Monday, January 9, 2017

Social Responsibility or Social Equality?

It's about that time of the month right about now. It's the favorite time of the year when you need to desperately finish reading an AP by the last few weeks of the school semester. So one of those people in that situation being me, I've started to read a book called, Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. So far, I've only read the first chapter since I basically started the book like two days ago. However it was difficult to pick and choose a book on the AP list. There are only so many appealing title and action packed classics! I hope you caught that joke but this week is going to be a mad dash to the end to try and finish this book. The first chapter at least wasn't too bad but there's a lot more pages to cover so I'm hoping that this book is enjoyable to the point where I can at least read and understand the text.

Now, although I haven't gone too deep into the book, the narrator, who is currently unnamed, has had a family of freed slaves. Of course, him himself has also had a pretty rough life as well. It seems that because of his racial status, white Americans have given im a hard life and that ties in with the title of the book of Invisible Man that the narrator isn't physically invisible, but he calls himself invisible because of the other people around him, refusing to accept or acknowledge him. In one of his past experiences with white Americans, he accidentally says social equality when he meant to say social responsibility which angered the people that he was surrounded by since saying that must have offended the men. "I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me" (Ellison 2). How can someone continue to try and attempt to live normally when the narrator gets beat, humiliated, and scarred? All of that leads to the reason he calls himself invisible. His self esteem has been lowered so much that he accepts that he is just a rejection to society. The thing is that even now in the current society there's still some traces of social inequality. At the very least though, its gotten significantly better than back then. Hopefully it stays that way too.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Unreliable Luck

Recently, I've been reading a book called, The Revenge Of the Bully by Scott Starkey. This book is actually the 3rd book out of 3. Now you may be wondering why I'm reading the 3rd book before reading the first two books. Well, I actually have read the previous books in throughout 9th grade and found out that Starkey released a 3rd book a long time ago but I just never realized it. Better yet, those 2 previous books have probably been some of my all-time favorite books to read so the excitement I had when I found out there was another whole book full of content to read was unexplainable. This week, I've read 170 pages and started the book last week. The basic gist of this trilogy has been about the main character Rodney Rathbone, who is probably is biggest coward in all of Ohio. However, no one quite knows that he's the person that he actually is. Well, almost everyone. Throughout the past years, his luck has been almost supernatural and this luck of his, is what gave him his reputation as a cool, tough guy. It gave him opportunities to slip away from trouble and also, what made it began it all, a beating from the good ol' bully.

Although he has lucked out of his troubles countless times, there have been times where he hasn't been so lucky. Remember just a while ago I mentioned that ALMOST everyone thinks he's a cool hero? Well, the only people who do know his real personality as a coward are his enemies. Those enemies range from school teachers, bullies, rich adults, camp counselors, the list never ends. They're main purpose is to try and take Rodney down due to some of the things he's done to them in the past. To me, this book really emphasizes that you shouldn't rely on things that are unreliable and always expect to slip out. "I flinched as Josh exploded, but instead of me, he grabbed Toby by the shoulders and spun him halfway around the room before hurling him through the air" (Starkey 3). Rodney had once again escaped the bully by just the luck of Josh hitting Toby instead of Rodney since Josh thinks that Toby is just annoying. By the way, Toby is one of Rodney's biggest enemies in case you didn't know. But people can't just expect to get lucky all the time and wing it. It's better to be prepared or ready for anything life decides to throw at you. Later in the book, Rodney finally realizes that this isn't right to just take credit and expect his reputation to go on forever until his luck ends and he spills it all to one of his closest friends what his real personality is. But if you were in Rodney's shoes having to deal with his enemies and problems but never knowing what might happen next, what would you do to deal with it? Could you be able to go under all the stress that he deals with?

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Putting Yourself Before Others

So I finally finished the whole "Maze Runner" series with the final book, The Kill Order by James Dashner which was the prequel to The Maze Runner. The majority of the book was the main characters Mark and Alec on a journey to go and rescue Trina and Deedee who were captured by people with a disease that makes their brain go crazy. This last book took significantly longer to read because in my opinion, it wasn't as suspenseful to make the reader attached to the book and didn't have much action. It felt as if it had a well thought out beginning and ending but in between, things were just crammed to make the book have length. However, as an upside, which kept me from abandoning this book, was that this book answered many mysteries and fit the puzzle pieces together to where you could grasp the whole storyline of events. It really is disappointing as you finish a really great book or series because you want more content and want to find out what else happens after. 

As I was reading through this book, the majority of the story did have a clear theme that I noticed. That theme was risking your life for someone else's. "Maybe. It’s now or never. Cameras and guards? It’s a big risk. But they have our friends.  Alec nodded slowly. Said like a true soldier"(207). Even with the circumstances, Mark and Alec still are willing to go through such harm and danger without hesitation to save their friends. If you really think about it, even for people who are very close to you, you risk your one most valuable possession so another person can keep theirs. Reflecting on this made me think about people in our society now who are willing to give up things to help others. Maybe not with things like your life but the small ones that really matter like that extra dollar, homework you forgot to do, or helping you find lost items. Those types of people in our society give up their needs to help others with theirs. As of now, those people are lacking in our world but are definitely somewhere along the billions of people on this earth. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Live Life to the Fullest

Recently, I've been reading a nonfiction book called Life Without Limits by Nick Vujicic who was born without any arms or legs. Its been really hard to find a nonfiction book because in my opinion, I don't find nonfiction books as appealing as fiction stories. I've been searching for a long time for that perfect book and wondering through the halls of the public library until i found this book which really stood out from the rest. I feel kind of guilty by having the picture of a guy with no limbs stick out for me but looking at the cover and summary it seemed like a interesting book. I've only read the first couple pages of the book so far but I find it more interesting than I thought. Even through the first couple pages, I could really feel the tone and the inspiration behind this book which really get me in the feels and blows my mind about how crazy this story was. He tells us about the struggles, challenges, depressions of going through his life and how he faced those obstacles in his life.

According to the author, this book was written for the sole purpose of inspiring other people to live life without limits and to strive for their goals. "If you have the desire and passion to do something, and it's within God's will, you will achieve it" (9). When I think about this quote, I feel like I relate to this during times where I think my life is really hard. But finding this books makes me reflect on my life and realized that what I think is hard in my life, was nothing to Vujicic's life. I thought I had it hard, but he grew up all his life with a major disability and yet he's published a book to inspire others. Through the book, you may notice many hints that Vukicic is a strong religious believer and therefore revolves some parts of his book around the idea of faith and hope. But without keeping confidence and a good attitude, then it could only get worse. Your goal shouldn't be something easily attainable but rather really push you to your limits and to build you up to become a better person. No matter the situation hope shouldn't be something easily lost but instead kept until the very end. Even in football, when a team is down my one touchdown, with only 10 seconds left in the 4th quarter starting from the other side of the field, I still have that small sliver of hope that they can make a miracle play and come out winning the game. I mean, it's not like a bad mood is gonna change anything besides spreading to others which would cause them to also have a bad mood. Having a good attitude benefits others so that they too could have a good attitude and a positive attitude isn't going to make anything worse and it could only get better.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Trust and Betrayal

Well I'm now just about done with The Scorch Trials with just a few more pages left to go. After I do finish this book I will most likely go out and buy the next books as well. I went through about 192 pages to the end of the book this week due to me also reading before I go to sleep. I am still also searching for a nonfiction book to read that I would enjoy so that it will make it easier when reading it.
While reading through the last parts of The Scorch Trials, there were many different plot twists and surprising parts of the story. Dashner used lots of irony and shows how broad his imagination is while writing the book. It's very fascinating how he can think of all this story and action through just words in a book to get the reader really get the message and just really get into it. "He felt empty and lost like he didn't belong anywhere" (239). There was lots of despair and had a very depressing tone throughout most of the last half of the book. In the story, Thomas gets betrayed over and over again by people he thought he was really close to and the thing is that the creators are doing it on purpose to break him and to make him go insane. While I was reading through these parts, I could really see the emotions of the text through the good description and the diction that the author used. Overall, this book was a really good experience to read and I'm excited to read the next 2 books as well.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

"Motivation" to Read "The Scorch Trials"

The Scorch Trials as a fiction book has left me with a challenge to read more often whether it's in school or in my free time. Trying to read more and more leaves me to think about the long term affects and the benefits of reading on a daily basis. But lucky for me that this book I am reading right has been really good so far continuing off from the first book. There's been lots of mysterious plot twist moments where it leaves you confused and questioning what happens which makes the book more suspenseful. This week, I've read 147 pages during school and out of school and it so hard to stop reading since at the end of a chapter, there's almost always a cliffhanger.

During the beginning of the book, Thomas and the rest of the "Gladers" get separated from Teresa and is probably the most affected by it. But as they move along the scorch Thomas sees her for a short moment but after that moment when they separate again, Thomas feels even more depressed now. "I felt her absence. it was like waking up one day with no teeth in your mouth. You wouldn't need to run to the mirror to know they were gone"(35). James Dashner used this comparison to show the feelings of Thomas better than to just explain it. Thomas truthfully loves Teresa although it was never really directly stated in the book but she seems to be the catalyst to drive Thomas to survive and fight. Thomas seems to have motivation due to trying to be able to be with Teresa and this really stuck out to me since people in our society don't really have lots of motivation to do much like for example going to school. Even though it's essential to get good grades, many people don't even know what they want to do for a living which leads to people not being in top form whenever they do go to school. Everyone should have something or someone that they try and be successful for. It helps the person become more motivated and makes the person try harder or put more effort into something. Throughout reading this book, I wondered about what drives me to put meaning into my life.

Friday, September 2, 2016

I Am a Sad Princess

Me as a person, i'm not really the consistent reader that a regular person should be doing but I do have times when I do get into reading during the books that I know I will enjoy. Not the type of person to be open about many different kinds of books. I would very rarely open up a book at home and start reading for fun just because either I wouldn't currently be reading someone that interests me or because I would just rather be doing something else whether it's homework or watching tv. But as of right now, I am currently reading "The Maze Runner" series reading through the second book and so far its been a pretty enjoyable series.
So following from that, my reading goals aren't too spectacular from the eyes of a regular reader but to me its a new thing. 
I plan on reading through 7 books during this school year which i'm not sure is possible but you can only read so many books in a school year. In those 7 books, there should be 2 AP books which i'm not sure what 2 books they will be yet and "Lord of the Flies" by William Golding. But hopefully they will be books that will fit my interests.