Review: The Last Neanderthal by Claire Cameron

TITLE: The Last Neanderthal Image result for the last neanderthal book
AUTHOR: Claire Cameron
SUMMARY: Girl is a Neanderthal living one of her worst seasons yet, meanwhile in the present Rose is coping with her impending motherhood and stressful job as an paleo-archeologist
GENRE: Fiction | Historical Fiction
RATING: 3.5/4

The minute I saw this book and read the synopsis, I knew I had to get it. I found the premise of the story so interesting because it is about a Neanderthal family, and I for one find this type of history fascinating. So I bought the book and started reading it when I got home later that night.

One of the most striking things about the book is the writing style. You can tell Cameron adapted her writing style to fit the story of the Neanderthals. The sentences are simple, the wording is different from ours, and the descriptions are mixture of these things. When I first saw the pages of the book, I was scared because there isn’t much dialogue when we’re reading Girl’s parts. It’s just blocks of paragraphs and barely any dialogue. For some reason, I thought that was genius on her part simply because you can’t expect a different species to talk or think the same way as ours.

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Which brings me to how the author portrays the Neanderthals. Instead of the savage primitive beasts we’re used to seeing, Cameron writes a story about family and loss. If they are ever savage or beast like, it’s as a result of their harsh surroundings. Girl and her family are kind and nurturing and intelligent.

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Yes I said intelligent, not dumb. We might have survived but they did live for over 70,000 years and we’ve only been around for 50,000; clearly they did well.

The story also brought you to this survival mindset the Neanderthals and early humans must have felt constantly. Through Girl’s mind you see the importance of surviving everything in their harsh environment. Everything was thought through, and everything done was meant for the family to survive from the way they hunted, their sleeping habits, their travels to the meeting ground, and even their interactions with other animals and themselves. Every little bit counted towards the protagonist’s survival, and I really enjoyed that.

It was nice (and rare) to read story about pre modern humans, where the troubles the characters encounter are completely different.

The book alternated between the ancient past with Girl (the Neanderthal) and modern day with Rose (an archeologist who finds Girl). By the time I got halfway through the book, I started losing interest in Rose’s storyline. It wasn’t boring but it wasn’t as interesting as Girl’s story. The author tries to make a connection between the two characters (and it’s there) but I didn’t enjoy it. I didn’t care about Rose’s personal problems, all I wanted to know was about her “science” and conclusions about what she found, and I didn’t get that.

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While I really did enjoy the story, I’m not sure I would read it again. It’s not a page turner the same way other stories have been for me, but the topic is interesting and different enough that I’d recommend it to those who find Neanderthals interesting.

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Review: November 9 by Colleen Hoover

TITLE: Novemeber 9 Image result for november 9
AUTHOR: Colleen Hoover
SUMMARY: Fallon and Ben decide not to fall in love and meet each other every November 9th for the next five years. Goodreads Blurb
GENRE: New Adult | Fiction | Romance
RATING: 3/5
WARNING: Not suitable for children.  Continue reading

I Got 99 Bookish Problems and My Dog is One of Them

  1. I like to read out loud but when someone comes into the room I read quietly because I don’t want to be annoying
  2. I get annoyed when people talk to me when I’m readingreading-in-bed-gif
  3. People look at me weird when I get emotional over a book
  4. People look at me weird if I squeal, gasp, grunt, etc. while reading
  5. Or when I laugh out loudImage result for laughing while reading gif
  6. Making excuses to buy books
  7. Letting your wallet suffer because you bought books
  8. Waiting for your favorite author to publish another book
  9. Waiting for the next book in a series
  10. Not having a big enough purse to put your book or books in
  11. Not being able to choose just one book when you travelImage result for reading gif
  12. Going into every bookshop you find on your travel or airport
  13. Wanting to buy all the books
  14. Having a TBR list that will never end
  15. Having a TBR list that never stops growing
  16. Reading slumps
  17. School somehow stops me from reading books I want to read
  18. Having / wanting to read a book before the movie
  19. Feeling sort of guilty over not reading the book before the movie
  20. Having to deal with people who only watch the movies
  21. Having to deal with people who don’t bother reading because there is a movie / show about it
  22. Never leaving the house without a bookImage result for rory's study spot gif
  23. Finding the perfect reading spot
  24. Finding the perfect reading positionImage result for sheldon's spot gif
  25. Having your perfect reading spot invaded by someone else
  26. Only having the night to read but then fall asleep
  27. Not being able to choose how to reorganize my bookshelf
  28. Asking books for special occasions or gift cards to B&N
  29. Buying books for their beautiful books
  30. Buying books and not reading them
  31. Staying up late to read books
  32. Risking precious sleeping time to finish a bookImage result for rory's study spot gif
  33. Avoiding spoilers
  34. Avoiding spoilers and then failing
  35. Not reading fast enough
  36. Rushing through the book because it’s so good you want to see the end
  37. Not wanting to finish a book because it’s so good
  38. Not having matching book series
  39. Picking up books at the library when you already have books at home
  40. Having to read the library books first because they have due dates
  41. Having to let go of the library booksImage result for letting go gif
  42. Being excited for school to end to read more books in summer vacation
  43. Being the only person excited for summer vacation for that reason
  44. Being the only person that reads
  45. Not being able to express all the feelings and thoughts about a book in one review
  46. People who say reading is boring
  47. People who say they don’t readImage result for people who don't read gif
  48. No self-control over “rationing” my reading
  49. Being horrible at buddy reading because most likely I won’t be able to just read a couple of chapters
  50. Having a reading journal because I don’t trust Goodreads
  51. When Goodreads doesn’t let you add a book you re-read to your yearly goal
  52. Forgetting to eat when you’re reading
  53. Forgetting to breathe when an intense scene is happening
  54. An unsatisfying ending
  55. An unsatisfying bookImage result for reading too much gif
  56. Being the only one to dislike a hyped up book
  57. Forgetting all your biological needs to read
  58. Not being able to read in the shower
  59. Not being able to read while driving (except for audiobooks)
  60. Not having audiobooks for car rides
  61. People preferring to listen to music on long car rides than an audiobook
  62. The nonexistence of waterproof books
  63. Not having your dream library yet
  64. Not being able to read inside the pool
  65. Surprising people with my reading skills
  66. Surprising people with my reading speedImage result for reading problem gif
  67. Not taking good enough pictures for bookstagram
  68. Not knowing how to take good pictures but doing it anyway
  69. Hiding your books from your puppy
  70. When your puppy eats your books!
  71. Having a leak on the roof dangerously close to your bookshelf
  72. Not having enough bookshelf space
  73. Having to buy another bookshelf
  74. Squeezing your books on your bookshelf
  75. Feeling emotionally attached to your books
  76. Lending books to your friends
  77. Lending books and never getting them back
  78. Lending books and getting them back damagedImage result for evil person gif
  79. When a friend loses the beautiful dust jacket
  80. Considering buying the book for the pretty dust jacket
  81. People who bend the pages
  82. People who dog ear their pages
  83. Having to explain I don’t dog ear my books but I do write on them
  84. I also highlight, but it’s mostly for school
  85. Buying sticky notes to mark your favorite parts of your favorite book
  86. Risk looking crazy and incoherent when your describe your favorite bookImage result for reading problem gif
  87. Trying to convince someone to read and failing
  88. Buying books online and risking receiving a damaged books
  89. Books are expensive
  90. When someone recommends you a book and adding it to your TBR list
  91. When B&N is far away
  92. When there are no bookstores close to home
  93. Seeing a kid break a book
  94. When little kids don’t see the joy in reading
  95. Worrying that my future kids won’t like reading
  96. Wanting to relive reading your favorite book for the first timeImage result for reading gif
  97. Wanting everyone to read your favorite book
  98. Wanting everyone to enjoy your favorite book
  99. Losing a book

Those are just some of my bookish problems. I’m sure there are more. Let me know what are your bookish / reading problems? Let me know in the comments below.

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Review: Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

TITLE: Persepolis Image result for persepolis book cover
AUTHOR: Marjane Satrapi
SUMMARY: Marjane tells the story of her childhood and teenage years living in Iran in the midst of the Islamic Revolution.
GENRE: Graphic Novel | Memoir | Coming of Age | Non-Fiction
RATING: 4/5
NOTE: I read the The Complete Persepolis which has all the volumes in one book.

Persepolis shows why it is important to read about authors from different cultures from ours. Thanks to Marjane’s graphic memoir, I learned so much about Iran’s history and it’s people. In all honesty, I knew very little about Iran, Iranians, or the Islamic Revolution (or that there even was an Islamic Revolution). But after reading this I know about these things a lot more than I did before.

I think it’s an important read especially today that there are so many misconceptions about Muslims (although I think it’s changing… hopefully). Living in the US we’re so used to “othering” Muslims and this book more than anything shows that we’re more alike than we think. They care about their families, about their country’s future, and… Madonna (this was the 80s). It debunks the stereotype of the meek Muslim woman because the heroine of the story is strong, independent, intelligent, with her own values and political views. I would even go further to say she’s a feminist. Unfortunately, we don’t associate any of this with Muslim women, and thankfully Marjane Satrapi is changing that with this book.

Image result for marjane satrapi persepolis

Although the story talks about Iran’s history, it is heavily intertwined with Marjane’s life story. She is funny and candid in telling her story, making her quite relatable. She talks about growing up in a war-torn country and the helplessness feeling she got as a result. She also tells stories about her family, friendships, and boyfriends. There is something everyone can  to relate to.

The art is simple and exclusively in black and white, however I really liked it. I also enjoyed the writing and the way she told her story, but for some reason or the other it didn’t captivate me a 100%. The only reason I didn’t give it a 5 is because I got bored halfway through and it took me a long time to finish it. I can blame this on school, work, reading slumps, myself, but I never felt that need to put aside everything else to read this (and trust me, I’ve had this happen to me before).

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Other than that, I would still recommend this book because everything I mentioned before.

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Top 5 Wednesday: Side Character Relationships

PROMPT

Tell us your favorite relationships that don’t involve the protagonist!

 

Toph & Sokka (Avatar: The Last Airbender)

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This is mostly due to the theory where Toph’s daughter, Suyin, is actually Sokka’s daughter too. I know this mostly likely not true, but I can dream can I?

Caroline & Klaus (The Vampire Diaries)

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Spike & Dawn (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer)

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No, I DEFINITELY don’t mean in it in romantic way, but I do love their friendship, and how he protects her in an older brotherly sort of way.

 

Heather & Pizza Girl (Landline)

Image result for landline rainbow rowell

It’s a little known ship, but ever since I read about it in Landline by Rainbow Rowell, I loved it… and wish there was more to it.

Rogelio & Michael (Jane the Virgin)

Image result for rogelio and michael

I just love their bromance and friendship, and they are my brOTP

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Lets Talk About School and Studying

Iridescence @ Light Up the Shining Night Stars made a list of study / school related posts you can talk about in your own blog, and since I’m always looking for new topics to talk about I’m giving it a try.

To begin with, I’m not going to address every single topic she posted because I don’t have anything to say about a couple of them. For the full list of study blog ideas please visit her blog.

Subjects You’re Studying in School/College

If you don’t already know I am in English major and I’m working towards a Professional and Technical Writing certificate. It shouldn’t be a shock seeing as how I have an unhealthy relationship wtih reading and books. Anyway, my classes involve a lot of reading and a lot of writing.

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This semester I’m taking two classes:

Global Issues in Literature: This class is interesting and quite easy. We look at books and texts discussing different points of view around the world, and we think of our individual role in the world. Thanks to this class I read Persepolis and Maus.

Medieval English Literature: For this class we’re doing just as the title of this course suggests, we read texts from Medieval ages. Unfortunately, it’s more complicated because we have to read some of it in Old English which is different from today’s modern English. So before I can analyze the text I have to translate it first.

Websites / Apps I Use to Study

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Surprisingly, I don’t use any of the online English literature guides like SparkNotes or Shmoop. I do, however, use Easybib when I’m going to write my bibliographies / sources because it makes it so much easier than writing one by one. Sometimes I also use Quizlet when I’m preparing for an exam with terms. For this semester I’ve been using this online dictionary for all the weird words for my Medieval Lit class.

How to Get Motivated

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Motivation Tactic #1: The fear of failure keeps me mostly motivated when I have to write and read for school.

Motivation Tactic #2: I also keep an agenda to keep up with assignments and I find it amazingly satisfying to cross an item off my to-do list.

Motivation Tactic #3: Sometimes the reason why I can’t study or complete an assignment is because I simply need a break. So, I take a break and resume the following day knowing my work load will increase but it’s better than forcing myself to do something without much progress.

Motivation Tactic #4: When I really need motivation, I bribe myself. I tell myself, “if you finish reading this, then you can buy yourself a book.” It works every time, but I only use it in extreme situations because it can cause a drain in my limited wallet.

If none of those work then try the following:

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Ok, That was a joke, but always find a way to get motivated because school is hard, but it’s also worth it in the long run.

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