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: Where She Went by Gayle Forman

WARNING: Please only read this review if you’ve read If I Stay. It contains a major spoiler.

Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Title: Where She Went

Author: Gayle Forman

Number of Pages: 260

Genre: YA Contemporary

Overall Rating: 4/5 stars

Summary From Cover: It’s been three years since Mia walked out of Adam’s life.

And three years he’s spent wondering why.

When their paths cross again in New York City, Adam and Mia are brought back together for one life-changing night.

Adam finally has the opportunity to ask Mia the questions that have been haunting him. But will a few hours in this magical city be enough to lay their past to rest, for good – or can you really have a second chance at first love?

Discussion: Woah. Just, woah. This book has everything, just like If I Stay. I went back and reread my review of it, and I noticed that they are very similar. I do think I like the first book more, though.

Where She Went is told in the perspective of Adam, and it is three years after the accident. They’ve broken up and gone their separate ways, Adam with his band, and Mia to Juilliard. In three years, we can see right away that Adam has changed. He’s smoking, taking pills to prevent panic attacks, and touring with his band, which is now famous. And Mia? She’d out of the picture. Adam has a cliché, stereotypical, celebrity girlfriend, whom I despised from the beginning.

But back to Adam. Frankly, I really didn’t like him. As Mia puts so nicely, he’s become a guy. He’s a jerk, and definitely a celebrity I would think ugh at. I found his POV to be very whiny and annoying and bratty.

Enter Mia. This is when I really got into the book. Adam decides to go see one of Mia’s concerts, and they end up seeing each other afterword. Mia is now sophisticated and angry at Adam, and, like him, famous. Except in a totally different genre. I was disappointed with how edgy she’s gotten, less naïve. Which might be for the better, but I missed Old Mia.

So now I’ve just said a ton of negative things. And I actually like this book! It did a good job with feeling, just like If I Stay, and the plot was just as intriguing. But the ending. Just like the last one.

shocked animated GIFI’ll use the same GIF to make my point.

If you have read If I Stay, I do recommend reading the sequel. The storytelling is pretty amazing, and there are plot twists everywhere.

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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