Semi-Hiatus, although it breaks my heart

Hey guys!

This post is really sad for me to write. I hoped, going into this school year, that I would be able to keep up with my blog and school and sports and clubs etc., but it’s been just a week and I’m already being overwhelmed.

I have a lot of most posts (reviews, interviews, discussions, etc.) that want to post, so when I find time to sit down and write something, I will. But the reality is I probably won’t be able to do much for the next few months as school starts to ramp up again. I might be able to post once a week, but I definitely won’t be able to post every day like I was over the summer.

I really appreciate all of my readers, and I hope you stick around until I can post regularly again. And I will do my best to keep up with everybody else’s blogs if/when I have spare time.

Thank you to everybody who has been with me so far on this blogging journey and I hope I can come back and blog regularly very soon!

 

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Discussion: How do we feel about movie tie-in covers? The pros and cons.

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I’ve seen some mixed feelings about movie tie-in covers. Some people love ’em, some people hate ’em, and some people just don’t care.

I’ve decided to list a few pros and cons of movie/TV tie-in covers. Also, I’d love to hear your thoughts too, so don’t forget to comment!!

The Pros:

1. They can look super awesome.

Like sometimes even better than the original cover *collective gasp*. But seriously. Take Nerve for example. The movie tie-in cover is so much better. Have you seen the original cover? I was actually so surprised by it because it looked so bad (I’m not trying to offend anyone here, I’m just sharing my honest opinion). I never would have picked it up if not for the movie tie-in cover (or if I hadn’t seen the movie before hand tbh).

Here is a side by side comparison so you can see what I’m talking about:

I mean really, which cover would you be more likely to pick up?

2. They can get people to read a book who might not usually want to read a book.

Sometimes when I drag my not-bookish friends into the book store, they see a movie tie-in cover. Then the conversation goes something like this:

Friend: Hey! I didn’t know they were writing a book about that movie?!

Me: Ummm, you know the movie is based off the book, right?

Friend: Uh, yeah, yeah, what you said. But that movie was awesome! Do you think I should read the book version?

Me: mmmm

Me: yessssssssssss

Friend: You’re right! I should totally read more! I think I’m gonna get it.

3. Sometimes you find out there is an adaptation coming because you spot the tie-in cover.22851100

This tends to happen when you pay more attention to new books coming out rather than new movies and shows.

Take The Giver for example. I probably never would have heard about the movie version (when I did) if I didn’t see the movie-tie in cover.

4. They can feature some of your favorite actors and actresses!33940357

For example: I love Nick Robinson. He is on the movie tie-in cover of Everything, Everything. Guess which edition I bought.

You guessed it! The movie tie-in version.

Although I really didn’t like the book… or the movie… so maybe that’s not the best example?

5. Sometimes they have some pictures from the movie in the middle.

I’m not really sure if this counts as a pro or a con… I guess it depends on how terrible the movie is and how much the actors actually look like the characters.

But still, I always have fun flipping through the pictures, regardless of whether I have/will read the book or watch the movie.

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The Cons:

1. They can look super terrible.

My first pro was that they can look awesome, so naturally my first con is that they can be a complete train wreck.

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For example: when they shove ever single actor in the movie onto the cover. Especially in that weird fade/layover style. Seriously?! Who designs these things?! Who thinks that that is appealing?!

Or when the tie-in cover is so far off from the feel of the book.

Great example of both of these things? The Great Gatsby tie-in cover.

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Now don’t get me wrong, I love me some Leo DiCaprio, but can you honestly tell me that this cover looks appealing? It’s certainly a cool movie poster, but it doesn’t quite cut it as a book cover for me.

2. They can feature an actor that looks NOTHING like what the character is supposed to look like.

Sometimes there are just minor differences, like the characters hair length is wrong (see: Everything, Everything’s Ollie) or they aren’t the right height.

But sometimes the differences are much worse than this. Like the (almost) entire cast of The Hunger Games. Or Cara Delevingne’s role as Margo in Paper Towns (disclaimer: I’ve seen the movie but I haven’t read the book. That being said, I still know about this and it annoys me).

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Not: Short or curvy 

 

3. They can remind you of a painfully terrible movie/show that never should have existed in the first place.

LIKE THE SHADOWHUNTERS TV SHOW UGHGHGHGHGHGH

31342081Okay so I didn’t like the books, but I liked the movie (yeah, yeah, yell at me all you want. But that’s how I feel). So I figured that maybe the TV show would be more my speed too.

I WAS SOOOOO WRONG. I made it through mayyyybe one episode (I think I finished the episode?). But it was too painful and now every time I see the tie-in cover it makes my blood boil and stops me from trying to pick up the Mortal Instruments series again.

4. They can cause a book store to not carry THE REGULAR COVER THAT YOU NEED SO YOU DON’T STARE AT ACTORS YOU DON’T CARE ABOUT/LIKE WHILE READING THE BOOK

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I think the title of this one says it all.

5. The book is better than the movie. Why would you want to walk around looking at the movie cover rather than the book one?

The book is better than the movie with very few exceptions. So why would you want to be staring at not-the-actual-book-cover?

Also it annoys me so much when the movie is literally nothing like the book AT ALL and would literally never be associated with the book if not for the name of the movie and then there is still a tie-in cover.

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One good example: The Duff by Kody Keplinger.  I loved both the book and the movie (obviously the book was better though) but they were so different that I don’t really think there should be a tie-in cover.

So do we like tie-in covers?

I personally can go either way. Sometimes I love them and sometimes I hate them. There really isn’t an in between.

How do you feel about them? What are your pros and cons? Let me know in the comments!!

Thanks for reading!

Down the TBR Hole #3- I am a book hoarder slowly learning to let go.

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Hey guys! I am back with the 3rd installment of Down the TBR Hole!! In our last adventure down the TBR hole, we saw a plethora of books utilizing the dead parent trope… let’s hope we don’t run into that again.

If you don’t know how this TBR cleanse works, check out my first TBR post here to see the rules.

Anywayyyyy, let’s start this cleanse!

1. Messenger of Fear by Michael Grant

17887631Added to my TBR on: September 1, 2014

I loved the Gone series, and I’m pretty sure I added this to my TBR right after reading it.

But, re-reading the synopsis now, this book doesn’t really catch my attention. It is something that I would probably have loved 3 or 4 years ago, but it’s not something I would pick up now.

Verdict: Going
Goodreads

2. The Host by Stephanie Meyer

1656001Added to my TBR on: December 28, 2015

Did I ever want to read it? No.

Am I ever going to read it? Not likely.

So I think you guys know where this one is heading…

Verdict: Going
Goodreads

3. The Guardian by Lee H. Haywood

29346770Added to my TBR on: March 4, 2016

This is the first book I added to my TBR after I started blogging! (That I haven’t read already… just thought that was a cool little fact… hehe)

I think I added this one to my TBR because I interviewed Lee H. Haywood (check that out here). But I don’t really think I am ever going to pick this one up to read.

Verdict: Going
Goodreads

4. Seer of the Souls by Susan Faw

29223861Added to my TBR on: March 20, 2016

Not gonna lie… I completely forgot this book ever existed…

The synopsis does sound interesting, and I do love me some good fantasy…. but at the same time, I COMPLETELY FORGOT THIS BOOK EVEN EXISTED. Like seriously, I must not have been very interested in it to start. And after reading though some of the reviews, it seems like maybe this one isn’t really for me after all.

Verdict: Going
Goodreads

5. Life in Reverse by Beth Michele

28448224Added to my TBR on: March 24, 2016

Here is another example of a book that I completely forgot existed. Oops.

Also, I’m not a big fan of contemporary romance… so yeah.

What was I thinking?

Verdict: Going
Goodreads

6. Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

11300302Added to my TBR on: March 29, 2016

I actually had a physical copy of this. A hard back copy. Sitting in my room. For so long.

Then I traded it on the books for trade hashtag on twitter.

So yeah.

Verdict: Going
Goodreads

7. The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

10576365Added to my TBR on: March 29, 2016

After over a year of wanting to read this book….

I FINALLY DOWNLOADED THE AUDIOBOOK!!!!

So yeah, this one is going to be read. Or listened to? Or maybe both? I do have a paperback of it as well!

Verdict: Staying
Goodreads

8. Artificial by Jadah McCoy

29611142Added to my TBR on: April 3, 2016

Okay but seriously, what is with all these books I don’t remember? I have absolutely zero recollection of this book existing. I don’t know how it ended up on my TBR….

This book does have a pretty high rating, but I don’t really think I’ll be reading any New Adult dystopia in the foreseeable future.

Verdict: Going
Goodreads

9. Mer-Charmer by Amy Bearce

28531533Added to my TBR on: April 3, 2016

This book does sound pretty interesting, but it is another one that I just don’t think I am ever going to pick up.

I love my mermaids, but I don’t think that I would enjoy this book as much as I would have a few years ago.

Verdict: Going
Goodreads

10. Deep and Dark and Dangerous by Mary Downing Hahn

541341Added to my TBR on: April 3, 2016

I actually read this book back in middle school, and recently found my copy again. I guess I was thinking about this book about a year ago too, when I added it to my TBR.

I also recently re-read Wait Till Helen Comes (see my review here), and loved revisiting Hahn’s writing!

Verdict: Staying
Goodreads

And done!! Yet again I am so proud of myself! It feels so good to see that TBR number go down!

TBR stats:

Books removed today: 8
Total books removed: 19
Books left on TBR: 374

How is your TBR looking? Talk to me in the comments!!

Thanks for reading!

 

 

Where was I last week? I befriended a seagull, took a road trip, and got a puppy!

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I’ve been a bad blogger this past week. I didn’t have any time to write new posts, and I used what little time I could find reading the first posts that popped up on my WordPress reader.

But no, it’s not because I’m putting Keystroke on the back burner. It’s because I went on a road trip with my best friend!

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But let’s back up for a second….

I’ve been spending my summer living in down east Maine. For those of you who have never been there: it is beautiful. I was so lucky to be able to spend my summer there!

A little over a week ago, my best-friend-since-elementary-school came up to stay with me for a few days, then we went on the road for a week to drive over to her house!

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This is Marge, chilling on her perch and watching us.

 

Before we left on the trip, I took her to Schoodic Point, one of my favorite places in the Acadia National Park. We took a picnic, and a little seagull decided she (he? idk) wanted to hang out and watch us.

We named her Marge.

Also, while we were on the rocks we decided to (try) to paint the view. My first attempt was a complete failure (like seriously it looked like a five year old did it), but I’m pretty proud of try 2:

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Try #2 (the bird is Marge)

 

A few days later, it was time to hit the road. We packed our things, loaded up my (wayyyyy to old) minivan, and started driving south.

 

I promise that we had no intention of getting a puppy. It just kind of happened.

(but no one is complaining so I count that as a win)

After spending almost an entire week on the road, I only accomplished a few things:

  1. Not sleeping nearly enough
  2. Blowing all of my money on restaurants
  3. Making some epic memories with my best friend

Here are some things I didn’t accomplish:

  1. Finishing The Breathless by Tara Goedjen (the ARC I am in the middle of) (goodreads)
  2. Reading, well, anything whatsoever
  3. Writing new blog posts
  4. Keeping up with all of your (amazing) blog posts
  5. Doing my summer course work (I’ll do it this week, I promise!)

But I did get a puppy, so it’s all forgiven, right?!

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Okay, so by now you are probably wondering what the deal is with this puppy. Well let me go ahead and tell you.

While driving through upstate New York, I spotted a sign  on the side of the road advertising Australian Shepard puppies. We didn’t end up getting one of those, but seeing that sign sent us into a puppy-needing frenzy, and we spend the last day of our trip scouring the internet to find the perfect puppy to bring home to my best friend’s family.

We ended up finding the perfect one, and drove out to a farm to get her! She is so sweet and adorable and fluffy and well-tempered. And when we got to my best friend’s house, the whole family fell in love with her too! We ended up naming her Nike (after the Greek Goddess of Victory).

So in summery, this has been my last week:

  • I befriended a seagull
  • Went on an epic road trip with my best friend
  • Bought quite possibly the most amazing, cutest lil pup in the world

But guys, I am back, and even though school starts soon, I am going to try to be more active in the blogosphere than ever.

And I have something very exciting coming up this week:

I AM DOING A HUGE THRONE OF GLASS THEMED GIVEAWAY!! Watch for my post explaining how the giveaway will work, and get ready to win big!

What have you been up to this past week? What blog posts did I miss? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading!!

Am I Following You? – Social Media Links

untitledHey guys!

I just want to thank you all for following my blog! I’ve been getting tons of new followers lately, and I just wanted to make sure we can connect on social media too! So I’m putting my links below, and please leave me your links so I can go follow you back!!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/keystrokeblog

Twitter: https://twitter.com/keystrokeblog/

Bloglovin: https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/keystroke-blog-14713363

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/20199735-em

Please leave links to your social media and blogs so I can go follow you too!

Discussion: Why do we DNF books? What books were not worth picking up?

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I’ve been putting off writing this post for a while. It’s actually painful for me to write, because some of these books were just SO TERRIBLE that it hurts my soul.

In this post, I’m going to be talking about why I DNF books, and about some books that I have DNFed.

It’s important for me to say, before I start this post, that I honestly gave these books everything I had. I hate giving up on books, and usually force myself through them in hopes of them getting better. That is stupid of me. So I’m also going to give you a list of books I definitely should have DNFed and didn’t because I’m stubborn and sometimes an idiot.

What does it mean to DNF?

DNF, or “did not finish” refers to a book that you never finished.

It literally just means that you didn’t finish the book.

Why do I DNF?

There are a lot of reasons people might not finish a book. But, usually, it’s because 1) the book is so bad that it is painful to read, 2) the book is super boring and you lose interest and can’t bring yourself to pick it up again, or 3) the book has some kind of offensive or harmful content.

I personally have DNFed for all of those reasons at some point or another.

What books have I DNFed?

I decided to write this post because I DNFed 2 books in the month of July. TWO!!! Here they are:


29868610Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick was given to me by my librarian to try out. I usually like memoirs (even if I don’t read a whole bunch of them) but I just could not get on board with Kendrick’s writing. I’ve never really liked Anna Kendrick, but I don’t dislike her either, so I thought that this might be a fun book to read. But I found myself cringing at how she wrote. Everything about this book just annoyed me, and I got antsy every time I picked it up and tried to read a little more of it. Finally, after two weeks of trying, I DNFed at about 50%


28220701I’ve had an ARC of The Infinity of You & Me by J. Q. Coyle sitting in my room for about a year (I know, I know, that’s way too long, also thank you to the published and authors for getting this to me), and I finally got myself to read it. I was immediately confused, and found both the writing style and the plot cringey. I kept thinking that the book was going to sort itself out and get exciting at some point, but no matter how hard I tried, I did not enjoy any of it. The characters seemed forced and I didn’t like them at all. The plot was trying too hard and full of annoying clichés. Honestly I think this book could have used a few more drafts. I DNFed at about 30%.


Besides those two books, I can only remember DNFing two others… both over a year ago.


22510983If you couldn’t tell by my recent Hate-Haiku, I really REALLY didn’t like this book. At. All. I wrote a review for it a long time ago, right after I read/DNFed it (you can read that here if you so desire), and honestly this is one of the worst books I have ever laid eyes on (which is painful to say considering how beautiful the book looks). It’s hard to talk about this book without getting mad. I had such high hopes for this one and the premise was super amazing and the FLOP. So. Painful. Everything. About. This. Book. Was. Terrible. I can’t remember exactly how far into it I was when I DNFed, but it was before the 50% mark… and I’m honestly surprised I made it that far.


6186357I’m pretty sure that I watched the movie before I tried the book. Yeah, that’s kind of a no-no, but I’m kind of a rebel (haha I wish) so I do it anyway sometimes….

But I didn’t really like the movie. So then I picked up the book, thinking “well, the movie wasn’t so bad… I’ll probably like the book more.” I WAS WRONG. I tried to read this for so long and I actually made it to around 90% when I just couldn’t anymore. It was too bad… too painful. But I should have known. If Dylan O’Brian can’t make it good, no one and nothing can.


Books I definitely should have DNFed.

For every book that I DNFed, there are 10 books that I should have DNFed. Why didn’t I DNF these? Because some silly part of me kept whispering “it will get better… just hang in there.”

Whoever said to listen to your gut obviously hasn’t met my gut…

So here are some of the books that I should have DNFed. Consider yourself warned:

I pushed through these books with sheer will power, but I honestly regret reading them. I didn’t really enjoy any, and I certainly didn’t get anything out of them. I think the only one I didn’t review on my blog was Quarantine (because I read it before I started blogging), but you can read my reviews of the other books here:

Fangirl // Unscripted // Fallen // As I Wake // The Love Interest

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, so obviously there are people out there who loved the books I couldn’t stand.

I’m not trying to tell you that you have to hate the books that I hate. If you loved any of these books, that’s great! I’m honestly glad that someone was able to find something in these books that I couldn’t.

Talk to me:

What books did you DNF? Have you read any of the books I mentioned above? Did you like them? What is the last book that you had to DNF?

Discussion: The Outbreak of Black Birds in YA. Is this a good or bad omen?

 

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I have been seeing black birds everywhere lately. It’s not that they haven’t been around before, but when two of your most anticipated releases of this year have a black bird in the title, you start to wonder….

What’s with all the black birds?

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Well, before we get to that, let’s examine what black birds symbolize.

There are three main types of black birds that have been popping up:

  • Crows
  • Ravens
  • and just “Blackbirds”

So what does this mean? What are their purpose?

I went scrounging the internet to find you answers. Here is what I found:

The Blackbird, Crow & Raven are closely interlinked and deeply interwoven in the myth and lore of the world. These birds have been seen and depicted as involved with powerful forces for both/either (depending on which story you read) good and bad in almost every major culture recorded.

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The Crow:

  • Associated with:
    • Justice
    • Shape shifting
    • Change
    • Magic
  • Can symbolize:
    • The journey from darkness into light
    • Ethical behavior
    • Guidance through the dark

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      Both the raven and the crow are associated with shape shifting.

The Raven:

  • Associated with:
    • Exploring the unknown
    • Courage
    • Shape shifting
    • The awakening of magic
  • Can symbolize:
    • A rebirth or renewal
    • The ability to find light in the darkness
    • New occurrences

The Blackbird

  • Associated with:
    • Protecting what is yours
  • Can symbolize:
    • The use of camouflage to protect ones family
    • The ability to sway with the winds of change

To summarize:

  • They all have something to do with magic and omens, as well as darkness and light.
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Her name makes so much more sense now, right?

 

What does this mean for YA?

We are in for some magical stories!!

I’m not gonna lie: I love magic. I love the idea of it and I love books with it. So I’m pretty darn excited to read these books.

A Few of the Published Books Featuring Ravens, Crows, and Blackbirds:

 

A Few Upcoming Books Featuring Ravens, Crows, and Blackbirds:

What books with black birds am I missing? Which is your favorite? Let me know in the comments!!

(Also, you might have noticed that I just chose books with the birds in the titles… if we were talking about books with black birds on the cover *lets out low long whistle*. Let’s just say this post might never end)

What do you make of all the black birds in YA?

And thanks for reading!!