When you don’t love a book beloved by your bookish community

I recently finished reading Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and I DID NOT love it. GASP. I was mildly entertained. I might pick up the next books out of curiosity to see what happens to the children, but not out of desperate need that I experience when I await or seek out other sequels. Why this upsets me? Everyone seems to love this book. I have only heard good things about this book. My conclusion: I didn’t read the book correctly. Which doesn’t really seem fair because every reading experience should be relative to the individual; everyone is unique and different and will relate to things in different ways. But how else am I supposed to feel when I did not thoroughly enjoy a book that so many of my reading peers recommend?

I did, of course, relate to the book in some ways. The main character experiences the loss of a grandparent and I recently lost my grandmother. I found the sections of the book where the character dealt with this loss to be very familiar and comforting. It just wasn’t enough to make me love the book as a whole. Does that mean I should do the honorable thing and fall on my sword? No. It’s perfectly okay to not enjoy a book that everyone else did. A book is supposed to be received differently by everyone who reads it, allowing it to be special to those who find it so enjoyable. In this case I found the book to be exceptionally ordinary despite the extraordinary subjects.

So what do you do when you don’t love a book beloved by your bookish peers? Own it. Tell them why you didn’t like it and move on. There are plenty of books out there for you to share feels for. This just isn’t one of them.

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Relationships

I decided to write this post about my relationship not because I am crazy ga-ga in love with my boyfriend (although I am), but because I have been in a healthy, supportive and loving relationship for the past four and a half years. Because we started dating when we were so young, we have grown together, but we managed to keep separate interests, social lives independent of one another and still we can consider ourselves our own best friends. Maybe this sounds preachy to some, and maybe some of you think that I am too young to share any perspective about love and relationships, but I decided to publish this post because I find myself realizing how lucky I am that things have turned out the way that they have. I am an impulsive, driven and independent young woman who often likes to spend her free time with a levelheaded, intelligent and independent young man. He listens to my opinions, challenges me and encourages me to pursue my passions. We both go to school, intern and work part-time jobs and recognize how important those things are to not only our shared future but to our futures independent of one another. Disclaimer: We fight. Every couple fights (Although there is never any screaming involved so if you asked my boyfriend he would tell you we have never had a single argument). Our relationship is by no means perfect. But because it is the way it is I am happy, and not just in my relationship; my happiness has leaked into all aspects of my life and helped me to achieve all of my current goals. Which brings me to the real reason I am sharing this post. Life is hard: it brings you down, it piles on top of you and then it sits on the top of the pile while it laughs. But I am grateful that I found someone at such a young age to help me out from under the pile, or at least sit there and talk to me until I can climb out myself. And I think that is what is really important. I know that if I didn’t have my boyfriend, I have a few fantastic friends that would be there for me every second of the day if I needed (as I hope I would be for them), and I have a wonderfully supportive family. Your relationships should help you see the best in yourself. On those dark days when you’re at the bottom of the pile and you can’t remember why you’ve got to get out of there, you should have some healthy, wonderful, supportive relationship with a person who is going to remind you.

How to (Effectively) Show Support

Wow. Such a powerful post! I had to share. Dahlia hits the nail right on the head and she gives great suggestions to help you change what you’re unhappy with.

The Daily Dahlia

Here’s something I’ve noticed a lot – people want to help. People have good intentions. People want to show support. But they don’t really know how. They don’t know why something matters, or how to get mileage out of it.

Here’s what else I’ve noticed a lot – people really love to rage. And that’s important; there are issues that require it. And raging does change things.

BUT.

There is a really big difference between being a person who only rages and a person who both rages and makes a real move for change. And maybe people don’t realize that. Maybe they don’t get how. But I’m tired of seeing raging with no support counterbalance, and I’m tired of people thinking raging is enough without backing it up in a meaningful way. I’m tired of people not realizing how limiting the effects are when all you do is talk…

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The Road to Becoming a Social Media Superstar

Not really a superstar. I just want to have a good amount of traffic crossing my feeds because people find what I post interesting. Obviously, I’m doing a terrible job; I haven’t posted on this blog since September. The problem is that since September, I’ve been busy being a grad student, an intern, a part-time employee, a good girlfriend and attempting at being a functional human being (attempting being the key word here).  But come May, the internship, the Master’s program and the part-time job will all be over and I’ll have to be a real person. So, I begin again.

I have still been reading a lot though which I think is fantastic. Most recently, I started Terry Goodkind’s The Sword of Truth series. It’s an epic fantasy that’s about a million books long and is almost over and I LOVED the first book, The Wizard’s First Rule. It’s got everything you could want from an epic fantasy, the predictability was at a minimum (probably because of its length), and I can’t wait to find what’s in store for the characters down the road! I already bought the second one, but someone recently lent Italo Calvino’s If on a winter’s night a traveler so I’m trying to finish that to give it back. That is also a great book but in a completely different way because it’s more literary fiction. It’s written in a very interesting style in which the narrator is speaking directly to you but with a lot of supposition, acknowledging that every reader is different. With every plot introduction (you’ll understand what I mean if you look up the book) the narrator proceeds in describing what is happening and how you’re reading and responding rather than strictly narrating. It’s fascinating.

I’ve also become a little bit more aware of my goodreads and Twitter accounts but not without a bit of a struggle. For whatever reason, I find instagram a much more likable medium.

“somebody has to go polish the stars”

Just went through some Shel Silverstein poetry. The Giving Tree is my all time favorite children’s book. I had the foresight as a child to ask for copies of that, “A Light in the Attic,” “Falling Up,” and “Where the Sidewalk Ends.” No matter how many bookhauls I may have, those are books that will always have a home on my shelves.

The Maze Runner and Movie-Tie-Ins

I think I should warn you that this probably contains spoilers. I finished the Maze Runner last night, the first in James Dashner’s series that is about to be released as a film. It took me a few tens of pages or so, maybe fifty, before I was really into it but I did really enjoy it by the end. I was probably interested when Teresa showed up and sold when Thomas remembered her name. I would definitely recommend it and need to read the next two in the trilogy and then the prequel. A YA novel is usually successful in gaining my love if it has a great romance and fast action. There’s definitely the beginnings of romance here but it’s not as in your face as others have been, so I’m suprised that I enjoyed it so much. Maybe it’s the comradery among the boys the really get me. Some things were a little repetitive for me like how Thomas always wants to punch someone in the face and restrains himself. I lost count of how many times I read that. But hey, good on him for not hitting anyone that wasn’t a Griever. When I first started reading, I was reminded a little of the Lord of the Flies with the description of Chuck being reminiscent of Piggy. So, I won’t say anymore about that because I may cry. I’m excited to see how they portray this in the movie. I thoroughly enjoy film interpretations of books. I try not to think of them as one in the same, it’s just a film based on the ideas of the book. I actually watched City of Bones before I read the book and for me it was okay because they were so different. I completely understand the huge plot changes they made for the film interpretation because you can read the thoughts of two main characters who fell in love before they thought they were siblings but you can’t see that in a film. Vampire Academy was a favorite for me and when I went to see the film, I enjoyed it as a much less serious interpretation of the book I that I enjoyed. So, we shall see what happens with this one.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

I’m the best friend WOOOOOO. Once she finishes the series to date, I am gonna post my thoughts on the series as a whole. I will probably include spoilers because I have no filter, written or otherwise, which is why I am going to wait. I do love this series and highly recommend it!

Much Ado About YA

In my junior year of college, I took a class on fairy tales that managed to open to me this whole new world of fantasy stories and adaptations. Since then, I’ve been hooked on every fairy tale spin-off I could find, from the paperback compilation My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me to the Bartok opera Bluebeard’s Castle

And the first installment of Marissa Meyer‘s delightful YA series The Lunar Chronicles is certainly no exception.

My best friend (whom you should follow here), who jumped on the Cinder bandwagon much earlier than I (the book was published in January of 2013), swears that she told me about her obsession with the series ages ago. On her account, she explained the plot – a Cinderella adaptation with a half human, half robot – to our other best friend and me, and the two of us laughed…

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Ghost Stories

I have been really into ghost stories lately. It is definitely not a new obsession, but it crept back up and now I am looking for a good paranormal read about spirits and ghosts. I finished Dark Companion (Marta Acosta) last night and while it was an interesting twist on the whole vampire scene, it wasn’t a ghost story and for whatever reason I had been under the impression that it was when I ordered it from BookOutlet.com.

Side note: BookOutlet – GOD SAVE CHEAP BOOKS FROM CANADA. Such a great site when you just feel like browsing because you don’t know what you want to read. I ordered ten books last haul. 

Suggestions?

New Intern!

You’re reading a post from a new publicity intern! It was a long summer going on interviews, being rejected, sending out more applications… But I did it! And I landed something that I am sincerely excited about and am so happy that nothing else worked out before this. 

Here’s one depressing story from my past experiences and then we can move on, since I am moving on. 

I was coming from having had my first big interview of the summer and not having heard back from anyone despite thinking that I had done really well. I had been asked on an interview with a company who published retirement advisement magazines; it really wasn’t something for me to get very excited over, but a position is what I was after and it didn’t really matter where it was. I showed up a few minutes early, because that is what every good interviewee should do, and I was asked to wait for the head of HR. Almost twenty minutes later, an older woman comes out and greats me and takes me to an empty office so that we can get started. From the start I could tell that this was not going to go well. The way she looked me up and down made me feel like I was totally unimpressive (I know this is much easier to say behind a keyboard, but while I may not be impressive all of the time, I am definitely impressive when I am dressed right). But she started chatting and she was fairly friendly until we got to my work experience. Now, when you are about to interview someone, one would think the proper thing to do would be to read through the potential employee’s resume so as not to look like an ass or make the interviewee feel like one. But this woman clearly didn’t think that was necessary and proceeded to ask me about several things with which I was inexperienced, suggested that someone with my level of education should have encountered such things, and made me feel like a complete jerk. She tried to cover her tracks, I guess realizing after looking at my face that I was miffed. Fortunately, her way of covering her tracks was to begin to give glowing compliments; unfortunately, her glowing compliments were not for me, but for the editor of the magazine with whom I supposed to meet with next. It was clear that the head of HR absolutely adored this young woman the way she went on about her. When it was the editor’s turn to take over the interview, the HR woman came back into the office without her saying that she must have stepped out. I was asked to sit in the lobby once more, and after fifteen minutes, the head of HR comes back to tell me that, unfortunately, the editor would not be in to interview me as she had not been there ALL DAY. “Oh. it’s so unlike her,” she says. “Oh, something just terrible must have happened,” she says. “Oh, Alexandra, we would LOVE to have to come back in,” she says! Four hours into the work day and no one thought it strange that an editor, who apparently never behaves this way, had not shown up for work or that they should cancel any of her appointments for the day. I never heard back. Never even got an apology for wasting my time. Maybe it is a little presumptuous of me to have thought that I would hear anything at all, but an apology would have been nice. 

So that’s the worst of my stories. I’m sure someone’s got one better. Let’s hear it. 

A Whovian Review (Season Premiere)

I want to say that this transition was harder for me than Tennant to Smith. I watching Capaldi’s first few moments nervous and tense from the edge of my seat (after initial screeches at the new theme). In silly Doctor Who fashion, the TARDIS is coughed up by a T-Rex. Very comforting. And I found that I liked Capaldi’s Doc swag immediately. He seemed to try to incorporate bits of Tennant and Smith Doctors into his own; maybe these likenesses are for us to make this easier or maybe it’s a homage as Capaldi is a Whovian himself. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens. There were things that I wasn’t too impressed with in this first episode like the whole sequence where Capaldi was falling through the tree and flipped onto the horse – eck. I still like Clara as a companion, but I was a little upset when the Doctor made that comment about not being her boyfriend because I never thought their relationship was about that. Just because River Song was attached to the Matt Smith Doctor doesn’t mean we should force a relationship between Capaldi’s Doctor and Clara. I REALLY HOPE THAT CYBORG FELL. And what is this heaven business? We shall see.

EDIT: I’m dying for the Capaldi face in Fires of Pompeii and Tom Baker in the anniversary special to be addressed. I think that this episode started to address that well, but that may just be my wishful thinking.