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Bad Endings

There was this certain book I remember reading in middle school, a book that was of my own choice rather than assigned reading. I don’t recall the title nor the author of the book, but I distinctly remember the ending of the story.

The gist of the book was a fox versus a hunter. The fox was the main character, a clever animal, always managing to outwit the hunter to stay alive. The fox was the character you were supposed to root for. Yet, the last page of the story merely consisted of the hunter finally shooting and killing the fox, saying something to the effect that “the game was over.”

Middle-school me stared in disbelief at the book, upset at the ending. I had expected the hunter to somehow meet his demise, perhaps not be killed off but to stop his relentless pursuit of the fox and its family, or at least for the fox to finally get away and get its happy ending.

On one hand, the ending was unexpected, perhaps trying to teach some sort of lesson about mortality and the tragedies of life. On the other hand, I had been set up to expect a happy ending from the rest of the novel, and I hated it.

I’ve read other books where the ending wasn’t what I expected, wasn’t how I wanted the books to end, but they were satisfactory and made sense. I may not have agreed with them, but they made sense. I luckily haven’t read a book that had an ending that made me so upset since that middle school book, and I’m curious if I read the book now if it would make more sense.

Have you read any books that were great up until the ending? Any book you wanted to throw across the room in frustration?

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Posted by on June 21, 2017 in Home

 

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Reader Turn-Offs

We all know that feeling when you’re browsing the shelves of a bookstore, just waiting for something to catch your eye. A pretty cover, a unique title…

Then you spot it. A potential addition to your overflowing bookshelves at home. You look at the summary, your eyes skimming the words that you hope will keep you interested enough to lighten your wallet…

Then you read something that makes you huff out a sigh of disappointment as you gently put the book back on the shelf and move on.

As a reader, what are your turn-offs? Are there certain cover styles that make you pass over books? Maybe the font of the title and author are hard to read? What in the summary of the books makes you put them back down?

For me, I almost certainly get turned off when the summary describes the main, usually female, character meeting or needing help on her adventure from “the mysterious new guy” or a variation of the sort. Obvious love triangles and romances cut off my interest.

Don’t get me wrong, romance is nice, but I would much prefer for it to be natural in the story, not with me already knowing that it’s coming. There’s no tension in watching the relationship unfold when the summary already shoved the idea at me. That, and I don’t recall too many male-centered adventure stories mentioning their potential love interest in the summaries.

What about you? What turns you off from reading a book? 

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2017 in Home

 

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13 Reasons Why

So. What’s up with the Netflix series “13 Reasons Why?”

This series is based off of a book published ten years ago by Jay Asher, which is about a young girl who committed suicide, leaving behind 13 audio tapes to the people she considered the reasons as to why she killed herself. The series itself is rated TV-MA for mature audiences for a plethora of reasons, including the suicide, of course, as well as graphic images and descriptions of self-harm, bullying, and rape.

While the Netflix series has a high rating, the book itself is generally aimed towards teens. I know that one of my younger cousins has read the story, and I’ve seen Rachel pick it up off of Barnes and Noble’s bookshelves to give it a look, but due to the summary of the novel, I was never interested in looking at it farther than the blurb on the back cover. Suicide is such a serious and sad topic that, while I’m sure the author handled it very sensitively, the thought of reading about it for fictional drama was not for me.

(Similarly, it’s why I’ve never read The Hunger Games series, although I know how much its fans love it. I can’t wrap my mind around a world that actively televised and watched children kill each other. It sounds a little strange, considering the other kind of high fantasy I read, but I digress.)

“13 Reasons Why” on Netflix is making quite a few headlines lately, most notably with people condemning it for “romanticizing” suicide. Others claim that it’s sensitive to the difficult topic, that it’s a great tool for opening up conversations between parents and teens about suicide, bullying, self-harm, rape.

Schools are sending out mass emails and letters to parents to warn them about this series that many of their children are already watching, despite the MA rating. It was the dominate topic of conversation at the dinner table just last night between my parents, Rachel, me and my two teenage cousins who were joining us. They hear their classmates talking about it all over their schools, and their curiosities were piqued. The older of the pair had read the book, but I don’t believe she had realized how graphic the episodes could be.

We all spoke about how difficult and series the topics that “13 Reasons Why” touches upon, about how graphic the show may showcase the issues as, about why it’s important to understand the sensitivity and severity of the topics. They seemed receptive of the outcome of the conversation, but I fear they didn’t understand how serious the issues are.

It’s a little bittersweet, actually. Perhaps they don’t grasp the seriousness because they have been lucky enough to not have had experienced any of those issues in their little worlds, and I pray that they and everyone else who touches their lives never has to.

Again, I haven’t read the book or seen the series, nor am I inclined to do so, and I do not mean to offend anyone with my opinions. These are just my thoughts on this bit of controversy that’s surrounding a television series that had started as a book. Anyone else have thoughts on “13 Reasons Why?”

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2017 in Home

 

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Two Lives

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Posted by on April 7, 2017 in Home

 

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Not Enough Bookshelves

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I’m a little jealous of all the pretty Tumblr and Instagram artistic shots of bookshelves with fairy lights and little figurines of favorite book characters and the books arranged by color and size and all be able to fit on the bookshelves…

My bookshelf needs a “Caution: Books Falling” sign or something.

Obviously there’s no such thing as too many books, but there is such a thing as not enough space. Rachel and I have already decided that we’re going to have a library in our own house whenever we’re able to afford it, so I shouldn’t have to worry about hoarding books, right?

I have been thinking of cleaning out my bookshelves again, though. Donating books to my local thrift shop or used bookstore will give them a chance of being picked up and read by someone else, and it’ll free up a little space on my shelves.

That same line of thinking makes my brain go, “Then there will be room for more NEW books!”

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2017 in Home

 

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Spirit

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Posted by on February 14, 2017 in Home

 

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Writing Goals

Got any good writing goals for this year?

I know, it’s February already, but we can make goals and resolutions for ourselves at any time of the year. Rachel and I were talking the other day about what we would like to get done writing-wise in the upcoming months. It’s our dream to be able to fully support ourselves on writing (and, possibly, a few other creative pursuits).

We both have pretty good day jobs, although mine is probably more money orientated while she is more passionate about hers. Yet, neither one of them are exactly what we want to be doing for the rest of our lives.

Talk of Camp NaNo for April came up. Usually I write something brand new with complete abandon, but I was thinking this year I would use that 50k writing goal to add words to some of my W.I.P.s laying around on my hard drive. Depending on how far along some of those half-finished stories are, I may end up with more than one draft being completed by the end of the month.

What about you? Any other writing goals you’re making for yourself for this year?

 
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Posted by on February 6, 2017 in Home

 

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