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After months of pestering my Library Insider, I got Ellen Hopkins to come to my library!!! I'm going to meet my idol!!! I'm going to see her, get down on my knees, bow, and shout "I'M NOT WORTHY! I'M NOT WORTHY!!!"
She's coming tomorrow to speak at the library. This is my much-needed reward for finishing my first quarter with good grades and my sanity! Also this week has been a bummer due to Drunk Driving Awareness week at school. There was an assembly with disturbing and depressing videos and I've been balling all week. Anyway....
I don't even know what to ask! I don't even know which book to have her sign! Its a tie between Impulse and Identical. Impulse is my life and was the first book to make me cry, but Identical was an amazing thriller and kept me begging for more!!!
Here's her current list of books:
Normally, I'm a fast reviewer and can crank them out. I've been meaning to, but I'm having a little writers block. That and some of the books I'm reviewing I read a month or 2 ago. Have no fear they're coming!
Upcoming reviews will be on popular YA right now, and an Ebook I've meant to review for a while.
Alright! Time for some reading and no school! As you can see, I've added quite a few reviews, and I have even more coming. No really! I read the books, I just need to review them now! Really!
I still have a large stack of books and I hope to review more books! I just started The Help, and that may take time, sadly. However, I still have 2 more reviews up my sleeve! Later!
Sorry for not updating the Blog. School is a time killer!
I realize I meant to put up info about the Mock Printz Festival months ago. Well, here's how it went
After a 2 hour drive, me and my library insider finally arrive in Portlandia!!! We go have lunch at this awesome Italian Restaurant, then head over to the humongous Multnomah County Library- Old looking outside, modern inside! There were about 12 youth in attendance, and twice that in adults. Everyone was split into groups to discuss all 10 books in 2 hours. Pretty easy to do with us. A lot of different opinions thrown around, like how people loved Chime, but you just had to go with the story until a revealer part, or how people found Jasper Jones and Dead End In Norvelt because the history was accurate and interesting (NO!!). We voted at the end of our discussion on what books we want to win. In out group, A Monster Calls came first, Daughter of Smoke and Bone was second, and Imaginary Girls was third, I believe. Then the groups joined into one audience and we went through all the books and commented, and boy, I loved getting up and trashing Jasper Jones!. Finally, a total tally was formed and A Monster Calls was a winner with Between Shades of Gray and Berlin Boxing Club placing next. But the best part was next.
FREE ARC BOOKSSSSSS!!!!!! *Drools*
The Library had a surplus and didn't want any! We got to pick 6 books first, then a free-for-all. I waled away with maybe 15 books, all spectacular like Dear Bully, Pregnant Pause, Tank-Born, Teeth, and more! A very fun trip!
Ok, next on the list, Upcoming books!
I am sick, so Its a double-edged sword as to my reading- I have time to read more, but I feel awful!
-Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
-The Bar Code Tattoo
-I'm Not Her
-Speak No Evil
-Now You See Me
-Because of Anya
-My Beating Teenage Heart
-Minerva Clark Gives Up The Ghost
Reviews for Beauty Queens by Libba Bray and Thirst V.4 should be up soon!
Sorry for not posting sooner! Deadlines and School have stopped me from this. The Mock Printz festival was a blast and I plan to post an official review for it later. And tips will be more infrequent and just come when they can. The next few books shall be!
Hotblood: House of Slide
This Is A Book
Have a great (ear MLK day!
Sorry, I haven't been around much. Health issues have prevented me from reading and reviewing. Tips will be delayed until further notice, and reviews should start picking up again.
Anyway, the Mock Printz festival is in 2 days!!!! I am in love with Daughter of Smoke and Bone!!!! I'll probably finish it just in time for the festival.
So far I've finished Imaginary Girls, Jasper Jones, and Anya's Ghost. Next up is Chime! I've resigned to not being able to finish all of them before the 7th, so I plan to go for the ones that seem good. I hope to read them in this order.
-Daughter of Smoke and Bone
-Blink and Caution
-A Monster Calls
-Berlin Boxing Club
-Between shades of Gray
-Dead End in Norvelt
The Tip will be delayed this week to Monday or Tuesday due to the holidays. Merry X-mas!!!
Tip 2: Sentence structure! Part one.
There's nothing more deterring than a choppy written review! What I mean is where the sentence either is short and abrupt or has "and" attached to the sentence more than once and it just runs on! Throughout my middle school years, I had the teachers who hammered you in writing homework, gave you all the essays, and made your hands scream "bloody murder" before the day was done. However, they hammered into me great writing techniques and skills that I'll share here. This week will cover FonsBAY.
FonsBAY is one of many techniques developed by an English professor, I believe. Its a type of skill classified as "Hit the Bridge" which I'll explain lower.
FonsBAY is an acronym.
F - for
O - or
N - nor
S - so
B - but
A - and
Y - yet
You'll notice the BAY in fonsBAY is capitalized. This is so because the BUT, AND, YET are utilized the most in this technique and is a reminder to not forget the other 4! Those 7 words are called "Bridge words".
So how does it work? " When you come to the end of a sentence and are considering 'hitting' the period, hit a bridge word instead and continue." Below is a demo!
Take a sentence: The McDonald's french fries grew no mold...
This is a Driver Sentence. It is so, because we could just end it and leave it. You can drive a car alone. However, Its not as fun!
If we were to add a comma instead of a period and a FonsBAY word, it could be more interesting (even though finding out fries don't grow mold is pretty interesting!). Lets add but, and make it "The McDonald's french fries grew no mold, but the hamburger did. Now the driver has a passenger sentence, to liven things up!
You can utilize every FonsBAY word as above! This is great for combining two facts into one sentence! I've posted another good cheat to help you utilize FonsBAY below.
F - for (good for replacing "Because")
O - or (good for adding hypotheticals)
N - nor (good for adding another negation)
S - so (continuing a sentence)
B - but (negating or adding to the Driver)
A - and (continuing a sentence
Y - yet (adding a negation)
There aren't the only ways you can utilize FonsBay, but its what I commonly do. See if you can spot them in my reviews and practice!
I have finally began to tackle the pile of Mock Printz books! I finished Anya's ghost a few days ago, and I thought it was a well written American Graphic Novel. Cute illustrations and a lovely but thrilling sci-fi touch. A review should be here soon!
I've almost finished Jasper Jones now too, and that was a glaring book. My cover thoughts hed me thinking it was a hunting book, but NOOOO! It was an Australian book in the time of the Vietnam War, and I had to look for clues to get that much! It had such a thrilling beginning, but then its just 200 pages of filler!!!! I've just skimmed the whole book! I got all the info I needed by reading the first sentence, maybe the second one too, of every paragraph! However, now that I'm on page 270, the Mystery part picked up again!!! Thank gawd!!!! This book is in for a bash when I'm done with it!
As I was writing my latest review (Brooklyn, Burning by Steve Brezenoff), I was remembering how hard writing reviews could be for newbies like I am/was, and how I just had to wing it as to writing reviews since no one had tips or anything! So why don't we change that?! Every week, I'll be posting a new tip as to how you can write a strong and well-sounding review. We'll start today and I'll add new tips every Sunday!
Tip 1: Making a strong summary!
I find the best way to start a review is to recreate a summary or teaser of the book in question, so you remember the book and to entice readers about this book. A good rule of thumb is to try to not give away key parts of the book in the summary. You can do that later in your review, if you feel compelled to. Describe the main character/s with key things (if known) like, name, gender ( if difficult to tell with like a gender-neutral name like Leslie), age, past (if relevant to the key points in the story), and any abilities or disabilities (such as if they are an angel,a veteran who lost a limb).
With Abilities and Disabilities, I like to shock the reader about this (EX: After being deployed to Iraq, Tim has finally come home. But he has returned home missing his arm.), but its a good thing to do, if it creates a difference between the character and society. You don't want to surprise the reader by saying, for example, the character is a cyclopes if the rest of the book's society are cyclopes or a good portion is and the society accepts or rejects the species as a whole.
The next thing to include is the issue that the character has and the impact on the character, if it wasn't described in Abilities and Disabilities (EX: Molly is a normal 16 year old girl. That is, until her parents died in a car crash. Now, Molly blames herself for their deaths, as they were going to get her birthday presents.). Abilities and Disabilities and Issue are very similar as they all impact the character, but Issue should dive more into how the character is impacted and how those around are impacted. Let me dissect the example above. Sentence 2 is Molly's Disability, as she lost her parents. Sentence 3 takes the Disability and shows how it impacts the character as the Issue. The Issue can be long so don't be afraid to drag it out!
Next, I like to hint at what could happen to the protagonist or how things could go. Following the example above of Molly. I could end the summary with "Will she ever be able to get past her grief?" and I could also add on "Or will she be consumed by it forever?" The Hint should be the last thing in the summary, so you can hook the readers in to wanting to know what happens to the protagonist.