Fan Art Fridays: Hank Green

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Today I found out that Hank Green, brother of John Green, has a book coming out in the fall of 2018!

Full disclosure: I have never read any of John Green’s books, but I plan to at least read Paper Towns this year. Maybe I’ll even buy Hank Green’s book, titled An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, which will be released on September 25, 2018.

In honor of this awesome literary news, I’ve decided to feature this pencil sketch of Hank Green by Ariana Filippini (CaptnArrri) on Deviant Art. The hair is so spot on. His facial expression is also quite accurate.

View the original fan art here, and check out some info about the book on Amazon.

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I Failed My 2016 Reading Challenge

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It seems a combination of the 40-hour (sometimes 48-hour) work week, extra freelance work, and putting some really thick books on my reading list took its toll on my ability to complete my 2016 Goodreads Reading Challenge.

As you may remember from last year, I wrote a post about my 2015 victory, which included a list of books I wanted to read in 2016. In 2015, I successfully read 12 books. For 2016, I pledged 15.

I knew this challenge was going downhill when I realized I couldn’t keep my eyes open long enough to finish reading a page while riding in the backseat on road trip vacations with my parents.

Of the 15 books I pledged, here are the ones I actually got to finish:

2016 goodreads reading challenge

From top left: Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined by Stephenie Meyer, The Choice by Nicholas Sparks, Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, The Coffee Girl by Shanna Hatfield, How to Be Single by Liz Tuccillo, China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan.

Yeah, 6 of 15. I failed hard.

My favorite of the books I got to read was Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. I’d heard such great things about it, and it definitely lived up to all the praise. I’m a sucker for a good romance novel, and this one made me want to read more of Rowell’s work.

For my 2017 Goodreads Challenge, I’m just going to pick up where I left off. I’m still in the process of reading The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (a book of over 700 pages that I’m trying really hard to finish by the end of January) plus 8 other books that are carrying over from last year equals 9 books.

Sounds doable.

Here’s the list:

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (started at end of 2016, currently on pg. 109 of 773)

Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Helen Keller in Love by Rosie Sutlan

What Pretty Girls Are Made Of by Lindsay Jill Roth

The Unexpected by J Sheley

Taming Cross by Ella James

Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen

Subject to Change by Alessandra Thomas

If you’d like to, feel free to add me on Goodreads to see my progress, and please scold me in the comments on my recent activity if I’ve spent more than 30 days on one book!

Books I Want to Read in 2016

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It’s a new year, so I’ve got a new list of books I want to read!

Honestly, one of the best things about being out of school is the fact that you can read every and any book you want by choice. 

In 2015 I challenged myself to read 12 books, which I documented on Goodreads. I got really close to not completing my goal, as I strayed off my schedule of one book per month, but I got back on track by cramming two books a month in the fall.

Also, I think Jennifer E. Smith is one of my new favorite authors. The Statistical Probability of Falling in Love at First Sight was such a great read that I’ve decided to make it my business to read every single book this woman has written.

I’m actually quite proud of myself because I managed to finish three book series’ and start two new ones that I plan to continue this year.

My list for 2016 features 15 books I plan to read in order to fulfill my new reading challenge. A few books on this list are coming out as movies this year as well, so let’s see if I can finish them before their release dates.

Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined by Stephenie Meyer

China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan

Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Helen Keller in Love by Rosie Sutlan

The Choice by Nicholas Sparks

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

How to Be Single by Liz Tuccillo

What Pretty Girls Are Made Of by Lindsay Jill Roth

The Unexpected by J Sheley

The Coffee Girl by Shanna Hatfield

Taming Cross by Ella James

Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen

Subject to Change by Alessandra Thomas

If you’d like to, feel free to add me on Goodreads to see my progress!

How About Some Literary Would You Rather?

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I stumbled upon a fellow blog from the Her Campus Blogger Network, Falling From Grace the other day. Bookworm that I am, I couldn’t refrain from answering the Literary Would You Rather she featured in a post. The questions are from the 6th edition of 101books.net’s Literary Would You Rather.

So here we go!

  1. Would you rather be a character from Twilight or Fifty Shades of Grey?
    This is hard. I love the two series dearly, but I’d rather be Ana Grey from Fifty Shades. I don’t think I could marry a cold blooded man. I like warm cuddles 😉
  2. Would you rather forfeit reading for the rest of your life or forfeit all food but bread for the rest of your life?
    See, that’s not fair. Can someone else still read to me? Can I listen to an audio book? I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT MY FICTION.
  3. Would you rather be Gatsby or Daisy?
    Daisy. I don’t want to live my life a fraud.
  4. Would you rather never love again or never read again?
    Why would you ask such a cruel question?! Again, can someone else still read to me? Can I listen to an audio book? If I HAVE to choose then love trumps all.
  5. Would you rather your eyeballs be located next to your bellybutton or have to quote Scarlett O’Hara 10 times a day for the rest of your life?

    “I can’t think about that right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about that tomorrow.”

    – Scarlett O’Hara, Gone With the Wind

  6. Would you rather be a literate member of a cult or an illiterate member of happy, healthy family?
    If the cult fights for a good cause then I’ll be literate.
  7. Would you rather have written The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, or Game of Thrones?
    The Chronicles of Narnia. C.S. Lewis is brilliant.

 

If you take the quiz, send me a link to your responses!

 

Movie Review: ‘The Great Gatsby’

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Yesterday, for my 19th birthday, I went to see The Great Gatsby (2013) with my guy and my best friend. ticket stub

Not having read the book in high school (due to my transferring between schools with two different English literature curricula, resulting in my having missed the reading of Gatsby by the time I had transferred), I read through the book at the beginning of May, finishing it about a week before yesterday.

Since this movie is based on the book, this review will have a bit of comparison between Fitzgerald’s novel and Luhrmann’s film.

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The movie begins with Nick Carraway (Tobey McGuire) in a sanatorium looking at a long list of mental illnesses (supposedly the ones he is diagnosed with) including insomnia, anxiety, and depression to name a few. His doctor
tells him to write down his thoughts because it will put him at ease and help him better articulate his thoughts. Through Nick’s writing we learn the story of Jay Gatsby.

Nick takes a trip to visit Daisy Buchanan, his cousin, her husband, Tom Buchanan and Jordan Baker, a friend of theirs. Just as in the book, the two ladies are on the chairs, laying down, and the whole scene is embellished wonderfully by the white linen curtains flowing through the air in midst of the breeze coming from the screen doors.

I love the fact that they kept one of my favorite quotes from the novel, where Daisy says to Jordan and Nick, “I’ll sort of—oh—fling you together. You know—lock you up accidentally in linen closets and push you out to sea in a boat…”

And might I add that Jordan Baker (Elizabeth Debicki) is simply stunning in this film! She should be permanently brunette. How is this girl not more famous?!

When Tom and Nick go out together on the Long Island Railroad, and jump off the train to see Myrtle, Tom’s mistress that calls on the phone during supper the evening prior, things begin to get wild.

My favorite scene is where Myrtle, Tom, Nick and the rest of the people in that small room get completely wasted. Nick almost escaped the craziness, telling Tom that he didn’t feel comfortable being there while he was cheating on his cousin, but he gets coaxed into staying.

Oh my gosh. Feathers from pillows flew through the air, everyone begins to jump and hump around (I kid you not), Tom gives Nick liquor to drink in a vase, and Nick begins to see himself  “within and without.”

Well then. I’ve never been drunk before, or been around people who were that drunk before, but according to my friend this is an accurate depiction of the college party scene.

After Nick gets an invitation to Gatsby’s, I got really excited, because this was the moment I was waiting for:

The little party that never killed anybody.

I wish I knew a Gatsby. Those parties look so much fun!

At the party, to which Nick is the only one invited because, as stated in the book and by Jordan Baker, “people were not invited—they went there”, Gatsby requests to see Jordan Baker privately. There he tells her about his plan to have Daisy go over to Nick’s for tea so that they can meet up again.

Nick is not told of any of this until he and Gatsby go out to lunch the next day.

At lunch, which is a private place entered through a hole in the wall of a barber shop, we meet Wolfsheim, played by Amitabh Bachchan, who indeed looks like a wolf with all that facial hair! Tom appears at this lunch date as well, causing Gatsby to make awkward facial expressions when he realizes this is Daisy’s husband—the only thing standing in the way between him and Daisy’s romance.

Nick agrees to arrange the tea date with Daisy and Gatsby. Myself and the other people in the theater found it hilarious when we saw what Gatsby ordered to have done to Nick’s lawn. He even brought a entire greenhouse worth of flowers into the room where they were to have tea! Jeez! In the book I was under the impression that it was just a little grass trimming and a couple of flowers in a few vases!

Nervous as ever, when Daisy arrives Gatsby runs outside, getting completely drenched in the rain, only to come inside looking like a wet dog. To top it off, he knocks over Nick’s clock and can’t seem to put it back together.

Poor guy.

I thought it was the cutest thing though!

If you’ve read the book, you know how it all ends up. I will say though, that the deaths in the movie were dramatized very well. As Myrtle’s body flew through the air, I couldn’t help but think how much this was all Daisy’s fault. Daisy killed Gatsby. Figuratively, of course. She was the last word on his lips. I was deeply moved as I watched Gatsby’s body float lifelessly in that lavish pool, realizing that not a single soul would attend that man’s funeral, except Nick.

The film overall was great. I love the way they did the scenery. I really wish West and East Egg were real. The towns looked so fantastical.

I was confused though, as to why they dyed Carey Mulligan’s hair blonde. In the book, Daisy is a brunette!

“he sat with Daisy in his arms for a long, silent time […] once he kissed her dark shining hair…”

I don’t know how the casting crew overlooked this little detail, or what would possess them to change it. Carey Mulligan is a natural brunette after all…

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The costumes were so vibrant and shiny. Kudos to whoever designed them!

The music in the film was also really good. My only complaint about the music, however, is the number of times they used Lana del Rey’s “Young and Beautiful.” Two times is fine. But no. They used several instrumental versions, a jazzed up version for the party scene, and then the original. I’m sorry, but now the song has been played out in my head.

If you have not seen the film yet I suggest you do so!