The Olympic Book Tag

olympicbktag

 

★QUESTIONS:
Question #1: The Opening Ceremony: What book did you think had an incredible opening? I’ll Give You the Sun 

Question #2: The Games: What is your favorite fictional competition? The photography competition in Hold Still. 

Question #3: The Original: The modern games are based on the original Greek competition. What is your favorite book based on a classic?This took quite a bit of research, but, His Dark Materials by Pullman is apparently based on Paradise Lost, which is one of my favorite classics! I haven’t read it yet, but I know I’ll love First and Then because it’s based on Pride and Prejudice. 

Question #4: The Eternal Flame: What is one ‘ship that you won’t let die, even after the books made it clear it was never going to happen? Draco and Harry in the Potter books. Draco and Hermione. Ben and Radar in Paper Towns. Frodo and Sam in Lord of the Rings (shush you).

I keep wondering what would happen to Mary in Pride and Prejudice and Kitty. 

Question #5: Gymnastics: What’s a book that had so many twists and turns it left your head spinning? (in a good way)

The White Cat trilogy by Holly Black. If you have an interest in wild cards, check it out. 


Question # 6: The Controversial Judge: What’s a book that you have a totally different opinion about than most other people? 
Unlike many people, I actually am quite fond of Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman. I remember being engrossed in it and feeling relieved to find a kindred spirit in the poet. Same goes to Ralph Waldo Emerson and Transcendental texts. I found romantic ideology to be quite inspiring. It has definitely shaped my life as an adult.

Question #7: Beach Volleyball: What is your favorite fictional duo?
Simon and Clary in The Mortal Instruments. They’re wonderful friends and I adore their connection.

Question #8: Weightlifting: What is the most massive book on your shelf?
Either a Mortal Instruments or Dark Artifices or a Harry Potter book, for sure. I gave away all my theory books and textbooks (thank goodness).

Question #9: (Tell us your favorite Olympic Sport): What is a book that you just tore through with world record speed?
Vampire Academy series!

Question #10: Synchronized Swimming: What is a book series that you kept reading, even though you didn’t have any idea why? 
Maze Runner, The Selection. 

Question #11: The Tortured Fan: What fictional family, group, nation, organization do you irrationally root for no matter how many times they break your heart? 
The Malfoy (Harry Potter) and Duchannes (Beautiful Creatures) family.

Question #12: Closing Ceremony: What book had an ending that just blew your mind? 
Carry On. 

Question #13: Relay Race: Who do you tag?
Anyone who’d like to be tagged! 

I have been thinking a lot about how much things have changed for me over
When I approached Since You've Been Gone, I slacked and hesitated. Then, one night, I
Part of having an online presence is this weird isolation from real life, whatever that

BT: The Unpopular Opinions Book Tag

1.What is a popular book or series that you didn’t like? 

Maze Runner The Gemma Doyle books.

2. What popular book or series that you love everyone seems to hate?

Lots! Beautiful Creatures, The Mortal Instruments, The Infernal Devices, Vampire Academy.

3. Which love triangle where the main character ends up with the person you did not want them to end up with?

The Phantom of the Opera. It makes me mad, so I won’t elaborate. 

4. Which genre you do read the least?

Nonfiction, horror, sci-fi. 

5. Which popular character do you dislike?

Tiny Cooper in Will Grayson, Will Grayson. Oh my God, I hate him so much.

6. Which popular author do you dislike?

Scott Westerfeld. Rick Yancey. Libba Bray. Maureen Johnson. A lot of the classics annoy me as well.

7. What popular book trope (examples: love triangles or post-apocalyptic times) are you tired of seeing?

Insta-love. I like slow burn romances and developed feelings that make some sort of sense.

 

8. Which book to movie adaptation was better than its book?

The Perks of Being a Wallflower was pretty good. It’s Kind of a Funny Story was exceptional, too. Oh, and of course Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl.

Being stuck and sad makes reading, sleeping, eating, drinking, praying difficult. Everything is hard then.
Today, a box of books appeared on our front step, which is probably the most
Paper Towns is one of my favorite stories. Like many of John Green's works, Paper

To Book Characters: Haven’t Met You Yet

Today, a box of books appeared on ohaventmetuyet1ur front step, which is probably the most exciting thing to happen to me (yet, anyway). I love reading because I get to meet different people and worlds, wrapped in beautiful words like truffles melting on my tongue. Never does it get old and I am happy because I get this opportunity to be introduced and make this life long acquaintance (which later on grows into a friendship/relationship) with lots of awesome people.

So, I decided to list characters I am excited to meet in books on my shelves:
1. The Darkling (The Grisha trilogy).
I love a good villain, especially when they are interested in the main character romantically. Most times, I end up shipping them together. I am just saying this in advance, because I can see myself loving this character so much. I blame Sam from Thoughts on Tomes for making me love this trilogy and world. It is an overwhelming love, I admit, because I don’t know what to expect really. I just hope the Darkling has a big role in the series, because of reasons. Also: Tumblr, where you at? You better step up your game and have mood boards and character castings.
2. Blue Sargent and Richard Gansey III (The Raven Cycle)
I have read two fairy books by Maggie S. They were amazing. I hate to sound like Knives Chau from Scott Pilgrim, but, damn, that woman can write. Beautifully and hauntingly. I just feel incredibly in awe of her talents and her personality. She just has a captivating presence and spirit. It is so cool. Thanks, Tumblr. I already have headcanons and theories about the series (rhyming poet in the house!). Seriously, though, I am ecstatic to have this quartet.
3. Aristotle and Dante (Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe). 
 
For someone who grew up slashing everyone (because LGBTQ+ was virtually taboo and unheard of in my world), I don’t have enough characters in my world who are not straight. Much to my dismay. I heard amazing things about this book. I don’t like that there’s a second one coming (I know, I am in the minority here. I may be an extinct species at this point). I just like finality in one-shot stories. I don’t like it when authors revisit a world in a series of stand-alone pieces. Like, let it go (Elsa style). Anyway, I already feel attached to these two dude bros. I know I will be utterly in love with their stories.
4. Kesteral (The Winners trilogy)
Did I get her name right? I am not sure. I just love me a character who is not, not a fighter, because, listen, listen, listen, observe: strength isn’t always physical. In fact, sometimes, being clever and emotionally strong can outweigh muscle. And, that’s all I am going to say. Actually: hold that thought, because I want to complain about the new covers that I ended up getting (price is a thing). Why is she brandishing a knife/sword thing? I thought she didn’t fight! That’s the appeal for me, anyway.
5. Main character from The Girl of Fire and Thorns 
Because of medications and recovery from ED’s, I have gained a significant amount of weight over the years of my journey with mental illnesses. It is a source of much shaming and embarrassment. I heard that the character in these books is a bigger girl, and that makes me so keen to hopefully have a fictional soul sister who inspires me to be strong and unabashed by my appearance.
6. The Dragon (Uprooted) 
Way back when I was in my more hippie times, I used to really focus on mythology. One of my favorites was the Persephone and Hades storyline. Anyway, I feel like this story (along with Star Touched Queen) will satisfy this missing part of my life without me having to read the same boring stories and interpretations.
7. Karou (Daughter of Smoke and Bone) 
This is kind of a cheat, but I have read a bit of the first book in this series, and I adore Karou. She’s an artist and her power is just mind blowing. I love the world she lives in, so I can’t wait to delve in and see what will happen. Not too crazy about fallen angels; this should be interesting. Laini Taylor is a crafter of beautiful phrasings and characters. I know that much to be true.
8. Nora and Kettle (Nora and Kettle). 
I don’t know if I have mentioned this on the blog before, but I have specialized in young adult literature and children’s literature while working on my master’s degree in literature. I wrote my graduate thesis/dissertation on Harry Potter. So: naturally, I analytically read Peter Pan. When I heard of this retelling, however, I felt a strong pull toward it. I am not sure why. But, I learned to follow my gut when it comes to books.
9. Morpheus (Splintered trilogy)
Again, I felt like Alice in Wonderland was interesting especially when viewed from a lens that identifies/acknowledges mental illnesses. This retelling sounds like it would have a lot of history and depth. Very exciting.
10. Eon(a) (Eon/Eona) 
I think gender is one of those things that were unbreakable growing up. Ironically, I broke it all the time. I spent years dressing up and referring to myself as a boy in response to trauma. I am looking forward to seeing a girl kick butt in a man’s world. Also: the cultural aspects of this novel are compelling as well.
Set in 1960, the film opens with the death of Ellie's mother as she prepares
I was upset when I received my copy of this book, because I got it
A Birder's Guide to Everything is a small movie with many credits to its accomplishments

BR: Depression and Art in Hold Still

“The sun stopped shining for me is all. The whole story is: I am sad. I am sad all the time and the sadness is so heavy that I can’t get away from it. Not ever.” –Nina LaCour, Hold Still.

Accuracy in the Complications 


It is very rare for an author to capture the pains of being suicidal and misunderstood. It is hard to convey this isolation, the desperate attempts to find glimmers of hope, the guilt for not being okay. Yet, LaCour achieves these feats with grace and honest understanding. It’s so matter of fact, this loneliness depression Ingrid has. There is no “justification” going on and I was so grateful for that, because mental illness is not something to reason with. It just exists and seeps the life out of you. Ingrid’s self-harm, her sadness, her despair: all are presented as valid. Caitlin never blames her friend for feeling this way. If anything, she mostly struggled with how she didn’t do anything to help, which is a powerful message to have in a book aimed at young adults. It’s interesting to read, because I was at this point before, and just taken to a hospital, so my life was spared. But, I remember the note-writing and the research. It is unfortunate that some people write about self-harm methods and techniques, about suicide ways. In a way, this book offers a suggestion: consider the impact you have on others since you don’t operate in a vacuum. 

Caitlin

This leads me to Caitlin, who was just reeling from the loss of her best friend. She is not annoying about it, but she is grieving and struggling to understand, which makes sense. I never was the friend who wanted to save a life. I was kind of too overwhelmed by my own self that I just didn’t ever read someone’s journals or see signs of a struggle, and that makes the book even more powerful because I could learn a thing or two from Caitlin. She’s empathic and brave. I love how she reaches out to Dylan repeatedly, and chooses her to be a friend. Choosing your friends is important as hell. It is so crucial to be in control of who gets to be in your life. It’s your life. Be careful who you pick. I like the role art plays in Caitlin’s life, because it truly brings her character to maturity and understanding. She processes her identity through Ingrid’s portraits of her. In a way, I wish I could have an Ingrid to show me who I am, because, seriously, mental illnesses can hijack your sense of self. People can be limiting, and simplistic. 

Ms. Delani


Ms. Delani hit very close home because I was once a teacher, and I remember the responsibility of the position. I remember looking for signs of trouble, I remember reaching out to people, and I remember being shut out many times. But, I can’t even imagine the loss of a student. That is so difficult to process, especially when they are so engaged and talented–they leave traces around your life for good. I like that she is portrayed as a pained person who uses photography to get through the pain of the vacancy. 


Photography, friendship, love, family, are all used as vehicles to cope with loss and pain, and I think that is a wonderfully inspiring thing to read. It’s also the hardest, most honest thing you can suggest to someone with mental illness. Reach out, throw yourself into something that helps you express the pain. For some, it is photography. Caitlin saw the world differently behind the lens. She gave Ingrid a home through the pictures (and through pictures, Ingrid did the same for her best friend). Maybe it is simply creating (the tree house was a great idea, too). I like Taylor being understanding and sweet. I like Dylan and Maddy. Not like, love, and I haven’t feel this full emotionally and mentally since
The Fault in Our Stars. 

I have been thinking a lot about how much things have changed for me over
When I approached Since You've Been Gone, I slacked and hesitated. Then, one night, I
Part of having an online presence is this weird isolation from real life, whatever that

BR: The Difference Between You and Me

I was upset when I received my copy of this book, because I got it with no cover, but that’s superficial. So, I carried on with my excitement to read all about Jesse and her adventures. Oh, my heart is so full right now. Currently, I am feeling an overwhelming amount of love towards Esther, Wyatt, and Jesse.
Forced Stereotypes


My reaction is that they are almost too stereotypical. Wyatt likes fashion and he’s gay. He has a fling with the school bully. My word for it was “forced.” But, I have accepted the characters as they are, after much consideration, because stereotypes are also fine. It’s okay to fit into the stereotype. This is the case, but, we shouldn’t assume that this is what everyone needs to adhere to. Jesse cuts her hair short, wears weird boots, and has no fashion sense. Raised by two left wingers, she’s a lesbian who doesn’t have qualms with her sexuality. It is so lovely to read such a character. I adore her so much because she’s a breath of fresh air. She’s passionate, interesting, smart, but is also understandably in love with a girl who will never love her back.

Real Connections

I’ve met someone like Emily. Despite it being difficult, I understand where Emily is coming from, I suppose. However, I just relate to Jesse too much; I am invested because I have felt the same way. So far, I haven’t found a narrative to connect with over the gross feeling of being used. I don’t know if Emily’s homophobic. It doesn’t seem like it. It’s more like she doesn’t want to admit that she’s passive about her life. She goes down the road she’s told to go on and she doesn’t question it much. She’s unsure of where she stands in terms of sexuality, and I think it’s somewhat of a commentary on how popular culture and common societal rules dictate and limit girls’ sexualities. It’s clipped and tamed, subdued and unexpressed.

Real Talk About Relationships

 

Ultimately, this is what the novel says about relationships. They can be physical and woefully unsatisfying because there is no emotional connection. What Jesse shares with Esther is a series of moments where they bond as people, in platonic way first. I personally think it was somewhat overkill to have Esther’s mom have cancer, too. Still, I adore Esther. She’s a good fit for Jesse in the way she pushes her to be a better person, to think critically and go against the grain like she is inclined to, anyway. I think this is the novel’s essential argument: relationships have less to do with how you idolize someone, and more with how someone actually presents themselves.

Critique of a Generation


The whole Wal-Mart thinly veiled critique was interesting for the novel. It reminded me of slacktivism and how this is a generation unable to make change happen because we’re too self-aware and self-conscious, too afraid to actually take a stand on things. Or, we take it too far and alienate everyone in the process. It is a fascinating dynamic between Emily and Esther in the student counsel because they represent two completely different ways of living. While I strongly lean towards the way Jesse and Esther live, I feel like it’s not fair to vilify Emily and what she represents, either.

Set in 1960, the film opens with the death of Ellie's mother as she prepares
Today, a box of books appeared on our front step, which is probably the most
A Birder's Guide to Everything is a small movie with many credits to its accomplishments