Friday, October 31, 2014

How to Read More During School

Oh, school.  How I do dislike you.  You give me no time to read or watch my favorite shows or do anything I need to do or like to do.  You give me unnecessary work and stress, and for a person who is introverted and also is a chronic procrastinator who also wants all A's--you suck.  Please go away. Except, no matter how much I want to, I cannot quit school to read full time.  I have to find the time to read and that is overly difficult. 

When I was younger, up until middle school (*shudder*), there was this thing called Accelerated Reader where you had to read books and take tests on them and score points.  You were rewarded for this and even had a specific time everyday to read.  Then comes middle school (*shudder*), and AR is thrown out the window.  But I still had time during class to read and less homework.  But now I am in high school and they give you no time whatsoever and way too much homework.  I have struggled so hard to find time for everything and reading.  I am sure I am not the only one.  I usually can read about 5 books a month, but during school, maybe 3.  (Let's just ignore the fact of how I spent a month reading Blood of Olympus because I don't want it to end).  So how can you read during school with everything going on?  It's hard, but possible.

1.  First of all, and this is for everything, if you don't feel like doing it do not do it.  You'll just waste time avoiding actually doing it and procrastinating.  Do not force yourself to read if you don't want to.  You already are being forced to do homework and do marching band and play soccer and not to mention dance class and beta club--don't make something you love doing another thing you are required to do.  It just sucks all the fun out of it.  If you just want to watch Netflix, do not force yourself to read.  Watch Netflix.  But also do your homework.  Because failing is bad. 

2.  Set away some time to read.  Carve out time to spend reading.  My favorite time to read, especially during the school year, is before bed.  Just do not start reading and three hours later you look at the clock and realize it's one in the morning.  No just one more chapter's or I can totally survive on four hours of sleep.  Because you can't.  Trust me.

3.  If you can, read in the car.  Instead of sitting there staring out the window, use the time to do something productive.

4.  Read shorter books.  Instead of trying to read the whole Mortal Instruments series and taking forever to finish them, read shorter books, something 200-300 pages that doesn't take as long.

5.  Read a book with a friend.  I find that when I am reading the same book as a friend of mine, I am so competitive that I have to be the first one done.  If you are like me, the competitiveness of the situation will encourage you to read more.  And hopefully finish the book first.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Publication Date: October 17, 2011
Publisher: Tom Doherty
Series: Anna Dressed in Blood #1
Pages: 316
Genre: Horror
Synopsis: Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

Yet she spares Cas's life.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Rumble by Ellen Hopkins

Publication Date: August 26, 2014
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Series: Stand alone
Pages: 560 
Genre: Contemporary,
Synopsis: Matthew Turner doesn’t have faith in anything.

Not in family—his is a shambles after his younger brother was bullied into suicide. Not in so-called friends who turn their backs when things get tough. Not in some all-powerful creator who lets too much bad stuff happen. And certainly not in some “It Gets Better” psychobabble.

No matter what his girlfriend Hayden says about faith and forgiveness, there’s no way Matt’s letting go of blame. He’s decided to “live large and go out with a huge bang,” and whatever happens happens. But when a horrific event plunges Matt into a dark, silent place, he hears a rumble…a rumble that wakes him up, calling everything he’s ever disbelieved into question.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: In the Afterlight by Alexandra Bracken

The final book in The Darkest Minds series by Alexandra Bracken is coming out this month! October the 28, to be exact.  

Since the ending of Never Fade, I have wanted this book so much I could quite honestly die.  I only read the last book three months ago and I feel like the wait has been too long.  I cannot imagine what the people who read Never Fade last year are going through.  

Basically, the wait is almost over, yet I still feel like I have a million years left.  What am I supposed to do until then?  Nothing seems as exciting as this book.  Why, Alexandra Bracken, is it taking so long...?

Saturday, October 11, 2014

5 Scary Books to Read This Halloween!

Here is a list of scary books to read this coming Halloween!  These are horror books to creep you out and keep you awake at night wondering if the noise coming from the dark hallway is your cat or a ghost.  I love reading horror books, and watching eerie movies and TV shows.  Stories with vampires, demons, ghosts, aliens, zombies, and haunted mansions.  The kind of stories you probably shouldn't read in the dark without having every single light switches on and the things where you recall the ghost just as you are falling asleep.  I like to be scared, I like to wonder about the things under your bed and that go bump in the night.  Not thrillers like Friday the 13th or The Conjuring.  Things that mess with your mind.  I may be the only person in my house who likes horror, but I enjoy watching Oculus enough for the rest of my family.  So here's some books with demons and ghosts and... zombie ghosts? for your happy Halloween.

1. Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender

If you like possessed little sisters and an evil doll with a bad-ass main character, read this book.  And the next two after this one.  

When Alex's little sister Kasey becomes obsessed with an old antique doll, Alexis thinks nothing of it.  Kasey has always been oddly doll obsessed for an eighth grader and just strange in general. Alexis is considered weird, too, even by her goth sort-of friends.  Things get stranger, though, when doors start to open by themselves, water boils on an unlit stove, and the unplugged air conditioner freezes the house cold as death.  Kasey is changing, too.  Her blue eyes flash green, she uses old fashioned language, and forgets chunks of time.  She talks to herself and is disappearing to places, making lists.  Most dangerous of all is that Alexis' sweet little sister isn't so kind anymore.  She's angry.  Only Alexis can stop her sister... but what if the green-eyed girl isn't even Kasey anymore?

I  read this book two years ago, and haven't stopped reading it.  It is one of my favorite ghost book, possibly the best.  It isn't jump-scary, which I don't like.  I want to be creeped out by the what if's, not the boo factor.  This book will for sure give you nightmares.  And do you see this cover?  As creepy as creepy gets.

2. Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter
Don't be mislead by the title, this isn't some cheesy take on Alice in Wonderland with zombies.  It's about a girl named Alice Bell who starts seeing zombies.  The characters are tough and pretty damn cool, and the romance is very romantic.  It's a very unique take on zombies, one I've never read of before.

Alice's whole life she's thought her dad was a raving lunatic, insisting monsters are out there to eat your soul, not letting anyone outside after dark, drinking.  That is, she thought he was crazy.  Until the night their car crashes and her little sister and parents die.  And then she sees the monsters, too.  Until she stumbles upon a group of zombie slayers, kids just like her.  And then she decides to fight back, against the zombies, against the darkness.  To avenge her family, to save her new friends.  To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn't careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies. 

Okay, I really like this series.  Zombies and hunters who slay the undead?  Yes please.  The final book just came out and I need to read it, like, now.  

3. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
This title is scary in itself.  I just recently read this book, and though it has it's issues, it is a solid ghost tale.  

Cas is a ghost hunter, just as his father was before him.  He travels with his mother, a witch, killing the dead.  His next kill is a girl dubbed Anna Dressed in Blood, who was brutally and mysteriously murdered in the 1950's.  She kills anyone who dares to enter her house.  Yet she spares Cas' life.  And Cas soon comes to know the cursed teenage ghost full of rage and pain and sadness.  

The demons in this story are definitely horrific.  Dripping blood, tearing people apart, monsters eating people?  That is scary. 

4. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
This book is confusing and disturbing and downright eerie.  You cannot even trust the protagonist, Mara, because she may be crazy.  I'm still not sure she isn't.  This is probably the most mind blowing book I have ever read, in the sense that half the time I wasn't even sure what exactly was happening. 

Mara Dyer woke up in a hospital with no memories of the accident that killed three of her friends.  She's sure there must be more to the story other than an old building collapsing.  She sees things in mirrors, has nightmares, people turn up dead.  She thinks she's going insane and so does everyone else.  What if she is?  What if she isn't?   

The definition of creepy is this book.  It has cute romance but the tone of the book is dark, especially since you can't even trust what Mara sees, because it may be a lie.

5. The Archived by Victoria Schwab
*Squeals* I love this book series so much you cannot even imagine.  A brave, bad ass main character, an amazing love interest, and good writing.  Plus, Mackenzie hunts the escaped dead.

Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.  Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.  Mackenzie is a Keeper, tasked to keep the sometimes violent Histories from waking up and escaping.  She lies to everyone she loves because of her job, and now her baby brother is dead.  And now being a Keeper is a reminder of the ones she lost.  In the Archive the Histories are not to be disturbed.  But someone has altered the dead on purpose, deliberately erasing chapters.  Unless Mac can solve who is doing this, the Archive itself might fall apart.

This book is eerie and imaginative, and I named this blog after it.  And it's underlying tone is haunting and sad.  It makes you wonder, and aren't those the best books of all?

Friday, October 3, 2014

After the End by Amy Plum

Publication Date: May 6, 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins
Series: After the End #1
Pages: 352
Genre: Dystopian
Synopsis: She’s searching for answers to her past. They’re hunting her to save their future.
World War III has left the world ravaged by nuclear radiation. A lucky few escaped to the Alaskan wilderness. They've survived for the last thirty years by living off the land, being one with nature, and hiding from whoever else might still be out there.
At least, this is what Juneau has been told her entire life.
When Juneau returns from a hunting trip to discover that everyone in her clan has vanished, she sets off to find them. Leaving the boundaries of their land for the very first time, she learns something horrifying: There never was a war. Cities were never destroyed. The world is intact. Everything was a lie.
Now Juneau is adrift in a modern-day world she never knew existed. But while she's trying to find a way to rescue her friends and family, someone else is looking for her. Someone who knows the extraordinary truth about the secrets of her past.