Tuesday, 29 October 2013

GINS: Roundtable Discussion (1)

Today I had the opportunity to talk to a few of my peers about the various novels that we are reading.

Brianna: Tree Girl by Ben Mickaelsen
Will @ my awesome book blog: Lunch With Lenin by Deborah Ellis
Haniya @ Book It!: Lunch With Lenon by Deborah Ellis
Jenn @ Jenn's Book Review Blog: Little Princes by Conor Grennan

Discussion Questions:
  • What global issues does your novel explore?
  • Why did you choose this novel? Are you still happy with your choice?
  • Think about your talking to the text notes: what questions have you asked?
  • Think about your talking to the text notes: what connections have you made?
  • Can you make any connections to our guiding ideas: worldview, identity, values?
Click here to listen to our discussion.

Comment below if you have anything to say about any of our novel choices. I hope you are having a great day, and happy reading!


Thursday, 24 October 2013

Global Issues Novel Study (GINS): Introduction/First 20%

Hello everyone! Let's cut right to the chase, I'm participating in a novel study. In this study, each individual got to choose a book to dig into and explore it's deeper meaning. The book that I chose was Tree Girl by Ben Mikalesen. This book is about a child who loves to climb trees, so when soldiers come to her home, she pulls herself up into a tree. It sounded super interesting and I really wanted to learn more about what the tree girl did after getting down from the tree.

The main issue being addressed in my book, as far as I am right now, is war, and the effects that it has on children and others in the society. In this book, Gabi's "tribe" or culture is being attacked by soldiers from the United States. Other issues on rape have also been somewhat covered.

I am ashamed to say that I actually don't have much background information about my topic. It has always interested me, but I've never looked into it unless it has been assigned as an assignment. Who knows, I may look more into it after this project!

There are, in fact, a few questions that came to mind as I begin to read. Especially at the end of each chapter, when there was a cliffhanger. At the end of the first it was, "What war? What's happening? What even led to this?" At the end of the second was, "Oh no! What will Gabi do?" Finally, at the end of chapter 3, I felt myself asking, "Jorge? Are you dead?" I'm also really interested in when Gabi will climb the tree and when the story will really grow from it's roots. Another on-going thing from the novel was the language. There were a whole bunch of words in a different language, and I was always wondering what each of them meant. Boj, for example, is an alcoholic drink.

Many characters have been introduced so far. Chapter one was focused on introducing the main character, Gabi, and her brave personality. In chapter two we got to know her family; Antonio, Lester, Papi, Mami, Jorge, Lidia, Alicia, and Julia. There was also an introduction to Gabi's friend named Manuel, who is actually a full grown man. Then, in the third chapter, Gabi had her quinceniera, and we saw a whole bunch more characters without names. At times, I found it a bit hard to follow with all of the people, but it turned out alright.

That is all I have for you today! Keep watch for more posts on the GINS, and I would love to know if you have read my book so we can talk about it! And happy reading.

Photo Credits: https://www.goodreads.com/book/photo/331211.Tree_Girl

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Dress Up: Becky from Variant

I was looking through my books and their covers and this same thought kept on passing through my mind – I could and should recreate one of these outfits. So, that is what you see here! All of the items that I used to create this outfit are super cheap and vague, so hopefully this outfit will be easy enough for you to get into your wardrobe.
This outfit was inspired from Becky, a character from Variant by Robison Wells. Becky is a pretty “special” but put-together character, and this outfit shows that. Becky was wearing a pinky-red long-sleeved top. I got mine from Superstore for super cheap. It was maybe 5 dollars, and it fits the description perfectly. The skirt that I am wearing comes from Gap, and I actually received it as a gift a while back and have no idea how much it costs and whether or not it’s still in stock.

The leggings that I have on are just plain black, so any pair of these will work, but the ones that I got are from Costco – super cozy and nice! Finally, Becky chose to wear a necklace in the book, but I didn’t have one to put on. Any necklace will work for this though, so go wild!
Now I’m sure you are wondering, what about the shoes!? Well, this book did actually not describe what the shoes were, and the cover didn’t give a clue either. This gave me the chance to choose whatever I wanted to. In the end I went with some black flats with a strap coming across the top of the foot. I could so easily picture Becky rocking these shoes, especially with the flower detailing on the side. Also, the strap makes for better running shoes! With the shoes I just put on some black socks, which are actually toe socks (may I add).
            That’s about all there is to this outfit. Short, simple, sweet, pretty, and put-together, just like Becky was in the book! You could possibly even wear this out to Halloween, although I’m not sure anyone would be able to distinguish who you are. Except, you know, the crazy geek over here.
            The main thing that really stood out to me about the description of this outfit in the text was how much skin was (or actually... wasn't) showing. She wore a long sleeve shirt, a pair of leggings with a shirt. Our society now is so showy when they don't need to be. I myself even wear my leggings without a skirt/shorts – and I am not considered someone to show off like that.
Another thing that stood out to me was the bracelet. In Variant, students are given the choice between a necklace, a watch and a bracelet. In the book, Becky chose a necklace. I think that the author did this to make her a more sophisticated character. I always imagine people like Becky wearing something around her neck, whether it be a scarf or a necklace. It really added to her identity. I’m sure there is some further reasoning into why she chose a necklace in the later books as well.
I hoped you enjoyed this little post about Becky and her outfit! Let me know if you would like me to “dress up” as anyone else. I was thinking Throne of Glass or Unraveling. What do you think? And happy reading!

Monday, 21 October 2013

Relate! (2)

Bookish Halloween Tag

Here's my story: I wanted to do a tag. I wanted to do something halloween related. I decided to do this post.

In my search for halloween book tags, I came across this one which was posted on the 14th of October on TheLibraryOfSarah's channel. I thought it would be fun, so I've decided to do it. No I was not tagged, but who follows those rules anymore... Right?

What is your favourite horror book?
Um... Well, I'm kind of sorry to say that I haven't read, like, any horror. Probably the scariest book that I've read that I've really enjoyed was Between by Jessica Warman. It's not really that scary, really. It's just a murder mystery that is actually super good.

What is the scariest moment in a book you've read?
I'm going to choose an instance from the book that I am almost done reading, The Darkest Minds. Hopefully most of you have read the book so you can read on without getting spoiled. Yeah, SPOILER ALERT. .......... Okay, you know that cliffhanger on page 392 when Liam scared the tofu (yes, I just swore with the word tofu... it's bad enough to swear with, okay?) out of everyone? That part where he is like, "Hello, my name is Liam. Don't think we've met." All that was going through my head was *beep* *beeping* Clancy I am going to slit your *beeping* throat!!!!!! You ruined him! But, yeah... No. As much as I like you Liam, just, not cool. Not cool.

Would you or have you ever dressed up as a book character for Halloween?
I haven't yet! I really want to, and I actually have a Halloween costume video/blog post coming up by this Wednesday for Becky from Variant. Yes... A costume and a video. Get excited! Whoot whoot!

What do you think your favourite character would dress up as for Halloween?
Favourite character, hey? I'm going to go with June from Legend for this one. And I'm going to be quite literal, as far as dressing up goes. I think she would go out as a spy, wearing all black and possibly an eye patch (wait... that's a pirate. *derp*).

What is your favourite kind of horror? (gore, psychological thriller, spooky)
I can't really handle anything too scary (not that I've branched out or anything), so I prefer to go for spooky. A bit of gore and fighting scenes are pretty great though.

If books were as cheap as candy, which one would you give out to trick-or-treaters?
Good question! Um, well I would probably give out Variant by Robison Wells because that book is just so good and it has some pretty alarming parts in it... Beware. *evil laugh*

Halloween to-read list?
I made a seperate post for this! Check out my October TBR (#1 and #2).

Do you have any recommendations for some Halloween reads?
As I said, I don't really read scary (not until this year), so the only books that I can really recommend are the ones that I mentioned in this post as well as The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken. Not really scary; not really too spooky either. But honestly – kids have powers that can kill people, and that ends up creating crazy turns and an awesome story. Read it now!

I Tag...
Danika @ Books to Dream
Julia @ Books as Wings
Kirsten @ K's BooK's to Read

Friday, 18 October 2013

The Program Book Review

Title: The Program
Author: Suzanne Young
# of Pages: 405
Series #: Program #1
Reading Span: June 11th - 13th
Rating: ****/

That ending... This book was simply amazing.

The only thing that I didn't like about this book was the romance, and the repetition that occurred in the first 120 pages. After finishing the book, I understood why Suzanne Young wrote those scenes, and I loved that she did.

The idea for The Program was actually quite brilliant, but also a bit frightening. This book is not a dystopia, it's more or less the exact same government that we have today. It's so scary to think that suicide could actually become a real problem, and that it could happen in a mere 20-30 years from now. I swear, if anything like The Program comes into society, I will never let anyone send anybody there. I loved to hate the "cure".

I also loved to hate the characters that Sloane encountered. I especially dislike Roger, the creepy handler. I'm also not a huge fan of Realm, but I can't help but feel a love for him deep inside. James could sometimes be annoying, but for that most part I loved his cockiness. Miller was great too, he might have even been one of my favourites. Lacey was also great, and I'm looking forward to spending more time with her in the next book. Sloane was also a very strong main character, and I was happy to follow her along on her journey.

What little world-building there was in this book was very well done. I can understand why The Program exists, and why they use the cure that they do. I liked how Suzanne Young explained this to me, as well as to the rest of her readers, in a way that took very little time, but was also engaging.

I've seen a couple reviews where people had been complaining about the awkward pacing in this book, and I completely disagree. I think that pacing was very steady, and not only that but it was always interesting. Some claim that the beginning wasn't necessary, but, as I mentioned before, it played a role in the book, and it wasn't entirely boring to read.

I also thought that the ending was suitable. It left open plenty of room for a sequel. Yes, it was a cliff-hanger, but Suzanne Young wrote it as though I wasn't sitting there awkwardly, or have any questions that I felt took away from the first book.

Finally, I cannot go without mentioning the important topic that The Program covered. I found myself almost down to tears, hearing about all of the suicide that was happening. I also felt torn when Sloane was torn after loosing her memories of everything. After reading this, I feel especially concerned for the world. Suicide defiantly needs to be addressed.

I defiantly think that everyone should check this out. Although I think that teens aged 13-17 would enjoy this better then adults, I defiantly think that you should consider this. Do be warned that this book is not meant for younger audiences, as it does cover some mature scenes. Happy reading!

Books With Theme: Dragons

I've been getting some requests to do a books with theme on dragons, so here I am today bringing that post forth.

This first book I'm sure you are all familiar with – Eragon by Chistopher Paolini. Although I haven't read this book, I have seen the movie. It is a great YA book filled with adventure, a boy and a dragon. Although there are many mixed reviews about this book, it may be worthwhile to go and check it out! Average rating on goodreads: 3.74

Do you like princess'? Do you like dragons? Then this book is for you! Dealing with Dragons by Patricia Wrede is about a tom-boyish princess who runs away with a dragon. I have heard that this book is filled with innocent childhood humour. An easy read, with a great average rating of 4.14 on goodreads.

Although it may look intimidating, A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin is a fantastic adult read about a Dragon King. By reading this you dive head first into a complex fantasy world. It's average rating (4.43) is also, fantastic, with 58% of goodreads readers giving the book 5/5 stars.

Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George is another middle-grade fantasy novels about, what else? Dragons. In this one, our main character, Creel, decides to sacrifice herself to a dragon. But the outcome to this tale is not what it would seem. I'm expecting the unexpected with this one! Average rating: 4.20

Rachal Hartman's 2012 debut, Seraphina, is all about a girl living in the kingdom of Goredd. In this kingdom, human's and dragon's have been mistrusting each other, and as the peace treaty's anniversay draws near, tensions are very high. This book, honestly, sounds amazing, and I have heard that it is extremely well written. Average rating: 4.06

Firelight by Sophie Gordan sounds really good! Jacinda is a draki, a descendant of dragons whose greatest defence is her secret ability to shift into human form. Jacinda must flee into the mortal world, where she meets Will who stirs her inner draki to life. This sounds really original, and I'm excited to check into this! Average rating: 3.94

The last book in this "books with theme" post is going to be Eon by Alison Goodman. Eon has been studying Dragon Magic for years, but he also has a secret. He's actually Eona, a sixteen-year-old girl who has been living in a dangerous lie for the chance to become a Dragon-eye, the human link to an energy dragon's power. It is forbidden for females to practice the Dragon Magic, and if Eon is discovered, he will face a terrible death... I've heard amazing things abut this one, and it has an average rating of 4.02.

So that's that! Comment below with more ideas for these posts... Perhaps even another dragon one? Happy reading!

Dragon photo: http://eofdreams.com/dragon.html
Synopsis': goodreads.com

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Tiger's Curse Book Review

Title: Tiger's Curse
Author: Colleen Houck
# of pages: 456
Series #: The Tiger Saga #1
Reading Span: September 6th - DNF
Rating: */

Warning: If you really like this book, don't read this review. You may be offended!
    Tiger's Curse is about a girl named Kelsey who finds a summer job working at the circus. As she begins to work, she falls in love with a gorgeous snowy tiger named, Ren. When the opportunity arrives to escort him back to his home country, Kelsey jumps at the chance... And finds out that there is much more to Ren then what scratches the surface. She ends up diving headfirst into an adventure of mystery and love – trying to break a curse.
    Sounds good right? I think so! Well, unfortunately, this book is not quite as good as that synopsis leads us to believe. The story was quite boring and awkward, the characters were unlikeable, and overall, it was taking up too much of my time that could be spent reading something way better. I actually quit this book when I reached 268 pages. I just couldn't push through. Therefore, this review may not be entirely accurate, but I feel like I have enough to talk about to make my thoughts into a full review.
    The only thing that I really liked about this book was the idea of it. Sure, it wasn't completely original, but it was enough to keep me interested. In fact, when I first went into this book it was really great. I loved how it was set in a circus, as I hadn't read a book with a circus setting before. The characters were also decent, in their first impression. But after that...
    For one, the characters were flawless. As good as that sounds... it sucked. It made the book so cheesy and unrealistic. I mean, seriously, who in this world says thank-you 50 billion times a day? Even to the people they hate? No one, I tell you. No one.
    My favourite character was actually Kishan, the one I was supposed to hate. He was the most alive and real. He had real life problems. He did things wrong. He was human. However, it was really hard to relate to the other character because they were so out of this world.
    Although the plot was original and interesting, it was also quite predictable. <spoiler> Oh Ren's actually a human? Oh, what do you know. </spoiler> It took away from the story more then other predictable novels have. It was just so annoying that I couldn't concentrate on the important parts on the story.
    The romance between Ren and Kelsey didn't bother me too much, but honestly, it didn't need to be there. I could see it happening in the second book (with Kishan running off with Ren's wife-to-be and all), but in the first book it just took up space that could otherwise be filled with (somewhat) interesting fight scenes of information on mythology.
    That's another thing... The mythology. Although I found it to be quite interesting, the way it was told was just random and boring. You're telling me another story... great... Didn't we hear another a couple pages ago? It was too repetitive and sometimes I felt like skipping through those pages and getting to the actual adventure.
    The adventure was as unrealistic as the characters. You could tell where the "cut-outs" were. It wasn't Kelsey and her life, it was random words on a page. This may seem like a tedious complaint, but whenever these bits shone through, I literally put the book down and didn't pick it up again for a while.
    That being said, I think that this is a "love-it-or-hate-it-book". I would defiantly read some other books before this one (check out my goodreads for some of my favourites). If you are really keen on reading this book, I would read an excerpt/the first 100-150 or so pages, and make your own decision from there. I wish that I had this advice going into this book.
    I would love to hear your thoughts on how this book was, and if you agree or disagree on my thoughts. Happy reading!

Secondary October TBR

It's almost half-way through the month and none of my chosen books are available to me at the moment. Instead, I am going to be choosing a second round of creepy books that I have with me, and get some reviews out there. I will still be reading the other books I chose, just perhaps not as soon as these ones.

1. Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter: I really love fairytale retellings, an this book is just that with a creepy, Halloween twist.
2. Doll Bones by Holly Black: A new middle-grade release that I will hopefully be able to fly through pretty quick.
3. Undercurrent by Paul Blackwell: Murder mystery!! Pretty creepy, if I do say so myself
4. Dark Eden by Patrick Carman: Probably the least creepy of them all, but still has that dark (haha), eerie feel
5. The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken: Already started this one and it's so good!! Also dark.
6. The Soulkeepers by G. P. Ching: Again, already started it... And it's creepy! Perfect for Halloween. 
7. Indelible by Daen Metcalf: If the cover doesn't draw you in, I don't know what does. That and the awesome synopsis! Whoa! So excited!

Yes, I have more then my regular 3. No, I'm probably not going to read them all (quite yet), but I will read at least 3 or 4 of the 7 and review them for you. Comment below if there's a review you really want to see! And happy reading. 

Thursday, 10 October 2013

The New And Improved Blog: Update (7)

When I first created this blog, I was totally out of the book blogging community, so when I came up with the name "The Book Nook", I thought it was brilliant. Really, though, it is quite plain. It has been almost a year with this boring title, and so it's about time to get a new one. So say goodbye to "The Book Nook" and say hello to "For The Love Of Books".

This video is also posted on my YouTube channel. Click here to visit my page! Happy reading!

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Identity Poetry Anthology!

At school, I have been working really hard to create a poetry anthology that represents my identity. This is what came out of it!

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

September Wrap-Up

I'm actually really embarrassed to make this post. I only read three books. Three books! And I say I'm an avid reader...

The good news is that I read all of the books that were on my TBR. This is a miracle guys! The thing is, um, I'm still kind of in the middle of Between, but that i
s my next book that I am going to finish. I promise.

  1. Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony (****): To view my review click here.
  2. Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson (*****): Click here to see my review.
  3. Jonathan Livingston Seagull (***): Here is my review.
  4. I also read half of Between by Jessica Warman. Review coming soon!
What did you read? Comment below, and happy reading!

October TBR

It's come that time for my October TBR. It's a little late, but it will still apply. For this month, I have decided to go with the generic topic of creepy books. I am so excited! I don't generally like to get creeped out, but this will hopefully take me out of my comfort zone.
  1. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black 
  2. Unwind by Neal Shusterman
  3. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke
Happy reading!

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Whale Story Excerpt

While I was on Vancouver Island with school, I got the chance to read The Sea Devil (click here to see that post) as well as an excerpt of Whale Story. This post is going to be all about my thoughts on the first 2 chapters of the book!

First of all, I would like to make an inference of what will happen in the next chapter. I have a couple of ideas.

  • The girl from the story that Sarah's dad told her will be "the voice" and she will persuade Sarah to go to the island to find her brother
  • Somebody has got to be a whale – the brother? The sister? Sarah? I mean, it's called Whale Story after all...
  • The girl/the voice will become besties in Bamfield
At first I thought of the protagonists as a young, immature, and hard-to-relate-to character. Sure, she is quite a few years younger than me, but I found myself growing attached to her – even within the two chapters that I read. That is called accomplishment on the author's part.

It is kind of hard to tell exactly what the author was trying to get at – as far as theme goes – since it was only a few pages long. But nonetheless, here's what I gathered. I think that the theme was the ocean and experiencing new things. I think this because Sarah is experiencing a whole bunch of new things (new house, new "information"). I also think that the author was trying to tell the readers that change is OK, and that is just a reality that you have to deal with.

As I said, I read this on the coast. It was really cool to read it with that perspective. I could actually relate to the setting because I had experienced the same things myself (or at least, understood). The carsickness that Sarah's mom, Dani, got on the logging road, and the dust that exploded from beneath the tired. I also saw the ocean on the way, and I was amazed by it just like Sarah was.

I'm not completely sure if I will continue this or not. The cliffhanger was so intense, but I feel like there are other books out there that I'd rather read. I'll read it eventually. I defiantly think that you should read the excerpt and see what you think! Comment below if you have. And happy reading!

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

The Sea Devil by Arthur Gordon

This isn't so much of a book review as it is an analysis. With that being said, here are my thoughts on The Sea Devil by Arthur Gordon.

Narrative Structure (may contain spoilers)
Exposition: The exposition of the story is when we are introduced to the man and we start figuring out who he is, where he is and what he is doing. He also introduces the fish - mullet - which turned out to be a significance to the end of the story.
Rising Action: The rising action of the story is when the man finds out that he has caught "the sea devil" because it is at that moment when the calm of the ocean became terrifying and blood-curdling to the man.
Climax: The climax of the story is when we find out about the barnacles. This put a lot of questions in the readers mind. Are they going to save the man's life?
Falling Action: The falling action came as he rose slowly to the surface and onward from that point. We knew that the man was going to live from his experience, and that the barnacles had, indeed, saved him.
Conclusion: At the beginning of the story the exposition includes a mullet. The conclusion is the part where it goes back to the idea of the mullet - a zinger at the end of a story.

There was pretty much only one character in this book, that character being "the man". Initially, I found it hard to relate to him, because he was older then me. Even though he was only older by a few years, it seemed to me - from how he acted and what he did - that he was actually in his 50s or 60s. After this thought, I just couldn't get the picture of a senior out of my head. Yes, there also was a wife in story, although she was quite a ghost. I can't remember a time that she was in the story, and it made me think as the man as lonely. In the long run, I think this effected my "old man" thought.

I also wondered, "Why doesn't he have a name? Why is he always referred to as 'the man' rather then 'Ken' or 'Mr. Smith'." After further investigation, I came to the conclusion that the author probably wanted to focus on how the sea devil looked/the plot rather then the name that Grandpa Smith was given as a baby. Also, it was easier for readers to melt themselves into the character's shell, and to walk through the story in the man's shoes.

I think that the theme of this short story was the ocean, and not just the ocean, but the things that live in it. The author really put emphasis on the sea life. Of course, there was the sea devil, but there was also the barnacles, mullet, and porpoise that actually played a large role in the story.

I like how when the man sniffed in the salty air, I could sniff in the salty air as well. You see, I actually read this while I was on Vancouver Island, so I was really close to the ocean. It was actually really cool, and I feel like I could relate to the man more. In the long run, it made the reading experience so much better. I was in the story, rather then reading it.

This short story was very enjoyable, and I defiantly recommend you give it a go, especially if you are anywhere near the ocean. You can find it here: http://mrsgrubb.com/PDFfiles/The_Sea_Devil.pdf
Happy reading!