Book Tag: The Bookshelf Scavenger Hunt Tag 2.0

It’s been a while since I have done a book tag, so I thought now would be a good time for one. Luckily, the wonderful Adrianna from Perpetual Pages posted this video of the Bookshelf Scavenger Hunt Tag 2.0. This updated version is by Maddie and Bee.

Maddie’s Challenges for Bee:

1. Red as the secondary color

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

2. A book you read pre-release

The last arc I recall reading (parts of) is Uprooted by Naomi Novak. I didn’t like it. And, then, I read a finished copy (also didn’t like it).

3. Contains mixed media

Probably Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff qualifies for this answer.

4. Best friends as protagonists

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare is about parabati who fall in love (among other things happening in the story as well). So, that one.

5. A buddy-read book

I don’t normally buddy-read books, because I am very slow as a reader. The last thing I did read with someone else was The Lies of Locke Lamora with the sweetest pal, Annemieke.

 

6. One I haven’t read

So many. I’ll go with Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye.

7. Typography cover

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black has really interesting typography. I like that cover, because it is very eerie looking.

8. Author surname beginning with D

All the Susan Dennard books I have: Truthwitch might be the most hyped of them.

9. Second book in a series

Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima is certainly one that comes to mind.

10. POC protagonist

I’m guessing, the heroes in An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir are people of color.

Bee’s Challenges for Maddie:

1. Boy on the cover

Unhinged by A.G. Howard

2. Question in the title

Is Everyone Hanging out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling is a book I passed on to my mom.

3. A sticker you can’t peal off (eg. promotional ones)

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green has this sticker announcing that my copy is a signed copy.

4. A titles that six words or more

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs is quite the mouthful.

5. An alliterative title (where all the words start with the same letter)
6. 2 books where the titles rhyme

Splintered and Cinder are pretty close to a nice rhyme, in my humble opinion.

7. Flowers on the cover

The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead

8. An author who shares your initials

Not on my shelves, but I did once read some Douglas Adams books (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy). 

9. A book you want a friend to read

Oh, I don’t know if you have read A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. You should give it a shot.

10. A book with three or more colors on the cover

Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi is colorful and beautiful. (Oh, I am positively squealing for the companion novel coming out in November, because yes). 

    While watching Ally's video on this tag, I decided to follow suit. In
I'm late to the party, but I thought of sharing a book tag to celebrate
It has been a while since I have done a book tag. Here is one

The Netflix Chronicles: Atypical Show Season 1 Review

For the Netflix Chronicles, I am reviewing season 1 of the show Atypical. This series centers around an eighteen year old boy on the autism spectrum. His name is Sam, and he is looking for romance (and boobs).

Neuro-divergence and its implications

From the moment I heard of this show, I knew it could either resonate really well with me, or break my heart. As someone who is not neuro-typical, I am coming to grips with a lot of the struggles Sam has. My family is trying not to be too isolated because of me, because I am so weird.

In a way, watching the family members deal with shame, pressure, and downright annoyance with Sam (just as an atypical teen), offered some solace to me. It often feels like other friends who are neuro-divergent too are not “as sick” or “as weird” as me, who somehow seem to be able to maintain friendships, conversations, and a sense of normalcy much better than I ever could.

But…

Ultimately, the story shows the wonders of a mind that is not the typical “normal” one. And, I don’t mean this in an erasing manner. Look, being neurodivergent is hard and scary, and lonely. But, it has its perks. Sam, with his genuine interest in nature, in his sincere communication and no-bullshit commentary on social norms, is a treasure.

While I don’t know if my own mental issues make me that cool, I think the show has definitely highlighted the beauty of having a kid with autism. Yes, there are challenges. But, no, it is not all bad and there are beautiful gems of connection and learning, and in re-wiring very old fashioned approaches to parenting and relating.

Because, I admit it, there is a lot of sheltering that goes on with parents of neurodivergent kids. I say this as one of those “kids” (I’m thirty, so…when does one stop being a kid anyway?).

for more

Autistic Person Review of Atypical 

Netflix Atypical Review: The Aspie World 

 

It's been a while since I did a Netflix Chronicles update. This particular one will
It has been a while since I have done a Netflix Chronicles update. So, here
      I finished watching season 1 of The Good Place on Netflix. Here are some

Top 5 Wednesday: Top 5 Classes to Take with YA Characters

Hello! It is time for another Top 5 Wednesday. This is a group in Goodreads, where we get weekly topics for us to list books in relation to the prompt. This week, we are talking about the Top 5 Classes To Take with YA Characters. I’m so excited about this one. Let’s begin.

5. Tactical Maneuvers with (Queen) Elisa (Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson)

The more I think of the first book in this trilogy, the more impressed of Elisa I become. This young girl knows her people’s history, faith, and politics so well. Being in her head can be frustrating because I tend to feel overwhelmed by her her process. However, the more I put myself in her shoes, the more I understand why she takes her time in deciding what needs to be done next on her journey to the throne.

4. Tricks and Thievery with the Dregs (Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo)

An intensive course with multiple instructors, this experience will change your life. I’m not sure if you’ll function the same ever again once you witness Inej explain acrobats and shadowing in relation to thievery. She can teach a whole history seminar on her origins and culture. Likewise, Nina can do an exploration of the Ravkan culture and history.

Meanwhile, Matthias can offer an alternate point of view on Ravkan culture in relation to his own background. I mean, he can also talk about physical strength, but I feel like he can do an extremely impressive class on the wrongness of his training and the injustices toward Ravkan culture.
Kaz Brekker will try to teach a few tips on how to scheme. Jasper discusses basic pistol fighting tips. Wylan demonstrates demolition tips with high notes of musical genius.

3. Rune Drawing with Clary Fairchild (The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare)

Clary’s still as a rune-creator can translate beautifully to a mundane (or downworlder) audience. Even better, she can introduce her techniques for using steeles to create such perfect runes.

Also: I want a whole class where Clary and Simon introduce basics of band-naming.

2. Piracy and (Dirty) Fighting/Dueling with Alucard Emery and Delilah Bard (A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab)

Um, it’d be hard to follow along, I admit, but it is still worth attending! Alucard and Lila have a lot of banter while fighting/practicing magic. They can discuss tips for magic use in duels. In addition, a nice long list of tips for new pirates (and thieves) would be really lovely.

 1. Story-telling and Stalling with Shahrazad (Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh)

Well…she’d be really good at it. If you’ve read my post from yesterday, you’d have gathered that I am frustrated with this duology (Have yet to read the second part of the series). Shahrazad is a good story-teller. Long-winded, but sometimes, that’s necessary.

    Welcome to Top 5 Wednesday. In this week's edition, I will cheat (as
  This week's top 5 Wednesday is all about resolutions. In other words, folks all
This week marks the final days of December, 2017. As such, Top 5 Wednesday is

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Slow-Paced Books That I Plan to Revisit

Top Ten Tuesday is here, and that means it’s time for another list. This week, I am discussing the top ten slow-paced books that I struggle(d) to read. Some of these books, I want to give them another try. Perhaps I will write more on why I want to do that. I marked those books with an asterisk * to denote that I will be revisiting them at some point and won’t unhaul them.

*10. The girl of fire and thorns by rae carson

At first, I was trying to follow a slow moving plot in the story.  I don’t really read a lot of political intrigue, so I think this series will take some getting used to. I was annoyed by how Elisa was repeatedly presented as a food-loving girl, which is fine. But, it gets kind of redundant. I keep comparing this portrayal with someone like Nina Zenik, who is a bit more well-rounded as a person (at least her portrayal didn’t reduce her to simplistic stereotypes).

Still, I think it was nice to see Elisa grow in book 1, and now I need to keep going and read the rest of the series.

9. breaking dawn by stephanie meyer

Oh my goodness, this was so freaking boring. I struggled to finish it, and when I was done, I regretted ever having read those books. A vampire baby? Imprint? No, thanks. Also, the story dragged on and on. The things that made Bella relatable were suddenly taken away; she was transformed into a completely strange person with wind chimes for vocal cords.

No thanks.

8. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

An oversimplified discussion of appearances and plastic surgery. It strongly reminds me of Twilight in its approach towards issues traditionally linked to women. Where is the exploration of the human psyche in congruence with living a seemingly utopian society?

(Not rereading this at all. So much dislike for it)

7. The Maze Runner by James Dashner

At the height of the dystopian craze, this book series was released. I had given it a try, just to see what the hype was about. Big mistake. A group of boys living in a simulated arena. Lots of running in mazes. Girl shows up.

Betrayals and a sense of flight or fight aren’t fully explored. I spent my entire reading experience bored, even though all these “shocking” things were happening. Mainly, the cause of this boredom was a sense of disconnect from the characters. Also: there is this zombie element presented in the story. I didn’t like that.

*6. Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Katsa is one of the most dull characters I had ever encountered. For a long time in the book, I was not sure how old she was because of the monotonous way she presented herself to the world. Even Po, who is meant to be a charming person, is equally as flat. I am giving this series another shot. I don’t know why. But, I feel like perhaps I was just not in the right mood for it?

5. Divergent by Veronica Roth

Actually, this first book was not as bad as some may say it was. However, Allegiant is so bad. Let’s not talk about that ending, either, because it made me so angry.

 

4. The iron daughter by julie kagawa

Nope. A character who is whining the whole time here, too, and not for reasons that are compelling. Fairies and tricksters have such potential. But, not this series. Totally was not for me at all.

3. The sisterhood of traveling pants by ann brashers

A paper thin group of friends who mostly talk about boys for four (ugh, five) books.

*2. The wrath and the dawn by renee ahdieh

Shahrazad and Khalid’s story was so dull that I didn’t even bother reading the next book in the duology. The misunderstood tyrant trope falls flat in Khalid’s back-story. Why can’t we have a bad person, just be bad, without being “cursed”? I may keep on reading, though, because I am starting to get curious about the ending of the story. Maybe Shahrazad can grow on me a bit more.

Deep breaths.

 *1. the narnia books by c.s. lewis

Oh man, those books are frustrating and overly descriptive. In addition, the author is so driven to get his biblical messages across, that it feels forced and aggressive. While I do like the characters, the pacing is exhausting.

 

Sigh.

I still think these books have such a high value. To me, they certainly drove me to reconnect with my faith.

Your Turn

Did you DNF or dislike a book because of its pacing lately? Share in the comments, so I know what to avoid! Save us from boring plot-lines.

 

    I have fallen off the Top Ten Tuesday wagon, but I have returned.
Welcome to Top 10 Tuesday. This week, the topic for my list is the Top
As the year's end approaches, I want to reflect on what I have read. Some

Rethinking my Social Media Usage and Presence

Hello! So, initially, I had started writing this post a few days ago. The more I write about social media, the more afraid I get of “failing” as a blogger. Anyway, being hip was never really my thing. Today, I am trying to offer a different conversation and approach to social media. The discussion blossomed once I listened to this TED talk.

lonesome

I have started using the Internet when I was in my teens. For the longest time, I was isolated because of my mental illness. Then, I was in this limbo of talking to people, but not really connecting.

Social media, to me, has strongly affected my sense of connection. All day, I keep checking my Twitter, my Instagram, my Tumblr, even Facebook (and who the heck is on that?).  

People keep posting about how great their lives are. Everything is perfect (or, on the flip side, there is the catastrophic thinking posts about how the world is out to get us, how doomed we are, how life sucks).

Truthfully, I get very lonely when I watch people’s living while I am stuck at home. I find myself fixated, addicted, to hearing other people’s stories that I do not get to live my own life anymore.

Losing best friend

In addition, the very strange thing is that I no longer can handle being alone with myself. For me, that is the biggest tragedy, because people will come and go. I only have myself to cherish. Yes, I know this does not sound nice, but it truly feels like my own relationship with myself and with my creator/universe is at a huge disadvantage.

entertainers?

One of the issues with social media, to me, is the way everything feels so curated and rehearsed. It’s like we’ve become entertainers, putting on a show (It can be of anything: hyper sexuality, manic depression, self harm, even happiness is made into a looped Vine).

 

The issues I noticed with the Internet is that people say things for attention, and not really for connecting. If you don’t say the “right” things, if you are not funny and charming, witty, sarcastic, and jaded, people unfollow you.

Or, better yet, some people idolize others. I know I do that often. In my head, I paint perfect pictures of people (say that ten times fast, go!). Like, there are people who get perfect numbers of likes with every post. It feels like if I copy a certain group of people, if I tune into their dialogue and humor, somehow I’ll be more effective as a writer.

and so…

So, I am going to slowly cut down on social media. I am posting relevant ideas on the Internet. You don’t need to hear about how sad I am for the millionth time. If you feel curious, you can ask. However, I do not want to spend my time asking for attention.

It is time for me to pay attention to myself, to my worship, to my work. Does this mean I’m gone from social media? No, not at all. I just want to tweak what I do say, how I communicate so that it is truthful and honest.

Honestly, I am aware that this is going to be a process. I just want to focus on myself and my impact on the world. This doesn’t mean I’m going to fake happiness in any way, but I can at least control what I share and say/portray in my life.

Life is too short to live waiting for things to happen. I truly believe that my life will be much healthier in the long run.

Warning: I am not judging you for how you use the internet. Simply put, I am discussing my journey and summoning a shift in my perception of my socializing online. 

  Sometimes, when I talk to certain people, I see it clearly. Negativity. Like a
Hello! So, today is Bilbo and Frodo Baggins' birthday. To me, these two were key
From what I recall, this website was started in mid-to-late September. I had started taking

September 2017: Week 1 To Be Read Pile

It’s the first week of September. This post will focus on my To Be Read pile for the upcoming couple of days. As I try to recover from a terrible depressive episode, I am attempting to catch up on my reading.

loose ends

As always, I suck as a person and thus didn’t finish A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. Because I am only halfway through, I am hoping to manage finishing it up soon. Aside from this book, I didn’t really start anything else.

I cannot wait anymore

There are some sequels that I really need to start (at least) this week: Fallen Kingdom by Elizabeth May is a finale I am dying to read. Also, there is Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder as well as that gosh darn The Elite by Kiera Cass.

I’m coming to this weird realization that sometimes I am very moody (surprise!), and perhaps I could use some variety. So, perhaps, if the mood allows for it, I can pick up an Adam Silvera book?

Who knows.

comments!

Also: I want to really push myself to comment more on your blogs. So, here’s a conscious effort here to communicate a little more, and to get to know each other better. It’s going to be a little weird for a bit, as I try to pick myself back up this week. We will get there!

finally:

Please, please, please, let me know if you have any suggestions or recommendations for how to improve this blog.

    Hello! We're about to start week 4 of January 2018. I'm planning to
  I haven't managed to write that much last week, but here we are anyway.
My lovely pal Jolien talked about the Pop Sugar Reading Challenge in one of her

September 2017: Book Haul

 

It is time for my September 2017 book haul. As you may have read in Monday’s post, I have been limiting the number of books I ask for each month. Basically, I am buying books I will get to within months.

Here are the book I was lucky enough to get.

Prequels

Huntress by Melinda Lo. I had read snippets of Ash from the library, and I realized that I need this story in my life. I am hoping to pick up Ash by the time this book comes in the mail.

first book in a series

The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig involves pirates and time travel. I think it’s own voices for bisexuality and bi-racial characters? Please correct me if I made a mistake here. For reasons involving my senile mind, I am not remembering where I read about this book. But, I want to read it with the Passengers duology I got by Alexandra Bracken.

Sequels

First, I got the next installment in the Poison Study-verse: Shadow Study. From what I know, this will focus more on Valek, which is something I am just ready for. Hopefully, I can fly through these books like I did with the first book.

stand-alone novels

History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera. I may need to displace my sadness on some other story. This one has the aftermath of a suicide, which may be a tear-jerking experience. Perfect.

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour. This person is fantastic, and I just love her writing (except for that David Levithan collaboration. We don’t talk about that here). Another sad read, from what I hear, but it may help me get some perspective on grief.

 

Your Turn:

What are you hauling this month? Have you decided which books you’re going to read first? Let our conversation continue in the comments.

I don't know how to start this post, because I am extra awkward today. A
  Welcome to my final book haul of 2017! Abiding by the rules, I have
  Ah, yes, it is time for my monthly book haul. November 2017, I was

Monthly Wrap Up: August, 2017

 

 

Welcome to another monthly wrap up. This monthly wrap up will be for August 2017. In August 2017, I had a horrid bout of depression. Thus, my reading will look kind of slim and sad. However, I still had an eventful month. Check out the monthly wrap up: August, 2017 edition.

Books I have read this month

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder [4.5/5]

I want to see if someone who is gender-queer or trans reviewed this book, because I’d like an #ownvoices take on it. Still, for me, I thought it was a good read. It certainly flew by really quickly. For me, I certainly identified with the sexual abuse and general abuse theme that Yelena deals with in this novel. As someone who has experienced sexual abuse and abuse as well, I felt like it was handled in a sensitive manner. Definitely glad that I have the next two books in the series!

 

 

Things I have watched

Jane the Virgin (Season 2) [5/5]

A lot happens in this season. It was an engaging and heartbreaking set of episodes, for sure. I’m excited to see how life will continue after such a tough ending. Poor Jane Gloriana Villanueva.

Speech and Debate (film) [3.5/5]

This film is all about growing up in a small conservative small town and being a different person. Sharing this experience, the film centers on three awkward teens who band together to form a Speech and Debate team. As someone who doesn’t like musical-type of films, I admit that I wasn’t a fan of the singing stuff in here. But, the cast was charming, and the story was intriguing.

The 100 (season 1) [5/5] 

Oh, man. This show broke my heart often. Freaking Bellamy going from “Whatever the hell we want” to a more relatable person. Clarke and Raven being fantastic figures in this group. Octavia and her search for belonging is giving me life here. I have enjoyed season 1. Even if it gives me anxiety, I still find it a fascinating story.

Everything, Everything (film) [3/5] 

In some ways, this film is a diverse supportive story about a woman of color, written by a woman of color. The love story is charming, and I really like this cast. However, there is a problematic handling of disability and illness in the movie, hence why I docked a few points from it. I still really enjoy it, but it’s important to be aware of the problematic nature of the things we love.

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (film) [5/5]

Guardian family is back, and they are having some problems functioning. Peter and Rocket have a lot of tension as is Gamora and her sister Nebula. There are no easy fixes in this narrative, which is one of the reasons I respect it so much. Groot is adorable. But, I really fell in love with Yondu even more than with the first film. “He may have been your father. But, he wasn’t your daddy.” Also: Mantis and Drax were hilarious and sweet together. Beautiful film, for sure a favorite.

Atypical (series) [5/5]

Another beautiful show. I definitely gleaned a lot from it. Definitely will need to let it settle a bit on my mind. But, expect a review of it soon, because it certainly deserves love and praise.

Your Turn:

How was your August, 2017? Any highlights for the month? Share your fun times in the comments.

    November has come to an end. Here is a wrap up of the
  This is another change I'm making to the blog: switching from weekly wrap ups