Book Talk

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For my second book talk of the year, I read An Enchantment of Ravens. It is about this girl named Isobel. She is a regular girl who loves painting. She commissions paintings for the dangerous fair folk. One day the Autumn Prince, Rook, enters her studio for a portrait. She finds herself falling in love with him as he comes back every now and then so she can finish the portrait. However, she finds a flaw in his eyes, a piece that looks almost human. She paints them how she perceives them, and thinks nothing of it. When she is finished, she sends off the painting to the autumnlands. Rook comes storming into her studio days later, enraged at the flaw painted on his portrait. The whole autumn court has seen the portrait, and sees the glint of humanity in Rook’s eyes as a weakness. To save his seat on the throne, Rook is determined to bring Isobel back to the autumnlands to stand trial. This book is about their journey to the court.

I was super excited to buy this book. It looked like a picture perfect fantasy romance, and I was all for it. I, however, was very disappointed. The plot was not very solid. The author’s writing was pretty confusing, and I felt that it either moved way too fast or way too slow, so not very consistent. I feel it would have been a better book if more thought had gone into the structure of the world, and the plot. I also felt that Isobel didn’t really have much of a personality. I didn’t really get to look into her thoughts as much as I would’ve liked. It’s not really clear what kind of a person she is.

Overall, not my favorite, but I would recommend it to anyone who likes fantasy, with a little bit of dark, and romance (of course).

Lit Circle Book: The Inexplicable Logic of my Life

This book was definitely a hard one to read. It had so many deep and sad topics that I have not personally experienced. It really opened up my eyes to another’s perspective. Obviously, it is fiction, but I’m sure there are many people in the world with similar experiences to Sal, Sam, Fito, and Vicente. If I did have one thing to criticize, I was not a fan of the language, but I understand how it applies to high school culture and the kind of environment they live in. Overall, I really enjoyed this book! I’m glad I had to the opportunity to read it.

I picked the song “Flags” by Coldplay. It talks about everyone just wanting to  be themselves with no stereotypes or judgement.

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Post 7: Talking Pictures

Sam and Sal text each other all the time. The text each other WFTD (word for the day), and their dad teases them about how they text each other even when they’re in the same room. It is their way of expressing themselves without actually talking about it.

At the end of the first chapter, Sal walks home alone in the rain after walking with Sam to her house. He says it is the first time he feels absolutely alone. This photo represents the sadness that Sal starts feeling as he starts questioning who he really is.

Sal is going through a lot. One of the things is that there is this one specific bully who keeps insulting him and his dad, calling them by the fa word. I thought it would be representative to put in this picture, because it’s kind of ironic. No where is really a safe space for Sal and his dad.

Throughout this book, Sal is struggling to write up his essay for college. He is supposed to describe his life, and what he’s good at, but he doesn’t really know anymore. He is having an identity crisis. He is confused about who he really is. His mother is dead, and his biological dad’s aggressiveness is starting to show.

Maggie, Sal’s dog, is a great emotional support throughout the book. Maggie doesn’t need words, but she is always there if Sam or Sal needs a little help. She is a very kind dog.

Sal and Sam are in their senior years, and have to start thinking about college. Sal isn’t sure where he wants to go, or what he wants to do. He doesn’t even know himself yet. So he struggles to get things going to be able to make it to college.

I have enjoyed reading this book! It has a lot of hard things in it, but they are important things to hear. I love the message so far. It is that everyone is going through something. We don’t know their circumstances, their feelings. But we can choose to be kind, and to love them anyway.

Post 6: LGBTQ+ Discrimination Issues

In the book “The Inexplicable Logic of my Life,” there is a lot of discrimination about Sal’s dad who is a gay, single man.

The Fa word is is mentioned a few times in the book. The Fa is an insult that diminishes the masculinity of a gay man. The name first was used against women, especially old ones. The name comes from a word which means “bundles of wood”, and was used to mock old women who “all they could do” was gather firewood.

There are many activists around the world but some of the best are those from Queer Eye, a show where a group of five gay men help people change their lives with makeovers, both body and house, and inspire everyone to be their true selves.

A website/foundation for the LGBTQ+ community is The National LGBTQ Task Force.

In this book it brings so much awareness to people like Sal’s dad. Sal’s dad seems to be afraid to go out and date other men, probably because of the hate that is often associated with gays. There is also the point that no matter what anyone calls you, or thinks of you, it’s what you think of yourself that counts.

 

 

Blog #5: Final Steelheart Post

From the story of Steelheart we learn a bit about heroes. In this story there are super-humans, and but unfortunately they aren’t all good. In the end, they are human just like everybody else. They have weaknesses, not all of them are nice, they all have flaws. What I love a lot in this book is that the real heroes don’t all have super powers. All they have are their wits, brains, and ambitions. I believe that is what makes a real hero.

I liked this book a lot actually. I wasn’t really sure if I was going to, but in the end, Sanderson got me sucked in and I had to finish the series. I loved David and Prof’s relationship. I love how David’s drive became more deep rather than just because Steelheart killed his dad. He started doing it for other people, and I think it’s because of the Reckoners. He finally had somebody to love and care about what happened to them. I wish in the end I had seen a bit more about how Megan reacted to coming back alive. I wish I could see how she is when she is reincarnated.

Me and my partner are going to talk about how power affects the characters. We are going to discuss How Prof becomes cruel, how when Megan stops using her powers she becomes good, and how Edmund can gift his powers instead of using them to stay good.

Blog Post #4: Series Project :)

For my series project, I am going to finish reading the “Percy Jackson: Heroes of Olympus” series. I began this series this year, and only have to finish the last one, “The Blood of Olympus”. I’m super excited to see how it ends! I have seen these characters grow and develop, and it has been so fun. Rick Riordan has such a good way to connect the reader to the characters.

Blog 3: Book Comforts

The feeling of a physical book

First lines 

Relatable characters

Arrival of a new book

Rainy day reading

Finding a map

Walking through a library

Fanart

Daydreaming about future library

Good narration

When the world is too much, you can escape through a book

When a character says a bomb line, and you have to put the book down for a moment to enjoy the magnificence. 

When your ship gets together and you just squeal happily for a few minutes

When you figure out something before it is actually confirmed in the book

Blog 2: Steelheart’s Backstory


“Eric, don’t go that close to the machines. You know better.”

Eric scowled. It hadn’t been the first time his father had warned him to stay away from the shop’s sharp machinery. It wasn’t his fault. The intricate way the machines worked was just too fascinating to resist. He had to know how they worked. Even though he was only nine years old, Eric had a knack for mechanics. His father sometimes let him come into the shop on weekends to see what he was working on. Eric would sometimes make suggestions, but his father seemed to always get annoyed. Eric thought maybe he didn’t like getting shown up by a kid.

“I was just looking, Dad,” Eric whined. He hated how childish he sounded, but it seemed the only way to get what he wanted. But it never worked on Dad.

“Remember the last time you were ‘just looking’?” Dad reminded him. “Almost had your hand sliced off with a chainsaw. Your mother just about had a panic attack when I told her.”

“Well maybe you should’ve kept your mouth shut,” Eric muttered under his breath, making sure Dad didn’t hear him.

Dad went back to work on a piece of metal he was melding. Steel, Eric thought. His dad had always been such a craftsman. He often made abstract art with the scraps leftover from other projects. It was magical watching him work. The way his fingers danced against the metal, feeling for any flaws on the surface. The way he held tools like an extension of himself.

Eric leaned against something nearby, sighing in enjoyment. He heard a click. His father looked up, eyes widening. Eric spun around and realized he had turned a grinding machine on. It would’ve been fine. If his jacket hadn’t been caught in it. Or if the lever hadn’t been jammed after Eric had switched it. The machine kept grinding at his jacket, slowly pulling him in. Panicking, Eric tried to take it off, but it seemed to be sticking to him like glue. His dad came running around his work table, terror in his eyes. He reached for the pieces of the jacket closest to the grinding blades, but had to retreat to save his fingers. He pulled at Eric himself, but the jacket would not relent, nor the grinder. Cursing, Dad ran over to the other side of Eric to grab some scissors, but lost his footing. And then there was screaming. And blood. So much blood. Eric wanted to look away from his father who had tripped into the machine, but he was frozen, petrified, with horror. The machine came to a stop as it was jammed with Eric’s father’s body.

Later in life, Eric recalled what had made his heart so cold. What had made him have the strange attributes he had later after the accident. It was anger. At himself. For being a slontze. For not listening to his father. He vowed never again to stand by. He wished he could’ve controlled the steel that tore his father to shreds. And so now he could. He had the power, and the ability to control what he could not before, when it was too late. But still blinded by anger, and the hatred of himself, Eric turned cold. Empty. He had now had a Steelheart.

Show and Tell Term 3: Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer

Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer was such a gooood book. I loved it a lot. It is about a girl names Prudence, and a boy named Quint. They are lab partners together in biology, but Quint is more laid back, while Prudence is a bit of a control freak. Therefore, working together is very difficult. When they get a bad grade on their final project of the year, Prudence is determined to fix it with an extra credit assignment during the summer. She learns that Quint works at a sea animal rescue center, and finds it is the answer to her problems. As they work together at the center for their extra credit, they begin to realize that neither of them are quite so bad as they thought…

I really enjoyed this book. It was packed with humor, romance, and had so much relatable content. Marissa Meyer is such a good writer, and she makes it so easy to imagine her characters through her detailed descriptions. I would recommend it to anyone who is a Marissa Meyer fan, likes laid back romance, and humor.

Post 1!: Introduction:)

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Hi! I’m JJ Boren. I am a hard core reader and imaginer. Reading is one of my favorite things to do, and I do it A LOT. I’ve been reading ever since I can remember. When I was little my favorite books were “Dear Dumb Diary”, and every princess book I could get my hands on and, of course, “Frog and Toad” and basically any picture book. But as I got older, I read classics like “Harry Potter” and the first “Percy Jackson” series, and they just kept getting bigger and bigger.  Now I read just about anything that has to do with fantasy, sci-fi, and of course love (because I’m a teenager, duh). I love to read on cold days by the fireplace, and it’s even better if it’s Christmas because you can sit and read a magical book with twinkling lights all around you. Some of my very favorite books are by Marissa Meyer. I love “The Lunar Chronicles”, and “Instant Karma” (which is her newest book and I just finished), but my favorite of all is the “Renegades” trilogy. I just finished the first “Percy Jackson” series for the first time since fourth grade. I LOVED IT! For my series project, I’m moving onto the next series, “Heroes of Olympus”. It will be my first time and I’m super excited! I definitely read lots of things at a time. Quarantine kind of reopened my love for reading, and I’ve read so much this year. I love finding new books that have anything to do with fantasy, sci-fi, love, and occasionally mystery/murder.