30 Day Book Challenge: Day 22 – Favorite Villain from a Book

The thing about evil is that it doesn’t always come in a large box labeled: EVIL. A person who is evil doesn’t always look like a devil or constantly do things that are clearly wrong. No, the thing about evil is that it has a way of disguising itself. It can be cloaked with good intentions, smiles, and pink.

I think Delores Umbridge from Harry Potter is an awesome villain because she’s not a Voldemort- type evil. She operates under the guise of trying to improve Hogwarts. She smiles and likes kittens and pink. This is what we have to watch out for people! Satan didn’t stroll into the Garden of Evil forcing people to sin. He disguised himself and persuaded Eve by making her believe she was doing the right thing.

Also, as a future teacher, I find Umbridge even more deplorable because she represents everything that is awful about the American education system. She’s a government employee appointed to come into the school and standardize things. She wants to turn it into a learning factory. She doesn’t care about the welfare of students. She micromanages the teachers, inhibiting their ability to do their jobs. She implements tons of rules and takes away the magic (haha) from the classroom while denying the students true learning opportunities or the chance to discuss real- world issues (like VOLDEMORT!).

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The only good thing about Umbridge, is that she inspired this character in A Very Potter Sequel

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30 Day Book Challenge: Day 21 – Favourite Book from my Childhood

I’m cheating with this entry, but this is my blog so I’ll make the rules!

Back in the days of elementary school yore, when Scholastic book fairs were like school holidays,

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and they sent these things home with us so we could beg our parents to order us things (and it was hard for them to say no because they’d basically be telling you not to read),

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I was obsessed with The Bailey School Kids series. And it was a great series to fall in love with because there were over EIGHTY books!

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Basically, the books have a Scooby-Doo-like formula. The kids became suspicious of a figure in their lives like a lifeguard, teacher, or other adult because, let’s face it, adults are super strange and mysterious and always seem to have secrets.  They suspect that an adult is a mythical creature like a vampire, skeleton, witch, etc. Then they collect a bunch of reasons why they believe that, for example, their camp counselor is a werewolf.  This may seem a little outlandish, but if you think back to when you were in elementary school, you probably believed a host of crazy things like thinking your teacher lived at school or thinking little elves operated traffic lights (No? Just me?)

These books were brilliant because they capitalized on childhood suspicion and imagination. Plus, the reader never knows if the kids are right in their accusations! Sure, it’s unlikely that the librarian is a wizard.

But you never know…
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Here are some of my favorites:
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30 Day Book Challenge: Day 20 – Favorite Romance Book

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There’s no love quite like unrequited love. The longing. The stolen glances. The sexual tension. What’s not to love?

Here’s the dish on my favorite romance novel:

They parted in disgrace…But desire would bring them back together.

Years ago, in one explosive instant, childhood rivalry turned into wild passion for Jeremy, handsome young Duke of Rawlings, and Maggie Herbert, the object of his affections. Unfortunately, the ensuing scandal found them banished to separate corners of the world.

Now fate has joined Jeremy and Maggie again– for a long-overdue dance of desire as uncompromising as the lovers themselves. Jeremy, a decorated soldier, is determined to claim Maggie at last. And Maggie, engaged to be married to another man, finds her secret fantasies of Jeremy spinning out of control. All that stands between them and the steamy passion the years can no longer chain is the past– and a present steeped in jealousy, intrigue, and danger…

Ok- I love the characters so much because they’re hilarious and passionate. I love stories about love that endures, especially with fire and passion. To be honest, the love scenes are descriptive enough to get the point across while being tasteful.

Also, this book is by Patricia Cabot AKA Meg Cabot! Read about my love for her here!

I have read and re-read this book book to the point that the pages are distressed. It’s no longer in print, but I found an edition online and got Meg Cabot to autograph it when I met her! Needless to say, this was my method of brown nosing her, and it totally worked.

30 Day Book Challenge: Day 19 – Favorite Book Turned Movie

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Sometimes when the stars align, hell freezes over, and we all hold our collective breath at the same time- a book to movie adaptation is just as good as the book. Obviously, this is a rare occurrence, but it IS possible.

Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower is one of those rare occurrences.

The story of teenage Charlie’s adventures were perfectly translated onto the silver screen this past year. I was so nervous for how they would make the movie because the characters and the narration fit together in the novel’s world so perfectly that I didn’t think any adaptation could do it justice. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the movie! I was disappointed that they didn’t play up the whole Charlie being abused thing and they skimmed over some of the other more serious issues, but overall I was pleased. I think it captured the book’s feeling and the character’s heart and quirkiness. The casting was perfect. I also think that it helped that Chbosky, the author, helped adapt the book to a screenplay. I honestly think this should be standard for book to movie translations.

Are you on Facebook/ Twitter/ Tumblr/ Goodreads? Read this!

For sorority recruitment (Whooo Gamma Phi Beta!), I have to deactivate my personal Facebook and Twitter accounts. I want to take this opportunity to connect with more people in the book blogging community through other forms of social media.

Be my friend on these sites by clicking on these logos. They take you to my profile! Add me so we can chat please and thank you!

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30 Day Book Challenge: Day 18 – A Book That Made Me Laugh

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This book was SO refreshing and honestly funny. I read so many passages where I thought, “I thought I was the only one!” Kaling writes brilliantly. From her screenplays to her jokes, she keeps everything fresh and genuine. What I loved most about this book is that Kaling is a smart, successful woman, but she’s also not afraid to be silly and love the not so intellectual things in life. The way she words things in her debut book are so original and hilarious, that I was laughing hysterically while reading and telling my friends about passages.

Goodreads Summary:

Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence “Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I’ll shut up about it?”

Perhaps you want to know what Mindy thinks makes a great best friend (someone who will fill your prescription in the middle of the night), or what makes a great guy (one who is aware of all elderly people in any room at any time and acts accordingly), or what is the perfect amount of fame (so famous you can never get convicted of murder in a court of law), or how to maintain a trim figure (you will not find that information in these pages). If so, you’ve come to the right book, mostly!

In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy invites readers on a tour of her life and her unscientific observations on romance, friendship, and Hollywood, with several conveniently placed stopping points for you to run errands and make phone calls. Mindy Kaling really is just a Girl Next Door—not so much literally anywhere in the continental United States, but definitely if you live in India or Sri Lanka.

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30 Day Book Challenge: Day 17 – Favorite Quote from a Book

This beautiful quote comes from The Book Thief. Read my review of it here!

This quote touches me because, as someone who loves to read and write, I appreciate how important words are. I want to say the right things and write in a way that affects people. Words are everything. I get them stuck in my head. They change me, build me, break me. Yet, the most important moments can be so powerful that language cannot touch them. But we never stop trying. Language is our key to understanding the world and leaving something behind. To me, words are the be all and end all.

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30 Day Book Challenge: Day 16 – My Favorite Genre

Young Adult Literature

I’m an English major so I read a wide variety of works. I’ve been introduced to so many genres in the past few that I didn’t even know existed! It’s good to read things from every genre, but I keep going back to YA.

Why I love YA:

It’s interesting that YA, compared to other literary genres, is relatively new in the world of words. It is believed to have grown in the 1920s and really started flourishing in the 1970s and 1980s when it became clear that there was a serious demographic gap between juvenile lit and adult lit.

I, like many other YA readers, don’t consider myself a “young adult” in the strictest term, although the age limits are loose and constantly fluctuating throughout generations, but I still enjoy reading the genre. I think it’s because being a young adult is such a defining period in our lives. You start to grow up and figure out who you are. This is super difficult! We all remember the struggle. And at any age, we can all relate to feeling like we don’t have everything figured out. (Do we ever feel like we do?)

YA appeals to me because we can always be reminded how much we can change and how the world can be a scary and beautiful place. No matter how old I get, I will sometimes feel like I don’t fit in. I’ll deal with serious issues. I’ll remember what it felt like having a crush or falling in love. I’ll know what it’s like to have that one best friend or inspiring teacher or that girl you hate. I’ll relate to being frustrated with my parents or my hair.

Maybe we never really grow up, or maybe we’re always growing up. Either way, young adult literature is there to help with stories and characters and words.

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30 Day Book Challenge: Day 15 – My Five Favorite Characters of All Time

For this post, I wanted to write about characters I haven’t really gotten a chance to write about yet. As always, it was hard to narrow it down!

1. Kate from Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew
Katherine is amazing because she is all sass and backbone. She has the best lines in the play. Her banter with Petruchio is genius. When I read the play in high school, I was like all I want is a Petruchio to my Katherine! It’s awesome to see such a developed and prominent woman in classic literature.
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2. Eric Northman from the Sookie Stackhouse books
Eric MAKES these books. I don’t care if you shipped Sookie with someone else or whatever your views on vampire politics are. Eric is the sexiest. He’s hilarious, has the best lines, is ruthless, and has a soft spot for Sookie. Eric is described in the books as having a joie de vivre or zest for life, and I think this makes him such a fun character.

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3. Dumbledore from  Harry Potter
Obviously there are a billion Harry Potter  characters to love, but I picked Dumbledore because we never really know everything about him. He’s wise, funny, mysterious, brave, and kind. He goes from being this infallible mentor to being a normal human being who doesn’t know all the answers (you know what I mean). He has so many layers and genuinely cares about his students. Also, he has a birthmark shaped like a map of the London underground. If that’s not handy, I don’t know what is.
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4. Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones
Listen up, everyone. If you don’t know Daenerys, you don’t know nothing ’bout being a badass. I’m scared that I’ll spoil something for people who haven’t read/ watched the series, but I can tell you she is one of the most awesome characters of all time. She’s well developed throughout the series, evolving as a person and a leader. She’s Mother of Dragons. SHE HAS THREE DRAGONS. She uses her heart and her mind to rule, and that’s the most badass thing anyone can do.

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5. Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables
Anne Shirley is great because she is irrefutably herself, no matter what. She is a true romantic. She loves nature and poetry and romance. Her adventures are hilarious. She’s a loyal friend and daughter. She stands up for what she believes in, even when her hair is different or things don’t go her way or she falls off a roof trying to prove a point. She holds her head high and sees the beauty in the world.

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30 Day Book Challenge: Day 14 – Favorite Author(s) from my Childhood

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I loved all of the E.B. White books, but Trumpet of the Swan was my favorite because I thought swans were really cool and majestic when I was a kid.

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I used to read these Sweet Pickles books by  Ruth Lerner PerleJacquelyn Reinach, and Richard Hefter all the time at my grandparent’s house. I’d never seen them outside of their bookshelves so I didn’t even know they were a fad until I saw a Buzzfeed list which featured them. It was something so vague from my past that I thought I dreamt it! They’re just full of all sorts of ridiculous stories starring these animals so it’s a good time.

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Ramona Quimby was like the pre-Junie B. Jones. I thought Ramona was a HOOT when I read these books in elementary school. Beverly Cleary wrote such great stories about family and growing up. Also, her sister’s name is Beatrice, but everyone calls her Beezus which I still think is really cool.

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Eric Carle books are a childhood staple! I still look through these books at the bookstore and marvel at how beautiful the artwork is.

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Little Critter was the cutest little animal, even though I could never figure out what he was. Critter was good enough for me. I read and re-read the stories all the time. Plus, on each page, you had to find the hidden frog, spider, and mouse, and that’s a great distraction for a child who has read the story a thousand times.