Reading Expectations Vs Reality

As you read you can never truly know what you will find in between the pages.

Novelizations

Expectation All the flaws of show/movie will be dealt with

Reality Most if not all of the flaws appear

Expectations Favorite characters will get chance to be centralized

Reality Characters I do not like are prominent

Expectation Story will dig deeper into underdeveloped parts

Reality Large boring filler parts

Reading Old Books

Expectation Discovering old books I never got chance to read

Reality Reaffirming why I never needed to read those books

Expectation Rediscovering old series I was into back then

Reality Realizing that most of these books are either bad or not of interest

Expectation Old books = cheap and easily accessible

Reality Hard to find and not cheap

Non-fiction

Expectations This is going to bring so much depth and information to this topic

Reality Spends chapter after chapter repeating stuff

Expectation Balanced conversation about topic

Reality Biased and unbalanced on topic

Expectation  Story is only going to be about subject nothing else

Reality  Author centers themself in story

 

What are some of your expectation vs reality you have noticed in your reading?

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Being A Y.A. Returner: Being Y.A. Returned

A while back I talked a bit about Being An Adult In Y.A./Being A Y.A. Returner so today I want to talk further into some observations about my y.a. reading.

Here are a couple of things that I have noticed about my young adult reading.

  • Own Voices/diverse books are the majority

A. Young adult is more diverse (or at least there is a community to push up the diversity happening)

B. Young adult that talks about so many different things that past y.a. did not

This could be a post in itself but I just enjoy so much about reading diverse books.

  • #1 Genre Read = Realistic Contemporary

Diverse books are mostly in the realistic contemporary genre (what I would give for a good fluffy contemporary). It will be interesting in 2018 with more genre expansion and particularly sff for diverse books how that will affect my reading.

  • Unknowns are my favorites

Most of the books I liked/loved I did not plan to read. On the opposite end some of the books I got really excited about I did not like or finish.

  • Mainstream ≠ me

A. Diverse books do not necessarily become mainstream (which actually sucks now that I am thinking on it).

B. It is a weird thing where I am into y.a. but not extremely into it. In the past I have described it as being a guest, coming into y.a. to read certain books then leaving out.

  • Nothing later than 2010’s or Future/Present YA is my realm

Anything not between 2015-17 seems to not be for me. Sometimes this can be awesome because everything I am reading is pretty new. On the other hand it can be annoying waiting on the newest book to come out.

Overall, I am just excited about being back. I did not expect after everything that I would be back but I am enjoying it.

Since it has been troublesome deciding what post to do next in this series I need your help.

Being An Adult In Y.A./Being A Y.A. Returner

  • Being conscious of that adultness.

There are a lot of discussions about how adults are taking over the young adult category. I am not going to get deep into my thoughts because it is a loaded conversation that needs its own entire post that I may write one day. Overall, it is a valid and needed conversation.

  • Adult listening to adults

A. I do not want to invade teens reading spaces.

I believe that I mostly follow adult y.a. readers which is probably because as a y.a. returner I have different expectations for the genre. Also, I feel kind of uncomfortable coming into a teens space.

B. Criticalness/Critique/Discussion

Part of the reason I am able to be a part of  the category is because of the discussions. I’m connected to people who discuss all the issues I have had with category since I left back in the day. Not to say that teens are not  part of these discussions but I think adults are mostly part of these discussions.

  • Past y.a. reader me

A. grew up with y.a.

Archie comics and Fear Street were the first books I really read.

B. having a blog/goodreads footprint of me with y.a.

I can look when I first read certain books and let go of y.a.

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  • Changes in y.a. then and now

A. Mass market paperback to mostly hardcover or trade paperback

B. Y.A. novels are bigger

C. More diversity

D. More voices hitting mainstream publishing  than before

Questions

If you are someone who has been around y.a. for a long time what are some things you have noticed change about the genre? How do you feel about the whole adults in y.a. discussion? What are some things you have noticed since more adults have come into the category?

#Diverseathon Wrapup: Comics & Picture Books

(Dates: Sept 12-19)

 

Sept.12

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This book (and most wordless books) force you to really look at the art. A lot of the time I look but am focused on reading the text so I miss a lot of things. I really appreciated the different art style and structure of the book.

It is in French I believe but it still lets you get an idea of how this book is structured.

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It is interesting that what this book is about is different from my interpretation.  I don’t want to spoil/warp someone else interpretation of the book so I can’t go into that aspect.  I did like it for the art and story.

Sept. 13

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I seriously need to read more books that deal with South American in general culture! I really liked the different art styles used for this picture book. Viva Frida helped me to learn more about Frida Kahlo, who I need to read a non-fiction book about soon.

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+You can really tell when there is a #ownvoices because it sounds authentic (I could  hear my cousin in the little boy character), Art,  all kinds of diversity background, creative, looking at beauty in your surroundings (especially in poor neighborhoods which you are told are ugly and etc all the time),  It has commentary/stuff that adults can get out of it too.

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+Art, creative story (this story stands out compared to other stories)

It has a sense of loss which makes it feel kind of sad. It is the viewpoint of someone who is older retelling a story basically saying I remember when.

I don’t like the heavy emphasis on the men of the  civil rights movement without any women being shown.

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+Art, thing we do to get through rough periods, depict depression/sad period because of point in life.

I like that it is bringing depression and sadness to a younger audience. We as a society don’t talk about sadness, depression, mental illness, and etc enough. There is so much put on strength=being emotionless/hiding or holding in emotions.

Sept 16

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I could tell what this one was about and I liked it. I like the commentary that came out of this.

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I liked its message about accepting yourself. It is also important to show a black girl being encouraged and beating the odds.

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The art is good but the story was o.k. I understood what was going on at the beginning but I started getting confused towards the middle. Of course I did not read what it was about before reading it. What is the fun of a wordless book if you know what is about before reading it?

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+Art, commentary on one child rule/Chinese culture

~On Wordless Picture Books and Graphic Novels

I don’t know if I like authors telling you what a story is about instead of letting you interpret it yourself. I can understand why many of these books explained because what the books are portraying kids (and many adults) may misunderstand what they are about.

Overall, I really enjoyed all the books I read. Most of them were creative and unique  which does not always happen with picture books. This makes me want to seek even more diversity in picture books than I already do.

Samples&Previews: Pre-Library Checkout {37}

Now that school is starting soon my attention span is tacking a dive. It is making it hard for me to finish books because I have no desire to read the books from the library. So I decided to sample a bunch of books.

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A literary fantasy about love, music and sorcery, set against the background of Mexico City.

Mexico City, 1988: Long before iTunes or MP3s, you said “I love you” with a mixtape. Meche, awkward and fifteen, has two equally unhip friends — Sebastian and Daniela — and a whole lot of vinyl records to keep her company. When she discovers how to cast spells using music, the future looks brighter for the trio. With help from this newfound magic, the three friends will piece together their broken families, change their status as non-entities, and maybe even find love…

Mexico City, 2009: Two decades after abandoning the metropolis, Meche returns for her estranged father’s funeral. It’s hard enough to cope with her family, but then she runs into Sebastian, and it revives memories from her childhood she thought she buried a long time ago. What really happened back then? What precipitated the bitter falling out with her father? And, is there any magic left?

[ chapters 1 and a bit of 2]

Cons From the first sentence I did not like the main character or the story, the music aspect of the novel seems gimmicky

DNF

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With the scope of Dune and the commercial action of Independence Day, Three-Body Problem is the first chance for English-speaking readers to experience this multiple-award-winning phenomenon from  China’s most beloved science fiction author, Liu Cixin.

Set against the backdrop of China’s Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth. Meanwhile, on Earth, different camps start forming, planning to either welcome the superior beings and help them take over a world seen as corrupt, or to fight against the invasion. The result is a science fiction masterpiece of enormous scope and vision.

[3 chapters]

Pros  learning about Chinese history, beginning is strong, main character and her history

Cons it feels like a slow burn

I do worry about how sci-fi this is going to get. If I am going to read a slow burn book I need to like the slow bits which I do.  I like learning about the Chinese history and about the main character so this is a continue definitely.

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It’s undeniable—technology is changing the way we think. But is it for the better? Amid a chorus of doomsayers, Clive Thompson delivers a resounding “yes.” The Internet age has produced a radical new style of human intelligence, worthy of both celebration and analysis. We learn more and retain it longer, write and think with global audiences, and even gain an ESP-like awareness of the world around us. Modern technology is making us smarter, better connected, and often deeper—both as individuals and as a society.

In Smarter Than You Think Thompson shows that every technological innovation—from the written word to the printing press to the telegraph—has provoked the very same anxieties that plague us today. We panic that life will never be the same, that our attentions are eroding, that culture is being trivialized. But as in the past, we adapt—learning to use the new and retaining what’s good of the old.

Thompson introduces us to a cast of extraordinary characters who augment their minds in inventive ways. There’s the seventy-six-year old millionaire who digitally records his every waking moment—giving him instant recall of the events and ideas of his life, even going back decades. There’s a group of courageous Chinese students who mounted an online movement that shut down a $1.6 billion toxic copper plant. There are experts and there are amateurs, including a global set of gamers who took a puzzle that had baffled HIV scientists for a decade—and solved it collaboratively in only one month.

Smarter Than You Think isn’t just about pioneers. It’s about everyday users of technology and how our digital tools—from Google to Twitter to Facebook and smartphones—are giving us new ways to learn, talk, and share our ideas. Thompson harnesses the latest discoveries in social science to explore how digital technology taps into our long-standing habits of mind—pushing them in powerful new directions. Our thinking will continue to evolve as newer tools enter our lives. Smarter Than You Think embraces and extols this transformation, presenting an exciting vision of the present and the future.

[2 chapters]

Reading books like this makes me realize how intellectually unstimulated I am in many ways. To learn things and talk about things critically is interesting to me.

Young Adult Fiction
I know ya and me are supposed to have parted ways but here were are.
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Cassandra Clare meets Caribbean legend in SHADOWSHAPER, an action-packed urban fantasy from a bold new talent.

Sierra Santiago was looking forward to a fun summer of making art, hanging out with her friends, and skating around Brooklyn. But then a weird zombie guy crashes the first party of the season. Sierra’s near-comatose abuelo begins to say “No importa” over and over. And when the graffiti murals in Bed-Stuy start to weep…. Well, something stranger than the usual New York mayhem is going on.

Sierra soon discovers a supernatural order called the Shadowshapers, who connect with spirits via paintings, music, and stories. Her grandfather once shared the order’s secrets with an anthropologist, Dr. Jonathan Wick, who turned the Caribbean magic to his own foul ends. Now Wick wants to become the ultimate Shadowshaper by killing all the others, one by one. With the help of her friends and the hot graffiti artist Robbie, Sierra must dodge Wick’s supernatural creations, harness her own Shadowshaping abilities, and save her family’s past, present, and future.

Pros
Setting, how the main character is described, family dynamic feels interesting and different.
Cons
Something is stopping me from full investment.
DNF
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Black Swan meets Pretty Little Liars in this soapy, drama-packed novel featuring diverse characters who will do anything to be the prima at their elite ballet school.

Gigi, Bette, and June, three top students at an exclusive Manhattan ballet school, have seen their fair share of drama. Free-spirited new girl Gigi just wants to dance—but the very act might kill her. Privileged New Yorker Bette’s desire to escape the shadow of her ballet star sister brings out a dangerous edge in her. And perfectionist June needs to land a lead role this year or her controlling mother will put an end to her dancing dreams forever. When every dancer is both friend and foe, the girls will sacrifice, manipulate, and backstab to be the best of the best.

Pros mentions the racism in the ballet community, racially diverse cast (black, Asian, and white main characters)
Cons  There does not seem to be a break from the drama, has some annoying ya stuff poking out that I can see getting on my nerves later
Pro/Con I’m on the fence on Gigi’s portrayal. On one hand I am happy to see a black girl character be allowed to be a bit naïve but on the other hand her naiveté is more than likely going to get on my nerves. I want her to keep her morals and stay innocent while still being self-aware. I think that the characters overall are not going to get that fleshed out to be honest.  DNF
Discussion

A Few Things Technology Is Benefiting Me As A Reader

This is based on Smarter Than You Think

-Connecting:
It is connecting me to so many books and authors I would never hear about before. There are a bunch of books that fail because people just don’t know they exist. That is why it bothers me that I see the same books being shown over and over again.
-Self-publishing
Gatekeeping is a very big problem in the publishing industry. So many voices that people actually want to hear are not let in. For example, interracial romance is rarely seen in the mainstream publishing industry. If I see a book advertisement about romance it is very rare to see a black woman included in anything. In general honestly I am fatigued by the whiteness of the publishing industry.

[all images and synopsis are from goodreads]

TTT: Book Related Problems I Have

I  have decided to take a break from reading because of all these problems so this came at a perfect time for me rant.

1. Lack of diversity!

It is bothersome (irritating, annoying, and exhausting could be used too) to have to look for diversity whenever I want to read in a genre. Then there are some genres that I don’t have that book I specifically want. I want to see characters who are dimensional and diverse. I want their stories to not be stuck in a certain time period when they were really oppressed. I just want them to have fun moments and do awesome things.

2. Lukewarm/Ok/ I’m just not that into you books

Ugh, save me from books that start off good then turn sour 50% into a book. Save me from books that have goodness in them but I just am not that into them. I don’t want to feel the grips of disappointment or want a book to hurry up so bad because I’m just not into it. Please  let me find books that while not perfect keeps my interest and excites.

3. So many books in my books left to read and so much lack of want to read them

Well, at least I don’t hate them this year like last year. I do not believe I ever published any of  drafts about how much I just hated my books left to read books from last year but I seriously did. It came around the time I was supposed to sit and read the books I own instead of going to the library.

4. So many of my favorite authors have disappointed me last year

The most books on my shelf are by a person who disappointed me twice recently with their books, Stephen King. All the authors on my shelf who are were/are my favorites have disappointed me so I’m stuck. I can’t move forward with their books because I can’t handle the disappointment of another one of their books. If I pick up another eh/ok/not exciting books I feel I will DNF every books by them.

5.  Sci-fi/Fantasy why you never have any action?

Seriously, I should not pick up a bunch of sci-fi and fantasy books that have no amount of action in them. I used to not get why people read certain middle grade/ya books before adult books. This is a case that even though I have a hard to time doing it I can understand why other people can do it in a heartbeat. At the very least most of them have action and adventure. Save me from any book that is so literary that it can’t have an interesting story. Especially, save me from the sci-fi/fantasy book that is so literary that isn’t an interesting story and on top of that no action/adventure.

6. I kind of miss my public library.

My school library is not bad but it is different from my public library. I will do a post later on this because it seems like it will be fun to compare the two.

7. Romance I want to get back into you but you have problems.

You suffer from the problems that so many other genres that I read have: lack of diversity (can I just have a good teen/adult interracial romance please) and characters who are not stock characters to name a few. I missed last weeks top ten Tuesday it would have been right up my alley. I might post later a top ten Tuesday about the problems I have with the romance genre. I just want romance/chick lit to do better. Mini-rant: Why does my school library not have romance books? It has sci-fi, fantasy, mystery, etc but nope to romance. Oh, it has ya romance and an entire young adult section though.

8. Where is the creativity?

I really felt it last year the lack of interesting characters and stories. Everyone seems to be writing the same story the same way. Everyone is interested in new books and authors I just can’t muster the excitement because I just know it is going to be about the same characters doing the same things. Everyone wants to be a writer now but wants to create the same stories.

9. Too many books not enough space

My books are overflowing into boxes so that they are not sitting in the middle of my floor. I only have two bookshelves: one is for my books I finished and want to keep the other is for books left to read. If I could a library room that would so awesome. But sadly with the way I’m feeling about books I wouldn’t be able to enjoy it.

10. My Expectations/Lost Faith In Books

People have told me that my expectations are high looking at the vast amount of books I DNF last year. It is a sad reality to have to feel that wanting to simply like a book is too much.  I want to have that excitement of being so into a book that I can’t wait to read it. I keep seeing people on my tumblr posting memes of how they love a good book that keeps them up at night. I’m just like what book have I read lately that has me so into it that I would stay up at night to finish it? All the books that had me at that point lost my interest by 50%.  I know part of it is I’m waking up to so many issues in society and publishing. Definitely, a couple of those would be the lack of diversity and how women are portrayed in books. I’m not into acting like my lack of interest is a personal problem anymore. How many time can I say that my interest is lacking in the book? It is hard to pick up books when I know that I have a 90% chance of not liking it.

Basically, I’m at the point of not even getting that mad anymore I may get into random rant mode a bit but my heart is starting to not be in it. I’m at the point of stop reading and doing other things. That is why you haven’t seen any posts by me in 13 days. I’ve been reading but eh. It is kind a sucks to create a blog about my challenge to read the books on my books left to read list and have trouble reading them. I hope that when I comeback things will be better. On a positive note that means I can give time to my other hobbies like I made a resolution to do.