Hey! It’s… Monday?

So I have come to the conclusion that I honestly struggle with getting these Monday blogs finalized and posted on a Monday! I’m going to be like one of those inconsistent you tubers that always promise a video on Wednesday, but the video gets posted on a Friday.

So this last week I have really gotten into the whole book clubbing process. After communicating with my book club, we have decided on three different books to read this semester (so far). The first book is a graphic novel titled The Graveyard Book, the second is a novel highlighting gun violence by Jason Reynolds called Long Way Down, and the third is a police brutality novel titled The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. I didn’t really know how quickly the group planned on getting through our books so I started two of them at the same time and that’s basically all I’ve been doing this last week.

The first book we have decided to read as a whole is The Graveyard Book, so I am a majority of the way through it. Growing up, I never really got into reading comic books or graphic novels so I find the process of getting through this novel rather comical even though the novel is far from comical. The novel itself is supposed to be horror based but I’m sure seeing me figure out how to read each page is silly story on it’s own! I do enjoy it though, it’s so different from anything I have read before. In my younger years I had become quite fond of the horror genre, specifically Anne Rice. With that being said, I read about a lot of vampires, not ghosts. Taking this turn is interesting and following the story of Bod and Silas is awesome in it’s own way! I would be totally freaked out if I was an orphan taken in by ghosts. But these ghosts have a whole respect for Bod that I can appreciate and they teach him so many valuable life lessons along the way. Who better to teach you about life than someone who has lived all the way through it?

The next book I’ve started, that I plan on reading this week is Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds. From what I can tell, we have chosen an interesting selection of books that are all decently controversial in their own way. This novel in particular covers a topic that is pretty big in our country today: gun violence and gun control. I really look forward to seeing where the novel will go! I have a pretty good feeling!

Anyways, everyone have a good week!

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Reading Between the Wines

For as much as I love to read, I never in my life thought I would be involved in a book club. I love the freedom that comes with reading and I didn’t know if I would blend well with a group of individuals creating guidelines for me to follow and telling me what books I can and can’t read.

I just joined a book club and fortunately for me, I can tell this isn’t going to be a bad experience. So far, everyone has been really cooperative and I think the biggest dilemma we have faced so far is trying to decide what our book club should be called. Everyone involved in the club is really on top of the work that needs to be done and very active when it comes to participation and communication. We mostly rely on social media to stay involved and we have had one in person meeting. In that meeting everyone was able to agree on what books we should be readings throughout the semester.

We have decided on three books so far. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds, and The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. I think I’m most excited about the Graveyard Book, it is a graphic novel and from what I have read so far, it’s pretty cool!

Overall, I think everything is going well and I only see this experience getting brighter from here.

“Monday”

This was a week full of Mondays. What I thought was going to be good a good week ended up being a week filled with unmotivated days and lots of unaccomplished tasks. That is why I am here, on Sunday, writing a blog about a Monday.

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Thank goodness last week was more successful compared to this week. I managed to get a ton of reading done. To be specific, I finished two books. If you remember from my last Monday post: Hey, it’s Monday. I went into detail about the book I was reading at the time: Stephanie Meyer’s The Host. I thought The Host, overall, was great. From the very beginning I had a hard time putting the book down. Once I got to the end I was a little bit unsure. I knew they were going to save Melanie, but I was a little disappointed when the humans decided to keep Wanda around. It just shows how selfish humanity is I guess! She wanted to be shipped off to a new planet and they just kept her around in a place where she would be forced into hiding for basically the rest of her life! I just think it’s pretty funny. They ending does give me hope though. On a planet still crawling with parasitic aliens, the humans are staying hopefully and pushing on.

Originally, I was supposed to read  The Diviners by Libba Bray. Unfortunately, that didn’t really work out the way I hoped, I had an issue with getting my hands on a copy. Instead I picked up a book by one of my favorite Young Adult Authors! After The Host I read Glass, by Ellen Hopkins. In high school I read Crank, Burned, and a few of her other novels. I found out that Glass was the sequel to Crank so I was pretty excited to pick it up. I think I finished it in less than two days. It was an awesome short read, I love how dark and raw and just how real Ellen Hopkins’ writing is. She’s not afraid to get into the ugly details and she portrays troubled teens in a very real light. This book in particular disappointed me a lot!! It wasn’t how it was written, it was the choices that were made. I had some very high hopes for the protagonist, Kristina. She just gave me let down after let down. I was not too impressed!! Anyways, from my research, I discovered that there is a third book to this story: Fallout. I might consider picking it up later on in the semester!

 

YA Literature: This is Just the Beginning.

I don’t know if I would ever claim to be an expert in anything, but if there is one thing I know I have done my fair share of, it’s reading. I have read fiction and non fiction. I have read many classics, adult, romance, young adult, and even a good amount of children’s books. One genre that has always seemed to stick with me, and I think it’s like this for many readers, is young adult literature. Specifically, fictional young adult literature. For some reason, especially when I was in high school, I absolutely adored young adult literature. Honestly, I think it’s because of how easy it is to relate to the junk. Not the magic and falling in love with weird creatures part (Although there is question to what kind of monsters I liked in high school…), but the teen angst and the growth that happened throughout the novels. You got to see these young characters develop into something bigger and it was easy to relate to because you were developing as well.

This weeks readings were very helpful for where we are at in the semester. Classes are just starting and many students look for some form of guidance. These articles provide that guidance in my opinion. Not only do they give you a history of young adult literature, but they also give relevance to young adult literature as well as a few lists to help guide your TBR list.

You can access this weeks assigned readings here!

Shannon Hale: The Young Adult Book Tropes That Ate The World

CNN: A Brief History of Young Adult Literature

Whitney Jones: Crash Course in YA Trends

This semester I want to take my knowledge of young adult literature and really expand it. I want to cover a good chunk of this young adult literature: fiction, non fiction, romance, paranormal, dystopian! You name it! My goal for this semester is to read at least one book from each of these categories and any other categories I may stumble upon. Part of the reason I even took this class this semester is to have fun and to get a few new and interesting books under my literary belt.

 

Hey, it’s Monday.

I don’t know about you, but I seem to be cursed with a terrible case of the Monday blues. Nothing ever seems to go right. This week took a bit of a turn around for me though, it was actually a good day. Classes went well, I managed to complete my homework, and I had some free time to break out the hammock and hang out at the State Park for a bit with my roommate. It was cold, but oh so worth it! I posted a few pictures to Instagram, which you can find in the newly updated sidebar!

Anyways, this post isn’t supposed to be about my Monday adventures. It’s supposed to be me, updating you, on my recent adventures with Adolescent Literature. From what I can see, I took a bit of a different approach when it came to picking my book. I wanted to find an interesting piece of young adult fiction that was decently popular, but that I never got a chance to read. I wanted to have a bit of fun with my first book choice. I chose to start this semester off with The Host by Stephanie Meyer. I chose this because I had read a few of her other novels in high school, but this one managed to slip right by me. I thought it would be the perfect start because it contains action, adventure, romance, and aliens! It would be a nice, easy read that would give me quite a bit to talk about.

Lets begin with a summary…

A teenage girl named Melanie Stryder and her little brother Jamie are on the run and forced into hiding from an alien race called the “Souls”. These “Souls” are like parasites; they attach themselves to the host and take full control of the host body, giving the body a whole new persona and a set of creepy glowing, blue eyes. Hence, the title of the book. Melanie meets another boy named Jared and they fall in love only for things to take a very sudden downfall. While trying to protect her brother, Melanie is captured by the “Souls” and is claimed as a host.

Now, you would think that’s the end for poor Melanie. Usually, when a “Soul” is placed in it’s host, all the previous thoughts, memories, and feelings would vanish from the body. Who ever that person was would cease to exist and life would carry on. This was not the case with Melanie. She refused to disappear and was now forced to coexist with the “Soul” that inhabits her body. The “Soul”, Wanderer, does everything it can to resist Melanie, her emotions, and her feelings but fails miserably. Together, they run and search for Jared and Jamie.

As you can guess, they manage to find them, in the Arizona desert of all places. Poor Jared and Jamie are forced to cope with the fact that Melanie could be gone. As for Wanderer, she finds a love interest of her own and attempts to build a life with a whole tribe of rebel humans. Some who hate her, and others who adore her all while existing alongside Melanie.

I’m getting closer to the end of the book and I am very pleased. When I think Stephanie Meyer, I think Twilight. I think of the vampires who drink animal blood and have sparkly skin. I think of that cheesy, forbidden love story that many teenage girls worshiped. This, in my opinion, takes a totally different approach at that forbidden love and executes it beautifully. I feel for the characters and I can’t seem to stop turning the pages. I just find this story far more interesting.

I began this Monday with some adventures in the snow, I find it sublime to think that I’ll be ending it somewhere deep in the Arizona desert.

My Teenage Reading Experience

Reading isn’t for everyone. Some do it because they want to and others only do it when they have to. I am one of those weirdos that absolutely loves to read and I can’t remember a time when I didn’t enjoy picking up a book and getting lost within it’s pages.

I like to think that my experiences as a teen reader were unique, but in all reality, they were probably pretty similar to those of others. I read when I had to and since I actually liked it, I did some reading in my free time. I was one of those kids that was only allowed to really do anything on weekends so I had to find fun elsewhere. I was always on top of my homework, I watched a ton of movies, and I read a ton of books. I found many books that I absolutely loved and a few that I really couldn’t stand. When I was in high school, reading was something highly encouraged for all students. Everyday, before each class started,  we had to pick up a book for ten minutes or so and free read before the lesson began. Many students disliked this, but I was one of the rare students that could not wait to pick up their book.

You see, when I find a piece of writing that I really enjoy it gets hard for me to put it down. When you attach yourself to a piece of literature you allow yourself to be in another world all together. You get to (in a sense) experience what the characters are experiencing and you learn lessons a long the way. When I was a teenager I read the typical novels that most teenage girls read: Twilight, Harry Potter, etc. I also read things that most teenage girls wouldn’t think about picking up: Anne Rice, Oscar Wilde, Lewis Carroll, etc. I found that I had a thing for darker stories that seemed to take you to a totally new world. I read about Dorian Gray and Alice and realized how unique each story is and how extraordinary the human mind is. That’s when I decided I wanted to teach others about reading, writing, and literature.

Without my experiences as a young reader I wouldn’t be in the same boat as I am today. I would be studying something totally different and I would probably be a slightly different version of myself.