Tuesday, 21 January 2014

GINS Global Charter Task

As you may know, in school we are doing a project on our GINS novels. These past few weeks we have also been discussing the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and so our assignments have been surrounding the idea of connecting the two topics together. This time around, we were asked to create our own global charter using our knowledge from the lectures we've endured, and the GINS books that we have read. We did this in groups of 3 (or 4) to expand our horizons (as we all read different GINS books). That being said, prior to this activity, we did not know that there was actually a "Charter" for the world, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This is what my group created.

A lot of the things that we included in our global charter actually came from the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and are also included in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Things like egalitarian rights (equality) seem especially important, seeing how much they show up on all 3 of the documents being inquired into.

Egalitarian: the belief in the principal that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities. We chose to use this word, rather than the standard "equal" or "equality" simply because we think that the basic principle is so important, and that is exactly what the word "egalitarian" promotes. By using this word, you almost don't have to state the "anti-discrimination" bullet points.... Almost.

A section that we added into our global charter was the "Government Obligation Rights". We noticed that most of the "bad things" that were happening in all of our GINS books, and around other parts of the world, were happening because the government wasn't doing anything toward enforcing the laws. In fact, often times they were making things worse. By adding this section of the charter, it would hopefully eliminate some of that controversy and make the world a better place.

If you were to make your own Charter, what would you include in it? Leave your comments below, and happy reading.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

TBR Update (8) + Viewers Choice

Okay, so change of plans... I suck... That is all I have to say for myself.

Basically, I have decided to crop two of the books on my TBR, simply because I don't feel like reading any winter books at the current time. I am ready to move on. Therefore, I am no longer planning on reading Let It Snow or Winterling this month. I will probably be reading these next year, around christmas time, instead, but don't count on it! I'm sorry if you wanted a review.

To make it up to you all (as much as I possibly can), I want to give you a choice of what other two books that are going to be added to my January 2014 TBR. You can vote for your top two of the following books:

  1. Sweetly by Jackson Pearce
  2. Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter
  3. Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon
  4. Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
  5. Unwholly by Neal Shusterman
Thanks so much for understanding me and my predicament. Happy reading!

Friday, 10 January 2014

Burn for Burn: Post #1

So Danika and I decided that we were going to do a special post every segment of Burn for Burn that we read. For the first part (page 80 / Chapter 7) we decided that we would look more into characters and who they are as far as appearance and personality go. But an in-depth analysis of words and words and words is sort of boring, so instead we are going to be "creating" them, in a sense.

Using the Lord of the Rings character creator on dolldivine.com. This website allows you to dress, and develop characters in an intricate way. So, for each of the main characters (Lillian, Kat, and Mary) we will be creating how we imagine them, and through clothing and facial expression we can show what sort of personality they have. We have created only one rule for ourselves: Do not go off of the cover. And that is it. Sorry for the long intro...

Mary. Since I wanted to make all the characters different, and since Mary was last, it was a bit harder for me to create her. That being said, I really like how she turned out. I love her expression, and I think it especially captures the moment when she sees Reese. Oh, and this goes for all of the characters but I chose this background because it was sort of like what I imagined the court to be like at the school.

Other things that I would add/change if the creator let me:

  • Flats – probably just plain pink but maybe black with a bow on it
  • Cardigan/Sweater – I don't know... I always imagine Mary with an unzipped cardigan or sweater on, and this creator didn't have that option. I tried to add in longer sleeves to make up for it but I still think it would have been better to have my original thought put into the piece
  • Hair – the hair style that I thought best suited her was this one, but in my opinion, it's just not... right. I can't put my finger on it, but with a bit of searching I'm sure I could find it.
Lillia. I'm gonna be real honest. I don't really like Lillian in the story. Sure, she's nice and all, but... I don't know. Not my "type", I guess you could say. I had a lot of fun "making" her though! I really like her hair: it fits exactly the way I see her in my mind while reading! Her face and general look is pretty spot-on too, because I always imagine her wearing a bunch of makeup (rosy cheeks) and sort of... showing off her body a little more than she needs to. I chose to put her in a dress because she seems to me like the type of person that would care about her appearance (more than the other two), and this was the closest that I could get to the type of thing I was thinking of. As for the colour purple... I don't know, I sort of just always associated her with it. Oh, the random butterflies and blue fluff was kind f to make her "stick out" more, since she is "besties" with Rennie.

Other things that I would add/change if the creator let me:
  • Outfit – I would probably change the dress to be shorter to show more skin, and probably the style as well (although keep the neck, again, because it "shows"... stuff). I like the colour though!
  • Makeup – I so wish that there was an option to do more makeup on this creator! The blush and lips simply isn't enough! I mean, the story specifically points out that she was putting eyeliner on her Asian eyes!
Kat. I love Kat. I loved creating her too, and I think that it turned out super well! Her hair in this is so pretty! I want it!!! Her outfit is pretty spot-on too, because I sort of just imagine her as someone who doesn't really give a <insert bad word here>. I just put her in a red top (I associate her with the colour red... don't know why) and black leggings which looks pretty great I think.

Other things that I would add/change if the creator let me:
  • Hair – as much as I love it, it doesn't really fit the way I see her in my mind. I imagine it much much straighter. It's just that the creator didn't have a style like that so I went for this one which is fairly close and... you know... <3

So that is it for my first Burn for Burn post. I'm not really sure what the next post is going to be yet, but that will be coming on Sunday so stay tuned! What did you think about the characters in Burn for Burn? Also, go to the website and try creating your own versions of Mary, Lillia, and Kat. You can share it to me using instagram using the hashtag #burnforburnwithbri, or just post it on your own blog and leave the link below! Oh! Be sure to check out Danika's post as well, which will be going up later tonight. Happy reading!

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

GINS Connections to the Charter

As you may know, I am doing a GINS project for school. This post is going to be connecting that project to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, another topic that we are looking into. Does Guatemala even have rights and freedoms?

After the genocide, Guatemala continued to try to recover from the genocide, although it was difficult to do with an amnesty law in place. Amnesty: meaning that the authorities took no action against offences. There are a few laws that were put in place after the genocide took place to protect them from anything like this to take place again, but during the genocide there was no such thing.

Still, today there is extreme social inequalities and high levels of crime which are not protected by law in Guatemala. Things such as death penalties, and violent forced evictions that Canada has long let go. It is also known that children do not have human rights, and are subject to death, poverty, and lack of education. And from what I know, there have been no attempts to remedy any of this. In fact, the former Guatemalan President gave a disappointing amount of justice for genocide victims and their relatives, which leads me to believe that he doesn't really care.

There was also a recent news article that I read, the headline: Rios Montt guilty of the Genocide in Guatemala. In short, the government was responsible for over 1, 500 citizens of Guatemala. This clearly states that there was no "Charter".

Now let's think about the Canadian Charter. If something like this had been in place during 1982, the time of the genocide, things would have turned out much different. Under "Legal Rights", it speaks of punishment if citizens have done something wrong. The right to remain innocent until proven guilty; The right to the benefit of a lesser punishment if proven guilty; The right to no cruel or unusual form of punishment if proven guilty. Nearly everything that happened in Guatemala at this time went against these rights and freedoms that we have in Canada. In Tree Girl many citizens of Guatemala were raped, tortured, and killed even though they weren't guilty (and even if they weren't guilty, then they still got the "greater punishment"). I suppose they were facing a bit of discrimination as well, as no American's got "punished" or killed for anything that they did – only the Guatemalans.

Gabi, from the book, was forced to leave Guatemala to be free of any of this torture (or rape), which also goes against the mobility rights that we have in Canada. The right to stay or leave the country is stated, and when leaving, citizens have the right to do so. In the book, Guatemalan's were stopped at the border if caught, and suffered severe consequences that also goes against the "Legal Rights" of Canada.

So, in short, Guatemala doesn't really have any rights. The government is corrupt and isn't doing anything to help his citizens in this area of rights and freedoms. I hope, for the citizen's sake, that this will begin to change soon. What do you think?

Sources: Thanks so much for letting me look at your information!

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Burn For Burn Reading Schedule

Finally! The time has come to discuss Burn for Burn and when we will be reading it together. If you didn't already know, I will be reading Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian's Burn for Burn along with Danika @ Books to Dream. This read-along will be from January 8th - January 16th (whatever your time zone may be), and if you would like to join us then feel free to do so!

We will be making special blog posts pertaining the novel, and it will be a lot of fun! If you don't have this book available to you at the moment, do not worry! We will be reading another book together later this month.

As far as actual reading goes, we decided to set page numbers/chapter breaks after a two day period so that it could work with both of our schedules. This is what we came up with:

Jan. 8th - 9th: page 80 / Chapter 7
Jan. 10th - 11th: page 177 / Chapter 18
Jan. 12th - 13th: page 252 / Chapter 28
Jan. 14th - 15th: page 348 / Chapter 40
Jan. 16th: page 256 / The End

Danika and I are reading from the American paperback edition. That is what the page numbers refer to.

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I hope that you consider joining us, and happy reading!

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Epic Recs: January 2014

It's a bit late, but here I am with my Epic Recs for the first month of 2014. If you do not know what epic recs is, feel free to take a look at Amber's blog @ booksofamber.com. This month, I have recommended Taken by Erin Bowman to Danika, and she has recommended Unravelling by Elizabeth Norris to me. I am super excited to read this one, along with the rest of the books on my TBR.

I hope that you are all have a happy new year, and of course... Happy reading!

Thursday, 2 January 2014

January TBR 2014

I am super excited to start off this year with some amazing books! This year, I am going to be trying to read 7 or more books a month, which I think is a great challenge for me that I will be able to complete. I'm also not going to be doing themes this year, at least to start, because they seem to just get in my way and I don't end up completing them. This way, I think I will be more successful.

This month, I have 10 BOOKS that I want to read. 10. I am crazy. It doesn't seem like a lot looking at my shelf, but just the number... Okay, whatever. I think that I'll be okay. After all, I'm already over half-way through the first book...
  1. Unwind by Neal Shusterman: GAH! So good so far and I just can't even... Why have I waited this long?
  2. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Sáenz: I've heard some fantastic things about this one, especially from Kalindee @ They Start Revolutions (amazing blog by the way, follow her!) who I'm actually borrowing this book from. Thanks Kalindee!
  3. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell: This accidentally came in as a hold from the library, but I didn't really want it right now but I have to read it and I'm sure I'll love it.
  4. Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian (read-along): I'm reading this along with Danika @ Books to Dream from the 8th to the 16th. Reading schedule will be up soon!
  5. Winterling by Sarah Princeas: This is just a winter, middle grade book that I want to read while there is still snow outside.
  6. Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard: Yes, finally. I know. *applause*
  7. Time Between Us by Tamara Stone: This just sounds so cute and amazing and I just need it now I just can't even...
  8. Unravelling by Elizabeth Norris (epic rec): This is my epic rec for this month! For more information visit booksofamber.com
  9. Blood Red Road by Moira Young (re-read): A lot of my friends have been reading this lately and it just makes me want to read it again and experience the awesomeness again.
  10. Let is Snow by John Green, Lauren Myracle and Maureen Johnson: I really wanted to read it during christmas time, but that just didn't happen because people were hogging it from the library and it didn't come in as a hold... It hasn't even come in yet but I still really want to read it while there is snow. Santa? Are you still there?
So... that is the first TBR of 2014, and it's a quite... extensive one at that. Leave a link below of your TBR in the comments, or just tell me what you are reading straight on. And as always... Happy reading!

2013 Wrap Up and 2014 TBR

As 2013 draws to a close, it's time to think about what I'm wanting to do in 2014 as far as books go! I am super excited to see what the year brings.

In 2013, I read a total of 78 books, which is 6 books above my goal of 72. I'm super proud with what happened over the course of the year, and I am happy that I got the chance to read so many fantastic books. 

18 of these books were 5 stars (+ an extra book because I read one of them twice)
31 of these books were 4 stars
17 of these books were 3 stars
8 of these books were 2 stars
3 of these books were 1 star
and one of the books was unrated (see the review here)

Overall reading rating: 3.70

6 of these books were graphic novels.
1 of those books was a novella.
18 of these books were stand-alones.
8 of these books made it into my favourites shelf.

About 75% of these books were written by female authors. Wow, us woman are really taking over young adult fiction.

The longest book that I read was Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers at 576 pages.
The shortest book that I read was Free Four, the novella by Veronica Roth at 13 pages.
My total page count for the year was 25 094 pages.

I made a TBR of the books that I was planning on reading this year on my blog in November last year.

  • Divergent #3 by Veronica Roth
  • Unwind by Neal Shusterman
  • The Book Theif by Markus Zusak
  • Princess Acadamy by Shannon Hale
  • The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
  • Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys
  • Crossed by Allie Condie
  • Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
  • Ever by Gail Carson Levine
  • The Mother Daughter Book Club by Heather Vogel Fredrick
  • Gone by Micheal Grant
  • The Selection by Kiera Cass
  • The Unidentified by Rae Martiz
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • Pride a Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • Eon by Alison Goodman
  • Eona by Alison Goodman
  • Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
  • Legend by Marie Lou
  • Prodigy by Marie Lou
  • Mind Games by Kiersten White
  • The Knife of the Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
  • The Rules by Stacey Cade
  • Ashes of Twilight by Kassy Tayler
  • Fury by Elizabeth Miles

I read only 6 of the books I said I was going to, and a lot of the books that I had on there I'm not even interested in anymore.

Here is another thing that I wished to do: "I am also hoping to read more recent releases"

Who knows what "more" means, but I am proud to say that I read 17 books with the release date of 2013, and I am planning on doing the same next year.

Now here comes the fun part: The TBR for 2014. This year, it's going to be a less structured goal (as far as specific books go).

I want to read...
  • 12 Re-Reads
  • 12 Epic Recs
  • 6 Read-Alongs
  • 3 Books From The Chick Lit Book Club
Series Challenge: I'm not going to explain all of my choices, I'm just going to say which series I want to finish and what books I have left to read. I'm only choosing series which have all of the books available to me in the coming year. There are a total of 23 books that I will need to read if I want to complete this challenge.
  • Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu (Champion)
  • The Darkest Minds Trilogy by Alexandra Bracken (Never Fade, Untitled #3)
  • Under The Never Sky Trilogy by Veronica Rossi (Through the Ever Night, Into the Still Blue)
  • Truth or Dare Series by Jacqueline Green (Secrets and Lies)
  • Starcrossed Series by Josephine Angelini (Dreamless, Goddess)
  • Fairytale Retelling Series by Jackson Pearce (Sweetly, Fathomless, Cold Spell)
  • The Program Series by Suzanne Young (The Treatment)
  • Partials Sequence Series by Dan Wells (Fragments, Ruins)
  • Heist Society Series by Ally Carter (Uncommon Criminals, Perfect Scoundrels)
  • Hex Hall Trilogy by Rachel Hawkins (Demonglass, Spell Bound)
  • Delirium Trilogy by Lauren Oliver (Pandemonium, Requiem)
  • Breathe Series by Sarah Crossan (Resist)
  • Dust Lands Trilogy by Moira Young (Rebel Heart, Raging Star)
And... Last but not least... I want to read a grand total of 84 books (or more) this year. Realistic, but still giving me that extra push.

Look foreword to more posts coming including Top 13 of 2013, My Favourite Covers of 2013, January TBR, and more!

What are your goals for this coming year? Leave a comment down below, and happy reading!