Scribbling

I am a double time college student who volunteers at two libraries where I help decide what books to purchase. 

 

But mostly this is just about me trying to find time to read books in between. 

Reblogged from MLE's Porn and Ponies:
Sage Advice
Sage Advice

Yet another reason Joss Whedon is awesome.

Autumn Cleaning

I've decided that I need to clean up my ARCs, so I'm going to start reading all of them. 

 

Plus my emails from NetGalley keep staring at me ominously. 

Because I Have to Be a Contrarian

The Fault in Our Stars - John Green

So here's my story with John Green. I have read...three of his books? An Abundance of Katherines, Paper Towns, and Will Grayson, Will Grayson. Don't ask me why I haven't read Looking for Alaska, even though it's the ONE book of his that I actually own.

The problem that I have is that while I was mildly quirky and fairly intelligent for a teenager -so long as you ignore that year that I was fourteen- those were not my only character traits. Quirkiness is not something you can base a character on, unless it somehow ties into an actual trait. I can't see it as a foundation for a character. John Green does.

That's the major problem I have with this book. And maybe I wouldn't feel so strongly about it if I wasn't attacked from all sides by people telling me that John Green is the greatest YA author ever. And maybe I wouldn't have felt this sort of apathy while reading the book if I hadn't been disappointed in his previous books that I read, admittedly not his best books, but still.

So before pitchforks come out, let me say that this was not a bad book. It wasn't. But was it so much more different than other cancer books I've read? Yeah, no. Nothing stood out to me except for the quirkiness of the characters, and like I said above, I was not too impressed with it.

Also, if this were not a John Green book and I was not promised it was his absolute best ever, I would have dropped it early in. And here's why, in one nicely wrapped up word:

Pretentiousness.

The beginning of the book absolutely oozed with the feeling of pretentiousness. I was worried my Kindle was going to become infected. And there were three things that irked me pretty much off the bat:

One: The Basketball Metaphor.

It may come as a surprise that I LOVE sports. I'm rubbish at all of them (except fencing), but I love watching them. Seriously. Football (American and soccer), baseball, hockey, softball, basketball, tennis, volleyball, and I'm slowly starting to get into rugby too. I'm glued to the television during the Olympics. I love sports.

So this analogy, that basketball was just putting a ball through a hoop like a child would put a block in the correctly shaped hole? Yeah, didn't fly with me.

Do you know everything a point guard is thinking during any given play in a basketball game? Yeah, there's the basics like keep dribbling and ball goes in hoop. You're also listening to the coach and relaying messages according to the game plan. Should that plan mess up, you're in charge of creating a new one, relaying that to your team mates. Oh, you also have to keep an eye out for them too because their positions in reference to the defending team's position can change the game plan as well. But you have to consider your teammate's strengths and weaknesses. Think you can get an easy foul to get at the free throw line? Gotta take that into account too.

The shot clock in college is 35 seconds, which some people want reduced to the NBA's 25 seconds. That's twenty five seconds to get down the court, have your team set, scout the defense, and try to get your team the most probable shot.

If all you're doing is putting a ball through the hoop, you're not really playing basketball correctly.

And everything can really be set down to a very basic form. What is writing but putting the next best word after the other?

Two: V for Vendetta.

This point's really personal, so it's probably not a big deal to anyone but me but V for Vendetta is my second favorite comic of all time and second favorite film of all time. To say that it's specifically a boy movie is one thing. I get it, it's a character choice. But you went on to question why boys try to get girls into things like that?

Sweetie, first of all, I don't understand how V for Vendetta is purely for boys. That's a legitimate question. You watched 300 later in the book and didn't comment on its masculinity. What part of revenge, taking down a facist government, and questioning the passivity of people is purely male?

Three: You make fun of cancer books...in a cancer book.

I'm not sure I need to go through with any detail here. It would be different if I thought it was for comedic effect, but I didn't get that feeling.

I point out these three specific instances because they happen in the span of a few pages. All of those things scream 'I'm too good for you!' to me. I'm too good for basketball. I'm too good for V for Vendetta. I'm too good for "normal" cancer books.

But the single most pretentious thing was the dialogue. If you can point out real life teenagers who talk like this, I will give you a million cookies. No joke. I will start baking this very second. While the rule in writing, "Write like you speak" is asinine, there is a point to it! Characters should sound real.

Is a real teenager going to tell you that he buys cigarettes, doesn't light them, for the thrill of it? For the metaphor? I fucking LOVE metaphors. I loved them more when I was a teenager, but who is seriously going to do that?

The characters feel fictional, which in a character driven story, is no bueno.

Now, there's me bitching, but I did say this wasn't a bad book. It's not. The writing is solid, and there were parts that made me laugh and smile. I wasn't wanting to pull my eyes out like I do most YA books nowadays. I did like the parents, they felt more real than a lot of parents in young adult, though I still wonder about the trip. I also liked Isaac.

The ending....I couldn't....like, it was sad, but it wasn't sad. I don't know, maybe I expected too much. (view spoiler) When it came around....eh. In its defence, I knew what was going to happen, but I still know what happens in The Deathly Hallows and I cry every time I read it and watch it.

Always.

I was constantly aware that it was fictional. In the end, I wasn't emotionally invested because I couldn't see the story outside of being a story.

For Those Who Dislike Time Travel

All Our Yesterdays - Cristin Terrill

I don't like Doctor Who.

 

I have watched every single episode because my sister is a HUGE Whovian and she wouldn't watch Supernatural until I watched Doctor Who.

 

That isn't to say I hate Doctor Who. I like Chris Eccleston and frankly, he's the best. I also like The Master and Rose. (I don't like Moffat's writing, ergo, I don't like much in the newer seasons.)

 

I don't like Doctor Who because I <i>loathe</i> time travel. Seriously. It doesn't make sense and I can't have it make sense in my mind, I've tried. I have tried and have been informed that Back to the Future does it well, but I've never seen it.

 

This book works because while it discusses time travel, and it's vital to the plot, it doesn't really try so hard to make time travel work. It pretty much just says 'Time travel works because it works.' I am fine with this because it didn't go too far out there with the concept, like my first kiss is your last kiss and memories and I don't even know with Doctor Who.

 

So the time travel works until it doesn't, which is the ending and that slip of paper. Because if you put those two things in with the other aspects of time travel that you've learned, they both cannot exist/happen.

 

REGARDLESS! Not bad for a time travel book.

 

(Though now that I'm typing this, less and less makes sense and I am questioning rounding the review down.)

 

The book is about Em and Finn 2.0 going back in time to kill James (that may be a spoiler, but it's a pretty fucking obvious one) so that the future they just lived through doesn't happen.

 

It's also about Marina (Em's 1.0), James, and Finn 1.0 living after James's brother was shot.

 

Pretty simple, and the plot moves along pleasantly well. There's not too many low points to put it down outside of the beginning.

 

The characters were pretty well done. I liked Finn the best, I think, because he definitely had the most going for him. The most layers to himself than Marina or James (in either timeline). I was sad when James's brother was shot because I also liked him and Vivianne. I liked Marina towards the end, but she was grating me in the beginning.

 

James would have been better if we had further developed the differences. Because two years? Not a very long time. Em and Finn's development are a lot more believable because of what they went through. James's? I get, but I don't really get it either.

 

There's also this really weird love triangle. It's not so bad, with Marina, but I thought after all Em had been through, she could grow a pair of iron ovaries and fucking call it, man.

 

But Em wasn't exactly weak. I just think that after fourteen different timelines that you know of, where fourteen different Marina's were tortured, you could probably pull the trigger.

 

Seriously.

 

Two minor problems though. One, this book says the word 'girl' like an insult and that's fucked up and I will not stand for that. Two, is it really too much to ask for a non-stereotypical minority maid?

 

The pacing worked extremely well because you know there's a time limit. Three days, tick tock. It gets even better towards the climax which is amazing.

 

Climax = Amazing. Ending = Nope.

 

I don't like the ending because A) Pretty obvious where it was going to go from page ten and B) It throws out your existing time travel rules.

 

Because I don't know how James managed to do what James managed to do. It's a whole new timeline, but in this new timeline, James wouldn't have known what James needs to know to do what James needs to do.

 

Get me?

 

Also, because you make the ending the way it needs to be and then the last paragraph. Really? REALLY?! You just threw the romance into overdrive and FURTHER killed your time travel rules.

 

Also, Cassandra? I need to know the reason behind that name. If it's not James's mother, I'm going to be pissed.

 

It's a good book though and it's good because the characters are good and the action is great.

 

I complain a lot in book reviews but this book really manages to be well written and engaging. I was reading it at work and trying to find things I could slack on so I could finish. When I got a new tablet to play with, I didn't do anything but read this on my Kindle app.

 

It's a really good book that makes a few missteps. Those missteps are small in most regards, but that ending knocked this book down a half star. The fact that it's being made into a trilogy also knocks it down.

 

I would recommend this book to people who like mysteries. Not necessarily Sci-Fi, because while the entire story revolves around time travel, it reads more like a mystery and a dystopian.

 

Overall, great debut and I will probably read the sequel if only for Finn.

 

(Definitely for Finn.)

17% Done

All Our Yesterdays - Cristin Terrill

Why do we have to treat our gender like an insult? Why is it italicized like it's the single worst thing to be called?

Work training

My work is resolved to train me as slowly as possible.

 

On the plus side, my boss is amazing and lets me read in my downtime, so long as I remain available to train.

Got the only perfect score on an exam in the class that I didn't study for. *brushes self off*

 

(This means I can relax for the next exam and read a book instead!)

Peter Pan is a prick

Peter Pan - J.M. Barrie, Michael Hague

I remember reading Peter Pan when I was little and not liking it at all. I now know why. Little Mary was somewhat of a responsible child. Seriously. Don't know where it went, but I was sort of an old soul for a kid. 

 

Now I go see Disney on Ice productions of Rockstar Disney characters. It's a weird thing. 

 

But Peter Pan, as a character, is irresponsible and a prick. I grew up with three older brothers. One of my brothers convinced me that if I held my middle finger up, that it was something not a lot of people could do and I should go show mom. That's how, at four, I told my mother to 'fuck off' without knowing what the hell I was doing. 

 

Peter Pan makes Wendy and crew fly for days without resting, without telling them how to stop, while laughing as they plunge to their maybe deaths in the water. 

 

I get that it's meant to show that Peter Pan doesn't know right from wrong, but all it showed me was that I thought Wendy should punch him in his stupid laughing face. 

 

I loved Wendy. 

 

But that sort of recklessness just doesn't jive with me. Peter Pan is a really good book, don't get me wrong, but I just didn't feel it because I wanted some parent to come around and tell Peter Pan to stop fucking around. 

 

Great book. Not for me. 

Reblogged from The Reading Perusals of Rose Summers:
On Writing
On Writing

Rose's Notes: That's a really good measure to live by.  I think many writers are free to feel inspired by others, but in the vein of comparisons, one should strive to improve upon their own experiences and talents from where they started. Inspiration and comparison are not the same thing.

“I’m not interested in teaching books by women”

Reblogged from Rabbit Reads:

"I say I don’t love women writers enough to teach them, if you want women writers go down the hall. What I teach is guys. Serious heterosexual guys. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Chekhov, Tolstoy. Real guy-guys. Henry Miller. Philip Roth."

 

Screw you.

 

Spoiler Alert: the Proust you so admire? He's gay.

Reblogged from Rabbit Reads:
"I think you mean the Ballad of Nenia Campbell," she said at 3 A.M. while 'writing' but not really.
"I think you mean the Ballad of Nenia Campbell," she said at 3 A.M. while 'writing' but not really.

Accurate.

Getting Started

Hullo all! I'm trying to get this whole Booklikes site down, but until I do, please bear with me.

 

Welcome, refugees of GoodReads' War on readers.

The Fault in Our Stars - John Green I'm leaning more 3.5-ish. Review to come later tonight.
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen, Anna Quindlen There's really nothing to say on this book that hasn't been said. Jane Austen is the queen of telling and not showing, so I shouldn't like this book so much.

But I read it at work and couldn't keep my grinning like a like a little school girl between every interaction that Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth had. (Hehe, they like each other!)

But I was will say this, Mr. Bennett's the best character. Hands down.
Unbreakable - Kami Garcia I received this book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Actual rating: 0.5 stars because I liked two scenes.

Alright guys! There’s this story out about two brothers who go around killing ghosts and demons because it’s the family business and was something passed on through the generations.



Occasionally they recruit help in the form of a quirky genius who’s far too good for school.



And a woman who may not have chosen demon hunter as her first job, but falls into it with a vengeance.



There’s also a demon that they’re hell bent on destroying because he’s going around killing people that the group cares about and loves.



There’s also lots of really cool things in the story like rock salt guns, journals passed down through generations, salt lines, runes, summoning demons, setting bones and personal belongings on fire so ghosts don’t come back, and electrical storms that give away where demons are hiding.

Did you guess Supernatural? YAY! You’re right!

If you also guessed Unbreakable you’d be right.

Seriously. Look at the above things I mentioned and TELL ME that’s not a Supernatural fanfiction.



You’re a filthy damn liar if you look me in the face and tell me those similarities are accidental. I’ve never seen a book so brazenly steal from source material. It’s an insult. I’m a Supernatural fan, but I’ve only seen all the episodes once (In my defense, there’s a fuck ton of episodes) and I feel insulted.

Did you think we wouldn’t notice? I mean, do you know –really know- how many Supernatural fans there are? Because this isn’t just a homage to Supernatural anymore. I’ve read Supernatural fanfiction with less in common with the show.

The main character is Kennedy whose mom is killed by the main demon in question. Two brothers come storming in when a ghost is going to kill Kennedy and shoot the ghost with rock salt, making the ghost leave. The house is attacked by a poltergeist. They meet up with the rest of the crew (characters above) and proceed to try hunt down the demon because it’s the family business.

I AM NOT FUCKING JOKING!



But wait. This fanfiction gets better! We’ll call Kennedy our self-insert, so this is a self-insert fanfiction. Bad enough, right? What do self-insert fanfictions come with?

Why! Instalove and a love triangle, of course!

Indeed, let’s have the Winchester brothers brothers Lukas and Jared (Yup. Jared.) both love Kennedy. After maybe a few days. Enough to completely change personalities and training. Never mind that Dean Jared (wrong actor’s name) could kill the ghost threatening Kennedy no problem. Nope. He’s got to forget everything and do exactly what the ghost says.

Granted, this happens in the only redeemable and maybe original scene in the book. I’m not sure, like I’ve said, I’ve only watched the episodes once, but I don’t remember a kid’s orphanage. If there is one, please correct me.

That’s seriously why I put .5 stars up there. Two scenes. One in a kid’s orphanage because fuck me ghost kids are creepy as hell and the prison scene because that was also creepy. I’ve watched all sorts of paranormal shows about prisons and let me tell you, I will not step foot into a haunted prison.

Fuck that shit.



But those scenes? At 75% through the book and 90% through the book. So at this point I was so angry because I could have been reading legit fanfiction with better character development.

And maybe they were legitimate characters, but it was so easy for them to slip into their Supernatural roles that I never really had to take them out.

So, have you seen Supernatural? If so, avoid this book. Because guess what? YOU ALREADY KNOW THE ENDING!

No, I’m not joking. She even stole the Apocalypse ending.

I just…I can’t. I just can’t even. How the fuck did this get published? This is a fanfiction not even bothering to hide it!!

So to this book, I’ll let the real Dean say something.


Shredded - Karen Avivi Actual rating: 3.5

So when I was in high school, I took Speech and Debate. It was my favorite class, as you can imagine, and one of the requirements was that you had to compete in an actual competition to get a good grade. So we'd travel all over Arizona to compete.

I loved it. I looked forward to competitions more than anything else. Well, one of the competitions was set up during my annual Halloween party. I don't know how it got started, but out of all my friends, I hosted the Halloween party.

I figured hey, no big deal. We'll go to the competition, not place like always, and come back down in time for the party. The debate topic wasn't something I was comfortable with, and while I loved the monologue I preformed, Valerie's letter from V for Vendetta I had just started with it.

I qualified. In both events.

So I had a choice to make. Did I stay and see what I could do, in something that I devoted a large amount of time to, or did I go back home and play hostess?

My friends all understood when I told them I was going to stay. They knew how much speech and debate meant to me. My mom, on the other hand, was furious. I left her with my group of friends at a party I was supposed to be hosting. Nevermind that my group of friends were all in the top 10% of our class, the straightest of straight lace.

I placed second in both events. Out of thirty debate contestants and more than fifty dramatic interpretation contestants, I got silver in both. It stands as one of my proudest moments where I finally had validation for my effort and ability to think quickly.

Mom always looks at those medals with a silent sort of disdain. If I ever bring up Speech and Debate, she never brings up my medals. Nope. It's the one stupid party.

Anyway, what I mean to say is that parents are stupid sometimes. There's always that moment where you did something amazing in high school that they have a completely different take on. We've all had those moments where you excitedly tell your mom that you're going to be an English major and she looks at you and says "Well, sweetie, what happens when that novel of yours doesn't work out? You need a backup plan."

Shredded is going to bring all those memories flooding back.

Shredded is a book about girl BMX rider Josie who wants to compete. She loves BMX, wants to take it seriously, and goes into a competition. Have you ever seen a sports movie? Well, a sports book is a lot like that.

I want to say that this is a good book. Seriously. I just butted heads too many times with it though, and it left a sort of sour taste in my mouth.

First, this book does not hide the fact that it's about feminism. What happens there is that because the book is so blatant about its message, it has the ability to make a lot of missteps. To me, it made nearly all of those missteps.

I am a feminist. A very vocal, unapologetic feminist. I get pissed when I go into a clothing store and I can only find five pairs of women's slacks and fucking millions of men's slacks. I work in a professional environment, dammit, and I don't like wearing long skirts and I don't like tights!

With feminism, you've got all kinds of different ideologies. At the beginning of the book, Josie equates femininity with weakness. She even explicitly states that she doesn't want to have a "girly" reaction in front of the guys?

Dafuq is a girly reaction? Are we clutching doilies?



You're preaching to me about standing up for women kind and saying that because the bike frame is girly, you desperately want to repaint it? Listen, I get it if you have a tom boy character. I was a tom boy when I was little. The problem is that this book is preaching feminism. You can't demean your gender and also preach feminism.

I typically don't like preachy books as a whole, but feminism in young adult I'll definitely get behind. Have you seen the kind of BS they're trying to pull with our gender lately? Hell yeah let's take it back!

The problem with preachy books though is that it now makes everything see through. What I mean by that is, you start to suspect or identify everything as a device to further the message. It feels less organic. Most of all, I felt this way with the characters.

All of the characters fit pretty nicely into cardboard cutouts. They aren't complete cardboard cutouts, but they don't much deviate from it either. Josie's the girl with a chip on her shoulder, she grew up with the boys, got dumped by one of them, now she wants to compete. Alexis is the pretty girl who cares about boys and doesn't take things too seriously. Miguel is the supportive friend. Troy is the douche brother. Gianna was the born-again housewife (?). Connor was the worst offender of all though, only appearing when Josie needed some revelation about what she should do.

Even if the message weren't so obvious, the characters so device-like, I still didn't really care.

What were the stakes in this book? If she didn't compete, so what? Josie had a large following already. If she didn't win, it didn't matter. I mean, it mattered, but it didn't. Yeah, we wanted to see her beat the boys, but even if she didn't, she proved she could get up again.

So, in the end, why should I care? As a reader, I've already seen Josie be better than the boys. What's keeping me reading to the end? There wasn't much in the way of tension.

Family situations were a bit bizarre too. Josie keeps accusing her parents of not being supportive, but I really don't see it. I would have killed to have parents throw me a surprise party for when I did well in a competition (For the record, I love my parents, but I am a writer so we have our hangups). There's a ramp in your backyard!

Also, the family situations for the other characters...why are they even really mentioned? Is there a sequel, because if not, they're never really explored. Not one teenage character is happy with the level of support they get from their parents, but Josie's are the only ones really explored.

Now, I gave this book 3.5 stars because this is a good book, it's just not a good book for me. Go look at Litchick's review! She loved this book and I can see how she can love it. I just didn't have enough to keep me interested or propelled in the story.

In all fairness, I don't do contemporaries all that much. I'm more life or death stakes sort of girl.

I still want people to read this. The message needs to get out there about feminism and I really like the BMX approach to it. But personally, this book and I just didn't get along.

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