3 Ways to Listen to Free Audiobooks

Audiobooks are a godsend! They are the solution to all those times you want to be reading but cannot.

Have a long drive ahead of you but you need to know what happens next in the book? Listen to the audiobook.

Can’t decide if showering is more important than reading your book? Listen to the audiobook while showering.

Need to catch up on your school reading by the end of the day? Listen to the audiobook all day until you do catch up.

There’s no book reading problem that an audiobook won’t solve. I’ve been using them for a while now and it has been life changing. However, I don’t actually buy any of them. Instead, I have magical ways of listening to them for free.

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Ok, not really, but as a person who loves free stuff and great deals, I’ve made it my life’s mission to find them. Continue reading

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Reliability in Fiction, Is it Important?

I’ve taken several speculative fiction literature classes, aka science fiction and fantasy, and in all those classes the issue of the narrator’s reliability is a discussion point that seems to comes up quite regularly. And quite frankly, I am tired of having the same discussion over and over again but with different titles, authors, and narrators. Here’s the thing, the narrator’s reliability is not important. What is important are the effects of the so called narrator’s reliability.

Choosing to discuss a fictional character’s reliability is ultimately useless for a couple of reasons, number one being that they are fictional and therefore do not exist. 

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I know, blasphemy, but let’s be real for a moment. This is like discussing what hurts more, child birth or being kicked in the balls, no one is ever going to know the answer to this. The point is, they both hurt. I’m not saying we should completely disregard the importance of a narrator’s reliability, but perhaps we should focus more on the effects of their narrating rather than questioning if we should believe them or not.

I recently read Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut and the narrator is one the most unreliable person I’ve read, especially because he chooses to believe Billy Pilgrim’s alien abduction and time travel claims. However, looking at the novel as a whole, it doesn’t matter if we believe he was really abducted or if he got all those ideas from reading science fiction novels, because what really matters are his experiences in the war, and more importantly, what came after. Their unreliability does not take away from the central message of this book, it adds to it.

Questioning their sanity however does take away from our understanding what Vonnegut intended, an anti-war novel. Whether or not he is telling the truth, Billy Pilgrim’s story will remain a war story, with aliens or without them. It’s a story about coping with death,  coping with a war’s aftermath, and coping with PTSD (although that was not in the DSM yet). That’s what is important in this novel.

Another reason why I don’t see the importance of a narrator’s authenticity is because viewpoints, if done right, are completely tied to the character’s background and personality (like real people) therefore, it is completely subjective. I thought of this the other night when I read a review of All the Ugly and Wonderful Things (I’m amazed at my ability to mention this book all the time), where the reviewer was skeptical of Kellen and Wavy’s reliability in telling their story, and it drove me crazy because:

 

  1. I don’t see how that matters in the story.
  2. Their narrating is entirely subjective because of who they are.

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Their storytelling is completely compromised by their background, or at least the lives Bryn Greenwood created for these characters. Wavy and Kellen’s lives are full of abuse, neglect, and come from troubled homes, all of which contribute to the way they look at the world. We, as people, shouldn’t expect others to see the world exactly as we do, so we shouldn’t expect it from the books we read either. Everyone has a different upbringing and experiences which undoubtedly shape the way one looks at the world, but it does not mean they are wrong though.

So instead of questioning the truth in fictional novels, which we know are already fake (it says it in the genre), we should leave the questioning objective narrators for non-fiction books who are the ones to claim they are telling us the truth.

So what do you think? Am I completely wrong? Do you think reliable character are important? Let me know in the comments! 

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Ship It or Rip It #2

In case you’ve forgotten how to play the game here are the rules:

  1. Write down an even number of character names from books, movies, tv shows, on pieces of paper or on an online randomized generator (I guess you can include real life people too).
  2. Fold the pieces of paper if you’re using paper.
  3. Scramble them or shuffle the pieces of paper.
  4. Pick out two names.
  5. Decide if you SHIP the chosen pairing or RIP the pairing.
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 until you’re all out of names.

Here we go! Continue reading

Tropes, Trends, and Thoughts on YA

I love Young Adult literature. It’s what got me into reading and what has kept me up at night, and I will forever be indebted for making me into a reader. Without YA I might have never turned to the online book communities like WordPress, Instagram, and YouTube. BUT, (you had to know a but was coming) in a previous post, I talked about how I’m growing out of YA but, I realized two things. 1) I never talked about the parts that YA has upset me and 2) I would have to dedicate a whole blog post to it. And now, here it is. Continue reading

Am I Growing Out of YA?

The YA genre is what reignited my love for reading when I was in middle school. Realizing that I could suddenly read about people my age was an amazing discovery for me at that age. I had grown out of kids books like Junie B. Jones and Charlotte’s Web and entered the world of teenagers with their complicated lives of first loves,  friendship drama, and high school. I fell in love with the genre because I found some part of me in them whether it was those pesky butterflies in my stomach or feeling like an outcast, I didn’t feel completely alone.

As a 22 year old, things have changed, I have changed, my interests have changed. When I go to a bookstore, or when I browse for new reads, YA isn’t a huge part of my browsing history anymore. This is weird for me because for the vast majority of my life I’ve read YA books, and now I see myself paying attention to books outside that genre. Not only that, but I’m annoyed by some of these books!

I’ve tried branching out to the New Adult genre because it caters to people in their early 20s, i.e. me, but I can’t stand it either save Colleen Hoover and Sarah J. Maas. Most of my annoyance with this genre comes from how all the books are the same and full of sex. Honestly, I think NA was created by YA authors who wanted to writer steamier romance scenes. It’s not what I’m looking for or what I was hoping for.

I know it’s not a bad thing, but I’m not sure where this leaves me. Because I was so invested in the YA genre, I knew what to look for, what authors to read, what books to read, and so on. But, now I’m in some sort of reading limbo. I don’t know where to start, what books to read, what authors to look out for, or even what book to movie adaptations to keep an eye out for.

So what does this mean? I’m not sure at all. I do know, this has been bugging me lately, and I needed to let it out in some way.

Please let me know what are your thoughts? What books should I read next to help me through this limbo? Have you experienced the same thing?

Follow Me On: Instagram | Goodreads

Ship It or Rip It #1

I’ve been seeing this game online especially in the BookTube community, and I wanted to give it a try. The rules are simple.

  1. Write down an even number of character names from books, movies, tv shows, on pieces of paper or on an online randomized generator (I guess you can include real life people too).
  2. Fold the pieces of paper if you’re using paper.
  3. Scramble them or shuffle the pieces of paper.
  4. Pick out two names.
  5. Decide if you SHIP the chosen pairing or RIP the pairing.
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 until you’re all out of names.

Shall we begin? Continue reading