On Lending Books

Generally, I do like lending my books to people, as I really want others to share the joy of my books. However, I hate the fact that books I lent out almost a year ago are still sitting in some dark corners of my friends’ houses. Also, I often get books back in a much worse condition than they were in originally, and it just really annoys me. I will keep lending books out to some people, but I know that there are some friends and family members that I cannot trust with my books, no matter how much I want them to read.

That’s basically all I have to say for now on the matter. Sorry for the ranting/rambling, but I’m sure some of you can relate. Do you have the same problems with lending? Let me know.

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Afterworlds Review

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Title: Afterworlds

Author: Scott Westerfeld

Goodreads Average Rating: 3.75

Pages: 599

Hello! I haven’t reviewed a book in a while, and it’s been way too long. Remember that I have a weird rating system which you can find here.

Non-Spoiler Thoughts

Plot: A

I really thought that this was a creative idea and I have never seen anything like it, but I was somewhat confused by certain logistical aspects. Maybe I just have reading comprehension problems, but I just wasn’t 100% sure how the transition between the real world and the Afterworld worked out. I was very happy to get a sort of behind-the-scenes view of the publishing industry, no matter how inaccurate it might have been. They referenced book bloggers, ARCs, and BEA, and I thought it was pretty awesome.

Characters: B+

Most of the characters were pretty well-developed, but I did feel like some of them were kind of one-dimensional. For example, I wasn’t a huge fan of Yamaraj or his sister, but I did like Darcy and Imogen.

Writing Style: B

There was nothing terribly unique about it, but I did enjoy reading it. The different tones for different parts of the book was good. There were some dark moments, some contemplative and some happy. The writing style in Darcy’s book and the writing style about Darcy were similar, but different enough that it was believable that they were two different authors. Does that make sense? I hope so, because I don’t really know how else to phrase that. Also, I found one or two typos.

Engagement: A-

I found myself engrossed more at the beginning and end of the book, which I think is totally normal. I still found the middle interesting, but not enough to read through it in one sitting. I still had some self control to put the book down.

Dialogue: B

Some of it was really great, like the deep conversations that Darcy and Imogen had together, but some of it was just kind of blah. Also, the scenes with all the authors complaining about writing certain scenes and stuff was a lot of fun to read. I have seen much worse dialogue.

Wordbuilding: B

As I already mentioned, I had some trouble understanding exactly how the Afterworld and the Underworld worked. It was a pretty cool concept, though, and I could still basically understand the story without a complete understanding of the world.

Romance: B

It seemed a little forced at first. I will go into more detail in the spoiler discussion section, which is coming up soon.

Overall: A-/B+

I really enjoyed this book and found it a creative and interesting read. Also, I love the cover so much. The actual cover in person is even cooler, as it has a sort of pearly glimmer.

I will be uploading a spoiler discussion section soon as well. There will be GIFs, and you can look at them without reading the text if you do not wish to be spoiled. See you soon and thank you for reading my review!

BookBlogWriMo Day 3: Where you Read

Hello, and welcome to day 3 of BookBlogWriMo! I will be discussing where I read today.

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I generally read in my bed, on my sofa, or on my bean bag chair. I can never find the right position, despite my many options and potential setups. I have a convertible beanbag thing. It’s a huge rectangle that can be propped up in several different was or can act as a huge floor cushion thing, but it never has enough stuffing to be really comfortable.

When I’m reading in bed, I prefer lying on my side, which is quite difficult to do while reading a book. This I another factor that discourages me from reading, even though it’s a stupid reason.

That’s about it! Thank you for supporting my blog!

Reorganizing My Bookshelf!

I’ve been in the process of organizing my shelf for the past two weeks. Yeah, I totally procrastinate. But to be fair, the method I’m using this time is ridiculously tedious. I have sorted out all of my books by size and packed them together quite densely. It’s actually way more difficult than I thought, and I had to find the perfect widths of books as well as height for them to fit together perfectly. Here is bookshelf 1/4. It’s the only complete one.

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You can see by the mess on my floor that I have a ton of work left.

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In case you’re interested, there are about 7 main sizes of books on my shelf: two sizes of hardcover and five of paperback. And of course some of them that don’t fit in at all. Those are a total pain, but yeah! I really like this system of organization, as I find it quite visually appealing. If only I had the time and patience to color code these…

How often do you reorganize your shelves, if ever? I do it several time a year, and it gets pretty messy.

This was a very disorganized post, but I just impulsively wrote this, so you’ll survive.

Book Haul and Unhaul

So I decided to go to two used book stores and try to trade away some of my old books. I really wasn’t sure of the pricing and how much the stores would offer for my books, so I was pretty nervous.

Books I got rid of:
There are a few missing from this picture and a couple I couldn’t sell, but these are basically the books I traded away. I got rid of them for several reasons. I either didn’t like them, had extra copies or had no intention of ever reading.

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Books I obtained

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I paid for these books with my old books and an additional $4. Overall I am excited to read these books, and I was pretty surprised that I was able to find such an interesting selection of books.

Overall Experience

I think I expected to get more payment for my books, especially since most of them were in almost perfect condition. I don’t regret it, but I do kind of miss a couple of these books, even though I didn’t like them or had extra copies. I was glad to get new books in relatively good condition. I am limiting my book buying after the huge haul in June and waiting until my birthday and the holidays to buy more, so these will sustain me until then. I haven’t read half the books on my bookshelf, so I really have no idea why I have any business getting more, but whatever.

Have you ever sold your books? Do you prefer new or used copies? Tell me in the comments. I really want to hear your experiences.

Mid-Year Book Freakout

I realize it’s not really the middle of the year, but I have reasons. I’m not saying they’re legitimate, but I am a procrastinator. And I’m under a lot of stress right now with audition season starting and the beginning of school coming. I also feel like I won’t be able to really answer these questions very well, but this seemed fun, so too bad. I saw this on Brin’s Book Blog a while ago.

Best Book of 2014

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So this wasn’t published this year, but I read it this summer. This was one of the only books I gave 5 stars on Goodreads this year.

Best Sequel of 2014

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I NEED THE NEXT TWO BOOKS TO COME OUT NOW! I am praying for a way to get an ARC of the next book somehow, because this series is just addicting.

New Release You Want to Read

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Rainbow Rowell’s writing is awesome. It’s lively and entertaining and emotional. I entered like ten giveaways for this book and won none of them. That kind of sums up my luck in general. Anyway, this book looks really cool, and I want to see how a realistic fiction writer deals with the element of magical realism.

Most Highly Anticipated Book

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There are so many! I do find myself thinking of this one quite a bit. I read the first several chapters a while ago, and it was really interesting. I am also looking forward to The Iron Trial, Cassandra Clare and Holly Black’s new book. I don’t think I will buy it immediately, though.

Biggest Disappointment

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I was excited to read this book, but the characters annoyed the crap out of me. It only got interesting like 75% of the way through. Lara Jean (the main character) was definitely not a realistic portrayal of a teenage girl, and her naive personality was infuriating. I have very strong feelings about this book, but I will stop ranting now.

Also, The Young World by Chris Weisz was really disappointing. I wasn’t really expecting it to be great, but it was really not great at all. Same with Every Day by David Levithan. It was a really ambitious book, and the execution just did not work out.

Biggest Surprise

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I think this was the second book I read this year. I knew it was really violent, but it was just really disturbing, and it freaked me out so much. Not necessarily in a bad way, but it’s scary. And really graphic.

Favorite New Author
I haven’t read too much of any particular author this year, but I did enjoy book(s) by E. Lockhart, Libba Bray, Rainbow Rowell, Abi Ketner. I compiled this list quickly by looking through my Goodreads list, so it isn’t completely accurate, but close enough.

Newest Fictional Crush
Can I skip this question? I really don’t like the romance in many books, so I really don’t swoon over guys in books that much.

Newest Fave Character
I’m gonna go with Jem from the Infernal Devices trilogy. I already read these last year, but I’m rereading them now. You may already know this, but I am marathonning all of Cassandra Clare’s books right now. I’ll probably make a post about it when I’m done.

Book that Made You Cry

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This book is ridiculous. It was so poignant and suspenseful, and I think you should read it. It’s about a young man and his life in the work camps of North Korea and his impressions of the outside world. He deals with so many traumatic experiences, and I can’t even.

Book that Made you Happy

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This book was a mix of fuzzy feelings and dealing with family issues, and it was just heartwarming. I also love the cover!

Favorite Book to Film Adaptation
I think the obvious answer here is The Fault in Our Stars. I saw it the day it came out, and it took a lot of emotional restraint to stop the tears from flowing.

Favorite Book Review
I’ve only written a few book reviews so far, as my blog is still pretty new. I’m gonna go with my review of #scandal by Sarah Ockler because I had a lot of fun writing it.

Most Beautiful Book You Got this Year

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IT IS SO PRETTY AND THE DRAWINGS ARE REALLY NICE OK

What Books Do You NEED by the end of the year?
I have nothing specifically, but I really want to read every book that exists in the universe. Especially the ones I already own, because then I actually have a legitimate excuse to buy new books.

A Tale For the Time Being Buddy Read

Hey! So due to technical difficulties with scheduling, collaboration, and laziness, I have decided to make my read along somewhat unconventional. I haven’t seen Selina post anything about the book recently, so I am loosening the guidelines. I have read to the halfway point of the book, so I thought it was time for an update.

I have recorded my favorite quotes so far, and here they are.

“Are you a male or a female or somewhere in between?.”

“It made me sad when I caught myself pretending that everybody out there in cyberspace cared what I thought, when really nobody gives a shit. And when I multiply that sad feeling by all the millions of people in their lonely little rooms, furiously writing and posting to their lonely little Pages that nobody has time to read because they’re all so busy writing and posting, it kind of broke my heart.”

“Throughout history, Japanese have always appreciated suicide. For us it is a beautiful thing that gives meaning and shape and honor to our lives forever. It is a method to make out feeling of alive most real.”

“Basically,
where you go to high school affects where you’ll go to university,
which decides what company you’ll work for,
which decides how much money you’ll make,
which decides who you’ll marry,
which decides what kinds of kids you’ll have and how you raise them,
and where you’ll live and die,
and whether your kids have enough money to give you a classy funeral,
which decides whether you will become a hungry and vengeful ghost.”

I will have one or two more updates for this buddy read.

Happy reading,
Mariel