The premise of the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge is to post something on your blog every day in April except for Sundays. In doing this you will have 26 blog posts–one for each letter of the alphabet. Each day you will theme your post according to a letter of the alphabet.
You will only be limited by your own imagination in this challenge. There is an unlimited universe of possibilities. You can post essays, short pieces of fiction, poetry, recipes, travel sketches, or anything else you would like to write about. You don’t have to be a writer to do this. You can post photos, including samples of your own art or craftwork. Everyone who blogs can post from A to Z.
Reading Roundup (n.)
I’m defining Reading Roundup as:
- a little feature on my blog where I review books I’ve read.
March was a big reading month for me where I read 14 books. I’ve read 5 books so far in April, but I’m probably going to cut back on reading because I have to focus on school this spring/summer. On second thought, how about instead of reading I cut back on sleeping. Read or sleep. That’s a tough one. I’ll have to think about it. Anyways, I’ve been needing a break from school and I’ve taken one but I think I’ve neglected it long enough. I’m not doing so well on the word for 2011 which was ‘discipline’ but I think I’ve made other improvements in my life where it’s been worth sacrificing school for. But, I’m going to get back on track shortly.
I rated The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins a 2 out of 5 stars. I thought that overall it was okay. I mean, yes, the suspense was there and I really was a bundle of nerves reading the book from start to finish. That doesn’t mean it should get more stars because of that, though. The premise of the book is a real life nightmare. Let’s take 24 kids (ages 12-18) and throw them together in the wild and have them kill each other. While we bet on who kills who and who will be the last one standing. While we film it all on TV so that everyone can watch it from the comfort of their home. To make it more interesting, let’s set traps and help push the kids to kill each other.
This is a young adult book about kids killing each other. Maybe a little more but no less. I was riveted to the page but that was mostly because I was so sad and absolutely heartbroken for the kids the whole way through. There are two more books in the series where I’m hoping there is a little bit less action and more story but I think I may be too disturbed to be able to continue reading. Nothing about this book made me want to continue the series. Where was the hope? Where was the light at the end of the tunnel? Where was the hero? Where was the action? And I don’t mean action as in kill, kill, kill. I wanted to see other things than murderous children intent on eliminating their opposition who happened to also be murderous children. My opinion is in the minority as most people absolutely love this book for some reason.
I, Emma Freke by Elizabeth Atkinsons reminded me of Alice, I Think by Susan Juby. Here is a young girl who doesn’t feel like she belongs. In fact, she feels kind of like a freak. It doesn’t help that her last name is “Freke”, either, and when you say her full name it sounds like “Am a freak”.
This is a book geared for middle grade readers but really it’s for anyone who’s ever felt like they didn’t belong. It’s for anyone who has ever wondered if one day they’ll find their place or if it’s worth changing who you are to feel like you belong. This book shows you that it’s okay to be yourself and if being yourself means you’re a “freak” then embrace it and enjoy it because eventually you will find your right people and nothing else will matter. I really liked it and gave it a rating of 4 out of 5 stars.
The Rebellion of Jane Clarke by Sally Gunning is a historical novel set in the time of the Boston Massacre which prior to this I didn’t know much about. I also don’t know much about American history so I got to learn a bit about John Adams and James Otis. Our heroine, Jane Clarke, witnesses the Boston Massacre as she resides in town with her Aunt Gill who she is taking care of. There were times when I thought that the writing was great but overall it was kind of a slow read for me. I identified a bit with Jane and her views on life, love, family and marriage but after it was over I’m not sure what I got out of this book. In the end, I did like this book and gave it a rating of 3 out of 5 stars.
In The Handmaid’s Tale by Marget Atwood, we read about the day to day life of Offred, who literally belongs to a man named Fred. She is a handmaid and her purpose in life is to get pregnant in order that the couple she belongs to can have a baby. She recalls her former life where she had a husband and a child of her own. To prevent her from committing suicide everything that she could possibly use to harm herself is taken away. Everything I read was quite matter of fact and after finishing the book I’m still waiting for something exciting to happen. The thing about dystopian novels is that, to me, they always feel incomplete. It’s like we’re given a snapshot of a possible future time and we’re left to ponder and muse over the consequences of our present time and the results of the author’s imagination of what the world could be like. The endings are usually ambiguous with no certain outcome provided by the author. This often leaves me feeling dissatisfied. I suppose this is a trademark of dystopian novels but I prefer them to have solutions to the problems they’re facing. I find it very sad and disheartening when I read a story where terrible things are happening and then nothing is solved or not enough action is being taken to provide hope that change may soon come. 3 out of 5 stars.