Again, But Better by Christine Riccio – Spoiler-Filled Book Review

Happy Sunday!

Today I will be discussing ALL my thoughts about Again, But Better by Christine Riccio, not only now an author, but a very prominent figure in BookTube with over 400,000 subscribers.

Sorry for not having my usual Saturday post, but I ended up not finishing this book until mid-Saturday rather than Friday and I really wanted my next post to be a book review. I was actually reading Again, But Better for the Reading Rush, and let’s just say I am a little behind with this readathon.

Anyways, it is read and I am ready to spill all my spoilery thoughts, opinions, and ideas related to this debut contemporary, but first, here is a snapshot of the book.

After doing her first two years of college wrong, 20-year-old Shane is determined to flip things around when she goes on study abroad trip to England, not across the world, but doing a completely different major than what her parents think.

Right away, things appear to be actually working out for Shane: she becomes fast friends with her flatmates, she is finally getting to study something she is passionate about, writing, and there is a cute boy named Pilot who seems to like her. But the smooth sailing is cut short after a series of spontaneous weekend trips, advancing in her internship, and almost kissing Pilot, and things suddenly begin to feel almost as bad as they were in America. 

Can Shane flip things around herself or will college take two be as much of a flop as she feared?

CAUTION: SPOILER THOUGHTS NEARING AHEAD

Okay, I have a LOT of thoughts to share about this book on everything from the story, the characters, to the author.

First off, I have been an avid watched of Christine (PolandbananasBOOKS on YouTube) for many, many years now. I honestly don’t even know how long. Maybe five? Anyways, the point is, over the years, I have definitely gotten a good idea about who she is, what type of person she is, and I even followed her ENTIRE writing journey for this book.

Because of that, I can CONFIDENTLY confirm that Shane is LITERALLY Christine.

I am 100% the type of writer who makes their main character (at least in the first novel) a reflection of myself, but if anything, a very murky reflection. I will take bits and pieces from here and there, smashing them together with what type of character my main character needs to be. However, Christine literally took herself, maybe toned it down a bit and then gave us Shane.

CHARACTER COMPARISON:

Christine Riccio – white, blonde, socially awkward, reader, writer, enthusiastic, nerd, ENTHUSIASTIC NERD, studied abroad, Italian, blog name: FrenchWatermelons19, etc, etc

Shane Primaveri – white, blonde, socially awkward, reader, writer, enthusiastic, nerd, ENTHUSIASTIC NERD, studied abroad, Italian, YouTube channel name (2nd account): PolandBananas20, etc, etc

Hmm, something looks familiar…OH YEAH, EVERYTHING.

Now again, I’m all for putting some of yourself in your main character. We writers do it, but there is a fine line between writing a fictional character and literally selling people an autobiography disguised as a YA/NA contemporary.

That said, I didn’t hate Shane, but I was not her biggest fan. I found her very cringey and awkward dialogue with, oh, everyone, very relatable but her overly enthusiastic and childish personality just did not click with me. Apparently, I was reading from a 20-year-old’s POV, but to me (an almost 18-year-old girl), it felt more like a 15-year-old and her immaturity really annoyed me.

“I’ve never used these sugar cube things before, and I’m very amused by them. They should make sugar stars! And other shapes! Sugar octagons!” – Shane Primaveri, a 20-year-old woman

Character development was also really lacking. When a difficult situation came up, Shane or Pilot would run the other way and ignore each other…for THE ENTIRE STUDY ABROAD PROGRAM. When I looked back at the book when I finished, I realized that they all arrived at the program in January and then left in April. The thing is, the first time around, Pilot, THE MAIN LOVE INTEREST, stopped speaking to Shane was back in February and then they never spoke again before they all left back to America…and then Shane did the exact same thing in the second go around. It was super repetitive and while the aspect of having a “do-over” would have provided an EXCELLENT opportunity to show how both of the characters grew over the past six years, that did not happen.

Shane and Pilot both felt very flat and basic to me. There was nothing special or interesting about either of them or any of the characters like Babe, Sahyra (Sahra?), and Atticus! (I am not even going to TALK ABOUT the names, okay?) Side characters are really the best name for these people because they all felt like they clung to the walls every time they appeared on the page in front of my eyes. I could barely see them because Shane or Pilot were jumping in my face. We barely got any dialogue from any of them, and when we did, it honestly all sounded the same to me, and the dialogue held almost no importance to the plot or anything.

That goes for a lot of this entire book – every plot point, drama, or piece of dialogue, I asked myself why it had to be in there.

LIKE THE MAGICAL ELEMENT.

When Shane and Pilot are suddenly whisked back into 2011, I was a little confused, but to be honest, intrigued. It is a very cliche plot point, but I was curious to see how the characters would react.

Let’s just say I was disappointed.

When I finished reading the book, I realized how unimportant and uninteresting the plot thread of having them being able to re-do their study abroad session was. One, because having BOTH Shane and Pilot go back in time together made it seem like they were sent back ONLY so they could live happily ever after together in love when it was so much more than that. And then two, apparently over the course of six years, neither of these characters learned ANYTHING!

Shane and Pilot return to 2011 and Shane does the same thing that Pilot did to her! She pushes him out and ignores him until he forces her to listen to him. Yeah, okay, she turned everything else in her life around. She became a better friend to Babe, Sahra (Sahyra???), and Atticus. She also pushed to the top in her writing internship, landing her own article, but when it came to Pilot, her immaturity really shone through. OH WAIT, there was no closure with her parents either. They reacted the same way and so did Shane. She only TALKED about making sure she would fix things with them.

This book was just FILLED with telling rather than showing, but this blog post is already long enough as it is.

I really thought after six years, Shane would have been more mature and ready to work things out with him and her parents right then and there because of how strong her feelings stayed after six years. Also, because she knew EXACTLY how things could, and probably would pan out if she did not patch things up.

But nope.

I really would have preferred for Shane and Pilot to have stayed in 2017 and try to work things out there after six years of going down the wrong path. It would show people that we all make mistakes in our lives, but we always have the power to change them which I think is a really positive and powerful message.

But because that did not happen, and instead, these two for WHATEVER REASON out of all the other people in the world got a re-do with their love life (and I guess professional lives too), I have NO idea what message or theme I could yank from these pages.

It was a good, fun time? A fast read?

While I did pick this book apart, it actually was a fun time and I enjoyed it as a quick, one-time read. I would not read it again, but I will definitely pick up Christine’s next book just because I know she will only improve from here. Her writing was a little juvenile and I felt like I was reading a book for pre-teens rather than adults, but I can’t judge her too hard for that because it is only her debut. She has room to grow!

I feel like if this book was not an exact replica of Christine’s college experience (minus the magic part…I think), I would have enjoyed it more! But because that’s not the case, it sadly felt like a creative rip-off. Again, I am 100% okay with taking things from our lives and writing about them, but you got to twist them a bit.

Anyways, overall, I still gave this book 3/5 stars because it was what I (kind of) wanted: an easy and fun read.


That is all for my review on Again, But Better by Christine Riccio and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post, as well as all my social media accounts linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: Readathon Update!

 

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Readathon Update!

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Happy Thursday!

Today marks the fourth day of the Reading Rush, the second readathon I have participated in this July, and I thought it would be fun to give a little update!

Anyways, currently, I am on track with reading seven books in seven days which is shocking, to say the least. A few years ago, reading that many books in that little amount of time would have been easy even if I had a million other things going on. As I get older, reading for long stretches of time seems to get harder and I do NOT know why. Shouldn’t I be less fidgety and more willing to slump on my couch for like five hours?

Apparently not.

While I did not finish a full book on Monday because I thought it was a smart idea to try and read half of two books and then finish them both the next day (this did not happen!), I did catch up yesterday. I tried to read Blue Lily Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater (which I successfully finished yesterday) and We Hunt the Flame by Hasaf Faizal (which I did not successfully finish yet) on Monday and Tuesday, but only finished the first because while We Hunt the Flame is good, it’s moving a little slow for me. I’m thinking of replacing it with Again, But Better by Christine Riccio because it JUST came in from the library for me and I really want to read it. Plus, it would be an easy replacement for We Hunt the Flame because it is also a debut book.

I do want to finish We Hunt the Flame because I enjoy the rich world and story, but I don’t think it is readathon material.

Yesterday, I finished reading Avatar the Last Airbender: The Promise: Part Two by Gene Luen Yang which I read for the challenge of “read a book in one place”. It took me literally 20 minutes to read and I had a fun time! Yesterday, I also started and finished reading Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Richard Stevenson which was a nice, short read at 68 pages. As you can see, I am only on track because I’ve been reading my short books HOWEVER, none of the books left are anywhere near that short. Well, maybe except for Again, But Better which I started last night and am 50(ish) pages into already. But that is it.

My plan for today is to finish Again, But Better which I have no doubt I will do and then get at LEAST halfway through The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee because that is a hefty one being over 500 pages.

After that, I will only have two books left: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare and The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater. Hopefully, I can finish these books in the next three days and I can win this readathon! However, I’ve been doing a lot of writing and other activities lately, so it will be slightly challenging but doable, I think?

If you’re participating in the readathon, let me know how it’s going!

Anyways, that is all for this reading update and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as all my social media accounts linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: Reading Rush TBR

 

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Reading Rush TBR

Happy Monday and also, day one of the Reading Rush!

It’s been two days since the last readathon I participated in, but I am already SO ready for the Reading Rush! I’m looking forward to yet another whole week dedicated to reading as much as possible because like I’ve mentioned before, I am trying to read a lot before I head off into my first year of university.

WHAT IS THE READING RUSH?

The Reading Rush was formally known as the BookTubeAThon and takes place from July 22 @ 12am – July 28 @ 11:59pm. It is an entire week dedicated to reading as much as you can, and is filled with video, reading, and Instagram challenges!

Anyways, here is what I plan on reading for this Reading Rush!

Read a Book with Purple on the Cover

Blue Lily Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

Image result for blue lily lily blue

This has a liiitle purple on the cover so it counts! I mostly just really wanted to find a way to incorporate the last two books in the Raven Cycle into my Reading Rush TBR because I am LOVING my re-read of these books. Blue Lily Lily Blue is the third book out of four and I haven’t read it for a while so I kind of forget what happens, making me even more eager to jump into this book.

Read a Book in the Same Place Every Time

Avatar the Last Airbender: The Promise: Part Two by Gene Luen Yang

Image result for avatar the last airbender the promise book two

For the Biannual Bibliothon, I picked up the first installment in this graphic novel series following the events of season three of the TV show, Avatar the Last Airbender. While it wasn’t EXACTLY what I expected, I did enjoy my time reading it and definitely need another short book for the readathon so this is perfect. Especially if I have to stay in the same place to read it, which I have decided will be outside on my deck.

Read a Book You Meant to Read Last Year

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee

Image result for gentleman's guide to vice and virtue

Recognize this from my Biannual Bibliothon TBR? Well, you’re right because I never got around to it the first time! This is a book I’ve been thinking about for the past year or so because I have heard NON-STOP, great things about it. So, I decided this month it is definitely time to give it a read. It is a bit longer (over 500 pages!), but I am hoping that because it is apparently so good, I won’t want to stop reading it.

Read an Author’s First Book

We Hunt the Flame by Hasaf Faizal

Image result for we hunt the flame

I follow this author on Twitter and honestly, her book promotion REALLY worked on me. Not only is the cover for this book beautiful, but the premise is really intriguing and something I am currently in the mood for. It has to do with a female hunter disguising herself as a man and being badass which I am ALL here for. I cannot wait to see if this book is worth the hype but honestly, I am sure it is. Even if it is the author’s debut!

Read a Book Featuring a Non-Human Character

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

Image result for the raven king

Okay so TECHNICALLY, Ronan is NOT completely human. He is a greywaren, a magician of sorts, which is NOT HUMAN. This counts because of all of that. This is the fourth and final book in the Raven Cycle which is sad, but I feel like during my first time reading this book, I didn’t really appreciate it for all it was. I sped through it and despite being in a readathon, I really don’t want to do that this time.

Pick a Book That Has More Than Five Words in the Title 

Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Stevenson 

Image result for strange case of jekyll and hyde

Not only am I trying to read more classics making this book a great pick, but Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a novella so it is SUPER short. I have an edition where most of the book is short stories and the actual story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is like, 70 pages. Hopefully, the story is interesting and I can fly through those 70 pages in an hour or so! I haven’t dived into the world of gothic literature really, so I am looking forward to exploring this area of literature.

Read and Watch a Book-to-Movie Adaptation 

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Image result for city of bones

At first, I was going to combine this challenge with the first and read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, but honestly, I am not really in the mood for a cozy, atmospheric story. SO, instead, I am going to read and watch City of Bones! It’s been a hot minute since I visited the world of the Mortal Instruments except for when I did my audiobook listen of (most) of the books a year or so ago. I am very excited though because I have such a special place in my heart for this book and even the movie!

 

That is all for my Reading Rush TBR and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: The Final Biannual Bibliothon – How Did It Go?

 

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June + July Favourites

Happy Monday!

June and July have been two months where I have definitely found new favourites, and I cannot wait to share them!  Today, I will be discussing those favourites (books, TV, and movies) because I’ve discovered some good ones that if you haven’t checked out, you really should.

Books

Image result for a thousand splendid suns

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

 

This was a book I read for my English class back in June, and OH MY GOD, Hosseini may be the best writer I have ever come across. He paints such vivid stories that feel truly real. To be fair, most of the situations are situations that actually happened in the past sadly, but he brings them to life again on the page. In all of their painful and heartbreaking glory. I cannot wait to pick up his other book, The Kite Runner because I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about it.

Image result for vicious by ve schwabVicious by V.E. Schwab

 

Finally, I have ventured into the wonderful world of V.E. Schwab books, and I can confidently say I was NOT disappointed! Vicious is an adult paranormal/fantasy book that drew me in from the beginning with its superhero/villain story.  V.E. Schwab created characters who are neither truly good nor truly bad, and those are my FAVOURITE types of stories because they accurately reflect how most people are. I am tired of stories where a character is entirely good because that just isn’t reality! I cannot wait to pick up Vengeful next because I am craving to find out what happens next.

Image result for the raven cycle by maggie stiefvater

The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

 

Yes, I’ve read these before, but currently, I am doing my re-read of them and can’t help but love them! They are so captivating and fun and interesting that I just want to rave about them non-stop. I love the incorporation of Welsh mythology and psychics and how Stiefvater blends them together because it makes for an amazing story. I finished the first one a few days ago and plan on jumping into the second one ASAP.

TV Shows

Image result for attack on titan

Attack on Titan

 

For whatever the reason, I always want to watch anime during the summertime. While I’m not done Fullmetal Alchemist yet, my friend has been poking at me to watch Attack on Titan and I finally gave it a shot…and I really like it! I’m not too far into it, but I find the plot already really enticing and I can’t wait to see how it plays out!

Image result for brooklyn 99

Brooklyn 99

 

This is another TV show I have been prodded to watch by my friends. While I am not HUGE on sitcoms at the moment (I enjoy them more during the fall/winter), I do like Brooklyn 99. I’ll put it on when I am doing some minimal tasks or when I am at the gym. It’s really funny and entertaining so I am sure I will be able to finish it all by the end of the summer.

Movies

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Yesterday

 

I went to see this movie just after it came out, and it was everything I was expecting it to be! Yesterday was charming, funny, and adorable, all accompanied by, of course, an amazing soundtrack. It wasn’t the best movie ever, but it was enjoyable and I would definitely watch it again if it came on Netflix. If you love the Beatles or romcoms, definitely give this movie a watch!

 

 

Well, there you have it! Those are my current favourites from this past and current month. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: How I Write Screenplays

 

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How I Write Screenplays

Hello!

I thought it would be fun to share my writing process for screenplays, because I have noticed it’s a little different than my writing process for say, a short story or novel. This is definitely because when writing a screenplay, you should only be writing one because it is a story that has to be enjoyed on a screen, not on pages.

Here is my process and some helpful tips on how I write screenplays!

Part One – The Conflict

For me, the main conflict is what comes to me first, or is what I try to search for first. It has to be a conflict that once again, can only be acted out live rather than in words. It has to be complex and fleshed out enough in order for me to connect it with the right characters and the right plot line.

WHAT MAKES GOOD CONFLICT?

  • There’s a Reason for It – Sometimes, we have conflict that seems to arise from nowhere. Make sure there is a reason and cause for your conflict because otherwise, it won’t be believable.
  • It’s Interesting – This seems obvious, but it’s true! Make sure your conflict is entertaining and exciting otherwise with the rest of the story will fall flat. Ensure there are multiple sides to the conflict and ways it can go wrong that create tension for your story and characters.
  • It Can’t Be Solved in One Minute – A common problem related to conflict is having your conflict solved TOO easily. One character stabs the villain and then BOOM, it is over, done, sealed, solved. No, conflict should include a journey to solve and should have a believable solution when that finally occurs.

Part Two – The Rest of the Story

Before characters, I like to come up with the rest of the story because I like to fit the characters into it. Kind of like a puzzle.

I also use the three act structure like I do with my short stories and novels. It is a way of dividing up the story that works for me, because it doesn’t separate it too much.

Here is how I make use of each act:

Act I – The Beginning: introductions to characters + the world, introduced to conflict, goals are created

Act II – The Middle: goals are being sought after, story deepens, realizations occur, journey begins

Act III – The End: achievement of goals is in sight, story lines come together, a solution is made evident and is coming, tension

That is how I structure my act I, II, and III, and looking back, it looks a little all over the place, but hitting these key points within each act helps me create a fleshed out story.

Again, it is exactly how I structure my short stories and novels, but one thing I try to focus more on in my screenplays is action, action, action. What is happening that keeps up the story’s pace? How can I keep up tension, suspense, interest, etc? My goals while screenwriting is making sure things are happening and moving forward in a way that makes sense, and in a way that keeps people interested.

Part Three – The Characters

Now comes for another essential part to any story: the characters. Some people don’t like to do characters last, but I do because I like to figure out how my characters fit into the story, and how they contribute to it.

Questions to Ask Your Characters:

  • What is your goal? Is it the same as most of the characters, or different?
  • Are you trying to stop someone or something?
  • Are you trying to help someone or something?
  • Is there anything that would stop you from achieving your goal(s)?
  • What would help you achieve your goal(s)?

Again, very action related. What drives them? What stops them? Screenplays in my head are always go, go, go. You aren’t concerning yourself with too much exposition or fluff, it’s dialogue and action which is one thing I really do enjoy writing!

The formatting of screenplays is the only thing I don’t enjoy doing, which is why I use templates! You can Google a screenplay template, or if you have Scrivener, they have an awesome screenplay template on there which is what I used for my writing class last year.

Hopefully you got some good tips for writing a screenplay, especially if you never have attempted one before! I really recommend it because while I prefer short stories and novels, learning the process of writing a screenplay has definitely made me a better writer overall.

 

That is all for this blog post and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: Biannual Bibliothon TBR

 

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What I’m Reading

I thought it would be nice to have a relaxed post where I just catch you all up on what I am currently reading.

On Thursday, the final Biannual Bibliothon begins and goes on for 9 whole days (my TBR for that is coming on Thursday), but before that, I have a few books I really want to get done.

Image result for dig by as king

The book I’ve been spending the most amount of time reading lately is Dig by A.S. King. This was a completely random read for me because I was at the library and I recognized the title of this book and author because I listened to a podcast episode with her in it (88 Cups of Tea with Yin Chang). I decided to just pick it up and maybe I would get to it…spoiler alert, I did! This is surprising because I am famous for picking out library books and then never actually reading them. However, something drew me to this book and I DID start reading it.

I would describe Dig as a coming-of-age story where there are multiple POVs and plot lines that at first, do not seem to connect, but as you carry on with the story they begin to intertwine. I really enjoy this style of novel and I’ve also been able to heavily relate to all of the characters in one aspect or another. They are so raw and real and I cannot help but be fascinated by each of their stories because they are all so different. This is something I miss when I read fantasy, the realism and raw relatability I feel to the characters and story. Of course, every fantasy is originated from something real, but you know what I mean!

Currently, I am on page 242/392 but I am really hoping to finish it today because when I pick it up, I fly through it. I highly recommend this book to anyone because it is truly captivating!

Image result for writing down the bones

The other book I really want to finish before the Biannual Bibliothon is Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg. I’ve mentioned before that I am pretty sure I’ve read this book on writing before, however, I remember nothing! So, when I saw it at my library I decided to pick it up. Lately, I have felt disconnected from writing and I am hoping this book can help bridge that gap I’ve been feeling. So far, I am not very far at all, but hopefully, over the next few days, I can change that.

That is all for my short and sweet reading update and I hope you enjoyed. Stayed tuned for my Biannual Bibliothon TBR coming this Thursday and another blog post on Saturday! Also, don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: Matching Books to My Playlist

 

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Matching Books to My Playlist

Happy Saturday!

Today is the first day of my Saturday blog posts and I am very excited to begin it with a music and book-related post. I know there is a book tag called the “Playlist Book Tag” which may be exactly what this is, but I was just too lazy to search up what the questions were so I will only be matching books to some of the songs on my playlist. Which is still going to be a lot of fun!

My music taste mostly revolves around classic rock from the 70s and 80s and of course, some pop bands like The Beatles. My favourite band in the ENTIRE world though is Queen. However, I only included two of their songs on here because, for some of their songs, I had a hard time coming up with books that matched them.

Anyways, here are 10 songs from my playlist matched with 10 books!

Summer Song by Himesh Patel

& Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

This song is from the movie, Yesterday, which I saw and adored so I had to include some of its soundtrack on here. Summer Song reminds me of Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson because it is a summery contemporary book. Most importantly though, I feel as if the entire book is summarized in the first verse of Summer Song:

Sun’s in the sky
And nothing can go wrong
Kiss winter goodbye
And sing this summer song

This first verse is basically what the main character’s best friend, Sloane, is saying to her in the letter she leaves behind after mysteriously disappearing. She is encouraging Emily to forget about her and live her life to achieve the best summer ever.

Across the Universe by The Beatles

& The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth

The Light Between Worlds is a YA urban fantasy that is extremely atmospherical and whimsical which I think already, pairs well with this beautiful song by The Beatles. The book is all about two sisters struggling to settle back into their world after living in a magical forest for several years, and how one of the sister’s struggles more than the other.

Images of broken light
Which dance before me like a million eyes
They call me on and on across the universe
Thoughts meander like a
Restless wind inside a letter box
They tumble blindly as they make their way across the universe

I feel that this is such an accurate description of how Evelyn feels throughout the story. She is living in the real world, yet feels a call from her true home which might as well be across the universe. Even when surrounded by loved ones and things that make her happy, a piece of her is missing and is lost back in The Woodlands.

My Fairy King by Queen

& The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

I think this is a pretty obvious choice, but the dark and strange lyrics and tone of My Fairy King by Queen really reminds me of The Cruel Prince by Holly Black. The Cruel Prince is about the dark side of faeries that is often not portrayed in literature and this is exhibited well in the song. Also, the beauty of the Fairyland is shown through Queen’s lyrics and relates to how I picture the world in The Cruel Prince.

They turn the milk into sour
Like the blue in the blood of my veins
(Why can’t you see it?)
Fire burnin’ in hell with the cry of screaming pain
(Son of heaven set me free and let me go)
Sea turns dry no salt from sand
Seasons fly no helping hand
Teeth don’t shine like pearls for poor men’s eyes
(No more)

These words just really remind me of how I think our main character, Jude, sometimes views the Fairy world. Even if she loves it and wishes to be apart of it, she knows that she needs to be terrified of all it can do.

Chances by Five for Fighting

& Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Considering the name, I feel like this is fitting for what our main character is going through in Everything, Everything. Maddy has a disease where she is allergic to almost everything, and therefore, cannot leave the house. When a boy named Ollie comes along though, she starts realizing she needs to take chances in her already chanced life in order to feel like she is truly living.

Chances are we’ll find a new equation
Chances roll away from me
Chances are all they hope to be

These words reflect what I think Maddy felt before she met Ollie, but also after. Chances are chances, it is our choice if we want to take them.

I Want to Break Free by Queen

& When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Our main character, Dimple, in When Dimple Met Rishi has always struggled with her parents understanding her desire for education over finding a boyfriend/husband. When she finally convinces her parents to let her go to a summer camp for aspiring web developers, she doesn’t realize it’s still to do just that: set her up with the son of their friends. Because of this, I feel like I Want to Break Free is a fitting song.

I want to break free
I want to break free
I want to break free from your lies
You’re so self satisfied I don’t need you
I’ve got to break free
God knows, God knows I want to break free

This is basically what Dimple feels towards her parents. She is mad when she learns the truth and feels that they aren’t listening to what she wants, but instead, what they want.

Kiss Me by Sixpence None the Richer

& The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

It has been a while since I read this book, but I do vividly remember the main character, Belly, being absolutely in love with her older, family-friend, Conrad. Kiss Me is basically what Belly is constantly thinking when she thinks of him.

Oh, kiss me beneath the milky twilight
Lead me out on the moonlit floor
Lift your open hand
Strike up the band, and make the fireflies dance
Silvermoon’s sparkling
So kiss me

Again, I would NOT be surprised if these lyrics were something Belly said in the book. Not at all.

Dog Days Are Over by Florence + The Machine

& The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

The reason why I associated these two things together is that in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Charlie struggles to make friends as he starts his first year at high school. This is hard, but even before that, Charlie has had a difficult life. I feel like Dog Days Are Over perfectly symbolizes how he feels once he meets Sam, Patrick, and their friends, and finally, becomes a part of their group.

The dog days are over
The dog days are done

It’s simple, but once Charlie finds his group in school, he finally feels like he belongs. Truly, his dog days ARE over.

Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield 

& To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Unwritten is the MOST 2000s song I have heard, but at the same time, I love it for that. It reminds me of To All the Boys because Lara Jean writes love letters to all the boys she has loved before and for the most part, lives in a fantasy world when it comes to love and relationships. Her life is definitely not unwritten, but as she becomes close with certain characters in the book, she learns to live her life as more of a “go with the flow” and “take chances” than she did at the beginning.

I am unwritten, can’t read my mind, I’m undefined
I’m just beginning, the pen’s in my hand, ending unplanned

These lyrics are a great reminder on how we should all live our lives, unwritten and unplanned. Well, okay, maybe plan a little bit because otherwise, you might just be wandering around, but don’t pass up on opportunities just because they aren’t written into your 5-year life plan!

Landslide by Fleetwood Mac

& Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare

I know, I am surprised it took me THIS long to include a Cassandra Clare book but finally, we made it. Not only do I feel like ALL of the characters in QoAaD get hit by a landslide, whether that is in their relationships or just overall life, but the BOOK is a landslide too. Gut-wrenching plot point after heartbreaking plot point…I definitely feel as if I get swept away by the rubble of my heart afterwards.

Oh, mirror in the sky, what is love?
Can the child within my heart rise above?
Can I sail through the changing ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?

I really hear a lot of Julian and Emma in these lyrics if you know what I mean…just because they are definitely struggling with some things…I also think a common theme throughout this book is that a lot of the characters are realizing they aren’t children anymore and have to learn to understand everything they are feeling almost constantly.

Let It Be by The Beatles

& Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

Eliza Mirk is a quiet and very introverted main character that I think a lot of us relate to. I know I do. Not only is she a creative person, being the creator of the webcomic Monstrous Sea, but she also deals with anxiety, which is something I can definitely relate to. However, she lets her anxiety for a majority of the book, get the best of her. When people try to help her and tell her the way she lives her life isn’t that healthy, she basically says “let it be”. It takes her a while to realize things need to change and that “letting it be” isn’t always the best answer.

And when the night is cloudy, there is still a light that shines on me
Shine on ’til tomorrow, let it be
I wake up to the sound of music, Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be

So many people in Eliza’s life try to help her and get her out of her chair, and I think these lyrics reflect that conflict she has with them.

 

Wow! That was a long one, but there it is, me matching books with my playlist…anwyays, I hope you enjoyed it because I had so much fun creating this blog post! Don’t forget to comment below some of your favourite songs on your playlist, and also make sure you check out my last blog post which will be linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: How to: Get Out of a Reading Slump 2.0

 

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How to: Get Out of a Reading Slump 2.0

Happy Thursday!

There are a lot of readathons happening in July so I thought it would be a good idea to share my tips and tricks on how to successfully free yourself from a reading slump.

  1. Pick Up an Old Favourite – My go-to remedy for a reading slump is to pick up an old favourite of mine that yes, I’ve read about 100 times, but love even more every time. For me, this is any Cassandra Clare book, Eliza and Her Monsters or Fangirl. I can read these books countless times and by the time I flip to the last page, they always have me wanting to consume more books.
  2. Don’t Force Yourself to Read – A lot of the time we fall into a reading slump because we are forcing ourselves to read when we don’t want to, or when it is a story we don’t want to read. NEVER force yourself to read (unless it’s for school because then you should probably just try to do it) because that only leads to getting no reading done at all.
  3. Let Yourself Be a Mood Reader – While I make TBRs for most months, they are created from books I really feel like reading at that moment. Luckily for me, if I feel like reading a book at the beginning of the month, I usually still will by mid-month but of course, this is not always the case. So, if you are in a slump or are edging towards one, take a look at your shelf and choose what you feel like reading. Forget your current read and your TBR. Just pick a book you want and read it.
  4. Watch Reading Vlogs – Whether I need some motivation to read or write or be productive, I love turning to vlogs for this. The act of watching someone else do what I want and need to do just fuels me with this sudden motivation to tackle whatever it is. Sometimes I have to watch the entire vlog, and sometimes another (but don’t get sucked into the vicious cycle of only watching these vlogs…try to limit yourself to 3 videos). Other times, I only need to watch the first few minutes and then I am good to go. Here is one of my favourites!
  5. Take a Trip to the Library or Book Store – I go to the library a LOT because it is only a 5-minute walk from my house. Even if I don’t pick out a book, sometimes it is helpful to just be surrounded by books. About 90% of the time, this makes me desperately want to pick up a book and spend the day indoors, absorbed in a new (or old) story.

Those are my 5 tips on how to wriggle free of a reading slump and I hope they were helpful! This month, I am participating in 2 readathons and in the next few days, I will have my TBRs up for them. Also, I will now be posting on Saturdays as well so look out for those new blog posts! Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: Camp NaNoWriMo – Plans, Goals + More

 

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Camp NaNoWriMo – Plans, Goals + More

Happy Monday!

Today is the FIRST day of Camp NaNoWriMo, so I thought it would be a good idea to share with you all what exactly I plan on working on this month. What story am I tackling? What’s my word goal? Well, all of that will be discussed right now.

At first, I was not going to make this because once again, I am working on my Aztec mythology story that oh, I’ve worked on for the past 3 or 4 Camp NaNoWriMos. What I am most excited about though, is that I’ve managed to stay in love with this project even after all this time. Usually, I write an idea (as a short story) and then edit it a bit and boom, done. I don’t ever have the desire to work on it more. However, this is a story I just have not been able to get how I want for whatever reason, but that only makes me want to work on it more. I am definitely getting closer and I am willing to take the time it needs to get there.

To be honest, apart from my word goal of 17,000 for this project (and I might write a short story if an idea comes to me), my main goal of this month is to fall back in love with writing. Actually, now that I think about it, that is not the right way to phrase it. I still love writing and there hasn’t been a moment where I stopped, but over this past month or so, I’ve definitely neglected it and it has not made me feel good. I was busy so I am not blaming myself, but I really want to spend this month working on my writing and getting back into the routine of it. It always brings me joy but I just want to make sure I am actively doing it. These past two months have been some of the greatest months of my life in all aspects, mentally, physically, socially, etc, etc, but one part (or two, but they kind of go hand in hand) that has been lacking is writing and reading. I have been neglecting my passions and while it has still been a fun and good time, there is this part of me that feels incomplete just because I am not carving out that bit of time each day to focus on what fuels me as a person. As we got to the end of June, I definitely felt myself lacking and gathering energy from a dry well. Yesterday though, I spent a good hour reading and just enjoying literature and it felt AMAZING. I also finally finished a book and I think it is either the first or second book I finished in June…however, I am still on track for my reading goal!

But yes, this month is, of course, me trying to reach my goal of 17k words, but overall, I am striving to recenter myself as a creative being. Already I have written my words for today and it was my first writing session in a long, long time. I wrote 1, 846 words and it filled me with the sort of happiness you only get when you are pursuing what you absolutely adore. I cannot wait to sit down again tomorrow and write some more words, but I am trying not to push it at the same time. I write when I feel like it (I do aim for the mornings still though), what I feel like (still on my main project), and how long I feel like. So far, it’s going great, and I hope your Camp NaNoWriMo is as well!

That is all for this blog post and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: Why I Love Libraries

 

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Why I Love Libraries

Happy Thursday!

Today, I wanted to take some time to just commemorate libraries and all of their glory in providing literature for the public. I’ve used libraries ever since I started reading…so almost 8 years ago, and while I do own around 200 books, I still use the library weekly. They are amazing and we need to make sure we are supporting them whenever we can!

Why Libraries are AMAZING

There are a lot of reasons for this, but I think the overarching reason is that it is completely, 100% free. You can take out whatever book, movie, CD, audiobook, etc, etc, and give it a go. There are a lot of other reasons why libraries are amazing though:

  • Introduces You to New Stories – Sometimes I don’t know what I am going to the library wanting. I will just let myself browse and I always come across something I didn’t know of but suddenly want to read. And the best part is that I don’t have to check the price to see if it’s in my budget or not!
  • Fun Activities – For all ages, the local libraries in my area offer awesome activities. I partook in them more when I was younger, but I still occasionally volunteer in them. For example, last winter I volunteered as a reading buddy for this kid’s reading group and it was the best of times!
  • Everyone In There Loves Literature – Except for the few people purely there, hunched over the computers and playing games, everyone in the library is there because of their shared adoration for books! It is nice being in that kind of environment. It’s calming and encourages me to read more!

How To Support Libraries

It is important to support libraries because they are the main pathway of literature to the public. Without them, a lot fewer people would be reading and enjoying stories. Luckily, there are quite a few ways to support libraries. Not only to support them actually but to just assist them in growing and reaching out to more people in need of books.

  • Library Book Sales – My libraries are always having book sales where they sell lots of used books with their profits going back to the library. I try to attend as many as possible, and while they usually fall in the worst weekends for me, I have managed to attend one and not only did I find some good books, but it was a lot of fun!
  • USING Your Library – I don’t know why I didn’t put this one first, but obviously just using your library is a fantastic way to support them. Taking out books, movies, CDs, etc and enjoying the facility is easy, free, and a good way to spend your time.

My Current Library Reads

Like I said, I am constantly using my libraries so I always have a good stack of books next to my nightstand that I have taken out from them. Here are the ones I have recently taken out and plan on reading this summer!

  • Time Management by Richard Walsh
  • The Ultimate Freelancer’s Guidebook by Yuwanda Black
  • Side Hustle by Guillebeau
  • Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
  • A Little History of Literature by John Sutherland
  • The Wicked King by Holly Black

Anyways, that is all for this blog post about libraries, and I hope you enjoyed! Let me know in the comments below what books you currently have out from the library because I would love to know. Also, don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: Nonfiction TBR

 

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