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

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