young adult

TAG: Fight Like a YA Girl

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Thank you so much Patty @ Moohnshine’s Corner for tagging me on this cool tag. It’s the most difficult one I’ve ever done… and she’s gonna pay for it one day. Possibly with a cake… Hahaha! So fair…

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The Rules:

  • Thank the person who tagged you.
  • Mention the creator Krysti at YA and Wine
  • Match at least one YA girl with each of the themes below.
  • Tag as many people as you like!

 

1.WARRIOR GIRLS:

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2. GIRLS WHO FIGHT WITH THEIR MIND:

  • Hermione from Harry Potter. She always knows the right spell to deal with the enemy.

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3. GIRLS WHO FIGHT WITH THEIR HEART:

  • Lou from Me Before You. At first glance, it may not appear that she does, but in the end, her heart brought her back to him and tried to convince Will to change his mind. She may or may not be a young adult, but in my mind, she was young enough.

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4. GIRLS WHO ARE TRAINED FIGHTERS:

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5. STRONG GIRLS OF COLOR:

  • Rue from The Hunger Games. She stayed in the game for a long time.

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6. GIRLS WHO FIGHT TO SURVIVE:

  • Lisbeth Salander from The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. She will never die.

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7. GIRLS WHO ARE WEAPONS MASTERS:

 

*** See anyone from The Hunger Games ***

8. GIRLS WHO DON’T CONFORM TO GENDER ROLES:

 

*** See several from The Hunger Games ***

9. GIRLS WITH KICK-BUTT MAGICAL POWERS:

  • Lyra from The Golden Compass. Imagine what Lyra can do with the alethiometer.

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10. STRONG GIRLS IN CONTEMPORARY NOVELS:

  •  Pretty Little Liars

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11. SERIOUSLY FIERCE GIRLS:

*** See anyone from The Hunger Games ***

12. MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK WITH A STRONG LEADING LADY:

 

  • WOW!!! Too many to come up with,  but none are Young Adult. I’m gonna have to think about this one… suggestions?

Nominations To Do This Tag

 

About Me

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

Book Review: Girl in Snow by Danya Kukafka

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3.5 out of 5 stars to Girl in Snow, a new mystery and suspense novel written by Danya Kukafka and set to be released on August 1st, 2017.

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Many thanks to Simon & Schuster, NetGalley and the author for the opportunity to review an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this novel. I enjoyed it and would be interested in reading more by this author.

Why This Book
This is slightly embarrassing, but I’m not one hundred percent certain how I came to read this book. I was awarded the novel on NetGalley in May, but I believe someone recommended it to me, or maybe the publisher reached out to me to take a look at it. I can’t find any emails, which I normally save, or any comments that might refresh my memory… so bottom-line, it was part of a NetGalley list of books I wanted to read.

Plot, Characters & Setting
Lucinda is a teenager in a small Colorado town who is found dead in the snow on a school playground by a custodian. She was hit in the head with a blunt object and left to die. The story follows several people in the town who either knew the girl or knew of her, each having different opinions about whether Lucinda was a good person or a bad girl.

Cameron is the boy who loved her from afar, except someone knows he was stalking the girl and watching through her windows. He’s had mini-breakdowns after his father left town years ago under very bad circumstances. He doesn’t remember doing anything, but people close to him know he was missing, saw him talking to her and believe he’s guilty.

Jade is a fellow schoolmate who did not like Lucinda. Lucinda stole the boy Jade loved, but the boy never really loved Jade. Jade is not upset that Lucinda is dead, but her younger sister is angry. Jade’s mother treats her daughter poorly and seems to be hiding some sort of a secret.

Russ is the cop assigned to investigate Lucinda’s death. He’s harboring a secret about his friendship with Cameron’s father, as well as the reasons Cameron’s father disappeared. He’s also certain the school custodian, who happens to be Russ’s wife’s brother, is guilty. He tries to navigate the situation, but finds himself stuck on the past.

A few other characters intersect, e.g. a couple with a young child that both Lucinda and Jade babysat for. A young school teacher accused of flirting inappropriately with his female students. And the friends and family members of all 3 main characters.

One of these people is guilty. But the question is who… and you’ll need to read the book to find out.

Approach & Style
I read the novel on my iPad through Kindle Reader. It was about 4500 lines, which is about a 300 page hardcover — not that long. Chapters are relatively short and alternate perspective from the 3 main characters: Cameron, Jade and Russ. The language and writing are absolutely beautiful. So much background and description are revealed in the narration and prose. There are limited amounts of dialogue.

Jade tells 2 sides of every conversation — what she wishes she said (through a play she is writing) and what she actually said. For a young and new writer, the author has a firm grip on flourishing language. On occasion, it fell a little too simple, but it balanced out from the lengthy details of everything else going on in the background.

Strengths
The best part of the story is the absolutely beautiful descriptions of the characters and the scenery. Everything feels authentic. The plot is complex in that there are different levels of relationships happening behind the scenes, which readers only see when certain characters happen to stumble on the supporting cast. It’s a good approach to hold interest in the story. The plot has many interesting sub-components, which help reveal who people really are on the inside versus who they appear to be on the outside.

Concerns
I didn’t know enough about nor care much for Lucinda. A lot of details were revealed about her, but she’s dead when the story starts. As a result, I felt like she could have been anyone as opposed to having a real strong desire inside me to want to know who killed her. I felt less of an attachment to her, but if it were written a little differently, I think it would have been an easy 4 rating for me. Also, once the killer is revealed, there is no scene explaining how/why it happened. You have a hint at the reason for the murder, but you never actually watch or hear the scene played out from either the narrator or a confession from the killer. It felt like a bit of a letdown.

Author & Other Similar Books
This is a very typical story about 3 seemingly disconnected characters where you have to figure out how everyone knew each other. There are a lot of similar type stories on the market right now, as it’s a popular genre and sub-genre. In a way, it was similar to “Beartown” in the structure, focus on teenagers and the mystery portion. But it was also like “I Found You” where the 3 stories will intersect somehow, but you just don’t know until the end, but also that this this was about teenagers and “I Found You” was not only about teenagers.

This is the author’s first book. She definitely has writing talent and storytelling abilities. I think with more experience, she’ll flush out some of the areas that felt a bit weak to me and become a fantastic and creative author in this genre. I’m glad I read it and will chance her next book.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

Review: Treasure Island

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Treasure IslandBook Review
4 out of 5 stars to Treasure Island, a coming-of-age-of-sort novel, written in 1882 by Robert Louis Stevenson. I read this book as a young adult when I received it as a Christmas present from an aunt and uncle. At first, although I knew it was a classic, I wasn’t too anxious to jump into it. I wasn’t a big fan of pirates and boats. I wasn’t a normal kid, what can I tell you. But… it was a gift and I thought I should give it a chance. And once I did, I loved it. I had read Peter Pan recently and felt a kismet connection of sorts between them. From the adventures to the bonds, to the test of good versus evil, the book had so many wonderful moments. And since then, I’ve sampled many different iterations, from movies to other books with pirate stories, all the way to Once Upon a Times interpretation. It’s truly a remarkable story that helps young adults figure out how to approach a world full of fears, hopes and questions. And to think it’s a pirate and a cook who help you to figure some of it out. But it’s more. There’s bonding. And team work. And treasure hunting. And challenges. And mystery. All culminating in reaching one’s goals in ways you didn’t necessarily expect.



About Me


For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

View all my reviews

Review: The Little Prince

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The Little PrinceBook Review
3 out of 5 stars to The Little Prince, a French children’s story written in 1943 by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Have you ever read a book that was translated into your native language and thought, “I’ve lost some beauty and meaning in this version?” That’s how I feel about this book. I read it in English as I cannot read, speak or write French. I know very little about the French, but with a few folks I’ve known, I can align this book with their personalities. Though it’s deemed a children’s book, in America, we’re often a little less willing to give something like this to kids, so it’s probably better for a new teenager to read. It has some pictures as well as story, so it’s somewhere in the middle of YA versus children’s book to me.

As for the story, consider it a moral lesson, an allegory, in how to live life. Comparing adults to children. Imagination to work. Freedom to structure. Why you choose to do something versus being told to do it. The characters are a little too direct or cold for me to connect with, but I do enjoy the conversation the book starts with young adults. It can teach you how to think on your own but also recognize there is a time and place for questioning why versus just doing the task.

I would like to learn French to see if I read something different from the book. But then again, without years of culture and history, it may not have the same impact as it does for someone who grew up in the environment. Anyone from France have a theory? I’d be curious…



About Me


For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

View all my reviews

Review: The Diary of a Young Girl

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The Diary of a Young GirlBook Review
4 out of 5 stars to The Diary of a Young Girl, written during the 1940s by Anne Frank. Many are first exposed to this modern-day classic during their middle or high school years, as a way to read a different type of literature from that of an ordinary novel. In this diary, young Anne express her thoughts (both positive and negative) over a two-year period during which her family and friends are in hiding during World War II and the Holocaust. For most of us, this is one of the few ways we can actually read or hear the words from someone who was actually there and went through this, especially if you don’t know anyone who was alive during this time period in the 1930s and 1940s in Germany and the surrounding areas. I read this in my 9th grade English course, and I remember disliking it a lot. Not because of the way it was written or published, but due to the topic. I dislike anything about that time in history. But I later re-read it and had a different level of appreciation for the value a book of this type can bring. Unlike The Book Thief, it’s raw and natural in its words. But where I love The Book Thief because of its story, I found this one a bit harder to digest. It’s not this extraordinary novel by any means, at least to me, but given how it came about, what happened to her and the way she expresses everything, it is definitely a great book. Everyone should read some passages from it at some point in their life.



About Me


For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

View all my reviews

Review: Garden of Shadows

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Garden of Shadows Book Review
3 out of 5 stars to Garden of Shadows, the 5th book in the young adult thriller series written in 1987 by V.C. Andrews. Two key things to note about this book. The author passed away while writing this book, and I’m not clear on how much VC Andrews wrote versus a ghost writer at the publishing firm. Also, it’s the fifth book in the series, but it is actually a prequel to Flowers in the Attic, so it should be read first. That said, if you read it first, you’d totally lose the power of the first book… it’s better to see someone as bad before you find out they were once good, as well as what pushed them to turn towards the bad life! If you haven’t read Flowers in the Attic, stop reading this review and go back to the beginning.

We find out what Olivia, the grandmother, was like as a child. We learn to like her for awhile, seeing how she was broken down by a wicked man and the loss of her parents at a young age. You begin to feel sympathy, but then you remember, it doesn’t quite matter what was done to you, you should know better than to repeat the cycle, right?

I loved and hated this book. Took too much to read, pushed in the wrong directions. But it also continued a devastating and complex family saga. I had some different ideas on how it should have come together, but I was barely a few years at this point to be able to say anything. Imagine a young kid saying “Oh, I can write that better.” LOL

If you read the series, you owe it to yourself to finish it with this one. If you didn’t, don’t start with this one even tho it’s technically the “first.”

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

View all my reviews

Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

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Harry Potter and the Deathly HallowsBook Review
4+ out of 5 stars to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the seventh and supposedly final book in 2007 by J.K. Rowling. But then “Cursed Child” came out last year… so is a series really over? Not in our hearts and minds, my friends… this neither shall this one be… and although I considered spending a huge part of today drafting a very thorough review of Harry Potter, my instincts kicked in and told me not to do so… instead, let’s meet up and talk about it somewhere if you want to get into the details. I literally don’t have the ability to write everything I am thinking about when it comes to these books… and I wrote my first novel in less than 3 months with not a stitch of writer’s block.

Sometimes things just flow out of your creativity and into the world’s waiting and willing hands. And that’s exactly what’s happened with the HP book series. It’s the kind of book where you can read it at any age and feel a deep connection. You can re-read it and watch the movie all in the same day and never be bored or feel the need to do anything else. When HP movies are running on TV back-to-back over a weekend, I always catch a few of them.

These characters are wonderful. The plot is just brilliant. And in this last book, when all the surprises burst from within our own little goblet of fire, we find true nirvana in a set of books unlike any other. From drama to shock, sadness to beauty, Deathly Hallows re-invents the construct of an emotional roller-coaster. Whether you read the whole series or just picked up the last one, you feel the power inside the text… especially when you consider it all started with an innocent and scared little boy who lived under the stairs at 4 Privet Drive.

We are all Harry Potter at one point in our lives or during the course of his life. Could be when you were a child searching for someone to love you, or it may be now as an adult looking back on the differences you faced in the eyes of good versus evil. Whatever the connection is, you’ll feel it until you are no more… and while this may seem like an exaggeration or a rather ethereal point of view… one thing I know is true:

We all make the exact same face when we hear or think of anything to do with his amazing story: there’s a brief pause, our lips curl, our eyes roll back a little as we shut out lids, our breath thins out towards the back of our throat, and our hearts all decide it’s OK to stop beating for just that 1 second. And in our collective sigh of “I love Harry Potter” exclamations, we are all for once, connected by a shared intense feeling that might be strong enough to fuel the world’s future.



About Me


For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

View all my reviews