When a book is good, the rest of the world dims to background noise.
When a book is great, the rest of the world disappears.
When a book is inspiring, the rest of the world reappears, but in full colour.
Yesterday I reached a HUGE follower milestone- 1000 FOLLOWERS!!!! I NEVER dreamed this would happen when I made the impulsive decision 4 months ago to create this blog. I’ve made so many friends who also share a love for books, I’ve met so many great people and have had great conversations with them, and I have wonderful followers. To thank everyone who has been apart of this awesome experience, I’m gonna list some blogs below that I love to see pop up on my dashboard, and the blogs of anyone who has talked with me and who I now consider a friend!! Thank you sOoOoOoOOOO much to every one of my amazing followers!!!! - Addi 😊❤️
Differences aside, we all have one thing in common. A deep, profound love for books! And that’s such a bright thought whenever I think about it.
I hadn’t even known that the booklr community existed until I saw a post and followed the source five months ago. Ever since being part of the community, it has been a calm, spectacular ride of imagination and belonging. I see these beautiful posts on my dash and wonderful booklrs and I feel such an overwhelming gratitude to all of you that I cannot even express it in words. And one of the most wonderfully beautiful things about the community is how pleasant everyone is and you know no matter what, they’ll always answer your messages or talk to you and that’s sort of reliving to me.
I have no idea why I’m making this post but I thought it was vital to show my gratitude to the wonderful booklrs I’ve become friends with (in bold) and those of whom I follow.
Take an old writing idea that you thought wouldn’t work out and look at it from a different angle:
1. Does the protagonist/characters need a personality overhaul?
Write down the qualities you wish the protagonist, or side characters, had in your story that you previously didn’t consider. Were you true to those qualities? Or do you think they need different qualities for your story? Sometimes, a character’s actions make a story stop in its tracks because of the decisions the character is making. Try writing monologues for these characters during their moments of crisis, or life changing events. You’ll find that when put on the spot, the characters will surprise you. Treat them as people, because even if you created them, they will all take on a life of their own.
2. Did you stop writing because of a block?
Look at where you stopped. Nothing? Look a chapter back. Nothing? Keep looking back until that moment where the story took a turn you didn’t plan (or did plan) that ended with you meeting a dead end. Sometimes you have to completely cut out a section before moving forward. Don’t be afraid. If you don’t want to toss the section you’ve cut off, then save it in another word doc.
Now, look at the part where you cut off the section. Do you see your story going somewhere else from that point? Yes? Awesome! If not, try looking at your idea from a different perspective. Maybe you’re focusing on what you think you want to write, but might benefit from taking a risk–like trying a different genre.
3. Did the plot feel almost impossible to develop?
Pretend that your story is being turned into a movie. What would the trailer look like? What would be told in the trailer? Do you see twists that can be explored? Do you see a storyline begging to be told? Let your imagination flow organically and not by the standards the literary world has ordered for you.
Those are my two cents.
Don’t get me wrong, these are not rules. This is an idea for anyone who has a story they want to write, but feel sad that they’re leaving the idea behind for something else.
Yesterday at Mabel’s Fables in Toronto, bookaddict24-7, foldedbetweenthepages and I discovered an author autograph wall! I love this store and definitely hope to get back there some time this summer.
- Anne Brashares - Cassandra Clare
- Rick Riordan - Maggie Stiefvater (not certain can anyone confirm? maggie-stiefvater perhaps?)
- Laurent de Brunhoff (Babar! 🐘), Margaret Atwood, Gayle Forman
- Laini Taylor
- And the last one I just loved the quote, does anyone recognize the signature?
So last week I reached 250 followers, which is a milestone in my eyes and I really really really appreciate all the great people who follow me! I enjoy talking and interacting with you :D I wanted to make my first follow forever now, so here’s a list of every blog I follow (yes, every blog).
Most are writerly and bookish blogs, and some are straight up fandom. People I particularly enjoy are bolded.
My first ever Follow Forever is finally here!! I was supposed to do this ages ago but I’m a huge procrastinator sorry!!! Since I follow a lot of blogs, I had to divide them between multiple posts in alphabetical order. Remember, I love each and every one of you and if I forgot somebody I apologise in advance! Thank you for making my experience on tumblr an unforgettable one :) x
Be warned: There may or may not be spoilers ahead. Read with caution.
“You cannot fathom the distance I would travel for you” (Bracken 465).
To think that Passenger, an Alexandra Bracken novel, would be one of my favourite books of 2016 would’ve been a ridiculous concept to my 2014-15 self. I was so taken aback by the pure beauty of this book that I’m still feeling the waves of awe washing over me. Let’s just say that Etta and Nicholas aren’t the only people to go on a journey in this book.
Throughout Passenger, a lucky reader will find incredible quotes that may or may not leave you speechless. Said reader may also find a romance that’s slow burning, and challenges the norms of what we’re used to seeing in YA lit, simply because it asks the questions we never try to ask (when this kind of romance is even introduced). Lastly, the reader may also be surprised to find a great, original story that seems to be as well thought out as it is complicated.
Etta is the kind of character that can go two ways: she can either be the helpless maiden waiting to be rescued, or she can be the badass hero that refuses to let others decide when and if she needs rescuing. Yes, she falls in love and she feels emotions because characters are people that we want to connect with while reading. A character who feels isn’t an automatically cliche one–it’s what the author does with the character and the decisions said character makes that defines the character. So, while Etta could have been a cliche character (all of the ingredients were there), she ended up being this incredible character who, despite her upbringing, found herself and learned from her mistakes. She had a male co-star, but these two characters were each fighting their own internal battles rather than one being the hero of both stories.
Etta is complex because she has all of these mysteries surrounding her and as the story unravels, she’s the one that has to come up with the answers. In a world full of deceit, she is the only one she can truly trust. So, as Nicholas strives to keep her safe as her self-appointed protector (she doesn’t want a protector), she is the one that has to figure out the decisions that need to be made. I loved her character growth from this naive girl, to this woman whose story is much more complex than the synopsis makes it appear to be. She’s not just a successful violinist, she’s also a woman who embodies what we want to see in young adult literature. I’m happy to see a character like this one starting the 2016 trend of young adult time travel.
Bracken’s portrayal of Nicholas is absolutely brilliant. Like Etta, Nicholas is a character with a lot of depth. He’s not just a handsome, mixed raced pirate. He’s not just a badass and a “rogue”. Nicholas is real because through him, we are offered questions of race, equality, and how mixed race couples may be portrayed or seen by the general populace, no matter the time period. Yes, mainly Nicholas deals with blatant racism in his time, but his fears of his and Etta’s differences in the world are well founded.
Being the daughter of a mixed raced couple, I know how difficult it can be and how people just assume I belong to one group over the other. Not only is it refreshing to see a character self-analyze his position in society, it is also refreshing to see a character that other readers may be able to relate to even more. We definitely need more people of colour in YA lit, but, in my opinion, having a character who’s both black AND white will resonate strongly with readers because he’s not just one race or another.
There’s a quote made by Nicholas that stood out to me, both because of the writing but because of how poignant it is:
Ah, yes. Here it was, a hundred years’ worth of justifications for the wrongful enslavement of human beings, gathered into a tidy, single breath of hot air. These sweeping lies about the minds of Africans, the denial of every opportunity to advance themselves by reading and writing and thinking, kept them not only in physical chains, but insidious invisible ones as well. It didn’t matter that none of it was true[…] What mattered was that these beliefs had swept through the souls of everyone else like a plague.
The quote also gives a bit of foreshadowing to the way Nicholas thinks and what might keep him back from being his true self. Much like the quote states about insidious thoughts poisoning those unable to think for themselves, I found that these same thoughts poisoned Nicholas and that he spends a good chunk of the novel fighting off these prejudices he carries like chains around his neck.
But like I mentioned, Nicholas is more than just the colour of his skin. Nicholas is flawed, human, and realistic because he doesn’t have ideas of grandeur. Nicholas is a brilliant character mainly because of how realistic he is. Bracken could have easily had a character who spoke a more modern form of English because, as a time traveler, he could have learned 20th century English. Instead, Bracken took on the task of staying true to the time Nicholas was born in. The fact that his beliefs, his thoughts, and his outlook on life weren’t changed just so this book could fit into the new “expected” way of writing male characters in YA lit, is incredibly impressive. Bracken took a risk in introducing a character born in a time when women weren’t allowed to do most of anything, and where men were expected to be their superiors, and somehow still made us love him. That’s impressive writing.
Time travel, like I’ve mentioned earlier in this review, is going to be a huge trend this year and I’m sure this is not the only amazing time travel book coming out this year. What I find might make Bracken’s novel original compared to the other time travel books is her ability to comment on socio- and political conditions of the separate times mentioned. Also, the portrayal of side characters and the countries/scenarios introduced were very, very good (for lack of a better phrase). I’m not a historian, but I found myself entertained with this read.
Passenger has this lyrical feeling to it that suggests one could read this while listening to Etta’s music. The writing style and tone surprised me so much that I couldn’t stop marking down quotes and memorable lines. It always amazes me how an author’s voice could change so much in between books.
Despite my slow reading this month, the pacing of this book was great. I had an off month and had read this at any other time in my life, I think I would have devoured it. The one small drawback was the length of the chapters. But I think that was more a case of impatience than anything else.
The pacing is great, the writing is memorable, and the story and characters are definitely unique in this literary age group. Keep in mind, however, if you’ve read Bracken’s more recent series and expect the same writing style, you may be disappointed. I honestly think this is a career-making book (though she’s already successful), because this could easily be a story promoted as a step forward for the YA age group. Bracken’s latest novel breaks stereotypes and shows that beautiful writing doesn’t have to be entwined with cliches to be successful.
That’s all…. for now…. I’m running out of time to do this! I’ll probably add more later, but these are the main ones for sure! And I’m going to take the remaining time to address my best tumblr friends! (Even if you don’t remember me or anything, some of you I have never forgotten and I still consider you one of my best tumblr friends! Even if it is from afar! :))
library-heaven:) I absolutely love your blog! It’s probably one of my absolute favs!
lost-in-dreams-ocean :D You are one of the best tumblr friends that I have ever had! I love our conversations and I love getting to know you! You are incredibly kind and I just love you and your blog! Stay awesome and sweet! :)
books-and-cookies :) I don’t know if you ever remember talking to me, but we used to be friends on here and I like to think that we still are! You’re awesome and sweet and so is your blog! (And, plus, I just realized, you are the one that got me to start saying “hugs” after most of my posts! :))
garrulus :) I just love your Mr. Darcy’s Inner Struggles posts! I think everyone should go check it out! It’s hilarious! Great stuff! Keep it up!! :)
mychemicalbooks I admire you from afar, I hope that’s okay! :) I’m not a stalker, I promise!
quasi-economist :) I don’t know if you consider me a friend, but I wanted you to know that I consider you one! Thanks for always tagging me in stuff, even if it takes me forever to get around to doing them!
kikyra34 :) You were one of my very first followers, and my very first Tumblr friend (that I can remember) and I just wanted to say thank you! I still consider us friends and I hope you do, too!
Okay! I’m sure there are a TON more people that I have forgotten (so sorry :(), but I hope to one day be able to finish this when I have more time!
And don’t forget, you can ALWAYS come to me for ANYTHING! Even if it’s just to say hi or how’s it going or let’s be friends. I don’t care! I will be absolutely happy and thrilled to talk to you! I’m really nice, I promise!
People should be able to read ANYTHING they want to read.
Imagine every book you’ve ever read. Think of the parts that were important to you. Think of the parts that made your heart beat faster, your tears flow harder, your mouth gape wider. Think of the scenes that made you want to throw that book, that made you want to put it down, that made you want to keep it in your hands. Think of the pages you accidentally ripped, the words that become a blur, the sentences that sway from the heavy meaning of their words.
Now imagine. Imagine, imagine, imagine that those very things, those very moments, those very scenes meant something else to another reader. That they didn’t cry when you did, but gasped when you merely read on.
Imagine that the next person had a different reaction to both you and the second reader. Imagine it happening again, and again, and again–each with a slightly or VERY different reaction, expectation, or acceptance.
Every reader is different, every story means something else to another reader. So, tell me, why is it so hard to understand that we all have different tastes? That we all view the world differently–varying from completely different, to minutely different (all varying degrees of difference)–shouldn’t that be a big enough hint that maybe, just maybe, we should ease off on what others read? Sure, you don’t like a specific genre, or style, or author, but honestly? It doesn’t matter in the end, because you’re not reading the book, the person you’re judging is. And judgment is so tiring. Let’s take a breather and just read.
This isn’t an argument for people to use against the idea of reading equality (giving female AND male writers/characters a chance, not judging a book because the cover looks too masculine or feminine, etc). This is just an argument to stop one kind of reading discrimination. I used that term somewhere else on my blog a while ago and someone mentioned never having heard the term. I’ve been on Tumblr for a few years now and I’ve seen it happen both here and at bookstores, so I figured, why not drop the term into a post somewhere (in this case, I think it was a reblog?). Everyone should read whatever they want, but everyone should also respect what others read. It’s a two-way street.
Hey everyone! So today I passed 700 followers, and I keep seeing these follow forever posts going around, so I thought I would give it a shot. This is a list of all of my mutuals, and if your name is bolded it means that I love your blog would love to think that we’re friends, or would really like to be! So shoot me a message sometime, I’m just sometimes too shy to go about it on my own! <3 If you’re not already following these lovely people, you should!!!