Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween with The Runaway Reader 2013

I never did anything special for Halloween at Random Reads so I really wanted to whip up something cool for Halloween over here!

Halloween has been one of my favourite days for as long as I can remember. I mean, who doesn't like free candy and dressing up? And getting scared! I don't know about you, but I love getting frightened out of my wits. But above all, I feel like Halloween is really the one and only time of the year you can really, wholeheartedly let out your inner child. No matter what age you are or who you are, Halloween can be celebrated by everyone (mostly)! It's just THAT kind of day which is why I really wanted to pay homage to it!

For the longest time, I could not think of anything unique and original to do to celebrate Halloween. And I can't say that my new idea is very unique or original at all. It's more a combination of multiple ideas that have probably already been done but it's the spirit that counts, right? So without further ado, below are some ideas to help you celebrate and/or get into the Halloween mood!

It's probably a little to late to be talking about what to wear for Halloween since all of you have most likely already decided on a costume, given that you were planning on dressing up. If you're like me, you want a cool and unique costume but the idea of putting in more than five minutes' worth of effort is deterring. I find a good go-to whenever you need to think of something last minute is a cat. It's easy and still cute! All you need is a black top, black jeans or leggings, cat ears, and black face paint. You can even use a scarf as a tail to add the final touch! 

There are so many creative things you can make for Halloween but a personal favourite has always been devilled eggs. I've been making them each year for Halloween for as long as I can remember. They're quick and yummy and so versatile. You can customize them any way you want! A good starting point though, would be these devilled eggs as seen in the Everyday Food magazine in 2007.

I often like to read a horror novel to celebrate Halloween. I didn't get to one this year but I reccommend Dracula by Bram Stoker. The original vampire story and very scary. 

To be honest, I had a hard time thinking for a movie to watch for Halloween. I haven't watched a Halloween or horror movie for a long time so I'll share one that's been on my To Watch list for quite a while!
I just know this one will give me the creeps and I can't wait until I finally watch it! It looks so good. Have any of you watched this? Share your thoughts in the comments! I want to know!

And now to end with a song that's sure to get your spirits up for Halloween! Every time I hear this, my face lights up. There are so many great impromptu dance memories attached to this song! If you're playing this song, you better get up and dance (or sing along, that's great too).

With that, I conclude my Halloween celebration! I hope you guys have had a fantastic day. Tell me about your costumes, your Halloween traditions, what candy you got or really, anything else. You know I love hearing from you guys so SPEAK YOUR MIND. Happy Halloween! Cheers!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Writers Unite! Introduction

It's three days from November and we all know what November means...National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo is a crazy 30 day event in which aspiring novelists attempt to hit 50 000 words. It's MUCH harder than it sounds so I'm happy that this year, Charlotte and Paola have created Writers Unite!, a support group for NaNoWriMo participants. If you're interested, you can find more information here.

And now for the first order of the day: Writers Unite! Introduction post. 

If you don't already know my name, it's Annie and I am a teenager from Canada. I really love books and hazelnut macchiatos from Starbucks as well as Kit Kats. I spend way too much time on Tumblr than is healthy. My favourite color is blue, I'm an only child and I have no pets. I don't know how to ride a bike nor do I know how to play a guitar. I like watching New Girl and hockey and playing Temple Run and Candy Crush on my phone. 

I've been interested in writing since the fourth grade and have actually had dreams of becoming a novelist when I grew older. I don't know if that's the route I want to take any more but I do know that I would still love to study English or Literature in university. When I first learned of NaNoWriMo last year, I was really excited to get my hands dirty with some writing again but I failed. Miserably. I think I wrote three thousand words. After that mess, I decided to try again with Camp NaNoWriMo and I did even worse. I only wrote two thousand words. So here's my third time trying my hand at NaNoWriMo and hopefully, third time's the charm! 

I don't have a very strict goal for NaNoWriMo this month because I know I cannot write well under pressure. I really need time to think things through so I'm aiming for 30 000 words by the end of this month. I know the common goal for NaNoWriMo is 50 000 words and of course, I'd love to accomplish that but knowing myself, I think 30 000 is a much more realistic target and I'd be over the moon if I could get that done, even if that means I don't technically win NaNoWriMo. 

As for what novel I'm writing, well, I haven't gotten that far in my planning. Honestly, I have ZERO ideas so I'm thinking I might end up pantsing the story. I don't even know what genre it's going to be! I'm leaning towards contemporary but I think I might go with fantasy or historical fiction because I want to do something outside my comfort zone. And of course, because they'd be so much fun! 

So that's my Writers Unite! introduction! I'm super excited for this month and I can't wait to get writing with all of you! It's going to be crazy but hopefully, we'll be able to support each other along the way! 

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Rule of Thirds by Chantel Guertin

The Rule of Thirds by Chantel Guertin
Published October 1, 2013 by ECW Press
Paperback, 196 pages
Received from publisher through NetGalley -- thanks!

Pippa Greene is an aspiring photographer but it's in her blood. After all, her father was a photographer too. So when the annual Vantage Point photography competition is in just three weeks, Pippa is eager to get started on her shooting. But unfortunately, with the introduction of two cute boys and a volunteer position at the local hospital - one place she NEVER wanted to enter again - Vantage Point isn't the only thing on her mind.

I have to extend a huge thank you to this book for making me feel less stifled. Honestly, The Rule of Thirds could NOT have come at a better time. Thank you for making me feel light and fizzy when I really needed it! 


With that out of the way, I really have to talk about how much I loved Pippa! I totally felt like we could have been best friends if she weren't, um, you know, a fictional character. She was such a likeable character and her narration was absolutely HILARIOUS and totally spot on. Finally, a teen that sounds like a teen! 

There wasn't much character development in The Rule of Thirds since it was such a short book but I felt it wasn't needed. This, to me, seemed more plot-driven than character-driven and again, for 196 pages, a very simple straightforward storyline is enough to carry the story which was wholly enjoyable! Let me tell you, this book was a real page-turner! Even despite the bad parts...

Namely, Pippa's best friend Dace who was SO annoying and SUCH a bad example for Pippa. See, Dace has this idea that dating two guys at the same time is totally fine, and even more so when they're both jerks. You do not know how much I wanted to punch this girl in the brains! No, Dace, NO. Cheating is not right, ever. Not even when they're jerks! But obviously, she doesn't get that because she sprouts up a line like this:

"I couldn't settle on just one. I guess I like my bikinis like I like my boys. Two at a time," she says, laying her towel on her lounge chair. (88)

And then there's Ben Baxter whom I might have disliked even MORE than Dace, if that's even possible. He was a jerk and it was clear right off the bat. Well, to everyone except for Pippa. Seriously, she should have noticed the signs and stayed away from him. Because see what happened to her when she didn't? He manipulated her and stole her pictures to win the competition. And she totally let him get away with it! That was so annoying. I felt like the book just wasn't complete because the whole Ben Baxter situation wasn't resolved!

I also wished for there to be more photography in this book. I'm currently in photography which has been really fun so I was excited to find out that this book was about a girl who loves photography! Going into this book, I thought there was going to be a much larger emphasis on that than there really was. Which taught me to really treasure the few moments where I got to see Pippa the photographer in action. I admit, I have learned a thing or two from her regarding pictures to take.

But never mind that because Dylan McCutter makes everything BETTER. He was such a sweetheart and if the amount of times Pippa thought of him was any indication, she totally should have just decided to be with him! I was rooting for Pippa and Dylan to make it and in the end, they did which made me really happy.

The Rule of Thirds by Chantel Guertin was a very cute book! I flipped through this one in a day! Pippa was a great narrator who was very funny too! I felt her voice was very authentic and she was someone I would totally want to be best friends with in real life! I also enjoyed Dylan, one of the love interests. He was such a cutie (though I may be a bit biased because we all know how I feel towards Dylan O'Brien...don't ask) and I have trouble understanding why Pippa did not go with him immediately because it was so obvious that he was the better of the two. Dace and Ben, I was not such a fan of but ultimately, everything else was too great for that to bring this book down! I don't have very much to say about this book other than that! It was great!

people searching for light and fast reads who like a cute romance in their stories. If you enjoy books by Elizabeth Eulberg and the like, I think you'll have fun with this!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Novel Report: October 27-November 2, 2013

I'm always a big fan of keeping track of the books I read so I created 'The Novel Report' to help me do just that! If you have any comments about books I'm reading or will read, leave a comment! I'd love to hear what you think!

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

I heard so many great reviews for Second Chance Summer and I was NOT disappointed. You can see more of my thoughts in my review!

The Rule of Thirds by Chantel Guertin
I just finished this book yesterday and it was so delightful! As a photography student, I really enjoyed the photography aspect in this book. Really wonderful and review to come...tomorrow, actually!

I'm still being slow at reading my books. Blame it on the weather or school, but I wish my reading would get back to normal! Lately, it seems all I want to do is play Candy Crush and watch New Girl.

Bunheads by Sophie Flack

I honestly have not gotten very far in this book. I'm maybe on the third chapter? It sounds very interesting but I'm not sure if I can get into it.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
YES, I am still reading this book! I really need to get a move on because I need to finish this book for my independent reading assignment in two weeks and I've only read 32 pages! I'm going to make myself not read anything else but this for the next week. I HAVE to finish this.

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson

Tell me - what are some books you've been reading lately? Have you read any of the books on this week's list? If so, what did you think of them? Speak your mind in the comments!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Weekly Recap: October 20-26, 2013

I've noticed that many bloggers do a recap at the end of each week and since I actually love reading those posts, I thought I'd start doing it as well!

I was wishing for a more relaxed week but honestly, this week was JUST as exhausting. Every year, our school organizes 'United Way Week' which is basically one week of fundraising for the charity, United Way. Each class organizes 'class projects' or what they're going to be selling to raise money and throughout the week, during the morning and lunch, the projects will go up. It ranges from food to bracelets to candy - literally ANYTHING you think you can sell. One popular project are the Saxograms which is when the saxophone players get paid to go around the school and surprise people with a thirty second performance of a song previously picked by the person who sent it. I actually received one of I Knew You Were Trouble and I have to admit that while it was cool, I really prefer to NOT be the one at the end of it. 

Besides the class projects, there were also events that the United Way Committee organized to raise extra money. On Monday, we had the Admin Olympics where for a toonie, you can either choose to play Just Dance with a teacher or throw a shaving cream pie at our principal and vice-principal. Tuesday was the talent show which I did go to! There were some great singers who took the stage and dancers. Wednesday was Minute to Win It which if you don't know, was a game show in which contestants must complete a task under 60 seconds. I did not go to that so I can't tell you how it was but I bet it was pretty fun too! There were prizes for the winners as well. Thursday was Faculty Follies which is, by far, the most popular event all week. It's when the teachers come together to prepare special acts for the students and they were all SO good. The first act was a video put together by the Moderns Language department and it was a parody of an episode of Community. And even though I don't watch Community, it was pretty funny. Next was a performance by a Math teacher. He sang two songs and was amazing! After that was a performance by the Science department of The Fox (What Does The Fox Say?) which was hilarious. The teachers dressed up in animal costumes and just seemed to have a really great time. My science teacher was a cow which was pretty funny. And finally, Friday was the Great Race when the associations of my school get together to participate in one fun race. By Friday, I was extremely tired so I decided not to go. Well, there's always next year!

In regards to my blogging, well, there wasn't much of that this week. I had so much more planned but they slipped away from me. I have a full schedule next week and while I still have TONS of planning left, I'm going to try and get my material out! 

Also, I sent a tweet out the other day about how I didn't have something planned for Halloween but wanted to. I have NO ideas so if you do and are happy to share, I would love to hear them!

1. Pinhole cameras. This week, I discovered that my camera actually works! Woohoo! I've taken some great tests but still have yet to get my print but I am getting there. Slowly.
2. Candy Crush Saga. Yup, still loving it! I'm on level 57 now!
3. Sweet potato fries. I've been eating these non-stop this week. They're so good!
4. Slow Down by Selena Gomez. I didn't have much time to listen to music this week but after hearing this on the radio on Sunday it's been stuck in my head! 

My first review of the week: Paper Towns by John Green where I explain why John Green's work doesn't appeal to me.
I did the first half of The Harry Potter Survey created by Jasmine. Expect Part Two sometime this next week!
My second review of the week: Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson where I explain why I liked this book so much.

Reem shares tips on how to stop procrastinating in regards to NaNoWriMo.
Christina explains why she loves the Queen's Thief series. I might have to get back into it now!
Asti compiles this HILARIOUS list of ten unusual names.
Melissa compares Bloglovin' and Feedly. It might help you decide which one to go with! 

How was your week? What book are you loving right now? Any posts you would like to share? Anything you want to see on The Runaway Reader in the upcoming weeks? Share in the comments!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

Published May 7, 2012 by Simon & Schuster's Children Publishing
Paperback, 468 pages
Borrowed from library

When Taylor's father is diagnosed with cancer, her whole world turns upside down. With four months left to live, Taylor's dad decides that the family will go back to their old summer home in the Poconos and enjoy one last summer all together. 

After a string of disappointing novels recently, I'm glad for Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson. I was eager to get my hands on this after loving Matson's debut, Amy and Roger's Epic Detour and reading countless rave reviews. And now, having finished the book, I am happy to say that this book did not disappoint! 

One of the best parts about this book were the characters. I'm a very character-driven reader and to have good characters in a book really elevates the entire thing for me. And you know what? I loved EVERYONE in this book. Even the grandfather! I'm having a hard time pin-pointing why they worked so well for me because really, it was a multitude of factors that came together and blended into one wonderful concoction. The way Matson wrote in an almost intimate way really helped me to connect and gain a strong understanding of where each character stood and that was very impressive. Taylor's development was another key point in this book and I also thought it was splendidly done. 

To be honest though, there was a lot more romance in this book than I would have wanted. I am actually a huge fan of romance but I feel there's a time and place for it. And while I have no reservations against it being in this book - in fact, it was welcome because Henry was such a great love interest - sometimes, it just felt like the romance was the center of this book and not the family. It's obvious Taylor and Henry had a very strong chemistry and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing it bloom. I just wish that Matson would have integrated the romance more smoothly into the book and not at the expense of the family development. After all, that is what this book is supposed to be about, right? Instead, I found myself flipping page after page of sexual tension between Henry and Taylor and Taylor trying to sort out her feelings. While I can't deny that I squealed for the majority of those pages, in retrospect, less romance would have been better.

I also thought the whole debacle between Taylor and her ex-best friend, Lucy and ex-boyfriend, Henry was rather lame, I guess. I mean, Matson had been building up to this moment that would explain why Henry and Lucy were so hostile to Taylor when she returned to the Poconos and it seemed so dramatic and grand and shocking. When we found out what happened though, it was all quite anticlimatic - not nearly enough to explain why Henry and Lucy were holding a five-year grudge against Taylor. And the proof of that is in the story itself. For people who supposedly 'hated' Taylor, they certainly got over that fact rather quickly and for me, that in itself is indication at how juvenile the whole thing was. 

And though I hate to pick on such a tiny detail, it really bugged me that Lucy's presence in the Poconos was never explained. As Henry so kindly pointed out to us in the book, so many things can change in the span of five years. It makes sense that Lucy might leave the Poconos in five years and while it's totally acceptable that she had remained, the fact is that her appearance is rather out of nowhere. I do recall Taylor making a note of how the sign the Marinos, Lucy's family, put up on their front lawn was no longer there. As long as they were in that same house, I see no reason why they would take it down. So how exactly was Lucy at the Poconos? This lack of explanation really highlighted how very conveniently Lucy ended up working exactly where Taylor would and while I suppose it was necessary that Lucy and Taylor meet somehow, maybe it could have been less obviously. 

But I have to say that the ending blew me away and really increased the overall rating for this book. After so much dilly dallying with the romance between Henry and Taylor, I finally got what I wanted from this book and it was magnificent. Everything was written in heartbreaking detail and as someone who doesn't cry during books, I admit that the ending encouraged a few tears to drip from eyes. It really touched a very personal, very emotional place for me and my only criticism is that I wish the emotion wasn't all rushed in at the end. 

While I did expect more from Second Chance Summer, overall, I really enjoyed it. I zoomed through this book in two days. The writing is very fluid and the characters are great. Though I did want less of Henry and Taylor's romance, I have to say it was very well done. The ending was AMAZING and is the main reason why this book gets four stars. I only wish that the emotion had come through earlier in the book as well. And because comparison is inevitable, I have to mention that while Amy and Roger's Epic Detour was a more solid read, Second Chance Summer brought more emotion and depth. 

romance seekers and fans of Sarah Dessen. Also for people who enjoy (mostly) light and fast reads. If you're known to cry while reading books, you may want to avoid reading the ending in a public space without tissues.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Harry Potter Survey Pt. 1

I don't know if you know, but I'm a pretty huge Harry Potter fan so naturally, when I noticed that Jasmine made a Harry Potter survey, I was like HECK YEAH. There is no such thing as too much Harry Potter in this world. Remember that.

Basically, how this survey works is I list a book for each spell that has either been casted ON me or BY me. If you're interested in participating, visit Jasmine's blog Flip That Page to get the details and join the Potterhead mission to rule the world! Yay!

However, since this survey took me a lot longer to do than planned, I have split it up into two parts. Part 1 is going up today and Part 2, later this week or early next week so stay tuned!

fixes damaged objects
(a book that needs fixing)
This is without a doubt, The Recruit by Robert Muchamore. This book could have been SO much better if the author would have just paid a little more attention to his writing and storyline. Loved this book (and this series) nonetheless.

creates a narrow beam of light
(a book that deserves more attention)
Every Soul A Star by Wendy Mass. This book was BEAUTIFUL guys. You have to read this now. I don't even want to look at you until you do. Go.

counters the effects of Lumos
(a book that is overhyped)
Divergent by Veronica Roth. It was good but not THAT good.

summons an object from a significant distance
(a book you're anticipating)
There are so many but one that pops into mind is Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins because I love her and I've been waiting for this FOREVER. Also, who doesn't want more of Josh (come on, we were all secretly crushing on him too in Anna!) and MANHATTAN. I have no words.

opens unlocked doors, unless bewitched
(a book you want to be more open about)
I would really love to be more open about Anatomy of a Boyfriend by Daria Snadowsky because it was a very good book. It was highly educational and really explored some serious topics regarding sex. But I feel most people judge the cover or the title or what it's about before even getting to it, which needless to say, annoys me. 

Expecto Patronum
conjures an incarnation of positive feelings
(a book that made you cry, or at least want to)
Don't groan at me when I say this: A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks. I would definitely say this is his best book and gosh, it was SO SAD. If you've read this book (or even seen the movie), you'd understand.

conjures the Dark Mark
(a book you wish to mark as one of your favourites)
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak deserves to be marked for sure!

Petrificus Totalus
petrifies victim
(a book you wish to keep forever)
The book I wish to keep forever is Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. This book changed my life and I will be darned if I don't have a copy with me forever.

shield charm
(an intimidating book you keep putting off)
Wicked by Gregory Macguire has been sitting on my bookshelf for three years and I have not lifted a finger on it past page four. Why, I'm not sure but somehow, I just CAN'T get to this book.

used against a boggart
(a book with a deceiving synopsis)
Riddikulus must have been used on Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality by Elizabeth Eulberg because the title, not the synopsis (so I'm bending the rules a bit...) is totally misleading! In nowhere in this does Lexi partake in 'revenge' so where did that come from?

Lacarnum Inflamarae
shoots fireballs
(a book you wish to burn out of your mind completely)
Not to be mean but this is DEFINITELY Somebody Up There Hates You by Hollis Seamon. I have very little interest in reading a book about teenagers losing their virginities.

Wingardium Leviosa
levitates objects
(a book you wish to reread)
I wish to reread The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan because I can't deal with everyone talking about how good House of Hades is when I haven't even read Son of Neptune!

Avada Kedavra
causes instant death
(worst book EVER)
I'm sorry to say that this title goes to Populazzi by Elise Allen. Every character in that book was SO infuriating and because I'm a very character-driven reader, that is the WORST OF THE WORST.

And that's all for Part 1! If you want to read Part 2, check back here in a couple of days. I'll do my best to get it up in a timely manner.

Now it's your turn! Are you a Potterhead? Have you done this survey? And is there any spell you would cast on a book? 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Paper Towns by John Green

Published September 22, 2009 by Speak (first published 2008)
Paperback, 305 pages
Borrowed from the library 

Quentin and Margo have been neighbors their entire lives and one night, Margo sneaks into Quentin's room through the window and asks him to accompany her while she plans revenge on several people. Quentin obliges. However the next day at school, Margo is nowhere to be seen. Quentin soon discovers a set of clues that Margo has left behind in her disappearance and follows them in hopes of finding her.

I admit, I had really high hopes for Paper Towns. The last John Green book I read, An Abundance of Katherines, was honestly not very good and I was looking forward to Paper Towns being WAY better. And it was better, but I still don't know if I like John Green. Which makes me feel like a unicorn. 


The first thing about this book is that the narrator is a super-smart, whiney, seflish, jerky boy and pretty much sounds like all of the other John Green narrators (even Hazel). The only difference is really his name and his story and frankly, I think we can have some more diversity in a narrator than just that. But let's go back to Quentin's character, which I described as a smart and whiney boy (among other things). I am not a smart and whiney boy and I cannot relate to this Quentin. Meaning that I had a very tough time getting into this book because everything that came out of this kid's mouth was so ridiculous, I can't even begin to comprehend. Quentin would be spewing out penis jokes one minute and then the next, in a very deep moment. It was like this awkward transition between being an actual teenager for a minute to intelligent adult the next. And it did not work for me or for my opinion of Quentin. 

As for the other characters (with the exclusion of Margo - she gets her own paragraph), they were either (a) annoying or (b) likeable but not memorable. Let's start with Ben. Ben, my favourite character. Oh, how I loved his disgusting and demeaning term 'hunnybunny'. I would give ANYTHING for a boy to call me that. And his penis jokes were such a delight. I enjoyed seeing them pepper each page like a tiny gem (okay, I'm done with the sarcasm). Then there's Radar who I actually, genuinely liked. Hey Radar, thanks for not being a compete a-hole and actually providing some sensible advice, even though it was usually ignored. (By the way, what was with his parents' Black Santa fetish? Was that just something John Green decided to put in there to be funny? Because it wasn't.) And finally, Lacey - another character I genuinely liked even if I couldn't understand why she was with Ben. But the sad part is that there wasn't enough of Lacey and Radar in this book and TOO MUCH of Ben.

And as I have promised, here is a paragraph dedicated entirely to Margo! Yay! Not. I will say straight out that Margo is a total diva. She is so self-centered and annoying and immature that there will never be another antagonist worst than her. She disappears with NO warning and when people actually get pissed at her for doing a jerk thing, she cries and calls shit AT THEM. When she really has no reason to run away in the first place. Look, Margo, I'm sorry your boyfriend was being a dick and sleeping with your BFF and I'm sorry that you find everything so stifling. Personally, I don't think that's a good reason to move to the middle of nowhere and not tell anyone but at least have the decency to not turn tables on other people when they get worried and try to find you. Ugh. Why is Quentin so obsessed with her? I don't get it. If it were me, I would have just let her rot in that shack. She was just as bad and annoying as everyone around her.

I also did not get the jokes in this book. They bear no meaning and they don't feel like they belong in the story. It's as if John Green just tossed some 'funny' lines in for the sake of it. THEY'RE NOT ACTUALLY FUNNY. THEY MAKE NO SENSE. THEY DON'T BELONG IN THIS STORY. I will now take the time to list you some of the jokes I found in this book to show you my point:

1. Radar's parents' black santas. I think I've already mentioned this but I can't help but restate this because it is so ridiculous that I am having trouble imagining why anyone would want to put this in their book.
2. RHAPAW which stands for Rode Hard And Put Away Wet. What does this even mean? And why is there an acronym for this?
3. Bloody Ben. It's not even worth the time to explain.
4. Ben's giant balls. No, just no.

I mean, I appreciate humor in books but when it's actually funny and not just inside jokes placed here and there.

But the thing that bugged me the most were the 'deep' moments. They weren't deep, I'll tell you that. They were trying hard to be deep but they were not deep. I swear if I had a nickel for every time Quentin or another character went off on a tangent and started talking about the meaning of life, I would have five dollars by now. But seriously, this is something I've seen over and over in John Green's writing - he takes an absolutely RIDICULOUS story and tries to add more substance by comparing life to balloons, or paper, or grass, or vessels. First of all, none of this makes any sense and second of all, it really only emphasizes how weak the story is, if you have to rely on nonsensical, irrelevant metaphors to beef it up, so to speak. 

I think I am going to have to come to terms that John Green just doesn't cut it for me. I don't appreciate his profoundness or his characters and I have little patience for his jokes. Quentin was an annoying protagonist and Margo, an annoying antagonist. I disliked Ben but really liked Lacey and Radar though I wished there could have been more of them. Overall, this book was a disappointment. It was nowhere near reaching my high hopes at the beginning!

John Green fans. I honestly can't think of anyone else.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Weekly Recap: October 13-19, 2013

I've noticed that many bloggers do a recap at the end of each week and since I actually love reading those posts, I thought I'd start doing it as well!

While last week was a little more relaxed and fun, this week was SO stressful. I had two major tests in Geography and Math that made me want to pull my hair out and a confusing lesson on reflexive verbs in French. I have a test on it next week and I have NO idea how I'm going to pass. And unfortunately, I also have a Science test next week which makes me want to cry. WHY ARE THERE SO MANY TESTS?

On top of that, I also lost a bajillion things this week. I eventually ended up finding them but oh, if you only knew! I nearly lost my agenda (that had twenty bucks in it) until my teacher found it and gave it to me. I nearly lost my mascara (which matters more to me than you'd think) and my science notebook. I nearly lost my gym uniform and...wait for cellphone. 

But on the bright side, my aunt returned from Africa this week! Her trip sounded really wonderful and the souvenirs she brought back were very cool! There was an ostrich shell bracelet which was absolutely gorgeous. 

I also joined my school's Quidditch and Harry Potter Club which I have to say, I'm pretty darn excited about. 

So yeah, overall, this week wasn't great but I have hopes for next week even though I do have two tests I'm not too confident about. Next week is United Way Week at my school which is an annual week-long fundraising stint at my school. There are super fun activities EVERYWHERE and the best part is that the money all goes to a great cause. Yay!

1. Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson. It's so good! And dear lord, Henry. Oh my god, Henry.
2. English class. It seems to be the only course I'm enjoying lately. 
3. Peaches. I can't stop eating them! They're really refreshing after a long day of school.
4. Temple by Kings of Leon. This was literally the only thing this week that could bring my spirits up. 

I ended up posting much more than I had planned for the first week The Runaway Reader was really in motion.
I introduced my feature 'The Novel Report' where I round up all the books I've been reading! Please note that this will be a bi-weekly feature. I think I forgot to mention that...
My first review also went up this week! Check out what I had to say about 13 Little Blue Envelopes!
In acknowledgement of my Liebster awards, I made a post and nominated some GREAT bloggers.
I also made my return to Top Ten Tuesday with 6 Books I Was Forced to Read.
And finally, I made a list of four books that I want to read.

Jasmine creates a wonderful bookish Harry Potter survey. Expect one from myself going up this week!
Asti shares her tour of the Harry Potter studio. This makes me want to go so bad!

How was your week? What book are you loving right now? Any posts you would like to share? Anything you want to see on The Runaway Reader in the upcoming weeks? Share in the comments!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Bookish Radar (1)

As a book blogger, my bookish radar is always on. I'm constantly hearing about titles of books and while some of them don't particularly interest me, others so do. These are the books that I currently have my eyes on. I WILL READ THEM IF IT'S THE LAST THING I DO. Inspired by On the Smugglers' Radar @ The Book Smugglers and Waiting on Wednesday @ Breaking the Spine

Goddess War #1
Released September 10, 2013

The Goddess War begins in Antigoddess, the first installment of the new series by acclaimed author of Anna Dressed in Blood, Kendare Blake.

Old Gods never die…

Or so Athena thought. But then the feathers started sprouting beneath her skin, invading her lungs like a strange cancer, and Hermes showed up with a fever eating away his flesh. So much for living a quiet eternity in perpetual health.

Desperately seeking the cause of their slow, miserable deaths, Athena and Hermes travel the world, gathering allies and discovering enemies both new and old. Their search leads them to Cassandra—an ordinary girl who was once an extraordinary prophetess, protected and loved by a god.

These days, Cassandra doesn’t involve herself in the business of gods—in fact, she doesn’t even know they exist. But she could be the key in a war that is only just beginning.

Because Hera, the queen of the gods, has aligned herself with other of the ancient Olympians, who are killing off rivals in an attempt to prolong their own lives. But these anti-gods have become corrupted in their desperation to survive, horrific caricatures of their former glory. Athena will need every advantage she can get, because immortals don’t just flicker out.

Every one of them dies in their own way. Some choke on feathers. Others become monsters. All of them rage against their last breath.

The Goddess War is about to begin.

OH MY GOD THIS BOOK SOUNDS SO GOOD. I mean, Greek mythology and a nail-biting thriller combined? Bring it! Not to mention that Athena is my favourite god, like ever. How could I NOT want to read this book? By the way, am I the only one who gets chills looking at that cover?
Expected release date: February 25, 2013

For Macallan and Levi, it was friends at first sight. Everyone says guys and girls can’t be just friends, but these two are. They hang out after school, share tons of inside jokes, their families are super close, and Levi even starts dating one of Macallan’s friends. They are platonic and happy that way.

Eventually they realize they’re best friends — which wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t keep getting in each other’s way. Guys won’t ask Macallan out because they think she’s with Levi, and Levi spends too much time joking around with Macallan, and maybe not enough time with his date. They can’t help but wonder . . . are they more than friends or are they better off without making it even more complicated?

From romantic comedy superstar Elizabeth Eulberg comes a fresh, fun examination of a question for the ages: Can guys and girls ever really be just friends? Or are they always one fight away from not speaking again — and one kiss away from true love?

Elizabeth Eulberg is one of my FAVOURITE Young Adult romance authors ever. Her books are kind of like the bookish equivalent of hot cocoa: warm and sweet. I love that she's putting a unique twist on boy/girl friendships and I'm excited to see how it plays out in the book! Did I mention that I gobbled up all four of her previous books? So yeah, this one is definitely a must read!

I Heart #1
Released June 25, 2009

Perfect for fans of Sophie Kinsella, get ready for the summer debut of the year...When you're running away from a broken heart, there's only one place to go...Adjusting tiaras at the foot of the aisle, Angela and her best friend prepare for the wedding of the year. But events don't go as planned. And when a girl is in possession of a crumpled bridesmaid dress - and can't go home - New York (for the very first time) seems like an excellent idea. Angela's new friend Jenny Lopez gives Angela a whirlwind tour of the city that never sleeps, and a makeover. Who hasn't dreamed of starting afresh with a sassy New York wardrobe, a new haircut and a trip to the make-up counter? Before she knows it, the new Angela is getting over her broken heart by having dinner with two different boys. And, best of all, she gets to write about it in her fabulous new blog. But it's one thing telling readers all about your romantic dilemmas. It's another trying to figure them out for yourself! Warm, funny and unputdownable, I Heart New York is an unforgettable debut.

I have a thing for Sophie Kinsella-esque novels and when I read 'I Heart London' which I found on my bookshelf one day, I totally saw hints of what I love in a Sophie Kinsella novel. Angela was a funny narrator and the secondary characters were all wonderful! And I would have kept reading if it weren't for the fact that it was the last book in the series and I hate reading books out of chronological order. Which is why 'I Heart New York' is on my radar. Hopefully, I'll be able to get it soon and start reading!

Expected Release Date: January 23, 2014

Welcome to the world of the fabulously wealthy in London, 1909, where dresses and houses are overwhelmingly opulent, social class means everything, and women are taught to be nothing more than wives and mothers. Into this world comes seventeen-year-old Victoria Darling, who wants only to be an artist—a nearly impossible dream for a girl.

After Vicky poses nude for her illicit art class, she is expelled from her French finishing school. Shamed and scandalized, her parents try to marry her off to the wealthy Edmund Carrick-Humphrey. But Vicky has other things on her mind: her clandestine application to the Royal College of Art; her participation in the suffragette movement; and her growing attraction to a working-class boy who may be her muse—or may be the love of her life. As the world of debutante balls, corsets, and high society obligations closes in around her, Vicky must figure out: just how much is she willing to sacrifice to pursue her dreams?

I love historical fictions, especially ones set in England. I also love art and so seeing two of my loves come together is so exciting! Also, balls, suffragettes and boys? Yes please. Hey Santa, if you're reading this, bring me a fine copy of this book for Christmas please?

What books are on your radar this week? Have you read/want to read any of the books on this list? Share your thoughts!