Tuesday, May 16, 2017

I Believe in the Universe's Secret of the Velvet Sea

  Welcome my last blog, diligent bloggers! I thank you for staying tuned to my blogs and bid you farewell with my last entry. My life has been busy but I have managed to accomplish my goal of reading 10 books!!! I didn't get a chance to talk about some of the books I have read recently, but I will now. You might be wondering why the title of this blog is very unusual, and that is because I combined the title of the books I have read to make this beautiful concoction. I have been reading a new book every 2 weeks and yet I still have not managed to finish reading Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys. Don't get me wrong, the book is very interesting! Maybe I would just rather move on to other kinds of books like I Believe In A Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo, Velvet by Temple West (my 5th time reading it because it is AMAZING!), Guide To the Crystal Gems by Rebecca Sugar (an informational book about one of my favorite shows Steven Universe!), and The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (my AP book). A trend in the books I have read is that they tend to be warm/happy books that focus on the positive things in life amidst the obstacles and struggles.

  I am currently reading a fictional book called  The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. The book is told in the perspective of Lily Owens, a 14-year old that goes through a rough beginning. The summary of the book explains Lily's journey moving in with 3 African American beekeeping sisters while learning how to be a strong woman. Reading the first pages surprised me. I was surprised that a 14-year old could have such deep thoughts about symbolism in her surroundings and how people could be so naive about death. One time, when she noticed bees outside her window, she believed they represented how her life would change after her mother's death. The bees foreshadowed that she would be moving in with the beekeepers. Regarding the end of human life, Lily ponders, "Every one of those bees could have descended on me like a flock of angels and stung me till I died, and it wouldn't have been the worst thing to happen. People who think dying is the worst thing don't know a thing about life" (2). This shows how her mother's death caused her to have a realistic point of view that many people did not share at her age.

  After thinking about her words I realized that I was only surprised about her feelings because they are the same as mine. Once my sister died, I harbored many of the same feelings and especially thoughts. I wrote poems and stories about how I felt that, similar the story mirrored now in the words I see before me in this book. I have come to understand that as people have more experiences, they will interpret the meaning of those experiences the best they can. They will interpret dreams, literature, and the physical world around them just to make sense of the world. But the universe we coexist in offers as many symbolic interpretations as it does with its secrets. The Secret Life of Bees has showed me that it is possible for characters to share a mutual insight on certain topics that apply to all humans, like death of a loved one or suffering.



Saturday, April 22, 2017

Ohana

  


  Keeping up with my book goal is becoming more and more difficult as I attempt to balance my priorities for other classes. When I usually read books that are around 400 pages, it takes me about an entire month to finish because I like to savor the books I read. Nonetheless, I have managed to finish Beautiful Lies by Jessica Warman, Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp, and To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. One similarity these books share is the theme of loss being everyone's fate; whether it is losing themselves, or losing someone they love. I'm going to challenge myself to finish the many series that I have started in middle school and have loved! By doing this, I have a sense that I will be as genuinely happy as I used to be back then.

  I am currently reading Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys. This adventurous book follows 4 teenagers on their trek across Europe after WW2. I just finished reading this one scene that had me so surprised... (SPOILER ALERT!!!) Emilia, a Polish 15-year-old refugee, travels with another one of the teenagers, Joana, a Lithuanian nurse. As Joana conducts a medical checkup on Emilia, she realizes that Emilia was 8 months pregnant the whole time they were making the trek. The very fact that Joana was not explicitly surprised meant that after witnessing so many casualties of the war, nothing really could shock her. Some events are so unexpected that most people do not know how to handle the event. Yet, Joana knew she should do what she could with her skills so that Emilia stays alive.

  Joana, like the rest of the teenagers, was separated from her family because of the war. As she remembered her past memories with her family that she abandoned back home and her life before the war, she would think, "I used to complain that family dinners lasted too long, that we were forced to sit at the table when I needed to study for exams...War had rearranged my priorities. I now clung to memories more than goals or material things. But there were a few irreplaceable items that buoyed my spirit and fight for life" (120).

Image result for ohana  16 days after I turned 8, my eldest sister passed away. Death is always surprising and in my instance, even life changing. I went through a phase in my life where I became upset whenever anyone complained to me about the events going on in their lives. "I hate my sister so much, she always takes my things without telling me", "My mom is always making me this nasty food, even though she doesn't know how to cook", "I'm so annoyed that my dad didn't get me the new iPhone 7", yadda yadda yadda. Any opportunity you get with your family, whether or not it's getting into a fight, creates memories for years to come because bonds are strengthened through experiences. People should not take their loved ones for granted. When I heard these complaints about their close friends or family, I would tell them that they were overreacting. It irritated me that they didn't understand the value of the people they had in their lives because I knew that once you lose someone, you lose the chance to appreciate them. My sister's death allowed me to reflect on myself and now I do my best to help others realize that everything in life should be cherished and kept close to the heart.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

All About M....y Love For Reading

Welcome to my extremely interesting and very unique 1st Blog Post of 2017. My current name is Tasha and I love going to book conventions! Fun fact: I was born with the name Twinkle until my parents decided to change it to Tasha a couple of weeks after I was born (talk about having an identity crisis, am I right?). Although reading is a necessary requirement to achieve a successful life in today's society, I happen to enjoy doing it. Reading allows me to travel further than humanly possible. Even though reading is an individual action, I think that it helps people learn social skills like how to be humorous, serious, and even empathetic.  
When I was a child I loved reading silly books like Amelia Bedelia, Magic Tree House series, Captain Underpants, Geronimo Stilton books, etc.
Sadly, high school workload can be overbearing and I don't get much time to read. Since I want to finish reading 10 books by the end of school, I really need to prioritize my time! I am able to read subtitles on Japanese anime which justifies my time spent watching it. On the weekends I have invested most of my time reading romantic fantasy series like An Unfortunate Fairy Tale series, or the Alpha Girl series (which is secretly my all time favorite series that I bought on iBooks). I would like to read:

  • The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  • As I Lay Dying by Faulkner
I am currently reading Salt To The Sea by Ruta Sepetys, the story is told in the perspective of young adults and I am anxious to find out how all of the characters are connected. In a way, everything we do is connected to our fate... it is just a matter of time until we find that connection.