Saturday, January 30, 2016

My Experience with Paper Towns


Hello! This is a continuation of a series that I started earlier this month with My Experience with Percy Jackson. I want to continue it with Paper Towns. Because my experience with this book was AWESOME.

I read Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars in early 2014, and I loved them! I also loved the TFIOS movie. So, of course, when the Paper Towns movie was announced, I was pretty excited to pick up another John Green book.

I read Paper Towns in March of last year over. Originally I read it on my Kindle, you know, back when I read books on my Kindle. (E-books are no longer my format of choice.) I finished it all in one day because I loved it. (My review, but be aware that this was back when I sucked at reviewing. Or maybe I still suck now? Hm.) At the time, it was my favorite book by John Green, though it's now Looking for Alaska. Because I reread it in an interesting mood... But at the time, I couldn't stop thinking about it. I was unbelievably excited for the movie to come out.

HAHA. If only I knew what I knew now... XD

I spent the months leading up to the movie watching John Green's videos on-set and obsessing over trailers. My excitement only grew.

I even bought tickets to an event called Night on the Towns. Where I would get to see the movie a day early, and get a poster and a necklace, and also get to see a live streaming of the cast. I mean, I spent $25 for it, but that would be worth it wouldn't it? Wouldn't it?!?!?!? (It was.)

At some point the Get Lost Get Found Tour was announced, and people could vote for whatever state they lived in, and the tour would only go to three states. So sure, I voted for Ohio. All I hoped for was that one stop would be close enough for me to drive to. But what states ended up winning?


Ohio, Indiana, and Texas.

So...not what I expected. In the slightest. How does this make any sense? Shouldn't California be on there? No? Texas, sure. By population that makes total sense (second most populated state). But Ohio is 7th, and Indiana is SIXTEENTH. What weird obsessive person voted for these states so many times it was enough to make them win? HOW EVEN??????

On the day that the stops were announced, I wrote this post expressing my excitement and utter disbelief. Why Ohio? Why Columbus? What's wrong with you people?

Of course, I went for it because I WAS GOING TO SEE JOHN GREEN IN PERSON. WHAT IS MY LIFE. I mean, also Nat Woff, Cara Delevingne, and Halston Sage, but who cares about them? JOHN GREENNNNNNNNNNN

It's funny because I totally would have gone to the Indianapolis one as well, considering it's not that much further than Columbus (two hours vs. one and a half). But hey, I'm not gonna complain.

So I ended up tweeting a bunch of stuff because the possibility of John Green not on a screen was BAFFLING.

And then...the day came. It was the morning of July 15th, and I was a sleep-deprived mess that didn't have the energy to put contacts in. Hahaha beautiful.

Anyway, I woke my dad up at, hm, 5:30amish (thanks Dad), and had him drive me up to Columbus even though they wouldn't actually be letting anyone in until 3. I wanted to get there early! I wanted a good seat! I didn't want there to be any chance of it getting full and not being able to get in!

We arrived around 7. There were too many people there. Maybe 75 or 80. (Turned out to be 84 and 85 exactly...) It was mostly, ahem, teenage girls, and the occasional parent that had been convinced to drive them there.

Long story short, I spent a good 6 or more hours total siting on pavement uncomfortably while trying to read a pretty terrible book (Secrets by Tim Mettey, sorry dude). At one point I did find a bathroom a couple blocks away (thank the gods, that could have been a bigger issue than it was...).

I sent my dad to get donuts from Tim Hortons, Because...apparently they have those in Columbus. Honestly, I thought they were a Canadian thing! But what do I know...?

I realized after all of this waiting that I am very good at waiting. To me, it didn't feel like much time at all! Maybe it was the excitement...or the donuts...or the excitement about donuts.

Around one in the afternoon, they started shuffling us all into, um, fence..barrier...metal..thingies (What is this English you speak of?) where we stood for awhile surrounded by police and really really confused pedestrians.

So many excited teenage girls. Ahhhhhhhhhhh

Then I tried to take a picture of the building and the Paper Towns sign and failed SPECTACULARLY. What is this light? Why does it look like that? What the hell?

Anyway, they lined us up, and had us wait there for awhile (which wasn't that big of a deal because we'd already been waiting for awhile.)

Then, people started making there way down the line giving people blue wristbands (as in, those little paper bracelet things that go around your wrist with built-in tape) that would, you know, grant them access into the theater (theatre? who knows?)

BUT they were also giving out yellow wristbands. My thoughts were basically, what? Two? Whyyyyy?

When they came to us they gave us ALL OF THE THINGS. ALL OF THE FREE THINGS.

First, a poster with a bunch of quotes from the book/movie. AWESOMENESS. Plus I got two because my dad was also there and occasionally he gets mistaken for an obsessive teenage girl that wants a Paper Towns poster.

They gave us the two wristbands, and guess what came with the other yellow wristband?

THIS PAPER.

Of course, I was on Twitter immediately, having mental breakdown because my life right now.

It was a week and a half before the release of the movie, but I was going to see it in a couple hours.

Oh my god Oh my god Oh my god Oh my god

I later learned after some brief discussions on Twitter that the advance screening was just for the first 250 people in line. Never ever will I questioning getting up at 5 in the morning to drive to Columbus. NEVER.

Eventually they let us into the theater where we sat for another hour listening to the Paper Towns soundtrack. I quickly learned that My Type gets annoying really fast.

I feel like a learned a lot of things during this experience...

So a little after 3, the official start time of the show, John Green (and others...) came out on stage and there was a lot of screaming and hyperventilating. I did not do this because...well, my dad was there and I didn't want to look weird.

A couple weeks after this the idea of John Green filming me (along with the rest of the crowd) and then posting that video on the internet set in when he posted this video. It took me a good 10 minutes to find myself and that's when I knew what I was wearing and where I was sitting, so I don't feel all that uncomfortable telling you that...

Anyway, the show was hilarious because it involved hilarious people. We got to see 20 minutes of the movie (the last night with Margo part), which would have been more exciting if I didn't know I was going to see the entire thing a couple hours later.

It was only about an hour long, and that includes seeing 20 minutes of the movie, but I regret nothing. John Green in real life? WORTH IT.

Oh...also that thing with spelling out "Ohio" XD

After the show was over, we went straight to the movie theater since we weren't sure if there would be a line, and I was hoping my luck of that morning was still with me. (IT WAS.)

There were only, like, 5 other people there, but we decided to stay because what if everyone comes the moment we turn our back?

So for another hour and a half I drank milkshakes and talked to some girls (it was weird because that's a rare thing for me) that had arrive at 9, and still gotten to see the movie early! I started to regret my decision of getting up at 5 to arrive by 7...

I also decided to go to a local (like, within walking distance) Barnes & Noble where I bought an actual paperback version of Paper Towns because I had heard some rumors about John Green and the other people coming to take a quick stop at the movie theater. I WANTED TO BE PREPARED IN CASE SIGNING TOOK PLACE, OKAY?!?!?

That didn't happen. Well, okay, they did show up and talk to us some more, but no signing took place.

Oh, also. I was sitting in the front row. My luckkkkk. I was 6 feet away from John Green.

AGJERGEJFNSKOOJNDFSFSIJFIESFENJF

Of course, the girl directly next to me who was fangirling her little heart out got all the attention. Cara loved her, Nat high-fived her, I glared at her, etc. Why must I be the fangirling-on-the-inside type?

Sucks to be her. I found her Twitter. (I'm such a stalker oh my god.)

But really, of course she would like One Direction. How typical.

We also made up our own hashtag. #secretsiblings I felt a little weird using it, but it also felt like an awesome inside joke. An inside joke full of spoilers for the movie...nice.

The movie was AMAZING. I adored it. That was probably a good thing because I was also seeing it again during Night on the Towns the next week.


I didn't get home until about 11 when I kind of...collapsed.

I also reviewed the movie early. What? Reviewing my most anticipated movie of the year in advance? Life goals right there. (My review.)

I also cut up one of the posters and stuck the quotes all over my bookshelf...

Then I saw the movie again on the 23rd of July, and it was just as amazing the second time. Plus I got another poster (well, three copies of that poster, I have so many Paper Towns posters now..) and a necklace that I wore non-stop for several months.

I thought my experience was over...but then....

Well, okay, that was most of it. But I did eventually get a signed copy of the book at Barnes & Noble's signed books event thing on Black Friday. So at least I have that.

Then I got the movie on Blu-Ray and DVD for Christmas and rewatched it a couple times. It's the kind of book/movie that never gets old...plus the memories.

So yeah, one of the best experiences I've ever had with a book. Meeting the author, who happens to be one of my favorite authors, seeing the movie early, eating donuts, glaring at fangirling teenage girls... *sigh*

Oh, also, around September I lent out my paperback copy of Paper Towns that I had bought in Columbus. I've still yet to get that back...so that's nice. If it didn't have all the memories and sentimental value, I might have just let her keep it since I have a hardcover, but since it does, no. GIVE IT BACK.

Thanks for reading! What's the best experience you've ever had with a book?

PS: Really bad lighting, I know, but this is the poster, wristband, and advanced screening invitation from the Get Lost Get Found Tour:

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Gender and Seuxality (Not a) Rant 2


Hello! Last November, I made a post titled Gender and Sexuality Rant. Unfortunately, it is titled terribly as it wasn't as much a rant as it was a "Coming Out" post, though it wasn't really supposed to be that. And to be completely honest with you, when I made that post I was very confused when it came to my own gender and sexuality. I also realized there was a lot of things I wanted to add on to, so I wanted to make this follow-up post to hopefully better explain myself than I did initially.

Sexuality


I came a little late to the whole "questioning your sexuality" thing. If you would have asked me what my sexuality was a year ago, I would have said I was straight. OF COURSE. NEVER BEEN ATTRACTED TO A GIRL BEFORE, I MUST BE STRAIGHT.

Around...February or March last year, I had my first experience of being attracted to a female person. (Way to phrase things...) It was a friend of mine who's transgender and annoyingly attractive no matter what your sexuality is.

I'm not going to go into any more detail about this because anyone who's friends with me in real life already knows exactly who I'm talking about....

I didn't exactly see this experience as "Oh you're not straight anymore". I really thought it was just a weird one time thing that wouldn't happen again.

What would my response be to the "What's your sexuality?" question back then?


Actually that's still my reaction.

Anyway..

So then high school happened. It seems like high school is where everyone comes out because they're too scared and insecure to do it in middle school/junior high (what it's called depends on your school). I kind of quickly realized that my sexuality depends almost entirely on other people's gender identity. Well...sort of.

What I really wish I had said in my original post was that I'M ACTRACTED TO FEMALES. A few months ago I was still in complete denial. I never cared about other people's sexualities, but my own? Oh no. I didn't want to think that I wasn't straight as a fucking stick (sorry for all the negatives XD).

I mean, I'm still a little in denial. I'd rather not think about it. Even though I'm forcing myself to right now, aren't I?

So I guess in a nutshell I'm sort of pansexual, but not really. Like, the idea of dating a girl? Eh... I think most of that is just me not being into girly things or girly people. Even my friends that are girls aren't particularly girly. Girls annoy me. (No offense, girls..)

Gender

 
So gender. I have a hell of a lot of transgender, gender-fluid, gender-confusing, etc. friends. I did mention this is my last post, but I'm going to say it again. I get a lot of "What's your gender?", "What are your pronouns?" type questions. I totally get why people ask these, but when I wrote my other post the idea of answering those types of questions made me incredibly uncomfortable.
 
To a certain extent, they still do. I don't really have a clear answer for the pronouns question, but I just use she/her because I don't want to be the person that makes the grammar nazis sad when they use they/them pronouns.
 
I think mostly gender just confuses me. If you want me to call you a guy and use male pronouns, and vise versa, I'll do it without much hesitation (confusion, but I try), but figuring out my own gender? WHERE DO I EVEN START WITH THAT?!?!?
 
I'm not really all that girly of a person, but I don't necessarily refuse to wear dresses or pink or whatever, it's just rare. I don't put my hair in a different style every day or wear piles of makeup. Or any. It's just not something I enjoy spending my time on... Then again, I don't think whether you're masculine or feminine really explains your gender. If anything, I just don't care.
 
I've never understood the idea of being transgender. Sure, I'll call you whatever you like, but what does it mean to be a guy or a girl? I don't even understand. I've never been the type to really claim the title of "girl" or "woman" because it never felt like me. I'm female, and I don't object to that idea, so does that make me a girl? I don't know.
 
Saying sentences like "I am a girl." never made any sense. What does that even mean? When I think of "girl" I usually think girly. Long hair and makeup and dresses. That's never sounded appealing to me. Does that mean I'm not a girl?
 
Many people use "woman" or "man" as such a defining characteristic of themselves. I never have. I'd never even thought about it before friends of mine came out as transgender.
 
Long story short, I just don't care. If you want to keep it simple, use female pronouns. I don't have any sort of problem with it. Would you feel better calling me a "they"? Knock yourself out. I wouldn't even mind male pronouns, but I would probably just be confused so I wouldn't recommend it.
 
The only person I've ever found with whom I've felt similarly about gender is Vi Hart, who made a YouTube video which I really understood and identified with... Basically she explained what I'm trying to explain now but better.
 
I feel like I need to use a gif to explain how I see picking (yes, it feels like picking to me) a gender/pronouns.
 
But also...
 

Coming Out

 
Even though my last post wasn't really supposed to be a coming out, it kind of ended up being just that. Before that post, I hadn't really talked about gender or sexuality with anyone besides some really close friends I talked to when I was still figuring things out. (I still am, but you know what I mean...) Because I'm all anonymous on here, it turned out to be a lot easier than it would be out loud with actual words. Even the real life friends I told were still over text so...obviously I'm just bad at conversations.
 
People always talk out coming out. It's never really been I thing I thought I would do, and I don't really want to either. Talking to my parents? *shudders*
 
It's not like my parents aren't except, they really are. Mostly my not being able to talk to them is just caused by my own anxiety.
 
I never understood coming out. Well, I understand if you're transgender (or whatever) and you want people to call you a different name or use different pronouns. But if you're gay (or whatever)? YOU START DATING SOMEONE OF THE SAME SEX AND I THINK PEOPLE WILL GET THE IDEA.
 
I guess I have "come out" before. Actually, I "came out" to one of my friends a few days ago. The only reason it's in quotation marks is because I kind of assumed they knew..but apparently they didn't. So that's like coming out, right? That's how a lot of my friends came out to me...
 
"So you know I'm not straight, right?"
 
"Well, I do now.."
 
Most of my problems currently are that several months ago (when I was still in denial), I told people that I was straight. I guess I've never (officially) dated a female before, so people tend to assume that's how it is.
 
On another note...you know how parents tend to "know" that their child is gay or trans or something?
 
Yeah, mine are clueless.
 
One day I'm going to introduce them to a girl and they are going to be so confused. I mean, if I brought home a guy I'm sure they'd ask, but if I bring home a girl? NO IDEA. What am I even supposed to do about that? HOW DO I EXPLAIN THESE THINGS?
 

Another Thing

 
I'm sure many of you have heard of Leelah Alcorn, the transgender girl that committed suicide a little over a year ago. What I'm pretty sure you're not aware of is my...close proximity to her. I feel like I have a pretty first-hand account of what happened.
 
I'm not going to claim to have known her, I didn't. But I have a lot of friends who knew her that were really affected by her death.
 
I definitely was as well, I mean, so many of my friends had come out that year, and to here about a trans girl killing herself? So close to home? I was terrified it would happen to someone I knew more personally. I had nightmares for weeks about one of my friends being convinced it was their time as well. Especially since so many of the transgender people I know are suicidal.
 
One positive thing did come out of Leelah's passing, though. My school now has a LGBTQ+ club (Gay-Straight Alliance, basically). Which, even though it's a common thing nowadays, did not previously exist before last year. It's pretty much a fact that it wouldn't have been formed without her. Not to mention that many of the staff are very supportive and are really trying to help with the teachers and administrators that...aren't. Curse me living in such a split state (Ohio) politically...
 
I'm so happy I was born in a time where LGBT people are mostly accepted. And I got to see it happen. I'm going to be telling the story about gay marriage becoming legal in the US to all of the generations that come after me.
 
I like to think about the kids that were born in the last couple of years. The ones that won't know a United States that said gay marriage was illegal. They'll look at gay marriage the way I look at allowing interracial marriages, an obvious thing. Why would it ever be illegal? How does that even make sense? I love that.
 
Sorry to get all long-term instead of staying personal, but it's a thing that I really needed to say.


Monday, January 25, 2016

Discussion Question Monday: Blog Design


Hello! Welcome to Discussion Question Monday! This week's question is: Does blog design matter?

I CHANGED MY BLOG DESIGN.

This is (sadly) the first time I've been entirely happy with my blog design directly after I made it. Usually it takes some getting used to, but this time I liked it immediately. YAY.

Then again...it is quite similar to the one before. Just more purple. And a loss of a side bar. (RIP left side bar.)

I realize that I have quite a different design compared to, um, most other book bloggers. Most people have a design that's mostly white with some other color. Or just colorful in general. Mine is quite a bit darker (especially with this new background), and there's quite a bit of contrast with the off-white and black thing. Honestly, I like it, but I'm wondering how much my blog design affects how many people read my blog.

I don't usually care very much about blog design, at least I think I don't. The only thing that really matters to me is the readability of your content. I mean, if your background is blue and your text is a slightly different shade of blue, THAT IS A PROBLEM. If you have tiny little contract-like words, that is also a problem. I need to be able to read your actual post without being distracted (or bored) by your design.

I think many people look for a clean, non-distracting blog that's easily to look at but also easily to look away from. That's not exactly what I have, but hey, I like it. What can ya do?

But how much focus do people put just on blog design? Can a blog design lose you readers?

I like to think blog designs give you an instant preview of a bloggers personality. The colors of my blog are pretty much what you would see if you saw me in real life. I know I don't talk about this often, but my hair is purple. I tend to wear a lot of black and white, mostly for fear of clashing with my hair. Purple is usually the first thing people notice when they look at me, and I'd like that to be the same with my blog as well. It gives you a glimpse of me before you read anything.

What do you think? How much importance do you put on blog design? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading!

Friday, January 22, 2016

The Ultimate Book Tag!


Hello! I saw this on post on The Book Space (originally created by Chapter Chicks awhile ago) and felt entitled to do it. Plus I'm bored. And it looked fun. So why not.

1. Do you get sick while reading in the car?

I used to, but it seems to no longer be a problem. In the last couple years I've read lots of book in cars, though I would have died if it did that a couple years ago. I'm not sure what changed..

2. Which authors writing style is completely unique to you and why?

I have to go with Tahereh Mafi on this one. If you've ever read the Shatter Me Trilogy you know EXACTLY what I'm talking about. It's actually the kind of writing style you either love or hate. (I've seen many people that do.) But personally I love it. :)

3. Harry Potter Series or the Twilight Saga? Give three points to defend your answer.

Ha. I've only read the first book in both of these series....but I have to go with Harry Potter.

1. Because people will kill me if I don't.
2. Wizards > Vampires.
3. England. Is that a bad reason..? Better than Oregon. Or Washington? I don't remember.

4. Do you carry a book bag? If so, what's in it (besides books)?

Well...I have an overly full folder where I stuff random things. Homework. Forms. Entire novels. That kind of stuff. I also have a planner. (I pretend to be an organized person.) And last but not least, a shit load of pens. SO MANY PENS. I have an obsession.

5. Do you smell your books?

Obviously.

6. Books with or without little illustrations?

Hmm. With. I like artwork in books for some reason. Or photographs.

7. What book did you love while read but realized later it wasn't quality writing?

Oh wow. Time to go against everything I've ever said..

Percy Jackson?

Don't get me wrong, they're great books. I loved them when I was little, and I still do! But a few years ago I thought they were the best thing ever. I've now realized that there are better books, and I can actually point out flaws in them. But I still love them to death...

8. Do you have any funny stories involving books from your childhood? Please share!

Uhhhhh All I can think of is when I left my copy of The Lightning Thief out in a thunderstorm. Is that funny? I didn't think so..

9. What is the thinnest book on your shelf?

Um. Right. The actual thinnest book on my shelf is a tiny little children's book in German my dad used to read to me called Unsere Lieblingsspielzeug or "Our Favorite Toy". I can only half read it (it's better than me trying to speak it), but it is technically the thinnest book on my shelf at around 6 pages. Mostly pictures.

10. What is the thickest book on your shelf?

I'm pretty sure it's The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson. A couple of the Harry Potter books are longer than that but those are on my shelf, so I'm not going to count it...

11. Do you write as well as read? Do you see yourself in the future as being an author?

I do write, though I fail at it. As for being an author...I still have an Egyptology obsession to keep at bay. So I'm not sure that's going to happen.

12. When did you get into reading?

I'm one of those people that's always been into reading, but I didn't get really hardcore into it until I was 10 or 11. Since then it's all been books books books books and books.

13. What is your favorite classic book?

The Diary of Anne Frank. I LOVE that book and Anne Frank quite a bit for some reason. That's only strange because I don't tend to be very interested in World War II, but to me it seems like Anne's diary doesn't really focus on that to much. Maybe that's why I love it..?

14. In school is your best subject English/Language Arts

While I am pretty good at English, I'm also good at everything else. I'm kind of a well-rounded student... Honestly, I like history much better. (I'm sorry, I just can't stand literary analysis essays.)

15. If you were given a book as a present that you'd read before and hated, what would you do?

If the cover is pretty, I'll put it on my shelf and display it. If not, I'll hide it somewhere in my shelf out of sight. I probably won't get rid of it. At least not immediately...

16. What is a lesser known series that you know of that is similar to Harry Potter or The Hunger Games?

Hmmmm.... Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins is semi-similar to Harry Potter. Well, there's a school with magical creatures (it's not wizards so.. :P). Plus Hex Hall is HILARIOUS.

17. What is a bad habit you always do?

Getting books off my shelf planning to read them soon, but never actually reading them.

18. What is your favorite word?

Hiatus. Really. Random. Word. I. Know.

19. Are you a nerd, a dork, or a dweeb? Or all of the above?

Out of these options? Probably a nerd. Though I tend to identify more with the word "geek". (If that wasn't obvious.)

20. Vampires or fairies? Why?

Fairies. Because...fantasy trumps paranormal. And Twilight.

21. Shapeshifters or angels? Why?

Shapeshifters. Because...Hush, Hush was terrible. They both suck, really.

22. Spirits or werewolves? Why?

Spirits. Because...I like hauntings. And Twilight.

23. Zombies or vampires? Why?

Vampires. Because...I hate zombies. I think they're stupid. Don't ask me to watch The Walking Dead. Ugh.

24. Love triangle or forbidden love?

Forbidden love! Who can even stand love triangles anymore? Teams annoy me.

25. AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST: Full-on romance books or action-packed with a few love  scenes mixed in?

ACTION-PACKED WITH A FEW LOVE SCENES MIXED IN. I'm not a fan of lovey dovey books. They annoy and bore me.

Thanks for reading! This is definitely a fun tag to do when you're bored by the way...recommended.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Discussion Question Monday: Biographies vs. Autobiographies


Hello! Welcome to Discussion Question Monday! Today's question is: Which is better, biographies or autobiographies?

This question seemed incredibly obvious to me, but apparently some people actually read biographies FOR ENJOYMENT. Silly people.

I don't tend to like any kind of biography that's basically the history of someone's life. I find them boring and factual and it's rare I can find I person I find interesting. Mostly because I tend to latch on to subjects and cultures more than specific people...

Things like diaries and letters I find very interesting, though. To me it's like exploring an abandoned house without any risk of breathing in icky chemicaly things. Which sounds pretty good to me.

In my opinion, autobiographies are much more personal, and it feels like you're talking to an actual person instead of reading out of a textbook. That being less personality and more facts, and that isn't what I want when I learn about a person. If I'm actually reading a biography of a person (that's a rare occurrence but it does happen), then I would like to get to know them like I would if I were talking to them. Because I kind of am! And that's FANTASTIC. It's much more interesting than knowing when they were born or what kind of accomplishments they had.

I bring this topic up because I'm currently being forced to do a unit on biographies/autobiographies in English right now, and it makes me sad. I like to think you can only like biographies if you actually care about the person. Or at least the time period! If I'm going to like a biography, I better pick it up myself.

To be honest, I don't understand people that like biographies. Old historic documents, sure, I get you, but an account of someone's life from a historian perspective? Ugh. WHY??

I don't tend to be quite as interested in autobiographies or memoirs that happened relatively recently. I find it more interesting to read from the perspective of someone in a different time period with different values and a different outlook on life... To broaden my horizons.

What do you think of biographies? Autobiographies? Memoir? Do you read them? Do you enjoy them? Do you have a preference? Please comment your thoughts down below!

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Comment Issues

Hello! This is a quick post explaining the issues I've been having with my comments...and if you (hopefully a person better with computers) could explain how I could fix it, that would be fantastic.

This problem has been going on for several months now. I'd really rather not switch to another commenting platform, but if this continues to be a problem I'm going to have to.

Basically, I can't reply to comments. People can comment! Then the reply button is there, and when I hover over it it becomes underlined in a link kind of way, but when I click on it nothing happens. Originally I thought it might be a problem with cookies (or something..my knowledge of computer things is limited), but now that I've tried going through the settings of several different browsers (Chrome, Explorer, Safari, and Firefox) on several different devices, I'm pretty convinced that's not the problem.

Here's the thing - I can reply to comments on other blogs, so I'm assuming it's a problem with my blog in particular. Though what that problem is? I haven't the slightest idea.

I went through all the tutorials I could find, but according to the internet, my comments should be working. Maybe it's a problem with my template, my something, I don't know. I've been considering just completely redoing my blog design and starting from scratch, but I'm quite happy with it how it is right now! I don't want to start over and then possibly end up with something I don't like as much. Especially because I'm not sure that's going to fix it.

If you have any idea how I could fix this, please tell me how in the comments. It's likely this is a very simple problem and I'm just being an idiot, but I've been struggling with this for months. You'll know it worked if I reply I guess... Thank you in advance!

So sorry I haven't been replying to comments for the last few months... HELP ME PLEASE

EDIT: COMMENTS ARE NOW WORKING. I did change my design slightly, so maybe that's the reason. Either way hurrah and this is exciting. Thank you to everyone who tried to help me! :)

Monday, January 11, 2016

Dicussion Question Monday: Using Pseudonyms


Hello! Welcome to Discussion Question Monday! This week's question is: Should bloggers use pseudonyms?

If you haven't figured this out by now, I use a pseudonym. Skye Clover is not my real name. I know, SHOCKER. Did it sound real to you..?

I've always wondered if people were put-off by people using fake names. Would you rather someone use their real name? Why do people use their real names anyway?

I thought I'd give you some reasons why I you a pseudonym, and maybe you can give me some reasons on why you don't?

 

Reasons I use a pseudonym:

 

Anonymity


I like being anonymous. It's nice to be able to make more personal posts and talk about myself without being scared about someone I know seeing it..or at least not knowing it's me. I have problems talking to people in real life, and being able to talk to someone is great.

Safety


People always talk about not telling people who you are on the internet for fear of some creepy guy stalking you...or something like that. I'd just rather people not look me up and find my address somehow. (My real name isn't on the Internet at all really.) That would be creepy.

I just hate my name


This is actually the number one reason believe it or not. I DESPISE my real name. I hate introducing myself because I have to actually acknowledge its existence. Especially because I have the kind of (unique? sorta) name that people tend to comment on. Though it seems no matter how much I tell people I hate it, they continue using my real name. It's fun. *sarcasm*

So...yeah. Maybe I need someone to explain to me why they use their real names on the Internet. Does it feel more personal? Do you want to know what this person looks like as well? Is it harder to be friends with someone when you know you have no idea who the person is or what they look like? Has this topic never even crossed your mind?

Please leave your thoughts on this topic down below!

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

My Experience with Percy Jackson (and The Heroes of Olympus)

 
Hello! So this is a crazy long post made up of just a bunch of random paragraphs.... Have fun reading that. Good luck skimming it. It was kind of nice to get all my memories of this series out in a more physical way either way.

The first time I ever heard of Percy Jackson? My memory is blurry, but it was somewhere around 2010 and I was about 9 years old. Or 8, who knows? (The struggles of being born in the middle of the year...) People I knew (I had a relatively friendless childhood by the way) had been talking about the new movie quite a bit, and I had convinced my parents to go see it because everyone I knew was seeing it.

It was also released just a couple years before I was diagnosed with ADHD, so it ended up becoming quite significant in that regard...

Long story short, I guess I loved the movie. I honestly don't remember. But at some point I got the recently released paperback box-set of all five books in my hand.

Now, before this I had liked books, but I had just barely gotten out of "chapter books" and the entire idea of fantasy kind of scared me. It hurts me to say I had basically limited myself to realistic fiction and mystery for a large portion of my childhood...

At some point I actually lied about having read the books to my parents because I had had the books for months and was embarrassed to have barely looked at them.

In 6th grade (right after I turned 11) I somehow convinced myself to actually pick-up this series.

When reading The Lightning Thief I actually left it out in a thunderstorm for some reason. Now it has water damage. And some weird orange spots. I don't know where those came from, but at least it makes my copy special.

I'm about to warn you. I don't really remember this part of the story. But even I am seriously bothered by what I think I might have done. Because it's cringe-worthy. If you're sensitive, look away now.

I don't think I read this series in order.

Not that I didn't know what order they went in (I mean, they were in order in the box), I just couldn't get into The Lightning Thief, and I have a vague recollection of deciding, "Oh, well I've seen the movie, so I already know what happens! I can just go on to the second book!"

*cringes at 11-year-old me* NOOOOOOOOOOOO WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING YOU IDIOT

So I'm not sure if I actually read the second book first or not. Needless to say my memory of this time period in my life is fuzzy considering it was more than three years ago. I do recall being confused about some references being made to the first book (because the movie was just that different from the book), and I do know I read the Lightning Thief at some point. I'm just not sure what order I read all of the books in....

Anyway, I read a lot of these books in my sixth-grade classrooms, where I was frequently asked to put the book down so I could memorize a bunch of Latin and Greek prefixes and suffixes and whatever that seemed useless at the time, but ended up being annoyingly useful in the years to come.

I had to put down the book literally right before ***SPOILER FOR THE THIRD BOOK THAT YOU REALLY SHOULD HAVE READ BY NOW*** Bianca died in The Titan's Curse. It was painful.

So I marathoned this entire series during the first semester of 6th grade.

During Winter Break that year, I went to *drum roll* Target. Where I either discovered the Heroes of Olympus series or just went there to buy it. I don't remember. Either way, I went home with three shiny new books: The Lost Hero, The Son of Neptune, and The Mark of Athena.

Unfortunately, The Lost Hero was in paperback which I apparently wasn't bothered with back then but is now a great struggle of my forever-growing bookshelf.

It took me less than five days to read all three of those books. THAT'S OVER 1500 PAGES!

I was becoming obsessive.

It is at this put in my story where I discovered BookTube. Like many who came before me, I found CassJayTuck. She made videos about books. The entire idea flabbergasted me. My life had changed forever. Probably not for the better.

So that caused a long chain of events and I eventually ended up here. *waves* Yes, I am here because of Percy Jackson. That is what this all comes down to.

BUT NOT SO FAST. In sixth grade I also met a girl named Dorothy (please don't be reading this, friend), who also shared my love for Percy Jackson.

And annihilated me in math, but I'm not going to get into that right now. Algebra I in seventh grade HOWWWWWW. She lives up to the Chinese stereotype too well.

Anyway, meeting her greater sparked my love for books and talking about books with other people.

During sixth grade I ALSO read The Kane Chronicles, which I also loved for obvious reasons.

Back to Winter Break. I finished The Mark of Athena. I didn't cry because I'm a robot like that.

I had my first experience of waiting for a book to come out.

IT WAS SO PAINFUL.

I busied myself reading all the other books I had discovered through the internet until that great day.

WHEN THE HOUSE OF HADES WAS RELEASED.

I had preorder it. Which was a rookie mistake I no longer do. It showed up around 7 on the release date. That was WAY too late for me, and I now just go to Barnes & Noble when I want a book the day it comes out. Amazon Prime, you failed me.

I spent that night reading in my basement. Because my house is too noisy.

It took me a few more days to finish it because I was in school, but I finished it and fangirled about it with the aforementioned Dorothy who had finished it days before. CAN I SAY OVERACHIEVER?!??!?

I wouldn't be at all surprised if one of my "friends" tells Dorothy about me mentioning her in this. SHE MUST BE MENTIONED OKAY??!?!?

After I finished The House of Hades, I realized I had to wait YET AGAIN for the next book. Lucky I had the internet to turn to...

AND THEN. THE FINALE. TO A SERIES THAT HAD TAKEN OVER A CHANGED MY LIFE FOR THE PAST TWO (NOW THREE) YEARS.

The Blood of Fucking Olympus. Cursing highly necessary.

GAHHHH.

It was too much of a disappointment for words.

No, it wasn't a bad book. It was just an awful conclusion to a book series that had changed my life.

The entire series had built up to this one awesome point, and it was the most anticlimactic thing I have ever read.

This would be a perfect time to use the phrase, I'm not mad, I'm just disappointed.

I honestly cried at this disappointment of this final installment. When I turned to the internet, many people had the same reaction.

You know what, this is making The Blood of Olympus sound like a horrible book, which it really wasn't, it just wasn't what I was expecting. This was the end. Of a series that had changed my life in so many ways. It's the primary reason why I'm such an avid reader, why I buy so many books, why I blog.

If you've read the book, I think you know what I mean.

My expectations were too high. Honestly, I'd grown out of the series a bit. I'd read so many other older, more mature books that Percy Jackson seemed amateur by comparison.

I was expecting this series to go out with a boom. Instead, it kind of awkwardly sizzled it's way out of existence.

I love this series. It's the kind of series I would mention in my autobiography as the books that got me into books. I adore them. I display them proudly. I forced my dad to read them.

I refuse to lend out the books just because of my memories with them. I can't imagine having a copy of The Lightning Thief without water damage and weird orange dots on every page.

But at the same time, I will be passing them down through the generations that come after me so other miniature humans can have the same experience that I did, but with less waiting.

Maybe I'll withhold the books for a year just to ensure the right kind of experience.

OKAY. This post had gotten just a bit too sappy for my taste.

Great series, my god you should read it over and over again and then force everyone you know to do the same. If you have kids/a younger sibling, make sure you pass it along to them.

I was thinking of making this a series. Like, "My Experience with Blank". That would be nice. Though I'll probably have to wait until I've actually finished whole series. Which believe it or not is not exactly common for me. I haven't even read Harry Potter yet. (Yeah, yeah, I know, I'M WORKING ON IT.) Maybe it'll be a really uncommon series that happens like once a year or something. I'll figure it out.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

BOOK UNHAUL 2

Hello! If you're unaware, I did another book unhaul back in, um, June or something. (You can read that here.) I was considering getting rid of some of the books on this list back then and didn't, so I'm getting rid of them now.

By the way I'm not saying you shouldn't read the books on this list, as I haven't really given most of them a chance, but I've had a lot of these books for several years and never picked them up. I decided it was time.

Also getting rid of some second copies of some of my favorite books, so yeah, don't take this list seriously.. :/

BUT. Before I start, I'd like to do some ranting about Half Price Books (which is a bookstore in some states in the US).

After I sold these books, I decided I was NEVER GOING BACK TO HALF PRICE BOOKS EVER AGAIN. So many people love this store, and I kind of used to. If you're unaware, they sell and buy used (and sometimes new) books.

They pretty much give you no money though. For me, my books being hardcover and like-new condition, I get about a dollar per book or less. Yet these books are sold for $10-$12 dollars. I understand you have to make a profit, but it feels like such a rip-off. I'd rather donate these books or give them to friends.

Not to mention even their "new" books sometimes look worse than the books I give them after having read them. Many of them have marks made with Sharpies on them for no apparent reason. And the prices for new ones are barely better than Barnes & Noble, but in worse condition.

I'm done with this store. Barnes & Noble for the win.

I wish I hadn't just sold all of these books for $9.

Steelheart (The Reckoners #1) by Brandon Sanderson

I was going to sell this book because I got a second signed copy, but then I was told the price they were going to give me for it a basically went HELL NO.

Brandon Sanderson is one of my favorite authors of all time, and I'd rather have a second copy of this book than get a dollar for it.

Basically I wrote this post before that.

I hauled my signed edition here.


Rook by Sharon Cameron

Yeah, I don't know why I bought this. I regret it quite a bit because I bought it as a full price hardcover. Why must I just throw my money away like this?!??!? Obviously, I'm crazy and I need to think before I make impulse buys like this one...


Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

This is paranormal. I don't exactly like paranormal. It's also a long series with iffy reviews. I don't wanna read this.


I Am Number Four (Lorien Legacies #1) by Pittacus Lore

So...I don't actually know where this book came from. I don't remember buying it, and I'm not interested in it at all. At least I don't think I bought it for full-price considering it looks like shit (sorry if you don't like cursing, the condition of this book just has to be described that way).


Unearthly (Unearthly #1) by Cynthia Hand

Hush, Hush ruined angels for me. And I don't care. Goodbye, book I didn't even give a chance!


Haunted San Francisco by Rand Richards

I think I bought this when I was in San Francisco like a year and a half ago... I got bored reading this. I don't even know what this is.


Origin (Corpus #1) by Jessica Khoury

I was intrigued by this book...two years ago, and I'm just not interested in reading it anymore. It has some good reviews, but I've seen some quotes from as well... No, just no.

This is also a series. Gahh no.


Flight to Hollow Mountain by Marc Sebanc

Sooo this book was given to me by someone at some point. I never thought it sounded that good... But it also has NO REVIEWS WHATSOEVER. This book went out of print years ago, and it was supposed to be a series, but I guess this one never did well enough or something. I don't know.

It's also really long so no.


Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky #1) by Veronica Rossi

Dystopian...got boring awhile ago. So did trilogies. I'm done with it. Go away.


The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chace and the Gods of Asgard #1) by Rick Riordan

I love this book, obviously, it's Rick Riordan, my friends. But I finally got a SIGNED COPY (hauled in the same post as linked above) of one of his books!! So I don't really need this...


Sinner (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #4) by Maggie Stiefvater

Basically the same story as both of the other books I now have signed copies of... But I hauled it here and not in that other post.

Plus my new one has a personalized drawing in it go me.


All the books. Byebye books! On the bright side of things, I have room on my shelf now. That's a plus. MORE BOOKS 0Except for this trying to save money thing....I'm sick of my hair being non-vibrant colors.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Discussion Question Monday: 2nd-Person POV


Hello! Welcome to Discussion Question Monday! Today's question is: Why isn't second-person a more commonly used point-of-view, and should it be?

In pretty much every English class I've ever taken, we tend to skip over 2nd-person whenever we talk about point-of-view. And it annoys the hell out of me.

I actually like reading and writing from second-person. I feel like I'm in the story, like I'm actually part of it. Whereas with first-person and third-person it just feels like someone's telling me the story. It's like I'm personally involved in it...if that makes any sense.

Obviously, second-person is usually only used when directly addressing a reader, and it's not usually used in fiction just because why? Because it throws you into a story. You're no longer reading someone else's story, you're reading your own. You get to be the kickass female protagonist. That's why I like second-person point-of-view.

So I tend to get pissed off when people brush off second-person like it's not important. Like it's not even a valid point-of-view! I've only ever read short stories and parts of books (like Half Bad by Sally Green) that include 2nd-person. Honestly, if someone tells me a book is in second-person I'll probably pick it up not even knowing what it's about. Just it being in second-person has me sold.

Anyway, English teachers, second-person is a valid point-of-view, and the only reason no one uses it is because YOU DON'T TELL THEM THAT IT'S EVEN AN OPTION.

Sorry, English teachers make me a little angry.

Have you ever read a book either partially or entirely in second-person? If so, please please please tell me in the comments as I would love to read it.

What do you think of second-person point-of-view? Do you like reading from it? Do you think it should be used in fiction? Would you write from it?

Thanks for reading! Comment your thoughts on this topic down below!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

2016 Reading/Bookish Challenge!


Hello! I've never done any reading challenge besides the Goodreads Reading Challenge (which I've done and completed the last two years), so this should be interesting.

I am again going to be doing my regular reading challenge of reading 50 books, as well as attempting to complete all of the 25 challenges you see here. I did 25 so I could still have a bit of freedom...

I know there are quite a few of these kinds of things out there, but I couldn't find one I was entirely happy with. I took inspiration from tons of challenges I've seen. No, this is not original in the slightest... Just a list of challenges that I actually want to complete all of.

1. Read a book and watch it's movie adaptation. My originality struggle is real.
2. Read a Doctor Who themed book. I'm so obsessive.
3. Read a YouTuber's book. More YouTuber books...
4. Finish a series. Let's hope this will be as easy as I think it's going to be.
5. Read a classic. Thank you English class for forcing me to do this anyway.
6. Read The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson. It was either bluntly put it on here or it's never going to happen.
7. Read the second book in a series. This sounds weird, but it's a real problem for me.
8. Read a Harry Potter book. I'm starting out small...
9. Watch a TV show adaptation of a book series. Thank you Shadowhunters.
10. Read a book you got for Christmas. I would be disappointed in myself if this doesn't happen.
11. Read a self-published book. This might be more difficult than I was hoping.
12. Buy more bookish items. There's never enough.
13. Read a book someone gave to you (but NOT from Christmas). This is harder dammit.
14. Get a new bookshelf that actually has room for expansion. What's sad is what I did this a year and a half ago.
15. Finish a manga series. If I do, I might even be able to get to 75 books this year.. XD
16. Read a book over six hundred pages. Gemina (Illuminae #2), won't you help me with this goal? :D
17. Read a wintery book. In summer like you did last year...
18. Read an eBook. You'd be surprised how little this happens.
19. Read a co-authored book. DAVID LEVITHAN HERE I COME
20. Read a book in one day. Totally possible, right?
21. Read a book set outside of the US (but still in a real country...) Let's see how this goes.
22. Read a contemporary book. Haha. Like this is going to happen. FANTASY FTW
23. Read a book with less than 200 pages. Please be as quick of a read as you sound, future book.
24. Read a book you meant to read in 2015. That's most of the books I own.
25. Listen to an audiobook. From a library! NO FAIR, SELF, THIS IS TWO CHALLENGES IN ONE. LIKE I WANT TO GO TO A LIBRARY. GROSS. (No offense to those of you who like libraries, I'm just not a fan.)

**

I hope these challenges don't kill me. That last one...I don't know if I'm going to make it.

Are you doing a reading challenge in 2016? Good luck if you are! Have a great reading year regardless..! :D

Thanks for reading!