The Next Two Weeks Are Gonna Be HELL.

Sorry guys I have still been reading a lot, but my posting has significantly dropped the past two weeks. It means a lot to me to post on this blog so I owe you guys an apology. The next two weeks are only going to get worse. I have pit practices for the musical from 5-9pm every day, 2 swim meets the same day as 2 of those pit practices and then the cherry on top is the ACT prep I am doing on weekends. Oh, joy. Did I also mention I am PR on a club and involved in a Clarinet Choir on Tuesdays at a local community college? Holy moly. It’s really not school but my extracurriculars that are killing me right now. It’s the second semester and I am ready for summer. Hopefully, this craziness passes. *cries.

love,

Ji

P.S. Do you guys know if it’s ok to use book cover pictures on blogs when you write reviews? I am worried about copyright infringement. Thanks 😀

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{#TBT} To Kill a Mockingbird

Hello, hello y’all. Recently Harper Lee died and I felt that this post needed to be dedicated to her. So here I go! And sorry for the inconsistancy of my posts, I have been busy D:


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In this celebrated classic published in the 1960’s, Harper Lee narrates the crisis of a trial that shook a small southern town through an innocent young girl’s eyes. This novel is an exploration of human rights, morals, and racism. Iconic of its time and today, it serves as a window into a dark period in America’s history.

I have always hated reading in class discussion books. Ok, come on California people lemme name some reads: Bridge to Terabithia, Where the Red Fern Grows, The Pearl, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. In EVERY single one of these books, somebody dies. These books are super depressing and just not age suitable for elementary and middle school children (in my opinion). The exception: TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (and Night by Elie Wiesel). Why? This novel is a deeply moving piece of literature. If you ask anyone what this book is about, they say racism. But reading this book it became so much more. Racism is a topic, the question really needs to be asked is where out of human nature does racism come from, where and do altruistic characteristic come from? And are people’s views really black or white… or gray? How does a society judge people of different color and mind? Ok novels tell a story. The good ones really get you to think.

However, I felt like Harper Lee painted the black community as complacent and silent about the affairs going around in town. It seemed that the civil rights movement touched everyone but that small town.

This novel is a still controversial today but in my heart, it’s a personal favorite. If you have not read this book its a really good read, a required read- in our school. XD

R.I.P. Harper Lee may your novel forever be celebrated in many classrooms and young minds. ❤

Blessed Sunday

I am grateful that I don’t have regrets about my great grandmother’s death. She lived a long full life and to make her survive on a machine is cruel. I sometimes wish that I had more time to talk to her and to hear more about her past, but I am still so thankful that we tried to make an effort to visit her every weekend. I have so many fun memories at her convalescent home, eating her yummy dumplings, jumping on her couch, and trying to teach her Uno. I am also grateful that her passing has brought our family closer together, today I had the opportunity to see my cousin (1st once removed) with her baby from New York.

Don’t ever ever waste time with the ones you love. Before you know it, all you might have of them are pictures and memories. God Bless. ❤ I love you all. I’m sorry I don’t have time to post a review this weekend.

love,

Ji

 

Civil Rights, Racism, the Presidential Race 2k16, and Refugees


Hey guys! If you follow me on my Instagram @klari.boo you guys probably know that I am sort of on a civil rights theme with my books this weekend. I normally don’t read a lot of non-fiction, so it is nice to be able to change up a little this weekend.

I am a huge supporter of civil rights. I believe in equal rights for everyone. This ideology may have resulted from my background-I live in a really weird small town in California where it’s all Asians, which is uncommon in many places in America. So anyways, racism is basically unseen at our school and to be honest, more people worry about grades than anything else. (I mean come on we’re Asian XD) I am so grateful that I live in a privileged place where I don’t have to worry about my rights or people making fun of my heritage. However in the past, our city has still faced troubles with civil rights. A nearby race track in Arcadia used to be an internment camp for Japanese Americans during WWII.

Looking at the past and present in my own community, there are so many ways I feel that America has changed and yet not changed at all. People like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. are my heroes. He fought for his beliefs non-violently and his voice therefore not only spoke to the whole country, but to the whole world! Now there is Donald Trump who is running for president who is blatantly racists yet he is leading in the polls. I am not quite sure how to end this post, but I put my faith in my fellow Americans and not in presidential candidates.

Speaking of civil rights and presidents it all ties into a big subject of mine on refugees. I just want to say that I find it horrifying that Trump wants to ban Muslims from entering our country because of ISIS. These people have no home or rights and we have the power to help and we should. There is always the fear of bad people hurting us, but that’s just part of living. Being kind and unselfish is never easy or safe. If the war in the Middle East doesn’t end by the time I finish college I am planning to travel to Europe to help refugees.

I want to apologize because this post is so random, it’s so political, just basically me fangirling over civil rights leaders and then worrying about Trump becoming the next president.

I hope that if you get anything, is that people are people. Human beings. Our war is not against each other and if we truly want to make a difference we need to love each other.

Anyways I have another book review coming up soon. So anticipate that! Have a great weekend all you wonderful people ❤

Love,

Ji

{#TBT} Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordian


Sorry guys I have been a little inconsistent on my Weekly Hauls. This is because I have been busy making up homework and tests the week I was out of school. Well here is this week’s #TBT 😀 ENJOY!


 

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Rick Riordan reintroduces the world of mythology, but in today’s time, where legends and heroes are in the making. Enter in Percy Jackson, a good kid, though a bit distracted and a terrible student. One day his whole life turns upside down and suddenly monsters are appearing left and right because of his mysterious parentage. Percy’s mother sends him to a camp where he will be safe, and it’s there where Percy finds family and camaraderie; others like him. But that isn’t the end of Percy’s story. Oh no, he is a boy with a destiny to change the wars between the Gods. Follow Percy through this action, and witty filled pentalogy of an odyssey and you will never look at Greek mythology the same ever again.

I am not as obsessed with this series now as much as other people, but still I was a die hard fan back in the day. Percy Jackson ties into so much of my childhood this is the perfect TBT post. In my middle school and elementary school libraries, these books were NEVER on the shelf because everybody LOVED Percy Jackson. And I still love this series (no one can get to old for Percy Jackson, seriously) for all of it. All of it meaning all those OTPs (PERCABETH) and gross constant fanboy/girling and conversing among fellow nerds as to what would happen next and dying for the next book to come out after just reading the newest book the day after it came out.

Call me a hater, but I still have some problems with this series. (well mostly with the movies) Sometimes the whole do or die doomsday thing gets kinda old (sorry!) and often times as a more mature reader, I find myself seeing more action than a plot line. (sorry sorry!) I also hated the movies they made for the Percy Jackson Series. Seriously, they messed up big time. This series deserved a huge effort just like the Harry Potter movies. Annabeth was just useless for half the 1st movie and she had blue eyes for goodness sake. Please. Annabeth has gray eyes. Not blue. And then there were a whole plethora of other issues with the 2nd movie. Sigh. Too many to list.

If you are having trouble inspiring someone to read or just looking for a fun exciting series, this is the default series to go to. This series appeal so much to younger readers with all the action and danger and especially, the fight scenes. I hope that you guys enjoyed this series as much as I did, and if you haven’t read this series, it needs to get on to the top of your TBR list kids. DON’T FORGET~ Rick Riordan has other series related to Percy Jackson too, The Kane Chronicles, The Heroes of Olympus, and just out Magnus Chase. They are just as great and sometimes even better, so if you haven’t read those yet either, they are really good too. Have a great rest of the week and read a lot! ❤


 

{Book Review} Good Enough by Paula Yoo

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Details
Title: Good Enough
Author: Paula Yoo
Genre: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction
Publisher: HarperTeen; Reprint edition (May 8, 2012)(March 17, 2015)
Age Range: 11+
Pages: 336 pages (paperback)
Buy at: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository | Google Play | iBooks


7.9/10

In this simple yet poignant coming of age novel, Patti Yoon’s parents want her to be the PKD, (perfect Korean daughter) the straight A , 2300 on SAT student, and later in life successful Ivy League student. Yet in Patti’s last year of high school, she is discovering happiness in other things than just being the PKD. The question is whether she is brave enough to take a chance and find her own happiness.

This novel was just a little something my librarian at my high school picked up for me. (Thank You Mrs. Wang- I know you read my blog posts <3) I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was a pleasant read.

For one thing, it’s very relatable. Unfortunately for many Asian Americans, we often have over zealous parents who want the best for us and can sometimes push us too hard. I see this a lot at my overwhelmingly Chinese-filled high school when I have friends who do P.E. in the summer just so that they can take 7 AP classes, just so that they can get accepted into UCLA or Yale or Brown or some other uppity fancy schmancy school. Fortunately, I don’t have these type of parents. For the most part, I am left to myself to pursue my hobbies (like blogging and bookstagramming :D) as long as I keep my grades up. So life is pretty good considering how my other  fellow students often suffer from their parents.

Yay! This main character also plays an instrument too! Patti plays the violin and nerds out several times about classical pieces :DD. I love her musical side.

Though I have to admit, this novel runs a bit on the predictable side, not being terribly creative. Girl gets pressured about life. Girl meets Boy. Boy inspires Girl. Girl crushes on Boy. Girl tries to find her own happiness. Girl is more mature at the end of the novel. BUT ONE GOOD THING HAPPENS. GIRL AND BOY DO NOT END UP TOGETHER. (sorry for spoilers, I just really needed to spread the good news) Trust me Girl, this way its so much better for your character development. YOU DON’T NEED NO MAN. XD Anyways even though it runs on the predictable side. I love how Patti does NOT end up with the boy she likes. This helps her mature more as a person, to handle rejection in life. Because come on. I am getting tired of cliche novels where the popular hot guy ACTUALLY goes for the short nerdy girl. Rejection is much more realistic in life. And as aforementioned much better for character development in a novel. 😀

DID I MENTION THIS IS FOR LISA YEE FANS BUT MORE IF YOU’RE KOREAN.

So 7.9 out of 10! (sorry I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to give this a 7 or 8 so I settled with a 7 but still felt guilty and put a .9 to make my rating verrry close to 8- hehee) This novel is a bit more on the short side but still sweet. No sequel, so you don’t have to worry about a series commitment once you start this book. If you are looking for a funny simple read then this is the book to go for. ENJOY! ❤

{Book Review} Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee

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Details
Title: Under a Painted Sky
Authors: Stacey Lee
Genre: Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Western, Romance
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers (March 17, 2015)
Age Range: 12+
Pages: 384 (Hardcover)
Buy at: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository | Google Play | iBooks


8/10

Missouri 1849, Samantha’s life and plans are interrupted and terribly diverted after a series of misfortunes occur. Annamae, a slave, helps Samantha run away, both disguised as the boys Sammy and Andy. Their adventure on the trail brings them closer together as friends, and they also discover new friends in a group of cowboys also traveling to California. Stacey Lee’s debut novel is a beautiful historical fiction for all that shows the beauty of friendship.

I normally don’t read a lot of historical fiction, but after reading this novel, it’s so good that I am looking forward to more novels like these on shelves at the library.

For one thing, I love the diversity. Samantha and Annamae make lots of references to their diverse pasts. For Samantha, she often thinks back to her Chinese roots, and Andy shares tidbits out of her life as a slave and is very religious. Historically, it doesn’t provide much, but it’s the character’s pasts provide the authenticity.

The novel discreetly addresses issues of that age and today’s age about race, and sex. The whole reason Samantha has to run away is because she knows that the law won’t be fair to her as a Chinese girl. And on the trail, Samantha and Annamae attract a lot of attention just being Chinese and Black, so it’s better when they travel around as boys.

“Does killing a man who tried to rape me count as murder? For me, it probably does. The law in Missouri in this year of our Lord 1849 does not sympathize with a Chinaman’s daughter.”

“You miss being a girl?” I ask her. “Not as much as I thought I would. Just feels like when I’m being a boy, I can cut a wider path.”

“I don’t understand the constant need to prove one’s manhood, as if it is always on the verge of slipping away. We never need to prove our womanhood.”

I also relate a lot to Samantha’s musical roots because I play the clarinet. It’s fun to read about a character that feels music move and affect them in such a beautiful way. Also, many beautiful and wacky scenes in this novel come around while Samantha is playing her violin.

“My father said that artists see the worl differently than nomal people. I see a tree where you might see a collection of lines, shapes, and shadows.”

“My showmanship only comes out when I hold the violin—with Lady Tin-Yin in my arms, I don’t care who watches. A peace comes over me, something I call my violin calm.”

Characters like Samantha and Annamae stand out, but some later characters that come in lack a lot of color and interest which is why I gave this book an 8/10. The character that Samantha falls in love with later (yes there’s romance) is just a bland quiet poop head. (sorry I don’t like him but maybe you will D: )Samantha and Annamae are strong independent characters whom I thought didn’t need any of the romance in this novel.

I recommend this novel for everyone, especially for girls, because its speaks out in volumes about female empowerment using characters like Samantha and Annamae. What’s even more awesome is that even though there’s not a lot of gold diggin’ in this novel, I feel like I dug myself a precious little nugget discovering this novel at my library. This book is surprisingly not very well known but it’s still one of the best quality reads.

Happy Valentines Day! I hope you guys recently fell in love with a book just like I did with this novel! 😀 ❤

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{Book Review} Delirium by Lauren Oliver

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Details
Title: Delirium
Authors: Lauren Oliver
Series: Delirium Trilogy, Book 1
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: HarperCollins 2011
Age Range: 14+
Pages: 441 (paperback)
Buy at: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository | Google Play | iBooks


 

8/10

Everybody knows that love is a sickness, a disease. Lena is worried, because even though she hasn’t been infected, she is still uncured. Lena knows about delirium’s effects, she saw it first hand, the way it made her mother crazy and commit suicide. And that’s why Lena can’t wait for her procedure, in 95 days she will be love free.

I am so disappointed in myself that I did not pick up this book sooner! I kept seeing it on the shelf everywhere at the high school and middle school, and it was on my mental TBR checklist. Now that I have read this, I enjoyed it a lot! First of all, I love Lauren Oliver’s writing style! From start to finish is beautiful:

“I said, I prefer the ocean when it’s gray. Or not really gray. A pale, in-between color. It reminds me of waiting for something good to happen.”

Though the world that Lauren Oliver creates is so beautiful and creative, it’s her poetic writing that sealed the deal for me and this book.

I love the originality of this series and that the concept ACTUALLY makes sense. I tried to read The Program the other day and it was a terrible read for me. (I don’t really get how suicide becomes an epidemic) Love can be seen as a sickness, the way it can cause us to make irrational decisions, worry, and feel warm throughout suddenly. In this book, it’s unique how the characters find love when they are in a society that wants to eradicate it for all its bad traits.

The setting in this novel feels so real, I would like to quote Veronica Roth’s review from Good Reads where she states it perfectly:

“But with Delirium, I got the sense that it took place in an actual neighborhood, one that I could go and see, but with this looming sense of awfulness that is the fact that no one loves each other, no one can love each other. It’s just a few notches away from where we are– add a few dashes of government control and a “cure” for love and a few more rules/procedures/rituals and you have the world of Delirium. It does not feel like somewhere else; it feels like here.”

If this book was so perfect why did dock off 2 points? I felt that Lena and Alex’s romance draws away from Lena’s character. I always felt like Lena was a fuller character making decisions and taking chances by herself instead of relying on others. Cuz that’s just how kick ass she is.

If you were like me and have waited 5 long years and STILL haven’t read this book then why you still readin’ my blog. Get ya butt off your seat and drive to the nearest library and clear your weekend. This book is totally worth it.

If you have read this book, tell me how you feel! Did you enjoy this book as much as I did? Less? Comment below and lets talk!

{#TBT} Redwall Series by Brian Jacques

Hey guys new post series here! So every Thursday now, I am going to reintroduce a series I have read before. Enjoy!


 

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10/10

In this series, Brian Jacques breathes into life a fantasy about woodland creatures in a place of harmony and peace, Redwall Abby. However, over and over again a champion is needed to rise from the quiet ranks of gentle creatures, to join with other heroes to protect the Abby from evil vermin who wish to take advantage of the fortuitous Abby. His series is an epic saga of good versus evil, a war between the comical hungry rabbits, strong badgers, wise mice, funny talking moles and the evil conniving rats, weasels, and other dark creatures. His storytelling is a beautiful art for all, enjoyable at any age.

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No words can describe my feels for this series. I read these books in my middle school and elementary school years and I still get the feels when I see them on my shelf. :’) Everyone one has had “that series they began with” the ones where we really get started into book series and fangirling. ❤ This is mine! BTW Brian Jacques passed away in 2011, God bless his soul. May his work be ever celebrated for its uniqueness at bringing creatures to life in a way that nobody else can.

P.S. There is no order to the 2o+ books in this series, some people have tried to chronologically date the storyline, but the first official, official book is Redwall. I highly recommend you read that 1st if you are interested at all in reading this series.

Apology

Hey guys! Sorry I missed a weekly haul yesterday, I had a really bad fever that reached 103 degrees! (don’t worry it’s in Fahrenheit) I’m feeling a lot better right now, but there won’t be a weekly haul till next week 😦 For now you can just check out my newest book reviews Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon and Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson! I hope that you guys will enjoy these books as much as I do! ❤