Coffee Talk – Are Schools Killing Reading?

This is a topic I think about a lot, so I thought why not discuss it with all of you because, in my opinion, it is an important discussion to be had among us readers.

So, ARE schools killing reading?

Long story short, I think they are, and here is why.

 

As someone who absolutely LOVES reading now, I can’t say I was always like this. Up until grade 5, I was by no means a reader. I got into reading when I was 10, almost 11 years old because my cousin finally forced me to watch Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief and spoiler alert, I adored it. It is the reason I read the rest of the series, thus falling in with reading altogether. However, before that, I only read books when school forced me, and they were books way, way under the level of reading I should have been reading according to my teacher. That little bit of criticism on what the little I enjoyed reading drove me away from reading…until I got into Percy Jackson that is.

Even as a reader now who is in grade 12, I am still not a huge fan of reading in school or reading for school. To me, they feel like two separate things and when I read something for English class, it just isn’t something I really enjoy and it always feels like a chore. Why is that? Well, the choice of reading is a large part of it, but it is also because of what follows after reading the book. Usually, an essay or paragraph response is written after we read a book or essay or short story in English class and like I said I love reading, and I also love writing, but something about reading and writing something I don’t really want to, takes away the enjoyment out of it all. I can only imagine how someone who doesn’t like reading or writing at all would feel about it, but I can definitely see how it would drive them to permanently retreat to the idea that they are not the reading or writing type. Reading in schools should be fun and free, not constricted to not even being able to choose what book you spend the next two weeks trudging through! And afterwards, literary circles are a much more efficient way of gathering everyone’s understanding of the book and can still be paired with a written response.

Reading can be made a much more entertaining and interesting assignment in school, yet it is treated like being forced to run a half-marathon in gym class. READING IS AMAZING! Yet, I almost feel ashamed saying that at school not because I think reading is “un-cool”, but because I too, sigh reluctantly every time we are given a book to read in English class. Before looking at the cover, I determine that I don’t like it and to be honest, that’s true most of the time! Sometimes I don’t mind what we read, but because of schools preference of clinging to old, boring books by only white, male writers, I usually lean towards not liking them. Schools need to branch out with their reading taste because there are so many amazing books now that cover important subject matters to the world today, and have concrete messages students can dissect. Not only are they still teachable books, but they include more diversity that will allow students to connect and enjoy them better.

 

PJOIn grade seven, my teacher let us read Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. At this point, I had read it a million and one times, but I was still so excited that entire month or so we spent on the book and lots of my peers were too. We did fun, colourful projects and assignments, even Jeopardy at the end of the unit, that got everyone interacting and pumped about the book. The energy surrounding reading was bright and bubbly in response to the bland and heavy one reading in class usually brings along. That was the first and last time I ever felt that energy in a classroom when it came to reading!

Schools need to fix their curriculum to paint reading in a better light. Not one that advertises reading as something only required in school, but something that you can do for your own personal enjoyment. With more choice and more interactive activities, reading can be enjoyable, if not fun in the classroom and show students that reading is for anyone and everyone. The lack of young readers today is alarmingly low with all that technology now has to offer, but with reading people will become more compassionate and educated on subjects happening all over the world. Reading overall is only amazing, and is something students are being taught to hate rather than love.

Anyways, that is all for this chatty coffee talk, and I hope you enjoyed! If you have any thoughts on this topic you want to share, let me know in the comments below. Do you think schools should change? Or should they not change? Also, don’t forget to check out my last blog, as well as my social media accounts below! I haven’t been too active on social media lately, but hopefully, I’ll get back on that soon. Thanks for reading 🙂

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October 2018 New Releases!

It has been a while (I think) since I have done one of these posts, so I thought why not? There are a few books and movies that I am looking forward to in the month of October and here they are!

~BOOKS~

The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth

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I have talked about this book quite a bit ever since I read the ARC of it back in July, and finally, it is hitting the shelves this month! I am so excited for you guys to read it if it is something that sounds interesting to you because it is so good! The Light Between Worlds is a YA contemporary-fantasy as I like to describe it, that follows two sisters who during World War II, somehow wound up in a magical kingdom called The Woodlands. They stay there for years with their brother until they finally return to the real world, not having aged or missed a day of their old lives. While Philippa is eager to get back to her old life, Evelyn cannot forget The Woodlands. One day, Evelyn disappears and Philippa searches for her, confronting the truth of her sister and the internal battle waging inside of her ever since they got back. This book is mystical and atmospheric and a lovely read! I will actually have a book review on it so keep your eyes open for that. The Light Between Worlds hits shelves on October 23rd

The Darkest Star by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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I didn’t even know this was a thing until I looked at the October releases on Goodreads and I am SO excited now. Jennifer L. Armentrout is the author of the Lux series, a series I really enjoyed, and she is returning to that same universe in a brand new series! These books are based around a race of aliens called Luxen who have control over light and are made of light but are now living on earth. I don’t exactly know what happens in this new book, except for that we will be seeing the old characters from the Lux series so I am looking forward to that! The Darkest Star hits shelves on October 30th

~MOVIES~

Venom 

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This is a spin-off superhero movie based off of a character we meet in Spiderman 3: Venom. When journalist Eddie Brock tries to take down the founder of the Life Foundation, his body is infested with a parasite that gives him superhuman strength and power and he basically becomes an evil Spiderman. I am SO excited to watch this because I love watching movies where we follow the villain instead of the hero, and I know it will be great. Venom hits theatres on October 5th

The Hate U Give

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I am sure most of you have heard of this since it is based on the bestseller by Angie Thomas. This book and now movie deals with the Black Lives Matter movement after Star’s (our main character) friend is killed wrongly by a police officer. We follow Star as she fights for justice for her friend’s death and others who have been killed like him. This is a really important matter so make sure you support it by watching this movie AND reading the book! Sadly, I haven’t gotten the chance to read the book yet, but I am hoping to in the near future but I do plan on watching the movie when it comes out. The Hate U Give hits theatres on October 19th 

Those are a few of the movies and books that I am looking forward to in the month of October, and I hope you enjoyed! Let me know what books you’re looking forward to because I am always looking for more recommendations. Also, don’t forget to check out my last blog post and my social media accounts which are all linked below. Thanks 🙂

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June 2018 Anticipations!

June will be a busy month for me, and it also happens to be a really busy month for new book and movie releases! Hopefully once school comes to an end, I will be able to enjoy all the good stuff coming out next month, but until then here are the books and movies I am most anticipating!

Books

Save the Date by Morgan Matson

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This book comes out in early June which means by the time I have the time to read it, it will be the end of June and the beginning of summer; the perfect time to dive into a new summery, contemporary! Save the Date follows Charlie whose family is coming together for a weekend to celebrate her older sister’s wedding. It has been years since all of Charlie’s siblings have been under the same roof and she is determined to make it the perfect weekend, but somehow it is already shaping up to be a disaster. In stores June 5th

A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir

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This is the third (and final?) book in the An Ember in the Ashes series by Sabaa Tahir. This series takes place in a Roman Empire inspired world that values order, structure, and strength. The first book follows two characters, Laia, whose brother has just been taken by the Empire, and Elias who is a soldier trying to escape the Empire. Their paths cross when Laia disguises herself as a slave to find her brother and together they work to get what they both want. Before I pick up the third book I am going to have to give the first two books a re-read because I don’t remember much except I loved it! In stores June 12th

Movies

Adrift

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I love when book-to-movie characters work together in other movies, and this is one of those cases! This horror movie on water stars Shailene Woodley (Tris from Divergent) and Sam Claflin (Finnick from The Hunger Games), and follows a woman and her fiance who suddenly sail into a massive hurricane and struggle to survive as they are thrust into the middle of nowhere. I love horror and intense films like this, and I am so excited to see it when it comes out! In theaters June 1st

The Incredibles 2

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Like the rest of the world, I have been waiting for this sequel since the first movie came out in 2004. I can only hope it lives up to the first one though, but either away I am just excited that we are getting a sequel! The Incredibles follows a family of superheroes who each have unique powers as they take on evil together. It is fun, funny and a whirlwind of adventure and I am just pumped. In theaters June 15th

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

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Since I love Chris Pratt, I loved the first film in this series, Jurassic World. While these movies are in no competition with the originals, they are filled with adventure and witty characters which is why I still loved it! Jurassic World takes place at an amusement park where they have genetically engineered dinosaurs, but when one massive creature escapes, it is up to an animal expert to rescue to young boys whose lives are stake, along with the help of their aunt. The sequel will hopefully be amazing and I cannot wait! In theaters June 22nd.

Those are some of the books and movies I am anticipating for in the month of June and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post and to follow my social media accounts, all linked down below 🙂

Last Blog Post: June 2018 TBR

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April Anticipations!

I love gushing over all of the book and movies releases and I am back with another!

Books

Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

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This is a spinoff of Becky’s other book, Simon vs the Homo Sapiens (which is now a fantastic movie that you NEED to go watch!) but follows Simon’s best friend, Leah who is struggling with her sexuality and who she is. I am so excited to get my hands on this book because I really loved Leah and thought she was such a realistic character. I cannot wait to see the world through her eyes and read whatever story Becky has in store for us next month! April 24th 2018

The Fates Divide by Veronica Roth

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The Fates Divide is the second book in Veronica Roth’s new sci-fi series, which starts off with Carve the Mark. I have not read the first book but I have heard good things so maybe I will get to it sometime soon! From what I know, it follows two different characters that somehow get thrown into each other’s world…that’s about all I know but it sounds good enough to me. April 10th 2018

Love & War by Melissa de la Cruz

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I read the first book in this series, Alex & Eliza, which follows one of the founding fathers, Alexander Hamilton, and his wife, Elizabeth Schuyler and their journey to meeting each other. I liked the first book but wasn’t blown away by it, however I am still excited to follow their life after their marriage in the next book! While I am not American, I have always been fascinated by American history and now all these books and musicals are coming out in regards to it and I am just having the best time. April 17th 2018

Movies

Avengers: Infinity War

I didn’t know I wanted to watch this movie until I watched the trailer and realized literally EVERY superhero to ever walk on the screen is in it. Not only do I think it will be epic to see all my favourite superheroes work together, but I think it will be interesting to see how having so many main characters on screen at once. I do think it will be hilarious and action packed and I am itching to watch it. April 27th 2018

I Feel Pretty

This is an Amy Schumer movie that follows a woman who has never felt confident about her body, but when she hits her head one day she wakes up and starts viewing herself as this “perfect” and pretty person, even though she hasn’t really changed her appearance. Not only does this look hilarious, but it also has a really good message that you should love yourself for who you are, and not compare yourself to others. April 27th 2018

Those are some of the books and movies I am looking forward to in the month of April and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: Balancing Multiple Writing Projects

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March 2018 Talk!

I cannot believe February is already coming to a close. It was a great month of movies and books but now that that is over, it is time to look onward to March! March is filled with many anticipated movies, as well as one book I am looking forward to. If there are any other new releases your anticipating though, comment down below but for now here are mine!

~Movies~

A Wrinkle In Time 

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This is a book-to-movie adaptation based on the children’s book, and while I haven’t read it, the trailer for the film looks so whimsical and interesting. I believe it follows a young girl and her friend as they search for her missing father, but for now that is all I know about it. If I have the time, I would love to pick up the book before watching the film but I am sure watching the movie will motivate me to read it anyways! March 9

Love, Simon 

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Another book-to-movie adaptation that I am incredibly excited for, and is actually one that I have already read the book for. The book is called Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, and follows our main character, Simon who has a secret; he’s gay. However, his secret is jeopardize when a classmate threatens to out him before he’s ready, holding Simon’s emails with an anonymous boy at school hostage. I just know this movie is going to be great, and also it stars Nick Robinson so what could be better? March 16

Ready Player One 

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Yep, another book-to-movie adaptation and ugh, I still haven’t read this insanely beloved book. Since this comes out later in the month, I am still hopeful I will be able to squeeze reading the book in, but we’ll see. Again, all I know about this is that it takes place in the future that takes place in the Oasis, a virtual reality world, and when the creator of this world offers a fortune as a prize for a virtual treasure hunt, our main character Wade Watts can’t resist. SO excited to read the book and see it in theaters because it sounds epic! March 29

~Books~

Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi 

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This is the fourth continuation of the Shatter Me series, which is a beautifully written and heart gripping story. It follows our main character, Juliette, a girl whose touch kills. She was placed in an insane asylum to keep everyone safe from her, until one day she is broken out and desired as a weapon against enemies. This book is filled with adventure and romance and twists and turns, and I am excited to see what this new book has in store! March 6

Those are all the movies and books I am looking forward to in the month of March, and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: Reading + Writing Update

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February 2018 Talk!

Today is the last day of January of 2018 which is crazy, but I am also really excited because it means I get to talk about all the amazing new releases coming to us this next month!

Before I get into this blog post, I just wanted to quickly feature the wonderful Elle from LaBeaute.org. Elle blogs all about fashion, beauty and lifestyle and has a whole bunch of amazing posts on these topics. If any of you guys want to feel motivated and inspired, check out her blog and give her some much deserved love!

Okay, now on to some new releases I am looking forward to in the month of February:

~Movies~

Black Panther

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I can not express to you how excited I am for this movie. The trailer makes it look like a kickass, action packed film and right now, that is exactly what I am in the mood for! Black Panther follows this prince of the African nation of Wakanda, T’Challa, who after the murder of his father, must take over the throne and become the king. Cannot wait for this movie to hit theaters on February 16th, and hopefully you are excited too!

Every Day

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This movie is based of the YA novel by David Levithan, and follows our main character, Rhiannon, who falls in love with a spirit named “A”, that changes their physical form every single day. I am curious at how this story line will play out because it is quite peculiar, but that only makes me want to see it more. Hopefully it will be the emotional and impacting movie I hope it to be, but we will find that out on February 23rd!

~Books~

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

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The Belles is a very hyped up book for the month of February, and after reading the synopsis I completely see why. It follows a world where beauty is controlled, and in this world there are those who are born gray and with the help of a “Belle”, they can turn beautiful. However, for our main character Camellia, being a Belle isn’t enough because she wants to be a favourite too; someone chosen by the Queen. When Camellia gets the opportunity to become a favourite though, she realizes it may not be all that it seems. Is it just me or do I get some Uglies by Scott Westerfield vibes? Overall this book seems so cool and I cannot wait to check it out on February 6th

Ink, Iron, and Glass by Gwendolyn Clare

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This is a book I have heard little to nothing about on social media, yet it sounds so incredibly cool. Ink, Iron, and Glass takes place in a world where you can create new worlds with a science called scriptology, and our main character, Elsa’s mother is a noted scriptologist. They live in a world that her mother created, but when that home is attacked and her mother is abducted, Elsa must venture into the real world to find her. I just find this story concept really interesting and intriguing, and I am really looking forward to getting my hands on it on February 20th

Those are all the movies and books I am looking forward to in the month of February, and hopefully you are looking forward to some of these too! Don’t forget to check out Elle’s blog which you can find linked above, and also check out my last blog post: February 2018 TBR 🙂

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January 2018 Talk!

This is my first talk for the new year and I am so excited to jump into 2018 in just only 14 days! If you didn’t know, in these “talks” I discuss all the new book releases and movies that are coming out in the following month that I am personally eager about. Hopefully some of these you are excited for as well, but if they aren’t, definitely comment on some books and movies you are looking forward to on the month of January!

Books

Zenith by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings

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This is a book written by two YouTubers I watch, and I am so proud and excited to pick up their book! Sasha Alsberg is the BookTube channel @abookutopia, and was the first BookTube channel I ever subscribed to. She is amazing, as well as @LindsayCummings, a wonderful AuthorTuber that I have also been subscribed to for sometime now. Their book Zenith, is set in the Mirabel Galaxy, and takes place when an all girl’s crew, called the Marauders, routine mission goes wrong. I am really excited to read this because it has been ages since I read a sci-fi book and I have a feeling I will absolutely adore this novel! This book is released on January 16th.

Keeper by Kim Chance

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Keeper is a book by an AuthorTuber, @KimChance who I watch, and I am really excited to see how far she has come and pick up her book in January. It has a really interesting plot and I am dying to get my hands on it! Keeper follows sixteen year old Lainey, who after being attacked by a witch, she discovers that the attack wasn’t random, and that she is a type of a witch called a Keeper. This kind of witch can unlock the power of a magical spell book that is missing, the Grimoire, and Lainey has to find it before an evil warlock gets to it first. I haven’t read many witch books but I am thrilled that this will be one of them! This book is released on January 30th.

Movies

The Maze Runner: The Death Cure

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This is a movie that has been long awaited after being postponed due to Dylan O’Brien being injured onset…luckily his injuries were minor so he is well and the film is finally being released into the world! I have to say, I did enjoy the first movie enough, and the second one was okay, but I am not entirely sure how much I will love this movie. Since this is the third installment, I won’t say too much other than the first movie/book follows our main character, Thomas, who wakes up in a strange maze filled with dozens of boys who all don’t have any recollection of their pasts. As time passes, the boys begin to realize there was a reason that they were placed in this maze, and that it isn’t a simple one. This movie is released on January 26th.

Those are all of the books and movies that I am looking forward to in the month of January, and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: Reading/Writing Update 🙂