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Lessons Learned… A guide to Canva a photo editing tool + downloadable Infographic :)

Closet Readers

Here on ‘Closet Readers’ we believe in learning from each other and we are inviting you to come share with us the lessons you’ve learnt. If you would like to be a guest on our blog and share something you’ve learnt now or in the near future (this is a permanent feature) find more information here Lessons Learned Help and FAQ.

Calliope from Calliopethebookgoddess agreed to come share a few tips on using Canva. Canva is  a great tool for editing images 🙂

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Sunday Teenage Musings: Invisibility, Boys, and Prom

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I’ve had a lovely 4 day weekend because of the snow and don’t really have much bookish things to talk about currently so I’m just going to post some of the thoughts that rattle around in that brain of mine.


Am I invisible?

I was in my school’s weight room the other day with a friend of mine and there were the usual football crew and other boys in the there. My friend and I were doing some abs, and these 3 boys kept playing with her and stealing her shoes and she stole their phones in retaliation.

No one looked at me, not even a glance. It wasn’t like I didn’t know these boys either, they were in my classes, knew my name and have had actual conversations with me. I mentioned my invisibility to my friend and told her that the boys were so flirting with her but she dismissed it.

The next time we were in the weight room, one of the boys kicked my shoe when we were doing crunches. Okay so I wasn’t invisible after all I guess, right? I guess my friend is just more of an attention people person, whereas I am more of a huddle in the corner of a room reading a book kind of person.

The point is, I’m fine with that. I was upset at first that I was the sidekick who wasn’t paid attention to, but I’m realizing that I’m fine with it, might even like it. Cause really I didn’t want the attention, I only thought I did, if that makes sense? I think I like the idea of things more than I like actually doing them.

(Cough cough boys. I like the idea of a boyfriend but do I necessarily want one?)

That also leads me to the topic of boys in general and prom. My junior prom is coming up in April and it’s taken my grade by a storm. Everyone is talking about it. Someone gets asked every other day it seems.

I suppose that makes sense, February, Valentine’s Day etc. there has to be a link there. At first I was like oh my god who’s going to ask me. And then I took a step back to assess my situation and realized that I wouldn’t want to be asked for the sake of asking.

I mean that I’d rather go with my friends who I’d have a better time with anyway because my date might not want to dance or be self conscious and it would just be awkward if I didn’t know the guy too much.

Not that I wouldn’t mind being asked either.

My mother says she’s sick of hearing about prom and that she doesn’t see a point in it.

I disagree. As juniors, especially IB juniors, we get so stressed trying to get good grades for college, and I think having a junior prom is a way to promote excitement and de-stress for a night.

And the thing is, I know my mom will make prom as hard for me as possible because that’s how she is, so it’s probably even better that I won’t have a date, right?

But I don’t want my mom to be the reason for me not having a date if that makes sense? But also who am I kidding I don’t really date period because of her. But also am I just using my mom as my excuse not to date? Thoughts in my brain people. Hmm I’m making a sexuality post next because I feel that I want to cause I’m confuzzled.


So anyway, I hope you enjoyed my musings, and have a super lovely day!

-Calliope

 

Are books too unrealistic? // Discussion

TECHNOLOGI

So I recently read By Your Side by Kasie West and it got me really thinking about realistic vs unrealistic expectations in books. The main character in By Your Side had an anxiety disorder and going to parties made her extremely uncomfortable.

Now maybe I don’t understand anxiety disorders enough, but it seemed to me that someone with an anxiety disorder would not be able to touch and sleep in a sleeping bag with a boy from school who she’d been talking to for like one day.

I did like the book in the end but it seemed a little too good to be true kind of a thing.

I don’t know if I have some form of anxiety or not, but today in Spanish Club we had a chocolate fountain as kind of a Valentine’s Day party and there was a huge crowd in a small classroom and I felt like I couldn’t breathe and I just needed to step outside.

And when the girl in By Your Side has a bag stuffed over her head I physically felt like that was me and while reading I was just imagining myself in that position and then I started like freaking out basically.

Anyway, back to my discussion, I feel like a lot of YA books, especially contemporaries are kind of unrealistic and not okay for teens to take as advice I guess is what I’m trying to say.

Books and how well I can relate

It’s hard for me to find a book that I can really relate with and say YES this character is 100% real.

But then I was like hmm isn’t that one of the reasons I read books though? To escape reality and delve into a new world? Well yes, but it would be nice to resurface from a book and be able to apply it to my own life.

Some problems teens have that are not addressed in book enough include the following:

Acne, makeup, self esteem and confidence issues, high school being hard grades wise, parental problems.

And these just might be my problems that no one else has, but I feel like they aren’t.

Things YA books seem to lack

Most books I read have amazing parents. Like I’m jealous. My relationship with my mother is pretty different than most books. But then again, most books I read have American mothers, while mine is not. That’s another thing not addressed enough, being 1st generation American and dealing with being an American and a different ethnicity at the same time almost.

And don’t even get me started on the free time thing! Maybe it’s just my own individual experience again rising up, but as a junior in high school time is something I often lack.

I have to juggle school, being in the IB program, taekwondo, dance, track/cross country, my family, blogging, and writing. It’s a lot. So when characters in books are able to just drive home from school like it’s nothing, have time to date and hang out and go anywhere without parental permission, I’m just mind boggled. Maybe I do too much? But no, college needs to see extracurriculars obviously, so I don’t know how YA characters can do nothing and still get into college.

And also the lack of buses is something I’ve noticed. Everyone can drive apparently. I get it, characters are seniors and have cars and yada yada. But hello, my mother will never let me drive to school even when I get my license in a few months and DO get a car. She says there’s a perfectly good school bus to take me to school. But then again, that could be my mother/she’s not an American mother showing again.

Also grades! I’m smart. I know I am. Then I started IB and taking harder classes and I’ve been frustrated at my declining grades. The thing is, YA characters seem to be geniuses with no homework, school, studying, or procrastination problems!

Is it just me?

I also started to think maybe I’m not reading diversely enough? But I think my reading is pretty diverse, and I read a lot of YA, which should have problems that Young Adults have, right?

Of course I love my cute contemporaries that have totally unrealistic endings of the girl getting the guy, but it would be nice to be able to relate more to characters.

Huh maybe I should write my own contemporary about a high school girl who’s first generation and has all of the aforementioned issues in her life?


So anyway, I think I’ve prattled on for long enough. Let me know your thoughts! Am I being way too silly or do you feel the same way?

No hate on By Your Side btw, I gave it a 4 star rating.

Stay awesome Sassenachs!-Calliope Fraser

P.s. Everyone is obsessed with junior prom in April, me included! Promposals have already started happening! I really don’t think I will be asked, so I’ll be most likely going with my best friends, which it totally fine with me! 🙂

 

 

January 2017 Wrap Up

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Guess which idiot forgot to post her January wrap up yesterday cause she was so tired? That’s right this one. So my month was really slow on account of midterms, so I sneaked in a quick re read of a short book in there, and then I read two books right after midterms to make up for my slow month.

I think my month was also slow because I was trying to read The Well of Ascension, Mistborn book 2, and it’s giant and this trilogy takes a while to get to.

Anyhoo, let’s get into my wrap up! I read 8 books!


I read books 1 and 2 of the Mistborn trilogy!

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I actually started the first book in December and basically finished it January 1st or 2nd, so really I only “read” one misbtorn book this month, Well of Ascension. I think I’ll do a trilogy review when I finish book 3 eventually.

I also read these three YA books!

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So I guess I have the unpopular opinion in that I didn’t really like the Sun is also a Star…I seem to do that with Nicola Yoon’s books, everyone loves them and I don’t. I do love all 3 of these covers, they’re so gorgeous. I really liked the Midnight Star, I gave it a 4 star rating. It wasn’t as good as the Legend Trilogy I thought, but I stilled liked it! And then A Thousand Pieces of You I thought I would love because of the beautiful cover and the things I’ve heard but it disappointed me a bit.

I did a quick re-read of book 1 of the Captive prince trilogy because it’s short and I don’t have time to read…

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And then I read my two favorite books of this month, Heartless by Marissa Meyer and Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy!

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I loved Heartless, you can read my full review here! I gave it a 4 star rating, and if you don’t know, it’s the prequel to the Queen of Hearts that we know from Alice in Wonderland basically. I also loved Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy! I gave it a 5 star rating! It was so fun being back in the world of the Mortal Instruments and this book just reminded me of my favorite characters all over again, and I could get the stupid tv show characters out of my head for a while.

Actually interesting enough, the only character that I imagined in my head from the tv show while reading was Izzy. I guess that means subconsciously I think Izzy is doing a good job…unlike Jace and Clary and pretty much everyone else…

I used to like Malec on the show but I don’t anymore, sorry if you like the Shadowhunters tv show…but I don’t, I think it sucks actually. Ooh, Simon too at times I could see as Alberto Rosende, so good job to him playing Simon too!


I also read 3/4 of Outlander this month, but I’m not going to count it since I had that cheat with Captive Prince.

What did you read this month? Link me up with your January wrap ups and I’ll check them out!

Stay awesome Sassenachs!-Calliope Fraser

 

 

 

Heartless by Marissa Meyer Book Review

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Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Page Number: 453

Publisher: Feiwel and Friends

Publication Date: November 8th, 2016

Format Read: Hardcover (Bought)


Goodreads Synopsis:

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. But for her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for a woman who could be a queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into a secret courtship.

Cath is determined to choose her own destiny. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

My Thoughts:

Wow I haven’t done a book review in a while, and also I read this one so late, I’ve had it since November…and I still haven’t finished my September birthday bookhaul…yikes

Anyway, I was so excited to read this book because it’s by Marissa Meyer, one of my favorite fantasy writers, and also because the cover and the naked book are both gorgeous. I had so much fun taking pictures of Heartless for my bookstagram!

I love fairy tale retellings especially ones about evil queens before they became evil! I must say the story went in a different direction than I thought!

For one, Catherine was such a sweet girl I could not see her as the Queen we know from the other stories until the end really and even then it wasn’t that convincing.

Another thing was the king of Hearts. He was such an idiot I was so surprised that his people let him rule. I was so sure Catherine was going to marry him and then poison him basically. How Hearts managed to survive with such an idiot as their King I don’t know.

I also think that Catherine’s rage at the end wasn’t as convincing. I don’t know, Marissa Meyer is a great writer, but I feel like something was missing at the end of this book.

I don’t know if it will be a series or not, but I would be open to reading more!

So now time for the gushing! I was so compelled by this book that I ditched midterm studying! Jkjk. Well not really…anyway, I just wanted to not sleep or study and just keep reading because I wanted to know what happened next so badly!

I loved Cath and Jest they were so cute I wished there were more moments with them together! Also Cath’s baking fantasy was so nice, though I wonder how she got into that considering she’s part of the nobility.

Also her rage at Mary Ann, oh my, that was necessary.

I really want a hat from Hatta that will make me smart and good at school and doing well in physics to be honest…

Verdict:

A very fun and addicting retelling! Marissa Meyer is just so great at them fairy tale retellings!

My Rating:

4 out of 5 stars


Have you read this book? What did you think? 

Stay awesome Sassenachs!-Calliope Fraser

My Favorite Songs at the Moment!

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Hello! Like many people I love to listen to music and on spotify I have a lovely playlist with some of my favorite songs at the moment that I thought I would share today!

1. Lollipop, Blame It On The Girls, Love Today by Mika

4. The Arena, Prism by Lindsey Stirling, Hold My Heart, Mirage by Lindsey Stirling

8. Panic Station, Supermassive Black Hole by Muse

10. Are You Gonna Be My Girl, Cold Hard Bitch by Jet

12. Cake by the Ocean by DNCE

13. Come Get Some, Enough by Counterfeit

15. Sick of Losing Soulmates, I Have A Hole In My Tooth by dodie

17. Not Over You by Tessa Violet

18. Chocolate by The 1975

19. Footloose by Kenny Loggins, from the Footloose movie

20. Build Me Up Buttercup by The Foundations

21. Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You by John Lloyd Young

22. Wings by Little Mix

23. Do You Love Me by The Contours

24. Someone In The Crowd, LA LA LAND (OMG love this soundtrack so much and going to see La La Land tomorrow finally!

35. Another Day Of Sun, from La La Land


Do you also love any of these songs? Who’s seen La La Land?? I’ve heard such great things and am so excited to see it!

Stay awesome Sassenachs!-Calliope Fraser

P.s. #womensmarch

P.P.S. January is midterm month and I’ve read like 4 books so far, go me, but in my defense I’m making my way through the mistborn trilogy which is humongous

The Diverse Books Tag

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I was tagged by Casey @ adoptabookaus to do the Diverse Books Tag! Thank you so much! I’d been eyeing this tag for quite a while now!

The Rules

  • Credit the original creator, Read Diverse Books.
  • The Diverse Books Tag is a bit like a scavenger hunt. I will task you to find a book that fits a specific criteria and you will have to show us a book you have read or want to read.
  • If you can’t think of a book that fits the specific category, then I encourage you to go look for one. A quick Google search will provide you with many books that will fit the bill. (Also, Goodreads lists are your friends.) Find one you are genuinely interested in reading and move on to the next category.

Find a book starring a lesbian character.

Beauty Queens

I honestly don’t think I’ve read any books with a lesbian main character, like there have been side characters but not any main characters which is a problem I think. I think Beauty Queens by Libba Bray did actually if my memory serves me right. Though Beauty Queens wasn’t my favorite book…oh wait, no I think there was a transgender girl, not a lesbian…hmm…wait no there was definitely a girl on the island who liked other girls…? Idk man honestly I read this book a while ago. Feel free to yell at me in the comments haha

Find a book with a Muslim protagonist.

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The Kite Runner. I read this book for school last year and it was my favorite book we read for sure!

Find a book set in Latin America.

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Huh another one I don’t think I’ve read. A book on my tbr set in Latin America is Wanderlove by Kristen Hubbard, but I think based on the cover the protagonist is white? Hmm..

Find a book about a person with a disability.

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Me Before You! I guess I probably shouldn’t say anything for fear of spoiling, but there’s a character with a disability!

Find a science-fiction or fantasy book with a POC protagonist.

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Passenger! By Alexandra Bracken, the love interest is black if I remember correctly when I read this quite a while ago also.

Find a book set in (or about) any country in Africa.

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Things Fall Apart which I read in 9th grade I believe. I’m pretty sure my entire class hated this book but I liked it!

Find a book set in South Asia (Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, etc.)

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The Star Touched Queen. I was going to use The Kite Runner for this one, but is also took place in America some.

Find a book written by an Indigenous or Native author.

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Night counts right? This book is about Elie Wiesel’s experience in Natzi Germany and Hitler’s concentration camps.

Find a book with a biracial protagonist.

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To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before! I love this book! Lara Jean is a great protagonist, and we’re getting a third book apparently?

Find a book starring a transgender character or about transgender issues.

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The Art of Being Normal. I don’t want to spoil anyone so I won’t really get into the transgender issues in this one, but this book was really worth reading.


And that is all! I tag everyone who wants to do this tag! 

Stay awesome Sassenachs!-Calliope Fraser

(Now back to homework, I swear there aren’t enough hours in a day with the amount of homework I get!)