Four
Veronica Roth
Summary:

Two years before Beatrice Prior made her choice, the sixteen-year-old son of Abnegation’s faction leader did the same. Tobias’s transfer to Dauntless is a chance to begin again. Here, he will not be called the name his parents gave him. Here, he will not let fear turn him into a cowering child.
Newly christened “Four,” he discovers during initiation that he will succeed in Dauntless. Initiation is only the beginning, though; Four must claim his place in the Dauntless hierarchy. His decisions will affect future initiates as well as uncover secrets that could threaten his own future—and the future of the entire faction system.
Two years later, Four is poised to take action, but the course is still unclear. The first new initiate who jumps into the net might change all that. With her, the way to righting their world might become clear. With her, it might become possible to be Tobias once again.

Throughout the Divergent series, Four was kind of an annoying character to me (although in the movie I related so hard to him I ended up bawling in the theater, but that’s a totally different thing), he kind of seemed so lifeless and kind of boring, and I really only cared about Tris. So when I heard about these stories, I knew I wanted to read them (I’d honestly eat up anything about this series right now), but I didn’t know how I would feel about it once I did. 
I was really surprised at how much these stories brought Four’s character to life. It’s amazing how just these few short stories really transformed him from a scrawny kid into the strong silent Four we know in Divergent. Getting to “witness” the way things were with his dad of course made him a way more sympathetic character to me, but I really loved the whole thing, not just those parts. 
Also, I knew it would happen but still, seeing how much Four really really loved Tris broke my heart so much after finishing the whole series…. 
There were times when it was a little dry (you can only be so entertained re-reading the same story, especially when it’s been a while and you don’t really remember the other perspective) but it was still so great. 
5/5

Four

Veronica Roth

Summary:

Two years before Beatrice Prior made her choice, the sixteen-year-old son of Abnegation’s faction leader did the same. Tobias’s transfer to Dauntless is a chance to begin again. Here, he will not be called the name his parents gave him. Here, he will not let fear turn him into a cowering child.

Newly christened “Four,” he discovers during initiation that he will succeed in Dauntless. Initiation is only the beginning, though; Four must claim his place in the Dauntless hierarchy. His decisions will affect future initiates as well as uncover secrets that could threaten his own future—and the future of the entire faction system.

Two years later, Four is poised to take action, but the course is still unclear. The first new initiate who jumps into the net might change all that. With her, the way to righting their world might become clear. With her, it might become possible to be Tobias once again.

Throughout the Divergent series, Four was kind of an annoying character to me (although in the movie I related so hard to him I ended up bawling in the theater, but that’s a totally different thing), he kind of seemed so lifeless and kind of boring, and I really only cared about Tris. So when I heard about these stories, I knew I wanted to read them (I’d honestly eat up anything about this series right now), but I didn’t know how I would feel about it once I did. 

I was really surprised at how much these stories brought Four’s character to life. It’s amazing how just these few short stories really transformed him from a scrawny kid into the strong silent Four we know in Divergent. Getting to “witness” the way things were with his dad of course made him a way more sympathetic character to me, but I really loved the whole thing, not just those parts. 

Also, I knew it would happen but still, seeing how much Four really really loved Tris broke my heart so much after finishing the whole series…. 

There were times when it was a little dry (you can only be so entertained re-reading the same story, especially when it’s been a while and you don’t really remember the other perspective) but it was still so great. 

5/5


Guys love books too - a campaign

readaroundtherosie:

books-and-cookies:

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Hello bookish Tumblr community :)

I was thinking about something lately. I never see guys around here. And I’m wondering why that is… Are they shy? Do they not want people to know they read? Is reading considered strictly a female hobby? Cause, if that is so, it’s wrong! Books are for everyone, that’s the beauty of them.

So, we here at books-and-cookies​, magic-in-every-book and readaroundtherosie​ have decided to start a campaign to find the male readers on tumblr and get them out of their shells and get them involved!

If you’re a guy and you love to read, let us know! Make a text post, post a selfie, send us a message, submit something and let the world know that guys enjoy books and reading too! And, don’t forget to tag it, so everyone can see it: #guyslovebookstoo

And reblog away everyone, so we can find them and make them feel part of the community :)

spread the word :)


Racism in Young Adult Literature; A List of Articles

magic-in-every-book:

White Washing

 Race in Y.A. Literature

Websites:

(via readaroundtherosie)


goodbadanduglybooks:

Lois Lowry on Giving Up ‘The Giver’ to Hollywood

leeandlow:

The author talks about all the ways young-adult fiction has changed since she published her award-winning book two decades ago. Read the full article here.


ananasbooks:

OKAY SO RULES:

  • This ends September 1st at midnight of whatever time zone you live in, I’ll be choosing a winner the next day
  • I’ve been thinking about it and you don’t have to be following me, I want to do a giveaway, not gain dozens of followers who didn’t even want to follow me in the first place. If you checked out my blog, though, that would be extremely nice of you!
  • I’m not sure how much money I will be able to spend, so let’s say one winner gets one book, there’s a possibility there will be more than one winner. I’ll keep you updated.
  • You need to reblog this post to enter. Likes count only if you reblogged it first.
  • You can have whatever edition (that the Book Depository has) and whichever book in a series you like.
  • If you prefer any other book than the ones listed above you can say so, but it’s the theme what’s fun. But this giveaway is for you, I won’t argue.
  • I’ll be using the Book Depository so 1) your country needs to be on the list of where they ship to (they ship almost everywhere, don’t worry), 2) you need to be comfortable giving me your address, I won’t do anything creepy with it (I wouldn’t even know what to do with it, I could send you a christmas card).
  • If you have any questions just come here

GOOD LUCK GUYS AND MAY THE ODDS BE EVER IN YOUR FAVOR!

(via books-cupcakes)


Dirty Daddy
Bob Saget
Summary (from Amazon):

Millions of viewers know and love Bob Saget from his role as the sweetly neurotic father on the smash hit Full House, and as the charming wisecracking host ofAmerica’s Funniest Home Videos. And then there are the legions of fans who can’t get enough of his scatological, out-of-his-mind stand-up routines, comedy specials, and outrageously profane performances in such shows as HBO’sEntourageand the hit documentaryThe Aristocrats.
In his bold and wildly entertaining publishing debut, he continues to embrace his dark side and gives readers the book they have long been waiting for—hilarious and often dirty. Bob believes there’s a time and a place for filth. From his never-before-heard stories of what really went on behind the scenes of two of the most successful family shows of all times, with co-stars like John Stamos and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, to his tales of legendary friends and colleagues like Rodney Dangerfield, Richard Pryor, Don Rickles, and other show business legends, Saget opens up about some of his personal experiences with life and death, his career, and his reputation for sick humor—all with his highly original blend of silliness, vulgarity, humor and heart, and all framed by a man who loves being funny above all else.

Ok, so I’ve seen Bob Saget’s comedy show, I saw his roast, I know that he is not Danny Tanner. I am not offended by Bob Saget being vulgar. That being said, it was entirely too much in this book. It wasn’t really that I was offended by the things he was saying, it was more like secondhand embarrassment that this grown man was publishing a book with these things written in it?? 

I also had a problem with how he kept doing annoying things, like name-dropping excessively, but then he would acknowledge that he was doing it, which had the opposite effect from making it ok, it just made it even more annoying. 

Just really not the book for me….

1/5

Dirty Daddy

Bob Saget

Summary (from Amazon):

Millions of viewers know and love Bob Saget from his role as the sweetly neurotic father on the smash hit Full House, and as the charming wisecracking host ofAmerica’s Funniest Home Videos. And then there are the legions of fans who can’t get enough of his scatological, out-of-his-mind stand-up routines, comedy specials, and outrageously profane performances in such shows as HBO’sEntourageand the hit documentaryThe Aristocrats.

In his bold and wildly entertaining publishing debut, he continues to embrace his dark side and gives readers the book they have long been waiting for—hilarious and often dirty. Bob believes there’s a time and a place for filth. From his never-before-heard stories of what really went on behind the scenes of two of the most successful family shows of all times, with co-stars like John Stamos and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, to his tales of legendary friends and colleagues like Rodney Dangerfield, Richard Pryor, Don Rickles, and other show business legends, Saget opens up about some of his personal experiences with life and death, his career, and his reputation for sick humor—all with his highly original blend of silliness, vulgarity, humor and heart, and all framed by a man who loves being funny above all else.

Ok, so I’ve seen Bob Saget’s comedy show, I saw his roast, I know that he is not Danny Tanner. I am not offended by Bob Saget being vulgar. That being said, it was entirely too much in this book. It wasn’t really that I was offended by the things he was saying, it was more like secondhand embarrassment that this grown man was publishing a book with these things written in it?? 

I also had a problem with how he kept doing annoying things, like name-dropping excessively, but then he would acknowledge that he was doing it, which had the opposite effect from making it ok, it just made it even more annoying. 

Just really not the book for me….

1/5


Turns out I returned Dirty Daddy to the library before my vacation, so I’ll have to write a review with an online picture, so I’m writing this post to remind myself to do that after work!!

Posted 2 weeks ago

City of Heavenly Fire
Cassandra Clare
Summary:

In this dazzling and long-awaited conclusion to the acclaimed Mortal Instruments series, Clary and her friends fight the greatest evil they have ever faced: Clary’s own brother. 
Sebastian Morgenstern is on the move, systematically turning Shadowhunter against Shadowhunter. Bearing the Infernal Cup, he transforms Shadowhunters into creatures out of nightmare, tearing apart families and lovers as the ranks of his Endarkened army swell. 
The embattled Shadowhunters withdraw to Idris - but not even the famed demon towers of Alicante can keep Sebastian at bay. And with the Nephilim trapped in Idris, who will guard the world against demons?
When one of the greatest betrayals the Nephilim have ever known is revealed, Clary, Jace, Isabelle, Simon, and Alec must flee - even if their journey takes them deep into the demon realms, where no Shadowhunter has set foot before, and from which no human being has ever returned….
Love will be sacrificed and lives lost in the terrible battle for the fate of the world in the thrilling final installment of the classic urban fantasy series The Mortal Instruments!

I’m sorry but this review will definitely have spoilers (the first paragraph is safe):
This book has left me feeling kind of confused because, for the majority of Clare’s books, I’ve been reading just because I read the first one and wanted to find out what happened. So I came into CoHF with very very low expectations, only to have them all sort of blown away, which makes me concerned because I do have serious problems with these series as a whole, and I feel weird about enjoying an installment. 
This book fixed a lot of the problems there have been in the rest of the series, since I became really emotionally invested in the characters and really interested in what was happening. I think it’s always a good move by authors of YA to kill off characters who you thought were really really important, so the book doesn’t get stale, and since this series had gotten a little stale, that kind of move was refreshing (in a very sad way). There were plenty of times when I was really surprised by something that happened, which has become sort of rare in YA. 
The biggest sign to me, though, that I loved this book, was that I spent about a day after reading it just crying constantly, thanks to the Simon thing. I think that was wrapped up irresponsibly, but it was such a fantastic storyline and just broke my heart, which is what any great book should do.
I really really liked this book a lot, but it is still part of the TMI series, so I did have issues with a lot of things (especially Clary-related), but it was really easy to overlook, and honestly I can’t even remember them now.
4.5/5

City of Heavenly Fire

Cassandra Clare

Summary:

In this dazzling and long-awaited conclusion to the acclaimed Mortal Instruments series, Clary and her friends fight the greatest evil they have ever faced: Clary’s own brother. 

Sebastian Morgenstern is on the move, systematically turning Shadowhunter against Shadowhunter. Bearing the Infernal Cup, he transforms Shadowhunters into creatures out of nightmare, tearing apart families and lovers as the ranks of his Endarkened army swell. 

The embattled Shadowhunters withdraw to Idris - but not even the famed demon towers of Alicante can keep Sebastian at bay. And with the Nephilim trapped in Idris, who will guard the world against demons?

When one of the greatest betrayals the Nephilim have ever known is revealed, Clary, Jace, Isabelle, Simon, and Alec must flee - even if their journey takes them deep into the demon realms, where no Shadowhunter has set foot before, and from which no human being has ever returned….

Love will be sacrificed and lives lost in the terrible battle for the fate of the world in the thrilling final installment of the classic urban fantasy series The Mortal Instruments!

I’m sorry but this review will definitely have spoilers (the first paragraph is safe):

This book has left me feeling kind of confused because, for the majority of Clare’s books, I’ve been reading just because I read the first one and wanted to find out what happened. So I came into CoHF with very very low expectations, only to have them all sort of blown away, which makes me concerned because I do have serious problems with these series as a whole, and I feel weird about enjoying an installment. 

This book fixed a lot of the problems there have been in the rest of the series, since I became really emotionally invested in the characters and really interested in what was happening. I think it’s always a good move by authors of YA to kill off characters who you thought were really really important, so the book doesn’t get stale, and since this series had gotten a little stale, that kind of move was refreshing (in a very sad way). There were plenty of times when I was really surprised by something that happened, which has become sort of rare in YA. 

The biggest sign to me, though, that I loved this book, was that I spent about a day after reading it just crying constantly, thanks to the Simon thing. I think that was wrapped up irresponsibly, but it was such a fantastic storyline and just broke my heart, which is what any great book should do.

I really really liked this book a lot, but it is still part of the TMI series, so I did have issues with a lot of things (especially Clary-related), but it was really easy to overlook, and honestly I can’t even remember them now.

4.5/5



I can’t decide what my favorite souvenir from vacation this weekend is.

I can’t decide what my favorite souvenir from vacation this weekend is.


Books read in July

Brunette Ambition (7/3)

Starclimber (7/5)

Still Lolo (7/5)

Alan Mendesohn, the Boy from Mars (7/8)

Hollow City (7/13)

I Am Malala (7/18)

City of Heavenly Fire (7/23)

Dirty Daddy (7/30)

Posted 2 weeks ago

Angry Girl Review: Eleanor and Park

bookgeekconfessions:

angrygirlcomics:

One time in college I turned in an essay and my professor underlined a sentence I’d written and told me it wasn’t the appropriate register for a university essay and I have crazy respect for her so I tailored my papers for the rest of the semester but this isn’t a university essay so I’ll start off with

WHAT

THE FUCK

WAS THAT

Let’s start with the most glaringly obvious: the racism! 

The sad thing is that half these descriptions are obviously supposed to be flattering except they’re… not… 

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Wow ninjas and East Asia what a novel concept wow 

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Wow because East Asian men aren’t emasculated in American media at all

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THIS KIND OF SPEAKS FOR ITSELF.

by the way this is so very Memoirs of a Geisha-y because Park happens to be a half-Korean kid who LOOKS more Asian than his brother

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But Park has green eyes!!!!! so magical!!!! So EXOTIC!!! Also “almond-flavored” please that’s not the most cliched description for Asian eyes in the book

Here have some more grossness around those oh-so-exotic “Asian” eyes

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Please let that sink in for a moment. Like Ming the Merciless. Who, as you might know from the Flash Gordon comic, was originally introduced in 1934 and is a pretty clear stand-in for, uh… yellow peril. upon googling, looks like this:

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Sooo…. yeah.

But then Park has a couple of self-hating moments where he of course implies that Asian women have it easier:

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"White guys think they’re exotic". And that is flattering why, Park? "Exotic", really? And Eleanor isn’t exactly doing a great job of not contributing to this harmful mentality when she explicitly thinks that he’s "prettier than any girl". Again:

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But then!!! Eleanor makes it all better!!! By saying this!! In the middle of a STEAMY LOVE SCENE!!!! (which by the way neither steamy nor lovely just creeped me out a lot because of the following passage):

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This Othering, this fetishization, does not stop through the entire book. Finally, we get towards the end: 

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So no, Eleanor never gets over Othering her boyfriend.

Wait hold on Asian women don’t get a pass either, as Park’s mom is painted as the oppressive parent who doesn’t like “weird white girls”, but according to Eleanor…

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"his" Dainty China person because of course Park’s mom isn’t a person, but a literal object to be moved and shifted according to the whim’s of Park’s dad, a Korean war vet. 

Here have some more bad stereotyping of Asian women as “thin pretty and petite” and Eleanor’s own self-hatred and fat-shaming:

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Black women aren’t exempt from being props to uphold Eleanor either. Her two “friends” at school (I say “friends” in quotes because they don’t really comment on anything except how cute Park is and they all make fun of those OTHER nasty white girls in gym class together), oh, and Rainbow Rowell writes them like this:

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"It was an honor that they’d let her into their club"…the "you’re not like THOSE white people club???" 

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"I got a man", REALLY??? 

Park’s “Asian”-ness As Other and He Could Have Been Edward Cullen, What is the Goddamn Difference

I would have felt better if Rainbow Rowell had written Park as a vampire or a werewolf or some other inhuman creature, the stuff of teen girl YA fantasy because a) vampires and werewolves don’t actually exist and therefore you can write them any way you want, albiet cliched, whatever—at least you’re not contributing to some very harmful societal stereotypes. 

Park, as you can see from the previous citations, is written out to be this “edgy” indie boy who wears eyeliner and listens to the Smiths (which wow I rolled my eyes at) and is also a loner at school in and his edginess and “magic” make him stand out in much the same way a vampire or a werewolf or otherwise nonhuman creature would. These descriptions of Park really made me think of Twilight and no, not because they are things that “normal” teen girls say or think but because we’ve seen this archetype of, for lack of better word, “magical boy” that comes barging into sad-manic-pixie-dream-girl’s-but-not-like-the-other-girls’-life and sweeps her off her feet:

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How artsy, edgy, and NOT PREPPY, he wears all black.

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Who else had a face “like a chiseled marble statue in its perfection”? (psst, it was Edward Cullen)

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who else was described as “godlike” “angelic” and all that crap? Vampire boy Edward Cullen. Louis and Lestat and Claudia, all of our favorite too-gorgeous-to-be-real fairytale creatures.

But when you use those kinds of descriptors for a character who is very visibly POC and then give them an uncommon feature like ~green eyes~, do they not become a kind of mythical creature in, the stuff of exotic fantasy? Do they then become dehumanized and not real, only the kind of boyfriend a girl can aspire to get?

The answer, of course, is yes. But dreaming about dating a vampire or a werewolf is so very different and again does not carry the same weight as being hellbent on dating a ~perfect Asian boy~. Because at this point it is not about Park. This is not Park’s story, even though he shares half the title. This is Eleanor’s story, the manic pixie “not like the other girls” girl, with her crazy red hair and her weird clothes and her desire to get away from it all. 

Eleanor’s entire story is painted on a canvas of abuse and neglect and sadness, so of course she needs some magical boy to literally swoop in and save her— at the end, Park takes her to Minnesota where her uncle lives, away from the safety of her stepfather who is out for her blood. Eleanor is the most precious person in the world to Park, so much that he doesn’t care about his family anymore and the only person he cares about is her. How the hell is that any kind of healthy way to have a relationship?

Park’s Asian-ness is only brought up in the context that it is different to what Eleanor is used to, that it is EXOTIC and MAGICAL and because of that she likes him. No, but it’s in the text, where Eleanor openly admits to fetishizing:

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I didn’t end up CARING about Eleanor’s family situation at all. Her relationship with her mother was completely one-dimensional, as was the relationship with her siblings and her stepfather. It was almost as though the backstory was there to make Eleanor more sympathetic to the reader, which as a reader I didn’t end up buying because there was literally no depth to any of it.

Similarly, Park’s relationship with his parents is weird and disturbing and also one-sided. His mom speaks broken English and is demure but madly in love with his dad, who, need I remind you, “liberated” her from her oppressive country. Miss Saigon, anyone? Park’s dad is typical American machismo, a simple kinda guy, but at heart a good one. I feel like the PARENTS’ relationship was something I was more interested in than Eleanor or Park, had it not been written like a weird yellow-fever wet dream, where the white dude comes home and just makes out with the Asian woman all the time and she stays home and tends to their perfect house and their perfect family. 

Rainbow Rowell has explicitly stated in an interview that one of her inspirations for writing Eleanor and Park and for making Park Korean was that her father had been in the Korean War:

1. My father served in Korea, in the Army.

This is probably the most obvious explanation.

My parents separated when I was in the second grade, and I never knew my dad that well. I didn’t grow up with him around. But I remember being fascinated by the fact that he was in the military – and stationed in a place where there had been an actual war, even though he was there decades after the worst of it.

There was this photo of him, in uniform, hanging over my grandmother’s coffee table – an unrecognizable teenager with short hair and tiny wire-rimmed glasses.

Every once in a while, if he’d had a few drinks, my dad would talk about the Army. How he signed up at 17 to avoid getting drafted and sent to Vietnam. The Army wouldn’t send a 17-year-old to Vietnam, he said. (I have no idea if this, or much else my dad told me, is true.)

He was especially proud of having protested the Vietnam War while he was in Korea. There was a clipping from a military newspaper with photos of the protest. I was 12 or 13 when he showed me this, and I definitely didn’t get it.

Over the years, I’ve had people tell me I must be confused about my dad, that there weren’t Americans soldiers left in Korea in the ‘70s. But there are still American soldiers in South Korea. We never left.

Anyway, the other thing my dad would talk about, every once in a while, was a girl he’d known in Korea. My mom says he carried this Korean girl’s photo in his wallet for years after he came home. He’d been in love with her; my mom thought he still was.

I used to wonder about that girl. About how he met her. Whether she spoke English. Whether she was his age. Whether it was some secret love affair, or something her friends and family knew about … What if she was his soulmate?

What if fate and circumstance and the U.S. government had come together to deliver my father across the continents to his soulmate – and he just left her there.

He could have stayed, I thought. He could have brought her back. Omaha is a military town; people bring wives and husbands back from all over.

I remember being so angry with him. First for leaving the person he was meant to be with; then for leaving my mom, the person he wasn’t meant to be with; and then for leaving all my brothers and sisters and me in his wake.

So … in Eleanor & Park, Park’s dad gets sent to Korea because his brother has died in combat in Vietnam. He meets his soulmate there. And he brings her home. 

He “liberates” her. And puts her in his pocket like a China Doll, right?

These were only a few selections out of the many, many in the novel. Over and over again we’re slammed in the face with the fact that Park is Asian, he’s half-Korean, but only in the way he looks and almost always in the context of his relationship with Eleanor, never by himself. Half the book is supposedly written from Park’s perspective but he never really introspects on his identity except during that scene when he’s with Eleanor, bitter that there aren’t any “hot Asian guys.” Not even Asian AMERICAN, just “Asian”. As though the author were not aware of the hybrid culture that exists in the country—maybe because Park’s “the only Korean in Omaha?”

What first love story is there to tell? They start off hating each other and he makes her a mixtape and asks if she listens to the Smiths, and given that this book came out after Five Hundred Days of Summer… 

I’m not sure what the point of the book was. To make people want hot Asian boyfriends?

This read like bad Tamora Pierce Circle of Magic Trisana Chandler/Briar Moss AU fic.

THANK GOD, someone did this. Eleanor & Park is so very racist. I can’t handle it that people seem to ignore it or are completely ignorant of all the things in this book that are just awful.


So I’ve been really bad about posting lately, and I wanted to let you know it’s not for the normal reasons like laziness or…mostly laziness… it’s because I have the draft for the review of CoHF sitting here and I just can’t bring myself to write it. Like I was really really pleasantly surprised and it’s really messing with me, and I was an emotional wreck afterwards so that’s hard to put in words but I promise it’s coming (and also bob saget’s autobiography…so there’s that….)


50shadesoftobias:

me *walks in the bookstore*

"Oh I have read that. And that. That one too. And this one, this is good. Oh, that one isn’t."

sis: “stop.”

(via readaroundtherosie)



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About me:


I have a gigantic, ever-growing list of books that I want to read, and have read, since approximately the beginning of 2011. This will be where I give reviews and suggestions. My favorite genres are YA, fantasy, and autobiographies, but I will literally read anything, so please feel free to give me suggestions. Please feel free to contact me if you have a book you'd like me to review.


Currently reading (July):

Lirael
Silverwing
Frightful's Mountain
Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister
Four (8/13)