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One of my New Year’s resolutions for 2012 is to read a book each week for the rest of the year. Writing about it will hopefully keep me motivated to read more! Feel free to recommend a book you love!

 

 

No, no, no, no, no. NO. No.

Uglies is one of those books I’ve constantly seen on library bookshelves or in bookstores but never bothered to read. From the most predictable blurb on the back, “Everybody gets to be supermodel gorgeous. What could be wrong with that?” to the most revolting first sentence “The early summer sky was the color of cat vomit,” I just couldn’t bring myself to ever read this book. However, I caved. I went on Amazon and Goodreads, read the reviews and was convinced that I would always wonder what this book that has been sitting on all those shelves was about. I wasn’t convinced enough to pay full price (thank god) but nevertheless.

The main character of the story is a girl named Tally Youngblood who is about to turn 16. In her world, turning 16 is life changing because that is the age when everybody undergoes an operation to become beautiful. Your face becomes perfectly symmetrical, your eyes big and sparkling, perfect pout, perfect body; nothing is compromised. However, a few weeks before her birthday Tally meets a new friend, Shay. Shay doesn’t desire to become pretty but instead wants to sneak away to a secret community on the outside. After Shay runs away, the authorities force the worst ultimatum upon Tally; find Shay and bring her back to the city or never turn pretty. Throughout her journey, she learns a dark secret about those who turn pretty and her perspective on the world she lives in begins to change.

I’m actually disappointed not because I have to write a bad review but more because I decided to read this book in the first place. I like to take pride in the fact that I usually pick out great books. The first 2 nights, I read about 50-something pages but had to put the book down both times because the story wasn’t getting anywhere. Today, out of curiosity, I had to keep reading just to see where the story was heading. So I stuck it out and finally reached the end. There was no excitement, no real depth to the characters and no mystery. My imagination just couldn’t get into that zone where I slip into a different world. Simply put, the story could have been great but was poorly executed.

In all honesty, I would not recommend this book. I don’t understand how it has received more than a 3 star rating or great reviews even but that’s just my opinion.

Does anyone else who has read this feel the same?

I had some time on my hands this week, so I went a little crazy on Amazon and purchased some books. I’ve been slightly literature deprived and felt this was a more justifiable form of online shopping. These were ordered a few days ago so the expected date of delivery is supposedly mid-June. However, from past experiences it usually takes about a month so we’ll see how this goes.

Anyway, here is my recent book haul!

Beautiful Creatures Trilogy by Kami Garcia

 

 

 

 

 

 

Delirium and Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Divergent and Insurgent by Veronica Roth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Matched by Ally Condie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 13th Tribe by Robert Liparulo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Someone Knows My Name by Lawrence Hill

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank by Ellen Feldman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m really excited to start reading these! Some of the genres are a little different from what I’d normally pick out but I thought I’d give them a try. Stay tuned for future reviews and let me know if you’ve read any of these books before!🙂

Well hi there.  So before anyone prepares to laugh in my face about how much of a mess I’ve been with this resolution of writing a blog, I’d like a chance to defend myself. Obviously I have not fallen off the face of the earth. Though I may be somewhere underneath the weight of my textbooks and the some-hundred pages of reading I’ve been slammed with. Basically, the past 2 months have been a change in pace. I’m now back in Tokyo and have been dealing with moving dorms, going back to school, struggling to get internet, finding time to write, feeling inspired to write, feeling lazy et cetera et cetera.

However, before simply diving in, I think I’d like to take some time to personally apologize to my blog. I have not been attentive and committed as I’d promised and fully take responsibility for the time we have been apart. We are now in the process of making up and hopefully, with time, we will be able to work through our issues and put this behind us.

Alright, diving in.

I just want to put this out there and say that I believe that I was a nomad in my past life. Why? Well, since you asked… For the past 19 years my family has been moving to a new house/apartment/city every 2 years like clock-work. And now, living in Tokyo, this would be my third time moving since I got here. Which would be less than a year and half ago.

On second thought….

My campus doesn’t really have a student dorm so I have this wonderful stressful option of finding a place of my own, anywhere in the city. Miles away from school, walking distance from school, anywhere. My last place was easily an hour train ride away from campus, so logically I wanted to move somewhere closer. Luckily I found a dorm that is 15 minutes away. “That’s great!” you say. Well sure. The problem was I didn’t exactly think the entire thing through. I don’t have a car and there are no moving trucks for the purpose of moving from dorm-to-dorm. My only means of transportation were train or taxi (which is not an option because I am a broke, college kid *cheers*).

“I have that book we were talking about 5 years ago! I’m sure it around that pile over there…”

I must’ve either been a very sentimental nomad or the crucial point of possessing little amount of stuff just didn’t translate into my present life. My recent move seriously gave me some perspective on how much STUFF I own. I mean, why on flippin’ earth do I have all this stuff and where did it all come from?? Yes, I moved all my belongings in more or less than 20 trips back and forth from one end of Tokyo to the other end by train. And let me tell you if, like me, you’re the type of person who tends to keep everything because “you might wear/use/need it later” or “it’s nice to have memories,” 2 hour train rides with bags that weigh about a ton may just be the trick to finally getting rid of all that crap you really don’t need.

BP: 4 weeks
Maybe being on MTV would’ve helped a bit.

With all this excitement going on in my life, I was also desperately trying to get Wi-Fi. This took a good month and several outbursts on my part. Being 19 (still underage) and living alone in Japan is so aggravating because a lot of things require parental consent. Like getting internet. Things are extremely bureaucratic here so it’s not at all surprising that there are like, 10 forms to fill out for everything you do. But this – to send the form overseas, have my parents fill it out and send it back, only to have it rejected because I filled out my own address and the entire form wasn’t in the same handwriting , send out another form, have it filled out again, only to have it rejected because I didn’t have a copy of my parents’ passport, wait another week to go back to the store because I am an incredibly busy college girl, go back and literally pray that there will be an end to this ridiculous cycle, and finally walk out that door with a router in hand – was a whole different level of insane.

Fortunately, though more delayed than planned, I am settled and ready to take on the rest of this semester and continue to write again.

On that note, ‘til next time!🙂

One of my New Year’s resolutions for 2012 is to read a book each week for the rest of the year. Writing about it will hopefully keep me motivated to read more! Feel free to recommend a book you love!

 

I actually borrowed this book randomly at the library. It caught my attention because the title reminded me of the movie Night at the Museum. If I remember correctly it was about toys running around creating havoc every night in a museum. I think that’s the one. Anyway, in other words, not very memorable. By then I was extremely turned off and ready to put the book back to its shelf. Thank god I scanned the accolades before putting it back or I would have missed out on “one of the funniest books to come out of Britain in years.”

The book is narrated by Ruby Lennox from the moment of her conception. She begins her story from an adorable exclamation “I exist!”  and takes us through her daily life in York. As she grows up she realizes there are missing pieces and family secrets which she has been excluded from. In come the chapters (or Footnotes as she calls them) which stories of previous generations are weaved through. By doing so, Ruby builds a clearer knowledge of her family’s history. While there are several laugh-out-loud moments, Ruby’s story is not at all light. There are tragic moments and dark secrets which make the book even more compelling.

Atkinson developed an extremely charming characteristic in Ruby which made her very likable. From the beautiful use of imagery to the perfect amount of humor, I thought this book was a surprising breath of fresh air. I absolutely loved reading this and am glad to have stumbled upon it – even by accident. For those who are looking for something different and original, this is definitely the book for you.

What have you been reading?🙂

One of my New Year’s resolutions for 2012 is to read a book each week for the rest of the year. Writing about it will hopefully keep me motivated to read more! Feel free to recommend a book you love!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I finally finished The Hunger Games series. I really want to say that the rest of the books were just as amazing as the first one but there’s just something about the Catching Fire which didn’t quite appeal to me. In my opinion, after all the excitement and adrenaline in The Hunger Games, the second book seemed slow at first; it quickly redeemed itself towards the second half though.

The main character, Katniss, develops admirably throughout the course of the series and I think Mockingjay really highlighted her growth and strength. She is able to face her faults as a person and really starts to take control to achieve what she believes in. The ending (especially the epilogue) was a little weak for my taste, and semi-predictable. That may be the only complain I have for this book.

I went through both books very fast. Right after I was finished with Catching Fire I picked up Mockingjay and was able to finish it in one sitting. Which was nice for a change.

The movie is supposed to be coming out soon and I’m so excited for it (I’m sure I’ve already said). I definitely have high hopes and am glad I went through the books beforehand. I highly recommend!

What’ve you been reading?🙂

Kony 2012

 

Joseph Kony. Infamous leader of Christian terrorist group, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), has been reported to have abducted over 30,000 boys and girls in Uganda in the past nearly 30 years, forcing them into becoming child soldiers and sex slaves. His sole purpose is to maintain his power.

 

Despite his heinous crimes and inhumane actions, he has yet to be found and arrested. However, because the majority of the world does not know who he is, Kony remains invisible

 

In order to spread this message, please take 30 minutes to watch this video and share it with everyone you know. Together, we can demand justice and change the lives of children who deserve to live and return home to their families.

 

 

I pledge to help make Joseph Kony famous by watching and sharing KONY 2012. I will use my voice to influence cultural and policy makers to raise the profile of the conflict. I will Stop at Nothing.

Sign the Pledge

Join TRI or Donate to Invisible Children

 

 

 

 

One of my New Year’s resolutions for 2012 is to read a book each week for the rest of the year. Writing about it will hopefully keep me motivated to read more! Feel free to recommend a book you love!

Khaled Hosseini in A Thousand Splendid Suns tells a heartbreaking story about two women, Miriam and Laila, living in Kabul, Afghanistan, who struggle to survive under the rule of the Taliban and the despicable treatment of their husband. They experience first-hand, the brutality and fears of war but are able to endure and overcome obstacles together through their remarkable friendship and love.

Ever since 9/11, Muslims and the Islam faith have been branded with a negative stereotype which has more than often been magnified by the media. While there are people who speak out in order to educate people of the differences between the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, and citizens of Afghanistan, scrutiny and collective racial discrimination is still common. After reading this book I find that I’ve been among those who have been ignorant of many things regarding this culture.

Hosseini does a wonderful job describing difficulties women undergo with each regime change over the span of some 30 years as well as showing the strength and tenacious spirit of Miriam and Laila.

A Thousand Splendid Suns is unforgettable, very powerful and had several moments where I was moved to tears. It is a book that will highlight acts of love, sacrifice and hope in the midst of the dark side of humans. There is something everyone can take away from this story and I would highly recommend it.

What have you been reading?

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