My Relationship With Social Media

Hello, hello everyone. I am back now after taking a littler over a week off of blogging. I was feeling uninspired (or more like overwhelmed because I wasn’t actually finishing any of the books or posts that I had started). I think I’m back now and I have a lot of ideas for new blog posts and I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of things.

I decided though today to talk about my relationship with social media because it seems relevant as to why I took a break.

I don’t want to say that I’ve ever been addicted to social media. But I will say that I have always been highly influenced by social media. I constantly compared myself to other people and struggled to curate the perfect online presence. And I understand that other people also curate the perfect online presence but it still frustrated me that their “happy” and “good” moments seemed better than mine.

Things got really bad last year when I lost a job and was trying to use Instagram to advertise for my handmade products that I sell on Etsy. I followed hundreds of people and spent hours every single day scrolling through Instagram just looking at all of these people that were better than me. I’m not going to lie when I say it broke me a little bit. I felt so unsuccessful and so unloved and bad about who I was and what I was doing. That time period holds a lot of regrets for me and that’s why I tried to avoid social media as much as I could.

So in January I deleted Instagram. And in August I deleted Facebook. I have no IRL friends anymore so I didn’t really see the point in following the lives of people that I didn’t talk to and that didn’t talk to me. This blog was a way for me to be “social” and share things that I enjoyed without having to actually leave my house. It’s been a lovely reprieve from the stressors of my life and I was really sad when I realized that I was getting overwhelmed by it. Right now I’m also going to school full time (possibly looking into transferring again) and working full time as well. I’m just burning myself out at every end and it’s getting to me. So after dropping a class last weekend because I couldn’t handle it, I decided to take a break from the blog as well.

This break was really nice. I have a whole list of posts that I’m really looking forward to writing, I’m renewed and ready to start again AND it let me get creative in a whole different medium. Which I’ll talk about now:

So I got a Twitter for this blog and sort of just use it to shit post as well as share my blog posts. Plus I follow a lot of funny people that make my day with their tweets. And just recently I decided to make new Instagram accounts. I made a bookstagram (@amelia.and.her.books) and one that I’m sharing hiking/nature posts on (@amelia.rosin). Those Instagram accounts are the ones I want to talk about. I’ve decided to just share whatever I want to share and work on making creative posts and sharing the pictures that I love. I’ve been ignoring the numbers and just posting things that I like! I don’t even have notifications on and it’s the best decision I’ve made in a while. It’s been a lot of fun and it’s been so nice to get back into the swing of taking pictures. Photography has always been a favorite hobby of mine and when I’m stressed out and sad it’s the last thing that I want to do. But I know that when I can sit down and edit pictures it makes my day when the vision I had in my head shows up on my camera.

I’ve also been working on getting back into creative makeup. Doing my makeup has always been a huge form of self care. It makes me feel better because it’s so much fun and creating new looks is inspiring! I haven’t decided yet if I want to make a third Instagram account just for posting makeup or if I want to add a section to my Bookstagram that focuses on the makeup looks I create that are based off of book covers! Either way I think it will be fun 🙂

Now back to the blog. I am hoping to try and post every day again like I managed to do for the beginning of October but if I can’t I’ll be posting on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday! I’m going to work on getting back to comments and whatnot today and tomorrow and yeah I’m happy to be back and done being as stressed out. I’ll be back tomorrow with a Top Ten Tuesday post 🙂

Review: Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Can we all just be excited for a second at the fact that my most anticipated book of the year lived up to my own personal hype??

I’ve only read one of Leigh Bardugo’s young adult books, the first book in the Grisha trilogy, and it was right around the time when it was first released and I didn’t really love it. I’ve had no interest in reading any of her other books up until now and when I first read the synopsis for Ninth House I was immediately like “YES, I NEED TO READ THIS”

I like dark stories and oh boy, did this deliver on that. I’m going to say what everyone is saying about this book: it is an adult book and should be categorized as such. This is a very, very dark adult book and is not suitable content for younger readers.

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Before I get into my review, here’s the synopsis from Goodreads:

Galaxy “Alex” Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. By age twenty, in fact, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most elite universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her?

Still searching for answers to this herself, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies. These eight windowless “tombs” are well-known to be haunts of the future rich and powerful, from high-ranking politicos to Wall Street and Hollywood’s biggest players. But their occult activities are revealed to be more sinister and more extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive.

Like I had said at the beginning of the post, this was my most anticipated read of the year. I got nervous as I started to see more and more reviews of people reading this and rating it lower than anticipated and I kept stopping myself from starting it because I didn’t want to be disappointed. Luckily, in the end, I was so far from disappointed, I rated this 5 stars.

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This book was a behemoth and I read it over the course of about three days. Each chapter title gives you the time at which the events in the chapter are taking place. “Winter” and “fall/late fall” were the main ones and the perspective switched between our main character, Alex, and Darlington, Alex’s mentor in Lethe. Lethe is essentially a group that has been created to be guardians to the secret societies of Yale.

From the get go, I connected with Alex and her struggle with being a survivor. The fight for life and for survival is something I relate to deeply and it was emotional to see how strong she was in order to do anything. I also really enjoyed reading from both her and Darlington’s perspectives in order to get a more in depth view of the story. I personally felt like if we had only followed Alex, that we never would’ve learned some of the things that Darlington shared in his chapters.

I genuinely wish that I would have kept a tally of how many times I said “oh my god” or “wtf” while reading this because it was a lot. Some parts of the book I totally saw coming, but others blew my mind. I think that I can say that I am a big fan of paranormal/fantasy type thrillers because unlike thrillers that take place in “real life” basically anything can happen. We can get those big twists and shocks because literally anything could happen. This whole book had me turning the next page thinking “what could possibly happen next?” It was compelling and devious and I adored it.

A lot of the reviews I’ve seen are from people who thought that this book was boring, or at least the first half was boring. I felt like this book was chock full of information but to me, it felt balanced. If it had all been jam packed with action, I think it would have been overwhelming. But with less action and more exposition, it would have been too dry. There really wasn’t any point in this that I felt like I wanted to skip sections or chapters because I genuinely wanted to see what every page had in store. If you’re looking for a simple read, this probably isn’t for you! It’s full of names and stories and is so layered that it takes a lot of brain power to really engross yourself in it. But let me tell you, it is well worth it if you like dark adult fantasy.

So when it comes to recommending this, I want to preface this with this book is really disturbing at times. One scene in particular made me physically gag and many others left me feeling drained. It was dark, definitely not quite what I expected, but in the end I was left with overwhelming hope for this group of characters that had been beaten down and broken more times than I could count. I adored the characters in this book, flaws and all and I genuinely can’t wait to get my hands on book two. But please be careful when picking up this book and if you are interested in content warnings I’ll have those at the end of the review.

I think that if you’re a fan of dark stuff, give this a try. If you like a unique cast of characters and a wild story, pick this up.

If you’re interested in purchasing a copy, you can find it here.

Content warnings:

Sexual assault (child rape and date rape), murder, gore, drug abuse, drowning, death, suicide, forced consumption of human waste. 

 

Halloween Song Book Tag

Y’all, I am struggling to get through anything, my concentration is absolutely shot. I have so many books piling up and homework and AHHHH it’s bad. I just want to hibernate and stop doing anything and everything and it’s taking everything in me to not drop off the face of the earth for months.

So because I still have absolutely nothing to review and all the posts that I wanted to write are definitely not getting written, I have decided to do a book tag. I saw this on Heather‘s (Bookables) Youtube channel and the original tag can be found here (it was done by a beautiful chaos of books). She also made a playlist of all the songs from the tag which I thought was awesome! Here’s that link.

My goal with this is to try and keep everything within the thriller/horror (maybe also fantasy, yeah no definitely also some fantasy) genre if I can manage it!

Thriller

A book that was an absolute page turner

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

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I stayed up way past my bedtime to finish reading this book. Couldn’t stop reading it once I started!!

Somebody’s Watching Me

A book that gave you serious creeps

The Possession of Cassie Quinn by Kathryn Knutson

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The first time I ever read this book I was so creeped out. Possession is a no go for me. One of my biggest fears to be quite honest. I’m rereading this book this weekend to see if it still creeps me out as much as it did back in the day.

Vampire

A book you hated so much it was soul sucking (i.e. incredibly tedious to get through)

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl

I know that everyone thought this was amazing and that I am definitely in the minority but I remember dragging myself through this book. It was not shocking or thrilling in the slightest.

And The Girl on the Train… And The Death of Mrs. Westaway. Y’all I need more thriller recommendations that aren’t boring as hell.

I Put A Spell On You

A book featuring witchcraft or magic

Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker

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Definitely not a spooky one, but I really enjoyed this graphic novel. It’s the perfect witchy fall read!

This Halloween

Your favorite treat/snack to eat while reading

Right now it’s cheez-its. Also coffee or tea is always great.

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Time Warp

What book or books do you like to return to at this time of year?

For many, many years I would reread Harry Potter yearly starting right around the start of the school year. I like to reread series in the winter, not sure why but maybe it’s because I wouldn’t buy books over the summer and then would get books for my birthday and holidays and I used to read a LOT of series so that’s when I’d get that series flow going.

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Hungry Like The Wolf

A book you loved so much, you devoured

Foul Is Fair by Hannah Capin

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I got an ARC from Netgalley for this book and read it in one day (almost in one sitting). It was absolutely amazing. Dark, devious, and engrossing and you guys should preorder it because it comes out in February and you all need to read it.

The Adams Family

A book featuring a dysfunctional family

Resurrection Girls by Ava Morgyn

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I just hope their dysfunction heals at some point. Very sad dysfunctional family.

Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)

A book genre that you are scared or intimidated to pick up

I want to say that I’m really adventurous in my reading. I’m interested in reading a wide variety of books and I don’t think that I’m scared or intimidated to pick up any one genre. I will say that I struggle the most to read classics and I also tend to steer away from high fantasy or science/historical fiction because a lot of times those are really dense and heavy and take more brain power than I have to give at the time.

The Twilight Zone

A book with a completely different and unique premise

The Skeleton Creek series by Patrick Carman

Skeleton Creek (Skeleton Creek, #1)

I guess it’s not super different? But it’s really unique because you can go to links while you read the books to watch clips of the events in these books! I’m going to talk about these on Monday after I reread them this weekend!

So that’s the Halloween Song Book Tag… It’s brand new so definitely participate if you want to answer these questions!

If We Were Having Coffee Or Today I Feel Consumed

I’ve seen a few people make update types posts centered around how they would chat with you if we were having coffee and because I have nothing else to talk about today I figured I’d just write a real quick update post.

This morning I’m drinking a nice ice cold cup of coffee that I brought with me from home, I spilled a decent amount of it in my car while backing out of the driveway so now I have to clean my car when I get home. It’s supposed to be sunny today which I’m really looking forward to, my sister and I are supposed to run errands after I get home from work and not having to drive in the rain is going to be great.

The temps are quickly dropping and we’re supposed to get snow that actually sticks next week 😩 just in time for trick-or-treating 😩

Speaking of trick-or-treating I’m kind of sad because I’m not sure I can dress up this year, I think my brother’s are either doing something Harry Potter related or are going as the grim reaper and a minecraft monster? They told me their ideas weeks ago and clearly I’m a great sister because I can’t remember whatsoever. I’ve been so busy with work and school that I haven’t been able to plan a costume out. Halloween is my favorite holiday and costumes and makeup are my freaking favorites and I think I’ve only missed one year of dressing up since I was a kid. I was kind of thinking of either trying to pull off a deer or fairy look (because it’s 99% makeup for those looks). Might just throw on a witch hat too. Will try looking for stuff while I’m out with my sister tonight.

Right now I’m reading Ninth House and absolutely LOVING it. I have about 150 pages left and I don’t want it to end! I’m honestly so glad that my most anticipated read of the year is living up to my expectations, I was so nervous.

I went hiking last weekend and am hopefully going to go hiking again this weekend. I might even be stopping by this really cool sculpture park if I can manage it. There’s a whole lot of homework that I have to do this weekend though. Not going to lie but one of my classes is really disappointing me. The strictness and formalness of online professors is honestly really bumming me out. Like the rules and requirements for one of my assignments is so long that I almost had a panic attack because it convinced me that there was no way I could possibly pass. OH and I got docked a point on a video project for NOT SAYING GOODBYE. Yeah, let’s just say I’m not a fan.

On a happier note (kind of) I made new Instagram accounts! My nature/hiking account is @amelia.rosin and my Bookstagram is @amelia.and.her.books Instagram was a really toxic platform for me and it brings back a lot of not so great memories so I’m trying hard not to let it get to me this time. If you decide to follow me on there, go for it, just don’t expect much from me because there’s a good chance I’ll end up deleting it if it stresses me out.

Things are busy and hectic at work and I’m definitely feeling the strain of trying to do school, work, and this blog. This blog is one of the only good things I have left and I’m trying so hard not to let it fall to the wayside. If I can just make it through to the end of the semester I have a whole month to take a break from school. Balance has never been something I was good at and I’m realizing even more as I get older how bad I am at time management and balance.

So I think that’s just about everything going on in my life right now. Lots of school, way too much work, and not enough reading and happy things. I need a good long nap and a week of recovery time. But since I’m not going to get that, I will continue to consume a boatload of caffeine and go from there. Have a great day everyone 🙂

 

 

Asexual Awareness Week!!!

It is now coming to the close of Asexual Awareness Week 2019 and I felt like I wanted to make a post before it ended.

Back when I was a young teen, I was scrolling through Tumblr (as was my daily routine back then) and stumbled across a post talking about asexuality. It felt like a lightbulb went off in my head and I remember then frantically googling more about what being asexual meant and all the puzzle pieces finally started to fall into place.

When I was younger, it was easy not to realize that anything was different about me, but by the time high school hit and all the raging hormones had started to set in, I felt weird when people talked about things. Like my best friend at the time had discovered smutty fanfiction and I found myself grossed out by it… I spent more time calling out the poor writing than anything else. I didn’t understand what people meant when they talked about how attractive someone’s body was or how they wanted to sleep with someone. If I had a crush on someone, I didn’t fantasize about kissing them or anything further, all I could think about was holding hands or sitting and reading books together. I turned really quickly to “I’M SAVING MYSELF FOR MARRIAGE” so that I could avoid talking about sex. It was a great excuse.

Realizing that I was asexual was a mind-blowing experience, I’m not even going to lie. I’m still trying to sort out other aspects of my sexuality but I know for a fact that I am asexual. Sometimes I’m still nervous to talk about the fact that I’m asexual. For the most part, it’s an irrelevant conversation so I try to keep it to myself but I just wanted to share it for this week.

I’m aware that asexuals have vastly different struggles than other LGBT+ people but honestly I’ve spent a lot of time wishing that I could just be “normal”. I don’t think I can even list all the people that have ghosted me upon finding out that I’m asexual, so at this point I’ve given up on the idea of dating.

I guess I should try and stop rambling and just say, hey asexuals exist and we’re all vastly different and if you have any questions feel free to ask!! I love talking about this with people!!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’d Give Different Titles To

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

The topic for this week is books I’d give different titles to. It stumped me for a really long time until it finally dawned on me that I could try and be funny and rename books that I absolutely hated.

So I just want to add this disclaimer that I’m totally doing this in a joking manner. I know that not everyone hates these books and I just wanted to poke fun at some books that have made me mad over the years.

And with that out of the way, I’m going to start with Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. A little backstory with this one, I’ve had to read it three (3) times and it just gets more and more painful every time. It was required reading in my honors English class for my freshman year in high school and then at the end of my junior year, they switched up all the curriculum and WOW Great Ex was now the required summer reading for AP Literature for seniors… So guess who had to reread Great Ex for her senior year? Yep. This person. I just despise every single character in this book so. much.

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My new title for Great Ex? Why No One Should Fall In Love or also JOE DESERVES BETTER but like who’s going to pick up a book with that title? lol. I need to move on or else I’m going to go on a rant about this book and I’m already in a heated mood so let’s just get on with it.

Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey

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This book just gets worse every time I think about it. I’d like to rename it “Clowning for Him” because the main character (while also being a literal clown) is a damn clown for getting with the guy she got with. Also runner up title is “Travis Ford and the Handful of Little Sister Tit” (Y’all I still can’t understand why that was an actual published phrase in this novel)

Made You Up by Francesca Zappia

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Read This if You Want to Know How Schizophrenia Doesn’t Work” I’m still considering doing a rant review about this book but also I don’t feel like I have the authority to say all my thoughts about it… But seriously go read some of the reviews by people with schizophrenia or who are actual licensed psychologists etc. Very eye opening to how bad this book was.

Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

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Underage Sex in the Wilderness” or “We’re Only Enemies Because We Don’t Know How to Talk to Each Other.”

See How She Dies by Lisa Jackson

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Incest? Incest.” (GUYS I’M SORRY I’M DOING A GOOD JOHN GREEN TITLE DIRTY LIKE THIS BUT I THOUGHT IT WAS HILARIOUS.)

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

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Get Out While You Still Can” or “———–” because I’d like to just erase this book from existence 🙂 sometimes I forget it exists tbh.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitgerald

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Stop It, Get Some Help” Yes. The title is just a Vine. Oh, honestly this could be the new title for like 5 different books I’ve read.

I think that’s where I’m going to leave it for this weeks post.

 

Middle Grade Monday: The Memory Keeper by Jennifer Camiccia

I was super excited when I was granted access to an eARC to The Memory Keeper by Jennifer Camiccia. It follows a girl named Lulu who has a Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory. This is an incredibly uncommon phenomenon but it was such a fascinating concept to center the story around. If you don’t know what HSAM is, it essentially means that Lulu remembers every second of her life.

Lulu lives with her parents, little brother, and grandmother. She had a younger sister who I think passed away from SIDs but it wasn’t explicitly stated. Her parents have struggled immensely with this and on top of that her mother is dealing with postpartum depression as well. So Lulu leans on her grandmother heavily, which makes it even scarier when her grandma starts having problems with her memory. When Lulu realizes the scope of her own memory, she tries to collect her grandmother’s in order to help her in day to day life. Lulu wonders if the reason that her grandmother is losing her memory is because of a traumatic event, just as a traumatic event can trigger HSAM, she reads that it could also trigger memory loss. So Lulu goes in search of her grandmother’s past in order to save her memory and save her family.

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So I loved this book. Absolutely loved it. Was it super realistic? No, but it was emotional and heartfelt and deep while at the same time balanced with lighthearted jokes and fun friendship moments. Memory issues are a hard topic for me and I couldn’t help but get emotional a lot throughout this book. I know a few people that have dealt with or are dealing with Alzheimers and I myself have dealt with a great deal of memory loss due to mental health problems. It was painful to see how much Lulu was scared of losing her grandma if anyone found out what she was struggling with.

There was also quite a candid discussion of postpartum depression and grief and it was hard to see how Lulu struggled with her relationship with her parents but eye opening to read from the side of a child in a situation like this.

The side “quest” I guess is what I would call it that followed Lulu and her friends, Max and Olivia, in trying to also uncover Lulu’s grandma’s past was too funny. They took their roles of detectives so seriously and I really enjoyed seeing how their relationships developed and changed as the book progressed. I genuinely loved each of the characters in this book and it warmed my heart to see them heal even just a little by the time the book ended.

Another thing that I really loved about this book was that each chapter opened with a short description of some part of the brain and how it functions. Considering the book centered around a story in which the brain and memory was a central feature, I thought this was really interesting! It was educational and easy to understand and I really liked that.

This book felt reminiscent of The Ghost Collector  in that both main characters are dealing with something really difficult and are doing everything in their power to fix what they are struggling with. I highly recommend both.

 

Review: Wilder Girls by Rory Power

Do you ever read a book and then just spend forever rolling it over in your mind because you have literally no idea what you think of it? That was this book for me.

Wilder Girls by Rory power was an incredibly highly anticipated read of this year and while it didn’t sound quite up my alley (books about quarantine and disease are not usually a hit for me) I was looking forward to giving it a try.

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It follows a dual perspective of two girls at Raxter School for Girls, a boarding school that has been placed under a quarantine for the last 18 months after a mysterious disease called the Tox took over the island. They’re completely cut off from the world while the disease changes everything in strange and violent ways. Girls have grown gills, second spines, scales, and more. It’s essentially supposed to be the female version of Lord of the Flies (which I get but also it’s vastly different so…) So with that really brief description, let’s get into the review.

I think I’m just going to start right off with my star rating. It took me over an hour to decide on this but I went with three stars.

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I thought this started off incredibly slowly and up until about 150 pages in I was tempted to DNF this. There were definitely small pieces of the story that kept me wanting to continue so in the end I kept going.

The story itself was really compelling, it brought up so many questions about what could possibly be happening to this island and these girls. The plot is what kept me connected to the book and essentially nothing else. I didn’t really connect with any of the characters, I definitely empathized with them and their situation but I felt like I barely knew anything about any of them. When they switched perspectives from Hetty to Byatt, it was really jarring. I mean it was over 100 pages into the book by the time that happened so it felt weird to all of a sudden read from another perspective.

I also didn’t feel like this perspective change was all that well done. Byatt had a very distinctive voice but her pieces didn’t really fill in many holes of the story, they just added more. By the end of the book I had so many questions that I was shocked that I had reached the final page. This book was marketed as a standalone and I have absolutely no idea how it could possibly have just ended the way it did. I mean talk about a cliffhanger.

I enjoyed the crazy crescendo that was the ending of this book. But again, all the unanswered questions just left me wondering why the heck I just spent two days reading this. I wanted to get to the end and find a resolution and the fact that there wasn’t one left me mulling over why I had read this book in the first place. Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand why some people would absolutely love this book but I also understand why there are people who wouldn’t like it. If I had known there weren’t going to be answers waiting for me at the end of this book, I don’t think I would have pushed through that beginning portion, so now I’m really stuck wondering if we’ll ever get a sequel, or maybe just some sort of epilogue.

This was marketed as a feminist Lord of the Flies and honestly, I really and truly don’t understand that. It’s a survival story at heart, I’ll give them that, but that’s as far as I’d take the comparison… Also I don’t care but I’m going to say it and say that changing the entire cast of characters to female doesn’t inherently make it feminist (because that’s essentially the only thing I could take from that comparison, idk). I’m interested to see what Rory Power writes next, her writing is quite nice and I really hope that in her next books her characters stand out as much as her story does. I think she creates a spectacular story but I just wish that everything else didn’t fall so flat.

If you’re looking for a borderline scary and a little bit gory YA survival story, I would recommend trying this. But if you’re hoping for something that hands you the plot all wrapped up in a box with a bow on top, this isn’t for you.

 

ï»żMy Favorite Quotes From: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

I started this blog series back in December of 2015 during which I made posts that chronicled my favorite quotes from each Harry Potter book. Since I fell off the Blogmas bandwagon pretty early on (and also finals and winter break zapped all my energy and reading time) I only made it through the first two books of the series. So over THREE years later here I am to start up these posts again, obviously starting with book three Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

If you’d like to catch up and read what my favorite quotes were from the first two books here are those links: Book 1 // Book 2

So on a quick side note, does it bug anyone else that the third movie begins with Harry using magic?? Like there’s no way he’s getting away with that, in the book he uses a flashlight. Honestly, how they got away with that is beyond me, it makes no sense. Okay, mini rant over!

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I actually want to get or make a graphic with this and hang it up in my room someday. One of my favorite optimistic quotes.

Harry ate breakfast each morning in the Leaky Cauldron, where he liked watching the other guests: funny little witches from the country, up for a day’s shopping; venerable-looking wizards arguing over the latest article in Transfiguration Today; wild-looking warlocks; raucous dwarfs; and once, what looked suspiciously like a hag, who ordered a plate of raw liver from behind a thick woolen balaclava. Page 49

People watching is so much fun to me, I love seeing how other people interact and act and just how they go about their own lives. It’s intriguing and I think this quote is so interesting. I would LOVE to sit in the Leaky Cauldron for a couple of hours and just watch all the customers come and go. It would be so cool! Also on this page I found one of those really rare times that a British spelling of a word made it past the editors! Honestly, finding typos, or other mistakes, or just weird coincidences like this are so satisfying. Really strange, but true. The word woolen was spelled with two L’s in my copy of the book.

Harry spent the long sunny days exploring the shops and eating under the brightly colored umbrellas outside cafes, where his fellow diners were showing one another their purchases (it’s a lunascope, old boy – no more messing around with moon charts, see?”) or else discussing the case of Sirius Black (“personally, I won’t let any of the children out alone until he’s back in Azkaban”). Harry didn’t have to do his homework under the blankets by flashlight anymore; now he could sit in the bright sunshine outside Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlor, finishing all his essays with occasional helps from Florean Fortescue himself, who, apart from knowing a great deal about medieval witch burnings, gave Harry free sundaes every half an hour. Page 50

I love the sense of community within this quote. Also I wish I could do wizard homework! With the description of the brightly colored umbrellas I can’t help but picture all these cafes in like beautiful pastel colors. No idea why that’s what is coming to mind but I like it!

“Don’t be ridiculous, Ron,” said Mr. Weasley, who on closer inspection looked very strained. “Black’s not going to be caught by a thirteen-year-old wizard. It’s the Azkaban guards who’ll get him back, you mark my words.” Page 61

Hahahahahahahahahahaha.

Did he, now?” said Madam Pomfrey approvingly. “So we’ve finally got a Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher who knows his remedies?” Page 90

Honestly, Lupin was hands down the best DADA teacher Hogwarts had in the time Harry was there.

Harry leaned forward to see Hagrid, who was ruby-red in the face and staring down at his enormous hands, his wide grin hidden in the tangle of his black beard. “We should’ve known!” Ron roared, pounding the table. “Who else would have assigned us a biting book?” Page 93

This is from right after they found out that Hagrid was the new Care of Magical Creatures teacher. I love the support that the students give him, especially the Gryffindor students. I also included what Ron said because it’s so true. No one but Hagrid would assign a biting book!

“Really, what has got into you all today?” said Professor McGonagall, turning back into herself with a faint pop, and staring around at them all. “Not that it matters, but that’s the first time my transformation’s not got applause from a class.” Everybody’s heads turned toward Harry again, but nobody spoke. Then Hermione raised her hand. “Please, Professor, we’ve just had our first Divination class, and we were reading the tea leaves, and-” “Ah, of course,” said Professor McGonagall, suddenly frowning. “There is no need to say any more, Miss Granger. Tell me, which of you will be dying this year?” Page 109

This is honestly hilarious. I love how McGonagall is just so nonchalant about this. It makes me giggle every time I read this part. McGonagall is just completely done with Trelawney and her death omens.

Hagrid stopped dead, staring at Harry as though he’d only just realized he was there. “WHAT D’YEH THINK YOU’RE DOIN’, EH?” he roared, so suddenly that they jumped a foot in the air. “YEH’RE NOT TO GO WANDERIN’ AROUND AFTER DARK, HARRY! AN’ YOU TWO! LETTIN’ HIM!” Page 122

This whole scene is funny, I know it probably shouldn’t be because Hagrid is so distraught but at the same time it’s funny. How he has to dunk his head in a water barrel to “sober up” before he realizes that the trio actually left the castle at night to see him.

Crookshanks slowly chewed up the spider, his yellow eyes fixed insolently on Ron. Page 145

Crookshanks is such a sassy character and I really wish he was in the books more. Or that he played more of a role in the movies too, that would’ve been fun to see. Also if any of you are as well versed in Harry Potter theories as I am I’m sure you’ve heard of the Crookshanks headcanon, which makes me like him even more throughout the course of this book.

Here’s the headcanon for those who don’t know of it.

“Where is Wood?” said Harry, suddenly realizing he wasn’t there.

“Still in the showers,” said Fred. “We think he’s trying to drown himself. Page 180

Honestly, I really wish that Olive Wood was more of a central character in the movies as he was in the books. Despite the fact that I love the Harry Potter movies, I truly think that they left out some really great stuff.

They had never seen eye to eye with Hagrid about what he called “interesting creatures” and other people called “terrifying monsters”. Page 218

“Crackers!” said Dumbledore enthusiastically, offering the end of a large silver noisemaker to Snape, who took it reluctantly and tugged. With a bang like a gunshot, the cracker flew apart to reveal a large, pointed witch’s hat topped with a stuffed vulture. Page 227

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Professor Trelawney gave Professor McGonagall a very cold look.

“Certainly I knew, Minerva,” she said quietly. “But one does not parade the fact that one is All-Knowing. I frequently act as though I am not possessed of the Inner Eye, so as not to make others nervous.”

“That explains a great deal,” said Professor McGonagall tartly. Page 229

Honestly, I love the beef between Trelawney and McGonagall. Cracks me up.

Mr. Padfoot would like to register his astonishment that an idiot like that ever became a professor. Page 287

This whole scene gets me every dang time. I hate Snape with my absolute whole soul and love that the freaking map makes fun of him for trying to crack it open. And then when Snape is like “don’t you think he got it directly from the manufacturers.” Oh boy I wish that line had been in the movie.

[He] held him out for Crookshanks to sniff. “What do’you reckon?” Ron asked the cat. “Definitely an owl?” Crookshanks purred. Page 434

I forgot about how Ron got his owl, oh this scene was funny. It’s been so long since I’ve read these books, it’s weird getting back into the story. Like I know it all so well but it’s vividly different from what I remember. But I will say it’s always like going home, it’s a story I know like the back of my hand and I can’t wait to get back into the rest of the books.

 

 

 

 

I Saw The Movie First: Jurassic Park

One huge taboo in the book community has always been watching the movie before reading the book… Or just watching only the movie. I used to be so adamant about making sure that I read the book first that there were some movies that I went years without watching solely because I hadn’t gotten around to reading the book yet.

Now I’ve become really relaxed on my “Must read the book first rule” and I also have come to find out that a ton of my favorite (or old favorite) movies were actually based off of books! So I figured, might as well use it to my advantage and write some blog posts comparing books and movies.

Does anyone else get an incredibly weird feeling when they go into a book that they’ve already watched the movie for? Like that is definitely how I felt when I reread Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton last weekend. Jurassic Park is in my top 5 favorites movies of all times. I even have a quote from the movie tattooed on my thigh!! I think the first time I ever watched the movie I was 6 or 7 and it terrified me. To the extent that I had a reoccurring nightmare about getting chased by a t-rex for over 10 years! But now, I’ve come to love the movie and have used it to allow myself to foster my obsession with all things dinosaur.

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I first read the book version of Jurassic Park in 2017 and then reread it last weekend. It’s an insanely fascinating book but one that I could see a lot of people not enjoying anywhere near as much as the movie. It leans heavily on the sciencey side of things and goes into incredible detail explaining everything. It took me a while to get through it but I thoroughly enjoyed it in the end.

Personally, I think both the book and the movie are absolute masterpieces. The main thing that differs within the book is how much more heavily they focus on the velociraptors. There’s an entire subplot about them that is taken out of the movie entirely and it’s just, wow. *chef’s kiss* And there are two t-rex’s which is fascinating getting to see how that works out.

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The way they changed the characters for the movie too is interesting. They aged up Ellie and aged down Grant, I think mainly to add in that underlying romance between the two because in the book, Ellie is engaged to someone else and Grant is almost twice her age! In the book, Tim is the older child while Lex is the younger. Oh! And IAN MALCOLM IS BALD. Y’all, the whole time I was reading this I was picturing a bald Jeff Goldblum… Oh, I laugh every time. Everyone essentially has the same personality in the movie and I think they did a great job with the cast and characterization of everyone. I have a really hard time with making my own picture of a character in my head so while I tried to come up with new pictures of the characters in the book, I mostly just put the movie actors in there instead…. Even if they don’t match the book description.

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There are definitely a lot of scenes within the book that are left out of the movie and I really enjoyed going more in depth with learning about Jurassic Park and everything inside it while reading the book. I really can’t say that I enjoyed either one more because they’re so alike but so different in really good ways. I feel like a lot of times it leans one way or the other with a book or movie being better but I’m happy to say that at least for me, this pair is spectacular all around.

Now I just want to watch all the Jurassic Park movies again…