TCWT Blog Chain

[Click the image to go to their blog.]

I know I said I’d post this tomorrow, the actual day, but I got tired… Lesson learned! I will now try to not post as much on one day.

So the topic for this month’s chain is “What are your favorite book beginnings and/or endings?” Before I went to sleep last night, I wrote down some notes for myself to remember in the morning. Those will be helping me!

Let’s start with the obvious–beginnings.

These are all of my favorites! So I’ll say the book title, what I like about the beginning, and perhaps a quote.

The Book Thief–The beginning  is so original and funny and intriguing, and it just hooks you.

First the colors.

Then the humans.

That’s usually how I see things.

Or at least, how I try.

And the title of the first chapter is “Death and Chocolate.” I mean, come on. How can you not like that?

Harry Potter–Yet again, a hook. And the first sentence doesn’t necessarily talk about Harry; it talks about the Dursleys and their normality. Which is great, I think.

The Lightning Thief–It’s funny! Everything about Percy Jackson and the Olympians is funny, because Percy is narrating it. Duh. :P

City of Bones–I believe someone else talked about this already, but whatever. You see a blue haired buy in the beginning, who Clary thinks is cute, and then [SPOILER ALERT] he turns out to be a demon and is killed after a few pages. Ah, the irony of life. And then the killer of the demon turns out to be Clary’s boyfriend, even though she hates him and thinks he’s evil in the beginning.

I Am Malala–Honestly, I just love the first two sentences.

I come from a country that was created at midnight. When I almost died it was just after midday.

Is that cool-sounding or what?

The Fault in Our Stars–This one is obvious. The first sentence, which is a paragraph, is all about how Hazel’s mom thinks she’s depressed, and what she makes her do. It opens us up to Hazel’s character and voice and life. Brilliant, I think.

Now, the endings. I don’t like endings that much. They mean the book, or series, is over. No more. Nada. I will be so sad when I get to the end of the Blood of Olympus, because then it will be over. For reals. No more funny Percy, or smart Annabeth, or cocky Jason, or adorable Leo, or mysterious Hazel, or baby-face Frank, or charm-speaking Piper. :'(

However, I do love the ending for Harry Potter, because of the epilogue. Most of my favorite endings have epilogues–I just love ’em. They tie everything up all neat and tidy, with sweet families and children. [Contrary to my love of epilogues, I don’t think Nakoma will have one. Sorry!]

So now my dad is saying I have to get up, because today is my sister’s birthday party and I have to help out. It’s Harry Potter themed! I’m going to sort people. :)

Here are the rest of the amazing people linking up for TCWT:

7th – http://vergeofexisting.wordpress.com/
8th – http://zarahoffman.com/
9th – http://thelittleenginethatcouldnt.wordpress.com/
10th – http://www.elizamcfarlish.weebly.com/
11th – http://sammitalk.wordpress.com/
12th – http://irisbloomsblog.wordpress.com/
13th – http://musingsfromnevillesnavel.wordpress.com/
14th – http://fantasiesofapockethuman.blogspot.com/
15th – http://miriamjoywrites.com/
16th – http://magicandwriting.wordpress.com/
17th – http://ttkesley.wordpress.com/
18th – http://www.brookeharrison.com/
19th – http://www.freeasagirlwithwings.wordpress.com/
20th –
http://roomble.wordpress.com/
21st – http://unikkelyfe.wordpress.com/
22nd – http://erinkenobi2893.wordpress.com/
23rd – http://butterfliesoftheimagination.wordpress.com/
24th – http://lillianmwoodall.wordpress.com/
and http://www.paperdaydreams.com/
25th – http://write-where-you-are.blogspot.de/
and http://theedfiles.blogspot.com/
26th – http://insideliamsbrain.wordpress.com/
and http://anmksmeanderingmind.wordpress.com/
27th – http://semilegacy.blogspot.com/
and http://dynamicramblings.wordpress.com/
28th – http://oliviarivers.wordpress.com/
and http://randommorbidinsanity.blogspot.com/
29th – http://theloonyteenwriter.wordpress.com/
30th – http://thelonglifeofalifelongfangirl.wordpress.com/
and http://teenscanwritetoo.wordpress.com/ (We’ll announce the topic for next month’s chain.)

Love y’all to the moon an back. <3 Thanks again for 50 followers.

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Book Review: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Title: The Book Thief

Author: Markus Zusak

Number of Pages: 552

Genre: YA Historical fiction

Overall Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Summary From Cover: [This is actually the summary from Goodreads, and it’s not on the cover.]

It’s just a small story really, about, among other things, a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery.

Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist: books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids – as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.

This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.

Discussion: First the end. Then the beginning. [If you caught the reference, points to you!]

I finished this book today in science class. I read the last sentence, those last words, those last letters, and basically stared. I cried. [You know (or should know) that I do not cry when I read. So this is rare. But it wasn’t full-out weeping, just some tears.] When one of my friends tried to ask me a question, I yelled at him. And my friends were like, What the heck?

sad animated GIF

Before I read The Book Thief, I read reviews about it. Mostly everyone said it was terribly sad. So when I started the book, I expected it to be absolutely devastating and heartbreaking and blah. But it wasn’t! It was funny, and mysterious, and intriguing. Still, halfway through, I didn’t understand how it was sad. I mean, come on. TFIOS is sad. But this? Psh. I basically rolled my eyes and mocked people’s sensitivity.

Ha, Chloe. Ha! Listen to the reviews next time. Don’t mock. Don’t roll your eyes. They’re right.

So if you go into this book thinking it’s not sad, the please reread this and every other review, because: IT IS SAD. And there is nothing you can do about it.

Besides being sad, this book is beautiful. I had my doubts at the beginning, but, OMG.

The characters. Liesel is the past equivalent of a book blogger. She needs words. And she will do anything to get them. They feed her soul, and although she starts as an illiterate ten-year-old girl, traumatized and confused, she turns into a fourteen-year-old young woman who relishes words and writes like nobody’s business.

Hans, Liesel’s adoptive father. I love the descriptions of his silver eyes. Not only does he too love words and teaches Liesel how to read, but he loves music. He plays the accordion magnificently [or so I’m told]. Hans seems like a wonderful father with such a kind heart.

Rosa, Liesel’s adoptive mother. She’s a witch most of the time. Yet she loves Liesel and Hans. The scene with her holding the accordion is so human and shows Rosa’s true colors.

The narrator. The narrator is an interesting choice by the author. It is, quite obviously, Death. It is appropriate, in my opinion, to have Death as the narrator, because what happened a lot in WWII? Death. But I still don’t fully understand why Death chose to focus on Liesel’s story, out of the billions of stories of people in the world.

The setting. Yes, there are a bajillion books and stories about WWII. But many of them are set in the US, or some other country in Europe, or somewhere close to Hitler. But this book is set on a street in Germany, a poor, ordinary street, with ordinary residents who play soccer in the street, steal, and just are pretty ordinary. There aren’t spies, or tons of Jews, or anything really special. Just a street.

I loved this book to pieces, but even awesome books have problemos. This book’s? Read…

  • A LOT of parts were slow, and I found myself thinking, Oh, I should read…but it’s so boooring. I had to force myself to read it a lot!
  • I wasn’t so psyched about the narrator.
  • The ending. It’s just, GOD.

Have you read The Book Thief? Did you cry? Tell me in the comments below.

BTW, just got 51 followers! Thanks so much. :) Love y’all.

I am posting for the third time today [Sorry!], and it is the TCWT blog chain, about book beginnings and endings.

Bye now.

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Weekly Wrap-Up #3

Hello there! Another week’s gone by, and I am tired. A lot has happened this week, and not just in the blogosphere.

  1. I started to [finally] feel the weight of projects and homework. At my school, we have this one period of about one to two weeks where we get a bunch of end-of-the-unit projects that count for a majority of a grade. As you can probably conclude from this statement, life at school gets a little hectic during this time. Not only did we have about a project per class [or more!], our teachers also decided to pile up the homework.
  2. We got new songs in my choir! As you may know, I am in a choir, and yesterday we just got new music! I am a soprano II. We are singing Christmas songs! In September! Which is crazy! In Carol of the Bells, the soprano II’s mostly sing “ding…dong…ding…dong…” over and over. Fun stuff. :) But I still love choir.
  3. I have concluded that I will probably get a new phone soon. Why? Because my phone sucks. It’s three years old. Its battery life is unbelievable. It hardly has any space. Need I say more? Hopefully I’ll get an iPhone 5c soon-ish. :D
  4. I am going to give The Hunger Games a second chance. I guess this is a bit bloggish, but whatever. Thanks to Engie and the Mockingjay Part 1 trailer, I am going to reread the books and catch up on the movies before Mockingjay Part 1 comes out. It’s my mission!
  5. I found out that I will be gone on October 7th. Which is just short of a tragedy. Or maybe it is a tragedy. Because I will be camping in a cabin in the woods with NO WiFi and NO heating and, worst of all, NO mail service to deliver my beautiful copy of The Blood of Olympus, which will be arriving that day. Which means I can’t read it, fangirl about it, or post about it. :'( So I will have to read and review and fangirl about it some days after. Which sucks.

That’s all that’s happened in my world. Now, let’s get to the bloggy stuff.

On Sunday, I talked to my characters and asked for help on a story for school.

On Monday, I shared my thoughts about Wicked.

On Tuesday, I posted the warnings I’d like to see on books.

On Wednesday, I decided to give The Hunger Games a second chance.

Here are six posts I loved from this week:

Here are some of my attempts to use Emily’s ideas for book space:

books1   books3

 

books2  books4

Clockwise, from top left. Books in the dryer [I mean, who needs dry clothes when you can have books?!], book in corner [When they’re bad; it’s not okay!], books in the toaster [Don’t toast them!], books on the floor [Floors are not made for walking on; they’re made for books! Duh.].

I’m not trying to steal Emily’s genius; I just wanted to try it for myself. :) I encourage you to, too! It’s really fun to take pictures of books in toasters. ;) Also, my cat and dog were not available at the time of this photo shoot, but if I get the chance, I *might* do pics with them, too.

No books were harmed in the making of this. Except when I dropped them. But they’re okay!

After this post, I will put up a review of The Book Thief, which I finished today. In science class. And I cried. And screamed. And my friends thought I was weird. ;) Oh, the joys of being bookish.

On another note, I’m still going strong on the 100-4-100! Is anyone else doing it? If so, how are you doing?

Stay on the lookout for a page with my Bucket List, a post about how to please a blogger, and ideas for a birthday party page!

What did you do this week? And since my poll-thingy is malfunctioning, which posting day was your favorite? Tell me in the comments below.

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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.

books2

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.

disney animated GIF

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.

shocked animated GIF

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