August 28, 2009

The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Date Started: August 24, 2009/Date Finished: August 28, 2009

Summary: Charlie is writing letters to an unknown person. He's afraid of starting high school. Soon he meets two friends, Sam and Patrick, and learns to grow up. After a while, a repressed memory of his Aunt Helen reminds him of something tragic that happened to him as a child.

Likes: The writing is solid and enjoyable. It's short and to the point and I can imagine the characters very clearly in my head. The story takes place in the early 90's and some of the things they are discussing are nostalgic of the time. Some of the characters don't have names but the people that are important to Charlie are mentioned. It's a fun read to see what kind of trouble Charlie and his friends get into. It's also interesting to read about his panic attacks. He's an odd character, the type of guy who would kick ass and cry about it afterward. He feels like a real character with quirks and flaws.

Dislikes: The ending was strange, it wasn't good or bad, or even surprising, but just odd. It didn't sound like it was leading up to that. I guess I need some more hints, though in retrospect, I guess they were there all along, but since you don't know why he's dwelling on certain things.

Overall: I like the writing. It inspired me to write some bonus stories in this format, it's a really good way to get into a characters head. =)

Book Reading List

Reading  List (continuously updated)

This is broken up into Authors with more than five books that are not in a series, Series, and Standalone books, or books that are in a series that I have already read, but not finished.

Authors(with more than 5 standalone books to read)
  1. Haruki Murakami (1/12)
    1. Hear the Wind Sing by Haruki Murakami
    2. Pinball, 1973 by Haruki Murakami
    3. A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami
    4. Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami
    5. Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
    6. Dance Dance Dance by Haruki Murakami
    7. South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami
    8. The Wind Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
    9. Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami
    10. Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
    11. After Dark by Haruki Murakami
    12. 1Q84 Haruki Murakami
  2. Kazuo Ishiguro (0/6)
    1. An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro
    2. The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
    3. The Unconsoled by Kazuo Ishiguro
    4. When We Were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro
    5. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
    6. Nocturnes by Kazuo Ishiguro
    7. A Pale View of Hills by Kazuo Ishiguro
  3. Julia Alvarez (0/7)
    1. How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez
    2. In the Time of Butterflies by Julia Alvarez
    3. Yo! by Julia Alvarez
    4. In the Name of Salome by Julia Alvarez
    5. The Secret Footprints by Julia Alvarez
    6. Before We Were Free by Julia Alvarez
    7. Finding Miracles by Julia Alvarez
  4. Ha Jin (0/5)
    1. In the Pond by Ha Jin
    2. Waiting by Ha Jin
    3. The Crazed by Ha Jin
    4. War Trash by Ha Jin
    5. A Free Life by Ha Jin
  5. Salman Rashdie (0/14)
    1. Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie
  6. Octavia Butler
  1. Perdido Street Station by China Mieville
  2. The Scar by China Mieville
  3. Iron Council by China Mieville 
  4. Octavian Nothing: Volume 1 by M.T. Anderson
  5. Octavian Nothing: Volume 2 by M.T. Anderson 
  6. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
  7. City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
  8. City of Glass by Cassandra Clare
  9. Fire Logic by Laurie J. Marks
  10. Earth Logic by Laurie J. Marks
  11. Water Logic by Laurie J. Marks
  12. Air Logic by Laurie J. Marks
  13. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
  14. Pretties by Scott Westerfeld
  15. Specials by Scott Westerfeld
  16. Extras by Scott Westerfeld
  17. Trickster's Choice by Tamora Pierce
  18. Trickster's Queen by Tamora Pierce
  19. Knife Edge by Malorie Blackman
  20. Check Mate by Malorie Blackman
  21. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya by Nagaru Tanigawa
  22. The Sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya by Nagaru Tanigawa
  23. The Luxe by Anna Godbersen
  24. Rumors by Anna Godbersen
  25. Envy by Anna Godbersen
  26. Splendor by Anna Godbersen 
Stand-alone books(some of these are incomplete series)
  1.  1984 by George Orwell
  2. King Rat by China Mieville
  3. The Tain by China Mieville
  4. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
  5. If You Could See Me Now by Cecelia Ahern 
  6. No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy 
  7. The Road by Cormac McCarthy 
  8. Love, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern 
  9. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  10. Anasi Boys by Neil Gaiman
  11. Trash Sex Magic by Jennifer Stevenson
  12. The Love We Share Without Knowing by Christopher Barzak
  13. Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk
  14. Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
  15. Choke by Chuck Palahniuk
  16. Kindred by Octavia Butler
  17. Acacia by David Anthony Durham
  18. The Salt Roads by Nalo Hopkinson
  19. The Between by Tananarive Due
  20. Notes from the Hyena's Belly by Nega Mezlekia
  21. Trust Me by Malorie Blackman
  22. Words Last Forever by Malorie Blackman
  23. Black and White by Malorie Blackman
  24. Once Upon a Time in England by Helen Walsh
  25. The Good Women of China: Hidden Voices by Xue Xinran
  26. Sky Burial by Xue Xinran
  27. What the Chinese Don't Eat by Xue Xinran
  28. Miss Chopsticks by Xue Xinran
  29. The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
  30. The Way I See It: A Personal Look at Autism and Aspergers by Temple Grandin
  31. The Autograph Man by Zadie Smith
  32. White Teeth by Zadie Smith
  33. On Beauty by Zadie Smith
  34. Saving Maddie by Varian Johnson
  35. Eighth Grade Super Zero by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich
  36. Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore
  37. What Would Emma Do? by Eileen Cook
  38. North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley
  39. Cloud Mountain by Aimee E. Liu 
  40. Wide Awake by David Levithan
  41. Girl at Sea by Maureen Johnson
  42. This Lovely Life by Vicki Forman
  43. Drift by Victoria Patterson
  44. Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder
  45. The Twelve Kingdoms by Fuyumi Ono
  46. 47 by Walter Mosley
  47. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
  48. Naked by David Sedaris
  49. If I Stay by Gayle Forman
  50. The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
  51. The Way I See It by Temple Grandin
  52. Moonshine by Alaya Johnson 
  53. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
  54. The Children of Men by P.D. James
  55. The Giver by Lois Lowry
  56. Battle Royale by Koushun Takami
  57. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  58. The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Peterson 
  59. Gringolandia by Lyn Miller Lachmann
  60. His Own Where by June Jordan
  61. A Wish After Midnight by Zetta Elliot
  62. Scarlett Fever by Maureen Johnson
  63. The Demon's Covenant by Sarah Rees-Brennan
  64. Ash by Malinda Lo
  65. Break by Hannah Moskowitz 
  66. The Dark Divine by Bree Despain
  67. The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan
  68. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
  69. The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
  70. Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles 
  71. The Agency: A Spy in the House by Y.S. Lee
  72. Love is the Higher Law by David Levithan
  73. Children of the Waters by Carleen Brice 
  74. The God Box by Alex Sanchez

101 in 1001 List

Challenge Started: Jan 1, 2009
Projected Challenge End: September 29, 2011

Total Goals: 101
Goals Completed: 24
Goals Remaining: 78
Goals in Progress: 10

Writing (19 Goals)
  1. Finish Script of Book 1 of It's All Relative by June 2011. 
  2. Write "Letters I'll Never Send" until notebook is full. 
  3. Submit stories to at least 3 literary journals. (2/3)
    1. Mosaic (Jan 31)
    2. RuneWright (Jan 31)
  4. Submit stories to at least 3 competitions (0/3)
  5. Get a story accepted to a literary journal.
  6. Apply for 3 scholarships(0/3)
  7. Win NaNoWriMo for 2011.
  8. Write a Screenplay.
  9. Write a musical.
  10. Find a literary agent.
  11. Write a query letter and have it critiqued on a well-known critique blog.  
  12. Traditionally publish a book.
  13. Self publish a book. 
  14. Write 2 1 sex scene(s) without fading to black.
  15. Write a new serial web novel. 
  16. Write one first draft by the September 2011.
  17. Earn a certificate in Film Writing Certificate.
  18. Earn a certificate in TV Writing Certificate.
  19. Write a series of themed blog posts.(0/4)
    Travel & Experiences (21 Goals)
    1. Go White Water Rafting somewhere other than Kern River.
    2. Go to Colorado.
    3. Go Kayaking.($63)
    4. Learn to Surf.($64)
    5. Learn to Snorkel.($39)
    6. Hike in Yosemite National Park. (Feb 25)
    7. Go to Sea World($69) and San Diego Zoo.($37)
    8. Go Camping in the Wild Animal Park.($139+$37=$176)
    9. Go to Japan.
    10. Go backpacking in Europe.
    11. Go to abroad for a medical/volunteer/humanitarian project.
    12. Take a road trip.
    13. Learn to snowboard.
    14. Go to Leaky Con 2011or similar convention.
    15. Go to AnimeExpo and see at least 4 panels.
    16. Go to Comic Con and see at least 4 panels.
    17. Go canyoneering.
    18. Go indoor skydiving.
    19. Go Real Skydiving.
    20. Go Cliff Jumping.  
    21. Go Skim Boarding. 
    22. Go whale watching.
    School (8 Goals)
    1. Get a 3.2 g.p.a. or higher (2.982/3.2) by Spring 2011.
    2. Take GRE. Get a 1200. 
    3. Get a 3.5 for every quarter from now to graduation!
    4. Apply for graduate schools in Winter 2010.
    5. Pay off half of student loans before starting graduate school.
    6. Earn a certificate in Autism Spectrum Disorder and Therapy or similar certificate.($3000)
    7. Get an B.A. in Creative Writing.   
    8. Get an M.F.A. in Creative Writing. 

    Personal (28 Goals)

    1. Draw a comic.
    2. Take a photography class.
    3. Take an art class.
    4. Take a voice acting class.
    5. Possibly get a tattoo.
    6. Join a sorority.
    7. Get Passport renewed.
    8. Make a purse.  
    9. Do a project for Kickstarter.
    10. Make a stop motion animation video.
    11. Make a stop motion video with people.
    12. Do a Habitat For Humanity Project.
    13. Get full character designs of IAR characters. (or draw them myself)
    14. Train a dog for Pet Therapy program.
    15. Make business cards. 
    16. Design an outfit on Zazzle, buy it, then wear it.(Shoes, Shirt/hoodie)
    17. Take a modeling class. 
    18. Donate $200 to ($25 to each featured entrepreneur) 
    19. Find a full-time job. 
    20. Cosplay my character. (purple wig, blue contacts, goth lolita costume)
    21. Pay off Credit Cards.
    22. Earn $500 dollars a month through Demand Studios (roughly 33 articles)
    23. Work out 3 days a week for half an hour for one month. 
    24. Go to a Rave. 
    25. Take a dance class. 
    26. Join Taiko club.
    Holy Grail Goals
    1. Have a show on a premium network (like HBO).
    2. Write an award winning novel. 
    3. Hit the New York Times Best Sellers List. 
    4. Have a cartoon show on a national network.
    Completed (20 Goals)
    1. Update Wardrobe
    2. Volunteer two hours a week (African American Health Institute: March 2010)
    3. Get an medical internship during the summer. (Clinical Care Extender April 2009)
    4. Get a job during the summer.(Playful Beginnings, Inc. April 2009)
    5. Get an apartment/buy a house for the summer/next year.(June 2009/May 2010) 
    6. Plot a story once a month. (Completed Dec 2009)
    7.  Research 3 graduate schools a week (during the weekends) (30/30)
    8. Go to at least 3 fandom conventions and/or festivals.
      1. DickensFest(Feb 2009) 
      2. Comic Con(July 2009) 
      3. DickensFest (Feb 2010) 
      4. Festival of Books (April 2010)
    9. Win a writing competition (scholarships count)
      1. Dr. Prem Reddy Scholarship
      2. Affiliates of UC Riverside Scholarship
    10. Meet a nationally known author. 
      1. Maya Angelou (October 2009) 
      2. Heidi Durrow (February 2010)
      3. John Green and David Levithan (April 2010)
      4. Dolen Valdez-Perkins (May 2010)
    11. Go to at least 2 Nerdfighter gatherings.
      1. Hank at the Glendale Library. (Nov 2009)
      2. John at the Los Angeles Festival of Books (April 2010) 
    12. Get ears repierced and another piercing.
    13. Change major to Psychology.(May 2009) 
    14. Get new hairstyle. 
    15. Wear make-up.
    16. Buy a new car. (I had to compromise with my mom to get my car painted. It's as good as new though.)
    17. Go to Las Vegas.(March 2010)
    18. Rent a car.
    19. Go to Happy Hour.  
    20. Have a blog giveaway contest.
    21. Take a make-up artistry class 
    22. Get a new digital camera (GE something or other, was only $150)
    23. Get on the Dean's List. (Dean's Honors List 3.925 GPA!)  
    24. Guest post on at least 3 blogs.(2/3)
      1. All Eyes On at Reading in Color.  
      2. Choosing Your Major at Maggie's Bookshelf.
      3. Blogger Interview at All Days Of























    August 27, 2009


    Who are you?
    I'm Najela (pronounced Nigh like night, Jel like Jello, Uh like Uh with the emphasis on the first syllable) and I'm super senior at a college in Southern California majoring in Psychology and most recently, Creative Writing. I enjoy writing, reading, knitting, daydreaming, and watching television. I have no idea what I want to do after college, that's why I took an extra year to pursue something I really enjoy.

    Why did you start this blog? 
    I originally had several blogs to keep track of things that I did. I had one blog for strictly book reviews, one that detailed the different graduate programs that I would be attending, a general blog, and a blog for my now defunct web fiction (but on hiatus novel) It's All Relative. It was getting a little confusing trying to keep track of everything, so I combined them all into one.

    Is this a book blog?
    I hope to turn it into a book and writing zone. I graduate from college in three months (eek!) so hopefully I can dedicate more time to writing and reviewing books before grad school. 

    What kinds of books do you like to read? 
    I like to read anything that catches my fancy. I read anything from contemporary to fantasy, from YA to Adult and anything that just looks interesting. I'm looking for stories with fresh perspectives and new takes on old ideas. For the purposes of the blog, I'm going to focus more on YA, but other books may crop up from time to time, though I'm not sure I'm going to review them.

    Why don't you rate the books you read?
    For me, ratings don't mean much. I hope my reviews speak for themselves.

    What is the 101 in 1001? 
    101 in 1001 is a series of goals to accomplish in a few years. You choose a goal and you accomplish it. There are some pretty outlandish things on mine that I might not do (like skydiving, I have no idea why it's there.) and there are simple goals like getting a new camera. I hope to accomplish these goals. I have until September 2011 to get it done and create a whole new list after that.

    Any more questions send them to: ncobb001 at gmail dot com
    post signature

    2009 Book Challenge

    1. Looking for Alaska by John Green
    2. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
    3. Paper Towns by John Green
    4. Highwire Moon by Susan Straight
    5. Rebel Angels by Libba Bray
    6. Five Years on a Rock by Milton Murakami
    7. 13 Little Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
    8. Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn
    9. Tithe by Holly Black
    10. Valiant by Holly Black
    11. Ironside by Holly Black
    12. Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn
    13. The Far Sweet Thing by Libba Bray
    14. The Key to the Golden Firebird by Maureen Johnson
    15. The Realm of Possibility by David Levithan
    16. Burned by Ellen Hopkins
    17. Rx by Tracy Lynn
    18. The Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson
    19. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
    20. Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson
    21. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
    22. Coraline by Neil Gaiman 
    23. A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb
    24. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
    25. John Dollar by Marianne Wiggins
    26. Devilish by Maureen Johnson
    27. Dogeaters by Jessica Hagedorn
    28. Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan
    29. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
    30. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

    2010 Book Challenge

    Book List

    2010 (62/120)
    62/120 books. 52% done!

    * denotes PoC author or main character
    1. One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies by Sonya Sones
    2. Love, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
    3. The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees-Brennan
    4. Notes from the Midnight Driver by Jordan Sonnenblick
    5. The First Part Last by Angela Johnson*
    6. The Girl Who Fell From the Sky by Heidi Durrow*
    7. Going Bovine by Libba Bray
    8. Liar by Justine Larbalestier*
    9. The Hunger Games by Susanne Collins
    10. The Hate List by Jennifer Brown
    11. Naughts and Crosses by Majorie Blackman*
    12. Orange Mint and Honey by Carleen Brice*
    13. If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson
    14. The Second Summer of the Sisterhood by Ann Brashares
    15. Girls in Pants: The Third Summer of the Sisterhood by Ann Brashares
    16. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
    17. Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
    18. The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard
    19. My Life as a Rhombus by Varian Johnson*
    20. Behind You by Jacqueline Woodson*
    21. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
    22. The House You Pass on the Way by Jacqueline Woodson*
    23. Jumping Off Swings by Jo Knowles
    24. Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork*
    25. Miracle's Boys by Jacqueline Woodson*
    26. Shine, Coconut Moon by Neesha Meminger*
    27. Marly's Ghost by David Levithan 
    28. Wench by Dolen Perkins-Valdez*
    29. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
    30. Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves*
    31. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
    32. The Help by Kathryn Stockett*
    33. Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life by Bryan Lee O'Malley*
    34. Graceling by Kristin Cashore
    35. The Fattening Hut by Pat Lowery Collins*
    36. Donorboy by Brendan Halpin
    37. Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon*
    38. Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
    39. Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
    40. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
    41. Scott Pilgrim vs The World (vol 2) by Bryan Lee O'Malley*
    42. Scott Pilgrim and the Infinite Sadness (vol 3) by Bryan Lee O'Malley
    43. Scott Pilgrim Gets it Together (vol 4) by Bryan Lee O'Malley
    44. Scott Pilgrim (vol 5) by Bryan Lee O'Malley
    45. Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour (vol 6) by Bryan Lee O'Malley
    46. Harlem Summer by Walter Dean Myers*
    47. Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans*
    48. The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
    49. Diary of a Bad Year by J.M. Coetzee
    50. The Blue Flower by Penelope Fitzgerald 
    51. The Wind Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami*
    52. The Counterlife by Philip Roth
    53. Time's Arrow by Martin Amis
    54. The Giver by Lois Lowry
    55. Netherland by Joseph O'Neill
    56. The Journal of Ben Uchida by Barry Denenburg
    57. The Character of Rain by Amelie Nothomb
    58. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson 
    59. Mistwood by Leah Cypess
    60. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
    61. Matched by Ally Condie
    62. The Explosionist by Jenny Davidison

    August 23, 2009

    Strange Little Band


    Strange Little Band by Nancy Brauer and Vanessa Brooks

    Summary: Addison is an ice hearted single mother living in the strange lab of Triptych. Shane is a hot headed alien half breed. They are both psychic, they both seem to hate each other, and now they are having a baby together.

    Likes: This story is bizarre and I mean that in a good way. I started reading this story before it came up into the review queue here on the e-fiction book club. I enjoy this story because I feel that there is something sinister is going on in the background.The characters are inherently unlikable, but they are interesting to read about. Stories don’t always have to have likable characters, but if they are interesting, I’m more apt to read and continue reading. The scenes between the characters are odd, but entertaining. Shane and Addison have a love/hate relationship with each. If they weren’t having a baby together, they’d probably hate each other. It’s interesting to see how that dynamic comes into play and how it affects their relationship with their son, and Addison’s daughter. I can’t wait for the more sci-fi elements to come into play. That’s one of the reasons I keep reading.

    Dislikes: I’d like a little more sci-fi and a little less romance. I’m not really a fan of romance and lovey dovey things, and thankfully the story isn’t filled with mushy sentimental moments. At this point though, these characters could just be any couple with an “oops, we’re pregnant moment.” It’s like if someone took the plot for “Knocked Up” and instead made them aliens and psychics. Not a bad things, but I’m just waiting for that sci-fi/paranormal aspect to the story to make it more unique.

    Overall: I’m not exacrtly sure why I keep reading this story. It’s not a bad story, but like I said, it’s strange but entertaining. It’ll be interesting to see the more fantastical stuff come into play. It’s a good read if you like the two different people and the only thing in common between them is that they have a baby. It’s more interesting now that the baby is here. It’s only on the 7th chapter with varying parts so who knows where it’s going to go from here.

    Cross posted to the E-fiction Book Club

    August 18, 2009


    Alisiyad by Sarah Suleski
    Summary: Two young adults, Russ and Liseli, are transported to a magical world of Alisiya. After drinking water from a mysterious river, they are thought to be a part of a prophesy. Russ and Liseli get tangled in a web of lies and deceit, as well as keeping secrets from each other that will haunt them for the rest of their lives.
    Likes: What I liked most about this story were the characters. They aren’t remarkable nor are they perfect. They are flawed and driven by emotions. They are real and relatable. They are ordinary people dropped into an extraordinary situation. The author lets the characters be themselves, flaws and all and its refreshing to see that they aren’t one dimensional. The plot was well-written with twists at every turn. The author has a good grasp of language and uses it to the stories advantages, knowing when to tell and when to show. She doesn't waste space on unnecessary details. It feels as if each word was purposely put on the page, without regards to filling up the chapters. The chapters were of reasonable length and I found them to be just the right size, not pandering for a specific word length. When the author had finished telling everything else she wanted the reader to know, she moved on to the next chapter. The romance between Russ and Liseli is tragic, but beautiful. They aren't the perfect people and they know that. Only when they realize to accept themselves, they accept each other. Yet despite this, they still keep secrets from each other, like real people tend to do to the ones they love.

    The story is that the chapters are broken in parts. I felt like I was stuck on one chapter for a long time. This is just a personal preference and it didn't detract from the actual story itself.

    Overall: I found this story enjoyable. It was a little hard for me to get into at the beginning, but once the action comes through, it's non stop and well written. Even if the plot were completely boring, the author is wonderful with characterization.


    Related Posts with Thumbnails