Your Name (Movie Review)

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Hi everyone! I hope everyone's summer is well. Today is going to be a bit of a different blog, as not only is it a movie review, but my absolutely AMAZING friend Leah is here to help me out of my blogging slump! She's here today to bring you Your Name, otherwise known as Kimi No Na Wa. Enjoy! <3 


“What this film has to say about how we experience time and loss overpowers the demands of logic.”                                                                           -Yoshida, Vulture

From director Makoto Shinkai, the innovative mind behind Voices of a Distant Star and 5 Centimeters Per Second, comes a beautiful masterpiece about time, the thread of fate, and the hearts of two young souls. The day the stars fell, two lives changed forever. High-schoolers Mitsuha and Taki are complete strangers living separate lives. But one night, they suddenly switch places. Mitsuha wakes up in Taki's body, and he in hers. This bizarre occurrence continues to happen randomly, and the two must adjust their lives around each other. Yet, somehow, it works. They build a connection and communicate by leaving notes, messages, and more importantly, an imprint. When a dazzling comet lights up the night's sky, something shifts, and they seek each other out wanting something more - a chance to finally meet. But try as they might, something more daunting than distance prevents them. Is the string of fate between Mitsuha and Taki strong enough to bring them together, or will forces outside their control leave them forever separated?



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“Once in a while when I wake up, I find myself crying. The dream I must’ve had I can never recall. But... the sensation that I’ve lost something lingers for a long time after I wake up.”


I don’t know where to start with this review! This movie has all of the elements to make you fall in love with it and hate it at the same time. I was warned before watching it that I would be hit by so many feels. And I was hit. Hard. Like a truck. Everything about the movie is perfect. The aesthetics, music, and the script worked together to make a masterpiece. Just to show a bit on the aesthetics: 




I’m not saying that the art or the aesthetic makes a good anime movie, but the shading and colors really put you in the mood. They did an excellent job of setting the scene and I was able to sink into it quite easily. (if that makes sense to any of you at all).

And now the characters. I have to admit I loved them all but I can’t say that I was totally attached to them. Unlike previous animes I watched I didn’t have an obsession over them like I usually would. Maybe it was because it was a very straightforward movie that didn’t focus too much on each characters’ background. Either way, I still cheered on Mitsuha and Taki’s love for one another. I appreciated the depth and maturity in the characters, especially from Mitsuha. 

I honestly feel like I can relate to Mitsuha the most. She yearns for something more in her life and wishes to be seen as as any other “normal” (what is normal?) person. As the mayor’s daughter, she must watch after herself and keep the family traditions of their temple. She keeps her dreams to herself, holding herself back in order to not hurt the people she loves and taint her father’s image. I admire her actions of selflessness and her maturity to be an example to her little sister. Still, I think that we should all try to follow our dreams! 



Moving on to Taki…

I personally think he is extremely funny and naive. I mean, both Taki and Mitsuha are quite cute when they explain what they do when switching bodies. For example:


(kekeke honestly I’d have the same reaction if I switched bodies lol)

It’s so funny whenever Mitsuha (in Taki’s body) tries to help Taki’s love life. The aftereffect is hilarious and makes me feel bad for Taki. I’d say Taki is similar to Mitsuha; while I was watching the movie it seemed that he felt that life wasn’t giving him much. Actually both of them looked so desperate for something more until fate brought them together. Taki is very affectionate towards those he cares about but he is quick to change emotions. Personally, I find tears come faster to me whenever he cries and his emotions are portrayed so well. I mean just look at this precious cinnamon bun: 

(wagh don’t cry child it’s okay T.T) 

Anyways, moving on. •__•

Now I’m going to bring in the stressful stuffs: symbolisms and predictions! (yes I know I’m so sorry guys)

Kimi No Na Wa has so many types of hidden messages and hints all over the place. Unfortunately since this is supposedly a spoiler-free blog, I cannot tell you all these clever tricks up the directors’ sleeves. I still believe that directors are people who feed off of people’s fear for the next episode/scene/MV *cough cough BTS cough cough* Just kidding, I love directors. Anyways the symbolism is deep all throughout.

I love how they decided to use Mitsuha’s braid cord as a red string of fate. If you don’t know what a red string of fate is, it is an East Asian belief that the gods tie an invisible red string to two people so that they would meet each other.


Basically, the braid cord is passed around in the movie between Mitsuha and Taki (as in they're connected!!!) and it definitely sticks out throughout the animation. I’d say that the red cord is a big part of her identity and definitely helps Taki recognize her. (wait is this considered a spoiler?)  Anyways with all of this symbolism and plot twists you’ll be at edge of your seat throughout the whole movie. (or bed edge depending where you watch) 

I’m sorry guys, bear with me for a bit more as I continue this rant…

Soooo music. The music is absolutely beautiful and has this feeling I can’t put into words. Some of the songs have an ethereal feel and some just feel so...hmm… it has that feeling of life. It has a mystical feel but a bit of roughness that seems to describe life, or rather the mysteries of life. I can’t really explain it so here are links to a couple of my favorite songs.


They both have the trailers so I hit two birds with one stone. Smart, am I not? Anyways, if you actually listened to the songs (and I mean listen listen by putting your heart into it and searching for something blablatkaflsef), you can probably understand what I mean up above.

So as I come to an end (yes there is an end of this rant), I will tell you my overall experience and rating of this beautiful anime movie. If you are a weak-hearted person like me, YOU WILL BE BAWLING YOUR EYES OUT by the beautiful ending. I will tell you though: there is some sort of dissatisfaction that you feel in the end, at least for me. The feels will hit you (like a truck) unexpectedly so I highly recommend a box of tissues near you. Now if you’re just  a normal person whose heart clenches for a slight moment then you’ll survive. If you have no heart, don’t bother watching it. Overall my rating for this movie is… *drumroll please*




*gasp* Yes I know, it’s nearly perfect but don’t be discouraged by this imperfection, PLEASE WATCH IT!!! The only reason why I put a 4.5 is because of the ending. Maybe it was just me comparing to previous ones I’ve watched. If you want a perfect 5 star I highly recommend an anime series called Shigatsu Wa Kimi No Uso. (which is the picture at the right) Yea, I know I’m advertising something else I’m sorry.

SPEAKING OF APOLOGIES

I’m sorry for infiltrating this book blog to just dump my weaboo trash here but since both Cindy and I love this anime, we decided to put this review up here. I have to say, Cindy definitely needs to update her bio considering that she has been introduced to new fandoms and other things that should be under the things she love. For example: anime and KPOP. (courtesy from none other than me) 

But anyways maybe I should end this post with an introduction, because introductions are best done at the end of a piece.

My name is Leah and telling you my last name is unnecessary so I won’t tell you.

Obviously I’m friends with Cindy and the best way for us to connect is through books. Yes, I bet you can’t believe it. I am a bookworm. Why did I not do a post on a book? Because I can. 

I’d say my taste in books is quite different from Cindy. She likes to read fantasy and sci-fi like I do, but all the reviews in her blog seem to be mostly about life and stuff. Oh and the keeper of lost cities. Not that I like that genre it’s just I prefer to be kept in the world of teen fantasy. Here are a few of my favorite books:

1. Throne of Glass (and series) by Sarah J. Maas
2. Cinder (and series) by Marissa Meyer
3. Harry Potter (and series) by J.K. Rowling (I don’t know why        
       this comes third)
 4. Relentless (and series) by Karen Lynch
5. Divergent (and series) by Veronica Roth
6. The Finisher (and series) by David Baldacci
7. Graceling (and series) by Kristin Cashore
8. City of Bones (and series) by Cassandra Clare
9. Lady Midnight (and series) by Cassandra Clare
10. Heartless by Marissa Meyer
11. Carve the Mark (and series) by Veronica Roth
12. The Queen of the Tearling (and series) by Erika Johansen
13. Of Fire and Stars (and series) by Audrey Coulthurst
14. Three Dark Crowns (and series) by Kendare Blake
15. Iron Butterfly (and series) by Chanda Hahn

As you can see by the titles, these are all teen fantasy books so if you’re not really into action, death, extreme sorrow, or other mature themes that should not be shown to 15 under then I recommend you don’t read these books. I also forgot to add a book I’m working on: The Handmaid’s Tale. I highly recommend this book if you want to read a dystopian book written by a brilliant author. It’s depth and… right no more reviews. Anyways, you’re probably bored by my blabbering and probably didn’t even read 30% of this so I’ll let go of you and go back to my shell. It was nice to give you a review on something I love and thank you so much Cindy for giving me a chance to be a part of your blog!! I hope each and every one of you have a great rest of the summer and not get into a reading slump like me!

WITH LOTS OF LOVE FROM READER TO READER,
LEAH

All The Bright Places (YA Reviews)

Monday, February 13, 2017

Hello! I'm back today with a review of All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. I've gotten so much reading and writing done over the past couple days, and I'm quite happy on my progress (Even though I'm still behind on my 2017 Reading Challenge...Ambitious goals are not easy ones to reach!) But anyway, we've had 3 snow days (5, if you count the weekend, and more to come) in up here in Boston, if you're wondering about my burst of progress. XD, but rambling aside, here's my (non-spoilery) review of All The Bright Places!


Age Recommended: 12 + (It's considered a young adult read, not middle grade! The story has to do with suicide, so it's good to keep that in mind.)
Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Ember; Reprint edition (September 13, 2016)

The beloved New York Times bestseller that Entertainment Weekly described as “sparkling” and says “get[s] under your skin.” You won’t soon forget this heart-wrenching, unflinching story of love shared, life lived, and two teens who find each other while standing on the edge.

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death. Every day he thinks of ways he might kill himself, but every day he also searches for—and manages to find—something to keep him here, and alive, and awake.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her small Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school—six stories above the ground— it’s unclear who saves whom. Soon it’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink. . . .



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My Thoughts: 


“I should be happy, but instead I feel nothing. I feel a lot of nothing these days. I've cried a few times, but mostly I'm empty, as if whatever makes me feel and hurt and laugh and love has been surgically removed, leaving me hollowed out like a shell.” 

Can I just start with...

This book gave me so many feelings that I honestly couldn't, and still cannot, comprehend. 

I think the best way to describe how I felt when I closed the book is exactly that quote up there. I couldn't follow what had just happened, and I couldn't understand what I'd just finished. 

Of course I was expecting some hurting, as this book is about suicide, but clearly I wasn't prepared for the--it wasn't even even a whirlwind, more like a--BLASTING BLIZZARD of emotions. The book ended waaaaay to soon for my liking probably because I was desperate to hold on to the characters, and refused to let them go. I told myself when I began the book that I would not get too attached to the characters. Repeated that like a mantra while reading. And yet... #fail

Let's begin with the leading main character: 

Theodore Finch is my all-time favorite fictional boy. From his battle against himself, to the way he holds his head high when people poke fun at him, there's no reason for you not to love this guy. Finch's presence in the book is a candle lighting up a dark room, and he's honestly changed my outlook on life and living greatly. I've felt so many things for him, embarrassment, happiness, love, sorrow. I don't think I've ever empathized with a character as much as I have with him. And don't even get me started on how much I learned from him. (Let's just say I have an obsession with sticky-notes now...) 

I won't discuss the other characters, in fear of spoiling the book, but basically what I'm trying to explain is that I love Theodore Finch with all my heart and refuse to hear any criticism of his *sigh* beautiful soul. 

[*insert cartoon heart eyes*] 

MOVING ON TO THE WRITING. 

“I learned that there is good in this world, if you look hard enough for it. I learned that not everyone is disappointing, including me, and that a 1,257-foot bump in the ground can feel higher than a bell tower if you’re standing next to the right person.” 

Just going through the quotes on Goodreads makes my heart ache. :( 

I really enjoyed how Niven writes with purpose. Every part of Finch's story is there for a reason. Not to mention the character development and the relationships and the depth of the world. 

There wasn't anything particularly special about her writing that stood out to me. (Of course it was pretty, gosh, just look at the quotes!) But that's not a bad thing, especially because sometimes it's better to be simple and get your point across. But I think the simplicity of her writing was what caused every moment of All The Bright Places to be that much more heartbreaking. There's no sweetening it up or sugar coating, it's just facts. 

Feels-O-Meter?

On a scale of 1-10, 10 being it shattered my heart and left me in pieces and one being I barely blinked throughout the book...

I'd give this one an 9. 

It's definitely one of the saddest books I've ever read, and the only reason it didn't get a 10 was because it didn't make me cry. I don't think I've ever cried because of a book before (My friends say I have a poker face when it comes to books, haha)...And the streak continues. BUT it was really close this time. SO KUDOS TO JENNIFER NIVEN FOR PROVOKING ALL THE FEELS. 


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My Rating: 


Won't be forgetting this one any time soon. 

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Thanks so much for joining me today! Hope you all have a nice week! 


Lodestar (Book Review/Rant)

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Happy New Year! I can't believe it's already 2017. It's crazy, isn't it? 

Today I'm reviewing Lodestar! I'm aware that I am quite late to the party, seeing as Lodestar was released in November...But better late than never, right? :D If you haven't seen (or read) Lodestar already (whatareyoudoingwithyourlife ????), I BEG you to, and if my voice of incredible reason weren't enough, look at the cover! (It's my favorite cover of the series, but I might be biased. You all know my obsession with Tam Song, hehe.)

(***I'm going to keep this review (relatively) spoiler free, but if you'd like my insights / rants about the book in more depth, I will be posting a separate Goodreads review.) 


  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years (But definitely mature 8-12 year olds! The theme is much darker than the others in the series, and there's an abundance of violence as well. So beware!) 
  • Series: Keeper of the Lost Cities (Book 5)
  • Hardcover: 688 pages
  • Publisher: Aladdin (November 1, 2016)

Dark schemes unfold—and Sophie’s loyalty is pushed to the limit—in this thrilling fifth book in the bestselling Keeper of the Lost Cities series.

Sophie Foster is back in the Lost Cities—but the Lost Cities have changed. The threat of war hangs heavy over her glittering world, and the Neverseen are wreaking havoc.

The lines between friend and enemy have blurred, and Sophie is unsure whom to trust. But when she’s warned that the people she loves most will be the next victims, she knows she has to act.


A mysterious symbol could be the key—if only she knew how to translate it. Every new clue seems to lead deeper into her world’s underbelly and the Black Swan aren’t the only ones who have plans. The Neverseen have their own Initiative, and if Sophie doesn’t stop it, they might finally have the ultimate means to control her.


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My Thoughts: 

"Time is a funny thing. Once it's gone, it's gone. But then it passes to someone else. You'll do great things with it, Sophie. Wonderful, incredible things." 

I'm not going to lie, Lodestar managed to surprise me. It was exciting to see something new come out of the series, but of course, with change comes difference, and with difference comes opinion (And yes, that means both good and bad.) :D

>THE WRITING: I'm not sure if I'm even qualified to say this, but I feel that Shannon's writing style has definitely settled and become something really, truly beautiful. I don't mean that her writing wasn't exceptional in the first 4 books (Mind you, they were all well written.), but it's clear that Shannon took it to another level for Lodestar. She makes it appear as if Sophie's story is not just a group of words cleverly put together, but a piece of art that should be admired in a museum. 

(Oh, and as the Tumblr dubbed angst queen, I MUST give Shannon credit for her angst. It was really well done. Extra points for almost making me cry.) 

>CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT: I'm a bit iffy on this subject, not turning against, but also not rooting for. I'm extremely satisfied with the new things we learn about side characters and their reasoning for actions in previous books, but I'm also a little disappointed that some characters seemed to be thrown to the side and forgotten, only being brought back when their role seemed necessary. I understand the logic behind the heyyou'reonlyherewhenweneedya, but it's still a bit saddening to go into a book being *SO READY* to have adventures with a certain character and not really seeing them that much. 

And you can't forget 2 certain characters who are my favorite people in the world not getting that much of a backstory and development. D: But I'm still hopeful to see how Shannon handles them in the next book. (Which, may I mention, is very, very far away....*flops dramatically to the ground*) 

PROTAGONIST: I suppose you could argue that this ties into character development, but we need to discuss Sophie. 

I love Sophie. A lot. 

But her behavior and just abilities (I'm going to include power and influence along with this) are really...*EXPLOSION*

Ahem. Allow me to explain. 

I find it hard to believe that a character can be 'the most' of everything. And I feel that in Lodestar, Sophie is prominently seen and described and told that she's 'THE MOST'. 

The most powerful. The most smart (at least, in her time of need). The most well planned, the person who everyone comes to when they seek help or advice. Not to mention that having the most abilities. Or being the only person able to succeed in doing things no one else can. 

And like I said earlier, I LOVE SOPHIE! But just in this book, in this case, she seems to rise over all her friends and peers and even the Council and Neverseen. By doing this, not only has she become one of those flat, YEAHIMTHEBEST, characters, she's also pushing the idea that everyone is inferior to her and it takes out the fun of having all her side character buddies, you know? 

I'm totally down for the idea of Sophie saving the world and killing the Neverseen in a punch, but not quite in the direction that she seems to be going in. 

And I get it, she's modest, she's 'created that way', and she has her own problems, but I find it hard to believe that Sophie's so powerful that everyone believes she herself has the power to fix the world. 

((Besides, the side characters are also super powerful??? I love them so much.))

WOW, my rambling has become pretty excessive, hasn't it? It appears I to have lots of say about this book, ha. 

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My Rating: 



3.5 stars! I'll admit, Lodestar isn't my favorite book of the series, but if you can overlook a bit of the protagonist / overall character development, it's still enjoyable! And of course, if you've been keeping up with the Keeper books, I also recommend reading it... I won't spoil anything but, some crucial events do occur! 


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Thank you all so much for joining and I hope you have a nice week! <33


The Sea Wolf (Classic Reviews) (A Tad Spoiler-y)

Monday, November 14, 2016

Hello, and happy November! (I know it's already 2 weeks into the month, sorry!) Today I'm reviewing The Sea Wolf by Jack London. It's a great story, and I'm glad to have had the pleasure of reading it. I highly recommend it for sea-lovers and bold readers, but more details down below! Here's some info before we begin. 


  • Age Recommended: 11 and up 
  • Page Count: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (December 23, 1999)

The novel begins when Humphrey Van Weyden is swept overboard into San Francisco Bay, and plucked from the sea by Larsen's seal-hunting vessel, the Ghost. This ship's evil captain, Wolf Larsen - The Sea-Wolf - is a murderous tyrant who uses his superhuman strength to torture and destroy, his brilliant mind to invent sick games, and his relentless will to control his mutinous crew. Pressed into service as a cabin boy by the ruthless captain, Van Weyden becomes an unwilling participant in a brutal shipboard drama. Larsen's increasingly violent abuse of the crew fuels a mounting tension that ultimately boils into mutiny, shipwreck, and a desperate confrontation. (Synopsis taken from Amazon) 


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My Thoughts: 

There are so many things I enjoyed from The Sea Wolf, so prepare yourself for some gushing and rambling!

First and foremost, we have Humphrey Van Weyden, a book critic (*points to self* HEY) thrown on a ship in the middle of the ocean and forced to survive the frontier, also known as the schooner owned by captain Wolf Larson. Hump goes through a lot of character development, and he really grows as a person! I like how London shows that the path to being great isn’t easy, and it calls for a lot of pain and hard work.

As for Wolf Larson, he's a very two sided character. He’s tough, and scary, and a tad-bit crazy--who am I kidding, he's nuts--but there's also a ‘soft’ side to him. He’s really into books and philosophy, which I thought was pretty cool. BUT LET ME JUST SAY THIS:

His philosophical talks were my favorite parts of the book.

Honestly. They're all really deep and insightful, and I enjoyed being able to read and see things from his point of view. 

Another thing I really liked about the philosophical parts is that while the book stereotypes men as these big guys who work with their hands, Wolf Larson (and Hump too!) reveal that 'real' men are also people who have intelligence and morals...

They have brains too! *le gasp*

But with that being said, I also love that there’s female empowerment. Maud, another character that we meet a little way into the story begins as dainty and fragile. But as she works more and more on the boat, and experiences some challenges of her own, she becomes strong, and stronger.

I think my only big problem with the book was the lack of action near the end. The beginning was fantastic, it was packed with action and punching and fighting and whatnot. As you get deeper into the story however, the action takes a backseat, and the story focuses more on relationship development (which was a-okay with me because I’m a nerd for cute romantic things ;p). But from a synopsis like above, you’d expect some more, I don’t know, *HI-YAH*, than you actually get.

But all in all, I am more than impressed with the writing and plot. :)

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My Rating: 



I really enjoyed it! For those of you looking for a sea-faring adventure with a dash of philosophy and romance, this one is for you!)

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Thanks for joining me with this review, and I hope you have a great week! 

The Thing About Jellyfish (MMGM)

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Happy Columbus day everyone! I'm back today with another review! There has been a lot of hype for this one in the book community, so I was really enthusiastic to pick it up. It's been on my TBR for a while now, and entering the book, I had some really high expectations. Clearly, the book has met and exceeded my expectations. It even managed to, uh, provoke some tears...Either way, I really enjoyed this one, and hope you will / did too! 


Age Range: 10 - 13 years
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers 
Source and Format: Hardcover, and the library! :-P

This stunning debut novel about grief and wonder was an instant New York Times bestseller and captured widespread critical acclaim, including selection as a 2015 National Book Award finalist!

After her best friend Franny dies in a drowning accident, Suzy is convinced that the true cause of the tragedy must have been a rare jellyfish sting-things don't just happen for no reason. Retreating into a silent world of imagination, she crafts a plan to prove her theory--even if it means traveling the globe, alone. Suzy's achingly heartfelt journey explores life, death, the astonishing wonder of the universe...and the potential for love and hope right next door.


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My Thoughts: 


"It's peculiar how no-words can be better 
than words. Silence can say more than noise, 
in the same way that a person's absence 
can occupy even more space than their presence did." 

I'm really blown away by Ali Benjamin's writing. It's so...so raw, and so real, and really hits at home for those who have lost a loved one. 

Suzy is an incredible character. Even from a reader's perspective, you can tell that she genuinely cares about Franny. She works tirelessly thinking and reading and researching facts about jellyfish. Suzy may not always make the best decisions, but she's definitely an embodiment of the phrase "It's not how we make mistakes, but how we correct them that defines us." 

Not only is Suzy sincere, but she is also very smart. (LOL, Smart Sincere Suzy) Her character is very unique, and you can see the thought put into her development. She doesn't talk very much, as a matter of fact, she barely talks at all, so the story takes place perhaps in her perspective, not outside, but in her mind. 

She's a really great person, and even with her flaws, I'm sure readers will aspire to have her loyalty and intelligence. Suzy has quickly become one of my favorite characters, and I don't doubt it for a second that future readers will agree. 

I want to note though, that this is a very sad book. It's quite the tearjerker, as it's about loss and letting go. 

But whether you just lost a close friend, or are a daring adventurer seeking an intriguing read, I can guarantee that this book will fulfill your needs. 

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My Rating: 


One of my absolute favorite books of all time! 


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Thank you all for joining me for MMGM and I hope you have a nice week! 


Reading Slumps: What They Are, If You're in One, and How to Overcome Them (Book Rambles)

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Hey everyone! I'm back again today with a ramble-ish type post (?) on reading slumps. The dreaded reading slump. Yup. If you've been keeping up with my depressingly inconsistent posting, you'll know that I, Cindy, the most bookly wormly person you'll ever meet, was in the reading slump of 2016. I just couldn't read for, like, the entire month of July. Being in a reading slump for a month makes you a certified expert, right? I'll just go with yes. So if you're wondering what reading slumps are, if you're in one, or how to overcome them, keep on reading! 




So what, exactly is a reading slump? A reading slump is basically when you can't pick up a book, when you have no motivation to read, or when there is just so much going on that no matter what you try, or how many times you try, you CANNOT READ. 

That, my friend, is a reader's nightmare reading slump. 

Now the question is, are you in one? The thing about reading slumps is that they are often confused with simply 'being busy'. Here's the difference between the two. 

Being Busy: You just don't have the time to read. You may get the chance to read a couple pages from time to time, but between {schoolwork, work, house cleaning, etc} you've just haven't gotten the chance. Your progression of books is a bit slow, but you are still reading. Which is great! Life happens, people get busy. 

Reading Slump: (Not all of these might be something you're experiencing, these are just a couple of things I did while in a slump.) You've been avoiding books altogether. You no longer have motivation to read. You are super behind on your reading challenge / goal. (Guilty as charged, check out my Goodreads *winces*) In other words, you are doing everything BUT reading. NOTE: You do not necessarily not have time to read. Just as you crack open a book, you realize that you forgot to walk your dog. "WHOOPS, looks like I can't read today." The next day, you grab your book and are about to read and realize that you're hungry. That is another scenario where you are deliberately avoiding books.  Oh! And a very clear example is that you're in a reading slump is you used to love reading, but now you run away from any book you come in contact with. 

So now, if you've come to realize that you really are in a reading slump, here are a few ways to overcome it! 

1. Set a goal on Goodreads. Have you heard about the yearly reading challenges? They're great. To create a goal, pick a number of books that you want to read this year. From now on, after every book you read, simply log it, and it will count towards your challenge. (Make sure that the dates in which you read the book are logged as well, so they count towards your challenge. 

I feel like this played a really big role in helping me snap out of it (It was more complicated that than that, obviously). I'm not on Goodreads a ton, but I keep a tab of it open on my computer all the time. Sometimes I'll click over, and I'll see the number of books I'm behind growing. It makes me feel all, what's the word, unaccomplished, and I want to be ahead again. 

2. Go to the library or bookstore. Or wherever you get your books. There's not a better way to not-avoid books when you're surrounded by them! *finger guns* But seriously, it can really help. Seeing all those spines and covers, and smelling the scent, yes, that renowned paper-y smell of books, might get you to slowly begin to falling in love with them the same way you did the first time as a child. 

3. Re-read your favorite book. This one is definitely the one that helped me overcome my slump. Although it was another book, not an old favorite of mine that I re-read. But that's beside the point. Finding a book (or reading one) that you truly enjoy is definitely a huge headway in overcoming a reading slump. I know a lot of you don't like re-reading, so here are a couple of my favorite books. 

  • Not If I See You First, by Eric Lindstrom (My absolute favorite, if you haven't read this one, go read it, what are you doing with your life? Go. GO READ IT.)
  • The Fault In Our Stars, by John Green (No brainer, you've GOT to read this one.)
  • The Thing About Jellyfish, by Ali Benjamin (One of my top rec picks, truly life changing) 
  • Everything, Everything, by Nicola Yoon (If you're looking for a cutesy love story, this is it!) 
  • (and obviously) Keeper of the Lost Cities, by Shannon Messenger (I've been in love with this series for who-knows-how-long, and hey, if you finish the entire series in one sitting, KUDOS to you!) 

And there you have it folks, my favorites. Also: Even if you're not in a reading slump, I recommend checking these out. They are AMAZING!

4. If you're a book blogger (like yours truly), re-read your past posts. Who knows, you might fall upon a review you did of your favorite book. Maybe you were fangirling about how you worship the author (*cough* Shannon Messenger *cough*), how the book is your best friend, how much you love the characters, how you've read the book over 27 times (it's true, I've read Keeper of the Lost Cities (the first one) 27 times), how it has taken over your life. And maybe, just maybe it'll make you want to read another book like that. 


5. Stalk authors on social media. There's no better way to get out of a reading slump than getting hyped for a book, y'know? And perhaps the author has a couple other books that have already been released that you could read...And you could always go on to sites like Goodreads or {insert other bookish website} 

6. And for the final, most important tip...Make time for yourself! Because, you know, reasons. 


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That's all I've got for you guys today! So are you in a reading slump? Do you have any tips to overcome them? Let me know in the comments below! :-) 




So Hard to Say (MMGM)

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Hey guys, welcome to MMGM! As many of you know, I've been in quite the reading slump this summer. I haven't read much, or blogged either, and most of what I've been reading is school required material. But it's funny how just a single book can revive your love of reading again. And the book that, metaphorically speaking, brought me back from the dead is So Hard To Say, by Alex Sanchez. 




  • Age Range: 12+ (There isn't any innapropriate content, there's quite a bit of kissing, may I add, but it covers some serious topics, such as gender and LGBT)
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (May 1, 2006)
  • Source and Format: Owned, Hardcover

Frederick is the shy new boy and Xio is the bubbly chica who lends him a pen on the first day of class. They become fast friends--but when Xio decides she wants to be more than friends, Frederick isn't so sure. He loves hanging out with Xio and her crew, but he doesn't like her that way. Instead he finds himself thinking more and more about Victor, the captain of the soccer team. But does that mean Frederick's gay? He hopes not--he sees how everyone makes fun of Iggy, a boy all the other kids think is gay. Frederick has to deal with some tough choices: Even though he is curious about Iggy, he's just started fitting in at his new school, and he doesn't want to lose Xio, his best friend. 

In So Hard to Say, Alex Sanchez, acclaimed author of the groundbreaking novels Rainbow High, and Rainbow Boys, of which School Library journal said, "It can open eyes and change lives," helps younger readers look at self-discovery, come to terms with being gay, and accept people who are different from them. 


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My Thoughts: 

What a wonderful book. Honestly, it's a fantastic book. There so many things to love about So Hard to Say, but here are a couple of my favorites. 

Let's begin with how realistic (and relatable) it was, shall we? Frederick is put in a difficult position with Xio, and he wonders if there's something wrong with him. He questions what the definition of being gay is, and prays that he isn't, as he sees how Iggy, a boy everyone believes is gay, is treated.

It's really shocking to see how Frederick attempts to hide his problems and feels ashamed to be gay. Our world has become a place where some people aren't even comfortable in their own skin, and are made fun of because they are being themselves. Frederick would rather pretend to be someone he's not than to be himself and be ridiculed. 

This book can be very relatable for those LGBT fellows out there.

May I also add how ridiculously huggable the characters are? Ohmygosh, after finishing the book, I just wanted to hug EVERYONE. Xio is such a sweet girl, and she welcomes Frederick into the school with open arms. Frederick is willing to sacrifice his homosexuality to save his friendship with Xio. The characters are just so sweet and smol and I JUST REALLY WANT TO HUG THEM.



So, uh, yeah, those were my two favorite things about the book. It was a quick read, so there isn't much to say about it. :-p


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My Rating: 


Because it saved me from my reading slump. :-)


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Thanks so much for joining me for MMGM and I hope you have a nice week!
ALSO: There will be a very special post that will be uh, posted sometime next week. Keep your eyes peeled until then! :-)

Signing off!








 
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