Lit. Circle #2 Blog Post

Our soundtrack for An Ember in the Ashes was kinda of based on movie soundtracks, with random pop songs thrown in here and there. We were greatly inspired by Lord of the Rings and felt that songs from those movies related well to this book. The song Flaming Red Hair by Howard Shore was the only song that was a perfect fit for the moon festival scene in the book. We felt that a good song for the Trial of Strength was Narnia-The Battle Song by Harry-Gregson Williams. I didn’t really love anything about the novel, but I came to enjoy it more when I chose songs I liked to compare the novel to. I hated basically everything about the novel (see journal entries), and I didn’t really like working with a group to do the soundtrack. We all felt differently about the book, so we all vibed with different songs with different scenes, which made it kinda hard to work with. All in all, I liked the soundtrack assignment and how it allowed us to show our creativity in relation to the novel. Like I said before, the soundtrack assignment helped me to find light and enjoyable aspects to An Ember in the Ashes.

Blog Post #6: Books as Gifts

I often receive books as gifts and it’s usually because I let the gift-giver know ahead of time about what book I want. I usually start reading books the same day that I receive them, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I finish the book quite as soon. I love to get books for Christmas. If I get a book that I didn’t exactly want or didn’t like, I most likely read it anyway, then keep it on my bookshelf.

My book series project is going pretty well. I enjoy the books so far and would give them to any middle school/high school aged girl who enjoys fantasy and romance.

For Thanksgiving this year, I’m flying to Georgia with my family to visit my great-grandparents who live there. For Christmas I’m staying home, while my grandma comes to stay with my siblings and I, because my parents are going on vacation without us.


Blog #5: This Savage Song pictures

The picture of the violin reminds me of the character August. August is a Sunai, which is one of three types of monsters. As a Sunai, August uses music to capture his prey, and he specifically uses his violin. The violin was with him from the moment he appeared on the earth, so he holds it special to him. Other Sunai use different forms of music when feeding, like Ilsa uses her voice, and Leo can use any instrument, but August prefers his violin.

This is a sideways photo of a shadow outside, which remined me of shadows and darkness in the book. Darkness, in general, was a huge factor for many different reasons in This Savage Song. First of all, everyone went inside once it was dark outside because monsters would come out at night. The parts of the book that were set at nighttime or in the dark, were usually more dangerous scenes. Also, a type of monster called the Corsai could only come out in the dark, so being in the dark, or near a shadow, most likely meant a Corsai could be near.

This photo of a large book amongst other books reminded me of the part in This Savage Song where Kate looked in her dad’s office as she was trying to figure out who August was. Kate’s dad, Callum Harker, was a very important man who ran a whole half of V-City, so he had a large directory filled with everyone’s names who lived in the city. The directory was massive, and it took Kate a long time to find specific information in it. Because he was so important, Harker didn’t allow anyone in his office or near his private belongings, so when Kate managed to sneak into his office, it was a big deal.

I really enjoyed This Savage Song, even though it was quite hard to get into at first. Once I got past the first 100 pages, I hardly put the book down until I finished it because it was so intense and interesting. I’ve never really read a book that was quite like this one. It had a sort of dark feel to it, which I liked. I also appreciated the fact that there wasn’t a romance in this book because the whole setting and story didn’t leave room for one. Overall, I liked this book and would recommend it to anyone that enjoys kind of intense, mystery, thriller type of books.

Literature Circle Presentation for The Savage Song-Critical Acclaim

This Savage Song is a recently released novel, but has already received a lot of hype and attention. From a blog called Fantasy Book Review based in the UK, they rate the book 9/10 saying that it’s “an intriguing start to a new series” ( Another website rated the book 4/5, describing it by saying it’s “complex fantasy expertly explores good and evil” and it also rated the book into different categories based on things like violence, language, and positive messages ( Goodreads gave This Savage Song a 4/5 stars, and when describing the author’s work, it says, “Fiction should be about transporting the reader to an entirely new world, introducing you to characters you want to meet in reality, and believing in all things possible, and this is what Schwab does, time and time again” (

From average readers who reviewed This Savage Song on, there were many postive opinions, as well as critical opinions. One lady said “This Savage Song snagged my interest when I heard it involved monsters! And not like monsters we might be used to, but actual monsters who happily kill and/or eat humans! You might be thinking this sounds like a horror novel, it’s not. Not really. Sure there are creepy moments, but there’s more suspense to this one and quite a mystery brewing filled with many betrayals and lies!” Many of the positive reviews were similar to these two: “The first few chapters can be a bit slow to get into, but the story does find its path fairly quickly and immediately became a favourite.” and “Started out a bit slow for me, but this is Victoria Schwab we’re talking about so I had no worries. The story just kept building and building towards the finale and as it went I become more and more hooked. I didn’t want to put it down or have it end.” A few of the critical reviews echoed my thoughts saying things like, ” The writing is absolutely beautiful and there’s some powerful moments, but the author waited a bit too long to explain a lot of the background mythology and by two-thirds way into the book it started to get confusing with no benefits to the plot.” Another review that was similar to many of the other more critical opinions stated, “Pretty cool story line that seemed to start out strong. I was disappointed by the dialogue between the protagonists. It seemed to turn into basic romantic banter of how an adult thinks teens flirt. I got the impression the author was hoping for a twilight-esque movie deal. I wouldn’t recommend to others.” Those were just some thoughts that regular people shared on

My group and I personally really enjoyed the book. We all agreed that This Savage Song  would make a truly epic movie, with the whole setting and monsters and everything. I thought the book was pretty slow at first, but it quickly picked up pace and was hard to put down. This book was definitely unlike anything I’ve ever read before, and I’d rate it a 4/5.

Book Show & Tell #2: The Hobbit

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien is a high fantasy novel filled with a variety of creatures such as goblins, dwarves, elves, trolls, and many more. The story follows a hobbit named Bilbo Baggins who finds himself on an adventure with over a dozen dwarves. Their main goal is to regain the dwarves’ home. The Lonely Mountain, from the evil dragon Smaug. Throughout their long journey to The Lonely Mountain, Bilbo and the dwarves face many smaller trials along the way, with the help of the wizard Gandalf.

I really enjoyed this book because I love fantasy. This book was actually easier to understand and follow than I thought it would be. I’d recommend this book to anyone who likes fantasy or adventure type of books.

Blog #3: Series of Choice

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I’m planning on reading the Defy series by Sara B. Larson. My friend recommended it to me and I trust her taste in books, so I’m going to read her recommendations. I haven’t read any of the books yet, but I plan on finishing them by reading a little bit each night, and I’ll definitely finish the whole series by the due date.

Blog Post #2: Steelheart Backstory

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Amaya Baca


Ms. Rhodehouse

September 6, 2017

Steelheart Backstory

“What kind of lame name is Steelheart? It’s about as intimidating as my left pinky toe!” laughed the prettiest girl in the class.

Young Steelheart looked away, embarrassed. It wasn’t his fault he inherited the name from his mother’s mother. He’d have to start telling a more interesting story of his namesake if he wished to survive another year at this wretched elementary school.

The first few weeks of Steelheart’s fifth grade experience were comparable to slipping in the shower on your birthday. Unenjoyable, worth crying over, but also hardly memorable or life-changing. He trudged through each day trying to learn, have fun, and be a normal student, but for some reason unknown to him, Steelheart was simply hated and picked on by everyone. His teacher would often make a fool out of him just for the sake of it. Even Steelheart’s best friend acted like a jerk to Steelheart, and was really only friends with him because Steelheart was beginning to grow in size and strength, maybe even into a potential bodyguard for the playground. Ah, but Steelheart’s classmates were the worst of all. Calling them bullies  would be an understatement. They were basically giant, poisonous, bird-eating snakes with number 2 pencils and over-sized backpacks. Steelheart grew into his name because of those classmates and their cruel words. Not only did Steelheart learn to close off his emotions and harden his heart, but his body also began to physically form a heart of steel.

Little did those other kids know, that every time they bullied, outed, or hurt Steelheart, his body literally strengthened and developed more powerful than humanly reasonable. Now some say that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and that certainly was the case for Steelheart, but maybe not for the better. He used his traumatizing memories of his younger years to build himself up into a destroyer.

Book Show & Tell #1: The Help

This summer I read The Help by Kathryn Stockett. It was about the relationships between the people of Jackson, Mississippi during the 1960s. The book was set in three different perspectives, two black women, and one white woman. The story was about how the white woman sort of aligned with many of the black maids in town to raise awareness and attention towards rascism by writing a book. The Help also told of the everyday lives of the black maids as they worked in the homes of white families. It also told of the white woman’s view on the lives of those around her.

I enjoyed the book because of its humor, and because it was interesting to learn about what life was like for a variety of people in the south sixty years ago. I would recommend this book to any of my peers because it’s entertaining, and I feel that it would help my classmates gain a better understanding of life during a different time and place.

Blog Post #1: Me!

As a reader, I am a fangirl. I first learned to read at an unusual time of one’s life, I was but a kindergartener. I spent most of my days devoring books such a Junie B. Jones, as well as The Spiderwick Chronicles. I typically enjoy reading on the left side of my gray couch in the furthest room on the northeasten side of the downstairs part of my mom’s house. These days I find myself rereading the Harry Potter series inbetween other fantasy or dystopian novels. I like to read many books at once because it helps me get through more books faster.