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arielbissett

Ariel Bissett

Put up your hand if you like books. .. EXACTLY.

Currently reading

The Raven Boys
Maggie Stiefvater
Progress: 212/408 pages
The Miseducation of Cameron Post
Emily M. Danforth
Progress: 314/480 pages

The Tempest by William Shakespeare

The Tempest (Signet Classics) - Robert Langbaum, William Shakespeare

JUST NOT MY CUP OF TEA, IM AFRAID.

I've been looking forward to reading this play for a long time: one of the main characters is named Ariel and she's a fairy! Unfortunately, I just didn't take much away from it. I felt like the exciting plot had come before this play and that the plot during the play was not exciting or interesting. The characters felt very flat and uninteresting, that the comedy was not personally funny, that the lead was not someone I liked at all, and that the romance was really random. 

This was the first time in a long time that I've read a Shakespeare on my own however, so it was fun to listen to an audio version on speakthespeech and read along. I definitely want to do it more often.

The Realm of Possibilities by David Levithan

The Realm of Possibility - David Levithan

Being a teenager is such a time of possibility. You can completely change your philosophy on life every other day and no one will care. In The Realm of Possibility, David Levithan presents 20 different poems, from 20 different characters, all illustrating the different problems and thoughts that teenagers have.

This is not the kind of book I would pick up.. I'm just not one for poetry! But this was a gift from a friend (Thanks Jacob!) and I'm really glad that I read something so different. I really felt some of the poems, related to them, learned something from them. Its always really important to look at different perspectives, and this book emphasized that.

Why not five stars? Poetry is just not my thing, peeps. I did enjoy a bunch of the poems, but I also found a lot of them boring and sometimes even pretentious. 

My Favourite Poems From This Collection (in order):
1) My girlfriend is in love with Holden Caulfield
2) Gospel
3) The Patron Saint of Stoners
4) Writing
5) Your Sister
6) Suburban Myths

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Sir Gawain and The Green Knight - Unknown, Keith Harrison, Helen  Cooper

This was great! This my first time reading a novel-sized poem, and i just soaked it up! 

Truthfully, I don't hVe much to say: this was really fun and interesting to read, I really want to read more things like it, it felt awesome reading a medieval story that as WRITTEN in medieval times, I read the entire thing out loud to myself, and I recommend that you all pick this up and do the same! Hallelujah!

Fallout by Todd Strasser

Fallout - Todd Strasser

This was such a fascinating read!

I have always loved history - I took 3 history classes in my final year of high school even though none of them were required! It's so interesting to me to see the decisions our ancestors have made and how they affected their own society and then ours. This book felt like a really interesting and quick history lesson; an insight into something new and important. 


The Cold War period was a scary one. The constant threat of mutually-assured destruction left people living in fear and doubt. This book felt like I was dropped right into the minds of the people during this period and then let me know how they felt and what they were thinking. 

I couldn't give it 5 stars because it did feel lacking in plot: I found it super compelling, but definitely not because of it's story which could feel lacking at times. I also wish there had maybe been one or two more chapters at the end. All that being said though, I enjoyed this book very much and would recommend it!

Ask the Passengers by A.S. King

Ask the Passengers - A.S. King

So, here's the thing. I finished this book yesterday and I just couldn't tell you guys because IT WAS SO GREAT I CAN'T THINK OF HOW TO EXPLAIN HOW GREAT IT IS. I WILL be doing a video review about it with more thoughts, but here's some current thinkings:

1) A.S. King writes some of my favourite main characters of all time. Characters that I genuinely love and want to hold hands with and hug and talk with.

2) Her use of magical realism is stunning and powerful and I want to write something with magical realism now because MAH.

3) A.S. King can be really brutal sometimes and I'm so appreciative.

4) I love that EVERY. SINGLE. CHARACTER. has flaws and serious flaws and flaws they don't get over but flaws that certain people can accept.

<3

Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Just One Day - Gayle Forman

Just One Day blew my mind. It took me all over the world and blew my mind.

I have recently been craving this book, CRAVING IT LIKE TURKEY DINNER TWO DAYS BEFORE THANKSGIVING, and I received it for my birthday! I dove right in.. and then kept swimming, and didn't stop for a breath until I finished this beautiful beautiful book.

I HAVE A LOT OF THINGS TO TALK ABOUT, SO LET'S GO:

Format: I loved the format of this book so very much. Almost the first half of his book takes place over just one day: the whirlwind adventure and romance of Allyson and Willem. The second part of the book then covered an entire year. It was really impactful having such a huge part being such a short amount of time, because after Part One as a reader I felt what Allyson felt: SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED AND IT'S ONLY BEEN A DAY! It felt like an entire novel all on its own! Then we fly through an entire year.. it really illustrated how important a day can be.

Characters: There were actually a lot of characters in this book, and they all felt so genuine and critical! I loved that we interacted with so many different people and that even if their impact on Allyson's life was small, it was felt. I really liked Allyson as a main character: if other authors had written her she might have actually gotten annoying, but Gayle Forman wrote her in a way that I always felt like Allyson was on the edge of understanding and that she really wanted to figure it out even if she didn't know how. I felt hope for her. And as for Willem, it's fascinating that we really don't know that much about him. It reminds me of Looking for Alaska, where when Alaska disappears you long for her but you then realize that you really know nothing about her! I felt the same here: I wanted Allyson to find Willem, and I felt attached to him, but really I didn't know him at all!

Settings: Like eating all of the desserts. All of them. I love reading about different cultures and different settings, and this book did NOT disappoint. MOST of the book took place in Paris, which was gorgeous and lush and grimy and glorious, but we also visited London, Avon-Upon-Stratford, Amsterdam, and near-Boston. So many places where I actually felt like I was IN the places, not just looking at them. I was so absorbed in the surroundings that I was constantly immersed in other countries.

Writing: It was nice! To be truthful, I didn't notice it very much WHICH IS TOTALLY OKAY. In my opinion there are basically three types of writing: writing you notice because it's particularly beautiful, writing you notice because it's particularly terrible, and writing you don't really notice because it's simply delivering a story to you. I felt the latter in this book. I really enjoyed the story that Gayle Forman created, I loved the characters, the emotion, the drama, the settings, the messages and themes and morals, but I wasn't swooning over beautifully crafted sentences. I just didn't notice them because I was so busy being alive in the story!

The message: The messages in this book are brilliant brilliant brilliant. So many things that I related to, that I felt I learned, that I agreed with. That travel is important, that we can be different versions of ourselves, that life is just a chain of accidents, that we need to control where we go in life, that we should never give up, and so many more things! Just BRILLIANT.

I loved this book. It is absolutely one of my favourite novels of all time. I know that I will be constantly rereading this novel for the rest of my life. My only complaint is that it made me realize that I need to visit Europe.. SOON. I am so excited for the sequel that comes out in a matter of days (thank goodness because I can't wait too much longer!) and I will definitely be doing an entire video about these two books.

The Metamorphosis

The Metamorphosis - Franz Kafka, Stanley Corngold

Basically, I found this boring. I didn't hate it, but I didn't feel that I took anything away from it either. And that's the bottom line: I need help with this novella. I need a teacher (or sparksotes) to help me understand the symbolisms and meanings. I think theire could be interesting things in here, but on my own I missed them. I'll be doing some research!

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel - Neil Gaiman

So much to say! Mainly, my biggest point, is that I listened ot this as an audiobook.. My first audiobook listening experience EVER. AND I LOVED IT. For the #booktubeathon, it maybe wasn't the best thing for speed reading, because one thing I've learned about audiobooks is that you can't rush them. It's not always possible to read the audiobook (especially because I don't have headphones so I had to be on my own to listen to it), and you have to surrender to the time the audiobook is and just afcept that that is the time you will spend on it it. That being said, I loved listening to it. It was fun and different and relaxing.

On the actual book: Neil Gaiman was perfect for the narration. It makes the most sense to me that the author reads the book,.. Especially when the author has a beautiful and rich British accent. He knew where to accent words and when to stress things. This was my first Neil Gaiman book, and it will not be my last. His writing is gorgeous and has such depth, and his story was so magical and fantastical. 

I would give this book closer to a 4.5 stars, but the audiobook version and the excitement of being introduced to this brilliant author knocks it up to 5 :)

The Old Man and the Sea

The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway

It was okay. I liked the calming prose, and the simplicity with which Hemingway writes, but the novella really didn't compel me! I'm glad to have read it, though.

Revival

Revival, Vol. 1: You're Among Friends - Mark Englert, Mike Norton, Tim Seeley

It was interesting to read in a comic book style, the concept behind the story was interesting, I was intrigued by the characters and I liked that the book skipped between multiple perspectives.. HOWEVER, I didn't like how graphic the book became, I thougth the story didn't really have good direction or momentum, and that the characters weren't developed enough.

I wont be rushing out to get the next volume, let's just say.

Bakuman Vol. 1

Bakuman Volume 01 - Tsugumi Ohba

I LOVED THIS! 

I have slowly been easing into the world of Anime, and so logically (as I am a person who enjoys reading) I have just barely touched into Manga, and so honestly, I can't really judge Manga. This is the second Manga I've read. I have no base for comparison, I don't have enough experience to make an educated review.. HOWEVER, I do know how I felt about it personally, so that's what I'll talk about.

I liked that this was manga without magic or supernatural events (I thought they all had paranormal elements!), and that the characters are going through real life issues. I liked that this is a Manga about Manga - I loved learning more about the Manga world and culture! I loved how ridiculous this got at times.. some of the scenarios where really exaggerated and impossible, but they were fun! 

There were a few messages in the manga that I didn't agree with (for example, multiple different characters kept saying that super smart people are unlovable) but I took it all with a grain of salt. This is from a different culture and it's just a fun story. 

I can not wait to pick up the next volume, and to eventually pick up Death Note which is from the same two "geniuses" ! ;)

The Light Between Oceans

The Light Between Oceans: A Novel - ML Stedman

This was a really beautiful book. The thing that took my breath away the most was the scenery and tone. It was just gorgeous. It felt relaxing and pleasant; the cold Australian beaches were so rich and calming. Technically, I took a long time to read this book. But it didn't feel that way. It felt like I was taking my time,.. this book and I were enjoying each other.

However, the drama was another story. It was stressful and worrisome, which made a very interesting dynamic. I read this with my friend Jesse* and we had such fun discussing it. We talked about really minute details, about how we thought the plot would develop, about how we HOPED the plot would develop, and would judge character decisions. This book is about a decision, how one decision can be so pivotal, and we had a good time discussing our opinions.

This is not the type of book I would recommend to everyone, though. It was very slow paced, and I think some people might find it at times a bit infuriating. I feel like this is the type of book you just have to take your time with. 

I also want to add, to people who HAVE read this, that although I fully accept the ending, I was hoping for a different one.


*Great guy! Check him out! youtube.com/jessethereader

Room

Room - Emma Donoghue

Room really took me by surprise. I'd heard great things, yes, but for some reason I didn't think it sounded like the type of story I would personally really enjoy. I found the audiobook of this at my library and decided to try it out - and boy am I glad I did.

A note on the audiobook: the audiobook (produced by Hachette) is read by a five year old. A FIVE YEAR OLD. It put everything into such perspective. There was no escaping the narrator, no escaping the truth that you had a boy who had grown from conception to five-years-old in one room. His voice was strong and innocent and perceptive. I really liked Jack, and actually being able to hear him was very powerful. It was also a full-cast audio (which means every character has a different voice) which made the listening experience really brilliant.

On the narrative: Bah! I loved it! I thought, originally, that the setting would be the room for 95% of the time,.. but it wasn't! WHICH WAS GREAT. I mean, a big and considerable part of the book was in the room, which made sense and put it in your face the realities of their situation, but I was so glad that we saw the aftermath. And it was ugly. A lot of this book was ugly. And I really appreciated that. 

I definitely recommend this book. It's very powerful and almost scary, but in a smart way. AND IF YOU CAN, LISTEN TO THE AUDIO VERSION!

PS; I think it has to be put here. This is the first book to ever make me cry. And it did so while I was walking my dog. On a public road. While passing by houses. And I didn't even care, because boy did I feel this book and boy did I enjoy it.

Room - Emma Donoghue A 4.5 - a brilliant novel.Room really took me by surprise. I'd heard great things, yes, but for some reason I didn't think it sounded like the type of story I would personally really enjoy. I found the audiobook of this at my library and decided to try it out - and boy am I glad I did.A note on the audiobook: the audiobook (produced by Hachette) is read by a five year old. A FIVE YEAR OLD. It put everything into such perspective. There was no escaping the narrator, no escaping the truth that you had a boy who had grown from conception to five-years-old in one room. His voice was strong and innocent and perceptive. I really liked Jack, and actually being able to hear him was very powerful. It was also a full-cast audio (which means every character has a different voice) which made the listening experience really brilliant.On the narrative: Bah! I loved it! I thought, originally, that the setting would be the room for 95% of the time,.. but it wasn't! WHICH WAS GREAT. I mean, a big and considerable part of the book was in the room, which made sense and put it in your face the realities of their situation, but I was so glad that we saw the aftermath. And it was ugly. A lot of this book was ugly. And I really appreciated that. I definitely recommend this book. It's very powerful and almost scary, but in a smart way. AND IF YOU CAN, LISTEN TO THE AUDIO VERSION!PS; I think it has to be put here. This is the first book to ever make me cry. And it did so while I was walking my dog. On a public road. While passing by houses. And I didn't even care, because boy did I feel this book and boy did I enjoy it.
The Light Between Oceans: A Novel - M.L. Stedman This was a really beautiful book. The thing that took my breath away the most was the scenery and tone. It was just gorgeous. It felt relaxing and pleasant; the cold Australian beaches were so rich and calming. Technically, I took a long time to read this book. But it didn't feel that way. It felt like I was taking my time,.. this book and I were enjoying each other.However, the drama was another story. It was stressful and worrisome, which made a very interesting dynamic. I read this with my friend Jesse* and we had such fun discussing it. We talked about really minute details, about how we thought the plot would develop, about how we HOPED the plot would develop, and would judge character decisions. This book is about a decision, how one decision can be so pivotal, and we had a good time discussing our opinions.This is not the type of book I would recommend to everyone, though. It was very slow paced, and I think some people might find it at times a bit infuriating. I feel like this is the type of book you just have to take your time with. I also want to add, to people who HAVE read this, that although I fully accept the ending, I was hoping for a different one.*Great guy! Check him out! youtube.com/jessethereader
Bakuman Volume 01 - Tsugumi Ohba I LOVED THIS! I have slowly been easing into the world of Anime, and so logically (as I am a person who enjoys reading) I have just barely touched into Manga, and so honestly, I can't really judge Manga. This is the second Manga I've read. I have no base for comparison, I don't have enough experience to make an educated review.. HOWEVER, I do know how I felt about it personally, so that's what I'll talk about.I liked that this was manga without magic or supernatural events (I thought they all had paranormal elements!), and that the characters are going through real life issues. I liked that this is a Manga about Manga - I loved learning more about the Manga world and culture! I loved how ridiculous this got at times.. some of the scenarios where really exaggerated and impossible, but they were fun! There were a few messages in the manga that I didn't agree with (for example, multiple different characters kept saying that super smart people are unlovable) but I took it all with a grain of salt. This is from a different culture and it's just a fun story. I can not wait to pick up the next volume, and to eventually pick up Death Note which is from the same two "geniuses" ! ;)