mission to save Ellen’s life.

Discussion: My English teacher recommended that I read this book, since I had just finished The Giver, which is by the same author. I honestly knew nothing about it. But I judged it by its cover (I know, I know!) and the summary and decided, well, I have nothing else to read–why not give it a try? And, boy, am I so glad I did! I really enjoyed this book.

The first thing I noticed about the book was that it was really short. A lot of Lowry’s books are, though. This can be a good thing or a bad thing. For this book, I was a little bit disappointed that it was this short. It didn’t have as much detail as I would have liked, and I feel like it glanced over some big parts.

It tells the story of Germans invading Denmark. I thought this was an original place to set it, since the Germans invaded so many places. My friend spent the past year in Denmark, so it was cool to learn about its past a little.

The first scene shows Annemarie, the MC, racing her friend Ellen along the street. They bump into some German soldiers, and the story takes off from there. The friendship between Annemarie and Ellen is very sweet and sister-like.

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Overall, I found this book to be very sweet (there it is again!) and heartfelt. Read it!

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Top Ten Books People Have Been Telling You That You MUST Read and If I Stay Book Review

TTT is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

TTT is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

1. The Infernal Devices series

2. The Book Thief

3. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

4. Out of My Mind

5. Trickster’s Choice

6. Eleanor and Park

7. Fangirl

8. Dorothy Must Die

That’s all I can think of! Any other books you really want me to read? Tell me in the comments below. :)

Meanwhile, while the image to the right says I’m reading City of Heavenly Fire, I, uh, actually was reading If I Stay and finished today. I started it last night and finished this afternoon. How awesome is that? And now a bunch of people want to read it, so I’ll be loaning it to some friends. Now on to the book review!

 If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Title: If I Stay

Author: Gayle Forman

Number of Pages: 234

Genre: YA Contemporary

Overall Rating: 5/5 stars

Summary From Cover: On a day that started like any other…

Mia had everything: a loving family, a gorgeous, adoring boyfriend, and a bright future full of music and full of choices. Then, in an instant, almost all that is taken from her. Caught between life and death, between a happy past and an unknowable future, Mia spends one critical day contemplating the only decision she has left–the most important decision she’ll ever make.

Simultaneously tragic and hopeful, this is a romantic, riveting, and ultimately uplifting story about memory, music, living, dying, loving.

Discussion: If there’s any book that gets five stars, it’s this. Because it was so emotional and wonderful and sad and everything. I mean, seriously, it’s a system overload. I read it in less than 24 hours; I was completely hooked. The story is quite unique, and yet something I bet a lot of us think about, yet never think to write about. Maybe it’s too supernatural.

Throughout the story, I was debating whether or not Mia would choose to live. [That is not giving anything away; the trailer for the movie has this in it.] At the beginning, I thought, of course she’ll want to live! But as visitors came by her bedside, telling her to let go if she wants, and how Mia said it’s easier to die then to live, I thought the opposite: that she would die. I changed my mind so much during my reading, but by the end, in the last few pages, my hope for Mia was what she chose.

If I Stay takes place during one day. So it’s hard to write a whole book about it, especially if it’s 24 hours in the life of a somewhat ghost! And that’s why they added the flashbacks. There really wasn’t much backstory leading up to the “big event,” but when Mia is in the hospital, the flashbacks overwhelm the actual happenings. I lost myself in them, forgetting Mia was dying. They really help move the story along and give you insight into the characters lives. I think they are somewhat the root of the story; they hold Mia to earth, in a way.

A great aspect of the story was how vague it was about Mia’s out of body experience. She’s not a ghost, but not a person. She can see herself in the hospital, but isn’t really the girl with tubes attached and blankets on top of her. The reader, and Mia, is never really sure what Mia is. In the beginning, she tries clicking her heels to Hawaii, like a ghost would, but it doesn’t work, and that’s all we know of Mia’s form.

It ended much too soon. I literally was just staring at the page when it ended, gaping.

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And it’s a total cliffhanger!!! I need Where She Went, the sequel!

Other news: Malala Yousafzai’s newest book came in today; I’m picking it up tomorrow. Add it to my TBR list!

I’m on page 431 of CoHF. It’s reaaally good; can’t wait to review it!

Oh, and, right before we go, a really helpful video from Kat the booktuber.

Happy Tuesday!

Chloe

Top Ten Tuesday

TTT is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

TTT is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

It’s that time again: Top Ten Tuesday! This week’s TTT is ten books I cannot wait to get my hands on!

Ten Books I Can’t Wait to Read

1. To Kill a Mocking Bird [It is on my teacher’s shelf!]

2. If I Stay [I got it two days ago.]

3. The Blood of Olympus

4. Winter

5. Dorothy Must Die

6. The Infernal Devices series

7. Graceling

8. Eleanor & Park

9. Fangirl

10. The Book Thief [It slipped through my fingers…]

I can’t wait to read any and all of these!

Also, I did not get to finish Love, Stargirl, because all the library books had to be taken back. The consequences of getting too many books at once… BUT on the bright side, I got two amazing books! One being the recently released City of Heavenly Fire for 25 dollars; it was worth it. And the second, If I Stay. So excited to read it and watch the movie! I hope it lives up to the hype…

Note to self: August TCWT chain is on 22nd for me.

I hope you enjoyed my post! Are there any books on my list you want to read, too, or any books you really want to read that aren’t on it? Tell me in the comments below.

Luv ya bunches! Don’t forget to check out my newly added page, “My Somewhat Social Media.”

C