OwlCrate Unboxing

OwlCrate is a YA book subscription box that I’ve been getting for several months now, and I absolutely love it! So today I’m going to do an unboxing post.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The theme of May’s box was Comic Explosion. So everything in the book themed around comics and it was really fun. This box came with all sorts of goodies including coffee candy from Kafe Candy, an exclusive look at Image Comics’ new series AFAR  and more below!

This month came with a zipper pull, which I accidentally put on my key chain first because I didn’t realize what it was.

There was also a cool pen, which you can see featured in the middle of my comic collection (only part of it!) and in the middle of one of AFAR’s pages. Btw I really liked the first chapter of this comic and I plan on eventually buying it.

I also got a Wonder Woman Candle, which was made by Dio Candle Company. Candles are my favorite thing to get and this one smells amazing!

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Also in this box were various different Funko Pops, I got Deadpool. 😀

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And then last but never least, the book with this box was Eliza and her Monsters by  Francesca Zappia.  I’ve already read it and I’ll be posting a review soon!

So what’d you think? Should I do a monthly post about the OwlCrate boxes?

Camp Nano Day 20

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I validated my word count today! Let me tell you it felt really really good. This is actually the first time I’ve won Camp. And I’ve done it like…4 times before now? I can’t actually remember how many. But yeah! First time winning Camp. Wohoo!

My goal for Camp was to write 5k on a play, which I finished fairly quickly.  I was then able to work on a short story which ended at about 5k as well. From there I fiddled with a few ideas, adding a couple hundred words to a memoir and to a YA fantasy story before deciding I wanted to re-write my Alice in Wonderland retelling. I’m currently at 6k in it and I’m hoping to be able to finish it at 60k.  I doubt I will get there by the end of this month because that’s crazy.  Still one can always hope. 😉

How is your Camp Nanowrimo going? Anyone else finished? If you haven’t finished, you can do this! I believe in you. 🙂 

Reading YA Pt2: The Possibilities Are Endless

It’s taken me forever to right this post because it took me forever to decide why I even read YA lit.   And the answer just came to me seconds ago whilst reading Paper Fury’s latest post.  So why do I read YA? In my first post I complained a lot about YA and then said at the end I was going to talk about reading what you love.  But I’m not going to write about that today. Today I’m going to expand more on why I do like reading YA.

Why do we read?  For most of us, me included, reading is a form of escape.  We read to travel to other worlds, to become the hero, or simply to get away from normal life for a bit. Reading is and always will be the most magical thing that I can do.  It’s a form of immortality, being able to live a thousand lives all while sitting at home and drinking tea.
And this is why I love YA.  Because the possibilities are endless.

I mentioned in my first post that YA made me fall back in love with reading.   But the longer explanation is this.   YA lit is much more personal than a lot of classical books. First off the language is more modern, the characters sound like me.  They say and do a lot of the things that I do or could do. That immediately gives me a much stronger tie to them than in some classic books.  It’s no longer me reading a book.  It’s me becoming the character.   I love love love this.   As a INFP personality feelings are things that I feel very strongly.  I may even be a bit addicted to feeling things.   So when I can become a character in a YA book suddenly I’m feeling the story on a whole new level.  I’m able to see the world from a different perspective. Which brings me to my second point.

YA books aren’t all about stupid teenagers pinning in love after someone.  Period.  Don’t ever say that.   Yes some YA books are romances (which isn’t a bad thing) and yes YA books are about teens.  But that doesn’t invalidate the book’s ability to teach something. All of my favorite books teach me something. That’s mostly what I look for a in a book.  A new perspective, a new idea. And I have found this in YA books.  I think that to stereotype YA literature is a very naive thing to do.  It’s hard because sometimes I feel like people judge me for reading YA.   I mean I’m almost 21, married and an adult. Shouldn’t I be reading more ”serious” things.     But I’m learning not to let this get to me.  Firstly because many YA books have very serious topics (like mental illness, racism or homophobia) and secondly why should I care? They have a right to judge just like I have the right to read.

I guess my point is this.  I need to learn to not judge YA so harshly and remember why I love it.  Reading is and always should be fun. And I hope you always have fun reading as well. 🙂

So why do you love YA? 

Reading YA: Pt1 The Quest for A Good Story

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Unlike some people I didn’t grow up reading much Young Adult literature.  Apart from the occasional book from the Dear America series and maybe a few here and there that I can’t remember, I read books like Anne of Green Gables, The Little Princess, and when I got older: Jane Eyre, Middlemarch, and books by Leo Tolstoy and Dostoevsky.  All of these books I loved, and I believe they’ve given me a great foundation for my writing.

Then when I was 15 I stumbled upon the Hunger Games trilogy, and I loved everything about it. I loved the writing, I loved the story, and I loved the characters. Suddenly I was introduced to a modern way of writing, the emotions of Katniss blew me away, and I related with her so deeply I knew I wanted to try and find more YA books to read. Katniss was also much closer to my age than most people in the books I read. There was something about being the same age as the person in books that I really liked. So that’s what started me on my quest to find more entertaining, emotional books with teenage characters.

Fast forward to this day, and I have a rocky relationship with YA. I am ever on a search for a good story, moving characters, and witty dialogue. I’m a picky reader, there’s no getting around it. With my predisposition to the classics I often find that YA books lack the intelligence and depth that I’m used to. Now obviously it’s hardly fair to compare YA books to classic literature, so where does that leave me?  Often I find myself reading yet another book that has a massive amount hype. Everyone loves it! It’s amazing! The characters are one of a kind! And I read it, and I usually dislike the characters and find the book silly.  It’s gotten to the point where I don’t trust hype anymore. Period. I go into books thinking “this is going to be terrible”, which has helped me actually. Since I have such low expectations the books often surprise me with how ”not bad” they are.

You may ask yourself now, why does she even bother reading YA, if she dislikes it so much? It’s a valid question. One I ask myself from time to time.  And I think the answer lies with my first falling in love with YA. We all have that one book that swept us off our feet and made us fall in love with reading.  When I read the Hunger Games I fell back in love with reading. I had grown tired of the classics and wasn’t sure where else to turn for a good book. The Hunger Games showed me a path that I thought would give me more interesting things to read. And it did and does…sometimes. So I guess there lies my whole struggle. Do I stop reading something because I find myself disappointed 85% of the time? Or do I continue?

 

In the next part of this series I’m going to talk about reading what you love and not boxing yourself into a genre.  Let me know what you thought about this post! I’d love to talk with you about your experiences with YA. 

Nirvana By J.R. Stewart

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Synopsis: When the real world is emptied of all that you love, how can you keep yourself from dependence on the virtual?

Larissa Kenders lives in a world where the real and the virtual intermingle daily. After the supposed death of her soulmate, Andrew, Larissa is able to find solace by escaping to Nirvana, a virtual world where anything is possible – even visits with Andrew. Although Larissa is told that these meetings are not real, she cannot shake her suspicion that Andrew is indeed alive. When she begins an investigation of Hexagon, the very institution that she has been taught to trust, Larissa uncovers much more than she ever expected and places herself in serious danger. Her biggest challenge, however, remains determining what is real – and what is virtual.

I was very excited to read this book, I loved the cover and the description of the story was very intriguing.  The first 10% of the book was good.  The setup was spot on and it seemed like a fantastic new spin on a post apocalyptic story. After awhile though it got a little bit confusing. There too many details all at once, and  I couldn’t keep time or people straight in my head.

And then things just got too easy, the stakes didn’t seem real or high enough.  Larissa is searching for her dead husband believing him to be alive still, but I never really got her character or her belief in her husband.
About 20% of the way into the book I figured out the end of the story, which was very disappointing. Once the character Terk was brought in I knew what was going to happen and it as hard for me to continue reading it.  I felt that some of the character development was missing. Terk seemed to just disappear, and Serge and the Corporal were strangely very alike and I had a hard time remembering who was who.

Also the formatting on the kindle was weird, maybe that was just because my copy was an ARC, but it would do things

like this for no obvious reason and I would loose my place in a sentence.

Overall I was disappointed in this story.  I never felt for the characters or was invested in the story.  I gave it 2 out of 5 stars on my Goodreads.

Thank you NetGalley for allowing me to read this book. 

 

 

Falling Into Place

Because I’ve had access to a library for the first time in over 6 months I have been reading a ton of books. I recently hit 110 books!   I’ve been reading a lot of YA books recently, because a lot of blogs that I follow have been recommending YA.  Now I haven’t particularly happy with the books I’ve been reading  I would say a good 95% of the YA books I’ve read these two months have been disappointing, boring, or cliche, or all of the above.  I’m a firm believer that no matter how old you are, you can enjoy all types of books.  You can be 90 and enjoy kid’s lit and YA.  Or you could be (like I was) 15-16 and be in love with 19th century Russian writers. Books are books and they are meant for all ages.
But recently I’ve been feeling that I’ve just outgrown YA.  The stories are no longer as appealing to me, and what’s worse, the aren’t convincing.

So I won’t go into all of my woes, instead I want to talk to you about a YA book that I loved.

WARNING: Minor spoilers ahead.

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Today I finished this book here, titled “Falling Into Place”.   Hello emotions and feels! I really really enjoyed this book.

Why you ask? Well let me tell you.  First of all the writing was great.  The POV is told from someone who is outside of the story (I won’t tell you who) which makes it really cool.  The POV for this book hooked me right away.
The second reason I really liked this book is that the characters are real. Liz,  Kennie and Julia were really believable characters. Why were they real? Because they had pretty terrible lives, lives that they ruined themselves. Liz and her friends consistently ruin other people’s lives in the book, Julia has a drug problem and even Kennie has a story that’s heartbreaking (but I won’t get into this because spoilers!)

You don’t love the main character in this book, I didn’t at least, and I would be extremely surprised if anyone does. But you do feel for her.  Liz is raw.  She’s unlikable and she’s just tried to commit suicide.  So if the characters are unlikable why should you read this book?  For me, this book made me think. It made me think about how I treat people, do I give them the respect they deserve, or do I treat people like crap? In the book Liz sufferers from bulimia, she treats her body and herself with zero respect. This made me think about how I treat my body and myself.

I like books that make me think, and this was definitely one of those books. Now I’m not saying it’s a profound book, but it isn’t your average story with no point.
Also until the last few pages you don’t know how the story is going to end.  Amy Zhang’s plot is almost flawless, she brings in characters at the right time and she doesn’t give away all of the secrets in the first half.

Sometimes I feel like YA books make high school seem like such an awesome time of boyfriends and finding yourself and true love.  But high school usually isn’t like that, and I felt the “Falling Into Place”  really showed this.

So to conclude I gave this book 5 stars, I really enjoyed it and I recommend it to you all.

Have you read this book? Did you like, or hate it? What have you been reading recently? Let me know in the comments! 🙂