Sunday, March 30, 2014

Reading For Fun? That's Not A Thing.

School. College. University.

Whatever you call it, it all means the same thing: the death of reading for your own pleasure. Unless, of course, you are one of those people who are good at scheduling and putting time aside for things such as that. 

I am not one of those people.

Being an English Literature major, I read a lot of books for my 6 courses. A lot. This semester alone I had to buy 21 books for my required reading. So basically, I read for class, go to class, read some more for class, and somehow squeeze in time for food and nap breaks. I am worn out. When I am not reading for class, I use my free time to catch up on sleep (and get distracted by stupid things on the internet), since my college workload often keeps me up into the late hours of the night.

So where is there time to for fun?

Other people have no problem shuffling school, fun and possibly even a job, but for me, it's too much at times.

Which is why I am so very thankful the end of the semester is rapidly approaching! While this means exams and papers, it also means free time (also possibly a large influx of reviews for the books I've read this semester).

Don't get me wrong, I love my major. I am reading books I never would have even glanced at on my own and am finding new favorites in the most unlikeliest of places. It's wonderful. But sometimes I just want to read a book of my choice, one that there will not be a quiz on the next day. 

My rambling for the day xD

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Book Haul (#5)

Some books I've picked up in the last month or so:

Waiting on Wednesday (#13)

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. This meme highlights some of the books whose releases bloggers are most anticipating this year.

The book whose release I am most excited for this week is...

City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments #6)

Expected publication: May 27th 2014


I am coming.

Darkness returns to the Shadowhunter world. As their society falls apart around them, Clary, Jace, Simon and their friends must band together to fight the greatest evil the Nephilim have ever faced: Clary’s own brother. Nothing in the world can defeat him — must they journey to another world to find the chance? Lives will be lost, love sacrificed, and the whole world changed in the sixth and last installment of the Mortal Instruments series!

I am honestly not sure how I feel about this series anymore. The last couple books drove me slightly insane, and every time I finish the latest book, I think it's over. But I'm always wrong...clearly.

However, the end is finally here!

Regardless of how my feelings for this series have changed over the years, I will have to get my hands on this to see how it ends...for real this time.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Giver Film Adaptation

The Giver (The Giver Quartet #1) 
 by Lois Lowry

Jonas' world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community. When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back

Lois Lowry's The Giver is being adapted to the big screen August 14th 2014. I read this novel in the 8th grade, so I don't really recall the specifics of it. Having just seen the trailer for the first time today, I wanted to ask you guys if you think the film looks like it will follow the book. The movie stars Katie Holmes, Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges, Brenton Thwaites, and yes, Taylor Swift (your eyes did not deceive you at the 0:44 mark). Taylor Swift being in this movie scares me. I don't have to even have to remember the book to worry she might ruin this movie. I am still cringing from her performance in Valentine's Day, which was a bad movie to begin with.

Thoughts on the trailer for The Giver? I'd love to hear what you guys think. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Southwest Florida Reading Festival

A free annual Festival incites a passion for reading. Renew your interest in reading as the Festival authors are announced. Hear an author speak at the Festival and get inspired to borrow or buy the book, maybe even to write one of your own! 
The Reading Festival's mission is to:
  • Celebrate the importance of reading.
  • Bring the finest literary talent to the community of Southwest Florida.
  • Encourage in adults, teens and children an interest in and love of literature
    by providing quality events featuring popular authors in multiple venues.
  • Promote lifelong learning and school reading readiness by raising awareness 
    of the library's services and its role in the community's quality of life.
  • Build continuing regional partnerships among libraries and between
    libraries and other community organizations by cooperatively
    presenting a large, quality literary event.
  • Promote public libraries as centers for recreational reading, 
    information, technology, and the arts.

My Experience:
This was my second year attending the SWFL Reading Festival, and let me tell you, it was amazing

As a volunteer at my local library, I have the privelge to volunteer at this festival each year when it rolls around. Being surrounded by books, people who love books, crafts, and authors of all genres is truly a wonderful experience. 

Last year, I got to meet Ally Carter, author of The Heist Society, and got her to sign a copy of the book for me. This year, while I did not know any of the authors in attendance, I did pick up a signed book (Primatic by Sarah Elle Emm) and bookmark (Michelle Madow, author of Remembrance), plus a bunch of other great freebies which can be see in the picture above on the right.

I got to talk to Emm and Madow for a while; both authors were incredibly nice and grateful to be able to talk to their readers. While I have not read anything by either author, I plan on doing so in the near future. 

And I can't forget about the crafts! I was stationed at the Teens Craft area, where we did tie dye, braided bookmarks, and mini book necklaces/bracelets. I made some bookmarks and bracelets for myself:

Overall, if you live in a place that offers an event such as this one, and are a book lover, GO TO IT! It really is a whole lot of fun, and hey, who doesn't love free stuff?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Abel Sanchez by Miguel de Unamuno

Abel Sanchez
by Miguel de Unamuno
Paperback, 192 pages
Published July 28th 2005 by Terramar Ediciones (first published November 8th 1917) 

Quixotic madmen are the protagonists of these imaginative stories, which probe the horror of a nothingness beyond death.

Abel Sanchez is an interesting version of the Biblical story, of Cain and Abel, Cain's name in the novel is Joaquin. Joaquin becomes a successful physician, and Abel a famous and recognized artist. But Joaquin has been always jealous of Abel, he has always felt that he has to compete with his brother, and what bothers him the most is that Abel has never seen such competition.

I honestly cannot even explain why I liked this book as much as I did. I had to read it for my Modern European Novel course and devoured it in a few hours despite the fact that I did not particularly like any of the characters or the story itself. The miniscule amount sympathy I felt for Joaquin was lost the more I read. In fact, the further I got into the novel and saw more of his character and personality, the more I grew to dislike him. He was just a sad, miserable man full of hatred and envy. He had a life that people would be envious of, yet he was blinded by his jealousy; he wanted what he could not have.

The only characters in the story I liked were Antonia, Joaquin's unfortunate wife, and their daughter and son-in-law. Antonia I felt extremely sorry for. She was a devout Christian woman and loved Joaquin despite knowing that he did not return her love and possibly was incapable of ever doing so. She pitied him and thought her love would be able to save and salvage him. Unfortunately, Joaquin was too consumed with his hatred towards Abel and Helena.

Again, I don't know why I devoured this book. Normally it takes me awhile to get through books I am forced to read, yet I just had to finish this one today for I could not stop reading it. Its especially strange because it was a parallel to the biblical Cain and Abel story. Not being a religious person myself, I always hesitate when reading something with a biblical premise, only because I don't have much knowledge of the Bible myself to help in understanding the connection. Thankfully, the story of Cain and Abel is one I have studied before. 

This is just going to be one of those books I have a love/hate relationship with; everyone has a book or series like that. I probably won't ever understand how I enjoyed it when I laughed at its absurdity and complained to any unfortunate soul within my vicinity about it. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (#12)

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. This meme highlights some of the books whose releases bloggers are most anticipating this year.

The book whose release I am most excited for this week is...

Isla and the Happily Ever After
By: Stephanie Perkins

Expected publication: August 14th 2014
From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.

Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and Étienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.

This best friend and I have been impatiently awaiting the release of it. After my friend introduced me to Anna and the French Kiss, I fell in love with Stephanie Perkins's books and her characters. 

In all honesty, these are not the type of books I would normally read. But Perkins's writing style is just so wonderful, and the stories so much fun that I found it impossible not to like her novels. This is a book I will definitely be getting my greedy little hands on as soon as I can after the release. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (#11)

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. This meme highlights some of the books whose releases bloggers are most anticipating this year.

The book whose release I am most excited for this week is...

After the End (After the End #1)
By: Amy Plum

Expected publication: May 6th 2014
She’s searching for answers to her past. They’re hunting her to save their future.

World War III has left the world ravaged by nuclear radiation. A lucky few escaped to the Alaskan wilderness. They've survived for the last thirty years by living off the land, being one with nature, and hiding from whoever else might still be out there.

At least, this is what Juneau has been told her entire life.

When Juneau returns from a hunting trip to discover that everyone in her clan has vanished, she sets off to find them. Leaving the boundaries of their land for the very first time, she learns something horrifying: There never was a war. Cities were never destroyed. The world is intact. Everything was a lie.

Now Juneau is adrift in a modern-day world she never knew existed. But while she's trying to find a way to rescue her friends and family, someone else is looking for her. Someone who knows the extraordinary truth about the secrets of her past.

Author loyalty --> my top reason for wanting to read this book. Amy Plum is the author of the bestselling Revenant series, one of my all time favorite YA series ever at the moment. So, it's only natural to assume that I would want to read anything and everything Plum pens out. 

Now, assuming I have never read anything written by Amy Plum, the opening of the blurb would be incentive enough:
"She’s searching for answers to her past. They’re hunting her to save their future."
 Those two sentences alone have captured my attention and my interest.

Yes, I know what some of you might be thinking: it sounds like just another typical YA Dystopian novel. While I would love to argue that it does not, I cannot lie. It does sound like another dystopian, however, there is no doubt in my mind that Ms. Plum will be able to deliver something to her readers that is unique, different, and intriguing.

So while I am trying (and mostly failing) to move away from YA and into more adult novels, I will still pick up this book and suggest that if you have not yet checked out Amy Plum's Revenant series, DO IT NOW!

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