Thursday, 19 May 2016

A Helpful App For Reading

I haven't done any posts lately, because I've been really busy. Since I've had so much to do, I haven't finished any books. So today, I thought I'd do a post a little different from what I usually do. It'll be short, but more posts are soon to come. :)

We've all been there; wanting to read, but texting a friend instead. The same thing goes for homework. Procrastination is something we all do. However, I've found a solution to this problem!
A few days ago, an app popped up under my 'recommended apps' and it looked interesting, so I decided to try it out. It's called "Forest: Stay Focused". (This is of course not a sponsored post.)

In this app, all you do is plant a 'tree' whenever you want to focus on something and stay away from your phone. You can pick a duration of time. Let's say I want to do homework for 15 minutes. I'd plant a '15 minute tree' and after the fifteen minutes, I'd be able to plant that tree in my forest and receive coins. With those coins I can then purchase new types of trees to plant. However, if you use your phone during those 15 minutes, the tree will die, and you won't get coins. The tree in your garden will also die.

This is a really simple, useful app for staying focused. I recommend it for doing homework, reading, and just any activities where you want to stay off your phone.

More posts to come soon! I hope you all have a lovely rest of the week

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Book Talk - To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

For English Class, I recently finished reading the novel To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. It was  pretty good! I really enjoyed it! I have to say though, it was a trickier read than most other books.

Here's a quick summary of the book if you haven't read it:

Scout lives in a depression era (1930s) in Maycomb, Alabama. Her father, Atticus, is defending a black man who was accused of raping a young girl. Told through the eyes of Scout, we learn about herself, her brother, her neighbours, and her father, who is trying desperately hard to prove the innocence of a black man.

To start off, I have to say that this book was actually so much better than what I expected! To Kill A Mockingbird is a book that often comes up in many conversations and is overall a very well known book. It's a classic! Everyone has come across this book sometime in their life. It goes without saying that I was a bit nervous to start reading this book because I was worried that I wouldn't understand much of it or that I wouldn't like it at all.

When I started reading it, I was absolutely muddled. I could not understand why a six year old girl knew so many fancy words and why she was describing her ancestor, Simon Finch, in such detail. But, after getting through a few chapters, the book started to make more sense and I started enjoying it more. On one hand, I found that Part 1 of the book was not extremely eventful, but still interesting. On the other hand, I found that Part 2 was much more eventful and interesting!

Now, let's get to the characters! I love Scout! She is such an awesome character. I love her curiosity! She's always wondering about everything, but is too young to understand the answers to some of her questions.  She has an awesome streak of adventure within herself that made her such an interesting and unique character. Scout is also super smart!! She is a book lover (which is pretty awesome!!) and has loved books from a very young age. Furthermore, Scout is also a really courageous character! She took risks throughout this book such as tasting the gum from the Radley tree (even though she thought there was a chance it might be poisoned; this also showcases her curiosity). One of my favourite traits about Scout was that she has a hilarious romantic nature!! I thought that this was very humorous, especially since she was only six years old. At a certain part of the book, when Dill was away, (her future husband 😉) she expressed how she missed him for an entire two days and how dreadful it was to be longing him.  Overall, Scout was one of my favourite characters from this book.

Atticus, Scout's father, is a lawyer in Maycomb, who defends Tom Robinson, an innocent black man accused of rape. Prejudice never affected his choices, which was definitely an awesome quality of his. Atticus is a kind, caring, gentle, and stern character, but is also a very loving father. He is a brave man who believes in what is right instead of what everyone else believes in. He has a lot of courage and teaches his children wisely. Atticus shoots a rabid, sick dog in this book which shows his bravery. It also shows how humble he is. He never told his children or bragged to anyone that he was excellent at shooting; he shoot the sick dog with one single shot. A quality that I really like about Atticus was that he sees people for who they truly are instead of what they look like on the outside. Throughout the book, many people dislike that Scout won't wear dresses like all the other girls, but Atticus doesn't care. Atticus sees Scout for who she is. He doesn't worry about her dressing the way that society wants her to. (Can you tell that I strongly admire Atticus?)

Next there's Jem. Jem is a super creative and curious character. Why? Throughout most of the book, Jem was always wanting to find out more about Boo Radley. He made lots of dramas with Dill and Scout about Boo Radley, which shows off some of his creativity. Something I love about Jem is how he views his world! Jem believes that Tom Robinson should win the case because he knows what is right and doesn't let other people's opinions affect his own. Throughout the book, Jem was an awesome brother to Scout.

All the secondary characters are also amazing as well! Calpurnia, Miss Maudie, Ms. Dubose... and even Boo Radley! I loved how they added to the story, and how in the end Boo Radley was actually an important character to Scout and Jem.

This book combines prejudice, loss, hope, death and other serious topics and is a really good read.

I really loved this book! Although it was a hard read, it was a good book and deserves a high rating.

I give To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee 4.7 stars. The reason I take off 0.3 of a star is because of the slow start (there was no action), but other than that, it was marvellous!

I do recommend this book! Feel free to comment your thoughts below! :)

Have an amazing day!!!

P.S. I'm planning to post some of my favourite quotes from this book soon. Stay posted!

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Book Review - The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore

 Before reading this book, I originally thought that The Power of Six was about Six (the character) and her journey in battling the Mogdorians. After reading a few chapters into the book, I realized that the title was actually based off of the fact that there were only six remaining Garde who need to fight off the Mogdorians. The book is still based out of Four's aka John Smith's perspective, but also Number Seven, who is known as Marina.

This book took me longer to get through than the first book (I am Number Four) because I found that the beginning was uneventful, therefore I wasn't glued to the pages. After reading to just less than halfway, I became more interested and excited to get to the end of the book. After finishing this book, I've decided that I really want to finish these series to find out what happens!!

I really like the character additions in this book, even a bit more than in the first book. My favourite new character (other than Marina) was Héctor. He was such a sweet character who really cared about Marina. He went so far to protect her; it really warmed my heart. I loved his thoughtfulness and compassion.

Marina was also a fantastic character, but what really exasperated me was how she acted in one of the battle scenes near the end of the book. (SPOILER ALERT. SKIP TO NEXT PARAGRAPH). When Héctor was hurt and he and Marina's chest were sinking to the ocean floor, Marina introduced herself to Six -- while Héctor was slowly dying!! This got me so mad!! There was a possibility that Héctor could've been saved, but Marina wasted precious seconds by introducing herself instead of going after Héctor. Why?!!!

Overall, I give this book 4 stars.

If you haven't read this book, I recommend it to you if you read I Am Number Four, and enjoyed it, or if you are a fan of alien related books. These series are an adequate book series, but are pretty good.

I know this was a shorter book talk than usual, but I hope you enjoyed it all the same.

Have an amazing day!

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

The Hamilton Book Tag

I, along with thousands of others, am currently obsessed with Hamilton. And guess what? There's a book tag for it! What more could you ask?
If you don't know, Hamilton is a Hip Hop/rap musical about Alexander Hamilton. It's is currently super popular and has an absolutely amazing soundtrack. You think history is boring? Think again.
I've wanted to do this tag for so long, and here it finally is! I'm not sure why I hadn't done it up to this point. Anyways, I'm so excited!!! Let's do this!

1. The Room Where It Happens
A book world you'd put yourself into

This one is a total no-brainer. Harry Potter!! I'd get to be a witch and use magic and go to Hogwarts and have witch and wizard friends!!! Not to mention the amazing adventures we'd go on together! I'd love to have a wand pick me and get a magical pet. I'd probably pick a cat! I'd also love to play Quidditch! I really don't like sports, but if I can FLY in the process of it, I would totally love it! I'd never get bored at Hogwarts. Okay, moving on!

2. The Schuyler Sisters
An underrated female character

Who to pick? There are so many underrated female characters. I'll have to go with the obvious answer of Hermione. Without her, Harry and Ron would not have survived the book series. Also, she doesn't settle for anyone who doesn't fully respect her (hence the many times she gets angry at Ron.) She's a very cool, kick-butt character without losing her femininity.

3. My Shot
A character who goes after what they want and don't let anything stop them

I love this song! It's one of my favourites on the soundtrack. (I just love them all!!!!) For this one, I think I'll go with Kaz Brekker (and his epic crew) from Six Of Crows. They worked so hard for that heist. Honourable mentions go to Katniss from the Hunger Games trilogy, America Singer from the Selection series, and Adelina Amouteru from The Young Elites.
4. Stay Alive
A character you wish was still alive
Hum, hum, hum, who to pick?? I could go for one of the many dead parents. Literally all book parents ever are dead. Divergent, The Young Elites, The 5th Wave, Atlantia, etc. I honestly can't name them all. But I'm going to go with

5. Burn
The most heartbreaking end to a relationship you've ever read

Hmm... I guess FourTris had a pretty sad ending. I don't really wanna go with I'll Give You The Sun again (there were so many painfully heartbreaking relationships in it) (and you should definitely read it) so I'm going to pick Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, which I also think fits perfectly for this. That one specific relationship, *cough, cough* was just too good to be true, I guess. No spoilers. :P

6. You'll Be Back
The sassiest villain

Draco Malfoy maybe? He's pretty darn sassy. but not much of a villain. I'm going through all villains I know mentally. What's-his-name (Torren?) from The Young Elites is quite sassy, I guess, perhaps. Not really though. I'm gonna have to pass on this one. Really sorry!

7. The Reynolds Pamphlet
A book with a twist you didn't see coming
I'm not going to spoil any twists. If someone tells you a book has a twist, you'll spend the whole time waiting for the twist and it won't surprise you. If you have no idea what's coming and then read the part with the twist, you're in total shock and so confused and fascinated and re-evaluating your entire reading experience. You aren't getting any twist spoilers out of me, although there are lots of good ones.

8. Non-Stop
 A book series you marathoned
The Matched trilogy by Ally Condie! I read this series in about 4 or 5 days last summer. I'm not a very fast reader, but I literally breezed through this series. I really enjoyed it! It's one of my favourites. ALSO, the Last Dragon Chronicles. I was hooked! That was many years ago though.

9. Satisfied
Favourite book with multiple POV's

Perhaps I'll Give You The Sun? I really need to pick different books. I'm currently mostly just looking at the small amount of books on my bookshelf. Eek... I know! Six Of Crows by Leigh Bardugo! But I also really liked Reached in the Matched trilogy.

10. Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story
A book you think will be remember throughout history

Absolutely the Harry Potter series. Perhaps also The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and Divergent by Veronica Roth. Those are just very popular books I think will be talked about for years and years to come.

11. Helpless
A relationship you were pulling for from the very start
I want to pick I'll Give You The Sun again. It was just soooo darn amazingly perfect and I needed it to happen! I've already used The Selection too, in which I would have picked Aspen. And of course Six Of Crows with basically everyone you could possible ship. I can't think of a book I haven't mentioned where I actually wanted a relationship to happen, so I'll just have to leave it at that.

12. Ten Duel Commandments
Favourite fight scene
I've read tons of books with fight scenes but can't recall any specific ones I enjoyed except the last battle in Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard.

13. Say No To This
Guilty pleasure read
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, The Lies About Truth by Courtney C. Stevens, Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon, etc. Basically any decent contemporary romance.

14. What Comes Next
A series you wish had more books
I'm not sure. All books I wish had a continuation aren't yet part of a series. :(
15. Right Hand Man
Your favourite brOTP
Celeste/Marlee and America from The Selection. I'm so sorry for repeating myself with the book again! :(((

16. What'd I Miss
A book series you were late to reading
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins! I read it a few months ago. I actually listened to an audiobook, which was pretty cool!

I hope you enjoyed this tag! Thank you for bearing with me through the repetition. What's your favourite Hamilton song at the moment? I'm currently obsessed with Dear Theodosia! :)