Monday, January 9, 2017

Sock Puppet

Hey guys! Welcome back! If you wanted an update on my reading goal there is not much to update, I finished We Were Liars and started Me and Earl  and the Dying Girl  by Jesse Andrews. I'm not exactly sure how I feel about it yet, the writing style is constantly changing and Andrews is definitely not shy to using harsh language.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl takes place in the life of a boy who is a senior in high school. He doesn't have many friends and by the looks of it he doesn't fit into any particular group. This book is really about self absorption and how in high school it can be hard to find a place to fit in. Then Greg befriends, Rachel, a girl who has been diagnosed with leukemia. At first the reader notices that Greg is not very good at conversing and is struggling to keep the conversation going, but he gets more and more comfortable the more he talks to her. This shows that even if you don't have many friends or are not very good at  making friends, if you find the right person you can connect with them. While reading the reader can tell that Rachel appreciates Greg she tells him "the most beautiful thing about you is that you're not a sock puppet" (Andrews 177).  Rachel feels like even if she is at the end of her time Greg helps cheer her up. He shows a side of him that isn't seen by most people.

This book relates to high school students because Greg may be dealing with some of the problems that we are. It talks about connecting with people you never thought you would connect with and how you should give everyone a chance. When taking one thing from this blog let it be that you can connect with people that may not be like you. 

Friday, December 16, 2016

Summer 15

Welcome back! If you didn't already know my reading goal this year is 20 books and I still don't think I'll complete it but I'm trying my hardest! It took me a while to read To Kill A Mockingbird but I finally finished and to make up for taking so long I finished We were liars in less than a week. I really enjoyed the book but let me just say I was very disappointed with the ending. Also be aware there might be some spoilers in this blog.

We we liars is set on an island relatively close to Martha's Vineyard, it takes place in the present day but Cady, the main character, uses a lot of flashbacks to tell the story. From the beginning of the book we know that Cady has a brain injury, all we know is that it happened during summer 15, which Cady remembers none of.

At the start of the book we learn that Cady has a brain injury, and anybody who has a brain injury usually doesn't take life for granted. Cady knows that she could have died so instead of wasting her life away she starts giving away her stuff day by day, and she is defiantly the most affectionate of "the liars" to her younger cousins. Cady is a lover. One day Cady's cousin Mirren tells Cady "be a little kinder than you have to" (e. lockhart 218). You never know when it could be your last day. One day Cady finally remembers what happened, how she got her brain injury and what happened during the summer of 15. and not only does she realize that her injury was all her fault she remembers that its her fault her cousins, "the liars," are dead.  Cady wishes she could have been kinder to them while they were alive.

So in conclusion if you're thinking about reading this book be prepared for a really frustrating ending. Lockhart does a very good job and describing the scene and forming metal pictures in the readers head. If you had to take one thing away from this blog let it be to "be a little kinder than you have to."

Thursday, November 10, 2016

"Kill all the blue-jays you want. But its a sin to kill a mockingbird."

I'm back! Its been a while but I'm back. So to update you on my reading goal I don't think I'll achieve my goal of 20 books this school year, when reading an assigned book I tend to read slower than I usually do so Lord of the flies by William Golding took me longer than expected. Since this semester we have to read an AP book I thought I would go ahead and start it so I could get it over with, what I never expected is that I'd enjoy the book. I started reading To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee and I'm actually enjoying it!

To kill a mockingbird is referred to as a masterpiece in American literature. It deals with the problems of race and poverty and gender roles, things we see today. But the main reason I love this book is because of how Atticus, Jem and Scout treat each other. and how they show love and encouragement even in the worst times. Both Jem and Scout stand up for their father when neighbors and even family members talk bad about him. At a Christmas celebration with the family Francis says a lot of bad things about Atticus, at this point Scout is annoyed with Francis and she "split [her] knuckle to the bone of his front teeth" (Lee 112). Although there are better ways to solve problems than using physical force, when Scout hit Francis we see how much she actually cares about him and she will do anything for him.

This book is unfortunately still relevant today. It focuses on some of the biggest problems we have in America. This book will always be a good story. It's one of those books that when people read it each person gets something different out of it. I usually like books that focus more on mysteries than anything else but with this book you could read it and get various types of genres, historical fiction, realistic fiction even a little bit of mystery. This was a classic book and a valuable story.



Monday, October 10, 2016

09/11/2001

Welcome back! So if you've read my last couple blogs you know my reading goal this year is to read 20 books. I'm still behind but I've set a new goal for myself, I want to read one book per week. I was reading The story of my life by Hellen Keller, but it was so boring. I thought that maybe after the first few chapters it would get better but it never did, I just couldn't get into it. So instead I stared Firehouse by David Halberstam, it's the story of Engine 40 and ladder 35, just one of the several firehouses that responded to 9/11. Although I'm not a fan of the style that Halberstam uses to write I love the story, it gives a great insight into one of the firehouses that responded to the attack.

Growing up everyone in the United States learns about 9/11, but we only learn what was in the news and the history books. This book gets deep into the lives of just a few if the first responders. I've always known that thousands of people died during 9/11 but this book really opened my eyes and made me realize just how horrible it was. When the firemen of engine 40 and ladder 35 took off after getting the first call to respond to the towers they hadn't realized how bad it would be. The firefighters back at the house described it as "a darkening sense of what was happening, of how terrible it was, a tragedy beyond anyone's comprehension." Jim Gormley, captain of engine 40 once said "We do it for people. We do it for a sense of rightness."  Every firefighter from all around the city worked together to save as many people as they could and risked their lives doing so. This is one of the rare books that really gets you close to your heart, it takes you on a journey of just a few of the 9/11 heroes lives.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Deception

My goal is to read at least 20 books this school year, right now I think I'm a little behind. I just started my second book but oh well, I'll get there eventually! I recently finished reading the Secrets we Keep by Trisha Leaver and I've started reading The Story of My Life by Hellen Keller. I don't find Keller's book as interesting as other books I've read, it feels more like I have to read it than I want to read it.

Starting the story we meet Ella and Maddy Lawton one is the smart twin and the other is the popular twin. After a devastating car accident that leaves Maddy dead Ella has to choose which life she would rather live. Does she want to continue being the smart unpopular one or does she want to live her sisters life and become the most popular girl in school. Reading the first couple chapters of the book was a little draining, I became emotionally attached to everything that Ella was doing, the choices that she made were frustrating but I could also see where she was coming from when she made them. Ella felt like everybody, including her parents would rather have Maddy in their life "she's [Maddy] the one they love. She's the one there praying would survive" (191). Ella didn't pretend to be Maddy because she wanted to be popular, instead she did it to keep people from being hurt. A lot of people would think that Ella deceived everybody because she wanted to play a game with them but the truth is she only wanted to save them, to help them, she only wanted to feel wanted.

Overall this book was great, it was a little slow at first but if you keep reading you'll eventually get to the meat of the book. I wouldn't say this was the best book I've ever read but if you wanted something to just kick back with on a rainy day I'd say this is the book for you.


Monday, September 5, 2016

All about me: Reading edition

Hi friends, my name is Kennedy. Currently I'm a sophomore in high school. I'm not going to lie, I don't LOVE to read (sometimes I'd rather just see the movie) but don't get me wrong if I find a good book I'll read it like there's no tomorrow. When I was younger I loved to read, my mom and I would go the the library and I would fill our library bag with books, I would always check out the maximum number of books allowed at one time. In elementary school the best week of the year was the scholastic book fair but I don't know if it was because of the books or the shopping. I don't have a favorite book, I almost never read books twice and I usually don't abandon books, though there are a couple exceptions (I've tried to read The magicians Elephant by Kate Dicamillo several times but give up about half way through every time.) For me finding a book I love is like finding a needle in a haystack, almost impossible (notice the word almost). I wouldn't consider reading to be my favorite hobby or my second favorite or third but as I said finding a good book is like finding gold.

My goal is to read 20 books this year. I read about 20 minutes a day in class. I sometimes read outside of class but I definitely could read more. I want to try to read 30 pages a day. On my to-read list is We were liars by E. Lockhart, Me and Earl and the dying girl by Jesse Andrews and Lord of the flies by William Golding. I'm not completely sure what non-fiction books I'm going to read I was thinking The story of my life by Hellen Keller. I haven't even looked at the AP reading list yet so I don't know what books I'll read off that list yet. Anyway I excited to start this new year of reading and I can't wait to read some good books.