Monday, August 20, 2018

Another Day by David Levithan - Review

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Title: Another Day
Author: David Levithan
Series: Every Day #2
Release date: August 25th, 2015
Rating: 5/5

**SPOILERS Y'ALL**

It has been a hot minute since I read a book that I genuinely thought I should write a review about, so here we go.

As a refresh of book one, Every Day is told from the perspective of A. A wakes up every morning in the body of a different person.  It's all they have ever known. Then, Rhiannon comes along. And for all of my Fleetwood Mac lovers out there, you know it changes everything.

Book two is Every Day but from Rhiannon's perspective. Now, it has been a good long while since I read the first book, but 4 pages in I was already caught up and hooked.

Let's just take a second to put yourself in A's shoes. A new body, new life? Sure, why not? Then you start to realize "Well then who do I talk to every day? My family? My friends?" This is exactly why my heart twists for poor A and Rhiannon just doesn't make it any better.

Right away, we are thrown into her relationship with her boyfriend, Justin, and he is just...so unlikable. It's one of those moments where you wish you could reach through the pages and grab Rhiannon by the shoulders, shaking her, and yelling "You cannot fix this!" Professionally, I don't think it is technically considered domestic abuse, but it's clear that she's grasping at straws to be with him.

The concept of a person like A is my favourite aspect of this series. The part that keeps echoing in my mind is when A finally tells Rhiannon that he jumps from body to body every day and she asked: "Are you a boy or a girl?" And A just kind of frowns: "I don't see myself as either." Don't mind my completely paraphrased quotes, but it's such a forward way of thinking that, as a reader, also causes me to think about how I would respond in that situation. A new body every day means different genders, different nationalities, different races, different body types, and poor A, who seriously deserves a break at this point, just can't seem to grasp why it matters to her what the body looks like when it's just A on the inside. That is heavy and poetic.

But it does matter, doesn't it? We all just see the outer surface, never looking past the shell and looking at the person on the inside. Be careful, a book like this might actually make you a better person! And seeing Rhiannon's preferences actually have an effect on A and how he/she feels about the body he/she is in is earth-shattering.

The ending is where this all gets a little iffy. Rhiannon can't be with A, because it's too complicated (too cliche?) and because she can't connect with some of the bodies A has (wears?). And A is such a delicate being that needs to be guarded and protected, because no matter how heartbroken and torn down he/she feels about their "breakup", he/she goes completely out of their way to find a guy he/she finds suitable for Rhiannon.

This book is just so good. Seriously, it left me thinking so much and I have no one to talk to about it. Someone, please talk to me about it.

Another Day is all about being better/caring more about yourself and accepting those around you for who they are. In reality, personality is all that should really matter to ANY of us! And it is all about breaking free from those people that are holding you back from being the best you you can be.

*casually adds book to Goodreads "favourite" shelf*

Thursday, August 16, 2018

LGBTQIA+ Books

Since I was feeling a little beat up about season 7 of Voltron, I decided to compile a list of books that have characters that are LGBTQIA+. Enjoy!

Representation is a big deal in the modern age. While some of these books might not necessarily be considered "modern" and a few others might not be conventionally LGBTQIA+, they all DO have representation of one form or another. In an age where people are becoming more accepting, it is imperative to introduce diverse characters to our younger generations and even older generations to show them that there is absolutely nothing wrong with accepting who you are and how to accept the people around you. In recent years, I have seen this improve tremendously and can't wait to see how this improves even more in the future of print media, TV, and movies.

If there's a book you love that isn't listed below, or if you're an author with LGBTQIA+ rep in your book, feel free to drop the title/link to your book down in the comments. I tried to keep this list to ones that I had read, but I slipped in a few that I haven't gotten around to.


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1. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

2. Captive Prince by P.S. Pacat

3. Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

3.5 The Iliad by Homer

4. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

5. Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst

6. The Raven Cycle (series) by Maggie Stiefvater

120000207. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

8. Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard (series) by Rick Riordan

9. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

10. The Mortal Instruments (series) by Cassandra Clare

11. Let's Talk About Love by Claire Kann

12. Contagion by Erin Bowman

13. None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio

14. Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller

15. Been Here All Along by Sandy Hall

16. Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

17. At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson

18. Fence (graphic novel series) by P.S. Pacat

19. Every Day (series) by David Levithan


Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Books For Trade and Bookish Wish

For those of you that don't know, Books for Trade is a hashtag on Twitter that allows people to post pictures of books they no longer want to have, but want to trade away. It's a great way to get your hands on some books you've been looking for that you otherwise might not have been able to obtain (International Editions, signed editions, special editions, etc) and, in the process, you get rid of a book you no longer wanted! There are also some groups on Goodreads and Facebook that I know use Books for Trade methods.

I've been doing Books for Trade for over a year now and it (for the most part) has been a great experience! Through books for trade, I have obtained ARCs and finished copies that I had been looking for for a long time! I've done dozens of trades and I've only had one instance where I didn't get my side of the trade. The tag on twitter is full of great people that are really committed to keeping things moving smoothly. 

Recently, a new hashtag started on twitter called Bookish Wish. Essentially, people post their wishlists (similar to Books for Trade) and hope that someone will contact them. This is a great way to help people that otherwise wouldn't be able to get books due to money issues. 

Since I had some books that I couldn't trade (they were put up on the tag for months with no luck), I decided to offer up a bunch of mine to just send out...for free. Despite being about $15 poorer, I'm actually super glad I did this, because it made me feel so good to send out books to those people and I would 100% do it again. And I plan to! 

The Bookish Wish tag is full of great, generous people. I'm so glad to be a part of such an amazing community that helps others.

If you want to give these tags a look, just search up #booksfortrade or #bookishwish and make someone else's day. Or even post your own books/wishlists! You might be surprised!

Monday, July 30, 2018

Book Writing #2 - Character Names

Characters are a big component of your story. People can relate to your characters, because of their experiences, morals, and even name and appearance. When it comes to names, a few things need to be kept in mind.

Reminder: Names can be whatever you want. Don't let anyone tell you your names aren't good enough.

1: Gender can make a difference

There are plenty of names that can be considered unisex and, in some cases, the character in question might not have a specific gender (agender, gender fluid, etc.). Keeping this in mind, naming your main female character "Robert" is extremely unconventional and, while it isn't necessarily wrong, some readers might find it odd. Likewise, there aren't many male Kaitlyns floating around. 

Not to say that your male hero/villain/side character can't be named "Ashley", it's just unconventional.

2: Ethnicity and Heritage

This is mainly in play for nonfiction or realistic fiction books, but it can also come into play with fantasy as well. If you want to keep specific regional names, you might want to research a bit to get names as close as possible to the portrayed culture. 

3: Tips and Tricks

To people that I've discussed names with, I almost always get the question "How do you come up with your names?" Let me tell you, it is a layered process. More often than not, I have the specific character already built in my mind. Name is the last thing I come up with. This means I have their purpose, ranking (in a fantasy setting), appearance, age, and everything plotted out. 

Being completely honest, I open a lot of baby naming websites. Sometimes I specify a region and sometimes I know what I want the name to start with and I just go from there. If I find a name I really like, I might try to spice it up a little or keep it as is depending how "ordinary" it is. 

Other times I open a name generator and hit refresh over and over. 

I might take the name Katherine and turn it into Katera or the name Francis and turn it into Farius. (I really don't know, guys, I write fantasy. What can I say? Weird names come with the territory.)

The times I get really stuck I just hit random spots on the keyboard and it can actually work.

Names can be whatever you want them to be, but using baby naming websites/generators can be a huge help.

Happy naming! 

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Book Writing #1 - Building Your Plot

The plot is one of the most important things to consider when you're writing your book. It is the driving force for all of your characters and gives the reader something to follow along with. For many authors, the plot is the first thing they come up with when they are considering a new story.

Step 1: The first idea

The first idea can be something super small. For some, the first idea can be that they want the story to be centered around a single character or multiple. The first idea can be as simple as "I want this person to save the world" or "I want character 1 to be against character 2 from the start and they are forced into a situation that makes them work together".

The first idea can also be a case where the author wants to write a book similar to one they love/loved as a child, but make it their own.

Step 2: Picking your genre/audience

This seems a little obvious, but the genre is very important. With genre, there are certain aspects of the plot that would work in one genre but would be completely out of place in another. Usually, advanced technology would not be in a High Fantasy book and elves and magic don't go in a Sci-Fi book. Of course, there isn't a rule against making your story different or even changing your ideas away from the norm, so don't let this discourage you!

As for the audience, you wouldn't be writing a book with adult characters with large amounts of cursing and sexual tones as a Young Adult novel and you wouldn't be writing a whimsical fairy tale for college students. Finding a balance is important!

Step 3: Solidifying your beginning, middle, and end

Making sure your characters have a point A to leave and a point B to get to is super important, but the middle is what makes or breaks a book. The hobbits didn't just leave the Shire and end up in Mordor! They had to go through Rivendell, Gondor, and endless forests and adventures in order to finish their quest.

Step 4: Side plots/quests

Meeting a new character, facing a monster, having a computer glitch, joining the rebellion are all great side plots for your characters. It's how they overcome obstacles and interact with others that really makes a great book. The main plot is what the story is about, but no plot is complete without some bumps in the road.

Additional Notes:

Don't be afraid to change your plot! In fact, it most likely will change. The plot you start with probably won't be the plot you end up with. As you get to know your world and your characters, things are going to evolve and change. The person you intended as the villain might not be the villain at the end!

Writing out, mapping, and all forms of diagrams could be EXTREMELY beneficial as you go! It keeps your ideas organized and everything running smoothly.



Disclaimer: I am not a professional, this is just based on my experiences.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Can You Smell Change in the Air?

So, here's the thing.
I don't know if it's obvious (which it 100% is), but I have been less than vigilant about posting lately, but there is a reason behind it.

Basically, I just graduated from high school (yay!) in May and have been juggling 3 jobs this summer in order to help get a little extra money for college. I have done very little reading, but I feel good about reading a lot more when school starts up.

My major is publishing! Because of this, and since I have recently been working on writing my own book, I plan on writing more blog posts about the publishing process and some about writing, world building, and whatever else people want to hear about! I would be more than happy to listen to suggestions about what y'all want to read about. Whether it be more about publishing, book writing, excerpts, quotes, reviews, or even my daily life, I'll post whatever.

Thank you all for being so understanding. I think great things are coming and I can't wait to share it with all of you!

Friday, April 27, 2018

Books to Read After Watching "Infinity War"

I don't know about you guys, but Avengers: Infinity War definitely took a toll on me this weekend. So here are a few books that might help you get through the year until the next one! I'm sure there's a ton that I left out, but these were the ones that just really stuck out to me.  Some of them are symbolic/similar to each subcategory's storyline (might seem a little obscure, but it's there!)

I know I left a few out (Black Panther, Spiderman, etc.), but this is what I could do!

Hope these help keep the tears at bay!

If You Love Guardians of the Galaxy

Amid Stars and Darkness by Chani Lynn Feener
Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
Alienated by Melissa Landers
Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Starflight by Melissa Landers

If You Love Doctor Strange

Traveler by L.E. DeLano
Magyk by Angie Sage
The Novice by Taran Matharu

If You Love Captain America

With Malice by Eileen Cook
The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

If You Love Iron Man

The Body Electric by Beth Revis
The Eye of Minds by James Dashner
Cinder by Marissa Meyer

If You Love Thor

Between the Blade and the Heart by Amanda Hocking
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke 
The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan