Are Cliches Really Such a Bad Thing?: Discussion Post

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So for my screenwriting class this semester, we have to write a 15-20 page screenplay for our final project.  My screenplay is going to be about a couple, Catherine and Elizabeth, who wake up on the day of their four-year anniversary, both separately making the decision that this is the day that they’re going to propose to one another. The script follows the two women as they go about their normal day, thinking about their relationship to date. As the progresses, they begin to worry that they might be making the wrong decision. Despite their worries, the  story ends happily, and they propose to one another and they both say yes!!! We had to write a scene-by-scene outline for the script and one of the criticisms that my teacher gave me was that my ending was too cliché and I should consider changing it. I love this teacher and I typically respect his opinions, but boy did this piss me off. In another class, one of the characters in my story explains that one of the reasons he lost his faith was because of the way his family treated him after he came out. When one of the girls in my class read it, she said “that whole storyline was a little cliché” which really infuriated me. So based off of these two experiences, I was inspired to write a little list about why clichés aren’t the worst thing  that’s happened to literature.

1. The Reason That Certain Storylines are Cliche is Because a Lot of People Have Gone Through These Experiences.

In my four semesters at college, literally every creative writing teacher I’ve had has talked about clichés. And like I get it. Some things are overdone, and using those said things can be a sign of weak writing. However, I see the criticism of clichés as being relevant to individual sentences. For example, saying a character is the sun would be considered overdone, because others have said it before.  Writing is all about finding new ways to express something that’s been said again and again, which is where cliché sentences come into play. But what pisses me off, is when people call experiences that characters go through “cliche. The reason that these experiences are seen over and over again, is because a lot of people have gone through these aforementioned experiences and find that expressing themselves through writing is the best way to understand what they’re going through. And the more that people write about it, the more others see these experiences being depicted and want to write about it as well. There’s no harm in having plot points or background information that has been done before. It’s the way that’s the story is written that makes it unique and meaningful. I don’t find cliches to be a sign of weak writing. It merely means that you’re able to acknowledge who’s come before you and make it your own.

2. Angst Meaningful.

A lot of people seem to think that for something to be meaningful, it needs to be angsty and I’ve never understood that. If anything those type of storylines have always been the weakest in my eyes. Killing off the main character or making them suffer with no resolution isn’t deeper than letting them be happy in the end. Everyone’s so obsessed with these dark plots and they’re held to this high regard, but why? If anything it’s these surprise twists that have become the new cliché and happily ever afters are a rare and treasured item. What makes despair and anguish more valuable than love and happiness? I love fiction because it tells us that there’s hope but these stories that defy clichés are just telling that life sucks and you gotta deal with it, and I honestly hate that.

3. Let Marginalized People Have Their clichés.

Clichés stem from white, heterosexual, cis, able-bodied storylines. People of Colour don’t get happy endings.  LGBTQ people don’t get happy endings. Disabled people don’t get happy endings. But people are so over  clichés, that they don’t understand that marginalized people haven’t had the chance to experience those cliches in fiction.  The gay characters in all of my stories suffer, because I like to make my characters suffer.  They suffer a lot and I basically put them through living hell, but I always give them a happy ending. Because gay people have been reduced to a tragedy for way too long and I’m not going to contribute to that. Cliches don’t harm anybody, because they’re so often rooted in pure emotions of love and happiness and if you’re threatened by that you should probably reevaluate your life.

What Do You Think about Clichés? Do You Agree with Me or a Firm Hater of Cliches? Let Me Know in The Comments Down Below!

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What Makes Me Like ( or Dislike) a Book: Discussion Post

Every reader is different and what makes a great book for some, makes a horrible books for other. I’d thought it’d been fun to look at a couple of books that I’ve read in these past few months that I’ve loved and some books that I haven’t liked quite as much, to try to determine what exactly make me like or dislike a book.

Books I Have Loved So Far This Year.

1. A Spark of Light By Jodi Picoult

What Made Me Love The Book:

1. The way the story was told in reverse chronological order.

2. The way that Picoult managed me to feel sympathy for even the most despicable of characters.

3. How she took a topic that is extremely controversial and managed to discuss it with tact through the use of amazingly complex characters.

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

2. The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare

What Made Me Love The Book:

1.The swoon worthy romance.

2. The amazing character development.

3. The little bits of humour and intense emotional moments that made the book 1000x stronger

Rating: 4/5 Stars

3. Emma Mills’ Books

What Made Me Love Her Books:

1.The on-point humour that all her protagonists have that cause me to laugh out loud multiple times

2. The amazing balance between family, friendship and romance.

3. The serious moments amongst the fluff that left me feeling numb.

Rating: 5/5 Stars

4. The Nightingale by Kristen HannahMy

What Made Me Love This Book:

1. The unique take on a time in history that has been done to death.

2. The amazing use of dual perspective.

3. All the feels that this book made me go through which escalated into a perfectly bitter-sweet ending.

My Rating:5/5 Stars

5. Solitaire by Alice Oseman

What Made Me Love The Book:

1. The authentic teenage voice of the main character.

2. The extremely on point pop culture references.

3. The melancholy vibe that made me feel so incredibly seen.

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

In Conclusion: So based on these books, it seems that I really like to have my heart torn apart while reading and I need to have amazing complex characters. If there are touches of humour or humour, then that would make the book all the better.

Books That I Did Not Love So Far This Year

1. Pretending To Dance by Diane Chamberlain

What I Didn’t Like About The Book:

1. The buildup to the big reveal was extremely disappointing.

2. None of the character’s justifications for her actions made any sense.

My Rating; 2/5 Stars

2.The One And The Only by Emily Griffin

1. There was a disgusting romance between the main character and her best-friend’s recently widowed father.

2. The dialogue was super unnatural and there were an over abundance ellipses and italics.

Rating: 1/5 Stars

3.The Devil in The Flesh by Raymond Radiguet.

1. The main character was the most insufferable asshole I’ve ever had the displeasure of encountering.

2. It was sooo boring and even though it was only like 150 pages, it felt like it dragged on for 1000 pages.

My Rating: 1/5 Stars

4.The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich

My Rating: 2/5 Stars

1. The pacing was really bad and the author focused on all the wrong things.

2. The world building was really lacklustre and were so many unanswered questions.

Conclusion: It seems like there are many things that make me dislike a book, but I think the biggest thing is if there is an insufferable character or just a lot of plot points that don’t make any sense.

What About You? What Makes You Like or Dislike a Book? Let Me Know in The Comments Down Below!

The Year That Has Passed and The Year That Is To Come: 2018 Edition

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I’m gonna be real honest for a moment and say that 2018 has arguably been the worst year of my life. Even though time is just a construct and a new year doesn’t mean my problems are going to away, I’m looking forward to say good riddance to 2018 and welcome 2019 with open arms. So today I thought I’d just talk a little about the highlights of my year and what I hope to achieve next year.

2018

  • Love, Simon: I had the pleasure of getting to see Love, Simon at an early screening thanks to HCCFrenzy and it was honestly just such a great experience. Love, Simon has quickly became my  new favorite movie and have watched it over 50 times (oops?). I’m so glad that 2018 brought us the first first Hollywood gay romcom and I really hope that there will be more movies like it in the coming years.
  • Bridge of Clay: I highkey never thought that I’d say this but 2018 brought me Markus Zusak’s new book. I’ve been waiting for this book for years and it’s so surreal to have finally been able to read it. It was everything I wanted and more, and I’m looking forward to waiting another millenia for what he comes out with next.
  • Public Speaking: I never thought that public speaking is something that I’d find joy in, but it has honestly been my most memorable experience at college so far. I took the class in Fall of 2017, and have been a teaching assistant along with other amazing people for the past semesters. Never thought that I’d willingly wake up to get to a 8:30 class, but it’s always the one thing I look forward to. I can’t wait to do it for the last time before I graduate.
  • Literary Magazine: In the winter I joined the editing team of my college team and while it’s been a little rough and not really what I expected, I still thoroughly enjoy the experience. The people are a tad bit pretentious but I mean aren’t we all?
  • Novel: I’ve been going through my novel for the last couple of times in preparation for querying. It’s weird because I usually find more and more things to hate about my work, the more I read it, but with this one the more I read it, the more I love it. I’ve been working on my baby for four years and it’s finally time to start showing it to the world.

2019

  • Graduating: After two shit years of hell, I’m finally going to be graduating from CEGEP( weird Quebec thing between High School and Uni). I’ve learnt a lot about myself in those two years, but I’m going to be so glad to say goodbye to that hellhole
  • Uni: The dream is to go to McGill to get my Bachelor of Education in Secondary English so fingers crossed! Wherever I end up,I intend to make uni the best possible four years.  I know it’s going to be hard but I’ve learnt so much about myself since starting college that I really think that these will finally be my years,
  • Querying: I never thought that my novel would be reading, but I think that 2019 is finally the  year that I send Dried Roses out to agents. I’m bracing myself  for rejections but with a lot of Kleenex and ice cream, I think I’ll be okay. All I can do is hope for the best!
  • Blogging: I feel like I say this every year but I really want to be more involved in the blogging world. I want to comment more, interract with more bloggers. I love blogging but I know there’s so much that I can do.

 

What About You? How Was Your 2018? What Are Your Hopes for 2019? Let Me Know In The Comments Down Below!

Top 18 Reads of 2018

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2018 was an amazing reading year and it was so hard to narrow down my favorites because I have read too many good books this year. I originally was going to do my top ten but then I was like eight and there was so many that I hadn’t included so I decided to do my top 18.  So without further ado let’s get into my top 18 reads of 2018.

1, Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak, My Review

I’ve been waiting for this book ever since I read The Book Thief six years ago. I was terrified that I wouldn’t like it and that it wouldn’t have been worth the wait but thankfully it was everything that I wanted and more.  I know a lot of people were disappointed and I totally get that because it’s a very different book from The Book Thief. I still loved it and fell in love with every single character. This book broke me and I can’t wait to read it again so I can suffer all over again.

2. Everything I Never Told by Celeste Ng.

I’ve been hearing praise about Ng’s book for so long, but it’s taken me years to get around to reading her and I can’t believe it took me so long to read her amazing works. This book was so intricately crafted and I absolutely adored how the character’s motivations and fears were slowly revealed. Celeste Ng is an expert storyteller and really knows how to create both intriguing storylines and fascinating characters.

3. Station Eleven by Emily St-John Mendel.  My Review

When this book first came and everyone was raving about it, I remember reading the synopsis and not really understanding what all the hype was about. I finally got around to reading it this year and now I finally get why everybody loves it so much. It’s one of those books where it’s best to go in knowing very little because whatever synopsis you’ll read will never do it justice. This is the most brilliant post-appocalyptic book I’ve ever read and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since I finished reading it.

4.  More Than This by Patrick Ness.

The Chaos Walking Trilogy is one my favorite series but even though I’ve had this book on my shelf for a good three years, I never got around to reading it until this year. This is another one of those books that you just need to go in blind. This book took a turn that I really didn’t expect at all and I’m still trying to wrap my head around what I read. Ness  knows how to craft a remarkable world and More Than This is just further proof of that.

5. A Little Life by Hanya Yangihara. My Review

THis book is pretty much the equavilant of someone punching in the gut over and over again for 800 pages. This book destroyed me: I  don’t think I’ve ever cried so much over a single book.  You really have to be in the right state of mind to read this book because it’s a really rough read. And yet despite how much it hurt me to read it, I loved it. Despite all the tragedy, it’s also an incredibly beautiful book. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to reread it because it took so much out of me but reading it was a journey that I’ll always remember.

6. They Both Die at The End by Adam Silvera. My Review

Yet another book that ruined me. Why do readers enjoy sadness so much??? Anyway I wouldn’t expect anything less from Silvera since he’s pretty much the king of  making his readers suffer. They Both Die at The End is no exception and thanks to him I cannot listen to American Pie without feeling extremely sad and thinking of the precious cinnamon rolls that are Matteo and Rufus.  You know you think I would have prepared for the ending because the title pretty much spoils it but yet I still clung on to the hope that Silvera would give us a happy ending. Foolish of me, I know.

7. Scythe Series by Neal Shusterman. My Review

I know I can always count on Shusterman for writing books that make me think and the Scythe series is no exception. I wasn’t utterly convinced by the synopsis but once I read Scythe I was completely in love. The  world building in this series is phenonemal and there are so many twists and turns. I didn’t think it was possible but Thunderhead was somehow better than Scythe and I can’t wait for the third one to come out. This better be a long series because three books is not enough to sustain me.

8 Beartown by Fredrick Backman.

I’m usually super wary of translated books but whoever translates Backman’s books is super talented because  I have absolutely loved both books that I’ve read of his. Beartown is such a beautiful book and heartbreaking book . There’s this amazing vibe to his books that is really indescribable which somehow makes them a 100x more amazing. This was such a character driven storu which are my favorite types of stories. The way he crafted all of his characters was absolutely phenonemal.

9.Leah on The Offbeat by Becky Albertalli. My Review

I am so sad that Becky is never going to explore the Simonverse again.  Nonethless, Leah on The Offbeat was the perfect way to end it. It was everything I wanted in a book like this and more. Leah was one of the most relatable characters I’ve ever encountered and I loved reading an entire book from her perspective. There were so many tiny things about the book that made it all the more perfect from scenes with Blue and Simon to incredibly on-point pop culture references. Albertalli is the queen of contemporary and I can’t wait to see what she does next.

10. What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera.

This is basically the ultimate collab in YA history and I was terrified because the queen of contemporary and the king of making his readers suffer writing a book together? This couldn’t end well. And yet it was so incredibly amazing!! Both perspectives were incredibly beautiful and the romance between Ben and Arthur was so great. I know a lot of people were mad about the ending but I loved it and thought it was perfectly bittersweet.

11. Far From The Tree by Robin Benway.

This is a beautiful story about the families we find and the ones we are born into. It’s one of those contemporaries that really makes you think about your place in the world. The way Benway crafted all the different relationships was absolutely brilliant. There was a lot of nuance to the book and it’s one of those contemporaries that you can think about at depth for many hours after reading it.

12.The Summer of Jodi Perez by Amy Spalding. My Review

This is the sapphic summer romcom of my dreams and I seriously need to this be a movie right now. This is the ultimate summer read and the romance was so swoon worthy!!! It was just such a fun fluffy read and is everything I could want in a contemporary and so much more.

13. The Spy With The Red Balloon by Katherine Locke. My Review

This book is the dream book I didn’t even know I had. You’ve got amazing queer Jewish siblings with the best relationship ever. You’ve got people punching Nazis. You’ve got the best speculative fiction concept ever. Locke has redefined historical fiction and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next. I can always count on her to have amazing kickass Jewish characters.

14. Sadie by Courtney Summers.

I am so happy that Courtney Summers is finally getting the recognition she deserves. She always delivers amazingly flawed characters with incredibly honest storylines. The story was so intriguing and Sadie was such an amazing character. To add to the general amazingness, the format was incredibly unique. I didn’t read the audiobook but I heard it’s amazing so I think I might try my hand at listening to my first audiobook.

15. The Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North. Book Review.

Give me a book that has time incorporated into it somehow and you’ve basically given me my new favorite book.  I love books that deal with the complexities of times and this one blew me out of the water.It was so incredibly unique and by the time I was finished, I was questioning my entire existence.  It was one of those books that was so well developed that I almost felt as though the implausible events that took place in the book could be real.

16. The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White.

This is one of the most brilliant retellings I’ve ever seen. It takes all the minor characters in Frankenstein and brings them at the forefront.I actually had never read Frankenstein but after reading this beauty, I delved into Shelley’s original work and it made reflecting on my reading experience all the more interesting. White turns an already fascinating story into the story that Shelley may have written if she hadn’t been restrained by the constraints of her time. It’s a beautiful feminist retelling that I think would do Shelley proud.

17. Our Year Of Maybe by Rachel Lynn Solomon. My Review

While Solomon’s Freshman novel was amazing, her sophomore novel was absolutely phenomenal. She writes contemporaries like no other and I love getting aquainted with her incredibly complex characters. She writes the Jewish experience so incredibly and portrays so many different sides to the issue. Please do yourself a favor and pick up this book when it comes out in January. You won’t regret it.

18.  The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Tretton.

Tretton took the mystery genre and brought it to a whole different level and I am still astounded by all the different turns this book took. I cannot imagine all the work that must have gone into this book. I am always amazed by mystery writers but this was something else entirely. Very few mysteries are able to shock me but this book grabbed me from page one and had me enthralled until the very end. I struggle to see how he could possible top this book but I can’t wait to see what he does next.

What Were Your Favorite Books of 2018? Have You Read Any of The Ones I Mentioned? Let Me Know in The Comments Down Below!

Reading Diverse Books in 2018

So for the past two years I’ve written posts about how diverse my reading was in the past year. As much as it’s great to say that I’m trying to consciously read more diverse books the proof is in the pudding.

So in 2016 22% of the books I read were diverse and in 2017 that number went up to 41%. I’m sad to say that it’s gone down again at 29%. I honestly don’t know what happened and I really want to try to do better in 2019. I think being conscious of the books I read is extremely important. So often when I have a lot of free time on my hand, I’ll read basically whatever I can get my hand on which usually means that I’m reading books about straight, white, neurotypical characters. That’s not to say that those books are bad because I’ve read some true jewels but I just want to be a lot more aware of my reading habits.  Books that feature people of color, LGBTQ people and neurodivergent people are so often my favorite types of books and I know that if I made just a little bit more of an effort I’d be a lot more content with the type of books I read.

So I thought I’d give you my top five favorite diverse books that I’ve read this year because I’ve read so many amazing books this year so the more I get to scream about them the better.

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  1. The Spy With The Red Balloon by Katherine Locke Review

I swear Locke writes the historical fiction of my dreams.   You got queer jewish kids punching nazis combined with this amazing speculative fiction to create this spellbounding book that you never want to put down.  I need a million more books like this because no matter how many books Locke writes I’ll never be satisfied.

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2. Far From The Tree by Robin Benway.

This summer I read both  Far From The Tree and Emmy& Oliver and fell head over heels with her writing. Far From The Tree is a a beautiful book about the family we make and the family we are bound to by blood and it’s just amazing. This book hit with me so many feelings, amazing characters and wonderful relationships and it’s just one of those books that I want to cherish forever.

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3. The Summer of Jodi Perez ( And The Best Burger in Los Angeles) by Amy Spalding. Review

This is the ultimate summer contemporary read but can also be read year round just so you can transport yourself to warmer days. The romance is amazing, the characters are the best. Top it off with mouthwatering descriptions of food and you got yourself a stellar read. I seriously need this to be to be a movie.Someone please make it the new summer romcom.

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4. Leah on The Offbeat by Becky Albertalli. Review

I feel like no blog post written by me is complete without mentioning my queen at least. I stan basically everything Albertalli creates and Leah on The Offbeat is no exception. The book was everything I wanted in a sequel and more. I laugh, I cried and I’m completely devastated that she’s done writing in the simonverse. It was a great way to end it though and I can’t wait to see what other amazing characters she comes up with..30340865

5.Our Year of Maybe by Rachel Lynn Solommon

Solomon does it again with her beautifully flawed characters and exquisite prose. I love catching authors at their beginning of their careers because there’s so many more wonderful books in store with me. As long as she keeps writing beautiful books filled with great Jewish characters, I’m going to very very happy.

How Was Your Reading Year When It Comes To Reading Diversely? What Were Your Favorite Diverse Books? Let Me Know In The Comments Down Below!!

 

 

 

Down The TBR Hole: Week One

Down The TBR Hole is a weekly meme created by the lovely Lia which is done in an attempt to clean out our TBR pile. As a bookworm, that ever elusive Tbr pile haunts our nightmares and it can seem very daunting to cut down the books we want to read. I myself have close to 4000 books on my goodreads to-read list so I thought that doing this meme would be the perfect way to a least make my to be read shelf just a tiny bit slimmer.

So it works like this

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if youre feeling adventurous) books. Of course, if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

1. Picture Perfect By Jodi Picoult

I’m pretty this is one of the last books I haven’t read read by Picoult so I definitely am going to read it soon.

Verdict: Keep

2. Between The Lines by Jodi Picoult Samantha Van Leer

The plot isn’t super appealing to me but it’s by Jodi Picoult and I’ll read anything she writes so I definitely want to get to this eventually

Verdict: Keep

3. Leaving Home by Jodi Picoult

I lowkey had no clue what this was but apparently it’s like a collection of three short pieces and let’s be honest I’m probably never going to read it.

Verdict:Go

4. Love and Ruin by Paula McLain

Goodreads is weird because I just added this one today but it’s in my oldest to-read books?? Anyway I’m so excited to read this. It’s about Martha Gellhorn and I absolutely adored her other book about Hemmingway’s 1st wife?( or second I can’t remember. Hemingway was a hoe) so I’m going to be getting to this one soon

Verdict:Keep

5. 172 Hours On The Moon By Johan Harstad

I added this back when I had just discovered booktube. Ariel Bisett and Raeleen Lemay loved this book but I don’t think it’s something I’m ever going to seek out. Also space is terrifying so I think I’m going to pass on this one.

Verdict: Go

6.Winger By Andrew Smith

This is another book that booktube was obsessed with way back when and while it doesn’t seem like a bad book, I don’t know if it’s something that would appeal to me. I have a feeling that Andrew Smith just wouldn’t work for me.

Verdict:Go

7. The Program By Suzanne Young

This is one of those books that I know I would have loved four years ago but at this point in my life I really can’t see myself reading and enjoying it. It just seems really predictable and not that interesting.

Verdict:Go

8. Let The Sky Fall by Sharon Messenger

After reading the synopsis, I realize that I knew absolutely nothing about this book and tbh it doesn’t seem like my thing. Another one that past me would have enjoyed but not anymore.

Verdict:Go

9. The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

This is the second book in The Name of the Star series which I remember really enjoying. I don’t know exactly when I’ll get around to it since I don’t own them but it’s a series that I definitely want to continue one day.

Verdict: Keep

10. Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach

I know this is only 100 pages long but I’m probably never going to read it. I mean it sounds interesting and like if I had to read it for school I would probably enjoy reading it but I’m probably never going to read it willingly

Verdict:Go

11. Tiger Lily By Jodi Meadows.

While I do enjoy retellings I’m just not a big fantasy fan and while a Tiger Lily story could be interesting I would much rather read about it from an Indigenous author.

Verdict: Go

12. Fight Club by Chuck Palahnuik

I have absolutely no interest in ever reading the book or watching the book and I can’t even really remember a time where we did so I’m not sure this is here but yeah just doesn’t seem that interesting. Also am I not breaking the first rule of Fight Club right now?

Verdict: Go

13. The Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S King

A.S Kings books are either really beautiful or really weird and I think that this one might be the latter. Also plus it’s about pirates and I’m not a huge fan of pirates.

Verdict: Go

14. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancy

I’ve tried to read this book but it was sooooo boring that I just gave up. Maybe I’m just not big on alien invasions but this book really didn’t do it for me

Verdict: Go

15.The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

I know it’s super short and lots of people love it but it doesn’t seem that appealing to me. I’m probably have to read it eventually for school but I’d rather not read it willingly.

Verdict: Go

16. Requiem by Lauren Oliver

A straight love story about a world where love is illegal? Yeah no I think I’ll pass

Verdict:Go

17. The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonnasson

I’m tempted to keep it simply because of that gloriously long title but I think I’m going to have to pass on this one. This may sound weird but I really don’t like translated books for the most part

Verdict:Go

18. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

I still haven’t read a Melina Marchetta book and I desperately want to. I’m praying that I’ll find in a used bookstore one of these days.

Verdict:Keep

19. It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizinni.

I watched the movie and I really enjoyed it and I really want to read this book one day. I think it’s a particularly interesting book about depression to read if you go into it knowing that the author killed himself.

Verdict:Keep

20.Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Another one that younger Hannah would have loved but I don’t think I’d particularly enjoy.

Verdict:Go

Stats

Keep:5

Go:15

So that was a lot easier than I thought. I guess it’s because I created my Goodreads account 5 years ago and my reading tastes have changed a lot since then. I bet it’s only going to get harder.

What Did You Think of My Decisions? Are There Anyone’s That I Discarded That You Love? Anyone Ones That I Kept That You Disliked? Let Me Know In The Comments Down Below!

Are Holocaust Books Still Important?: Discussion Post

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As I finished yet another holocaust novel, I couldn’t help but wonder if we have reached a point where everything that has been written about the holocaust has already been written. Did I mention the book I had just read?  Yes: The Tatooist of Aushwitz was a touching story that had me captured until the very end but I couldn’t help but feel that everything written in this book I’ve heard before. Maybe I’ve become desensitized to the subject. After all I’ve been reading books like these since I was in the third grade. These stories are my people’s history  and it’s important not to forget the atrocities that were committed. I have read countless of books that feature Jewish people during the Holocaust but I struggle to come up with titles that feature Jewish characters that don’t live during The Holocaust.  yes we sufferred and that’s a huge part of our culture but there’s so much that so few people know about.  Jews are so much more than victims of the Holocaust. We have a rich culture filled with beautiful traditions and I just wish that literature would portray that more. I want to see the secular  Jews! And the religious ones!  And everyone in between!

So should authors stop writing Holocaust Fiction? Honestly I don’t know. I think they’re super important in reminding the Goyem about the atrocities that were inflicted on the Jews.  I personally really like them even if I do oftetimes feel like they’re formulaic and blend together. It especially rubs me the wrong way when non-jews write about it. I know that they probably don’t intend it that way but it sometimes reads to me as profitting off of the suffering of Jewish people.  I think that there’s some really interesting things that could still be done with jews during the Second World War. This is really evident with Katherine Locke’s  The Spy With The Red Balloon. This beauty of a book features two Queer Jewish siblings who kick nazi ass and are just so amazing and it’s set during  WW2 and it’s just so great. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for #ownvoices World War 2 fiction.

Another thing that angers me about Holocaust fiction and World War 2 fiction in general is the trope  of people falling in love with “good” Nazis. There’s no such as a good nazi, they’re all trash  and for anybody to make them anything less than that is disgusting.  Why do people feel the need to find the good in someone who is not good at all.

So really I think that it depends on who writes it but all in all I’m not tired of Holocaust Fiction per say but more the fact that it’s the only rep that Jews get.  Give me fantasy with jews in them. Some historical fiction that isn’t set during ww2 that finish jewish characters. Then maybe I won’t mind so much.

What Do You Think? Are You Tired of Holocaust Fiction? What’s Your Favorite Non-Holocaust Book That Features Jewish people?

My Favorite Time related Books and TV Shows

I am absolutely obsessed with anything that has to do with time. Preferably time travel but parallel universes or anything that discusses the complexities of time is also fair game. So I thought that I’d write a post that rounds up all my favorite media about time.

BOOKS

1. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenger

This book is so brilliant!  I love how the story is told and the different elements to this particular type of time travelingThere are some aspects that irk me like the fact that there’s a romance between an 18 year old and a 45 year old( even if it’s his future wife it’s still weird) but other than that it’s such an interesting and tragic novel! There’s supposed to be  a sequel following the daughter but I don’t know if it will ever happen. Also apparently Stephen Moffat is going to make a T.V show based off of it which is very exciting!!

2.Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

This isn’t really about time travel or time per se but I’m going to include it because it’s technically like time travel. It follows a girl named Ursula who when she dies, gets to restart her life over again and this novel kind of explores the different lives that she lives. It’s really good and super interesting and it’s also set during World War 2 which makes it all the more amazing. There’s the inevitable killing Hitler which comes with time travel books set during World War 2 which I’m always here for.

3.Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card

Okay so  I know that Orson Scott Card is a horrible horrible person and I don’t condone his appalling bigoted behavior but  I believe in separating the art from the artist and Pathfinder is one of the best books I’ve ever read so I can’t not include it. Pathfinder is this super interesting fantasy sci-fi that I can’t really explain but is fascinating and no matter how many times I read it, I am always amazed by it. I don’t believe in supporting him but if you’re ever able to find it used or at your library, I’d highly recommend it.

4.11/22/63 by Stephen King

This book is so good!!!! It was my first King book and boy was it a good one.  It’s so interesting and it’s a really good introduction to King’s books. It has the fucked up elements of a King novel but it isn’t horror so it’s a great read for everyone.  Everytime I think about the ending I get really sad.

5.The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North

I just read this a couple of days ago but it’s soo good and a great time travel novel with some really unique concepts. If you’re interested, you can read my review where I go into more depth.

TV Shows

          12 Monkeys

So I havent watched the original movie because I really don’t like old sci fi movies but the TV is so good. There are so many twists and turns and the characters are all super great. I really need to finish this one

         Continuum

So this one is this pretty obscure canadian show that my mom found when looking for time travel shows but it’s really good! it’s a little cheesy at times and the special effects are pretty bad but it’s a really interesting concept and plus it’s set in Vancouver so yay for Canadian settings!

          Timeless

One of my favorite teachers recommended this to me because she thought that I’d like it and she was  right! I love how though there’s an overall plot, each episode brings us to a different part in history. I always learn a lot. The characters are also super great.I can’t believe I haven’t finished season two yet.

         Doctor Who

After Brooklyn 99 this is my favorite TV show. I love everything about it: the plot, the villains, the doctors, the companions, everything is wonderful. I admit that there are some pretty corny elements to it, but it’s just such a beautiful and hopeful show. I love the episodes where they go back in time and also I love seeing all the different futuristic ideas.

What About You? What Are Your Favorite Books And TV Shows About Time? Do You Have Any Recommendations. Let Me Know In The Comments Down Below!

The Books I Read In My Childhood

So I’ve been an avid reader since I was a kid. I mean my parents owned a bookstore when I was to three to the age of five so how could I not be? Honestly for the most part  I cannot for the life of me remember the books I read but there are some that stick out. I actually didn’t read Harry Potter until I was about 11 and even then I did so out of order ( I read Order of the Phoenix last). Anyway HP wasn’t a huge part of my childhood but here are seven books/ series that were.

  1. Little House on The Prarie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

These were one of the first long books that was read to me and later as the series progressed, that I read myself.   Whenever I think of it, it brings back lots of nostalgia. I know that if I were to read it now, I’d probably find lots of things because the pioneers were racist af but as a child I didn’t see that and merely enjoyed the story.

2.  The Trumpet Of The Swan by E.B White

I loved all  three of E.B White books about animals but I think that The Trumpet of The Swan was the best one.  There’s just something so interesting and unique about a trumpet that plays the swan which enthralled me as a kid and does to this day. White truly knows how to write emotional and wonderful stories about animals.

3. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.W Lewis

These books used to be my favorite thing ever. I love them so much, loved reading about Narnia and Aslan and the kids and every book was amazing.  I didn’t realize that it was an allegory to the Bible and I’m kind of scared to ever go back to rereading them because I feel like it could ruin the magic of Narnia for me.

4. Animal Ark by Ben M. Baglio

Okay so I’m really sure if these books are something that many people read as a kid but I just remember having a bunch of these about different animals and devouring them. It was basically about a girl whose parents owned a vet clinic and each book would have a different conflict with a different problem. They were so much fun!

5. Holocaust Books

Idk if this is just a Jewish kid thing but I used to love Holocaust’s books when I was like 8-9 years old. They weren’t necessarily popular books, just books that my dad would find at a charity store. One of them that stood out was Clara’s War By Kathy Kacer. It’s been such a long time since I read it but the plot of the book is still very much imprinted in my mind. It definitely was a heavy read for someone as young as me but I think that it’s important for everyone to read.

6. The Baby Sitter’s Club by Ann M. Martin

These books were the SHIT. They were so cool, I loved them so much. Also I heard that there’s going to be a T.V series?? I’m so down. It was such a cool concept with some really interesting characters and I loved it so much. They were the best young entrepreneurs and they’re probably running the world right now.

7. Nancy Drew by Carrolyn Keene

I am a Nancy Drew stan first and a human second. These books are probably my first fandom. I still have about 15 old ass copies of the books, a huge guide to Nancy Drew, a couple of how to guides about Nancy Drew and that Nancy Drew movie with Emma Roberts (which was soo cool!!) I love this series so much and Nancy Drew is such a badass.  She is the reason that I’m still terrified of black widows.

What About You? What Books Did You Read As A Kid?

 

 

In Which I Talk About The Music I Love

So though I pretty much listen to the same song over and over again ans my music taste is very basic,  I’d thought I’d write a post about the type of music I enjoy. I love to listen to music while studying, doing homework, writing and reading and it just really helps me destress,

 

Favorite Albums

 

1. Blue Neighborhood by Troye Sivan

I’ve been following Troye Sivan for quite awhile and used to love to watch the videos he made when he was still a frequent youtuber. I remember listening to Happy Little Pill when it first came out and really liking it but I only really got into his first album and I love every single song on it. Troye writes such raw and emotional songs and they break me everytime I listen to them.  He’s coming to Montreal in the fall and I’m seriously considering going.

2. Love, Simon Official Soundtrack

At this point my brand is stanning The Book Thief and Love, Simon so  I just had to mention something Love, Simon related. This soundtrack is so lit. Literally every single song is perfect and I love listening to it because then I get to think about the movie. I’m never going to hear I Want To Dance With Somebody without thinking about that glorious dance number.

3. Hamilton Official Cast Album

Two years later and I’m still as obsessed with Hamilton as I am when I first started listening to it. Lin Manuel Miranda is a genius and I envy him for being so amazing with words. All of the songs in this musical are perfect and create such a beautiful story. Eliza Hamilton deserved better.

4. Badlands by Halsey

Honestly the first time I listened to this album I wasn’t a huge fan and only really checked her out because everyone was talking about her. I found it really crude and just not my thing but her songs have really grown on me. I don’t really relate to anything that goes on in her songs but there’s still bops and I love all of the songs on this album.

5. Mania by Fall Out Boy

Though I love all of their album’s, I’m pretty sure this is my favorite. They’ve really grown since their first album while still keeping that weird quirky vibe that makes them so amazing.  There’s a really large variety on this album and  though I wasn’t a fan of all of the songs at first, they’ve all grown on me.

Favorite Songs

 

1.American Pie by Don McLean.

I only really just got into this song but I love this song so much. It’s very long and kind of repetitive but that refrain is A+. Also I love this song 1000x more after reading They Both Die At The  End and will always think about my precious children Matteo and Rufus.

2. Evermore From Beauty and The Beast Live Action.

As for as I know this is the only original song that wasn’t in the original animated version and I love it so muchy. It’s so raw and emotional and just aghhhh it gets me everytime.  The BATB live action is beautiful and this song just makes it all the more beautiful.

3. Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen

This song is a ride from start  to finish and is such a mood. I love how there are so many parts that really shouldn’t work together but they somehow fit perfectly. Queen is a legendary band and Bohemian Rhapsody just proves it.

4. Bouncy Ball From Bad Lip Reading.

Okay so this one isn’t that serious( except it kind of it and I love this song so much) but basically bouncy ball is part of this larger video that this youtube channel Bad Lip Reading did of High School Musical. It’s like a minute long and it’s so catchy and hilarious and I really love it. My music tastes are really weird I don’t even know.

5.  JetPack Blues

This is definitely my favorite Fall Out Boy song. It’s so melancholic and beautiful and emotional  and perfect and I love it so much.

Favorite Bands

 

1.Fall Out Boy

FOB is my favorite band of all time and I just love them so much. All of their songs are so interesting and different from everything that I’m used to hearing. I love that you never know what to expect when listening to a Fall Out Boy song and while they kind of have a distinct style, each song is very different from one another. They’re truly amazing and I can’t wait to see what they do next.

2. Imagine Dragons.

I had this weird phase when I was in grade seven and eight where I said I didn’t like music???? Idk I was weird. Anyways Imagine Dragons was pretty much the only music I listened to for a long time and while I’ve kind of grown out of them and don’t listen to them as much as I used to, I still really love them. Demons and Radioactive are classics and I don’t think I’ll ever grow tired of them. They’re one of the few people I’ve seen in concerts so they really mean a lot to me.

3.Panic! At The Disco

Okay so i know that P!ATD is only comprised of Brendon Urie now but I still consider it a band. Panic is another band that is really unqieu and different and I just like their songs a lot. Brendon Urie’s voice is A+ and I’m so excited for his new album to come out.

4.ABBA

Who doesn’t like ABBA? All of their songs are fucking amazing and bops and I truly believe that heaven is a non stop dance party with only ABBA songs. Mamma Mia is the best thing  ever and I’m so excited for the sequel. Also ABBA is coming out with new music this fall and I’m dying because 2018 is truly the best year.

5. Mumford & Sons.

Though I’ve always been familiar with their popular songs like Little Lion Man and I Will Wait, I only just discovered their other songs and I really really like them. They’re very soft and restrained and they’re really comforting to listen to.

Favorite Singers.

 

  1. Dua Lipa

I’m not exactly sure what it is about her that I love so much but once I listened to New Rules, I had to listen to all of her other songs and I love all of them. She has a beautiful voice and her songs are really catchy and fun.

2. Shawn Mendes

Not only is he cute and Canadian, he’s also a really good singer. His songs are really nice and almost have a sort of lullaby vibe to them if that makes sense. They’re just really soothing and I really enjoy listening to his songs.

3. Halsey

I pretty much said everything I wanted to say about her when I talked about Badlands but I just really love her songs and her voice and the subjects she broaches in her songs. She’s a biracial bisexual icon and I love her.

4.Taylor Swift

I know everyone hates on her but idk why because her songs are fucking great. I remember me and my friends making up dance routines to You Belong With Me and though I kind of forgot about her as I grew older, I recently started listening to her older songs and I really love them. They’re just really fun to listen to and she’s a great singer. It’s also really interesting to see her evolve.

5. Hayley Kiyoko.

I fell in love with Kiyoko’s music and everything she does when I first watched the Girls Like Girls music video and my love has amplified for her ever since. I love how queer her music is and she’s such an icon.  I stan  the beautiful Lesbian Jesus.

What’s Your Go-To Music? Do You Like Any Of The Music I Mentioned?