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Monday, May 30, 2011

Brining the Classics Back

YA books are running rampant in today's teen scene, which is wonderful. As a high schooler, I'm always glad when I see other people with book's in their hands, even if it's Twilight. I mean, better to read once, than never read at all, right?

But in all the new paranormal and dystopian YA crazes, teens are losing touch with the real good stuff: Classics. The classics will ALWAYS be my favorite books to read, because they offer just as much action, romance, mystery, and on occasion, blood and gore, as newer novels do. And, they're usually written a million times better than any thing else you can read.

Of course, it does take a while to get into the groove of reading classics, and at first, if you're not used to the writing style, it could be a turn off. But, I promise you, classics rock. So hard.

Here's a list of my favorite classics. Hopefully you'll pick one up!

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

I have SO MUCH love for this book! As a theatre nerd, I first fell in love with the play when I was 7, and then moved onto the novel. The Phantom is the most genius character I've ever read about, and this novel is just.... oh, it breaks my heart. But it's so bittersweet and fantastic. Please, READ THIS!

Buy it:

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

I just finished this novel about two weeks ago, and I am still so emotional about it. Dickens created my #1 all time love interest: Sydney Carton. There is no better man in the world then he. I love him to freaking death (hehe, pun intended). Dickens also has this insane way of happing the most epic cliffhangers at the end of each freaking chapter, so it's a page turner for sure.

Buy it:

The Odyssey by Homer

I am a greek mythology buff, so reading this book was like being in heaven. Talk about action! The entire book is just a nonstop roller coaster ride, and I've come to the conclusion that Odysseus is a BAMF. Another great read. And it's also like 2,000 years old, so it's like an uber classic.

Buy it:

Those are three of my favorite classics, hope you read them! If you have, tell me what you think about them.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Goodreads VS Shelfari


Before I started blogging, I used on a daily basis. I thought it was the coolest thing in the world. And then somehow I heard about Goodreads, and I made an account, but it seemed difficult to navigate, and I was happy with my Shelfari shelf.

And then when I started blogging, I noticed Goodreads was the general consensus as an online book shelf. So, I logged back on and started messing around, updating all my shelves and personalizing my profile… and I fell in love. Now, I’m on Goodreads every day, and Shelfari maybe once a week.

For one thing, I actually find Goodreads easier to use, and more user friendly once you take the time to actually get to know it. But, I LOVE that Shelfari actually put your books on a shelf. I think it’s cute, and it’s a little easier to navigate for me. It's easier to add and find books on a shelf that actually looks like a real shelf, I think.

Goodreads has that ‘Facebook style’ newsfeed, which is useful and informative, especially when new reviews are posted. 

The winning aspect for me, the one that makes Goodreads better for my experience, is that Goodreads allows you to make your own shelves. That is a genius idea, and I love it. I can categorized books however I want, which definitely helps for reading challenges and such. 

What are your thoughts on the two? Do you prefer one over the other? Why? 

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Hiatus is Over!

Hey! My hiatus is officially over. Wow, who knew a month could go by so quickly? I'm ending it a bit early, as it was supposed to end on June 1st, but I'm anxious to get back to blogging and reviewing and such. My next post is scheduled to go up tomorrow, it's a discussion topic, and I can't wait to see what all of your opinions are.

I'm happy to be back! :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Author Guest Post: Becca Smith

A while back, I made a discussion post on Dystopian novels being the new "IT" in YA. Today we have Becca Smith, author of the dystopian novel Riser, weighing in on why dystopians are so popular right now.

Why do we love the Dystopian genre so much?

From “Hunger Games” to “City of Embers” to “The Giver” there are so many amazing Dystopian novels! Why do we like them so much? Because it’s fun (in a very twisted way) to think of all the most horrible futures imaginable. What’s scary is how close we are to living those futures if the human race keeps going down the path it’s going down. I guess that’s why we can connect to these novels because there’s an element of truth to them all.

In my novel, “Riser,” I tried a different kind of spin. I created a world where on the surface everything seems like the perfect Utopia. It takes place three hundred years in the future where a little pill called Age-pro was invented that stops the aging process completely, making the world immortal. There are other aspects of the world that make it seem like a Utopia: Paper is illegal, only fuel cell hover cars exist, tree laws (where every ten feet a tree has to be planted) etc.

But with immortality comes overpopulation and that’s where the Dystopia comes into play.

There is a branch of the government called Population Control that secretly exterminates the poor and unwanted. My main character, Chelsan, has to deal with the fact that everyone in her trailer park was killed, including her mother. But what’s interesting about Chelsan is that she was born with a power. She sees swirling black holes in anything that’s dead (plants, animals, people). Chelsan learned early on that she could connect to the black holes and control them anyway she wants to. When she finds out who is responsible for her mother’s murder she vows to take him down with her power.

But Chelsan is still a teenage girl with teenage girl problems. Her schoolmate Jill Forester makes her life a living hell at high school, and she has an impossible crush on Ryan Vaughn who doesn’t know she exists.

It was a lot of fun coming up with this world that seems so perfect on the surface. No pollution, peace (because no one wants to risk dying when they can live forever!) and immortality. Everything we’ve ever wanted, right?

That’s what I love about the Dystopian genre! There are so many paths we as humans can go down and even when we think we’re doing the right thing sometimes it ends up even darker than we ever imagined.
Buy This Book:

About the Author
Becca received her Film degree from Full Sail University and has worked in the Film and Television industry for most of her adult life. Becca wrote the comic series "Ghost Whisperer: The Haunted" based on the hit television show. She currently lives in Los Angeles, CA with her husband and two cats Jack and Duke.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

My R.A.K. Wishlist!

I've seen this around, and this month I finally decided to join in! I've joined the Random Acts of Kindness meme-thing hosted by Book Soulmates!

Here's my wishlist:
-Divergent by Veronica Roth
-Entwined by Heather Dixon

• Sign up each month you'd like to participate in.

• Show off your participation! Grab one of the buttons available :)

• Create a wishlist and post it in the Google Doc located in each R.A.K post for the month.
{Post on your blog, Amazon, where ever as long as there's a link to it.}

• If you choose to do a R.A.K for someone, check out their wishlist and contact that blogger for their address. 

• At the end of the month, SHOW US YOUR R.A.K!
{Make a post saying 'Thank You' to whoever granted one of your wishes :)

Lets's keep our International bloggers in mind and in our hearts.
Remember, there's always the Book Depository and they offer FREE shipping!
Thank you Uniflame for pointing that out!! :P

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Is Dystopian the New "IT" In YA?

I was having a conversation with my dad about books yesterday, being that I had just told him about my blog, and he was fascinated with the whole world of it, and the fact that there was a whole online community of “book people like me”. And somehow we got into the topic of vampires. He was saying something like I should review more vampire books, and I said “Vampires are really losing steam, dad.” Then he asked me what was popular now, and my answer was instantaneous, almost mindless: Dystopian.

(It took a little explanation for him to get what dystopian meant, lol. “What the hell is that?” “Dad, they’re novels that take place basically at the end of the world, or when society goes to shit.” “Oh, I get it.”)

And that got me thinking. Is dystopian really the new “IT” thing in YA? There is a sudden influx in dystopians being written, and the legions of dystopian fans are quickly growing (including myself, or course.)

As we have seen, all it takes is one book to put something at the forefront. Harry Potter made reading in general cool, and shed a new light on YA lit. Twilight is what really got YA lit booming (and I say this painfully), especially vampires. After that, we couldn’t get enough vampires! But, like all good things, that fad is quickly fading. The next revolutionary novel that has made as big of an impact as Twilight was the The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. This novel, as well as its sequels Catching Fire and Mockingjay, became the next “IT” books, and with them they brought dystopian fiction into the limelight. Just as after Twilight we were bombarded with vampires, now the shelves are filled with post-apocalyptic stories and tales of people rebelling against oppressive societies.

So, my conclusion on the matter is that, yes, dystopians are the new ‘it’. But how long until a new smash hit book is released, that pulls a “Lady Gaga” in the YA market and completely turns the tides? What will be the next trend?

What do you think about dystopians? Love them, hate them? Let me know!

Monday, May 2, 2011

May TBR Pile

Hey guys! Yes, I'm still on blogging break, but I thought I'd share with you guys the video of the books that I'm going to be reading this month during my break. (I filmed this like 2 weeks ago) Enjoy my vid and let me know if you've read any of these books!


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