Book Opinion | Speak

Hi friends,

Somehow it took me over a month to read Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. There was just never enough time in the day to read it straight through like in the summer time, but here I am, ready to write another book opinion!

I have been wanting to read this book for about five or six years . . . maybe four, my memory is fuzzy. Not sure if it was before or after I read Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher (which is also a fantastic YA book akin to Speak that you should read if you haven’t already!) but I read it sometime between the past four to six years. I did not know there was a movie until I watched it in my senior year health class and I found the movie to be pretty satisfactory—-hair-pulling at times, but understandable at all the other times.

But this is a book opinion not a film one!

The book starts out pretty ordinary, nothing too extreme, nothing that popped out screaming “OMIGOD!” (Legally Blonde the Musical reference, anyone? (my attempt at coming to terms with this musical)). After some time, it came to the point where I was kind of bored with it simply because of Melinda’s character. I think that’s a really important thing to note because oftentimes with real-life people suffering from depression, some people don’t really handle that well. Some people get so fed up and tired of people suffering from depression because they don’t really understand what’s going on. In Melinda’s case, every single time you just want to tell her, “Speak up. This silence is what’s getting you nowhere. I know it’s hard but if you don’t try, what the heck are you doing?!” Obviously it’s not as explicit and accusatory as that 100% of the time (sometimes it is though!), but as spectators, you have to realize that sometimes depression just renders you incapable of doing anything and you don’t know why. (spoiler alert: she’s depressed if you couldn’t tell. side note: should I have included that earlier? no because if you want to read this book, then you probably already know what this book is loosely about)

I’m certainly not an expert on depression and not one to be talking about how it feels to have depression so don’t take my complete word, please, but it’s important to note these type of things, I guess. When Melinda finally finds the strength to get out of her slump, it’s such a prideful moment for you as a reader (or at least, for me) and it seems like such a simple and easy task. After reflecting about it through this post though, I’ve realized that it took so much of the book to happen before she got to this point because it takes a lot in real life to get out of the ditch (apologizing for bad metaphors right now). Anderson did a really good job with that progression.

I know I haven’t talked much about the plot but I usually don’t with these opinions unless it’s a review or if I really feel the need to talk about specifics.

Really good book. Definitely check it out if you haven’t read it!

Hannah
12 October 2015

Advertisements

25 Books I Want To Read

Hi friends,

I recently made a Google calendar to make a schedule of all of my queued posts (you can probably tell that most of them are queued haha) because the page of queued posts saying “will upload in 2 days” or whatever was not working out for me.

I also realized that most of those posts were about my book opinions. I’ve been reading a lot this summer, like a lot. I don’t think I’ve ever read this much ever in my life, I just keep plowing through books every week! There’s no doubt that this will dissipate as school starts because I will have no time, but we might as well enjoy it while it lasts!

Anyways, I’ve compiled a list of books that I want to read. If any of you have any reviews of these books, please leave them down below, I’d love to read any comments you have! So in no particular order:

  1. It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
  2. I Was Here by Gayle Forman
  3. Just One Day by Gayle Forman
  4. Off The Page by Jodi Picoult
  5. 99 Days by Katie Cotugno
  6. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrang
  7. The Young Elites by Marie Lu
  8. The Rose Society by Marie Lu
  9. Before Tomorrowland by Jeff Jensen
  10. We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach
  11. Mahonia by Maria Dahvana Headley
  12. Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone
  13. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
  14. The Potion Diaries by Amy Alward
  15. Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang
  16. The Zodiac Legend: Convergence by Stan Lee
  17. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
  18. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simison
  19. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz (that was a mouthful!)
  20. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  21. Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson
  22. The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
  23. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
  24. Mosquitoland by David Arnold
  25. I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

I have quite the list in front of me so hopefully I can get around to reading them all! I also certainly hope that none of you are bored of my book opinions because with this list, I don’t think they’re going away! Haha, I’ll see you all in the next post 🙂

Hannah
September 25 2015

Book Opinion | The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell

The Wishing SpellHello internet friends!

After three years I’ve finally finished reading The Wishing Spell! I don’t know why it took me so long, I started it in 2012 (I actually looked it up on my GoodReads account and I thought I started it in 2013 but alas it was 2012! So long argh!) and I was hooked but then I had to stop and I just never picked it up again. Fortunately I know that Chris Colfer has released the fourth book this month so I’m glad that if I were to continue reading the series, I wouldn’t have to wait for the next couple of books to release!

Colfer has definitely made an original story out of all of these well-known tales and he’s painted beautiful pictures in my mind. He’s given in depth stories to the tales that people only know one side of (which is sometimes the side only show in the Disney movie! haha just kidding). The princesses and the villains are given so much more dimension than we normally see and I find it so interesting and heart-tugging to read things like that. I love the idea that people are more than just the small preview that they show despite the fact that we’re talking about fictional characters–I think that concept applies to everyday people as well.

I love Alex and Conner and their dynamic together; it makes me want a sibling of my own, but I always want a sibling so oh well. I wish there could have been a little more action in the adventure but I will give Colfer some leeway since it was his first book. I’m sure the next 3 are just as great, if not better! So excited to read The Enchantress Returns!

Hannah
September 21 2015

P.S. Celebration for the 50th post on this blog!!

Book Opinion | Where She Went

Where She WentHi friends!

I finished Where She Went by Gayle Forman on July 25 2015 at 1 am (yes one in the morning, I don’t usually do that so you know that I really wanted to go through this book). To be brutally honest, I liked this book so much better than If I Stay, and by looking at Goodreads, most of the raters thought the same thing haha. I think the reason I liked Where She Went more than If I Stay is because of the feel of the timeline. I know it’s very similar to If I Stay but this felt like there was more going on and that there was more to learn and I think that just came from the fact that the plot is three years later so there’s so much to catch up on. It could also just be that I’m a huge sucker for love and I just wanted Mia and Adam to rekindle again, but I’m certain that that isn’t the only case. This is a slightly bitter comment (is it even bitter? probably not but I don’t have a better word for it), but I might have liked it better because I actually got to learn most of the full names of everyone in this book..haha, no that’s not it. I enjoyed that though!

I think there was just more going for this book and more finality and more…being in this book rather than just observing the plot through a microscope, which is what If I Stay felt a little bit like to me. I’ve addressed that my imagination can make books feel very real and enveloping to me and I certainly didn’t feel that way with the first book. The first book, I was just reading–it was a nice read definitely, but I wasn’t absorbed. Where She Went on the other hand, that absorbed me completely, I wasn’t just reading the book–I was in the story, if that makes sense. I enjoyed this definitely and would certainly recommend it. I think I read a review that said they read this without having read the first one and got by just fine, and to be honest, I think you probably could. There are some moments in the first that make the second more heart-wrenching but you wouldn’t really be missing much plot as a lot of it is recapped in the second. But it’s a good kind of recap, not the kind that feels repetitive which I know a lot of books from a series do. Just read it, it’ll be great. If it wasn’t a great book I would tell you!

See you guys in the next post. 🙂

Hannah
August 14 2015

Book Opinion | If I Stay

[Note: There are a few spoilers in this (probably like, 2) just in case no one wants to see any of those.]

If I StayHi friends!

I finished If I Stay by Gayle Forman on July 23 2015 a little before 7 PM. It was a pretty quick read–a little less eventful than I thought it would be, but gripping enough that I couldn’t put it down for too long.

This book is strange–I would be reading through it just fine and dandy but I’d pass through 15 pages and feel like I had not gone anywhere. All at once, it feels like a lot is happening but also that nothing is happening. It’s strange. Maybe that’s the whole point of this book, “If I Stay” so it’s just telling you about whether she stayed throughout the whole ordeal…? [SPOILER ALERT: she did]. If I Stay is a nice book though. It’s kind of slow but it’s fast-paced at the same time. Forman knows how to balance the present-day on-goings at the ICU with the background-inducing memories which is pretty admirable since that can be a difficult thing to do.

I’m not sure if I would have preferred for the crash to be so early, it felt very, “Ah yes, nice family, nice to meet y—did that just happen…right now??” If that makes any sense, because I’m very aware that I don’t usually. I wish I could have learned to love the family before the crash rather than grow to love them and be really sad knowing that they’re gone and that there won’t be anymore to learn about them. Mia always talked about missing her family but I couldn’t sympathize as well because I couldn’t miss them as much as I could have.

I of course loved all the talk about music and especially the talk about classical music, it was different but a good different. I loved Gramps too! I wish that I could have learned more about Kim, you learned a lot about Adam along the way. This book would have benefited from explaining everyone else more, I think.

I gave it a 4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads if that’s an indication. It’s definitely no Unwind or Fangirl where I’m itching to figure out what comes next, but it holds my attention enough to want to keep reading and know. I’m surprised that I’ve been keeping up with the more than weekly posts, I just randomly decided to try that haha. That’s all I have for now though so I’ll see you guys in the next post!

Hannah
August 12 2015

Book Opinion | Fangirl

Hi friends!

[Note: This one will have some spoilers just because I’m going to be asking a lot of questions into the void of my blog]

FangirlI finished this book on July 21 2015 around 11:30 AM and I dived right into this book, I think I read half of the book in 2.5 hours haha, but now I’m all done and I enjoyed it–no, loved it very much! I loved Cather and felt a very good connection with her and I loved Levi and Reagen and Professor Piper and all the usual characters, and felt the usual feelings for Wren. SIDE BAR. Can we talk about their names for a second. Cather and Wren?! Catherine?! Like, I get that their mom was supposed to be lazy and stuff but seriously?! I can’t get over it. That’s the one thing I can’t get over I’m sorry.

Some questions or things I didn’t get though, why so much inclusion of Carry On, Simon? A lot of the times, I skipped through the longer passages because I didn’t find it too central to the story. Was I wrong for doing that? Did it actually have importance? I understand the importance of Simon Snow though, because it’s very much similar in ways to Harry Potter and I connected with Cath’s love for Simon Snow very much. Maybe not cardboard cutout love, but almost everything else, haha. I don’t know, a lot of that felt very…extra(?) to me.

And what happened to the mom? Is Wren still keeping up with her or did Cath convince her to break ties or did Wren convince Cath to build the bridge back up too? I think that could have been address really quickly maybe, I don’t know, I’m not really a writer anymore. Not that I was much of one before, but now even less so haha.

I’m glad that Cath decided to finish the story and I knew it would be good since it was published in that student newsletter thing and I’m glad that her and Levi are good. I liked that Rowell didn’t include the oh-we-just-fought-so-I’m-going-to-awkwardly-stay-away-from-you-now and instead had Levi at the door unable to stay away. That was cute. But I’m a sucker for cute. OK NOW I’M JUST GUSHING AGAIN AND NOT ACTUALLY TALKING ABOUT THE BOOK.

Okay, that’s a lie, I am talking about the book. But oh well. All in good fun. I want Rowell to publish a sequel!! She probably won’t because I’m guessing that’s not her style but I guess I’m a little excited to read Carry On this year. We’ll see how it goes, and you’ll be one of the first to know if I can keep up with this during college! See you guys again.

Hannah
August 10 2015

Book Opinion | Unwholly (Unwind Dystology #2)

[Note: There are spoilers about Unwholly in this blog post]

Hello friends!

So I finished Unwholly over my vacation in North Carolina/Georgia on July 27 2015 at around 8pm (I had to stay in bed for hours due to a bad headache but I luckily had the time to truck through this book so not completely bad!) I took some notes on my phone about my review so this may not be the most well composed.

First of all, I love that the romance was so downplayed in this! It was so much about just being active for a cause and I loved every second of it–okay, maybe not every second because there are a few morbid moments in this series, but you know what I mean! Even though I miss seeing Risa, Connor, and Lev together, it’s a nice change to see them growing up and doing so much good despite being separate. Most stories with the main trio or main seven keep them altogether or at least paired for majority of the storyline, but Unwholly gave each of them moments to shine as themselves within all the action and fast-paced storyline.

Reading the scene where the Graveyard was captured was completely heartbreaking for me. Connor worked so hard to make sure they got to live what they deserved AND JUST DAMN YOU STARKEY. I love Connor by the way, his name has been added to the short list of names I want to name my kids (it’s basically, James, Connor, Lily and Annabeth–I’m such a book nerd). But Starkey, I knew that boy was trouble from the start. My copy of Unwind had the first two chapters of Unwholly at the end, and right from then I knew he was bad news, I did not like him at all, nope. He’s too hot-headed! He’s too dumb and blind to see beyond his seething anger at everything! Alright, maybe he isn’t seething, but he’s too stubborn.

Cam… I don’t know with him. I think I have the exact same trouble that Risa has accepting him. It’s so difficult to enjoy him because I know what he is, and yes he has a completely different soul and it isn’t his fault at all that stupid Roberta wanted to create him, but he’s….made of hundreds of Unwinds… I couldn’t imagine him being real, I have no idea how I would deal! If I can’t come to terms with him as a fictional character, I don’t know how I could ever come to terms with a real life him. Let’s hope that never happens, yeah? Although, despite all the things I don’t like about him, he is really good at dealing with Risa’s dislike of him despite being such a spoiled soul.

Trace surprised me, in good and bad. I’m sad he had to die the way he did, my stomach felt so sick when I was reading his scene. He was a good soul underneath all of the junk blown around though. I’m proud of what he chose in the end.

I’m so excited to read the rest of the series! I will probably order the rest of the series off Amazon soon 🙂 One thing I don’t particularly like about this series though..why are the book covers so creepy looking?! It’s so strange. Oh well, can’t control that–I still love this series though!

I’ll catch you guys again soon once I finish the third installment!

Hannah
August 5 2015

Book Opinion | Unwind (Unwind Dystology #1)

OHHHHHH MMMYYYY GGGOOOODDDD.

Wow.

Hi friends!

Unwind

So I finished Unwind a week ago on July 20th around 4:30 PM and wowowowowow. I sped through it in two days (July 19-20 if you couldn’t deduce) and that was so fast paced, but a good type of fast paced! It wasn’t one that you couldn’t keep up with or one where you thought things weren’t explained enough because everything was sped through. That is certainly not the case here, that book was AMAZING. I’m not exaggerating I promise. I fell in love with Connor from the very beginning and Risa not far after–Lev took a little work but I’d like to think that that’s how his character was written and if that was the case, then Shusterman did such a good job. If I could meet him in real life, I’d give him such praise. Of course there was the one slightly cringe-worthy part but not cringe-worthy because it was bad writing, cringe-worthy because of the topic, but it needed to be addressed at some point. Asdfghjkl;! I can’t give this book a good opinion because I’m just too hyped about it, it was so good. I am in love and I need the other books but I would probably speed read through them too and then be really sad that the series was over. I’m rambling a lot and not separating paragraphs so you know that it’s really good and that I loved it. I’m also typing at like 97 wpm because I just have a lot of words to say about how much I love this book, and they’re not even good words it’s just me saying “I LOVE IT”. But seriously, read this. Only if you’re into this type of stuff of course. Advisory: if you didn’t like reading the Hunger Games then maybe you don’t want to read this because it does deal with a very important debate that goes on today and also that cringe-worthy moment I spoke of. It’s bearable and you’ll still live after reading it but it’s still sickening none the less.

My entire book opinion has just been one long paragraph and I apologize. Maybe I’ll come back to this draft and see the error of my ways and make a more comprehensible opinion later. But knowing me I will leave it like this and when I go back to add the photo in, I will just press “Update” and not edit the draft in any way, shape, or form because I’m lazy. Haha, oopsies. Oh well, I hope that my excitement is a way to encourage you to read this book. It’s great.

Hannah
July 27 2015

Book Opinion | Paper Towns

Paper TownsThis book has me messed up.

How dare you John Green.

How dare you.

Hi readers, how are you?

I have spent my entire day (July 16 2015) reading this book and I am not okay. Paper Towns had me feeling so many things, too many things. How dare John Green.

I’m going to be honest, I bought this book a little while after I read The Fault In Our Stars when it was popular (2 or 3 years ago?) and it was really slow for me at first. I could not for the life of me get into it, and I tried my hand at it again about a year ago and got about 30 pages farther but definitely couldn’t finish the book. So I thought maybe it just wasn’t as good a book and didn’t really try to read it again for awhile, but in my midst of needing another book to read I tried to read it again. It was a little slow just as I remembered but I stuck it out and then I couldn’t stop. Truthfully, this book does have its slow moments but it does have its suspenseful moments too.

Margo Roth Spiegelman. I was so disappointed in her at the end. I, like Q, wanted her to be more. I expected so many great things of her, I feared for her just as Quentin did at a point, and I just wanted her back in the story to know what happened to her. And then she was back. And I was disappointed, and a little hurt, but mostly disappointed. But maybe that’s the point of her character? To be a paper girl? That sometimes people in life are just not more? Like Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, but still better because the entire book didn’t require more, just Margo. I don’t know, maybe that’s just the beauty of her character.

QUENTIN JACOBSEN. I’m going to be real honest with you and somehow that does not seem like that is what his surname should be. Quentin is cool. Quentin Jacobsen sounds not right. But I digress. I liked Q, I liked Q a lot. I think he’s a good character. I always felt myself so attached to him and just wanting to know he was okay and wanting to follow him and his story everywhere. Good on you, John Green.

Radar and Lacey were good too, I liked them a lot. I liked Ben at first but I don’t really know how I feel about him right now. So I’m going to stop talking about him right now.

Paper Towns definitely pulled at my feelings, the feelings of sadness, exhilaration, hope, fear–so many things. READ IT. It’s good. It’s just got me feeling this sort of way. HOW DARE YOU JOHN GREEN. But seriously, read it.

Hannah
July 24 2015

Book Opinion | Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl

Me, and Earl, and the Dying Girl

Hi again!

Look at me uploading at a reasonable interval from the last time! I actually read Me, and Earl, and the Dying Girl before I read Eleanor & Park, but I borrowed Eleanor & Park from my friend and had to give it back so I wrote my review on that one first haha.

I have such mixed opinions about Me, and Earl, and the Dying Girl. There were so many sections that I read and jokingly thought, “Haha that’s so me! He’s literally me–awkward and sarcastic and lame,” and even though he was so relatable, it was kind of disappointing at the same time? The book was definitely more realistic than most at times, but maybe that was where the book fell short for me? Sometimes I just wanted more–more hope, more happy, more…y’know? I think this book accurately represented the part of life where sometimes there isn’t more in life and that sad things just happen and I guess that didn’t do it for me. The book didn’t feel like it was going anywhere, it was just this boy who had problems that he had to sort out with himself and this girl who was dying from cancer. He didn’t do anything about it really, and he just felt stoic and unmoving. There was no epiphany, no ah-ha moment, and it just didn’t do much for me. Others may say otherwise and that’s completely fine but I wasn’t particularly entertained by this book. The beginning yes! But when you get more into a book, you want more.

I didn’t really get more. Sorry. 😦

I’m currently finishing The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell after starting it two years ago! I’m really bad with reading if I don’t immediately get into a book, it’s so sad. I’m still in the middle of this, Struck by Lightning by Chris Colfer, Paper Towns by John Green (anyone excited for the movie?!), and Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. It’s so bad of me!

Give me book recommendations though! I love getting book recommendations because they really give you insight into people’s preferences and enjoyments. Comment them below, I’d really love to hear from you guys! If you liked this post, please give it a like and tell me if you like seeing these types of blog posts! 🙂

Hannah