Week 43: Results & Week 44: Goals

Look at me! I’m posting on time! I’m so proud of myself. So let’s just get down to business, okay? This week I finished Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga and read half of Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. I didn’t really enjoy reading Nervous Conditions, mainly because I was forced to read it for a course. The story was pretty interesting, though. It takes place in Africa and is about the evils of colonization. Main themes include women’s roles in society/family, cultural differences, and freedom/entrapment. If I hadn’t just read A Border Passage by Leila Ahmed–which dealt with very similar issues in Egypt–I feel like I would have enjoyed this book more. I gave it three stars on Goodreads.

As for Catcher, I am absolutely in LOVE. Holden Caulfield is such a snarky asshole, and he is absolutely perfect. Like I said earlier, I’m about halfway through the book so I can’t give you an accurate description of the book or my review yet. I’ll just say this: based on what I’ve read so far, I’d recommend this book strongly to everyone.

This week is Halloween! I’m going to be dressing up as a crazy cat lady–and by “dressing up” I simply mean physically express my true self. Mostly I’m doing this to get $2 burritos at Chipotle. Mmm Chipotle. In celebration of my favorite holiday, I’m going to read Dracula by Bram Stoker! Can you believe I’ve never read this book before?

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And look at this beautiful copy! “With an Essential Guide to the Undead” by Vintage Books.

I just found out that my Monday and Tuesday classes are cancelled due to a hurricane hitting my area, so hopefully I’ll be able to spend it reading and writing. Also, Nanowrimo 2012 starts this Thursday! I have to prepare! I’m so nervous. Hopefully I’ll be able to bang something out. Anyone else attempting Nano? Add me as a writing buddy: black_bird.

 

Weeks 40, 41, and 42 Results & Week 43 Goals

Oh jeez, I’m a few weeks behind schedule again. I am so sincerely sorry, guys. I’ll try to keep up better. Life’s been pretty hectic, though. I’m interning at the Book Barn (it’s very cool, check it out) and this past week was midterm. You can’t even imagine. Midterms for an English major = about 50 pages of essays due in a week. Anyway, let’s get this show on the road.

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve finished both It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini and A Border Passage by Leila Ahmed. I had to read the latter for my Women’s Lit course, and it was very interesting. While I most likely wouldn’t have chosen this book to read at my leisure, it was still a very good read. I tend to like memoirs and autobiographies, so this was right up my alley. It’s a memoir of an Egyptian woman and her coming to terms with her changing identity as a feminist in America. The memoir discusses the role of women in different societies, religion, national identity, among others. It was very intriguing, and I’d suggest it if you’re interested in different cultures and memoirs.

I also said I finished It’s Kind of a Funny Story. This book. Oh my goodness. Despite the sensitive topics of depression, self-harm, and suicide, it was freaking hilarious! I loved the main character, Craig. His voice was so realistic and simplistic at the same time. It wasn’t stretched for the sake of a story; he was real. That made the story feel so much easier to relate to. I saw the movie before reading the book, and while both are fantastic, the book–as usual–was so much better. The movie changed a lot of the aspects and I feel that a lot of the characters were stripped of their personality and voices. If you don’t have a sensitivity to any of the triggering topics, I’d definitely suggest this book to anyone.

Currently I am reading The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger and Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga. I’m really loving Catcher in the Rye so far. Holden Caulfield is so snarky; I absolutely love it. I haven’t gotten to any actual plot yet–busy with college–but it’s fantastic so far. As for Nervous Conditions, this is another book for Women’s Lit. I haven’t actually started it yet, though. All I know is it’s about a woman in Africa who has to deal with colonization, similar to A Border Passage. I think on the syllabus it says I’ll have it finished this week, so we’ll see about that. I’m also hoping to finish Catcher in the Rye this week.

That’s it for this week! I promise I’ll write next weekend!

Jen

Week 39: Results & Week 40: Goals, and BANNED BOOKS WEEK!

It’s Banned Books Week! For thirty years, readers and writers, booksellers and librarians have been coming together to reject censorship. During Banned Books Week, which this year is September 30-October 6, people are encouraged to read books that have been banned or challenged by censors. Check out the American Library Association’s list of Banned and Challenged Classics to pick something to read this week! I know I’m going to read The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. I’ve never read it in high school like most people at my school, and I’ve heard really passionate yet mixed reviews. I’m slightly nervous to read it, but I have a cute, old copy! That makes it better. I’m also going to be joining Out of Print’s book club in reading Kurt Vonnegut Jr.’s Slaughterhouse-Five starting on Thursday. I don’t know why we’re starting on Thursday; don’t ask me, I’m not in charge. Let me know what you’re planning on reading! I want to know! Really!

This week I didn’t get to finish Tipping the Velvet like I wanted to, but only because the library started sending me snappy emails about how I need to return my books on time, how my fine is raising, how it’s a week late, etc. It’s not my fault I want to read the book. So anyway, I had to return the book to the library (in my hometown, no less). I did find out that my university library has a copy. I’ll probably pick that up some time this month.

That doesn’t mean I didn’t finish a book though! I was good this week! I finished Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers by Lillian Faderman. I read the book for my Lesbian Studies course, and it was very interesting. It was a history of lesbians in America, and it was pretty extensive. While the writing was a bit repetitive (the 20-30 page long chapters could have easily been narrowed down to 10-15), the information was often surprising and detailed. As a lesbian, I found it interesting to take a historical look at lesbians in my country. It was informative, yet it did not read like a textbook. While I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s a good casual read, it is easy to read through if you’re looking for the information.

So, to recap, my goals this week are to read The Catcher in the Rye and start Slaughterhouse-Five. I also want to finish It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini. I don’t remember if I mentioned this book last week, but this book is pretty fantastic and I’m only 100 pages in. I saw the movie first, only because I didn’t know it was based on a book. Also my roommate last year kinda forced me to see it (I had so much homework to do, but she forced me to have fun. I like her.) The story is about a high school kid named Craig who becomes depressed and eventually suicidal. He checks himself into a hospital and he writes about his experiences there. The movie was amazing, but pretty triggering for people who are sensitive to suicide, depression, or self-harm. I didn’t know what the movie was about when I watched it, and it caused a huge panic attack. If you’re sensitive to those kinds of things, please be cautious of this story. For those of you who aren’t, I definitely recommend it.

It’s October! Does anybody know what they’re going to be for Halloween? I’m feeling a 1920s flapper from The Great Gatsby. Also, my English Club is going to host a showing of Midnight in Paris. I’ve never seen it, but it’ll be a costumed event in the theme of Gatsby. I figured I could pick up a couple of things from Forever 21 and use it for both events! What are your costume ideas? Let me know in the comments!

That’s it for now! I’ve got to go do more homework (I feel like that’s all my life is now…)

Weeks 37 and 38: Results & Week 39: Goals

Ugh I have no idea why I’m so far behind this week. I’m sorry. I thought college would put me back on track, but I guess I thought wrong. But hey, I’m here and I can’t really complain. You can, though. Yell at me in the comments. I think that’ll motivate me to post on time. PLEASE.

However, I finally have some good news! I finished four books in the weeks I’ve been gone!

  • Jane Erye by Charlotte Bronte
  • Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
  • Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
  • Writer’s Handbook 2011 by Barry Turner

 

I had to read Jane Erye and Wide Sargasso Sea for my Women’s Literature course. My high school reading schedule got really messed up because I changed schools and took an AP Lit course, so I’ve missed out on many of the traditional books read in high school, including Jane Erye. I was really eager to read the book though, especially because I love Charlotte Bronte’s sister Emily’s Wuthering Heights. I was not disappointed either. I enjoyed this book so much! I definitely need to buy my own copy of this one. Jane is such a great character. Not only does she rise out from a horrible background to become free and happy, but she finds love when she grew up hardly knowing what love is. Besides that, the story itself is fantastic! I’d strongly recommend it to anyone who has not read it.

Wide Sargasso Sea, on the other hand, I didn’t enjoy. At all. It’s pretty much published Jane Erye fan fiction. It’s the story of Bertha Mason, the mad woman in Rochester’s attic. It’s interesting to read things from various perspectives, but I didn’t really find this story interesting. The writing wasn’t my favorite and the story itself was a bit…too much. I understand the the writer is trying to combat racist undertones in Jane Erye by providing a perspective from the West Indies, but I feel like she was pushing her agenda too much. I wasn’t even sure what the point of the story was. Of course it was her descent into madness, but I was never sure whether the author was trying to argue that Rochester caused her madness or not. It all just seemed like a jumble of events. It was a cool idea, just misled in my opinion.

FIGHT CLUB. I know the first rule about fight club is you don’t talk about fight club, but LET’S TALK ABOUT FIGHT CLUB BECAUSE I CAN’T EVEN EXPLAIN HOW MUCH I LOVED THIS BOOK. My friends warned me, they all told me it was great. My friend Ali is a huge Chuck Palahniuk fan, and she told me that I’d love his books too. I just had to read them. Also, I’ve never seen the movie before, and I was curious. I was totally not expecting any of what happened to happened, and I enjoyed every word. It was shocking and strange and perfect. The story, the characters, and the ideals are just so…perfect. Wow, this is a horrible review. I don’t even care! This book was fantastic, and it is definitely a new addition to my favorite books list. I can’t wait to watch the movie now! Highly recommended.

Writer’s Handbook 2011 isn’t really a book, but I’m including it anyway. It’s more of a reference for writers, and it was the most helpful reference I’ve read. It was mainly targeted to U.K. readers and writers since the organizations, magazines, and writer’s workshops were all based in the U.K. so check it out if you’re anywhere over there! There were some international sections, though, so I was able to find some things relevant to myself. Regardless of location, this book really inspired me to get writing again. There are pages of magazines to submit to, small and large presses, writer’s workshops, book clubs…everything. It got me searching for more places around me, and I found so much. The most helpful site I found while looking for places to submit work to was this one:

http://www.everywritersresource.com/topliterarymagazines.html

I’m definitely going to be spending more time working on some short stories and maybe some poetry to send in! I really encourage you to as well! Let me know if you do and if you get accepted!

In other really exciting news, I went to the Book Barn with my university’s English Club on Friday. The Book Barn is an old barn turned 5-floor used/vintage book store. It’s only five minutes away from campus, and the old couple who own it are the sweetest people. They have three cats and a dog walking around (I pet all four of them. My crazy cat lady side came out big time.) I fell in love as soon as I saw it. And now for the big news…They asked me to intern with them! They have a couple of students from the university come over to help them every once in a while and they pay them in books! They also teach you about running a book store, which is my absolute DREAM. Oh my goodness, I don’t think you understand how happy this made me. I’m going to ride my girlfriend’s bike over tomorrow after class and see what I can do to help. I’m so excited about this.

Speaking of English Club, tomorrow’s the next meeting and we’re going to be discussing why Harry Potter is better than Twilight. It’s going to be wonderful. I’m so happy with the direction the English Club has taken this year. Last year, it was boring and absolutely horrible. We literally did NOTHING every week. The president would just talk to the vice-president the whole time. I eventually stopped going. This year, we’re actually doing things and I couldn’t be happier. I wanted to get involved last year, and I felt horrible for not wanting to after seeing what it was like. I was almost the treasurer this year, but I decided that I am too busy this year with my own club and that I’m not really suited to be a treasurer (I’m horrible with math and money).

I’m also going to be talking about my club, the Harry Potter Alliance/Quidditch team at tomorrow’s meeting! We’re already up to fifty-plus members, but maybe we can get more! By the end of the month, I should figure out if we’re official or not! I can’t wait.

Another club I’m involved with is the literary magazine, Daedalus. I wasn’t involved last year, and I was disappointed with myself for not being a part of it. Granted, they don’t do much fall semester, but they’re thinking about maybe hosting writer’s workshops. Going to the meeting really inspired me to put myself out there this year. I’m going to actually submit my writing. Hopefully I’ll be accepted because being published is a dream of mine. Being published in a college literary magazine actually helps my chances later in life. I’m also going to attend the workshops if they go through with them. I need to get over my fear of showing my writing to people. It’s the only way to become a better writer, and I think it will really help.

I’m so sorry this has turned into a giant rant about my life, but it’s sort of on topic, right? Next week is Banned Books Week, so that’s cool. I’ll be joining Out of Print’s book club in reading Kurt Vonnegut Jr.’s Slaughterhouse-Five. I’m excited because I love Vonnegut and I haven’t read this book yet! Let me know in the comments how you plan on giving the big “fuck you” to censorship!

So. Goals. Right. This week I’m hoping to finish Tipping the Velvet. I know, I’ve been reading it forever. What am I doing with my life? College, mostly. I don’t know what that implies, but just so we’re clear, it mostly means sitting naked in my dorm while doing homework, jamming to music, and eating really unhealthy food. I went into town Friday night with my friends and walked up and down the main party street….while my friend was dressed as a banana. That’s the kind of thing I do. We don’t drink and party; we dress up like fruit and skip down the street past drunk people. Anyway, I got really off-topic really quickly. Yeah, so besides Tipping the Velvet, I don’t know if I’ll have time for anything else. I think I’m just going to stick with one goal this week.

Thanks for stopping by! Happy reading!

Jen.

Week 36: Results & Week 37: Goals

So I’m a couple days late again. What can I say? College life, man. Anyway, the results are yet again disappointing. I’m almost “done” Jane Erye,but I’m not reading every chapter so I don’t really consider this “reading the book.” I’m going to go back afterwards and read it by myself. My professor assigned random chapters, which left out half of the plot. I’m very confused and ended up Sparknoting the whole thing. I’m pretty upset with this professor right now. I’ve been powering through some of my homework for this week so hopefully I’ll have some time to read my books. I managed to get a couple pages of Tipping the Velvet in the other night–and hopefully some tonight, too! I’m really trying to get through my library books; they all look so good! No wonder I took them out. :P

I don’t even know if I should try to lay out goals since I don’t really know what my schedule will be like. I’m going to hear back from the president of the English Club about possibly joining as the treasurer, and I’ll be hearing back from the president of Student Involvement about the progress of my Harry Potter club–I’m the founder and president! Add onto that homework, classes, eating, sleeping, showering, whatever, and I don’t know when I’ll be able to just read. It’s really upsetting, actually, but this semester has been going really well so far!

Anyway, I guess I should set up some kind of goal. I guess I’ll try to finish Perfect by Ellen Hopkins. I’ve been reading it for a while, it’s a quick read, and it’s due back at the library soon I think…I should check its due date. D:

In unrelated news, today is World Suicide Prevention Day! I know I’m posting late in the day, but this is a really important issue. I’m not asking you to write “love” on your arm or anything, because–let’s be real–doing that does NOTHING for the issue at hand. You’re not helping anyone, you’re not actively doing anything, but it makes you feel better about yourself for pretending to participate in something deemed “worthy” enough of a cause. What I’m asking you to do is do some research. Learn more about depression and suicide (risk factors, symptoms, signs, etc.) and what you can do to help. Donate to organizations like American Foundation for Suicide Prevention or the JED Foundation. Find out if there is a suicide awareness walk or other activity in your area. Spread the word and educate people. Volunteer at an organization. DO SOMETHING. I created a whole campaign centered around depression and suicide awareness and prevention for my Harry Potter club. Once we’re up and running, we’ll be working on it. It’s a really important issue that needs to be addressed. Do what you can to help. All this week is National Suicide Prevention Week. Find out more online.

In OTHER unrelated news, Banned Book Week is coming up at the end of this month! It’s pretty much a big “fuck you” to censorship. I’m going to be reading Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. with Out of Print’s book club (find them on Facebook; they have really cool book related shirts and stuff). Also, check out this hilariously sarcastic article about banned books:

http://www.11points.com/books/11_most_ironically_banned_books_of_all_time

What are you guys going to be doing to celebrate? Let me know in the comments! Also if you have any motivational speeches for me, I could use them. Or time management tips! Also if anyone wants to send me a French tutor, that’d be appreciated. :P Happy reading, and I’ll see you later this week.

Catch-Up: Week 33, 34, & 35 Results, Week 36 Goals, and I’M IN COLLEGE!

I really need to learn to manage my time better! I’m a few weeks behind schedule and a few books off as well! According to Goodreads, I’m eight books behind. Dayum. On a better note, I’ve taken several books out of the libraries and have filled my desk with books just waiting to be read. Hopefully I’ll be able to power through them.

In regards to the results of the past few weeks, I have finished Ash by Malindo Lo, but I have not finished Perfect by Ellen Hopkins. In fact,  I hadn’t read much of anything for a while since I was so caught up in my financial situation–I’ll get to that later. Getting back on track, Ash is a creative retelling of Cinderella. I absolutely love fairy tales and I really enjoy when authors put their own twists on them. What I’m not a fan of is simply making the same story “modern”–with the exception of A Cinderella Story with Hilary Duff. I love me some Duff.

Plus I freaking loved the portrayal of the step-family. It was hilarious.

As such, Lo’s portrayal of the famous fairy tale was beautiful and creative. She incorporated lesbian romances, evil fairies, and old magic. The writing wasn’t too memorable, but the story itself was great. I read someone else’s review of the book, and the only thing they commented on was the lesbian romance. They got all huffy that Cinderella wasn’t a lesbian, and she was supposed to marry Prince Charming. Two things in response to this: one, this is a RETELLING which implies that certain aspects have been altered; two, assuming  characters (or anyone, really) are straight is part of the reason the LGBTQ community struggles so much! I’m a lesbian; did you assume I was straight? Does it make a difference that I’m not? I thought Lo handled the sexual identity issue well, and I’m glad that there are lesbian novels out there that aren’t about “stock” lesbians. When I first questioned my orientation, I went to the library and read all the LGBT teen books I could find. You would’ve thought they were all in the same series what with the out and proud butch lesbians and the timid girl who was coming to terms with her orientation. Ash was a creative relief. The characters weren’t defined by their sexual orientation; they had depth and meaning. I really appreciated that.

I’m currently reading Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte for my Women’s Lit II course, Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers by Lillian Faderman for Lesbian Studies, Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters, Perfect by Ellen Hopkins, and I want to finish The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson. I also took out a TON of books from the library:

  • The Writer’s Handbook 2011 edited by Barry Turner
  • American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  • Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
  • Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
  • It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
  • Writing the Novel from Plot to Print by Lawrence Block
  • Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King
  • Write Great Fiction: Characters, Emotion, and Viewpoint by Nancy Kress
  • Write Great Fiction: Description and Setting by Ron Rozelle
  • Victorian Poetry: Ten Major Poets edited by Robert Bernard Martin

 

They’re all due at varying dates at the end of September, so we’ll see how many of them I can get through by then. For week 36 (starting Sunday September 2) I hope to finish at least Tipping the Velvet. I’m trying to get a good chunk of this week’s homework done this weekend since I have a long weekend, so hopefully that’ll give me more time to relax and read later. However, I am taking mostly English/language courses this semester, which means that I’ll have a lot of reading and writing to do. I’m not sure how much time I’ll have this week, but I’ll try!

I mentioned before that I was having financial difficulties trying to return to college. Let me explain–because I know you care oh so much. Pretty much I didn’t get any financial aid from my university so I still owed almost $2,000 for tuition a week before the semester started. My parents are too broke to help pay, but they refused to help at all when they found out I was rooming with my girlfriend of over two years. They threatened me and told me I had to find my own way back to college. (My parents are very manipulative and try to control my siblings and I however they can.) When I told my friends about my situation, I received a shocking amount of support and people who were willing to donate to pay for my college education. So when I told my mother that I had received enough money to pay off the first payment (a portion of the $2,000 I owed), she got angry because I didn’t get the money myself. I really didn’t understand what she wanted me to do, and she was acting like she was trying her hardest to keep me from college. I, being the stubborn bitch I am, refused to let my parents’ selfishness hold me back from my education. I used the donated money and made the first payment. When I got to college, I talked to someone in the financial aid department and explained my situation. He was able to get me a loan and a large grant to pay off this semester, cover my textbooks, and even have a bit left over for a refund check. So, here I am, writing to you from my dorm room that I share with my girlfriend. Everything worked out and I’m beyond grateful to everyone who helped me get here. So that explains my absence for the last few weeks and my disappointing results. Now that that’s all behind me, I hope I can get back on schedule without worrying about such things! Thanks for the support I received from you readers, as well.

Let me know what you guys are reading! Although my reading list is long, I’m always looking for recommendations.

Happy reading,

Jen. x

Trying to pay my college tuition

I’m really sorry to use my blog to do this, but a lot of shit has gone down. As a result, I may not be able to afford this semester of college. As we all know, college is very important and it’s my safe haven. To try to get enough money, I’ve been selling some of my things. I thought some of you guys would be interested in this, though.

I’m selling my entire Stephenie Meyer collection, which includes the entire Twilight series and The Host. All are hardcover and all are in new condition. Also, Eclipse is autographed by Stephenie Meyer.

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I’m selling them all together for $100, $15 a piece, and $30 for the signed copy of Eclipse. If you’re interested in any of them, please comment.

I’m also selling the first three books in the House of Night series by P.C. Cast. They are paperback and slightly worn (or as I like to call them, very loved!). I will sell each for $10.

Again, I’m sorry to use my blog this way.

EDIT: The signed copy of Eclipse has been sold. However I have an unsigned copy still available. It is also hardcover and in new condition. I also have two copies of The Host available.

Week 32 Results & Week 33 Goals: Clockwork Prince, a feminist perspective

Yet again, I am a few days late on my posting. I apologize. I’ll be moving back into my dorm soon though, so hopefully the schedule of university will keep me on track with my blog! We shall see.

As for the results from last week, I have indeed completed Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare. In my opinion, the book had a lot of potential. It incorporated several elements that I adore in storytelling, such as a Victorian London setting, a female lead, magic, supernatural creatures…There was a perfectly awesome battle already set up to take place: the good guys at the Institute versus the evil Magister and his army of clockwork soldiers. It was supposed to be bad ass. Instead, that plot line was dropped in favor of the convoluted love triangle between main character Tessa, brooding Will, and innocent Jem. Not only this, but there was a flood of anti-feminist ideals throughout the entire book. Tessa’s “love” for both Will and Jem–and even her appreciation of other male characters’ looks–relied on the stereotypical maternal instinct of protectiveness. She often points out the vulnerabilities of the male characters, especially Will and Jem. Even when she was considering Sophie’s attraction to Gideon, she says,

“She could see now what Sophie liked in him–the vulnerability under the impassive countenance, the solid honest beneath the handsome bones of his face” (page 461).

The only way she found a male attractive was if there was some obvious weakness. It is a poor reason to find someone attractive, yet it is the most discussed aspect of each character. Tessa admits that each of the male characters are handsome, but she rarely discusses it. In fact, she tends to brush it off as coincidence that these two gorgeous boys are throwing themselves at her. It may have been a ploy to make Tessa seem deeper than a girl who falls for vain reasons such as looks, but it comes off as snooty. It’s actually worse because she’s still being anti-feminist and being snooty at the same time! As I said in my Goodreads review, a woman, and a strong character, should love for more than a stereotypical instinct of their sex.

Another anti-feminist aspect of the book was the fact that every female was involved in a relationship or was pining for one. There were no strong, single female characters. Tessa was stuck being “in love” with two gorgeous, broken boys. Charlotte was married to Henry, and even though she felt he did not truly care for her, she acted defeated and did not fight for herself. Even the maid, Sophie, has her romantic issues. First, she is in love with Jem. At the same time, Thomas is in love with her. The scarred but once beautiful parlor maid of course does not even understand his affections and ignores him. Then, she falls in love with Gideon Lightwood. In fact, Sophie might be getting the most action. Jessamine longed for a rich husband who was not a Shadowhunter, and she is so desperate to live her dream that she is willing to betray the Institute and deceive herself. While Jessie is characterized as a weak and vain character, she is hardly worse than Tessa herself. I think Clare tried to make Tessa better by making her have a fondness for books and make her a bit insecure, but really, she is just as anti-feminist as Jessie for they both are driven by their want for a relationship.

While it is not anti-feminist, I did find the ending very cheesy. Jem and Tessa announce their engagement and Charlotte announces her pregnancy at the same time; it’s just very romantic-comedy-ish. It’s like, “And everything was happily ever after. The end.” It just seemed a bit too forced for me.

Sometimes I really wish I wasn’t an English major who found it fun and natural to point out these aspects in everything. I can’t even watch commercials anymore. (STORY TIME.) Today I was watching a show with my mom. One of the commercials was about two sons who were so pleased by their mother’s choice in snacks that they redid the entire backyard just for her. It was supposed to be cute and light-hearted. However, I began to rant to my mother almost immediately. I said, “I love how they tried to make this family seem easy to relate to by making them bi-racial. The mother is white and the sons are Hispanic. They’re trying to get points for making a ‘modern family’ since not all couples are the same race. It would have worked, too, if they didn’t have Hispanic children doing yardwork.” My mother almost died with laughter and said, “Only you would point that out.”

Anyway, point of the story is, I often ruin perfectly acceptable things for myself just by seeing underlying things, such as anti-feminism. I’m sure if I wasn’t an English major that I would have thoroughly enjoyed this book. If you aren’t tainted by my point of view, then I’d suggest you check out the story too. I apologize if I ruined it for you.

As for my goals, I want to finish Ash by Malindo Lo and Perfect by Ellen Hopkins this week. I’m running out of time before I go back to campus and I want to return my library books by then. *cough* That’s not going to happen because I only finished one of the books. I’m just going to renew them all again, but I want to get as many done as possible first.

On a completely unrelated note, I have started a new blog on Tumblr called Harry Potter: Examined. I’ve decided to combine my love for Harry Potter and literary exploration by delving into the Harry Potter series with a critical eye. I’m going to be writing about characters, themes, symbols, and more. Plus, my theme is SO AWESOME. At least check it out and let me know what you think! You can find it at http://www.harrypotter-examined.tumblr.com.

Talk to me guys! I feel like I’m talking to a wall. Are you out there?

Jen xx

Week 31: Results & Week 32: Goals

Damn it, I didn’t get to post on time. On Saturday, my brother and his wife came up from Maryland to visit and it was my grandfather’s 85th birthday. Consequently, I was stuck in my family obligations. As for Sunday, I had a huge emotional breakdown and I was in no state to be blogging. I apologize.

know that I said I’d finish Clockwork Prince last week, but…no. BUT there are only two more chapters left and I’m not going to bed until I finish! I’ll be spending tomorrow reading Perfect and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I should have both finished within a couple of days. I just realized that there are only three more weeks until I return to college (YES!) so I’m running out of time for my annual summer Harry Potter books marathon! I better get my ass in gear! Good thing I live two minutes away from Wawa, home of the cheap coffee.

In other news, I had A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin on hold at my local library for months. It finally came in last week! I picked it up and read a couple pages. So far, so good. (To be honest, I’m only in the Prologue still, but hey! I was reading it in the car on the way to my girlfriend’s house. I didn’t have much time.) As excited as I am to read this book series and finally watch the show my friends have been raving about, this one’s going on the backburner. If you recall, last week I mentioned the list of other library books waiting to be read. Sorry Martin, I’ll see you later.

In COMPLETELY unrelated news, has anyone watched the new mini-series on USA, Political Animals? Oh my goodness, I’m addicted! The story and the characters are so intense and I can’t get enough. I’m in love with poor, broken T.J. Oh, and can we talk about the cast?! How can this get any better? (How about making it a full length series? With multiple seasons? Yeah, that’d be nice.)

I mentioned that I’m working on a story for Camp Nanowrimo. Um…yeah, about that…Ugh, every time I go to write, my inspiration gets sucked out of me and I end up staring at a blank page for an hour before I give up. Any tips? It’d be much appreciated.

Well, I’m off to finish this book! Let me know what you guys are up to! I love talking to you!

Happy reading! Toodles,

Jen

Here we go again…Camp Nano

I know, I know. You’re probably all going, “Jen! You know what happened last time! Are you serious?” Or maybe that’s just what I would say to myself. Either way, yes. I remember how I horribly failed due to my commitment issues with my writing. I remember that I gave up about ten days in. And yes, I am serious.

As you may know, my number one role model is J.K. Rowling, the author of my favorite series Harry Potter. Jo’s story is one that continues to amaze me. She was a single mother who was living in poverty when she got the idea for her book. She worked hard while taking care of her baby and paying rent. She had hit rock-bottom but was fighting to get back up. And she did. She became the first billionaire author–who then became a millionaire since she gave away so much money to charity. Her books changed the entire world forever and changed the lives of so many people, including me.

I want to have that effect on people. I want to change the world for the better, and I want my story to be told. I keep pushing off writing  by saying that I’m too busy or stressed, when in reality, I’m just sitting on my ass and scrolling through Tumblr. I need to get motivated and I need to get writing.

This August, I’ll be attempting to write the first draft of my novel. 50,000 words in 31 days. We’ll see how it goes.