Monday, January 9, 2017

"You never really know a man"

My reading goal this semester was to read 15 books and I have achieved that goal. I just finished reading the fourth book in the Throne of Glass series making that my 15th book. I read 30 minutes most nights to reach this goal and although I have finished my English course for this year, I set another goal for the second semester to read 20 books. If I continue to read as I have, I can reach that goal.

My AP reading for this semester was To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. It's in the perspective of a girl named Jean Louise, called Scout by everyone. Her father, Atticus Finch, is a lawyer and defends a black man, Tom Robinson,  in court accused of raping a white woman. At this time, 1933-1935, people are not very fond of colored people and so this is a very hard case to fight. Atticus believes this man is innocent and decides to defend him even though his neighbors and people around him criticize him for it.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Arthur Radley, or as the kids like to call him Boo, lives in the house across the street from Scout and her family. Everyone in town fears him telling rumors about him. Scout, her older brother, Jem and their friend Dill, are especially interested in him. They try to get him out of his house and ask around about him since they have never seen him. As the story progresses, you learn that Arthur is not as the rumors says about him and is actually a really nice person. I feel like this was a smaller representation of what was actually going on in the trial. Everyone feared Arthur because of his appearance and what society said about him. Near the end of the novel, Scout realizes what her father was trying to tell her and thinks to herself that "Atticus was right. One time he said you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them. Just standing on the Radley porch was enough"(pg 374).

I feel like this novel represented a lot of the problems with society at the time and it brought them to light. How colored people were treated badly because they were different and how people like Boo Radley and Atticus were able to overcome this and do what they thought was right.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Finding Yourself

My reading goal this semester is 15 books and so far I have read 12.  Since I am almost finished with the goal, I decided to change it and go as far to read 20 books. I may not finish but since the winter break is coming up, I will try to read more books. I still try to read at least 30 minutes or 25 pages a night which gets me closer to my new reading goal.
Looking For Alaska by John Green

Right now, I am currently reading a novel called Looking for Alaska by John Green. It's about a teenage boy named Miles, known by his friends as Pudge, that goes to boarding school and meets a girl by the name of Alaska, yes as in the state. She teaches him new things and gives him a different outlook of the world. Looking for Alaska deals with "issues of friendship, self discovery, and loss." The title is meant to be Miles finding out who Alaska really is and how she became the way she is.

Miles is a quiet, reserved, boy who isn't really sociable. He arrives at the boarding school and meets Alaska, the exact opposite of himself. She teaches him to open up more and brings out the other side of him. My favorite quote from this book was "It always shocked me when I realized that I wasn't the only person in the world who thought and felt such strange and awful things"(118). Since Miles was never close to anyone as much, he never shared his inner thoughts but when he finally did, he realized that he wasn't alone. I feel the same way when I am with people that I really care about because you may feel as if no one understands you and that you are alone but when you open up to others, surprisingly they may be thinking the same thing.

 I feel like a lot of people can relate to this book because not everyone is outward and outgoing but when they find that one person who bring out the true side of them, they see the world in a different way. Throughout the story Miles discovers who he really is and how to express it towards others.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Munnies

    I am currently reading my ninth book. My reading goal is to read 15 books so I am more than half way through. I read 30 minutes each night which is about 20 pages. So far this nine weeks I have finished two books (822 pages).

The Death Cure By James Dashner
 The Death Cure by James Dashner is the third book in the Maze Runner series and it revolves around a teenage boy named Thomas on his journey to save the world. *Spoilers Ahead* It takes place in the future, where the earth is destroyed by sun flares. This caused a disease called the flare and it takes ahold of your brain and makes you go crazy little by little until it comes to the point where you mistake fellow humans for food. Among these people are some Immune or the "munnies" as the people like to call them. The people hate the Immune out of jealousy that they cannot get the disease. An organization called WICKED has taken all of the Immune and put them in a trial of mazes and tests to study their brain patterns to develop a cure. Thomas and his friends, Minho, Newt, Teresa, Brenda and Jorge, are all Immunes
who are trying to stop WICKED from taking anymore of them  and trying to rescue the ones that are already trapped in the maze. Along with an organization called "The Right Arm", they develop a plan to take them out once and for all.

One part that really struck out to me was when they go to a place called Crank Palace where the government holds people who are infected with the virus. They pass many people in there and described one, "a ravaged-looking man, his clothes torn, his hair matted with black goo, skin covered in rashes" as he was beating up a teenage boy. This was really interesting because I thought to myself that these were normal people once who were going about their normal lives. Then suddenly one unfortunate event comes and ruins everything they had ever known. It turned normal people into savages. The disease makes you go crazy and I just thought how it was possible that one disease was able to destroy all of civilization.

My favorite character from this book was Newt. He is a little older than Thomas with long shaggy blond hair and a thick British accent. He is a strong, caring person who would sacrifices anything for the good of his friends. His best friends are Minho and Thomas and he was one of the very first people to enter the maze. He is my favorite character because he is really brave and he is always there to get his friends out of trouble.

I liked this book but I also felt it had a lot of plot holes in it. It skipped around a lot not really explaining a point in detail. I also felt like the book went by too fast and it didn't really resolve anything in the end. At the end it say "Brenda gave a smirk and Thomas eyed her with suspicion" but it doesn't go into anymore detail than that. The book, to me, could have been more thought out or should have had a fourth book added to it to explain it more. Other than that, I enjoyed reading this book and continuing on this series after I abandoned it a long time ago.


Thursday, October 6, 2016

Tales of the Poor

The nonfiction book I have chosen is called The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. The story takes place in the 1960's to 2005 and it is a memoir about her dysfunctional family who lived in poverty. Her mother was a free spirit who was an "artist" but
The Glass Castle
never sold any of her paintings. She was not capable of taking care of a family. Her father, on the other hand, was really smart and taught the children everything they needed to know. But when he drank he was "dishonest and destructive." They were always on the run. Her parents were in debt so they never stayed in one place. They always took off in the middle of the night when they thought all the bills were catching up to them. Her family never stayed in one place for too long and her father always kept losing his job. Her parents never looked after their children so she and her brothers and sisters had to feed and clothe themselves. They learned to grow up by themselves. As they grew, their hatred towards their parents also grew. They reached great heights and lived a life of prosperity while their parents still lived in poverty. The children took their poverty as a way to do better and help themselves to a higher level.  They helped each other out and they got somewhere without the support of their parents or money. *Spoiler Alert* In the end, it was revealed that the mother had land that was overlooked by the family which was worth millions. To think that all that time running and living in poverty they could have been rich and wealthy.

    I cannot relate to this story because I have been very privileged. My parents work hard to provide for me and I am very grateful. Even though I cannot relate to it, my dad can. He grew up in India with 8 brothers and sisters. My dad's family wasn't poor but they weren't rich either. They had to work for everything they got.  My dad's parents weren't really supportive either. But even through all that, my father studied hard and got to America. Even though he had little, he worked hard and got to where he is now.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Hannah Baker's Tapes

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher 
Going on from my reading goal, I have completed two books. I am currently reading The Crown by Kiera Cass. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher is one of the book that I just finished reading. It is about a high schooler named Clay Jenson who comes across a package at his front door. When he opens the package he finds tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, a girl he liked, who committed suicide. Hannah Baker was a really popular girl in school and very good in her class. Everyone wanted to be her friend. But she also had a lot of rumors that followed her. Although none of those were ever true, people still judged her for it. In the tapes she explains thirteen reasons why she killed herself. Each reason having to do with a certain person. *Spoiler Alert* Clay listens through the tapes and comes across his, reason number nine, to find out that he wasn't really supposed to be on their like everyone else. He was on there because Hannah liked him and she pushed him away. She wanted to say sorry to Clay. She was really popular and everyone was jealous. People made rumors about her, faked being her friend, used her and she couldn't handle it anymore. She lists all of the major people who used her in the tapes. Thirteen people. How these tapes worked was the first person on her list gets these set of tapes. He/She would listen to all of the tapes and pass them on to the next person that she mentions. Of course if you don't send it to the next person, all of the tapes will go public, as a person who is not on the list (who will be revealed later) has a second copy that he will release. Clay listening to the tapes but cannot comprehend what is happening. At the end of her tapes she says her final goodbyes to everyone on the list. She talks about how she forgives everyone for what they have done to her. She explains the way it happened and sums up what she did that day. I felt like at the end, Clay found closure and had time to move on from this incident. At the end it shows Clay running after another girl who could thinking about taking her life. This time Clay is determined to save her.

    This book can relate to real life situations. This brings awareness to real people that are dealing with suicide. One instance this happened was to my cousin's close friend. She became really depressed and had a lot of anxiety. She kept digging a hole for herself. Fortunately she reached out to her parents and explained her situation. She got help and she is currently at a 6-week rehab center recovering. When I heard about this I kept think of what would happen if Hannah had told someone, like her parents, teachers or even Clay. If she had reached out to someone, she could have been alive. This situation was very different from most suicide stories because Hannah killed herself because of her popularity. On the outside she seemed happy and seemed to have the perfect life but in reality she was very depressed and struggling to keep going with life. Overall I really liked this book because it was not your usually story and it helps you realize that anyone could be thinking about suicide, even the happiest people.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Welcome

Hi, my name is Chesna and welcome to my blog. My favorite hobby is to read and my reading goal is to read at least 15 books this school year. Currently my favorite book is Cinder by Marissa Meyer. It is a dystopian novel about a cyborg who tries to change the views of society about other cyborgs and stop the world from war. On my "To read next" list I have The Crown by Kiera Cass, Delirium by Lauren Oliver, and Hunger by Michael Grant. As you could guess from the books I have mentioned so far, my favorite genre is Dystopian. My goal is to read a book out of my current genre and try something else like historic of scientific fiction. I read 60 minutes and at least 50 pages each day to reach my reading goal. The AP books I will be reading this semester are To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and maybe Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut although I am sure not sure between that or Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger.  Lord of the flies by William Golding and The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls are also part of my required reading. I hope you enjoy this blog!