The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

★★★★☆

I actually had to read this novel for school. And surprisingly, for once, it was pretty good. This international bestseller by Markus Zusak won many awards for its complicated story and wonderful characters.

Liesel Meminger is the main character in the book, and her story is told through the perspective of “Death” in Germany during the 30’s and the Second World War. She is a young German girl who is fostered by two poor parents and as the story goes on, Liesel grows into a teenage girl. Along the way, she develops family relationships, makes friends, learns valuable lessons, and creates her own values, all while the horrors of Hitler’s rise and the war occur. It’s a coming-of-age novel that will strike a chord with readers.

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Let me start by saying that this book is bursting with literary devices. The entire book is quite literally one giant metaphor, as “Death” tells the story. Every page has a metaphor somewhere, used in some way. You could be talking about socks and there would still be some deep metaphor made by the author. This is really great for analyzing and interpreting the multiple meanings. When I was discussing this book in a seminar, we all interpreted the book differently, and our answers were all reasonable. The descriptions are so detailed and the language used is not complicated and not too easy, which I like in a book.

The fact that Death tells the story, I found, was very interesting. It created a lot of literary devices and all, but it was also interesting to see how Zusak used Death to illustrate its role in the war. He talks about how “busy” Death becomes in the war and how demanding Hitler is of Death. I think it’s quite clever, and it was enjoyable to read these parts.

The thing I didn’t like about the book is that it is so unnecessarily long. There are countless parts in the book where I could not find a single explanation as to what it adds to the book. Trust me when I say I genuinely tried to find its relevance to the book; I was being graded on my analysis. Not only were these parts useless, but they were just plain boring! Some characters have no real purpose in the book. In fact, they just take away from the story. This book would be so much better if it was less than 584 pages.

Overall, this book was pretty enjoyable. I would recommend this to freshmen, not sophomores (as I was when I read this book). Thanks for reading!

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Hi there!

Nice to meet you. I’m SK. It’s my code name and initials. I’ve joined as an author on Exclusory and I’m excited to be here! I write book reviews mainly but if I ever think of or experience something interesting, I’ll make something about it. Here’s a brief little intro of me!

I’m one of those people who loves personality tests because I’m extremely self-centered and love talking about myself, so if you’re into that stuff too, I’m an INT-J personality type. Comment yours!

Likes: Reading, creative writing, photography in general, long hikes, accessory shopping, peace and quiet, rock (alternative, psychedelic, soft, pop) + R&B music, breakfast food, roller coasters, board games, the idea of exploring the world alone

Dislikes: Socializing for extended periods of time, the loud, the ignorant, the stupid, the boring, spiders, ice cream

Hopefully you all don’t hate me based on this. I’m pretty cool once you get to know me. I’ll see you guys around!

Sunday Post (2)

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme by The Caffeinated Book Reviewer in which bloggers are able to share news and happenings in their lives on their blog. This idea is fantastic and I look forward to participating in this in the future as well. 

This past week has been so busy at university! I had a bunch of essays and assignments due, and I also had a midterm. Now I have a week off uni to prepare for my next set of midterms, how exciting! I have decided to take this week to study, get back into reading and work on my blog. 

To start off the week, I went hiking with the family. It was so relaxing, rejuvenating and I took quite a bit of pictures. The ones you see below are the best ones that I took with my new phone.

Our hope was to see fall colours, but it’s not exactly time for that yet! I got two fall coloured pictures, as you can see, but other than that, I took pictures of the beach. The place was totally empty and it was so perfect because it was so peaceful and calming.

The hiking was quite tiring, but was worth it in the end. We also did some fishing, ate some of the delicious snacks that we took with us and went out to a restaurant for Thanksgiving dinner (I’m Canadian). Overall, great start to the week and now I must get into gear for some studying!

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I’m just about to start reading Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine! The review of this book I read on Echoing Mind made me want to read it right away. Stay tuned for a review coming very soon.

Other than that, I’ll be back with another blog post very soon! See you then, and thank you for reading!

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University (1)

With the first month of my second year at university coming to an end, I can’t help but feel so sad that I haven’t posted a blog post in quite a bit of time. To be honest, I haven’t really been doing anything fun, other than studying, going to meetings and doing readings for classes. I haven’t even had the chance to read a good book since summer ended. I think I’ll designate my winter break to be the month during which I read as many books and write as many reviews as I can, and I’m already looking forward to it!

For now, I will try to upload a blog post every now and then on any kind of topic that interests me. If you have some ideas of what you’d like to see me write about, please leave a comment below! I’d love some ideas.

How’s your school / work / university / college going? Super busy? Let me know! Thank you for reading.

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Stacking the Shelves

 Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews where bloggers discuss the books that they have borrowed from the library or bought to add to their shelves. I personally think it’s a fabulous idea, so shoutout to them!

I have recently added two mystery / thriller novels to my shelf. The first one is One of Us is Lying, which I am reading at the moment. Next on my list is Watch Me Disappear. What  drew me to these books was the various reviews I’ve read on them on other people’s blog, as well as the cover of the novels. I know, don’t judge a book by its cover, but when the cover looks nice, it really does intrigue you!

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I’m not really enjoying One of Us is Lying so far! I’ve already lost interest in it….. I will most likely stop reading it, and move on to the other fabulous books that are waiting on my shelf!

Have you read either of these novels? If so, what did you think of them?

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How to Stay Organized

In this post I will be talking about the ways in which I try to stay organized in my everyday life. I chose this topic to write about because I ran a poll on my Twitter, and the winning option was a post on how I stay organized (as seen below). Be sure to go and follow it because I will be hosting more polls on which blog posts you’d like to see me post! Now, onto the topic of the day…..

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When talking about staying organized, I will focus more on staying organized from an academic perspective, as I am currently a university student. Of course, some of these tips can also apply to your everyday life, if you’re interested in that.

First and foremost, have some sort of planner / calendar / to-do list, or even a combination of all these things. You will be able to keep a running record of what you need to get done for that day or week, and it will give you an overview of your plan of action. In this way, you won’t forget something important that needs to get done. Hold yourself accountable when you can’t complete your to-do list and reflect on the reason(s) as to why you were not able to complete everything on that list.

Keeping a planner is all good, but try your best not to over-plan. I’m guilty of doing this! I am always over-ambitious when I’m writing my to-do list in my agenda, and in the end, when I haven’t done some of the things in my planner, I feel quite annoyed! Recently, I have begun to write two or three realistic things that need to get done in a day, and when I get them done I feel incredibly accomplished. 

To be quite honest, staying organized in all that you do will pay dividends when it comes time to review your notes for tests or exams. If you have been diligently attending lectures and taking notes, then you are able to go one step further and organize these notes into designated folders on your computer or into binders. This will ensure all your notes are kept in one location and you do not need to go scrambling last minute to get your study notes together. See the picture below which shows a little overview of how I organize all of my lecture and reading notes.

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Finally, I find that having cute stationary (i.e. pens, sticky notes, highlighters, erasers, pencils, etc.) and notebooks keeps me motivated and interested in whatever it is that I’m doing. My favourite store to purchase stationary would have to be Muji! I find Muji to be reasonably priced with top quality items. I did a mini-haul the other day, and my purchases can be seen in the picture below.

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I truly hope these tips helped you in some way! All the pictures in this post were taken by yours truly! What is a method that you use to stay organized? Please feel free to comment your tips below, I’d love to hear them 🙂 

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In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

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★★★☆☆

I love how the cover of this novel goes with my blog theme! Anyway, this was an okay-ish book. Lots of twists and turns, however it was a little unrealistic for me. I had really high expectations for this book, and although the beginning of the book was fabulous, it honestly fell flat for me shortly thereafter.

Leonora Shaw is incredibly surprised when she receives an invitation to her old friend’s bachelorette party at a cozy cottage, or so she thinks. Leonora lives an isolated life as a writer who doesn’t communicate much with others. She can usually be found holed up in her house writing her novels, or sending emails to her publishers. She contacts one of her other friends, who is also invited to the party, and checks in with her to see if she is attending the party. Her friend tells her that she too has been taken by surprise after having received this invitation out of the blue. Nonetheless, Nora impulsively accepts the invitation and this simple action sets off a number of events that nobody saw coming.

Once Leonora arrives at the cottage, she notices that it actually isn’t much of a cottage. More like a creepy, sinister glass house located in the woods. As the days progress, there are some interesting interactions between the party guests, and Leonora notices that they are all not alone and that there is in fact someone else in these woods who is possibly watching their every move. Who could it be? Is it someone they know, or a stranger? 

I can’t go into too much detail otherwise I will most definitely give away what the book is about. I honestly felt as though so much more could be added to this book because it seemed to skim over the surface in a lot of its most thrilling parts, which is mainly the reason as to why I rate this book 3/5 stars.

Have you read this novel? If so, what did you think of it? 

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