Why Do I Usually Hate the Characters that Most Resemble Me?

In every book I read, I always find a character who I do not like. Strangely, half of the characters that I hate are similar to me. Reflecting on this observation, I have to wonder: is my reasoning for not liking the character because they make me aware of my flaws? If that is the case, wouldn’t books be a great way to see yourself through a different perspective?

When reading, I discover certain characters are irritating based on specific flaws. When I am writing the character portion of my reviews, I realize that I am somewhat similar to the character that I do not favor. For example, I do not like characters who are always complaining or who are very assertive. With this in mind, books give me input on who I am and how I feel about it. I have become more aware of the qualities that I dislike and have tried to fix them. I realized that I don’t get easily annoyed by emotionally weak characters anymore because I am not emotionally weak. I feel that reading has become more than a hobby, it has become a way that I can improve as a person. I now know that the traits that I cannot stand are traits that I may obtain.

There are some character flaws that are generally annoying and do not involve me. For example, I hate jealous and fake characters because they aren’t qualities I favor. These traits are common faults that everyone hates. However, you will know if the reason you hate a character is because you resemble them.

Overall, I feel that I can use character flaws as a way to better myself. With reading, I am able to not only analyze a story but analyze myself, as well.

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YA Characters that I Would Like to Be

Whenever I read a book, I tend to find characters that I would love to be. Most of the time, the characters have magical powers and are totally badass. Other times, the characters live everyday lives but are badass as well. Since I envy many characters in books, I decided to shorten my list to only five people. Here are my characters that I want to be.

Anna from Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

In Anna and the French Kiss, Anna gets sent off to boarding school in Paris. What teenage girl wouldn’t want to be sent off to live in Paris for a year? If I was her, I would be having the time of my life. To make her life more awesome, she meets Étienne St. Clair. Étienne St. Clair is a beautiful character who I wish existed. Being Anna would mean I get to live in Paris for a year and date Étienne St. Clair! That would be perfect!

Katy from Lux Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Katy is one of my favorite YA protagonists. Not only do I like that she is a book blogger, she is badass as well. To top it off, she gets to date Daemon and hang out with aliens. Daemon is my top book boyfriend. If I ever dated him, I would die a happy girl.

Ella from The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi

Not only does Ella have a cute and nerdy boyfriend, Ella has an awesome group of friends. Ella and her friends spend the whole night doing fun stuff and enjoying life. To have a night like they had makes me want to be her. Even though there was drama throughout the book, I still think her character has great potential.

Paige from The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

Paige is a character who matures greatly throughout the story. Despite her misfortunes, Paige has many blessings. Paige is intelligent, has a supportive group of friends, a family who loves her deeply, and a caring love interest. Even though she doesn’t have super powers or lives a daring life, Paige has everything she could want.

Juliette from Shatter Me Series by Taherah Mafi

Juliette is my favorite character of YA. She develops massively throughout the story! At first, Juliette is whiney and weak but then she embraces who she is to become a fierce heroine. Not to mention, her super power is awesome. Her touch is a weapon! How cool is that?! Not only is she tough and an incredible leader, she winds up with the swoon-worthy love interest. Their relationship is adorable and he is madly in love with her. If I could be anyone in the universe, I would be her.

Those were my top five choices. Surprisingly, this choice was easy because most of my favorite characters have sad pasts or conflicts. If you were any YA character, who would you be, and why?

Why Do Many People Find Difficulty Reading?

For as long as I have been a book lover, I’ve dealt with snide remarks about books. When I am in public, I tend to hear comments about how boring books are or how someone ‘can’t read’. The comments do not hurt me. However, they do need to be addressed.

Believe it or not, your comments aren’t original. As a book lover, I have heard negative statements about reading many times. You trying to act cool by stating you don’t enjoy reading has no effect on my love for it. However, I don’t blame you for your ignorance.

Being that I am in high school and am a young adult book blogger, I realize that most people in my school don’t enjoy reading. My peers find it unamusing and associate it with being ‘nerdy’. I don’t think it is their fault for being oblivious to how amazing reading is, I believe most of the blame goes to schools (well, to schools that I have been to where I have validation for my comments). In schools, especially on the topic of summer reading, we are limited to the genres we read. Of course, every year we read an abundance of classic novel.  I do understand the motive behind this but we should try to read modern novels, too. Also, I feel that schools should allow students to experiment various genres. Personally, this year was the first time in my school career that I got to experience other book genres. I have never been to a school that has read in the fantasy genre, which is a popular category, especially in YA. If schools only allow students to read realistic fiction, then how do they expect fantasy lovers to find a passion for books? Not to mention, there are many influential fantasy books to read. Finally, I feel that schools teach you to read for studying purposes and not for fun. I understand the importance of learning to analyze and annotate novels. However, you cannot expect students to enjoy literature when you only teach them to interpret the story. When you make reading seem like homework, that is how students will see it.

I had an idea that for each classic we study, we read a modern novel that coincides with the classic’s theme to observe how perspective changes throughout the year. That idea gives students who may not like the writing style of a book written decades ago a chance to have the modern novel redeem their feelings towards reading. Also, I believe that we need to expand what we read. Newsflash, realistic fiction and classics aren’t for everyone. Many people would rather read fantasy, paranormal, and other genres that are as influential as what we normally read in school. It should be obvious that perhaps it is not the reader’s fault for not enjoying books but the habits inflicted on them.

For example, my one friend was never a reader. Of course, she read books but never considered it a favorite hobby. One day, I recommended that she read one of my favorite books to see if she would like it. She accepted the book and is currently reading it. She says she loves the story and I always catch her reading it in class. My friend was convinced that she wasn’t a fan of reading but it was actually the genres she read that she disliked. Without my book recommendation, she would never know how great books are. Everyone is a reader once they find the books they like to read.

In the end, I feel people give reading a bad reputation because of their ignorance to other genres that we do not read in school. In all honesty, I would never have been a reader if I didn’t decide to try contemporary, young adult reads. In the end, books are like any form of entertainment: once you find what you enjoy then you are good to go!

Favorite Memories from (Almost) One Year of Blogging

Wow. It has been almost a year since I began blogging! My actual blog anniversary is on March 9th, the day when I posted my first review! The post was regarding Of Poseidon by Anna Banks (check out the review: here). However, the review was actually posted on my old blog on Weebly. Despite that, I still count that as my first day of blogging.

I was probably the worst new blogger to exist. I never wrote an introduction to my old blog. Not to mention, my grammar was awful. I tried to read the review today but couldn’t stop cringing. I decided that I will write a post on me reacting to my old reviews later in the month. My first few months of blogging were like a train wreck in slow motion. I hope I improved since then.

I decide as preparation for my blog’s anniversary, I will write various posts reflecting on my blog until March 9th. However, I will still continue to post reviews and tags! To kick off the start of my countdown to my blog’s anniversary, here are my favorite moments of blogging.

Writing my first post!

Yes, my first posts were shameful. And yes, they seem like I created my own form of dialect. However, when I published my first posts, I felt an overwhelming sense of pride. Starting my blog felt like a new beginning.

Bookcon!!

Bookcon was incredible! The event was something I will never forget. I met so many fantastic people and received an abundance of ARCs that I was highly anticipating. The people I met at Bookcon have stayed close to me. I have gained many opportunities from this event. I cannot wait to go to Chicago for Bookcon 2016!

The Book Cove Book Club

Following Bookcon, a few of the attendees of the event decided to stay connected through a book club. Our group has had its fair share of problems but the final result made the burdens worth it. We all have been drawn closer and have gained connections to many authors. We live stream weekly about the book we read that week. I love them!

Meeting Stella and Emily in Person!!

Emily and Stella are both people I met from the Bookcon app. I never actually met the two at Bookcon. Stella and Emily are my closest bookish friends. I was so excited and nervous to meet them but when I did, it was worth the wait. I had a great time walking around New York with them. I am glad to have continued to meet them in real life.

Requesting to Review an Author’s Book and Them Accepting. Also, Making My First Author Friend!

You would have thought that I was about to become some celebrity by my reaction to being accepted to write a review for someone. Wow! I’m going to get an ARC of a book in return for an honest review! I’m heading somewhere, I thought to myself as Danielle Rose accepted my review request. Since then, I have tried to help Danielle’s book reach the success it’s destined to have. Danielle is an incredible person and author. I am so happy that she was my first author friend!

Getting my First Review Request!

MEE

My birthday after I read the request email. 

I do not think I will ever not be excited to be asked to review someone’s book. That is an incredible honor and is something that makes me extremely happy. I believe my first review request was from Penguin and it was on my birthday. I was so grateful.

Getting Accepted to Speak at my First Panel!

I have always desired to be able to speak on a panel about literature. When I was looking around for events, I found Kidlitcon. The event was looking for speakers. I decided to give it a try and see if they’d accept me. I had been blogging for less than a year and my hopes were low. However, I got accepted! When I read the email, I started crying. For someone who never felt good enough to accomplish their dreams, I finally felt like I was achieving things. That was my favorite memory of 2015.

My Panel!

The day of my panel, I was a nervous wreck. I thought I was going to fail tremendously. To my surprise, it went really well. I felt a little intimidated being the youngest and newest blogger. however, I relaxed once the panel begun. When the panel was over, I was overjoyed and extremely proud of myself. I never felt greater.

Kidlitcon!!

Kidlitcon was the highlight of my book events of 2015. Kidlitcon is a more intimate conference. The reason I loved the conference as much as I did was because it wasn’t crowded. There were a lot of people there, but it was small compared to Bookcon. The event was filled with publicists, librarians, bloggers, editors, illustrators, podcasters, reviewers, book award judges, and authors. I was able to talk to everyone there and they were all friendly. I came back from the event with many more connections. Some memorable people that I met were Carrie Mesrobian, Majorie Ingall, Kathy MacMillan, Elissa Brent Weissman, Alysa Stewart, Paula Willey, Tracey Baptiste, Shadra Strickland, Maggie Thrash, and Mahnaz Dar. Two people that I talked to the most were Libertad and Guinevere Thomas, or The Twinjas.Guinevere and Libertad were so welcoming and nice. Also, they had an incredible panel about diversity in books that made me think about how my reviews incorporate diversity. I can’t wait to hang out with them again at Blogboundcon!

Anyway, those were some of my favorite memories of my first year of blogging. What are some of your favorite blogging memories?

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Title: Six of Crows

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Date of Publication: July 28th 2015

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

Pages: 465

What is wrong with me? Whenever I encounter an overly praised book, I never understand the hype. It isn’t that I don’t like the books but when I read from the category labeled ‘beloved books’ the stories seem to fall flat for me.

Despite my common misfortune, I was certain that Six of Crows would be the exception. Sadly, it did not reach my expectations.

Perhaps it was because I never finished the Grisha trilogy or that my book club decided to read it when I was in a big contemporary phase, but I did not enjoy reading Six of Crows.

After only reading the first book of the Grisha trilogy and loving it, I decided to try and read Six of Crows. Normally I would finish the series first but I had not bought the second book and my book club wanted to read Six of Crows. I had heard from various people that you do not need to read the Grisha trilogy to read Six of Crows.

While reading the first few chapters, I felt like I was starting a TV show in the middle of its series. There were too many characters being introduced and the plot felt like it didn’t have an introduction. With that being said, I did not finish the book. Maybe when I get over my contemporary phase then I will read Six of Crows. I am trying really hard to enjoy the book.