Day: January 11, 2015

Speech Tournament (1/10/15)

Yesterday I was at a Speech tournament all day. A normal tournament is exhausting enough, but this was a swing tournament which is twice as tiring. A swing tournament is pretty much two competitions at the same place. I went home at the end and collapsed.

Now usually, I wouldn’t talk about tournaments, but yesterday, I went to watch the finals for Prose, an event where the competitors need to present a piece of prose writing. I’m planning on picking up a prose as my second event (my first event is a Duo for those who were wondering).

As I watched the finals, I noticed that most of the pieces presented were memoirs of some sort. One girl presented The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls (which really excited me because I loved that book). Someone else presented The Lost Boy, which was the sequel to A Child Called It by Dave Pelzer. Other presented memoirs included Fat Girl by Judith Moore and Amen, Amen, Amen by Abby Sher. It seems like the most common types of pieces are memoirs. It kind of disappoints me because I had been hoping that I could do a novel but it looks like the people that do the best pick memoirs. And not just regular memoirs. Really sad memoirs that require lots of angry screaming.

(But the best scream is from this)

Otherwise, I heard from a friend that someone presented Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick for their Dramatic Interpretation piece. In fact, the piece did so well that the competitor got first place in one of the tournaments. I’m probably going to pick up a Dramatic Interp as my first event next season.

Now I just feel like I should read more memoirs. It would certainly help with my Speech events.

2014 Reading in Review: Superlative Awards

The first part consisted of what I considered the best of what I read in 2014. This second part is every other topic that wasn’t a “best” topic. I kind of nicknamed this the “Superlative Awards” because it reminds me of yearbook superlatives.

This year, it came out pretty tame but maybe next year I could make it a little crazier.


Cutest Couple

Awarded to the cutest, best book couple

Frank and Emily from Since You’ve Been Gone

Since You've Been Gone

I love these two. I don’t really like how they got together but I feel like they had amazing chemistry and friendship. I SHIP!


Book that Made Me the Most Mad

The book that made me spazz and rant the most, whether it be to friends or in an angry review.

Lexicon – Max Barry

Lexicon

Not because it’s a bad book but purely because I had to overanalyze it for a school project and by the end I was sick and tired of it. I didn’t really like it when I first read it (it was about a 2-star) but by the time I was done, it had whittled down to a 1-star book because of the intense amount of rereads.


Most Memorable

The books that are some of the first that come to mind.

Biggest Impact Emotionally: The Glass Castle – Jeanette Walls

The Glass Castle

I was super grateful for my parents when I finished this novel and although I didn’t cry, the book made me really think about what was important in life.

Biggest Impact Fangirl-wise: The Blood of Olympus – Rick Riordan

The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus, #5)

Even if the book was mediocre, one thing has caused me enough feels to overpower everything else.

One word: Solangelo.

danisnotonfire feels
My review


Made Me Cry the Most

Self explanatory but pretty much the book that induced the most ugly tears.

Torn Away – Jennifer Brown

Torn Away

This is a rough estimate because I don’t remember how much I cried. I just know that I got very emotional reading this book because evil stepsisters.

My review


Most Kick-Ass Protagonist

The character that I rooted for and would shout “GO (INSERT NAME)” when I was reading to get some weird stares.

Victor from Vicious

Vicious

I loved Victor’s character so much in this book. He was so smart when it came to planning. I was rooting for him the whole time.

My review


Biggest WTF?

The book that confused me the most.

Midwinterblood – Marcus Sedgwick

Midwinterblood

Confusion everywhere. Until you stop and think about it at the very end. I liked it a lot even if I was confused for nearly the whole book.


Most Unexpected

Either the best unexpected or the worst unexpected book. Whichever I’d prefer to talk about.

Complicit – Stephanie Kuehn

Complicit

I think this was one of the best books I read in 2014. I definitely started it not expecting much but it began to pick up quickly.

My review


Most Overhyped

A book I began reading because of the amazing reviews only to be disappointed.

We Were Liars – E. Lockhart

We Were Liars

I hated this book. I just couldn’t understand why so many people liked it.

My review


Biggest Disappointment

Similar to the “overhype” book but usually something self-induced. I get excited or I have high hopes for a sequel. But either way I end disappointed.

Graduation Day – Joelle Charbonneau

Graduation Day (The Testing, #3)

A complete flop of a final novel. Highly disappointed because I was expecting more.

My review


Those were the 2014 Superlative Awards! I know a lot of blogs include all their 2014 book recaps in one post but I just wanted to split them up because I thought it’d make it slightly easier to understand.

2014 Reading in Review: Overview + The Best Books

2014 was the year I increased the amount I read. It was one of my resolutions of 2014 and I can definitely say that I completed it!

(Yes I know this is really late but I tried okay?)

I accomplished my Goodreads goal!

goodreads 2014 reading challenge

Since I was so close to 100 books in 2014, I’m going to set my next goal at 100. I know I could probably set it even higher, but I don’t want to end up having to stress out if I have less time to read.

Honest Fact: I accidentally set a book I had already read as “Currently-Reading” so I technically only read 94 books. I also have this habit of just marking DNF’s as “Read” because I’m of the mindset that I tried to read it; I just failed.

The genre of books I read the most of: Contemporary

The genre of books I read the least of: Horror & Graphic Novels

I like contemporaries but I think I should try to tackle more of the fantasy/paranormal, horror, and historical books I have on my TBR in 2015. I definitely want to look more into graphic novels. Maybe I’ll even try reading comic books! Any recommendations?

Something horrible I realized about what I read this year

I DNF’d 10 books. That’s terrible. In 2015, I want to decrease that number and give every book more of a chance.

New policy: After I decide to DNF, I must give the book at least three more tries before I officially drop it.

I’ve decided that instead of doing a typical “Top-Ten books of 2014”, I’ll just categorize it by genre and some other topics. They’ll be split up into two parts, one with what I considered the best this year, the other with what I refer to as Superlative Awards.


The Best

Best Contemporary: Jellicoe Road – Melina Marchetta

Jellicoe Road

Everybody, their pet dogs, and their grandmothers saw that coming. But I’m not sorry because Jellicoe Road was amazing.

My review


Best Thriller: Game – Barry Lyga

Game (Jasper Dent #2)

Second book in the I Hunt Killers trilogy and one of the only good thrillers I’ve read this year. This is a key reason that I need to read more action and adventure novels. So I don’t end up recommending the same three books all year.


Best Retelling: The School for Good and Evil

The School for Good and Evil (The School for Good and Evil, #1)

It’s not really a “retelling” but it has a lot of lovely fairytale and fantasy themes. I enjoyed this book a lot even if it was a middle grade novel. I’m well aware that this book only got 3 stars but it’s much better than other things I’ve read in the last year.

My review


Best Setting: The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus

Although I didn’t love this book, I couldn’t deny how well the setting was established. I could taste the popcorn in the air when I read it.

My mini-review


Best Plot-Twist: Complicit – Stephanie Kuehn

Complicit

This is a complete mindfuck of a book. It’s really slow in the beginning but the ending is worth it.

My review


Best Characters: To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird

Love the characters and this had amazing character development.

My mini-review