The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

This book met all of my expectations. It was funny, cute, and fast moving. I think this book has an excellent message that everyone needs to hear. It’s a great reminder of how every choice we make has the ability to change someone else’s life. This book also deals with some very relevant topics, like racism, and immigration.

Summary:

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

Goodreads

Favorite things:

Dual point of views. They were amazing. Daniel and Natasha had very distinct voices, something that I feel like is often lost in YA dual POVs novels. I especially liked all of the chapters from minor/side characters povs. I loved seeing that outside perspective and how those characters decisions really affected Daniel and Natasha’s day. My favorite was Irene, we had a total of less than 10ish pages with her, but I found myself thinking about her and caring about her almost as deeply as I cared about the main characters.

The plot. The whole book takes place over the course of 12 hours so of course it moves quickly. That being said I never felt like it was rushed.

That ending. This belongs in my favorite and not so favorite things. This ending made me cry from sadness and happiness on literally the same page.

Not so Favorite things:

There’s only one thing that I didn’t like. It’s the one question that is left unanswered. What happened to her and Bev, her best friend?

Some favorite quotes:

“I didn’t know you this morning, and now I don’t remember not knowing you.”

“Maybe part of falling in love with someone else is also falling in love with yourself.”

The quills:

Cursing?

Yep, the f word is used a fair amount.

Physical romance?

There are some intense kisses, but it’s all PG13

Gore?

Nope.

Will you cry?

I shed a couple of tears and had to resits the urge to throw the book at one point.

Overall rating?

Five out of Five hedgehogs.

The Author:

Nicola Yoon, be sure to check out her website.

Her debut novel, Everything, Everything is getting a movie! It comes out this year.

Have you read The Sun is Also a Star? If so who do you think you are most like, Daniel or Natasha?

Photo source

Hello 2017, I swear I’m still here

Hello everyone! I’m so excited to finally be back from my disappearance. I have been sick literally the whole month of January. In fact I didn’t even read a single book in the month of January, (shameful I know). I have been teaching then coming home and doing next to nothing. I have however watched the first three seasons of Parenthood on Netflix.

Thankfully, I am finally back to feeling more like myself this week. I was going to post a whole 2016 recap but I think it’s a bit late for that one, so I am just going to move on and not look in the past. I am so excited for February, I can’t believe that it has been almost a year since I started this blog. I’ve got some fun posts planned for this month, and some books that I hope to get around to reading. I’m already sort of behind on my 2017 goals but I’m gonna post them anyway and try to catch up.

Reading

  • Read 50 books. Every year I try to read 100 books and every year I fail. So I decided that this year I wouldn’t set myself up for failure again. I think I may actually reach my goal this year.
  • Finally read a classic or two.

 

Blogging

  • Hit 100 followers
  • Post at least once a week
  • Receive an ARC

 

Writing

  • Start my middle grade book
  • Finish edits for my Camp NaNo novel
  • Win one of the Camp NaNos or NaNoWriMo

 

That’s about it. I know this is super sort but hey it’s a blog post right? What are some of your goals for 2017? Anyone else already falling behind?

November Recap

November was an exciting month. I updated the blog a lot and attempted NaNoWriMo. It went by super quickly and I’m so excited that Christmas is almost here!

Books I read:

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

I only read one book this month and I’m glad it was this one.

Posts:

Booktoberfest Haul

Paper Towns

Me and Earl and The Dying Girl

Camp NaNo Editing update

Favorite book of the month:

The Sun is Also a Star. My review should be up later this week.

Things I did this month:

I had a birthday. My birthday was great, my mom made me cheesecake and my students showered me with handmade cards. It was great.

I changed my blog, a lot. It got a new shiny URL with a name to match. I’m way happier with my blog now than I was before.

I failed NaNoWriMo. Which makes me sad, but if I hadn’t failed it then I wouldn’t have started editing my Camp NaNo book from April.

I took my class to the aquarium. It was super fun, we learned a lot, and I sort of want to write a story involving an aquarium now.

I met Nicola Yoon. It was a lot of fun, I’m still working on my post for that even though.

Me and Earl and The Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

I have some mixed feelings about this book. This book wasn’t what I expected it to be. It claimed to be different than The Fault in Our Stars, and it did deliver in that area. There is little to no romance involved, and what I thought was interesting is that even though Rachel (the dying girl) is the whole reason this story is even happening, I didn’t feel like the story really included her all that much.

Summary:

Greg Gaines is the last master of high school espionage, able to disappear at will into any social environment. He has only one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time making movies, their own incomprehensible versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics.

Until Greg’s mother forces him to rekindle his childhood friendship with Rachel.

Rachel has been diagnosed with leukemia—-cue extreme adolescent awkwardness—-but a parental mandate has been issued and must be obeyed. When Rachel stops treatment, Greg and Earl decide the thing to do is to make a film for her, which turns into the Worst Film Ever Made and becomes a turning point in each of their lives.

And all at once Greg must abandon invisibility and stand in the spotlight

Goodreads

Favorite things:

The formats. If you’ve been around here for awhile, you know that I love books with different and fun formats. This book had some great ones. I really loved the one with the newspaper headlines summing days up. It was a brilliant way to skip time without making you feel like you just jumped a week ahead without any warning. There were times when he summed up dialog with bullet points, and there are scenes written in script format.

Greg. I liked Greg, most of the time. The rest of it I spent annoyed with him. He seemed kind of whiny. At first I liked the paragraphs when he was like this book is so terrible, and I don’t understand why you would keep reading it and on and on. When I first started reading this book I loved them, I thought they were really relateable and funny, but after a while they just got old.

The films. I loved hearing about all of their different films and film ideas. They were funny and entertaining to read.

 

Not so Favorite things:

The humor. Some of the humor was so vulgar I literally cringed. What Earl thinks is funny and what I think is funny are two very different things.

 

Some favorite quotes:

“When you convert a good book to a film. stupid things happen”

“I am the Thomas Edison of conversational stupidity.”

 

The quills:

Cursing?

Yep, I think the f word is used a fair amount, and there is a lot of profanity.

Physical romance?

No, but it is graphically talked about.

Gore?

Not really

Will you cry?

I didn’t, but I think there is a high chance that you will.

Overall rating?

3 out of 5 hedgehogs, it wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t one that I would recommend to my friends. I would have given it 2.5 but the different formats bumped it up to 3.

 

The Author:

Jesse Andrews here is his website.

I feel like I’m the only one who didn’t find this book to be hilarious. Do you think that vulgar humor is funny? Have you read this book? Will you read this book?

Photo source

October Recap

October was a terrible reading month, I read literally nothing. I didn’t do much, it was just kind of bleh. Halloween was fun, but I was lazy and didn’t bother with dressing up.  I can’t believe it’s already November, Christmas is right around the corner.

Books I read:

I actually didn’t read any books in October. Unless you count the Judy Moody book I read to my class.

Posts:

I didn’t post much either, October was just a rough month.

To write or not to Write (writing update)

NaNoWriMo (which isn’t going well at all)

Favorite book of the month:

Judy Moody Saves the World was as great as I remember it being. I love Judy Moody, she’s just so funny.

Things I did this month:

Not much, obviously. But I did start working on the big changes that I put into place on the blog this month.

Paper Towns by John Green

I wanted to like this book, I really tried to like it. I liked A Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska when I read them a few years ago, but after reading Paper Towns I wonder if they were as good as I thought they were.

Summary:

Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs into his life—dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows. After their all-nighter ends, and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues—and they’re for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew… –Goodreads

Favorite things:

John Green. His writing style is as good as I remember it being. It had so many quirky, cute, and funny moments. As always the book is filled with metaphors and imagery that is entertaining to read.

The old shopping center. I think that abandoned malls and buildings are so interesting, I loved seeing one included in a book.

Not so Favorite things:

The characters in general. Ben was just so creepy, I didn’t like him. He called girls “Honey bunnies,” and then there was that scene early on in the book about how hot he thought Q’s mom was and that whole thing was just weird. I didn’t like Margo at all. To sum her up, she was a brat. Q was alright but I spent the whole book wanting to yell at him for being so obsessed with someone who obviously didn’t care about him.

This book just made me feel agitated and annoyed in general. I think it was mainly because of Margo, I could rant about Margo for a paragraph or two but I will not.

Some favorite quotes:

“What a treacherous thing to believe that a person is more than a person.”

“The town was paper, but the memories were not.”

The quills:

Cursing?

Yep, the f word is used one or twice.

Physical romance?

Not really, but there is some discussion.

Gore?

Not really, but there is one scene that is pretty gross and I could have gone without it.

Will you cry?

Nope

Overall rating?

Two out of five hedgehogs

The Author:

John Green, who I’m sure you’ve heard of.

Website

Facebook

Have you read Paper Towns? What were your thoughts on it? Please tell me I’m not the only one who didn’t like Ben.

Photo source

Big Changes are Coming!!!

I know I’ve already been gone for a awhile, but I’m about to extend my absence for the rest of this week. I’ve got some updates to put into place on the blog, the biggest one being a name change.

I’ve been debating a name and URL change for a few months now and I’ve finally decided to do it. Books and Quills is just too popular of a name for literary related things and I really want my blog to be unique. My content won’t change and of course hedgehogs will still be involved. I can’t wait to tell you the new name of Books and Quills but I will have to wait until Saturday.

The website will still be up and I will still be responding to comments, I just won’t be publishing new posts for the rest of this week.

Until Saturday, have a great week and happy Halloween!

NaNoWriMo 2016: Yep, I’m gonna Attempt It

Well I wasn’t going to do NaNo. In fact a month or so ago I wasn’t even sure if I would be writing again… period. (You can check out this blog post to see more of that story.) But then I kept seeing all of the NaNoWriMo related posts on all the writing groups I’m in and I decided that I wanted to give it a go.

This is the notebook that I’m carrying around with me to write down ideas, snippets, character inspiration etc..  I’m gonna add some cute hedgehog stickers to it as soon and I can get find some I really like.

One of the things I loved about Camp NaNo is that I felt completely free of pressure. I didn’t ask my self if it would ever be publishable or worry about what anyone else would think if they were reading it. In fact I didn’t even care if it made sense. Nothing mattered except word count, and that was amazing.

A large part of the reason I want to attempt NaNoWriMo is that I’ve had this book that I’ve been wanting to write for a while now. It’s something I know that I will probably never do anything with but I feel like I need to write it, for me. I already know that it’s going to be a little tough to write emotionally but I hope that it will help me to work through some of my anxieties, insecurities, and maybe help me to understand some things better. I’m not sure that I will publicly share any sort of summary, quotes, or character things simply because this story is going to be so personal. Not to mention the fact that I am unusually private about my story ideas in general.

Nonetheless, I hope that you will still follow me on my journey to write 50K in a month.

Are you attempting NaNoWriMo?If so what is your story about?

 

September Recap

September was a pretty great month overall. I went to Disney World (which was great), and read A Court of Mist and Fury (which was also great), but I didn’t blog very much, (which is not so great). So far October hasn’t been much better blogging wise but there is still time to change.

Books I read:

A Court of Mist and Fury, which was AMAZING. I’ve been working on the review for it for two weeks now and I’m still not done with it. There are just too many things I liked, it’s been hard to narrow it down.

Posts:

A Court of Thorns and Roses (review) I also did a password protected spoiler post comparing Rhysand and Tamlin, if you want to check that one out go to the main review to get the password and link.

To Write or Not to Write? (writing update)

Favorite book of the month:

A Court of Mist and Fury. This book could easily be my favorite book for the whole year.

Things I did this month:

I went to Disney World, which was awesome. I love Disney World, I go almost every year with my family and it truly is the happiest place on Earth.

I got a new book idea. I haven’t started writing it yet, but I am excited about it.

To Write or Not To Write?

Yes, I know the title is over used but I’m gonna use it anyway. In short I have basically stopped writing. I wrote my Camp NaNo book in April, and then wrote less than 2000 words for a novel in July, but other than that I haven’t been writing.

Honestly, for the past two months I have been wondering if maybe writing a book just isn’t what I am supposed to do right now. If maybe it is time for me to let go of that dream, even if it’s hard to let go. But I wanted to give it my best effort so I tried to write. But all of the story ideas I had ultimately failed, and I had no new ideas to try. All of my characters seemed to have gone silent, like even they had given up on me and were out to find a new writer that could write their story.

The idea of not writing scared me. I have never been one to write every day, nor have I been one of those super dedicated writers, but writing has been a part of my life for years and I don’t know how things would change if it wasn’t. Would I lose the friends I have made through writing? Would I lose some of my interest in books?

After three weeks of trying and failing to come up with new ideas, attempting to write, and trying to figure out if any of my old ideas were worth trying again; I decided to just drop it. I decided to just let myself take a break from writing until I felt ready to try again. Besides it wasn’t like I really had the time or energy to write with school starting back and all.

Jump ahead to this past weekend. I was driving to Walmart when the best idea for a series of books popped in my head. I was so excited, I started recording a voice memo on my phone since I couldn’t pull over to write it down. There are just a few problems with my idea. A big one being that it is for middle grade readers. I’ve never written anything other than YA so flipping to MG will be a big switch, but I think it will be fun. The books will also be historical fiction, another thing I have never written before, but I’m excited to try. As nerdy as it sounds, I’m kind of looking forward to the research part of writing historical fiction.

As far as the story goes, I haven’t written down a single word yet. In fact I haven’t even written down all of the ideas that I recorded on my way to Walmart yet. I think I’m going to give it a week for my mind to process it and to think about it without pressure. In a week or two I will probably start working on jotting down ideas, getting a very loose outline together for the whole series, and start developing my characters. I’m not going to pressure myself to work at any sort of pace until I get back in to the swing of writing and in to the story.

If you write have you ever dealt with something like this? Also if you have any tips on writing MG or historical fiction I would love to hear them.

I will have my September Recap up later this week along with a review.