Favourite Books of 2019…So Far!

I cannot believe that we are approaching the halfway point in the year already…2019 has gone by so fast, but already, I have read so many AMAZING books that I couldn’t wait another month to share with you all, so here I am.

Here are 4 of my favourite books of the year so far!

Reaper At the Gates by Sabaa Tahir

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While I read the first two books in this series right when they came out, it took me almost an entire year to finally pick up the third book and I do NOT know why! Earlier this year, I did a re-read of the first two books before jumping into the third and thank the gods I did, because I forgot how intense and fantastic these books are. The first book excited me, the second book broke me, and the third did a blend of both. The relationships between the characters in the book like Laia and Helene, Laia and Elias, etc, have become so incredibly developed and fleshed out that I have to remind myself they aren’t real. While I absolutely adore the world and plot, the relationships and characters are what have really improved throughout the series and are what make me so excited for the fourth book!

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

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I did not expect to enjoy this book as much as I did, but when I picked it up, it was exactly the book I was in search of which is why I believe I adored it so much. It was dark, twisted, and intriguing, and of course, fantasy. Because of all that, I could not put it down once I picked it up! The three sisters are so flawed and realistic, growing up in a twisted world that has so many layers we only begin to uncover in the first book; a world I only want to know more about. In the next day or two, I will be jumping into the third book, but so far this series is holding up!

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

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Sitting on my shelf and gathering dust for months (maybe even a year!), I decided to brush off The Cruel Prince after reading Three Dark Crowns because still, I craved fantasy. I was hesitant diving into this surprisingly thin, faerie fantasy novel, because of all the hype surrounding it. For a lot of people, the hype got to them and they didn’t enjoy The Cruel Prince. However, I devoured this book. There is also a lot of controversy about the love interest and his relationship with the main character, which I do understand. It was a little iffy and while that was a hesitation I had about the book, the world entrapped me and the story held my interest quite a bit.

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

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Another book I had some hesitations about because of the hype, and also because it is a mystery. I wouldn’t say I dislike mystery, I just haven’t read too much of the genre, but I ended up absolutely falling in love with this book. It was so addicting, a literal definition of “reading a book like its candy”. I cherished every opportunity I got the chance to sit down and read a hundred or so pages of this because it only got better and better. The atmosphere of this book is so realistic and despite the murder aspect of it all, gives me the cozy, fall vibes because of the school setting. Right now, I am reading the second book and while it isn’t as mysterious as the first, I love being in this world with these characters.

Anyways, those are the 4 books I read this year so far, that are my favourites, but I am sure there are many more to come! Make sure you let me know in the comments below what some of your favourite books are at the moment, and also don’t forget to check out my last blog post linked down below! Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: Avengers: Endgame Book Tag – Original

 

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Avengers: Endgame Book Tag – Original

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Since I watched Endgame recently, I thought it would be fun to make a book tag related to it. I love doing book tags and making them, so why not? Anyways, I don’t have much more to say other than that, but I hope you enjoy! If you want to do this, then I tag you! Make sure you also tag me though in your post so I can see all of your answers 🙂

Soul Stone – Name a Character In a Book You Would Bring Back to Life…Or Kill (Warn of Spoilers!)

SPOILERS FOR THE DARK ARTIFICES TRILOGY BY CASSANDRA CLARE BELOW!!!

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Okay, a character I would bring back to life with the Soul Stone would 100% be Livvy Blackthorn from The Dark Artifices trilogy by Cassandra Clare. I like Livvy as a character, but I would mostly bring her back because of how her death affects her entire family. It changes Julian for the worse, it drives Ty to make some really bad choices, and overall, it just destroys the entire Blackthorn family. And I hate seeing them so depressed so 100% I would bring her back. She also just did not deserve to die!! Why Cassandra Clare? Why?

Time Stone – Name Your Favourite Classic

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Out of the classics I read, I think my favourite might be The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. I have a feeling it won’t stay that forever, but I haven’t read many classics yet. Anyways, the reason I think this may be my favourite is because of how real it all felt. Every time I picked up this book to read it, I felt fully submerged with the characters and what they were facing. It led me to feel a LOT of things while reading it too.

Space Stone – Choose a Magical Object, Weapon, Etc You Would Want From a Book 

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This one is so easy. Obviously, I would want Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak! That has always been the magical object I have wanted because to be able to just put on a cloak and be invisible BUT warm at the same time is a dream come true. Also, I have always wanted to wear a cloak but apparently cloaks aren’t in fashion right now…but this way, I would be able to wear it but no one would give me weird eyes while I wander down the street!

Mind Stone – Choose a Character You Wish Was Explored More in a Book, Series, Etc

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Okay, this character has a point of view we follow in The Dark Artifices trilogy but that is NOT enough. Cassandra Clare, I need a whole spinoff series about Mark Blackthorn. I don’t care if it is his journey in Faerieland or if it takes place after The Dark Artifices. I just want to see and learn more about Mark.

Reality Stone – Choose a Book Universe You Would Want to Live In

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Usually, I would say Harry Potter or even the Shadow World, but after reading The Cruel Prince by Holly Black, I want to live in THAT Faerie world. While there is a lot of dark and cruel things about it, it is like living in a magical historical period of time and that is just really appealing to me.

Power Stone – Choose a Magical Ability You Would Grant Yourself

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Apart from invisibility, I would definitely want the ability to read other people’s minds. However, only when I want to. If I had to listen to other people’s thoughts constantly, I would go insane, but if it was something I could control then YES. I am nosy and overthink what people are thinking about me, so this could only be good. Right?

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

Last Blog Post: Anticipated Summer Releases

 

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Anticipated Summer Releases

It has been a while since I talked about what books I am anticipating the release of, and I thought it would be fun to do one since it’s been so long. Today, I am going to be talking about some of my most anticipated releases for the summer months, and I hope you enjoy! Let me know if we have any of the same anticipated releases, and if not, which ones you are looking forward to getting your hands on.

Anyways, onto the blog post!

June

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson 

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I have heard a lot of buzz about this book lately, and recently, I have been completely in the mood for dark fantasy which is exactly what this book is. A Scorcery of Thorns follows Elisabeth, a girl who lives in a world where sorcerers are viewed as evil. Elisabeth was raised in one of her world’s Great Libraries, where evidence of sorcerers is in grimoires that are locked behind iron chains, but when an act of sabotage results in the darkest grimoire being set free, Elisabeth is forced to face her justice. But, soon she finds herself in an alliance with a sorcerer named Nathaniel, who makes her question her view on sorcerers and why her world hates them so much.  This sounds great to me, and I cannot wait to get my hands on it! On shelves June 4th

July

The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen

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Another book that is right up my current reading fancies: fantasy. This book, however, is sorted amongst three points of views: A future leader of a tribe called “the Crows”, a prince who has faked his own death, and a bodyguard who wishes to live his own life. I don’t know too much more, but I love when there are multiple POVs that walk their own paths for a bit before finally crossing. This is a book I have heard nothing but good things about so I cannot wait to finally get a chance to read it for myself! On shelves July 30th

August 

A House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

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What spoke out to me about this book was that right away, I knew it was based on the story The Twelve Dancing Princesses which I am pretty sure is a Grimm brothers fairy tale…and also the fantastic Barbie movie! This book follows Annaleigh, one of twelve sisters but over the years, four of those sisters’ lives have been cut short. Their deaths caused by different things, one thing has been constant with each and that is that every night, Annaleigh’s sisters flee to balls with dancing and “shimmering shoes”. Always being wary of following her sisters, Annaleigh decides to investigate and begins to understand that possibly her sisters’ deaths weren’t accidents, but planned. The idea of one of my favourite Barbie movies from when I was younger being twisted into an epic YA dark fantasy story is something I did not know I desperately needed, but now am jumping at the chance to get my hands on it! On shelves August 6th

Those are the three books I am looking forward to their release of in the summer months, and while it isn’t a lot, I am very excited to get my hands on each one. 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: Camp NaNoWriMo 2019 – How’d It Go?

 

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Camp NaNoWriMo 2019 – How’d It Go?

Um, TERRIBLE.

As I mentioned in my last blog post, I was hit by a nasty flu that literally kept me in my bed and dead for over a week. However, I did get some stuff done as evident by the one or two Camp NaNoWriMo updates I wrote before falling off the wagon. Anyways, I hope for any of you who participated, it went well and you are happy with all your new words! If you didn’t reach your goals, don’t worry, I understand. But there’s always July, the next Camp NaNo session!

Okay, so during April, I wrote a total of 13, 486 words out of my goal of 20,000 which I bumped up mid-month to 25,000…ha, ha, ha. This Camp NaNo was a little different than usual for me because I wasn’t writing for one project, I was doing a few projects because of scholarship essays and whatnot. So, already, I was a little scatter brain because I was jumping from one project to the next and to the next. However, I did get all the essays I needed to get done, I just didn’t end up working on my last goal which was my Project Mystic story. But whatever, I’ll get a move on that this month.

How did I end up failing so miserably?

Well, I could blame it on being sick, but honestly, halfway through the month, I started getting busy. I had friends come and visit me for an entire weekend, I also had family come visit too, and I also had a lot of big assignments for school swamp my vision from writing. However, I do know I could have found some writing time in there. I was definitely losing speed during the end of week 2, and then week 3 was mostly editing everything I wrote, and then the last week was when I was wiped out from the flu. After that, I never regained my writing routine again and honestly, I am STILL struggling. I think this weekend I’ve written about 3,000 words which is great after a week of absolutely nothing, but I need to get back into a routine of writing every day. I love writing every day because then I am not chased by the guilt of not writing, and also, writing every day is something I find easy enough to do if I try. I have NOT been trying lately though so starting today, I am going to wake up early(ish) and get some writing done before school. My goal is only 500 words because I don’t want to expect too much too soon, but hopefully, I will get a bit more than that.

Here are some of my tips for getting back into a writing routine:

  • Figure Out What Time You Write – Tailor your writing time to when you are most creative. For me, this used to be in the evenings but over the years, I’ve realized I have switched to being a morning person. This means I need to wake up a little earlier than usual if I want to get some writing done, but it’s worth it because most of the time, the words flow out nicely.
  • Start Small, End Big – By this, I mean start with small, manageable daily goals and then slowly increase them. For example, aim to write 500 words for one or two days, then raise it to 750 words and do that for one or two days, then to 1000 words and so on. It helps you work back up to whatever you used to do without overwhelming yourself.
  • Plan Out Your Writing Sessions – Sometimes for me, figuring out what I am going to write after NOT writing for a while is really overwhelming. This is when I find planning out my writing sessions helpful. I will look at where I left off in a project or what I need to work on and then write out my next plan of attack. That way, I know exactly what to do when I sit down to write.

While April seems like a flop when you look at my target word count compared to my actual word count, it really wasn’t! I did get everything I NEEDED to get done and that’s good enough for me. I always talk about how life happens, and sometimes we physically and mentally cannot write, and that’s okay. And it is! So, here is your daily reminder that it is okay to flop sometimes because we all need it at some point.

Anyways, thanks for reading this blog post and I hope you enjoyed! Let me know if you participated in Camp NaNoWriMo this year, and how that went, and also if you are participating in the next session as well in July because I’d love to know. Also, 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: May Reading + Writing Plans!

 

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May Reading + Writing Plans!

Happy Thursday!

I know, I know…I disappeared without warning. Again! Out of nowhere, I got hit with the WORST flu ever. Okay, well, not the worst, but pretty bad for me. I was knocked down with a fever, nausea, and just an overall feeling of death throughout my entire body. However, I am mostly recovered now and am thankful every day since for now being healthy enough to get stuff done. But, I did miss a lot. A week of school, a week of writing, a week of blogging…there are things to sort out and accomplish which is why today, I am going to lay out my reading and writing plans for this month to help me organize my brain. Enjoy!

BOOKS, BOOKS, BOOKS

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

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I am STILL reading this incredibly short book and I just need to get it done. Currently, I am on page 92 out of 170ish so I know I can finish reading it in a day or two if I sit my butt down. It isn’t that I am not enjoying it, because honestly, I really am. There is something so great about Austen’s books that even though not much is happening compared to the YA books on my shelf, I am still captured by the charming characters, setting, and story.

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hossenini 

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Something ironic about this is that lately, I’ve really wanted to read The Kite Runner to see what the commotion is about, but then my English teacher goes ahead and assigns my class this author’s other book. Regardless, I am excited to read A Thousand Splendid Suns because I have heard GREAT things about it and I have a feeling it won’t disappoint.

Radioactive Evolution by Richard Hummel

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This is a book I was sent a free ebook copy in exchange for an honest review, and I really wanted to read it in the later part of April and have the review up for it in the first week of May buuuut yeah, that is not going to happen. I do really want to start reading this book this weekend though so I can have a review up by mid to late May because I HATE putting off books I am reading for reviews! It unfurls unnecessary stress onto my already stressed out brain so this is a priority.

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

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I ordered this book from my library a few weeks ago and it has finally come! This is a Beauty and the Beast re-telling, and I have heard fantastic things about Kemmerer’s version. This is my “fun” book for the month and I am seething at the chance to dive into it but I must finish other books first sadly.

WRITING, WRITING, WRITING

April was a busy writing month with a million scholarship essays to write and submit by the end of the month (which is finally all done and I can confirm, was successful!!), and I assumed May would be a little more relaxed but NOPE. I am laughing at my past self because why would I think my second last month of school would be calm writing wise? No! There are more scholarship essays to write and other writing deadlines to meet on top of everything else school throws at me, so once again, a hectic month is on the brink of rushing in.

So, what exactly am I working on this month?

  • 3 Scholarship Essays
  • 2 BRAND New Short Stories
  • Editing An Ol’ Poem
  • Writing 17k of Fantasy Project

Relaxed? What’s that word?

I am really looking forward to working on more creative things rather than just scholarship essays though because that’s what I’m here for so regardless of the amount, I’m excited!

Anyways, those are my plans for this month 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 🙂

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The Harvest by KB Benson Review – Spoiler Free!

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I received an eBook copy of The Harvest by KB Benson in exchange for an honest review, and so today, that is what I am here to do. This review will contain absolutely no spoilers and is just going to be me sharing my overall thoughts and opinions about this book. Let’s get into it!

Personally, this book reminded me of a cross between To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo and the Lux series by Jennifer L Armentrout and here is what it is about:

The Harvest follows two characters, Iris who is a siren disguised as a human attending high school, and Jace, a new kid in town who immediately falls for Iris. With her duty to her people in mind, Iris has no intentions to fall for Jace but soon she finds herself tumbling…hard. And before she can stop herself, it becomes too late. A question arises as her heart becomes taken, and that is when it comes down to it, will she protect her family or the boy she loves?

I had never heard of this book before going into it, but I was intrigued by the fact that it is pitched as similar to To Kill a Kingdom which I did enjoy, and also just because of I love Greek mythology. However, sadly, this book did not live up to my expectations. While the first half of this book was enjoyable enough, reading in my opinion, like fanfiction…the last half was where I really struggled. I realized once I finished the entire thing, that I could have read the first few chapters and then the last few chapters, and I would have known the same things about the plot, characters, etc as I do now.

The pacing of this book was fast which was how I was able to fly through this book despite my disappointment in it, but everything else about this book fell flat for me. The characters were the stereotypical “beautiful, mysterious girl” and “hot, surfer dude” that didn’t have anything about themselves that made them unique or interesting to read about. I found Iris and Jace’s relationship to be very “insta-lovey” because they met, I blinked, and then they were in love. Insta-love is not something I am opposed to in books, however, as there are MANY YA novels I adore with that trope in it. With The Harvest though, I just didn’t think it was as well done as other books with the same trope have achieved. On top of that, I also thought the relationship overall was weak. I didn’t really care for it and in my opinion, they had absolutely no chemistry. Jace was too whiny and Iris was too moody. Since the lack of strong characters, it was disappointing too that the other characters in this book felt so disposable and that they brought nothing to the story. We met some of Jace and Iris’s “friends”, yet we barely ever see them interact with one another or become friends even. Instead of providing anything, all of the “friends” felt like they could easily be cut out and nothing in the story would change.

As for the plot, I was hoping for some twist on the classic Siren love story, but it ended up being incredibly predictable and plain. The majority of the story was us watching Jace and Iris in school as Jace pined after her, managed to somehow win her over with some cringey dialogue and then a little bit of action happened at the end. The action that did take place in the book wasn’t visual enough for me to imagine in my head, and I found myself re-reading parts to try to picture it all. As it got to the end of the book and things started wrapping up, I grew really bored despite the fact that those were probably the most “action-filled” scenes of the story.

Overall, I did not love this book and found many flaws in the development of the story. As for the writing, I also thought that it was not the best, but since it was the author’s debut book, I decided to not get into that too much. Despite my disliking towards this book, The Harvest was not the worst book I ever read, and at first, I did find the story a fun read. In the end, I decided to give this book 2/5 stars.

That is all for this non-spoiler review for The Harvest by KB Benson and if it sounds like something you’d enjoy, give it a read for yourself and see if you like it! Anyways, that is all for this book review and I hope you enjoyed. Thanks for reading 🙂

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How To: Stay Sane This Camp NaNoWriMo

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Happy Thursday!

Today I am going to be talking all about tips and tricks to stay sane this Camp NaNoWriMo to ensure you have a productive and great April. I hope that you are all well on your way to your goals, and if not, that’s okay! Here are some tips to not lose your mind whether you are working yourself to the bone or grinding your teeth trying to catch up.

  • Take a Break – I had to get the obvious one out of the way, but honestly, just take a break! Have a hot bath and read, take a walk, read, bake, or draw. Just take a break from writing and let your mind settle. Sometimes we think we are fine and don’t need a break, but trust me, we do. If not, we will just burn out in a few days or so of keeping up a crazy pace. For example, right after I write this blog post, I am going to be taking a nice, long, hot bath and dive deeper into Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake.
  • Make a Writing Plan for the Next Day – This really helps me feel like I have a handle on my life. Sometimes planning the whole month or week in advance can be intimidating and completely overwhelming so I recommend finishing the day, seeing what you get done, and then planning what you think is possible for you to get done the next day. For example, I wrote around 700ish words today so I am going to aim to write around the same tomorrow because one, that is a plan I know I can achieve, and two, it is not too overwhelming a word count.
  • Organize Your Writing Area – Sometimes when our space is cluttered and chaotic, our minds are too. Take a minute or two to clean off your desk or kitchen table, or wherever you write. Put those dirty coffee cups into the dishwasher, place those pens back into your desk, and stack your loose papers into a neat pile. Once you finish cleaning it all off, sit down and just breathe.
  • Stretch Every Twenty Or So Minutes – It is day 11 of Camp NaNoWriMo and already my neck, shoulders, and back are KILLING me. I try to stretch my neck and legs out every so often because otherwise, I wake up the next day feeling like I’ve run ten kilometers. Make sure you are keeping yourself healthy both mentally and physically!
  • Switch Up Your Writing Location Often – Since the fresh energy of week one is over and we are working through week two, I really recommend switching up your writing place as to not let your creativity stale. Move to the kitchen table or living room or a coffee shop near your house or even outside. Just change it up and keep your creativity flowing.

That is all for this blog post, and I hope you found it helpful! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post, as well as my social media accounts linked down below. Good luck if you’re participating in Camp NaNoWriMo, and remember to keep going! Thanks for reading 🙂

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Why It’s OK to Feel Weird About Calling Yourself a Writer

Happy Monday!

Today, I wanted to talk about something that affects ALL writers, and that is the daunting task of actually calling ourselves a “writer”. Before I get into that though, I did want to do a little announcement that I have recently added a review policy to my blog! Lately, people have been reaching out to me to review their book or their client’s book, so I decided it was time to post my review policy for all to see. You can find it, if you are interested, on the top right corner of my blog along with my “About Me” and “My Writing” pages or right HERE.

Anyways, onto the actual blog post:

A common tip that writers tell other writers to succeed in writing is to actually call yourself a writer. Tell it to your friends, shout it to the sky, or add it to your Instagram bio. The point of it is to gain the confidence you should have in that title because if you are writing ANYTHING, you are a writer!

However, it can be a difficult task for some of us. The title is too heavy to bear on our shoulders and too flashy to wear in front of others without worrying about how it makes you look. One of the most crucial steps of being a writer though is finally being able to call yourself a writer. I agree with this, but I also think it is okay to take time in claiming that title. It is a lot. Especially if you have a life torrenting with other aspects that you are having trouble capturing.

It’s okay to swallow the word one letter at a time.

The last thing you want is to rush into it head on, only to look up and see the towering mountains above and the never-ending expanse of blue sky and think wow, I am so small. You aren’t, but it feels that way sometimes.

Here are some actionable, small steps to help you get closer to calling yourself a writer, but also to not make it a scary, winding road:

  • Keep Writing – Focus on your craft. Get better. Continue loving the art of storytelling.
  • Attend Writing Events – They don’t need to be workshops because you should definitely feel confident calling yourself a writer first, but readings are fun to go to. You can listen to other writers read their work and by listening to them, you can gain inspiration and admiration off of their courage!
  • Join the Online Writing Community – Whether you want to join the writing community through blogging, being active on Twitter, Instagram or FaceBook, or all the above, either one is an effective way to get more comfortable with the idea of calling yourself a writer. Being a part of a community with people who have gone through the same challenges as you will help you immensely!

Take your time. The world will wait.

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: The Camp NaNoWriMo Diaries – Week 1

 

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The Camp NaNoWriMo Diaries – Week 1

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Happy Sunday!

It has been a while since I’ve posted on a Sunday, but I made it a goal for Camp NaNo to post a little update on how I’ve been doing every week. I also think I might include at the end of this what I’ve been up to reading wise…anyways, here is what I managed to write this week!

For this Camp NaNoWriMo, I am working on various WIPs which include essays, short stories, poems, and also the start of a novella. My goal word count wise, however, is only 25,000 words because 1) April is going to be a busy school month 2) Lots of these WIPs are less than 2,000 words a piece sooo.

Currently, I am sitting at 4,822 words out of my 25,000-word goal so I am not on track, but I will be, don’t worry. The days I did write, I wrote a bit over a thousand words even almost 2,000 words one day which was awesome. I have started working on about half of my projects for this April, and it feels so good to finally be getting them done rather than only planning because sometimes, I think we all get a little caught up in the prep rather than the actual writing. Here are some details on what I am currently working on:

  • Ayn Rand’s Anthem Essay – This is a 600-1,200 word essay I am writing for a scholarship contest, and currently I am on draft 3! Right now it is is in edits/re-writes, and I am doing my best to polish it up. It’s not exactly where I want it to be, so there is a 99.9% chance a completely new draft will be written this coming week. Deadline – April 18, 2019
  • Other Scholarship Essay – For this one, I have to write only a 500-word essay on somewhere I would like to live outside North America, and I am on the second draft of this one. I like it how it sounds, but I also might end up re-writing this one as well. You know how us writers are; hopeless perfectionists. Deadline – April 30, 2019
  • Shakespeare-Inspired Poem – I did not intend on writing this during Camp NaNo, but things change. I found a really great contest opportunity so I am now writing a poem (between 200-400 words) as well! Lately, I have really enjoyed writing poetry so maybe this is the start of me being a poet too…who knows. Deadline – April 30, 2019
  • Random Story – This is ANOTHER random, surprising story that I never intended to write but here I am, a servant to the muse of art. Anyways, I have no idea where this one is going but let me tell you, it’s going somewhere at least. Deadline – None

I think those are all the projects I started working on this week…I hope it is because I am way out of control otherwise. I hope you enjoyed this mini update on my Camp NaNoWriMo projects, and make sure you comment below to tell me how you’re Camp NaNo journey is going! Before I go though, here is a little reading update as well:

Recently, I have finished re-reading the An Ember in the Ashes series by Sabaa Tahir, meaning I FINALLY read A Reaper at the Gates and OH MY GOD, I love this series. I am obsessed and cannot wait for the fourth book next year! I also somehow ended up listening to and finishing the audiobook for Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell because I love that book just too much. As for what I am reading right now, I am in the middle of four books: The Harvest by KB Benson (I have a review coming up for this towards the end of April!), Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake, Ishmael by Daniel Quinn, and I am also listening to the audiobook for American Panda by Gloria Chao (yes, I am giving this book another go and I am so excited!). I have just been on my reading game lately, so why not pile on the books?

Okay, I’ll go now! I hope you enjoyed this blog post and don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

 

Anthem by Ayn Rand – Book Review

Happy Thursday!

In the next few weeks, I am going to be putting out more book reviews than usual so I thought I would reacquaint myself with them by reviewing the last book I finished…which was Anthem by Ayn Rand. Why was I reading this book you ask?? Well, it was for an essay scholarship that I shrugged to and said why not? I know there is controversy surrounding this writer, but I am going to be putting that aside for the moment and instead, focusing on the actual story of Anthem. There WILL be spoilers so if you don’t mind, then keep reading!

Anthem by Ayn Rand is described as a dystopian novel set in a world where society has erased the individuality of the word “I” and has replaced it with a collective “w”, however, our main character Equality 7-2521 dares to defy society in order to regain his individual freedom stolen from him. While at first, this book was confusing characterwise because the narrative of this story is told by “we”, “our”, “they” so I thought Equality 7-2521 and all the other strange names, were collective groups of people. However, I reached the end and realized that was not the case but in reality, society had gone as far to strip people of saying “I” so Equality was only one person. This book will get you thinking about where society has been in the past and even right now, with socialism countries and all, but it also offers you the opportunity to value your individuality that we carry so easily and effortlessly without fathoming its disappearance.

While this book is very short (105 pages), I thought Rand managed to tell a story that ended satisfactorily. Anthem begins with Equality 7-2521 standing in front of the Council with dreams of being allowed into the Home of the Scholars, however, instead, they are placed in the Home of the Street Sweepers. When they tumble into a strange hole in the ground that leads to a cave full of forbidden manuscripts, later on, they read and discover all the things their society has stolen from them: the overall thing being each person’s individuality and freedom of choice. What I found interesting about the first part of the plot, is that once Equality found the cave, his goal didn’t immediately switch to the idea of “fixing the world” that they end with. The plot switched to him realizing that with all this knowledge, he might be able to stand before the World Council of Scholars and be allowed into the Home of the Scholars. It isn’t until the Council cowers at his re-invention of lightning, does he realize that will never happen. Also, by this point, he has fallen in love with the Golden One so he doesn’t need the Home of the Scholars, right? No! He can just run into the forest with her and tell himself that when his son is born, he will be a man who knows of the word and meaning of “I” while the rest of society is a massive dependent group of “we’s”.

I enjoyed this book but I do not have any plans of re-reading it…ever. I have read a bit of Fountainhead by Ayn Rand in the past, so I kind of knew what I was getting myself into with this one and I was spot on. All of her books continuously feature male characters with women being faint characters in the background that pop up every so often with no real meaning. Also, whenever she refers to being successful, Rand will write about winning the minds of men or in Anthem towards the end when Equality is ranting about his newfound discovery of individuality, it goes a little something like this:

  • “Many men in the Homes of the Scholars have had strange new ideas in the past…” – pg. 73
  • “And man will go on. Man, not men.” – pg. 104

Yes, so this book is about regaining individual freedom BUT Equality only ever refers to men as the ones who deserve and need it. Never women or generalizing to people. I guess I understand why it is like this to a point, as Ayn Rand is a writer from the 1950s and equality (haha, how contradictory since the main character’s name is Equality) wasn’t super “in” back then. (Wow, that sounded dumb when I re-read it and really sad.) But still! Jane Austen wrote female characters who were strong, independent, and intelligent, not just flimsy things meant to aid the men in the book. So actually, I take that back! I do not understand Ayn Rand’s words at all!

One thing I really wanted to touch on is Equality 7-2521 as a character. Since Equality is unable to have personal likes and dislikes and whatnot, they felt like a bland structure that every author takes to tailor their characters to. However, we do see them having conflicting thoughts to society in the beginning, and that only continues to grow throughout the story until Equality seizes the word “I” for himself. Equality was not likable or unlikable…so I do not have too much to say. They were not the smartest at times, for example, when they brought the “box of lightning” to the World Council of Scholars! Like what are you doing? They know this existed at one point AS YOU READ IN THE FORBIDDEN MANUSCRIPTS, so why are you showing them that you broke all of their laws? Whatever, it’s fine. It’s fine. One thing I did not like about Equality aka Prometheus though was how Rand revealed that the Golden One aka Gaea was PREGNANT. I hope that a few years passed since they met before she got pregnant because um…SHE WAS 17 WHEN THEY MET. Also, I think he was 21 so one, ILLEGAL and two, SHE IS ONLY 17. So yes, really hoping it was like a “five years later” thing at the least.

For me, this was a 3-star read because while I had my problems with it, the story was interesting and there wasn’t a point in the book where I looked at the ceiling with desperation for it to be over. If you enjoy books influenced heavily by philosophical elements, meaning you are fans of Camu, Sartre, or other philosophy writers, I would think about checking Ayn Rand out.

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

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