Children of Blood and Bone Has Too Much Hype?

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Before we get into today’s blog post, I wanted to announce that due to suddenly having more time in my day-to-day life, I will be posting on Mondays AND Fridays! I do not know how long this will last, but hopefully until the end of the summer. I am excited because I’ve planned content for the next month and all of posts are on topics that I am incredibly interested in and cannot wait to share!

Anyways, onto today’s post:

What inspired me to write this post is my experience reading Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, which I am reading for my children’s literature class. This book has a very unusual story which I will be diving into, along with my thoughts on the book and the hype it has received. I do want to say that this is not a review and it does not include spoilers. I just wanted to give an overview of my thoughts on the book without diving too deep into the story, but more of how the book community reacted to it.

You are probably asking yourself why I am only talking about Children of Blood and Bone now…and the reason is because I didn’t read about it until now and I have a lot of things to say…to say the least.

If you did not know, Children of Blood and Bone came out around this time two years ago, and even before its release, there was an immense amount of praise surrounding it. All of this hype even landed the author a three movie book deal and she has not even published three books in this series! One reason for this hype was the diversity of the book. This fantasy, young adult novel includes an all black cast as it is heavily influenced by West African mythology, which is something we (sadly) have not seen a lot of in the YA community. Especially, in the fantasy genre. I, myself, was incredibly excited for this book and the steps forward it was bringing YA stories.

This was all before it was released. Once it finally dropped into the world, the hype appeared to hold strong for most people as it was still talked about everywhere. For the months surrounding its publication, it was the young adult book I heard the most about. Tomi Adeyemi was interviewed on a lot of the podcasts that I subscribe to and her book was on every YouTube channel I watched. Yet, I still did not read it until two whole years later.

Now, I am over 400 pages into it with about 100 left to go. It has been interesting only reading this book now after already having having so many interactions with it. I was excited to finally sit down and explore this beloved story and I am surprised to say that I do not really understand the hype.

I am a huge fantasy reader, especially when it includes mythology and other cultures. As I have mentioned many times before, I am working on a story inspired by Aztec mythology so to say I was looking forward to diving into West African mythology is a bit of an understatement. Nonetheless, this book for whatever reason, is just not doing it for me. Well, actually, that is a lie. There are reasons and these are the three main ones:

  1. The characters all feel surface level to me

I do not know if it is only me, but these characters do not bring anything different to the table. They have motivations, wants, and needs, but I just cannot empathize or even sympathize with any of them. There is not one that I like more than the other, I have an indifference to them all that has not shifted once since the beginning of the story.

2. The plot line is too familiar

I know Tomi Adeyemi has publicly said this book was influenced by Sabaa Tahir’s, An Ember in the Ashes (which I am a HUGE fan of), but I see too many elements of Ember in Children of Blood and Bone that it takes me out of the book. The other parts of the plot are also just too predictable. There has not been one plot point that I was not expecting and took me by surprise, instead, I anticipate the characters’ actions and the direction of the plot without even trying.

3. The romance

I won’t explicitly spoil anything…other than it is an enemy to lover’s romance. I do like the trope but only when it is done well. In this book, I feel like one moment the characters hate each other and then on the next page, they are suddenly in love.

I know you are probably wondering why I am discussing this book when I haven’t even finished it, and the reason is that I might not finish it. Yes, I am so close to the end, but whenever I pick it up I cannot help but think of all the other books I want to be reading. You get to a point in a story where it does not seem worth it to keep going and I am far past that point. The only reason I’ve kept going is because it was assigned for school.

If this book was not so hyped up, I might like it more than I do. The writing has the nostalgic early YA feeling that I like and while the plot is predictable, I can get through around 20 pages of it at a time. I think hyping books up in the rare way Children of Blood and Bone was can have a damaging effect on the book and story itself. I think this because I know I am not the only one who felt this way towards Children of Blood and Bone. My friend in the class I have to read it for read it faster than me and noted all of the same things I did when I finally got further into the book.

That is not saying it is a bad book! I think it is important to the YA community and I am still looking forward to the movies when they premiere. Will I continue on with the series though? Probably not.

However, if you have not read it, do not take my word for it! Give it a try because there are so many people who loved the book. I just wanted to share my thoughts and reflection on Children of Blood and Bone, and the hype that circulated it even before its release.

That is all for my post today 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: Staying Postive and Productive: Ideas, Tips + Tricks

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Staying Postive and Productive: Ideas, Tips + Tricks

Hellooo,

Before I get into this blog post, I wanted to share something super exciting. Recently, I have become a writer for Flanelle Magazine and my first article was posted on the 18th talking all about the importance of keeping art alive during this crisis. It is meant to be uplifting, positive, and inspiring, so go check it out by clicking the link down below. It would mean a lot!

COVID-19: The importance of keeping art alive in quarantine

Now, back to business.

I thought it would be helpful to share a post on how to keep positive and productive during all that is happening right now. It is easy to get caught up in the negativity of it all (trust me, I know), but I want to help steer you back to the bright sides. Those are that now, a lot of us have time we didn’t have before. There is a downside to that of course because, for some, they have lost their jobs and in no way am I discounting that. However, how I see it, is that there is nothing any of us can do to change that at the moment. Anyways, with this time we are offered the opportunity to try new things, work on things we might have neglected, and overall, have more time to ourselves which is important and often overlooked.

Today, I will be sharing some ideas, tips, and tricks on how to stay positive and productive while also not ignoring what is going on around the world.

Idea #1: Start a Journal

I used to journal a lot, but ever since I started first-year, I haven’t kept up with it as much. However, lately, I have been making an effort to get back into journaling since it is all about letting go of the negative things you may be feeling and reflecting on your life. I haven’t been journaling every day, but I have been trying to a few times a week or whenever I am feeling especially discouraged. I highly recommend it during a time like this. It is so therapeutic and sometimes, I find myself writing for anywhere from 15-40 minutes.

Idea #2: Explore a New Creative Hobby

I emphasize on the word “creative” hobby because as I talk about in my article linked above, being creative and creating art has a huge effect on how you feel, think, and act during somber times. Whether you want to get better at baking, painting, writing, or photography, take advantage of the time you have right now to improve and explore that creative realm. For more on this, check out my article here.

Idea #3: Create a Schedule for Yourself

Whether you did this before self-isolation or not, I encourage you to make some sort of daily schedule for yourself even if it is a very loose one. Having this structure that we are used to because of school, work, etc and not losing it by creating one that fits our new, home lives is essential to keeping busy, productive, and happy.

For example, I am still working at my job (once a week though because I still have school work to do) on Sundays so my “weekends” have become Fridays and Saturdays. Anyways, on weekdays, I will wake up at 7:30am, read from 8am-9am, and then get started on any work I have to do. This includes schoolwork, my own writing, and writing for my jobs. I will do this until around 4pm or 5pm and any time after that will be spent watching movies, going for a walk, or whatever else keeping in touch with friends and family. I have also been trying to exercise a few times a week which is either me going on a run or working out at home. This has helped me stay sane during everything, and I really recommend incorporating something of a schedule into your life.

Tip #1: Surround Your Productive Plans with Fun Plans

I have found that while always working at home and not being able to go sit in the library or in a coffee shop to change up my environment can be discouraging and really deplete my energy, making plans to call someone or watch a movie with my family helps to ensure I push forward. I recommend making these “fun” plans something social, or at least, sometimes something social. However, if you limit how often you watch TV, movies, read, etc by yourself, those will also work! It helps keep you on track because you look at your schedule and are like “okay, I have plans to FaceTime, my friend, at 7pm so I have to get everything done by then otherwise I can’t call them.”. It is like the equivelent of making dinner plans or just going out and realizing that yes, you still have to get your work done.

Tip #2: Make Going Outside a Priority

It’s weird that something as small as going outside has become so prioritized in everyone’s lives now. It is so important to take a walk every day or sit in your backyard a few times a day during self-isolation. I would even say that going outside could be your “fun” plan for when you get your work done. Nonetheless, schedule it into your daily routine every single day because you will find that it is easier to stay motivated and positive while getting your daily dose of fresh air.

Trick #1: Plan Future Endeavours…Even When You Don’t Know When They are Going to Happen

One thing that is time-consuming and keeps my spirits up is planning for trips that could happen in the next couple of months. I don’t recommend putting money into booking a hotel or a plane ticket quite yet, but spending time researching places and fun excursions to do once self-isolation is over will really help you to look into the future rather being too stuck in the present. I also recommend finding people to do them with!

Those are all my ideas, tips, and tricks to keeping positive and productive in the next few weeks and I hope you found them helpful! Make sure to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below.

Thanks for reading and stay healthy!

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WIPs, Camp NaNoWriMo + More

Happy Friday!

This week zipped by because of how chaotic and absolutely insane it was. Not only were there assignments and projects and readings for school I had to tackle, but as the entire world knows, the COVID-19 virus has escalated intensely in the last few days. Where I live, there are only 3 known cases at the moment, but my school is still considering shutting down for a few weeks. My fingers are crossed that this doesn’t happen because we have less than a month of classes left and I would really like to finish them. That, and get marks for all the assignments and projects I have poured HOURS into! Of course, if that is the safest option for everyone then I understand but hopefully, it does not come to that.

Anyways, amongst the chaos, I have somehow found time to write so today, I wanted to share this rambly, chit-chatty post all about my writing progress and plans for the coming month.

Currently, I am writing a short story/novella based on my Aztec mythology idea and decided earlier this week that I was going to scrap what I had already written of it (around 3,000 words) and start fresh. Usually, I would highly advise you NOT to do this, but sometimes it is the best thing you can do for your project and this was one of those rare cases. I have not written too much for the new draft, but I have clocked in around 1,300 words which is better than nothing. Another plus is that I have really enjoyed writing this story and it does not feel like a drag to work on it anymore. That was my main problem with this story before. Every time I had to force myself to work on it and I never had any clear sight of where I wanted to take it. Naturally, I am a pantser so sitting down with only a rough idea in mind is how I typically write my stories, but I had no motivation or inspiration with where this story was going to start. So, long story short, I changed my idea a bit and plan on finishing my first draft (which should be around 17,000 words) sometime next week…preferably mid-week but we shall see.

Some other projects currently on the go for me is a project for one of my classes. I decided to create a zine which is a collection of various pieces of your own work. This is for my fine arts class and for it, I am writing poems and flash fiction pieces that will tell one story throughout the entire zine. At the moment, I am trying to make it so it switches between poem and flash fiction, but overall, I will just have to see what works best for the story and flow of it. I am also including some art pieces which is kind of new for me. I used to draw a lot when I was younger and I am not being modest when saying I am not the most talented drawer…but I think it will be an interesting addition to the zine. Also, a necessary one because you need art for the front cover at the least! This is due by April 3rd so I have some time but I would rather start now than leave it to the last minute. So far, I have a flash fiction piece and a poem that I am still working on. I’ve also been practicing the types of drawings I want to include. The theme is very whimsical and mystical so it has been a lot of fun so far!

Leaping into the future just a bit, I have decided to re-think my Camp NaNoWriMo plans a little more. After starting this little zine project, I thought it might be fun to work on a short story collection rather than one novel or novella project. For years, I have been working on this Aztec story, and of course, in between, I have devoted time to other projects, but this zine idea has really inspired me to take a break from that world this coming month. For now, I am thinking of just including short stories into this totally separate project from my fine arts one, but I might include other forms of written pieces as well. Basically, I am giving myself creative freedom for April which could either be a brilliant or self-destructive idea.

 

There you have it! Those are my current projects and future plans for writing and I hope you enjoyed. Let me know below what you currently have on the go, as well as if you are participating in Camp NaNo this year because I would love to know. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post, and also my social media accounts which are all linked down below!

Thanks for reading and stay healthy 🙂

Last Blog Post: Reading on a Budget

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Reading on a Budget

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Happy Friday!

Being a broke university student, I have been thinking about how I read and how much money I have saved this year regarding books.

Here are my tips for reading on a budget whether you are a student or just want to become more conscious of where your money is going. Let me know in the comments if you have any other tips or ideas because I would love to know!

#1 – Library Books

This is the obvious one, which is why I am getting it out of the way right now. But yes, libraries are the best and cheapest way to read because they are free! A lot of people do not own a library card which is crazy because the library is such an amazing resource not only for reading but for connecting with other lovers of books. I am always taking out library books to keep up with new releases that I want to read. I request them from my library before they are even out and then I am usually the first or second person to get them! Most libraries also offer free audiobooks and ebooks through different apps. For example, my library uses CloudLibrary. It’s an obvious tip but here is your reminder to use your local library!

#2 – Borrowing from Friends

I know some people are hesitant about lending their precious books out but I have never been one of those people. I love to share my books with my friends and I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy forcing them to read my favourite books. My boyfriend and I give each other book recommendations and lend books to one another all the time. Once I am done my current reads for school, I will be picking up Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson because he highly recommended it to me. I’ve also read 1984 by George Orwell at his request and in return I have shoved The Outsider by Albert Camus and Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid at him. The point is, sharing is caring.

#3 – Save Buying Books for Special Occasions!

Something I have been experimenting with is saving my book buying for a special occasion. If I get through a really hard week or if one of my most anticipated books is coming out, I will use that reason to treat myself. However, don’t do this too often during the month. I will only buy one book a month maximum not only to save money but to keep the book-buying a special thing. It’s also a helpful tactic to limit my book buying and rely more on libraries because my collection is reaching the 300s and there are still so many books I haven’t read yet that are still sitting on my shelf and gathering dust.

#3.5 – Read a Chapter and Decide

If you want to treat yourself to a book for the month but don’t know which one to choose, whether there are just so many you want or if you want to pick a book you know nothing about, I have a method that works pretty well for me. What I do is I choose three books from the shelves based on the cover or maybe because I heard of it before. I take those books and read the first chapter of each one. Whichever one hooked me the most is then the one I get. Although, if you go into a bookstore and nothing stands out to you then maybe think about saving your money. Treat yourself to something different or wait until there is a book you really want.

#4 – Online Resources

First things first, I do not mean illegally pirating books off the internet. What I mean by this is that lots of older novels, poems, short stories, etc can be found online for free. I discovered this since I am taking a class on Victorian literature and for it, we have a massive textbook that I often do not feel like lugging around. So, one day, I searched up the poems I had to read for class and what do you know! I found them on the poetryfoundation.org website. Later on, I realized the novellas we had/have to read are also on there. Those stories are A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. If you are into classics and whatnot, search the title of it and add “pdf” to the end of your search and it may just pop up.

Well, there you have it! Those are my four and a half tips on reading on a budget. I hope you found it helpful and insightful in your reading life. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media which is all linked down below.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: March 2020 TBR

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March 2020 TBR

Happy Friday!

Today, I thought it would be fun to share the books I plan on finishing and reading in the month of March. I cannot believe it is already March, which happens to be the last full month of classes for me. Things are already starting to pick up with school but I just know March will be absolute chaos. However, I still plan on reading a couple of books and I am very excited to dive into them!

The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

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This is my current read and it is for my children’s lit class. I had low expectations going into it, but I am not disliking it like I expected to. It isn’t amazing, but it has been fun to read and immerse myself into a classic children’s novel which is something I haven’t done in a long time. Currently, I am just over 100 pages in this almost 500 paged novel, but I am hoping to get it finished by the end of next week. Fingers crossed!

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

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Finally, finally, finally, I have picked up this beloved book. It is for my children’s lit class as well, but I get so excited to sit down with this book every time that it does not feel like it is required reading for school. While it is not mind-blowing, the story is so fun and the writing is great. It has a very classic YA feel to it which I am really enjoying. It actually reminds me of An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir (which I want to re-read in the near future since we are finally getting a release date for the fourth and final book!) which makes sense since in a podcast I listened to, Adeyemi mentioned that Ember was a huge inspiration for her. I am also around 100 or so pages into this book and want to try and finish it sometime next week!

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

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This is another school read and while I read this book in the summertime, I remember next to nothing about this Victorian novella. I don’t have to read this until mid-March, but despite its short length, I know it will take me some time to get into it so I plan on jumping into it in the next week. Also, I want to read it ASAP because I have to choose if I want to write my term paper on it or A Christmas Carol. I was not a huge fan of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde when I first read it, but maybe the second time around will be better?

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson

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Recently, I watched the movie version of this book with my boyfriend and with his coaxing, I have decided to pick up the book. This is very different from what I usually read as I don’t tend to pick up semi-biographical, political novels, but after enjoying the movie, I have high hopes for the book. It might take me a bit to get through it, but I am excited to see how much I will like following Hunter S. Thompson on his crazy, drug-infused adventures.

Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare

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I swear I blinked and suddenly this book is less than a week from release…even though the date kept getting pushed back. I don’t even know too much about this book other than it follows Tessa and Will’s children. I am very much looking forward to immersing myself in this time period of Edwardian England and seeing the Infernal Devices trio: Tessa, Will, and Jem. This comes out on March 3rd and you bet I will be at the bookstore that day to buy it. It is a pretty big book (544 pages) though so even though I doubt I will finish it in March I will at least start it!

Those are the four books I plan on reading in the month of March and I hope you enjoyed it! Let me know what you plan to read this month 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: All Things Camp NaNoWriMo: My Plans, Ideas + Tips

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All Things Camp NaNoWriMo: My Plans, Ideas + Tips

Hellooo

Can you believe it’s already almost March? Aka the month before Camp NaNoWriMo! Me either.

Since it is right around the corner, I decided to make a post discussing all my plans and ideas for Camp NaNo since I actually plan on participating. I finish classes by April 3rd and don’t have exams until the 18th and 24th so if all goes as planned, I will have a lot of time to write.

Anyways, time to discuss all things Camp NaNoWriMo!

So, what am I going to be working on this April?

If you have been following my blog for the past 2 years, you would know that during April 2018, I worked on a novel idea centered around Aztec mythology. Basically, I will be continuing on with that. I am starting fresh though. I’ve changed a lot of things about the story and my approach to it, so I am hoping to just get a solid rough draft that gives me a good idea of how I want to go about it. And hopefully, it sticks.

That is not to say I haven’t been working on it all these years though. I worked on it during Camp NaNo July 2018/summer 2018, and I’ve also worked on short story versions of it since. I love the concept, the world, and the mythology, there are just a lot of possibilities and I’ve had a hard time decided which route I want to take it. However, I am just going to keep working on it until it feels right.

What’s my word count goal?

Like I said, I finish classes in early April and only have two final exams later on in the month. That being said, my goal is going to be 15,000 words. I don’t think it is a good idea for me to write 50,000 words after only writing here and there for the past several months, so I decided to give myself a smaller yet still, significant word count to try and hit.

My tips for Camp NaNoWriMo: Time management, motivation, and ideas

While I haven’t successfully completed NaNoWriMo or Camp NaNo since last year, I’ve still participated in it my fair share of times (and have won a few!) so I thought it would be nice to share some of my tips and tricks for writing all the words.

#1: Set aside time to write

Wow, isn’t this the most basic tip of all?

But in all seriousness, this is a common yet extremely overlooked tip. A lot of the time we plan to write at some point during the day but we don’t slot a certain time to do it. I recommend keeping a certain time in mind when you want to sit down and write. It doesn’t have to be set in stone, for example, if you put aside an hour at night but get a lot of writing done during the day by chance, then congrats! If you want, you can still write in the evening but you got your writing done!

Just having some sort of time period you plan on dedicating to writing, even if it’s not precisely that time, is incredibly important and helpful to your success with writing.

#2: Create a productive atmosphere

If you’re office or room or kitchen or wherever you write, is a mess, tidy it up a little before you begin writing. I’m not saying you should get out your sponge and mop and deep clean the place, but at least clear the space around you. I am very guilty of not doing this and I’ve definitely noticed a difference in my productivity levels, whether I am writing or doing homework, when I take care of the space around me.

#3: Start of your writing session with a warm-up

I used to rave about writing prompts and I still stand by their value! Sometimes I do this when I don’t feel in the mood to write. I will find a prompt on Pinterest that interests me and write a little story for 5-10 minutes inspired by that prompt. It helps to get my creativity flowing and sometimes, aspects of that little story make it into my current project.

Another thing I’ve noticed from doing these warm-up exercises before my writing sessions is I can write for longer periods of time. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t do this every single time I write, but I try to save it for when I feel the most uninspired.

 

Those are my plans, goals, and a few tips for Camp NaNoWriMo this April! I hope you enjoyed and found the tips useful. Let me know if you plan on participating in Camp NaNo and what you are working on because I would love to know!

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 🙂

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The Grandfather Clock – Short Story Excerpt

Happy Thursday!

Today, I thought I would share an excerpt from a short story I am currently working on. It is actually one I have salvaged from my pile of neglected work and it feels so good to be reviving it! I wrote the original idea for this back in grade 10…so almost four years ago, but I’ve always come back to it over the years. Anyways, here are the first 3 or so pages and I hope you enjoy!

P.S. I now have a “My Writing” section of my blog where you can find the work I am most proud of! You can find it on the top right corner of my home page 🙂


 

Due to the clock’s lack of eyes, it confronts me with the dark reflection of my own. Memories play in the blackness of them, and I force myself to stare past them at the clock’s copper hands which are frozen over the twelve. I tap its face, but it remains as silent as ever.

A faint pulsing fills my ears. I blink. The clock’s smallest hand is beating around its face as if it always has, the other one inching with each passing minute. I drop my pencil and struggle to my knees.

“Mom!” I shout. “Mom!”

I try to think back to a time when the clock worked, not just when it was perched in silence on a shelf. My door swings open and my mother appears, a book dangling from her hand.

“What, Adelyn? You have two perfectly good feet as far as I can tell. You could have come to me instead.”

“Sorry, but do you hear that?”

The clock’s tick is delicate; like a baby’s first breath. She listens for a moment and then her brows draw together, a crease folding between her eyes.

“Yes. The clock is ticking.”

I deflate, anticipating more excitement. Maybe not a shriek joined by a jump, but a smile at the least.

“It just started ticking. Like, all on its own.”

“Hmm. It used to all the time when I was younger. It would drive me and your grandmother nuts.” She tips her chin up and sniffs with disapproval.

“Well, I think the ticking is kind of nice. I think grandfather would have liked to see his clock working again, don’t you?”

“I suppose, but you know how I am with noise.” She pinches the bridge of her nose and twists her lips. “I already feel a headache coming on. Can you turn it off please, Adelyn?”

“I don’t know how.”

The crease deepens.

“Well, I need to lie down for a bit until my headache goes away. If you can’t figure it out then we might have to get rid of it.” She jerks open the door and I sigh, returning to my homework. But I can’t help myself from glancing at the tremoring clock every few seconds.

The clock’s tick still reminds me more of a pulse rather than an actual tick. I think of the clock we have in the living room, mounted to the wall and shaped like an orange cat. It used to purr in deep, heavy strokes that echoed throughout the entire house until it drove my mother to insanity only minutes after it was hung up. Instantly, my father disabled it. Now, we just had an orange cat hanging on the wall.

But this ticking isn’t anything like that. It’s less of an annoyance and more of a reminder that the clock is still alive.

When my door creaks open next, I struggle against the heavy sandbags resting on my eyelids. My father’s head pops through the doorway; his eyes are narrowed and his brown hair a wavy mess.

“Hi,” I say, yawning.

“Hi, Addy. Your mother wants me to ask you if you figured out how to turn off the clock.” I roll my eyes, reaching for the old thing and flipping it around. I freeze.

“There’s no backdoor.”

“What? Is that a no then?”

“I don’t know! I guess? There’s no little entryway to the gears or anything.” I run my fingers along the clock’s back, feeling for the grooves of a door but there is nothing. I only feel and see smooth wood.

“So…What do you want me to tell her?”

“I-I don’t know. I don’t want her to make me get rid of it!” I peer up at him. “What should I do?”

“Maybe take it to that antique shop. You know, the one in the town square?”

I sit up.

“Yeah! I’ll do that. That’s a good idea.” I reach for my jacket, slipping it on, and then for my phone. I type the antique shop’s address in. The hours appear beneath the address and I groan.

“What?” My dad asks.

“The antique shop is closed on Sunday! What am I supposed to do now?” I shove my phone into my pocket and bury my face into my hands.

“Hmm, and I doubt there are any other antique shops close by, let alone open…”

“Yeah, and I don’t want to drive around for hours in the dark.”

As if in response, the grey sky grumbles in agreement. Speckles of rain begin to cover my window and flashes of light flicker behind the thick clouds.

“Someone shut that damn clock off!” My mother yells from somewhere in the house, and I wince.

“How about you just go for a little drive with the clock?” My father whispers and I hesitate, glancing outside the window again.

“Adelyn Willows!” My mother screeches.

“Fine. I’ll go.” I roll my eyes.

“Thank you,” my father says, clasping his hands together gratefully. “Maria! Adelyn is going to take the clock out for a bit!”

“Thank god,” we hear her mumble, and I shake my head, slinking past my father into the hallway. I pair black boots with my green fuzzy socks, gripping the clock to my side with my free hand as I tug them on. It hums against my skin like a heater finally kicking in in the winter.

“Okay,” I mumble. “I guess I’ll be back later.”

“Drive safe, Addy,” my father chimes, shivering as he watches me go.

I sprint across the wet grass when a drop of icy rain hits my face. The clock’s sharp edges dig into my ribs, but I barely feel it against the afternoon’s bitter bite. Autumn wind runs its gnarled fingers through my hair, brushing it into my eyes and mouth. I push against it, but its harsh breath is too strong.

Inside, the car is cool and musty. I contemplate buckling the clock up beside me but decide against it as more raindrops pound against the window. I grit my teeth and start the car, pulling out of our driveway all while tapping my fingers to the steady heartbeat of the clock. I don’t know where I am going to drive to, but my hands are cranking the wheel, guiding themselves.

It doesn’t take long before I realize where I’m taking myself. My stomach twists and my heart fights against my chest as if it can manipulate me to turn back. But from experience, I know this is a one-way road.

The only direction to go is forward.


 

And there it is! Once I am finished I will share the rest but for now, I hope you enjoyed that little teaser. Let me know what you thought of it in the comments because I would love to know.

Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked below because yes, I have finally started posting on Instagram again. Anyways, thanks for reading 🙂

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The Addiction of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s Books

Hello!

Happy Friday. My head is buzzing with all the assignments and deadlines I have to meet, but I was inspired to write this specific blog post ever since I finished Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I also just finished The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, another one of Reid’s incredibly praised novels, and I’ve been putting the pieces together on why her books are so hyped and beloved.

Here is what I’ve realized:

The Concept: People Love Reading Books on Other People’s Lives

Call it humankind’s natural curiosity or noisiness, but you cannot deny the fact that people love to know what is going on in other people’s lives – even people they do not know. For example, celebrities. Rarely does the average person know a celebrity, yet we are obsessed with knowing where our favourite celebrity lives, what there cat’s name is, and who they are dating.

Enter, Taylor Jenkins Reid’s books. Specifically, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and Daisy Jones and the Six.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – A Snapshot:

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Evelyn Hugo was the “it-girl” from the 50s-80s; an actress caught up in drama and scandals, and seven marriages to seven different men. Yet, the fine details of her life remain a mystery to the public.

Monique Grant is a low-level reporter working for her big break which comes unexpectedly when Evelyn Hugo asks Monique to be the one who reveals her life story, something no one has had the opportunity to do before. Confused but curious, Monique meets Evelyn and a story of friendship, love, and hardship is revealed. The truth of Evelyn’s life is also woven in and both Evelyn and Monique find themselves having to face it in different ways.

Analysis:

Evelyn Hugo is not a real person, yet this summary of the book makes me want to know about her life…even though the events that take place never actually happened. But people like her have existed. Like Marilyn Munroe, Judy Gardner, and many more who had crazy and tragic lives that the public still gobbles up to this day.

Reid did reveal that this book was based on Elizabeth Taylor and her life: one of many dramas and many husbands, as well as her interactions with a reporter too.

The key points with these books are not only is the reader getting a look at this “famous” person’s wild and mysterious life but that they are getting an inside scoop to that person’s relationships. The public loves to know who dated who and for how long and why they broke up. Including this into a book satisfies that knowledge craves most of us have if not all of us. Before I even got 10 pages into this book, I knew that Monique’s first question was going to be who was Evelyn Hugo’s greatest love?

Daisy Jones and the Six- A Snapshot:

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Written in an interview format, Daisy Jones and the Six follows the iconic band from the 70s with the same name. Decades after the band split up after their first show as this beloved group, the members have come together to recount their rise to success. Addicting and heart-wrenching, this book covers the edgy and dangerous life led during the 70s in Los Angeles and the relationships that formed between the bandmates. Daisy Jones and the Six is an excellent representation of the saying that “nothing is ever as it seems”.

Analysis:

Whenever I listen to a new artist or band, I always dive straight into their personal lives and histories. I can’t help it. Most artists and bands have an incredibly interesting past that led them to stardom and life while they lived through it. Daisy Jones and the Six is a fictional band, but Reid wrote them in such a way that I had to remind myself that they never actually existed. This could be because they had to have been based on bands from around the same time period because the events and drama that happens in Daisy Jones and the Six were not uncommon in bands then.

The anticipation to uncover the band’s secrets (and this is also evident in The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo) was something incredibly well done on Reid’s part. We got a bit of talking from one band member who started to relay a secret before quickly moving onto the next one and learning something about them. This was not in a way that made anything feel drawn out either. Yes, I was anxious to figure out something about one character, but I was just as anxious to discover something about another. Except, Eddie. I could not care for Eddie any less.

The fact that you had to read the entire book (which should be the case for most books too) to fully understand everything from everyone’s lives was fascinating. I loved finishing the book and being able to see how this person’s relationship affected everyone else and their life. For example, the effect of Daisy and Billy’s relationship with Camilla. Speaking of Camilla, another thing Reid does amazingly is to write characters that feel like real people. Camilla leaped off the page just as Daisy, Billy, Graham, etc, etc. Everyone was riddled with flaws and we saw those grow and shrink throughout the mesmerizing story.

That’s how I would describe these two books in all honesty, mesmerizing. I can never put them down when I start them.

That is my analysis of why Taylor Jenkins Reid’s books are so addicting; talking about the undeniable curiosity in humans that her stories feed into. I hope you found this post interesting, and if you have any comments to add then please do!

Also, don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

Books I’m Reading for School

Hellooo,

As you can assume from my sudden 16 day hiatus, school is once again in full swing. This semester was a little easier to get into than the first, but I can say confidently that the reading list a whole new challenge in itself. This semester, I am in two 2nd year English classes. One of them focuses on literature from Romanticism and the Victorian period. The other English class I am in focuses on young adult literature and is one I am very excited about. This list will just include the novels I need to read, not the short stories or poems.

Anyways, here are the books I have to read this semester!

Matilda by Roald Dahl

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I actually just finished this book for class yesterday, and it was really interesting to read it at this age for the first time. While it did not blow my mind, I had a fun time reading this beloved story of both children and adults. This book is a good reminder that books are not meant for one age group, but for everyone. That is one of the topics we are tackling in my young adult literature class and is really important to address in my opinion. Anyways, I am happy to have finally read this book after liking the movie as a kid!

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling

Harry-Potter-and-the-Chamber-of-Secrets-Mary-Grand-Pre

Not only was I excited to see this book on my class reading list because I’ve been meaning to give Harry Potter a re-read, but also because I already own the book so it saved me a couple of dollars which is always nice. I thought it was interesting that my professor chose the second book in the series and not the first because I have a friend in the class that has never read any of the books! Harry Potter always takes me a bit of time to get through. Not because it’s boring but the world is a lot to absorb. Since I’ve read it a couple times already, I will hopefully get through it in the two weeks I have to read it.

The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

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Like Matilda, I watched the movie but never even considered reading the book. Honestly, The Neverending Story movie terrified me as a child. It was a mixture of the story itself and the poor visual effects of the 80s, but nonetheless, I watched it once and had no plans of watching it again. Now, here I am, around 10 years later and planning on reading it in the next month or so. I’m curious though. Curious if I will like it or not since I have such strong feelings towards the movie. If I end up liking the book I don’t think I’ll be able to help but re-watch the movie.

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

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This book was everywhere in the early 2010s when middle grade and YA were at their beginning peak. However, I never picked it up! Maybe it was the size or the overwhelming amount of hype surrounding it, but for whatever reason, this is the first time I’m getting around to it. Or, so I thought…When I first bought the book for class, I decided to try out the first 50 or so pages. While I was reading them, I had the very faint feeling that I had read those pages before. Now, I’m wondering if I maybe read the book and completely forgot. Or, at least, started it and never finished. I did watch the movie, like all of these other books though, so maybe that has something to do with it. Nonetheless, I cannot wait to get into this classic middle grade.

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

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Now, this is probably the book I am most excited to read for class. Ever since I got this book a year ago, I have been meaning to get to it but as always, got distracted by other books. Since it’s on the reading list for class though, I will finalllly get around to it. I am dying to see if this book is worth the monumental amount of hype surrounding it. I am also ready to read this book so I can catch up and read the sequel before the movie comes out (whenever that is)!

Awake and Dreaming by Kit Pearson

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I have never heard of this book or author, probably because she is a local author to the city I live in. The mystery surrounding this book though is keeping me excited for it, and I do not plan on reading any synopses before diving into it. Kit Pearson is also visiting my class while we’re reading it so that just adds to the growing excitement for this novel! I am pretty sure this is a middle grade which is nice because the amount of middle grade in my life is lacking.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

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Finally, we are moving into the novels I am reading for my Romanticism/Victorian class and first up, is A Christmas Carol and yet another classic I have not read! Thankfully, this book is very, very short because accompanied by the books I am reading for my YA class, the last thing I need is a thick novel written in Victorian English…something I do not read easily.

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

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Along with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, this is the only other book on this list that I’ve actually read before! I read this novella during this past summer and I…liked it enough. It wasn’t awful but it wasn’t exactly my cup of tea. Hopefully, re-reading it will go by quicker but I do know this will be a fun story to dive into with my class.

Well, those are all of the books I have to read this semester and it is a lot more appealing than last semester’s list I’ll tell you that. If you want to see what kind of books I had to read semester, check out that blog post right HERE. If you want to check out my last blog post or any of my social media accounts, you can check them out below. Anyways, thanks for reading!

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Reading on Vacation

book pic

Happy Tuesday and Happy New Years Eve!

Since I am currently on vacation, I thought it would be funny to write up a post about my experiences (and struggles) with reading. Right now, I am in Hawaii with nine of my family members and because there are so many of us, we are constantly in close proximity. I’ve managed to get a fair amount of reading done, but there have been some obstacles along the way that make me realize bringing three books and buying one along the way while I am here might have been overestimating my reading skills just a little bit.

Problem #1: Suddenly Everything is Fascinating to Look At

The spot outside I have been reading in is facing and surrounded by palm trees and bushes sprouting colourful flowers. I will sit back in my chair with a hot cup of coffee, ready to tackle the next 30-40 pages of whatever I am reading, only for a bird with a red tuft on his head and white feathers to fly past me. Suddenly, I am staring at the bird and like five minutes has passed by. Five minutes where I did not read a single page. It isn’t just the birds that do this to me. Sometimes I will stare out at the ocean and just watch the waves for a couple minutes. Or other times, a breeze will go through and my eyes are suddenly trained on the moving leaves. Not only was it easy for me to get distracted BEFORE, but now there is a huge new array of things to get distracted by.

Problem #2: Interruptions

I cannot express how many times I will be sitting outside, finally getting into the groove of reading…and then that all crashes and burns in front of my face because my brother just came out to tell me that there is a cockroach in the backyard. To be honest, this is the problem I deal with the least, but there are a lot of us squished in this house and therefore, the reader’s most dreaded problem of being interrupted mid-read is inevitable.

Problem #3: Energy Spikes at 9am

Hawaii is two hours behind where I live so I have been waking up on the early side. At least, what is considered the early side for a university student who has spent the past four months waking up at 7:30am every day to go to school. However, now I have been waking up around 7am Hawaii time and then reading by 7:30 or 8am. Every single day though, we have started going to the beach or to town or out or food by 9am and suddenly, I am not back at the house until 4pm. It has become a race to get as much read as I can before I am shoved out of the house to explore Hawaii (which I am not complaining about). Back home, I would not even think of going out and being active before 12pm if I had the option, but now even the people who would hold us up back home are waking up at 8am.

Problem #4: Energy Depletes at 4pm

I have never been a napper, but after swimming in Hawaii’s monstrous waves or hiking up Diamond Head in the heat, I am ready to drop by the time 4pm rolls around. So, if I don’t get any reading done in the morning, there is no way any books will be opened again. Every single day I have been ready to nap around 4:30pm and I have succeeded too. I will wake up, it will be getting dark or already dark when that does happen.

Problem #5: Even on Vacation, THERE ARE SO MANY BOOKS TO READ

On my trip, I brought Scythe by Neal Shusterman, 1984 by George Orwell and Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid. However, a few days ago, I also picked up The Last Magician from a book shop here because it was super cheap. If you have seen The Last Magician, even in paperback, you know that it is not a small book either. Anyways, it is safe to say I have my choices.

Anyways, 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. Keep an eye out for my next post which will most likely be my favourite books of the year! Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: Books I Am Bringing to Hawaii!

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