the danger of a SINGLE STORY

28 September 2011

I really enjoy my AP Human Geography class. It's enriching and eye opening about many of the global issues in the world and is the one class I look forward to every day.

What is Human Geography?
The study of the physical landscape and human interaction. It's mainly to do with human society. Or a more pro definition:  Human geography is the study of the many cultural aspects found throughout the world and how they relate to the spaces and places where they originate and then travel as people continually move across various areas.

a single story on Isreal
The Danger of A Single Story:
I had to watch this video for AP Human about a speech by Chimamanda Adichie on "The Danger of A Single Story" and answer: "Why do you think I wanted you to watch it?" and/or "Have you ever been a victim of a single story?" We'll continue that later, but right now, you must have one big question.

What does this have to do with reading?
Allow a section of my essay on this to explain and some more later.

"It was a good choice to make the class watch this video because it’s a very eye-opening, important video that talks about “The dangerous of a single story” as what Chimamanda Adichie describes as to “Show a people as one thing, only one thing over and over again, and that is what they become” (Adichie) It shows that what we hear on the news, the stories that we hear are only one side of the story, and the other, less publicised It’s a significant video because it makes one become aware of their mistakes, and the mistakes of others, and makes one think about their way of thinking, the way one can automatically assume that one story about a person or group of people defines them, and is the only story, the single story."-----Kirthi Rao


What the heck am I talking about?



How does this apply to YA?
Now that you've read and understand what I had been talking about, we can discuss how it applies to YA Lit. Fiction and nonfiction shape the way the world see's certain things. Media is very important, and feeds our minds. I have gained nearly no valuable knowledge by reading YA, except for the occasional book or two that gives me food for thought. Even historical fiction is 75% fiction and 25% historical fact. I mean, I actually kind of want to read non fiction (not biographies on stupid "stars" and their boring, not important lives) but cultural books. I mean, is there even such thing as YA Non-Fiction

more harry potter love

25 September 2011

Right, so I went crazy during that little free time I had during the week. So every day, I uploaded more funny Harry Potter pictures to my "Harry Potter Humour" Album on my Facebook, and I go crazy laughing at it every time. So I decided, why not share it with my literary bunch of awesome people who will surely enjoy this as much as I did? Any








Oh, here's some favourites:





Some more funny ones:







Oh, I should introduce some Ron and Hermione, right?



vampires

21 September 2011

warning: this post contains harsh content against vampires in YA Lit, and I mean no offense to anyone who likes reading vampire-setting YA books. Seriously, this is a strongly biased and highly opinionated post, so beware and approach with caution.

You, like me, must be so sick of vampires. I thought it was a pretty cool idea at first. You know, vampires had been pretty much gone from being a great idea to write about, with hell and horror and danger and all that, until it got turned into a romantic.

Some examples:




Common themes:

  • human girl falling instantly in love with a hot bad boy dangerous vampire
  • a vampire school where a human goes to with a bunch of hot dangerous vampires
  • a new girl moves in and enter vampire
  • bad vampires hunting good vampires who like humans
  • vampires vs. werewolves
  • hot dangerous cliche vampires with testosterone issues
  • weak flimsy girls who submit to hot vampire guys
  • hot vampire guys that are super overprotective of ordinary, weak, random girl 
  • hot vampire guy loves ordinary human girl
Some might overlap, and the list continues on and on. I'm so sad that teens these days, who don't like reading, start reading because of these sad, poorly written books. At least read something deep and beautiful with meaning, something that actually amounts to a message and meaning in life. Not these crappy books with the generic setting and the rip-offs of other novels. 

Notice, how the stories that are original are most famous. Twilight was written in 2005. There were only a few vampire books back then, but after experiencing success, thousands of readers wanted vampires, and so, in order to fit demand, lots of good writers saw opportunity and wrote crappy rip-offs to feed to teens. We are not dumb and we are the future, and we deserve better. 

To just give readers easy, mindless books to devour mindlessly is complete ________ (I was going to use the b word, but I am trying to tone this down a bit) Writers are smart, good people, and they have tons of brilliant, great ideas so please, writers, don't sink so low as to write about vampires. I would say, if you've got an original idea about vampires, write about it. But as of this point, I don't want anything to do with vampires.

And that brings me to talk about supernatural in general. It's all becoming one giant mush of crap. All the same. I can't even tell the difference anymore. My god, please just come up with original ideas! 

Now, vampires do not exist. As much as you may argue, they do not. I used to love the fact of vampires being alive. A predator above the human on the food chain. Keeping population under control (Yeah, I have a sick mind right now), showing humans (the arrogant ones) that they aren't the greatest things in the whole world. But nowadays, vampires aren't vampires. They're bloodthirsty, hot, immortal humans. 

I must be repeating myself because I cannot stress the amount of hatred I have for bad books. It ruins the image that centuries of writers have worked so hard to build.

"Oh, yeah I love reading"
"Really, what book? I love Vampire Academy, it's soo good! I love reading too"
"Beowulf. Oh yeah....Vampire Academy, sure..."
"What's Beowulf? Sounds weird. Anyways, I'm reading Pretty Little Liars too! Have you read it?"
"The first couple,  but it just prolonged forever and I hated it. The show's.....ugh"
"What?! You hate Pretty Little Liars?! How could you! It's AMAZING!" 

The rest of the conversation is too horrid. I can't bring myself to type it. But I rant on how gorgeous Beowulf is (I read it a while ago and decided to re-read it, inspired by my Count of Monte Cristo success) and how awesome the battles were, the almost lyrical style it was written in and how...beautiful the epic poem was. And then she was like "Ohmygosh, Dimitri!!" I mean, I can't believe how....deprived these teens are, my fellow classmates, and that they don't know what real stories are, what a real book is. It makes me angry that is deemed acceptable by the general population. Free speech blah blah blah.

I ask you, however, to really think about the books you're reading right now, or the ones you have on your bookshelf, and consider whether it's pointless or not. 

review: a beautiful dark

18 September 2011

book info:
ages: 12 and up
grades: 6 and up
on sale: 27.9.11
copy from: HarperTeen (ARC)
pages: 391

title: A Beautiful Dark
author: Jocelyn Davies
stars: 2.9


On the night of Skye’s seventeenth birthday, she meets two enigmatic strangers. Complete opposites—like fire and ice—Asher is dark and wild, while Devin is fair and aloof. Their sudden appearance sends Skye’s life into a tailspin. She has no idea what they want, or why they seem to follow her every move—only that their presence coincides with a flurry of strange events. Soon she begins to doubt not just the identity of the two boys, but also the truth about her own past.
In the dead of a bitingly cold Colorado winter, Skye finds herself coming to terms with the impossible secret that threatens to shatter her world. Torn between Asher, who she can’t help falling for, and Devin, who she can’t stay away from, the consequences of Skye’s choice will reach further than the three of them could ever imagine.

my thoughts:
This is a debut novel, so I'll go easy. This is one of those epic, ancient heaven w/good angel and bad angel, both of them are hot guys, and there's one girl that they both protect etc... It's a good plot if it's written nicely, but this wasn't. This was just...nothing. I don't know how to describe it...it's just pointless. There were a few scenes that were important, but lasted a few pages long and then it was over. The ending would have been dramatic if it were written well, but to me, the whole thing was a flop. Oh gosh, I just sound so mean, don't I? As a writer, I understand that taking harsh criticism is like, horribly painful. It's like a random stranger cursing and yelling at your newborn baby, but I just can't say that I love this story.

characters: Skye, Devin, and Asher are the main characters. Skye is boring. Devin is nice. Asher is "dangerous" They're all bland. Not even one character I can enjoy.

theme:......um.....hang on, I've got one....You're not normal. Angels fight over mortal girl. Heaven depends on the fate of a girl. Hot guys are angels.

plot: There wasn't a plot. Just a straight line with no bumps. Maybe like, a few the size of thumbnails, but nothing more.

style: No style at all. The actual technical part of the writing was good. Different tags, good diction, good paragraph transitions etc... But nothing really special that stands out.

overall: A good quick read, but not very recommended from me. Some people may like it, so I guess you could give it a try.

random: The Legend of Korra

15 September 2011

Yes, I admit that Avatar: The Last Airbender is, has, and always will be my favourite show. I've posted about it before, but I can't express how much I love this show. It's perfect combination of humour and wit, adventure, plot, and meaning is the recipe for a kid-friendly yet also teen and adult friendly show. It's heavily based off of Buddhist and Hindustan cultures and the religions themselves. Each episode relates to the next, not like the cut off ones like Spongebob, and each bit has meaning, teaches a lesson. It is by far the best thing that has ever happened children's television since the free fun silly Spongebob.

And now, The Legend of Korra is coming out! It takes place about a hundred years after Aang brought about an era of peace between the Nations. I watched the trailer and I felt this sense of sadness, that Aang is dead in this new show, that a whole hundred years passed since the time of Aang and all that fun. Now there's a new character, who doesn't possess Airbender qualities like humour and air-like-tactics (if you watched the show, you'd know what I mean) She's muscled, different, and a water bender Avatar so...it's weird. But the video is freaking amazing. You can hear the similar soundtrack from the previous show, that in this trailer, possesses an eerie, sad and mysterious quality to it. Only Avatar can amass fans of all ages including the younger generations by still being true to the meaning of the show. It's a greatly admired act, and well, let's just admit that Mike and Bryan (creators) are like, gods of like....TV.

Here, look at the trailer:


From my good site, Avatar Wiki: (click to read more)

After the conclusion of the War, Aang andZuko brought people from the four nations together and founded the United Republic, creating Republic City, a large "metropolis powered by steampunk-type technology" such as cars and motorcycles.[3] Aang and Katara had three children, the youngest (and only Airbender) of which is Tenzin. Meanwhile, Toph Bei Fong traveled extensively to teach Metalbending. After Aang's death, the next Avatar, Korra, was born to the Southern Water Tribe.

At the present time 70 years after the end of the War, Korra is a rebellious 17-year-old girl.[2][1] As the Avatar, she has already mastered Waterbending, Earthbending and Firebending. She will learn Airbending from Aang and Katara's son Tenzin.[3][4] Tenzin himself is married; Pema is his wife. Jinora, a "bookworm", and Ikki, a "motor-mouth", are his daughters while Meelo, his youngest child, is his son.[5]

The primary and only confirmed setting is Republic City. Anti-benders called "Equalists", who oppose the art ofbending, utilize techniques such as chi-blocking to further their goals of revolution, led by Amon.[3] Korra must fight rampant crime and the anti-bender revolt, assisted by two brothers, Mako, a Firebender, and Bolin, an Earthbender. She is also joined by her animal guide, Naga, and the Metalbending police force of Republic City, who are led by Toph's daughter.[5]

review: The Count of Monte Cristo

14 September 2011

book info:
ages: 15 and up (maybe 16)
grades: 10 and up
on sale: It's ancient.
copy from: Barnes and Noble (Barnes and Noble classic, abridged version)
introduction and notes by Luc Sante
pages: 640

title: The Count of Monte Cristo
author: Alexandre Dumas
stars: 5+

Dashing young Edmond Dant├Ęs has everything. He is engaged to a beautiful woman, is about to become the captain of a ship, and is well liked by almost everyone. But his perfect life is shattered when he is framed by a jealous rival and thrown into a dark prison cell for 14 years.

"But sadness is not banished so easily. Like the wounded hero of Virgil he carried the arrow in his wound" (Dumas, 63)

my thoughts:
I read this in 8th grade, and I loved it, even though I didn't understand 75% of it, so that itself is amazing. But recently I re-read it thoroughly, taking notes and damaging the poor worn old book to shreds. I soaked in every detail and absorbed more than I could take sometimes. I was utterly entranced. It was like no book I had ever read, and I mean this. I. Loved. This. Book. Love. Enchanted. Amor. Encanta. I mean.....wow.

characters: Edmond Dantes is my hero. He plays the role of a son, a lover, a father, a god, a hero, a Count, and of friend. Edmond is as complex and as complicated as a dozen spiderwebs woven together. He has a true past, a terrible past, and he becomes amazing.
 Mercedes is like a goddess. She and Edmond are to be married, they are in love and it's so pure and blissful until everything goes wrong. Later in the book, one discovers how Edmond almost resents her, almost...blames her, when he is betrayed.
 Morrel's withstanding influence and meaning in the Count's life is commendable. There are so many characters, I don't think I can list them all!

theme: When one does a misdeed, it will always backfire. True love must face the test of time. Friendship in the setting of post-Napoleonic France is far stronger and deeper than that of the modern world. Revenge may be just. etc....so many...!

plot: The best, most twisted plot, with dozens of peoples stories interwoven and somehow making sense in the end. A tale of romance, revenge, adventure, and a masterpiece of storytelling....were you alive, Alexandre Dumas, I would be a screaming fan.

style: Alexandre Dumas is the master writer. He is what a true writer should be, and what every writer should strive for. He created a volume of such....such brilliance. I watched this book as if it were a movie, and read it like the book it is at the same time. The small little subtle hints of foreshadowing and indirect characterization Dumas uses, the abrupt switching of parts (instead of being labeled Part 1 and Part 2, he just keeps going) the perfect recipe for the perfect book. Dumas's style engaged the reader (moi) and made me never want to stop.

overall: The best old-time classic I have ever read, The Count of Monte Cristo is the best writing can bring. Equivalent to the modern day fanaticism and epitome of Harry Potter. I love this book. I love it, truly enjoy it and I recommend it to those who are willing to delve deeper than the words and who are willing to read hundreds of pages to walk into Marseilles and follow The Count through the his life.

topic: reincarnation and fate in modern YA Lit

12 September 2011

I think this might become a weekly or a monthly thing, but these topics are usually going to be on cliches in Lit, controversial topics, etc.... You know, to keep my blog interesting. ^_^. Today's topic:

reincarnation and fate in modern YA Lit:
Let's start with some common examples.          


Reincarnation is the belief that a the soul is always shifting from one form to another after every lifetime, so that there is no heaven or hell, just a continuous cycle of life and death. 
Some religions, like mine (Hinduism) and Buddhism strongly believe in reincarnation (it's a religious belief) in which the only way to break the cycle is to reach Nirvana, spiritual enlightenment. Now, mind you, in Hinduism, you can be reincarnated into anything based on your karma. Like, if you were a human and a mass murderer in your life, you will be born an ant in your next left, or a rock or a blade of grass. You can be re-born into anything. 

It's apparently a very popular YA topic to write about, and very overused. There are several ways reincarnation is used, like punishment for doing something wrong in a past life or love.

Love is most common. Love triangles, eternal love, immortal enemies. Eternalness is something a lot of people love. I do too. I like the idea of something like love lasting, literally, forever. 

And in many of these novels, when the person someone loves dies, they can't live with out them, and somehow, miracualously, they lover returns in physical form, because we teens are very physical. Is it so wrong for the man or woman you love to die, and you not being able to live with their prescense? It happens in real life, and it bothers me when in fiction, they always come back. ALWAYS. COME. BACK. Seriously! I mean, think of Need by Carrie Jones. Nick dies. Oh no! He's already dead but there must be some way to bring him back. In countless other stories, bless them, it's a very clear fact that you cannot bring someone back from the dead (and I mean dead dead, no coma dead, or a few hours come-back-to-live-been-to-heaven-and-back dead, I mean dead dead). Yet for some reason, it's become such a big thing to bring 'em back from the dead. No. Just, please, no. If you're gonna kill them, leave them dead.

As a reader:
I get tired of reading so many reincarnation-plot-based novels, the idea has lost its luster, if you know what I mean. It's very predictable. The plot line. First, there's a new girl or guy. Meet another girl or guy and feel like they know them. Turns out they knew each other in a past life, they learn that they knew each other in a past life, and embark on a journey against the forces of nature. I mean, really! It's really unreasonable. First of all, say the person (character) knows what they did in a past life, and they apparently, oh I don't know, figure out about a curse that makes them repeat the same thing no matter what, because oh hey, it's fate. Well lets see. I'd be smart enough not to make the same mistake and change fate because fate is not set in stone. Fate is something you control. I mean, I'm getting enough of these weak, idiotic heroines "falling in love" (more like lust, but that'll be for another day) and knowing their mistakes, but being stupid enough to repeat it.

As a writer:
This is a cheap way to get out of really writing. It's a short-cut. Since this has turned into reincarnation as a form of "love" in YA, let's talk about that. What ever happened to getting to know a person, having conversations, hanging out, and falling in love in the process? No, writers think it's okay to have "instant love" NO! That's a BIG no no! Different people, different life, different interests, and different love. First of all, was it really love in the first place? Second of all, the character is in a new life, he (or she) isn't exactly like he or she was in the past life. They're not the same person! They may have the same soul, but not the same person. This is a...a very lazy way to tell a story. The characters are usually very weak, because you don't have the indirect characterization, or even the direct characterization, that writers use to build a strong, round character. Because of instant love, you lose the character. The plot is weak because you don't know the character, and you're using reincarnation as an easy-way-out-of-it plot. I'm not saying it's a bad plot overall, I'm just saying that if you want to write about it, make it well formed, clear and somewhat realistic and detailed and thorough. It's fiction, I get it, but it can only go so far.

Case In Point: Reincarnation is being overused and sullied. It's going to be a laughing stock soon. That needs to change.

To my readers: How do you feel about reincarnation in modern day YA-Lit? Do you like it or love it? Do you find paranormal reincarnation stories more interesting than normal girl-meets-boy YA stories.




first and the second

11 September 2011

"If you love two people at the same time, choose the second one, because if you really loved the first one you wouldn't have fallen for the second" ---Johnny Depp

why do you read?

10 September 2011


It's such a simple question. How did I answer? Well short and simple "Because it's amazing" That feeling you get, like many people have said it was like going into a different world. The sweet stories, the lessons, the wisdom shared across the world. The amazing feeling, almost like a trance, you get after finishing a book.  Especially the long stories, the finality of the ending that leaves you thinking about it all for so long. The sense that everything will be okay with a happy ending and that life isn't fair with the tragic ones. The feeling that you have been there and back again in another life. I mean, how can you explain it to someone who doesn't enjoy reading like I do?

Why do you read?

review: after obsession

07 September 2011

book info:
ages: 12 and up
grades: 7 and up
on sale: September 13th
copy from: bloomsbury


title: after obsession
author(s): Carrie Jones and Steven Wedel
stars: 3

Aimee and Alan have secrets. Both teens have unusual pasts and abilities they prefer to keep hidden. But when they meet each other, in a cold Maine town, they can't stop their secrets from spilling out. Strange things have been happening lately, and they both feel that something-or someone- is haunting them. They're wrong. Despite their unusual history and powers, it's neither Aimee nor Alan who is truly haunted. It's Alan's cousin Courtney who, in a desperate plea to find her missing father, has invited a demon into her life-and into her body. Only together can Aimee and Alan exorcise the ghost. And they have to move quickly, before it devours not just Courtney but everything around her.

my thoughts:

This is kind of a easy, quick read. It was enjoyable but not memorable and lasting.

characters: Aimee....I didn't like her. She was just...average.Boring. (what is up with boring female heroines, huh??) Alan was the one who rocked the character charts. He wasn't Christian (like the mainstream religion of the U.S. that every character is in almost every mainstream YA book I read) but Native American, believing in the Great Spirit. I loved this idea, and I loved him. He was different.


theme: Only you can solve your own problems. Everyone has inner strength, he or she just has to use it.

plot: Interesting. Yeah, okay. Average. Not heart-stopping or much of a page-turner.

style: mainstream. Need I say more?

overall: A quick, easy read. Recommended for...people who don't like reading and just want a practice book, I think.

i have a good reason for why I was gone

02 September 2011

Ohmygosh, I have missed blogging like anything! I've still been reading guys, so don't worry! And please don't kill me, I have a good reason for why I was gone. I've just survived the first few weeks of high school.

"What? High school?" you ask. Yeah, I'm just so cool and mature that I've been mistaken for an older high school-er. Haha, no I'm kidding. Yes, I'm now a 9th grader! I'm surprised that a lot of you haven't un-followed me! I was expected like, everyone to leave me all alone. I'm so thankful to have such great readers like you! From now on, I'm going back to blogging and I'll be sure to show you how much I love you all! (and reading!)

So, how was my first week of high school, one may ask. And so I answer: It was bad. For the most part, I had no friends at this totally different high school. Everyone from my middle school, except me and a couple of others, had gone to another high school. So it was just me, and my two girl friends. The worst thing was that neither of them had classes with me. So I was the shy kid, not speaking to anyone when really I wanted to scream and laugh and talk. I'm in the third week, I still feel kind of like a loser, but I have a couple of friends in each class, a hot guy to crush on, and interesting lessons, so high school isn't a total flop. What about you guys? Any advice? How's school going for you (if you're still in school, that is)?

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