Tuesday, May 31, 2016

May Updates


events
- I graduated! I am now a master and wrote an entire post about it. And a lot of people read it even though I really didn't intend for it to be so popular? Funny the way that always happens.

- Deacon has an internship. Which is great and awesome but also means that we're spending a lot of time apart this summer and I'm regretting my decision to read Landline.

- I got a bird feeder! And am planning to do a whole post about it but for the time being just know that it has been spectacular.

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- My jump drive died. RIP little one, you served me well these past 4 years. I'm trying my best not to be too upset about the loss, but it was a 16 GB jump drive given to me by Deacon long ago and held pretty much everything I've written or created in the past four years. Thankfully, I backed it up on my external hard drive in February, so I didn't lose everything, but I did lose most everything from the past three months.

This month had the most pageviews in the history of my blog. So thanks for that. =) I'm pretty sure it was due to Tyler and Amanda's baby and nothing with my normal content or writing, but it's still nice. I don't focus on page views too much, but they have gone up over the past year and I'm enjoying it. I know my blog is less structured than most, but I'm glad to see it's still working out for you guys. =) Let me know if you have any suggestions over content or ideas for future posts. 



thoughts
- The Cincinnati Zoo. I'm tempted to do a whole post about it but I don't want to add fuel to the fire. Basically I'm just tired of hearing about it and seeing ignorant people post ignorant things. I'm planning to avoid Facebook for awhile, otherwise I feel I might lose some friendships.

- I've missed my last two haircuts and it. is. killing. me. I like the fact that I'm almost able to pull off a normal ponytail but I hate just about everything else. My right side has revolted against me and refuses to flip correctly. Also I need bangs so I can be Taylor Swift.


- Pokemon names fascinate me. Not the names themselves but the localization process. I've kind of been intrigued by intercultural communication ever since I took a class on it last year (I even chose it as one of the subjects for my comprehensive exam.) If you're not fans you might not realize this, but each Pokemon has a unique name that kind of describes what it looks like or its ability or something about it. They're usually put together by merging two words in a language. But these aren't really translatable, and since Pokemon is popular worldwide, the names have to be localized for different areas and languages, which has recently caused some problems in China. The whole thing really intrigues me and would be a fun job for a technical communicator/translator. =)

- The last college paper I ever submitted got the harshest criticism. I'm on good terms with the professor so I don't think it was meant as harsh as it sounds, but I'm not good with criticism to begin with so it was kinda hard for me to get over.
Your style is of the vague hand-waving type people despise in academics - change before you can't. 
I mean, I guess it's good to be honest with students. And I know I need to learn how to take criticism. But gosh.



rex report
Rex tore his ACL last week, which is apparently a common injury in dogs but can't really be fixed. There are surgery options, but for now he's on rest for three weeks with no exercise. He's not too happy about not being able to go to the park and chase bunnies, but all in all has been pretty good. He's surprisingly adept on three legs. But he's started to be able to put more weight on the injured leg, so I think all is going well. No major problems with getting him to take his medicine (we've pretty much got it down to a science.) He also got a new bed, which is bigger and softer than the one pictured below. It also has an opening at the front that's easier for him to get in and out of. We also finally got him updated tags!

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tv shows
Downton Abbey (finally finished the finale. Love this show and sad to see it end.)
Big Bang Theory (finished season 8)
Korra Book 4 (rewatch + commentary - this show is beautiful. You should watch in on blu-ray for the animation alone if nothing else)




movies
Crimson Peak (meh)
Captain America: Civil War (really liked it)
Deadpool (enjoyed it)
The Witch (it was okay?)
Beauty and the Beast (rewatch - like it. BUT WHAT ARE THOSE PLOT HOLES)
Frozen (rewatch - love it)
Tangled (rewatch - love it)
X-Men: Apocalypse (liked it)




books
Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli (loved it)
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (I liked it, but expected more for all the hype)
Made You Up by Francesca Zappia (I liked it but wanted to love it)
The Winner's Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski (all three books were just okay)

      

currently reading: Landline by Rainbow Rowell
~~~

Tell me how your May was! What movie was your favorite? Do you have vacations planned? Any advice for coping with the loss of my jump drive? Let me know!

--Emily

Friday, May 27, 2016

Bookish Confessions



I'm doing a wonderful job keeping up with my new blogging schedule, right? XD
I meant to post this Wednesday, I honestly did. Life got in the way, as it often does.

I realized that I have never talked about my bookish confessions. I have many of them. So many that I often question whether I like books at all? I mean, I know I like books, but there are many things that I don't like or am not good at that other avid readers are. AM I EVEN AN AVID READER? IDK. So let me know if you experience any of these and how you feel about them.


1. I don't like the smell of books.
I love the smell of fresh ink, but I really don't like the smell of books--new or old. I don't like to admit this because it seems like a rite of passage for a book lover. I mean, I love physical copies of books, don't get me wrong, but I don't miss the smell whenever I read from my Kindle.


2. I tend to hide my YA in my cupboard.
This isn't quite as true now that I've rearranged my book shelves, but the bulk of my YA is still hidden away. I always think that when people see my books, I want them to be impressed. I want to look intelligent. And there are a lot of prejudices against people above age 20 reading YA. (Honestly, though, what else are we supposed to do? There's such a huge gap in the reading demographic for people in their twenties.)


3. I sometimes only read dialogue, then go back and read the paragraphs in-between.
This is a terrible habit. I DON'T RECOMMEND IT. But I just get so bored by paragraphs and I only want to read the dialogue. The dialogue is always the best part! I'm basically Thumper, eating the flower and leaving the greens.



4. I married into my HP set.
I've been a Harry Potter fan since I was 8 years old, but I  never owned my own copies of the books. I always borrowed my sister's. I did buy my own copies of Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows at the midnight releases, though. But then I got married and had to leave my sister's set behind. Luckily, Deacon owned the first six books. So we combined our copies and ditched the extra HBP and now have a beautiful complete set. (Even though he has never read them!)


5. I am the slowest reader known to mankind. 
This partly stems back but #3, but also I'm pretty sure I read at the speed of a kindergartner. I've been reading Sylvia Plath's journals for over 3 years! I always had an average reading level in school and never really did well on the AR tests (though this is also partly due to my less-than-average vocabulary). I felt jealous of all the kids who could read at higher levels (my husband apparently had a college reading level when he was really young. Figures!).


6. I didn't learn to read at a young age. 
Maybe that's why I'm so slow? But really, the first real book that I remember reading was when I was 8 years old. I didn't have a lot of books at home growing up. I don't really blame my parents, though--they did order me The Little House on the Praire, but I was so bored that I never even got through the first book. (They got me a subscription to these animal magazines and I gobbled those up, though.) My love for reading didn't come until I was in 4th grade. That's when we read Tuck Everlasting and Holes and Harry Potter. It stuck with me after that.


7. I love Twilight. 
It's my guilty pleasure. I dressed up at midnight release when the last book came out. I went to every movie premiere, even though I knew they weren't that great. I even love The Host. I would probably read anything that Stephenie Meyer writes.



8. I used to read the last page first.
This is also a bad habit that I don't recommend. I don't do it anymore, though! Although sometimes I try to find out how many chapters or pages are in a book and accidentally stumble upon the ending. I think this happened with 1984 last summer. But I'm pretty good at overwriting my memory in those cases.


9. I cannot force myself to write in books. 
I try. One of my most beloved teachers in college told us that we had to write in books. It makes sense, especially if I own the book. But I cannot do it. And even when I do, it's always in pencil. (This is another reason why eReaders are amazing!) I do tend to write in my copy of Sylvia Plath's journals, but that's only because it's so dense and going back to good quotes would be impossible otherwise.


10. My husband wooed me by buying me a Kindle. 
True story. We were just friends at the time. They had given out Kindles at my Project Graduation and I was really bummed that I didn't get one. So Deacon saved up babysitting money for a month, then drove me up to St. Louis but didn't tell me his plan. I lost track of him in Best Buy for awhile, then he found me and took me out to the car and it was sitting in the passenger seat! He's so sneaky. We started dating that summer and now we've  been married nearly two years.

Moral of the story: books are the way to a girl's heart.



11. I sometimes nap with books.
It takes forever to find a comfortable position when reading. By the point that I am finally settled in, I'm both A) exhausted and B) so comfortable. Naps follow. And sometimes I just take books with me to bed, like a little kid with a teddy bear. It's comforting, okay?


12. I don't love classics.
I feel like I have to whisper this one. As an English major, I feel like the ultimate betrayer because I rarely like classics. Rarely. Even the ones that I read on my own volition! I read Jane Eyre last year and honestly didn't really care much. 


13. I judge audiobooks based on the narrator's voice.
I know this isn't nice. It's very not nice. They can't help their voices in many cases. And even though reading books aloud as a profession sounds like a dream job, I know a lot of work goes into it. But I've not cared for a lot of books because of the narrator's voice, particularly Throne of Glass. It's also solidified my love for some books, like The Night Circus and The Lunar Chronicles. 


Oooh this one kills me. I love the movies. I really love the movies. I've watched them with commentaries! But the books intimidate me. When I was a kid, The Hobbit intimidated me, so I didn't read it until I was out of high school. I'm just afraid they'll be too complicated for me to follow, or maybe I won't like them as much as I want to? I don't know. *hides face in shame*



15. I have sold books that were given to me. 
I know this is probably the most terrible thing I've ever done and I am ashamed and don't even want to talk about it. In my defense, though, I have a huge TBR and limited shelf space. #slowreaderproblems
~~~


Okay, now it's your turn. What are some of your bookish confessions? Do we have anything in common? If you had to pick the worst one on my list, what would it be? 

--Emily

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

books that I feel differently about now

This list was hard for me! I haven't reread a lot of books in the last two years, so it's hard to say for certain how my opinions have changed. Most of the changing takes place between the first two days after having read a book. Usually, I'll rant about all the things that were wrong about it to my husband, but after about two days when I've settled down, I find that I actually really liked the book. So I might bump my rating up after a few days, but most of the time, my rating is pretty much on target. It's normally a little harsh, though, which is why I'm more prone to like a book more over time rather than liking it less.



I'm linking up with The Broke and the Bookish for a Top Ten Tuesday! The theme this week is books we feel differently about now that time has passed.


    


Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince // J. K. Rowling (went up)
This is probably the one with the most difference between readings. I absolutely hated this the first time I read it. I hated it! But I think I've reread it twice and it's now one of my absolute favorites in the series.


Looking for Alaska // John Green (went up)
I don't think I was emotionally mature enough for this book when I read it high school. But when I reread it in college, I connected with it so much more.


Never Let Me Go // Kazuo Ishiguro (went up)
You all know this is basically my favorite book of ever. But can you believe I only gave it 4 stars when I first read it? I DON'T KNOW WHAT I WAS THINKING. I changed my mind a few months later because it haunted me. And it's an even better reread. ALL THE STARS.


    


The Night Circus // Erin Morgenstern (went down)
Okay, but only slightly down. I haven't reread this, and I know I gave it 5 stars because I loved the way it was written and how captivating it was. But honestly, I haven't thought about it much since. It hasn't stayed with me. I can barely recall anything that actually happened. Maybe a reread will restore it to its full glory in my mind, though. I'd love to have a physical copy of it.


The Bell Jar // Sylvia Plath (went up)
I have never reread this but I just know that my rating has gone up. I only gave it 3 stars! The Sylvia-Plath-obsessed girl gave Plath's only novel three stars. I don't even know. I think it's another case of Looking for Alaska. I wasn't emotionally mature enough to understand everything. Can I get a reread to go, please?


Fangirl // Rainbow Rowell (went up)
This has baffled Deacon because I was soooo angry about the ending when I first read it and I ranted and ranted to him about it. But now I'm practically obsessed with it and he doesn't understand how or why. I got over the ending, really. I learned to accept it. And Cath and Levi are so hard to forget.


  


Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda (went down)
Okay, but again only slightly down. I rated this 5 stars when I listened to it earlier this year because, like The Night Circus, it completely captivated me when I listened to the audio. But since then, I feel kinda meh about it. It was suuuper cute, don't get me wrong. It just didn't have a lot of depth.


The Fault in Our Stars // John Green (went up)
I think I might have only given this 3 stars when I read it but then went back and rounded up to four. I think I thought the ending was dragged out too much. Or maybe I was holding a grudge against John Green (something like you murdered my emotions so I will murder your rating). I also didn't understand the last line until I looked up the meaning online, then I really appreciated it. Is that cheating?


  


Twilight // Stephenie Meyer (went down)
I still kept this at 5 stars after rereading, but I realized that if I had read this for the first time after high school, I would not have liked it nearly as much. It appealed to 15-year-old Emily, which was great at the time, but I later realized it wasn't the best thing in the world. I'll still read anything Stepheneie Meyer writes, though. (Alternatively, my opinion of New Moon actually went up after a reread.)


Mockingjay // Suzanne Collins (went up)
This is another case of me not understanding the ending. At the end, Katniss makes a vote about something and I didn't understand that she had ulterior motives. It completely went over my head. I was pretty done with the book at that point. I think I threw it across the room? But years later I read a detailed synopsis that explained it more clearly and I felt like an idiot. Still my least favorite book in the series, though.
~~~


So what about you guys? Have you ever changed your mind about a book after rereading, or just over time? Sometimes it happens to me after watching a movie adaptation, honestly. Have you ever had to look up the meaning of an ending? Let me know, and be sure to leave the link to your TTT. =)

--Emily

Thursday, May 19, 2016

23!

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I turned 23 yesterday! And I was determined to post this then but so many things happened and it didn't happen. A few not-so-great things have gone down this week, but a lot of nice things have happened, too. I have no major complaints. A lot of people have sent me nice messages for my graduation and birthday and I feel pretty special. =)

Also my in-laws sent me an Amazon gift card so I went a little crazy and bought a couple things that have been sitting on my wishlist. Including new bands for my Fitbit, Frozen blu-ray, Fangirl (already read, but I didn't have a physical copy!), Attachments, Dog Songs, and The Complete Persepolis. I also pre-ordered the new Avatar graphic novel, but that won't be released until October! I'm sooo excited to read these books this summer.


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And here's a picture of my lovely husband and baby Rex just because. =)




And here is my "23 before 24" list!
I've never made a list like this before...the one I did last year was similar, but not quite the same thing.
  1. Get a full-time job that matches my qualifications. Hopefully soon. This is my current top priority, but I don't want to just accept a job anywhere. I just worked hard for a master's degree and I want to put it to use if possible.

  2. Set up a blogging schedule. It can be loose. Really, I want to blog at least once a week on a set day, with additional posts here and there. My idea is to blog every Wednesday, do Top Ten Tuesdays, and occasional book reviews on Sunday. Of course this is being posted on a Thursday, so I'm already off schedule.

  3. Stay healthy. I need to get back into walking, but also do other kinds of exercise. I need to build muscle! I want to lose some weight, but mostly I want to feel confident about myself.

  4. Study up on HTML and CSS. I took a class this semester that went over the basics, but I bought some workbooks in hopes to get more familiar with them.

  5. Develop my photography skills. I want to take more photos, and I want to get better at taking photos and editing them. I need more practice and tutorials.

  6. Create and maintain a budget. This one isn't one I'm particularly looking forward to, but it's one that really needs to happen. I'll start paying back student loans this year and looking for jobs and it would be nice to have everything out in the open.

  7. Write regularly. Finish my three-part story and start a new one.

  8. Participate in NaNoWriMo in July and November. I've never done Camp NaNo before, but I'm kind of looking forward to it. And I've never done NaNo without being in school before, so I have no idea what that will be like.

  9. Decorate our house. I've been saying this for ages. Our house isn't the nicest thing in the world, but I think a few more decorations will help lighten it up a bit.

  10. Play through Pokemon generations 4-7. Sun and Moon come out in November and I would really like to be caught up by then. I'm playing through Pearl right now.

  11. Learn how to curl my hair. I bought a curling iron and have tried so many times but can't seem to get it. More practice, I think. And maybe a personal trainer.

  12. Stay positive. Say yes more often. Keep an open mind. Be approachable.

  13. Keep a journal. I've been so bad about this since going to college. But it helps me remember things and vent. I've tried to distance myself from social media lately (really, just Facebook) and guard what I put on the internet, so keeping a journal would be a good outlet for the rest.

  14. Save up and finally purchase a new camera. I've been wanting to do this for years. I have a little pitiful bundle saved up, but I would love to do more photography and save up for a better camera. I've had my eye on the Canon 7D mark II for a long time now.

  15. Change my wardrobe. I started this process a few years ago, but I still have a lot of clothes that make me look like a teenager. I want to look more my age. I want to feel respected by people...and unfortunately, that rarely happens when I dress with my current wardrobe.

  16. Keep up with my bird log. I really want to learn names and calls of Missouri birds, so I've started keeping a log of all the unfamiliar ones I see so I can look them up later.

  17. Visit friends. My friends to be scattered across the state, but I would love to spend some time with them. I feel like I walled myself up a lot this year. I like being an introvert, but I need to balance it out.

  18. Travel with Deacon. We haven't really gotten to have many adventures now that we have Rex, but I would love to take a road trip somewhere this year.

  19. Control my anxiety. I don't really talk about this very often, I know, but it is something that affects me daily. My time at S&T helped because I was forced to be in situations where I worked with others, but it's still a problem that I have to deal with on a daily basis, and it makes job hunting a nightmare.

  20. Learn how to speed read. I probably should have done this before going to college, but it's never too late, right?

  21. Get our car situation figured out. Deacon and I have had car problems ever since we've gotten married and I'd really like to get that all taken care of.

  22. Cook. "Learn to cook" might be more accurate, but I still haven't fully committed to that endeavor. I want to learn a few things, but I mostly want to feel more comfortable in the kitchen.

  23. Read all the books. I have a goal of 20 for the year that I'm approaching quickly. But really, I'd like to read 40 books between now and my next birthday. 

Hope you guys have a great week! ALSO. I found out yesterday that Relient K is touring with Switchfoot AND THEY ARE COMING TO MY HOMETOWN (or close enough). Best. birthday. present. ever.

--Emily

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

books I bought on a whim (or alternatively: cases when I definitely judged by the cover)


Oh, the days when I would go to bookstores and just pick things up without knowing anything about them. I feel like those days are long gone. In fact, all of the books on this list were purchased a long time ago, before I even got into book blogging. Now, I hardly do anything spontaneously!

I've read some of these. Hated some, loved others. A few I haven't read yet. I've sold a lot of them that I thought I was interested in and then lost interest the longer it sat on my shelf.

I'm linking up with The Broke and The Bookish for a Top Ten Tuesday! The theme this week is top ten books you picked up on a whim.


Read:


Life of Pi by Yann Martel. I bought this before the movie came out because it had a tiger on the cover. Then I forgot about it until the movie came out and read it before watching it. It's probably my most successful impulse buy. Such an amazing book!

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes. I saw this one in a bookshop and loved the mouse on the cover, but I was already in the checkout line and couldn't buy it. A few years later, I found it again. I had no idea what it was about, but I bought it. My husband and I both really liked it. (Except for the fact that someone had written a huge spoiler on a piece of paper and stuck it into the pages at the bookstore. NOT COOL.)

If I Stay by Gayle Forman. I think I got this at Walmart because I liked the cover. I ended up feeling meh about the book.

Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonneblick. This came from a school book fair, I think? I liked it...I think I might have even cried. It's been awhile now, so I might have to give it another go to see if it holds up. I did have Notes from the Midnight Driver, but I think I got rid of it because I didn't like it.

Luna by Julie Ann Peters. This was another school book fair buy. I've talked about it a lot so just suffice it to say that I loved it.

Forever...by Judy Blume. My friend was giving books away because she was moving and I picked this up because I had never read anything by Judy Blume. And I ended up hating it. One of the most frustrating books I've ever read.


Haven't Read:


A Wolf at the Table by Augusten Burroughs

Three Little Words by Ashley Rhodes-Courter

The Burn Journals by Brent Runyon

Right Behind You by Gail Giles

~~~

Let me know what books YOU picked up on a whim! Do we match at all? Have you read any of them? Should I read the ones I haven't yet? What was your most successful impulse buy?

--Emily

Saturday, May 14, 2016

I'M A MASTER.

I graduated today for the last time! (No, I'm not planning on a PhD!) I am now a Master of the Elements Science in technical communication. And I'm stealing photos from my parents because I was too exhausted to take real pictures with my camera.



So here's a rundown of the day:

  • I had to wake up at the ungodly hour of 6:30 am. Hello, real world.
  • It was SO COLD. I had to park by my friend's apartment and walk across campus to get there and it was freezing. I'm glad the actual ceremony was inside.
  • There was no instruction at all. We didn't know where to go or anything. It was like the university said, "Well, if you're smart enough to earn your degree, your smart enough to figure out graduation with zero instructions."
  • Snehal and I did not know how to put on the hood. It's confusing! And again, no instructions. We had to get someone to do it for us when we got there.
  • Either my hat was actually sized for elementary school children or I have an uncommonly big head.
  • It felt like I was being choked by the hood all throughout the ceremony. Who came up with graduation garb, anyway? What were they thinking?

  • I wish graduations were more like airbending anointment ceremonies.

  • Airbending master...Master of Science...it's basically the same, right?
  • I got the worst headache during the ceremony that lasted pretty much all afternoon. And the same thing happened at my last graduation! But I wasn't stressed or anything. I felt surprisingly relaxed.
  • I blame the tiny cap.
  • Also, the cap makes it look like I have a prominent widow's peak, which just reminds me of Baz from Carry On. 
Carry On- It's a Simon Snow thing...BAZ:

  • Or, alternatively, airbending tattoos. (SEE IT'S MEANT TO BE)
  • Deacon couldn't be there because he's at competition with his design team, but his parents and my parents and sister all came!

  • Just like my last graduation, it was made apparent that I am shorter than everyone thinks I am.
  • I was more excited for this graduation than my last. When I got my Bachelor's, a lot of  things were changing in my life and I was internally freaking out. I was dreading graduation. But today, I'm excited. I'm proud of myself. I feel like I accomplished something that was challenging and worthwhile. I've learned so many things and met so many different kinds of people. I never thought I would enjoy Rolla as much as I  have. I never thought I would enjoy teaching. Missouri S&T provided me with so many opportunities to build my knowledge and skills and I am so grateful, and confident that I will be able to put what I have learned to use wherever I end up.


  • That said, no jobs lined up yet. I'm staying in Rolla while Deacon finishes up his degrees and will be actively looking. I'm not too worried, though. A little anxious, but not worried.
  • It feels like literally everyone wants me to go for a PhD but I'm perfectly content where I am. Maybe someday. But I want to get out into the world first. I've practically been in school nonstop since kindergarten and really, really need a break for awhile.
  • I still have to master the other three elements, though. 
--Emily
currently listening to: Guns for Hands by Twenty One Pilots

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Made You Up by Francesca Zappia // when readers can't read minds

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I can't tell you how conflicted I am about this book. SO CONFLICTED.

I thought it would be amazing. It has a gorgeous cover, it's gotten great reviews, it's an interesting topic. I even got a copy for Christmas--something that doesn't usually happen for me! And I did love parts of it. But I really didn't love every part.

And look! I took pictures! (though I wish I had my sister's Magic 8 Ball and chess set)


Goodreads description




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Things I liked

- The characters. Alex is our narrator, and I found her to be likable. I was on her side. I felt what she felt...when she was betrayed, I felt betrayed (which seemed to happen quite often). And I never felt that her schizophrenia defined her character, which is good. Miles was...well, I loved him and I hated him, which I think was fine. Some of the secondary characters seemed a bit faceless, but not bad.


- The romance. Alex and Miles definitely have a tumultuous time. There is no insta-love and no love triangle, though. I really enjoyed seeing their relationship develop throughout the book. It was kind of an emotional roller coaster. My one complaint was that


- The twists. They were a little predictable, but not too predicable. I think they added a lot to the story, but sometimes I felt that they were just kind of thrown in at weird spots. There was buildup, but they still felt out of place.


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Things I had problems with

- The subplots. There are a few subplots going on. Miles' family. The school snake. The scoreboard. Celia. Ria's sex life. I think they jumbled the story and made everything seem really choppy. Honestly, they made a big deal out of the scoreboard subplot but I could not have cared less about it. I wanted more fleshing out of Alex's schizophrenia and her relationship with Miles.


- The description (or lack thereof). This was my major issue. The book was really confusing! There were so many parts where I didn't know what was happening because there wasn't enough description. And I know our narrator has schizophrenia so it would make sense to show the reader how confusing her reality can be, but it wasn't like that. I don't think it was done intentionally. Information was just withheld, or things were said in weird ways. At one point, Alex says, "He was lying in a pool of his own blood," and it took me a few paragraphs to realize that he wasn't actually lying in a pool of his own blood. She was just thinking aloud (not hallucinating, either--just imagining). But as our narrator, things like that made the story really hard to follow. It felt like the readers were just supposed to be able to read Alex's mind and know where everything was in a room and how things were taking place. But readers can't read minds! (someone needs to get on that, though.)


- The errors. I get that this book just came out last year, so there are bound to be some grammatical errors here and there. That's fine. What isn't fine is when those errors blatantly interfere with the coherence of the story.




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After I got through the first 100 pages, I really thought the book was picking up. In the middle, I was thinking it was at least a 4-star read. But by the end, I was frustrated. I felt kind of betrayed as a reader, because this book could easily be amazing, but there were little things that really detract from it. It felt unfinished, mostly. It felt like the draft before the final draft.

Rating: 3/5 stars.
~~~

Let's talk about this. Have you guys read Made You Up? Have you ever read a book where you felt you had to read the narrator's mind? Or have you ever read a book that felt unfinished? Ooh, and what other books about schizophrenia have you read? This was my first!

--Emily
currently listening to: Goner by Twenty One Pilots