Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Fandom Items

Top Five Wednesday is a book meme that Lainey started, and is now hosted by Sam at Thoughts on Tomes.
If you want to join in checkout the Goodreads page!


April 25: Favorite Fandom Items
— Whether it’s something you own or something you are lusting after, what are some of your favorite fandom items/merch/memorabilia? Your picks don’t all have to be from the same fandom!


I’m making my favorite categories of merch with examples, but I’m OBSESSED with fandom merch and want basically all of it.


Mugs and Travel Cups

Image result for raven cycle mugsImage result for night circus mugs

Night Circus Mug

Raven Cycle Mug


Pillow Cases

ClearClearClearClearClearClearStar Trek Fleet Academy by Habitue

Starfleet Pillow Case

Darkest Minds Pillow Case


Jewelry

Image result for multi fandom necklaceImage result for one ring amazon

One Ring

Multi Fandom Necklace


 Candles and Other Things from Etsy

SuperWhoLock Candles

Fandom Teas

Butterbeer Bath Gift Set


Replica Props

Image result for dumbledore's army wand display

Dumbledore’s Army Wand Collection

 

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Book Blitz: The Dylan Dilemma

The Dylan Dilemma
Patricia B. Tighe
Published by: Swoon Romance
Publication date: April 24th 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

High school senior Kenzie Harper-Shea has no time for dating, especially after the arrival of the basketball coach from hell. Now Kenzie has lost her confidence, is in a slump, and in danger of losing out on a scholarship to play college ball. The last thing she needs is her “vacation boyfriend,” Dylan McCoy, distracting her with warm smiles, inside jokes, and swoony kisses.

Dylan, however, is totally ready to date. He finally lives in the same town as Kenzie and is not about to lose the chance to let their relationship grow into something more. But for now, he’ll stay in the friend zone because he’s determined to find out what has her running scared. It can’t be just about basketball.

As Kenzie spends more time around Dylan, her feelings become a jumbled-up mess. It’s obvious they’re into each other. So, why does she panic whenever she thinks about dating him? Is it connected to basketball or to something deeper? She’s not sure. Does she have the courage to examine her heart, even if it means breaking Dylan’s?

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

Author Bio:

The mother of two grown sons, Patricia B. Tighe lives in West Texas with her husband and dog. She eats way too much pizza, drinks way too much coffee, and watches way too much NFL football. On the bright side, she also reads and writes teen fiction. She promises to include as much romance, angst, and adventure as possible in her books.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

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Excerpts:

Dinner with Dylan

Kenzie

On Friday night we sat around the dining room table using our company manners. I couldn’t do much else. The churning in my stomach at what I had to say to Dylan had become a cold dread settling in my chest and making it hard to breathe.

“Pass the rolls, please,” my mom said without looking at me. She was too busy enjoying the interaction between Dylan and Piper, who had been giggling all during dinner. Piper that is. Dylan just smiled a lot.

I passed the basket of bread to my mom, and refocused on my stew. Better that than staring across the candlelit table at Dylan, who looked completely edible. He wore a blue button-down shirt with the sleeves rolled up and his tortoise-shell glasses. Those glasses had always gotten to me. They made me want to get close enough to pull them off, slide my fingers into his thick honey-blond hair, and explore his mouth.

Sudden warmth rose in my chest, replacing the dread. I needed to stop this. Relationships had to be based on more than just physical attraction. Dylan and I had always excelled at the physical part—or at least flirting around it. But we’d never had the chance to experience the day to day give and take of being with somebody. And now he wanted that. I wanted to tell him yes, but I knew I couldn’t. I needed my head in my game, not longing for him. …

“Do you have any brothers or sisters?” Piper asked, gazing up at Dylan, her cheeks glowing pink.

He wiped his mouth with his napkin before answering. “I have an older brother. He’s in medical school in Boston.”

“Is he gonna be a doctor?”

“Yeah. Unless he changes his mind and runs away with the circus.”

Piper giggled. “He won’t do that.”

Dylan grinned. “No, he probably won’t.”

“How much older is he than you?”

“Seven years.”

Piper’s whole face lit up like Christmas. “We’re almost the same! Mackie is ten years older than me. That’s so old.”

Ugh. That nickname. Piper was the only one allowed to use it—mainly because she’d invented it. Mackenzie had been too much of a mouthful for a toddler. But using the name in front of Dylan? Not such a great idea. He looked at me, humor dancing in his green eyes. Yup. I’d be hearing that name again. “Yeah, really old,” he said, not breaking our gaze.


Prelude to a Kiss

Dylan

 

Satisfaction settled over me. “That’s not true.” Oh, Kenzie was jealous all right. Now to get her to admit it.

“I don’t believe this. You’re usually so good at reading people and you’ve totally messed up where she’s concerned. That girl likes you. As more than just a friend.”

I shook my head. “We’ve always joked around. It doesn’t mean anything.”

“She kept touching you.”

I gave her my best “you’re being ridiculous” face. “Kenzie—”

“No.” She strode over to me. “She slid her hand down your arm like this.” Kenzie trailed her fingers along my forearm.

I forced myself to ignore the tickling sensation. “So?”

“She played with your hair.”

“What? She did not.”

“She reached up and stuck her hand in your hair.” Kenzie lifted a hand but paused, leaving it waiting in the air.

“You mean when she was pulling that leaf out of my hair?”

“Oh, good grief, Dylan. You did nothave a leaf in your hair! She just wanted to touch you. Why can’t you admit it?”

I turned away like I was tired of the conversation. “You’re overreacting.”

She grabbed my shoulder, twisting me back around. “I know what I saw.”

We stood really close now, her hazel eyes glaring. They were tinged with blue, almost a light aquamarine color, and their intensity made me freeze in place. I wanted to pull her against me, to feel her arms tighten around me, but something was about to happen. Good or bad. I knew it. So I waited, not sure if it was right or not, breathing in the clean soapy scent of her T-shirt and wondering why she didn’t stink of sweat after tennis.

Kenzie slid her hand down my forearm. “Lissa did this,” she whispered. She ran the other hand into my hair, holding my head. “And this. And she wanted to kiss you, but I don’t know if she did or not.” Her lips were seriously close. “Did she?”

I swallowed. “No,” I said through a breath.


Basketball Practice

Kenzie

At the school gym on Monday, I wiped sweat from under my eye with the collar of my T-shirt. Jana thumped me on the back before jogging back to her place in line.

“Keep moving,” she said under her breath.

Right. I threw the basketball to Carly, who jerked when she caught it and then passed it to the next girl. Tension filled the air like when you step outside and a thunder storm is about to hit. Coach Dunbar, gray hair flattened like a steel helmet, prowled among us, her whistle at the ready. We were all freaked about the changes. You could see it in the way my usually confident teammates stumbled over their feet or missed shots or flubbed passes.

This passing drill, normally something I could do in my sleep, was making me crazy. I’d already jammed my index finger on one catch, but after a scowl from Coach, I shook my hand and kept going. No one wanted to get on her bad side, which made us so nervous that we looked like amateurs.

Sneakers squeaked on the gym floor, exclamations rang out, and the girls beside me breathed so hard I could hear it. Holy crap.When would we all settle down? Things just didn’t feel right and last Friday hadn’t been any better. Halfway through, Coach sat us down and gave us a lecture on teamwork because she said she wasn’t happy about what she saw.

Well, neither was I. I missed Coach Shultz. I missed how her happiness gave all of us a lift—even when we were working hard.

“Kenzie!” Carly shouted.

I turned and a basketball hit me in the stomach. But miracle of miracles, I caught it. Coach blew her whistle in one long shrill sound.

“All right, girls!” she called. “This is pathetic. Time for laps.”

Laps? That wasn’t how practice was supposed to go. “But we never run until—”

Jana, who I hadn’t realized was beside me, squeezed my elbow, cutting off my words. What the heck was I doing? I should know by now the woman didn’t appreciate my helpful hints.

Coach Dunbar walked toward me through the crowd of my frozen teammates, favoring her right leg. Maybe Jana had been right and there was something wrong with the woman. “Mackenzie,” she said, her voice hard. “If you have a suggestion, you can raise your hand. Otherwise, if you don’t like the way I conduct practice, you can leave. There’s nothing stopping you.”


Meeting Lissa

Kenzie

A girl with short brown curls walked toward us, a welcoming smile on her face. She looked like a woodland pixie who was cosplaying as a tennis player. She had it down perfectly—a red X-back top, a tiny white tennis skirt, and bright white sneakers that looked brand new. A light spray of freckles decorated her nose on top of her tan. Her arms and legs, though slim, were toned and muscular. She was, in a word, adorable.

I decided I hated her.

“Dylan!” she said, her eyes gleaming at him.

“Hey, Lissa, here we are,” he said stupidly. For a second it looked like he was about to hug her, but then stopped himself.

Her lips twitched, and she turned to the rest of us. “Hi, I’m Lissa.”

Dylan shook himself like he’d forgotten how to introduce people, which was so completely out of character that I frowned. Normally he was Mr. Politician, all friendly handshakes and banter. But here he seemed momentarily frozen. Was it because he really wasdating this girl?

“So guys,” he said. “This is Lissa Brooks. We were doubles tennis partners back in high school. She graduated a year before me and we reconnected at UT.”

A slow, icy sensation slid all the way to my toes. He had a past with this girl. A girl I’d never heard of before.

Dylan continued the introductions and when he was done, Lissa rubbed her hands together. “Okay. Ready to get started?”

“Sure,” Noah said, while Gabby and I nodded.

What the heck was I nodding for? I didn’t want to get started. I didn’t even want to be here. This was exactly one of the things I’d been worried about with Dylan. I knew he’d meet someone at college—someone interesting, someone prettier.

Lissa spun around and her skirt did a flirty flip. “This way.”

I switched my tote bag to my shoulder and followed behind the others. Dylan was in front walking beside Lissa who was laughing at something he said. Maybe I could just walk slower and slower until they were way ahead. Then I could say I got lost and hide out in the locker room.

Ha. Right. There was no way that would work, because even if no one else did, Gabby was sure to look for me. No. I needed to shrug this off. It didn’t matter that Dylan might be dating somebody else. That’s what I wanted for him, right? To be happy? I really didn’t have any right to be jealous.


Top Ten Tuesday: Frequently Used Words In YA Book Titles

Top Ten Tuesdays are a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.
As always this list is in no particular order.

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.


April 24: Frequently Used Words In [Insert Genre/Age Group] Titles

  • Frequently Used Words In YA Book Titles

War Storm (Red Queen, #4)Siege and Storm (Grisha Verse, #2)Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass, #5)

STORM


Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4)Queen of Air and Darkness (The Dark Artifices, #3)

QUEEN


A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic (Grisha Verse, #0.5, #2.5, #2.6)

THORNS


Darker Still (Magic Most Foul, #1)A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic, #1)The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1)And I Darken (The Conqueror's Saga, #1)

DARK


Silver Shadows (Bloodlines, #5)A Shadow Bright and Burning (Kingdom on Fire, #1)Mask of Shadows (Mask of Shadows #1)

SHADOW


Girl Against the UniverseGirl of Nightmares (Anna, #2)Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality

GIRL


My Heart and Other Black HolesThe Lonely Hearts Club (The Lonely Hearts Club, #1)The Hearts We Sold

HEART


Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)The Winner's Kiss (The Winner's Trilogy, #3)Kiss Cam

KISS


The Crown (The Selection, #5)Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns, #1)The Crown's Fate (The Crown's Game, #2)

CROWN


The Throne of Fire (Kane Chronicles, #2)Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2)Fire & Flood (Fire & Flood, #1)

FIRE


Others:

Royal

Sky

Night

Major Works – AP Lit Review: Frankenstein

Title: Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus

Author: Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Date of Publication: January 1, 1818

Genre:  Gothic science fiction


Biographical information about the author (for my knowledge only, but very helpful):

Mary Shelly was raised by her father after the death of her mother when she was a month old. Her father was an author himself, which inspired Shelly. She married Percy Shelly, a friend of her father’s after his first wife committed suicide. Their daughter died prematurely. Frankenstein is her most famous work, first written when she was 19.


Information about the literary period (for my knowledge only, but very helpful):

Frankenstein is one of the most famous novels in the Gothic genre, it was written at a time when the Gothic novel was slowly giving way to the literary movement of Romanticism, and the novel shares the Romantic emphasis on the “sublime” power of nature.


 Plot summary:

Robert Walton, on a ship bound for the North Pole, writes letters to his sister back in England. Walton finds Victor Frankenstein, and brings him aboard the ship to bring him back to health. Frankenstein describes the circumstances that brought him to the ice and near death. Victor describes his childhood in Geneva, his “cousin” Elizabeth and best friend Henry Clerval. Victor enters the university of Ingolstadt to study natural philosophy and chemistry. There, he is consumed by the desire to discover the secret of life and, after several years of research, becomes convinced that he has found it.

Upon completing his creation, he finds he has made a terrible mistake and runs away, falling ill with a fever. Henry nurses him back to helath. Victor returns to Geneva when a letter comes informing him that his youngest brother, William, has been murdered. While passing through the woods where William was strangled, he catches sight of the monster and becomes convinced that the monster is his brother’s murderer. Arriving in Geneva, Victor finds that Justine Moritz, a kind, gentle girl who had been adopted by the Frankenstein household, has been accused. She is tried, condemned, and executed, despite her assertions of innocence.

The monster approaches Victor. The monster begs Victor to create a mate for him, a monster equally grotesque to serve as his sole companion. Victor refuses at first, horrified by the prospect of creating a second monster. The monster is eloquent and persuasive, however, and he eventually convinces Victor. Horrified by the possible consequences of his work, Victor destroys his new creation. The monster, enraged, vows revenge, swearing that he will be with Victor on Victor’s wedding night. The next morning, Clerval is found murdered. Victor marries Elizabeth. He fears the monster’s warning and suspects that he will be murdered on his wedding night. To be cautious, he sends Elizabeth away to wait for him. While he awaits the monster, he hears Elizabeth scream and realizes that the monster had been hinting at killing his new bride, not himself. Victor vows to devote the rest of his life to finding the monster and exacting his revenge, and he soon departs to begin his quest.

Victor tracks the monster ever northward into the ice. Walton encounters Victor. Victor, already ill when the two men meet, worsens and dies shortly thereafter. The monster tells Walton of his immense solitude, suffering, hatred, and remorse. He asserts that now that his creator has died, he too can end his suffering. The monster then departs for the northernmost ice to die.


Memorable quotations significant to meaning:

  1. I saw—with shut eyes, but acute mental vision—I saw the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together. I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, and then, on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life and stir with an uneasy, half-vital motion. Frightful must it be, for supremely frightful would be the effect of any human endeavor to mock the stupendous mechanism of the Creator of the world.

  2. Did I request thee, Maker, from my clay
    To mould me Man, did I solicit thee
    From darkness to promote me?

  3. What may not be expected in a country of eternal light?

  4. So much has been done, exclaimed the soul of Frankenstein—more, far more, will I achieve; treading in the steps already marked, I will pioneer a new way, explore unknown powers, and unfold to the world the deepest mysteries of creation.

  5. I, the miserable and the abandoned, am an abortion, to be spurned at, and kicked, and trampled on.

Significance of opening scene:

The novel opens with letters from Robert Walton to his sister. Walton has set out on a sea-faring venture after failing as a poet, and writes to his sister back home of his experiences – such as finding a man we learn to be Victor Frankenstein who recounts his story to Walton, which Walton then transcribes for his sister to read. This lends credibility to the story, as it sets the story of Frankenstein in the real world.


Significance of closing scene:

The end is told in Walton’s letters just as the beginning is. Walton tells his sister he is returning to England, at his crew’s insistence after nearly perishing in ice. Frankenstein dies, and Walton meets the monster, hears the monster’s tale of misery, and pities him before remembering his friend’s tale. The monster leaves, with the intent to die alone, Walton being the last human to ever have to see him.


Characters

 

  1. Victor Frankenstein – The doomed protagonist and narrator of the main portion of the story. Studying in Ingolstadt, Victor discovers the secret of life and creates an intelligent but grotesque monster, from whom he recoils in horror. Victor keeps his creation of the monster a secret, feeling increasingly guilty and ashamed as he realizes how helpless he is to prevent the monster from ruining his life and the lives of others.
  2. The Monster – The eight-foot-tall, hideously ugly creation of Victor Frankenstein. Intelligent and sensitive, the monster attempts to integrate himself into human social patterns, but all who see him shun him. His feeling of abandonment compels him to seek revenge against his creator.
  3. Robert Walton – The Arctic seafarer whose letters open and closeFrankenstein. Walton picks the bedraggled Victor Frankenstein up off the ice, helps nurse him back to health, and hears Victor’s story. He records the incredible tale in a series of letters addressed to his sister, Margaret Saville, in England.
  4. Elizabeth Lavenza –  An orphan, four to five years younger than Victor, whom the Frankensteins’ adopt. In the 1818 edition of the novel, Elizabeth is Victor’s cousin, the child of Alphonse Frankenstein’s sister. In the 1831 edition, Victor’s mother rescues Elizabeth from a destitute peasant cottage in Italy. Elizabeth embodies the novel’s motif of passive women, as she waits patiently for Victor’s attention.
  5. Henry Clerval–  Victor’s boyhood friend, who nurses Victor back to health in Ingolstadt. After working unhappily for his father, Henry begins to follow in Victor’s footsteps as a scientist. His cheerfulness counters Victor’s moroseness.

Setting –

Time – Eighteenth century

Place – Geneva; the Swiss Alps; Ingolstadt; England and Scotland; the northern ice


Symbols:

Light –

In Frankenstein, light symbolizes knowledge, discovery, and enlightenment. The natural world is a place of dark secrets, hidden passages, and unknown mechanisms; the goal of the scientist is then to reach light.

Fire –
The dangerous and more powerful cousin of light is fire. The monster’s first experience with a still-smoldering flame reveals the dual nature of fire: he discovers excitedly that it creates light in the darkness of the night, but also that it harms him when he touches it.


Themes for discussion:

Knowledge –

The pursuit of knowledge is central to Frankenstein. Victor attempts to find knowledge beyond that of human limits – such as the secret to life. Walton has similar pursuits of knowledge in his quest towards the North pole. Knowledge can be dangerous, and lead to ones ruin.

Monstrosity –
Victor Frankenstein creates a monster – literally bringing it to life, and makes it monstrous by ignoring its creation, taking no responsibility for the life he creates. The monster is not monstrous until he is repeated denied love and acceptance and so becomes as monstrous as all assume him to be. Victor himself is a kind of monster, as his ambition, secrecy, and selfishness alienate him from human society. Ordinary on the outside, he may be the true “monster” inside, as he is eventually consumed by an obsessive hatred of his creation.

Netgalley Review: She Felt Like Feeling Nothing

She Felt Like Feeling Nothing

by r.h. Sin

Netgalley Review: My Boyfriend is a Bear

My Boyfriend is a Bear

by Pamela Ribon and Cat Farris

Mini Movie Reviews: Baywatch / Wonder Woman / Little Evil

Are you sick of these yet?

Side Note: I FINALLY WATCHED WONDER WOMAN AND OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!


You can see my previous mini movie review posts below:

Mini-Movie Reviews: American Ultra + Pride Prejudice and Zombies + Neighbors (2) + Kindergarten Cop 2

Mini Movie Reviews #2: The Lego Batman Movie / Suicide Squad / Rogue One / Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them / Dr. Strange / The Mummy (2017) / Star Trek: Beyond

Mini Movie Reviews #3: Barely Lethal / Now You See Me 1 & 2 / Speech & Debate / Odd Thomas / Not Another Happy Ending / Kingsmen: The Secret Service

Mini Movie Reviews #4: Age of Adaline / Fright Night / Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates / Edge of Seventeen / Table 19 / Mr. Right / About Time

Mini Movie Reviews #5: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 / The Boss Baby / SpiderMan: Homecoming / Butter / Maximum Overdrive / Jessica Darling’s It List

Mini Movie Reviews #6: Logan / Hidden Figures  / No Men Beyond This Point / The Final Girls / Jack Of The Red Hearts


Baywatch

Image result for Baywatch

When a dangerous crime wave hits the beach, the legendary Mitch Buchannon leads his elite squad of lifeguards on a mission to prove that you don’t have to wear a badge to save the bay. Joined by a trio of hotshot recruits, including former Olympian Matt Brody, they ditch the surf and go deep under cover to take down a ruthless businesswoman whose devious plans threaten the future of the bay.

This movie is pretty funny. Its a fun movie to watch with friends and kill time. Great cast really makes it. We watched it with my ten year old cousin and that was probably a very bad idea, so make sure you realize it kind of deserves its R rating.


Wonder Woman

Image result for Wonder Woman

Before she was Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on a sheltered island paradise, Diana meets an American pilot (Chris Pine) who tells her about the massive conflict that’s raging in the outside world. Convinced that she can stop the threat, Diana leaves her home for the first time. Fighting alongside men in a war to end all wars, she finally discovers her full powers and true destiny.

This is possibly the only good movie of the DCEU so far. Is it perfect? No. But it was still great. Amazing cast, amazing set design and costumes. I really loved the little easter eggs from the comics, and one scene where Diana recuses Steve in a way that parallels Clark saving Lois in the old Superman movies.


Little Evil

Image result for Little Evil

A newly married man starts to believe that his 5-year-old stepson is the spawn of Satan.

This was a really cute halloween movie. Its a little stupid, has some plot holes, but it was overall really fun, and I LOVED Adam Scott in this. If you like funny/scary movies, this is good for you.

 

 

 

Major Works Data Sheet – The Metamorphosis

Major Works Data Sheet

Title: The Metamorphosis

Author: Franz Kafka

Date of Publication: Originally published in 1915, first english translation in 1933

Genre: Absurdist fiction, novella, slipstream fiction


Biographical information about the author (for my knowledge only, but very helpful):
Born to Jewish parents in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Kafka lived through the turmoil of the First World War. The death and destruction which ravaged Central and Western Europe most definitely had an impact on Kafka’s aesthetics. He actually never completed a full-length novel, and is most famous for his novella The Metamorphosis.


Information about the literary period (for my knowledge only, but very helpful):

20th century Existentialism. Existentialism is characterized by the absurd and isolated nature of human existence.


Plot summary:

The story begins with Gregor Samsa waking up, and realizing he has turned into a gigantic bug. He tries his hardest to move, but is weird in his new body. In this part, you learn that Gregor is a hard worker who brings home money for his family. His mother, father, and sister Grete all try to get into Gregor’s room. When he does not show up to work, his manger comes to the apartment to see what is wrong. The manager and the family soon discover that Gregor has changed into a bug, and they are all disgusted by him. The father, with a newspaper, urges Gregor back inside his room, hitting him. The door closes behind Gregor, and everything becomes silent. You can see the beginning of Gregor’s alienation from the society and his family. Gregor goes into his room, and his family struggle to support themselves without Gregor. Grete starts to bring food into his room in a caring way, but soon becomes frustrated and wants him out. Whenever

AP Lit and Comp Flores P.3

Gregor leaves the room, he is pushed back in, with his father throwing apples one time that permanently debilitates Gregor. The family takes in lodgers, who Gregor scares away when he tries to listen to Grete’s music. After this incident, everyone decides that Gregor must go. Gregor, hearing this, dies to stay out of his family’s way. Freed from Gregor’s burden, the Samsas realize that their lives aren’t as bad as they previously thought, and think about finding Grete a husband.


Memorable quotations significant to meaning:

1. “I cannot make you understand. I cannot make anyone understand what is happening inside me. I cannot even explain it to myself.”

2. “As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect.”

3. “He was a tool of the boss, without brains or backbone.”

4. “What a fate: to be condemned to work for a firm where the slightest negligence at once gave rise to the gravest suspicion! Were all the employees nothing but a bunch of scoundrels, was there not among them one single loyal devoted man who, had he wasted only an hour or so of the firm’s time in the morning, was so tormented by conscience as to be driven out of his mind and actually incapable of leaving his bed?”

5. “He thought back on his family with deep emotion and love. His conviction that he would have to disappear was, if possible, even firmer than his sister’s. He remained in this state of empty and peaceful reflection until the tower clock struck three in the morning. He still saw that outside the window everything was beginning to grow light. Then, without his consent, his head sank down to the floor, and from his nostrils streamed his last weak breath.”


Significance of opening scene :

Here is where we first learn that Gregor Samsa is an insect. From this observation, it becomes clear that there will be a major change in the family dynamics, as well as in Gregor’s life itself. It appears that Gregor will no longer be able to work and continue his life as before, which sets up the main conflict in the novella. All other occurrences in the plot derive from the problem in the opening scene.

 


Significance of closing scene :

Gregor’s “Death”, as well as his family’s reaction to it, reveal the depth of their affection for him, or rather, the reality of their lack of it. The family is unconcerned about his passing, and welcome it, feeling as if Gregor was a burden to them. They focus instead on Grete, on her beauty and vivaciousness, planning a future for her. This focus, attention, and care for her future was never afforded Gregor, which in and of itself is another reminder of how much Gregor gave the family, and how little he received from them in return.


Characters
1. Gregor Samsa – Main Character, becomes a bug, works to Caring, overworked to repay his family debt.

2. Mr. Samsa – Gregor’s Father, his debt is what Gregor pays off. Overbearing, irritable, uncaring, lazy

3. Mrs. Samsa – Gregor’s Mother, attempts to take care of Gregor, Dutiful, loving

4. Grete Samsa – Gregor’s Sister. Begins taking care of Gregor, but soon wants Gregor out of the house.

5.The Charwoman – The housekeeper. She discovers Gregor’s to treat Gregor as if he had intelligence. Disposes of Gregor’s corpse.


Setting :

The apartment of the Samsa Family, over a period of several months. It is never clear exactly what city this apartment is in.


Symbols :
The apple – Original sin, the sins of the father cast upon the son.
The three lodgers – The holy trinity, also possibly the new responsibilities the family had to take on.
The father’s uniform – Authority, work, consequences of Gregor no longer working.
The charwoman’s feather – Capitalism, the importance of appearances.
Grete’s violin – A symbol of Gregor’s love for his family and of leisure which he never had.
Gregor as a Bug – His uselessness and how his family sees him, as he can no longer produce for them.


Themes for discussion :
The importance of communication, the importance of family, identity, familial duty, duty towards one’s self, money and monetary value, work

Top 5 Wednesday: Ideal Mash-Ups

Top Five Wednesday is a book meme that Lainey started, and is now hosted by Sam at Thoughts on Tomes.
If you want to join in checkout the Goodreads page!


April 18: Ideal Mash-Ups
— You know those comp titles they list in synopses that read something like “perfect for fans of Harry Potter and Game of Thrones”! What would be some of your favorite mash ups, that would make you pick up a book? “A mix of ________ and ___________.” Remember, you can also incorporate games, tv, movies, etc. Get creative!


Star Trek meets Learning to Swear in America

– I want YA Star Trek and genius kids.

Doctor Who meets Gallagher Girls

– I want spies and time travel!

Night Circus meets Invictus

– Beautiful writing, bets, time travel, I love it.

Harry Potter meets superheroes

– I want YA superhero boarding school in novel form.

Dr Horrible meets Because You’ll Never Meet Me or Invader Zim

– Conspiracy, friendships, and rooting for the villain.


YA Ni Nu Kuni or Fullmetal Alchemist as well, I just couldn’t think of a mash up for those.

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Netgalley Books I Shouldn’t Have Requested

Top Ten Tuesdays are a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.
As always this list is in no particular order.

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.


April 17: Freebie (create your own topic)


I have an issue where, last year, I over-requested way too many books on Netgalley that I was only vaguely interested in – and have now completely lost interest in in the face of other books. I have made the decision to DNF a few of these – there is no way I can read 50 books I am only somewhat vaguely interested by. Its my own fault, but I was so excited by Netgalley and didn’t think I’d get approved for a 1/4th and well… Lesson learned.

So, this will be 10 mini DNF / Why I lost interest reviews. Let me know if there are any I should give a fair shot, etc.


Myth and fantasy collide in “the most haunting love story,” perfect for fans of Maas’s A Court of Thorns & Roses and Pocahontas.

ANCIENT SECRETS CANNOT REMAIN BURIED FOREVER.

Founded two centuries ago by a powerful tribe of Gottwa Indians, Rowan was a quiet town, so quiet that I fled after graduation. Staying away was the plan, but Mom died suddenly.

Dad said she suffered a stroke after she dug up one of the ancient graves in our backyard, which happens to be the town cemetery. Creepy, I know. Creepier still, there was no corpse inside the old coffin, only fresh rose petals.

As we made preparations for Mom’s burial, new people began arriving in Rowan, unnervingly handsome and odd people. I begged them to leave, but they stayed, because their enemies—my ancestors—were beginning to awaken.

This book looked really interesting. But I’ve seen a lot of unfavorable reviews – several mentioning things about the romance etc. that really put me off wanting to read it. I know a lot of people love it – but I don’t think I’d be one of them.


This book is SUPER interesting. This isn’t even a real DNF review – Its not that I don’t want to finish it, its that I’ll never fully read it. I flick through chapters and find it interesting, but its really long to sit and read cover to cover as a nonfiction book and the way its bogs itself down with details makes it hard to read for long periods.

Alexandria Prep is hacked in this exhilarating whodunit set in the age of social media and the cloud—Pretty Little Liars meets WikiLeaks.
 
Senior spring at Alexandria Prep was supposed to be for sleeping through class and partying with friends. But for Anna Soler, it’s going to be a lonely road. She’s just been dumped by her gorgeous basketball star boyfriend—with no explanation. Anna’s closest friends, the real ones she abandoned while dating him, are ignoring her. The endearing boy she’s always had a complicated friendship with is almost too sympathetic.

But suddenly Anna isn’t the only one whose life has been upended. Someone is determined to knock the kings and queens of the school off their thrones: one by one, their phones get hacked and their personal messages and photos are leaked. At first it’s funny—people love watching the dirty private lives of those they envy become all too public. 

Then the hacks escalate. Dark secrets are exposed, and lives are shattered. Chaos erupts at school. As Anna tries to save those she cares about most and to protect her own secrets, she begins to understand the reality of our always-connected lives: 

Sometimes we share too much. 

It seemed interesting when I requested, but now I’ve seen too many books that use this sort of plot point to preach about millennial/teenagers and the superficial dangers of social media in a way that you can tell its an adult judging teens whose writing – that generalization combined with middling reviews makes me not to keen to actually get to this one.

Caleb has been changing ever since the memory-stealing blackouts started. He’s always been the good, dependable, honor-student son, but now his parents have vanished. A voice inside keeps telling him their disappearance is his fault. And the voice keeps getting louder. Taunting him. Threatening him.

And now Caleb’s kidnapped a little girl. He did it to protect her, but he’s starting to wonder if he’s the one she needs protection from.

Then there’s his comic-book-fangirl friend, Kitzi. Kitzi knows a secret she can’t share. It’s locked up in her head behind the brain damage that took away her ability to talk to people. Kitzi wants to help Caleb, but she suspects a connection between this little girl and the Outs—one that threatens the whole world. If she can survive Caleb’s mistakes and the strange little girl’s reality-bending fits long enough to put the pieces together, her secret might save them. Or it could mean the end of everything.

For fans of Brandon Sanderson’s STEELHEART and Jonathan Maberry’s ROT & RUIN, as well as those who enjoy manga like FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST and mainstream comics.

This is the one I feel the worst about DNFing, because I was SO EXCITED to read this when I found it. Especially since its compared to a lot of books I really like. But so many bad and mediocre reviews have put me off of it.

Fahrenheit 451 meets The Giver for tweens in this gripping story about the power of words and the dangers of censorship.

In the city of Ark, speech is constrained to five hundred sanctioned words. Speak outside the approved lexicon and face banishment. The exceptions are the Wordsmith and his apprentice Letta, the keepers and archivists of all language in their post-apocalyptic, neo-medieval world. 

On the death of her master, Letta is suddenly promoted to Wordsmith, charged with collecting and saving words. But when she uncovers a sinister plan to suppress language and rob Ark’s citizens of their power of speech, she realizes that it’s up to her to save not only words, but culture itself.

 

Politics has me so STRESSED lately, that I’m pretty much put off of any book with a strong political message for the foreseeable future – I read to escape the world, not get more stressed about it. I know people really love this book – but I don’t have a good headspace for it.


The 5th Wave meets Beauty and the Beast in this fast-paced and heart-stopping novel about an invasion of murderous creatures and one girl fighting for her life at the end of the world.

He has no voice or name, only a rank, Eighth. He doesn’t know the details of the mission, only the directives that hum in his mind.
Dart the humans. Leave them where they fall.
His job is to protect his Offside. Let her do the shooting.
Until a human kills her…

Sixteen-year-old Raven is at summer camp when the terrifying armored Nahx invade. Isolated in the wilderness, Raven and her fellow campers can only stay put. Await rescue. Raven doesn’t like feeling helpless, but what choice does she have?

Then a Nahx kills her boyfriend.

Thrown together in a violent, unfamiliar world, Eighth and Raven should feel only hate and fear. But when Raven is injured, and Eighth deserts his unit, their survival comes to depend on trusting each other…

This one probably has the most valid reason for a DNF – my adobe digital editions file expired, and I don’t have enough interest to go seek it out on my own.


There are only three things fifteen-year-old Victoria Markham truly enjoys: English class, her signature “Goth Girl” look, and art. It’s just that she tends to do the last one late at night, with spray paint, in public places. It isn’t long before Vic is caught red-handed and forced into community service with a bunch of stereotypes: there’s Rachael, the princess; Russell and Peter, a pair of fist-bumping punks; and Zach, the rich jock, who Vic is secretly crushing on. The motley crew has to collaborate to produce a mural for Halifax, but getting it organized is like herding cats.

On top of all that, Vic’s mother’s boyfriend, the only father figure Vic has ever known and the one who taught her to paint, left them both. Vic’s mother is still reeling, her relationship with her daughter strained. She doesn’t understand Vic’s insistence on spiking her hair, piercing her nose and lip, and wearing black clothing and heavy makeup. Vic is convinced her mother doesn’t care enough to find out what’s really behind the get-up.

Tensions run high as Vic tries to figure out who she is: Victoria Markham, or Goth Girl? Sometimes, there’s more to people than meets the eye.

The more I see about this book – the preachier it sounds, and the more I can tell its an adult trying to write a teen. I have pretty much lost all interest in reading this.


“Den of Shadows was absolutely amazing. It is full of mystery, intrigue and felt a little bit magical.” Rebecca Evans

The Gambler’s Den weaves its away across the desert… But will it stop at your station?

While fighting off poverty in the blistering desert heat a travelling casino offers one night of solace. One chance to change your fortunes. But once on board there is more to the show than meets the eye: enter Franco, the elaborate ringleader, Wyld the stowaway thief and Misu the fire breathing showgirl.

In a kingdom ruled by the law Franco ensures his den remains in line. But when he’s faced with saving the fate of the train, and those on board, he may be forced to break his own rules. Life on the den isn’t just a job but a way of life and once you’re in you’ll never be able to leave.

This sounds a lot like other books – namely Caraval, and a lot of others have found it lacking. The reviews aren’t great, and I just lost interest.


JEAN:
Could it be true? Instead of a summer playing handmaiden to Daphne, was I being delivered something entirely different–a summer in the spotlight? A summer starring Gil Burke and me?

Summer flings and sexy romances were Daphne’s territory. Not mine. I was the one you didn’t pick.

I swatted off my hope like a bumblebee, knowing it was already too late. I’d been deliriously stung.

FRITZ:
People always joked about summer romances because they didn’t last. Summer romances were made out of ice cream and cotton candy, intensely sweet before they melted into nothing. But I’d never thought of Gil as a summer thing.

Gil was my real love, my real first. We were outsiders together, we had each other, we didn’t care that we didn’t belong.

This book had seemed interesting – but the synopsis has left me more than a little confused, with too many character names and implications of infidelity. Also, I’ve been disliking books that focus mostly on romantic drama so I think I’m never getting to this one.


From two exciting, acclaimed authors in teen lit comes an emotionally-charged, contemporary story told in verse about friendship, romance, and the power of redemption while overcoming unbeatable odds.

Authors Brian Conaghan and Sarah Crossan have joined forces to tell the story of Nicu and Jess, two troubled teens whose paths cross in the unlikeliest of places.

Nicu has emigrated from Romania and is struggling to find his place in his new home. Meanwhile, Jess’s home life is overshadowed by violence. When Nicu and Jess meet, what starts out as friendship slowly blossoms into romance as the two bond over their painful pasts and their hope and dreams of a better future. But will they be able to save each other, let alone themselves?

This illuminating story told in dual points of view through vibrant verse will stay with readers long after they’ve finished.

I requested this because I LOVE dual perspective stories and thought it was cool to see one with an immigrant lead. But middling reviews have made me less invested, and since I was only invested as far as “oh, I guess this looks cool” I don’t really have an interest in getting to this.