The Return

Hello followers! I am back and it is long overdue! In August, I disappeared to commune with nature at camp with Writopia Lab. It was an incredible opportunity where I got to serve as a counselor. I got to mentor and witness these talented kids write poetry, perform spoken word, write music, play instruments, and create more art than I have ever seen done by children as early as 8 years old. It was life-changing and inspired me in more ways than I can begin to express. These kids reminded me that writing can be scary but your best work comes from being uninhibited.

While in the Poconos area without any cell service, most of my time was spent reading or writing. I explored writing some poetry that I may or may not post on the blog soon. I also got to reflect on some of my favorite books. One book series that I fell in love with in high school was Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series. If you haven’t read it, I can’t begin to recommend it enough. Mead creates three dimensional characters that capture your heart. I completed the series sometime in my senior year of high school or freshmen year of college (2011-2012).

During my time in college, I learned that a spin-off titled, the Bloodlines series was underway. Mead’s new series was set to continue a storyline of a briefly introduced human character, the Alchemist Sydney Sage. It was exciting to learn that not only was it not the end of my favorite characters but that it would be told through the eyes of a human aware of the vampire world. I immediately jumped into the first book of the series, Bloodlines. It caught my attention but as college grew more hectic, I never made it to the fourth book out of the six-book series.

Now, that I’m older, I feel inspired to finally complete the series. I’ve always been curious about how events turned out for my favorite characters. Mead’s books are a major reason I love young adult novels. Revisiting the spin-off series will be interesting just to see whether I’m still crazy about these same characters or if the tropes don’t carry as much weight for me as they used to. Well, time will tell and I’ll keep you posted on my opinions of the books as I go along. I may take a break and read some standalone books too just to keep some content on the blog.
Thanks for your patience, guys, and feel free to recommend any books that you would like me to review: poetry, non-fiction, YA, all of the above except horror honestly.

 

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Blog, Interrupted. 

Hello guys,

I just wanted to give you guys a heads up that I will be taking about two weeks or so off. I’ve been given an amazing opportunity to work as a counselor at Wricampia. Wricampia is a two-week sleepaway camp for children that offers incredibly artistic programs like screenwriting, filmmaking, poetry, memoir writing, graphic design, and so much more. 

Writopia Lab is an inspirational company that works with children to foster their imagination and creativity. I am extremely humbled to be a part of this organization even briefly as a counselor. I’m leaving tomorrow and will be back in about two weeks. I will try and post based on what I’m reading from my Kindle but no promises. 

Thank you guys for your incredible patience. Let me know what you guys are reading too, maybe I’ll do an author spotlight soon. 

 

Here’s a random and unnecessary post featuring my newest lock screen photo because I’m obsessed.  The pages of books can really take you on adventures just like the birds flying out of it. I put this as my lock screen to remind myself that every chance I want to check social media, is a time I could pick up a book instead. It’s a reminder that no matter how busy I get, I can always take a moment to read. Don’t be surprised if I repost this as my next tattoo! #BibliophileProblems #NoShameInMyGame

Silver Sparrow

Hello again, so I apologize for that unannounced hiatus — but I am back.

Luckily enough during my hiatus, I did still get to read a bit. I actually just finished reading Tayari Jones’ novel, Silver Sparrow. I actually had the opportunity of meeting Tayari Jones last year and not only is she an incredible talent, inspirational speaker but she’s also just a genuinely relatable human being. Last summer, I heard her speak to my Columbia Publishing Course class in a time that I desperately needed to hear everything she had to say. I could probably gush for ours about how much of a role model she is to me but let’s concentrate on her book.

I actually purchased her book when she came to visit the Publishing Course and she signed my copy for me. I knew that I was desperate to read it but with little to no free time within the course – it kept getting postponed. During my hiatus, I had been off and on reading the novel and was a little unsure about the general direction of the plot. I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to happen or where I wanted the plot to go.

Silver Sparrow is the alternating narrative story of two girls who live in the south and how their circumstances have impacted them. The narrator of the first chapters is Dana Lynn Yarboro who is the daughter of James Witherspoon. Even in her childhood, Dana is acutely aware of the fact that she is a secret. Her father, an already married man, participated in bigamy by marrying her mother, Gwen, and fathering her. Although older than her sister, Chaurisse, Dana as the product of that bigamy and must learn to take a backseat in all things. The narrator to the second half of the novel is Bunny Chaurisse Witherspoon, James Witherspoon’s daughter from his first marriage. These chapters highlight the complex circumstances and truly cast a shade of gray on things that are generally seen as black and white.

I think that Tayari excelled in making the depth of each character’s turmoil apparent. There are so many conflicting feelings and opinions, that even the reader is swept into the conflict. This novel is very different from what I usually gravitate toward the shelf but I enjoyed reading it as a whole. It was an escape that I was happy to turn to and I look forward to reading more of Jones’ works.

 

*Hiatus*

HI GUYS!

I’m terribly sorry for that extended hiatus. Life was getting a bit hectic so my reading temporarily hit the back-burner. Hopefully, things are officially slowed down to a manageable pace so I can get back to doing what I love: reading, writing and reviewing!

While my posts may have stopped temporarily, the growth of my TBR pile never wavered. I still have a bunch of books that I can’t wait to review for you guys and pick up right where we left off.

So, keep an eye out for my next post which is going to be a book review on Tayari Jones’  Silver Sparrow.

Everything Everything

Nicola Yoon has been on my list of authors that I was looking forward to reading. I wasn’t quite sure whether to start with The Sun is Also A Star but once I saw the film trailer for Everything Everything, I knew that would be the first book of hers that I would have to read.

Yoon is an exceptionally talented writer and demonstrates her skills in character development, plot and descriptions in this novel. She is patient with the descriptions and really makes the main character, Madeline’s youthful and child-like fascination with the world believable. In the Q&A portion of the book, Yoon even says that the innocence of Madeline was largely inspired by her own infant daughter’s reactions to the world around her.

In all honesty, I hadn’t anticipated enjoying Everything Everything as much as I had. It was a new and fresh story that has never been told before. I think that there are themes like love and protection that are carried on throughout that really grip at the readers heartstrings and get them invested in the turn of events. I also respect Yoon for making the main female character multiracial. It’s not her identity but it is something that is made clear about her. I think that it’s incredible to have more culturally diverse characters in books, television and film because it really helps to inspire diverse readers and encourage diversity in the world. It helps remind audiences that fundamentally being different is nothing to be ashamed of.

****

I would recommend this book to YA readers, fans of John Green, fans of film to book comparisons, or anyone looking for an entertaining but light read.