Discussion · personal

Discussion: YA Books with Elements of Addiction

Hello, welcome back to the blog!

This was a post I was unsure of making.

Recently I read a book in YA that had a main theme of addiction and it made me think. Should the book have been able to discuss addiction as openly as it did?

Yes, the answer does seem simple.

The main idea I’m thinking about isn’t just addiction, its how young kids have begun to read YA at. When’s a good time to introduce addiction.

Personally, I know some parents would prefer to have forewarning of if a book has any sort of theme dealing in with addiction. It’s the same way as having a trigger warning in a sense.

I want to believe the answer is a simple yes, YA books should be able to speak openly about addiction, but for former addicts. It can hurt. That’s how its the same question of the necessity of trigger warnings.

Even if the book triggers addicts, even then, where do we draw the line if we can’t define it right now?

Whether we should be thinking of how YA can affect the mindset of addiction in Young Adults or if we should be concerned with how speaking openly about addiction hurts former addicts, I’m unsure. I can’t define what the answer is. It’s an opinionated idea.

So, yes, the answer does seem simple. But there’s just so much more to the conversation than just a simple answer.

I’m done ranting for now so tell me this, what’s your opinion? How do you feel addiction should be gone about in YA novels?

Thank you for reading and have a wonderful Easter!

 

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reviews · YA

“Smoke and Key” by Kelsey Sutton (Review)

Welcome to once again another book review!

I received this book via Netgalley. This does not affect my views of the book. All opinions stated are unbiased.

STATS FOR THE BOOK

Length: 309 Pages

Publication Date: April 2nd, 2019

Goodreads Rating: 3.93 Stars out of 136 Ratings

SYNOPSIS FROM GOODREADS

“A sound awakens her. There’s darkness all around. And then she’s falling…

She has no idea who or where she is. Or why she’s dead. The only clue to her identity hangs around her neck: a single rusted key. This is how she and the others receive their names—from whatever belongings they had when they fell out of their graves. Under is a place of dirt and secrets, and Key is determined to discover the truth of her past in order to escape it.

She needs help, but who can she trust? Ribbon seems content in Under, uninterested in finding answers. Doll’s silence hints at deep sorrow, which could be why she doesn’t utter a word. There’s Smoke, the boy with a fierceness that rivals even the living. And Journal, who stays apart from everyone else. Key’s instincts tell her there is something remarkable about each of them, even if she can’t remember why.

Then the murders start; bodies that are burnt to a crisp. After being burned, the dead stay dead. Key is running out of time to discover who she was—and what secret someone is willing to kill to keep hidden—before she becomes the next victim…”

WHAT I LIKE

  • The cover is stunning! It’s a cover that you’ll see and just want to know what the story is about. The cover is always the first thing people judge so having a beautiful cover was what drew me to this book.
  • It had some creepy sort of mystery elements. It did not rely too heavily on the mystery which made the book better.
  • The intrigue didn’t stop.
  • It’s original. Now I know, I know, a lot of people think nothing can be original in the book world anymore but lemme tell ya. The world of Under is so intriguing and well thought out. It’s very imaginative and gives the sense of The Wizard of Oz and a Tim Burton movie combined but at the same time, it doesn’t. This is a world difficult to explain and that my friends are what makes it that much more unique.

WHAT DID NOT LIKE

Honestly, there’s not much about this book that I didn’t like, but here they are!

  • To start, there were some plot twists that were too predictable. It took away from the mystery aspect at times.
  • The opening of the book goes kind of slow which really gets boring. It took me a couple of days to force myself to get further in the book just because I kept getting so distracted.

OVERALL OPINIONS

I really enjoyed this book but going into it, you just have to be wary of how slow paced it can be at times. The book itself is truly wonderful if you can push past that boring beginning.

It’s one of those books that if you don’t like fantasy, you will not enjoy this book. The fantasy elements are what drive the main storyline which for me, I loved. Being taken into a world that isn’t real is just so calming.

I’d recommend this book to people who have the time to invest in reading the book.

Overall, I would give this book a 3.5 out of 5 stars. I may love the atmosphere but the pace is what really prevented me from giving this book 4 stars.

Thank you for reading! Have a great day!

Tell me, is it easy for you to get invested in slow-paced books? Do you like slow beginnings or do you like the books to jump right into the story?

 

reviews · YA

“The Path Keeper” by N.J. Simmonds (Review)

Welcome to bookland featuring a new review!

ARC provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

SYNOPSIS FROM GOODREADS

“What if every coincidence was a tiny miracle? What if our life was already mapped out before birth? What if someone had the power to change the path we were destined to follow?

Ella hates her new life in London, she misses Spain and she’s struggling to get over her past until she meets Zac. He has always loved her but he isn’t meant to be part of Ella’s story. Not this time. Not ever. Little does she know that his secret is the one thing that will tear them apart and will force her to live in a world that no longer makes sense, a world more dangerous than she could ever imagine.

The first in a thrilling new YA fantasy series, The Path Keeper is a tale of passion and secrets, of first loves and second chances, and the invisible threads that bind us. Can love ever be stronger than fate?”

WHAT DID I LIKE

  • The romance may have been very cliche at times but don’t we all love that, the feeling of knowing the couple will be together but worrying about the risk anyway
  • Angels. Just straight up Angels.
  • Forbidden Romance – This could have honestly been turned into my kind of chick flick.
  • The cover is beautiful no matter what edition you choose

WHAT I DON’T LIKE

  • The usage of sensitive topics was not covered in a great way, anyone can have trouble writing about suicide and sexual assault. Just it feels like these topics could have been at least researched, it felt like the author didn’t know what they were writing about.
  • Stereotypical romance – This is just something I love but also hate. It’s not entirely black and white but some elements just make the story bland and this is sadly one of them.
  • Zac’s “stalking” of Ella.

OVERALL OPINIONS

I can’t personally say I hated this book. There were things I loved and things that I genuinely thought made the book boring. Does this mean it’s a bad book, no. I just personally had my qualms with it is all.

Even with the problems I found, I’m still giving this 3 out of 5 stars. It’s a book I think people just need to go into not knowing very much.

personal · school · Uncategorized

Some Simple College Dorm Essentials

Hello, this post will be about what you ACTUALLY need in your dorm.

Now I know, I know, there are a lot of college dorm essentials posts and Youtube videos. But those lists change for everyone. I’m putting this post out there to give another realistic perspective.

Here’s what I believe is necessary for a typical dorm life:

  • Bedding
  • Fan – If you are in a dorm that you cannot change the temp, this is essential. I came to my dorm and its winter and very hot in the dorms. Without my fan, I would not have survived this long.
  • Rug – If the dorm is hard floor especially!
  • Lamp (Mini)
  • Calendar – If you have any kind of important assignments, a wall calendar is extremely helpful for keeping track of those assignments
  • Power Strip / Extension Cord
  • Laundry Hamper 
  • Lanyard / I.D. Case – Now, this is not a huge essential however it is so much more convenient to have especially if you do not want to carry a whole wallet or purse around campus
  • Air Freshener – Does not have to be fancy, just some dorms begin to stink after a week of living in them. Breathing okay air is a must

I want to say that those have been my main necessities, its all about preference though. I figure this list may help someone out there!

Thank you for reading and if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them! 

personal · school · Uncategorized

10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting College

Welcome to my school series!

When I first began college in the Fall of 2017, I was confused, to be honest. Being a first-generation college student is terrifying, you do not know what to expect and really are pretty much on your own. That is why I am writing this after my break from the blog. I had to take time off from writing due to personal reasons. Here are the top ten things I wish I knew before my freshman year of college!

1. Always write down all your due dates at the beginning of the semester

I cannot stress how important this is, I did not have a planner for my first semester of college, I never used one in high school so I presumed I would not use it. Boy was I wrong, the number of assignments you lose track of without a planner is insane especially if you are a full-time student. High school never stressed the amount of responsibility you need to maintain your GPA.

2. Schedule classes according to your schedule ESPECIALLY if you are a commuter

Commuters out there, I understand your struggle! My first semester was at my local community college which mean I drove daily. If you are a commuter to classes, be sure to book the classes for starting at 9AM or 2PM. Most people end up booking their classes for 10AM so in my situation I never found a parking space unless I got there prior to 9:30. This does depend on your situation but it is something to take note of if you know you will not be living in a dorm.

3. No matter your prerequisites, be sure to take one fun class each semester

This is extremely important when it comes to college. After I got out of high school, all I wanted to do was get the prerequisites out of the way with no electives tailored to my schedule. DO NOT DO THIS. When going to class, you probably will not be interested in most of the required courses so having one fun course integrated into your schedule is so important. It gives you something to look forward to no matter if you do not truly care for your other courses!

4. Never be afraid to email your professors for help

A mistake I never made but saw happen numerous amounts of times is not feeling comfortable enough to contact your professors when you need help. Having good communication with your professor comes in handy when you can not understand the material. The professors are more genuine in helping you if they already know you better as a person rather than just a student. Plus this is great if you ever need letters of recommendation.

5. Check your grades once a week

Now you may be thinking, why is this a tip? You have no idea how many people I have met in college who NEVER check their grades. Yes, your grades can be terrifying, however, not knowing what they are is a bad decision. I really can not stress this aspect of college or school in general.

6. Follow the syllabus 

DO NOT BE STUCK IN THE HIGH SCHOOL MINDSET. Throwing away syllabus’ is the WORST thing you can do in a college class especially if your professor does not post it online. Save yourself the trouble and keep a folder for every class so you will never lose it. My professor last semester followed the syllabus to a “T” and never put it online. While she was my first professor to do this, I still believe you should not lose your syllabus just in case.

7. Go to class

Skipping will happen and did happen a few times during my freshman year. However, there seems to be an idea that floats around that in college, the professors do not take attendance so it will not hurt to skip. Eight out of my ten classes my freshman year took attendance for a grade. Professors know you will skip and give you a couple free days, but it is not worth it in the long run.

8. Stress is inevitable so find your happy place

Having a happy place when it comes to midterms and finals is extremely important. Stress will happen during your four years of college especially during your freshman year so having a place you can go to in your mind to calm yourself will be so helpful in the long run. And, this does not always come to you immediately, take your time and figure out your way to de-stress, trust me it is a life saver!

9. Choose a major you love but also look into it

As someone who has not officially declared a major, I have spent hours upon hours of thinking about what I want to do and still do not know. That is okay, we all go through that, but when you decide a major be sure to look into the future employment statistics. When you find your perfect major, you should go for it, just be willing to struggle to strive in that major if it is hard to find employment in it.

10. Use Rate my Professors, it will save you

This website is a godsend when it comes to choosing your future classes and professors, no one tells you but always look up your professors on there. Their previous students can tell you a lot about what you need to be prepared for. Without this website, my freshman year would not have been so simple.

I hope that these tips will help you on your journey! Thank you so much for reading! I hope you have a wonderful day and can not wait to see you in my next post! 

Book Tag · TBRs · Uncategorized · YA

The TBR Tag

Thank you so much to The Maniacal Unicorn for tagging me to do The TBR Tag! Have you not read their take on the tag, you can read it here! Onto the tag!

How do you keep track of your TBR pile?

This has a simple answer, I don’t. I keep all of the books on my bookshelf, read and unread combined. While I do use Goodreads, I have a pretty good memory of what I have and haven’t read! When I move here soon, I’ll for sure need to find a better way to keep track of it!

Is your TBR mostly print or e-books?

It’s kind of… yeah it’s mostly print. I really don’t enjoy reading e-books electronics give me migraines so I more or less avoid e-books unless they’re ARC’s I had given my word I’d read.

How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next?

This sort of follows up my answer to the first question but since I don’t really have a way to keep track of my TBR, it’s really more or less what jumps out at me. It usually ends up being the first book that comes to mind when I think of what I want to read next so ye~!

 A book that’s been on your TBR the longest?

“Reawakened” by Colleen Houck, because like two years ago I saw it on Book Outlet and was like “OOOO I WANNA READ THAT!” and I hadn’t even bought it until last month lol~ I know I know but it will (maybe) be read soon!

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A book that’s recently been added to your TBR?

A book I added to my TBR on Goodreads happened today, it’s called “Nice Try, Jane Sinner” by Lianne Oelke! I really hope to get around to reading this immediately when it’s published (January 9th).

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A book on your TBR strictly because of its beautiful cover?

I KNOW WHAT THIS IS. It’s “The Diviners” by Libba Bray. I’m not gonna lie, I have almost ZERO interest in the plot of this book and I’ve heard it’s amazing but I only bought it at the time because of the cover!

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A book on your TBR that you never plan on actually reading?

It took me a few minutes to answer this because I REALLY want to lie to myself and believe I will actually read this. I won’t I read the first ten pages and told myself I’d come back to it. The book is “The Rest of Us Just Live Here” by Patrick Ness.

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An unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for?

LET’S BE REAL! WE ALL ALREADY KNOW WHAT IM GOING TO SAY! I’m super excited to read “My Plain Jane” which is the second book in the My Lady Janies trilogy by Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows, and Brodi Ashton! “My Lady Jane” was such a funny historical fiction so I’m really happy there’s a trilogy of books from these three authors!

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A book on your TBR that basically everyone has read except you?

It’s not a book, it’s the entire series. I’m ashamed to admit that I haven’t even read the first, YES THE FIRST BOOK, in “The Percy Jackson and The Olympians” series. It’s funny because anyone who knows me would think that I’ve read this because I love reading and learning about mythology so yep, I need to read that!

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A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you?

“Cody Name Verity” has always been recommended to me because I love historical fiction so much but I don’t know? I’m just not very interested in it and I really don’t like Elizabeth Wein’s writing style.

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A book on your TBR that you’re just dying to read?

I really have been wanting to read “The Women in the Castle” by Jessica Shattuck! I don’t really have anything to say about this one so I’ll leave it at that!

Number of books on your Goodreads TBR shelf?

OK OK, THERE’S GOOD NEWS! I don’t put a whole lot on my Goodreads TBR shelf unless I REALLY want to read it so currently there’s only 49 on there which I think (hope) is a pretty tame TBR shelf. Normally people’s are in the hundreds so I feel pretty accomplished about mine!

So that’s the end of the tag! I hope you enjoyed reading and while I’d love to tag other bloggers, I don’t like making other’s do the tag so yep! If you like to do the tag, please do! I’d love to see y’alls answers! 

Book Tag · Historical Fiction · personal · TBRs · Uncategorized · YA

Top 5 Tuesday – 2018 Anticipated Releases

Happy New Year! 2017 was an amazing year for books and I HOPE that stays the same in 2018. This post is all about my anticipated releases of 2018! I hope you enjoy them as much as me!

My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows, and Brodi Ashton

Now if y’all read my review of “My Lady Jane,” you will know I loved that book more than any other book at the time of reading it. Fantasy and Historical Fiction are my all time favorite genres and what not so I’m super hyped for “My Plain Jane.” Now I won’t go too far into why I love this series so here’s the link to my review of “My Lady Jane.”

The Queens Rising by Rebecca Ross

I can’t say exactly why I’m looking forward to this novel. I think it’s just the idea of patrons seems so amazing and intricate. Brienna seems to be a relatable character so I can’t wait to read this novel as soon as possible. Although characters make or break books in my opinion so I really hope it lives up to my expectations.

Ink, Iron, and Glass by Gwendolyn Clare

Scriptology. That’s all I feel I need to say. I feel like this will be a really good book because this is a topic that isn’t usually written in novels. I can’t I’ve ever seen scriptology as the main topic of a book, ESPECIALLY YA!  I’ve already preordered this book.

Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles

This reminds me of “The Hate U Give” so much. Racial stereotyping is such an important issue today. We may not think about it all the time but it happens and it’s a tragedy when it does happen. So I’m really happy this is coming out, I feel like this will be amazing! This novel really, according to the synopsis, kind of focuses on the murder aspects of racial profiling, that alone will make the story interesting at the least!

Hamilton and Peggy! A Revolutionary Friendship by L.M. Elliott

I’m not gonna lie. The only reason I’m excited about this novel is the fact that it’s a historical fiction novel. Realistically, that’s my favorite genre in YA. So I don’t really know anything about Hamilton or Peggy… I know. But DON’T WORRY FRIENDS! I’m going to look up more about the two (I should know something going into this, right?).

So that’s my top 5 anticipated releases this year! Tell me yours in the comments, I’d love to hear your recommendations! Thank you for reading and I hope you had a fantastic new year!