quotes Elisquared likes

"Saying 'I notice you're a nerd' is like saying, 'Hey, I notice that you'd rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you'd rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?' In fact, it seems to me that most contemporary insults are pretty lame. Even 'lame' is kind of lame. Saying 'You're lame' is like saying 'You walk with a limp.' Yeah, whatever, so does 50 Cent, and he's done all right for himself."— John Green


Banned Books Week: My Favorite Banned Books!

Below are 5 books off the Top Ten Banned Books List from 2001 - 2010.  These 5 books are some of my favorites, and I wanted to highlight each of them for you.

5. Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger - Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group 

The hero-narrator of The Catcher in the Rye is an ancient child of sixteen, a native New Yorker named Holden Caulfield. Through circumstances that tend to preclude adult, secondhand description, he leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days. The boy himself is at once too simple and too complex for us to make any final comment about him or his story. Perhaps the safest thing we can say about Holden is that he was born in the world not just strongly attracted to beauty but, almost, hopelessly impaled on it. There are many voices in this novel: children's voices, adult voices, underground voices-but Holden's voice is the most eloquent of all. Transcending his own vernacular, yet remaining marvelously faithful to it, he issues a perfectly articulated cry of mixed pain and pleasure. However, like most lovers and clowns and poets of the higher orders, he keeps most of the pain to, and for, himself. The pleasure he gives away, or sets aside, with all his heart. It is there for the reader who can handle it to keep.

4. To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee - Reasons: offensive language, racism, unsuited to age group

Like the slow-moving occupants of her fictional town, Lee takes her time getting to the heart of her tale; we first meet the Finches the summer before Scout's first year at school. She, her brother, and Dill Harris, a boy who spends the summers with his aunt in Maycomb, while away the hours reenacting scenes from Dracula and plotting ways to get a peek at the town bogeyman, Boo Radley. At first the circumstances surrounding the alleged rape of Mayella Ewell, the daughter of a drunk and violent white farmer, barely penetrate the children's consciousness. Then Atticus is called on to defend the accused, Tom Robinson, and soon Scout and Jem find themselves caught up in events beyond their understanding. During the trial, the town exhibits its ugly side, but Lee offers plenty of counterbalance as well--in the struggle of an elderly woman to overcome her morphine habit before she dies; in the heroism of Atticus Finch, standing up for what he knows is right; and finally in Scout's hard-won understanding that most people are essentially kind "when you really see them." By turns funny, wise, and heartbreaking, To Kill a Mockingbird is one classic that continues to speak to new generations, and deserves to be reread often.

3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky - Reasons: drugs, homosexuality, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, suicide, and unsuited to age group

Charlie is a freshman. And while's he's not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. He's a wallflower--shy and introspective, and intelligent beyond his years, if not very savvy in the social arts. We learn about Charlie through the letters he writes to someone of undisclosed name, age, and gender, a stylistic technique that adds to the heart-wrenching earnestness saturating this teen's story. Charlie encounters the same struggles that many kids face in high school--how to make friends, the intensity of a crush, family tensions, a first relationship, exploring sexuality, experimenting with drugs--but he must also deal with his best friend's recent suicide. With the help of a teacher who recognizes his wisdom and intuition, and his two friends, seniors Samantha and Patrick, Charlie mostly manages to avoid the depression he feels creeping up like kudzu. When it all becomes too much, after a shocking realization about his beloved late Aunt Helen, Charlie retreats from reality for awhile. But he makes it back in due time, ready to face his sophomore year and all that it may bring. 

2. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins - Reasons: sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, and violence

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.   Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

1. Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling - Reasons: anti-family, occult/Satanism, religious viewpoint, violence
Harry hates living with his Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia, and their spoiled-rotten son, Dudley. Harry's room is a tiny closet beneath the stairs, and the entire family treats him with disdain. What's more, Harry keeps getting into trouble for making strange things happen -- things he seems to have no control over. But then Harry discovers the truth about himself when a determined messenger delivers an enlightening message. It turns out that Harry's mother was a witch, his father a wizard. And not only is Harry also a wizard, he's a famous one! His survival of the attack by the evil wizard who killed his parents has marked him as a legendary hero -- as has the lightning-bolt-shaped scar on his forehead.  Soon Harry finds himself attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where he receives training in some magic basics, masters riding a broomstick, and discovers his incredible talent for a game called Quidditch, which is played in the air on flying brooms. And for the first time in his life, Harry has friends who care about him: his fellow students Hermione and Ron and a giant named Hagrid. But all is not rosy when Harry discovers his true destiny and finds he must once again face the evil one who killed his parents. His survival will depend upon the help of his newfound friends, as well as his own wit and powers.
 Have you guys read nay of these?  If you haven't I highly recommend them.  Yes not all of them are for young children, but that's where being a parent comes in!  But please take a minute and flip through these picks at your local bookstore or library.  They really are some of the best books!


This OR That Book Tag!

I got this from The Readables (LOVE her channel): http://youtu.be/yFL9V6cD6rY

Banned Books Week Posts: http://bit.ly/pFzO01 

Banned Books Week Giveaway: http://bit.ly/mQybIf 

Trailer Thursday:

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin


Whew, that was a sexy book trailer!  LOVE the music.  I think this creates such a captivating mood, that it drew me in!  I really, really want to read this book now!  What do you think?

Banned Books Week: The Quotes!

In honor of Banned Books Week and the fight against censorship, here are some of my favorite author quotes about reading, censorship, and books.
Let me know what your favorites are, and if you know any I need to know leave them below!

“And on the subject of burning books: I want to congratulate librarians, not famous for their physical strength or their powerful political connections or their great wealth, who, all over this country, have staunchly resisted anti-democratic bullies who have tried to remove certain books from their shelves, and have refused to reveal to thought police the names of persons who have checked out those titles. 
So the America I loved still exists, if not in the White House or the Supreme Court or the Senate or the House of Representatives or the media. The America I love still exists at the front desks of our public libraries.” 
― Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country

There is no remedy so easy as books, which if they do not give cheerfulness, at least restore quiet to the most troubled mind.
Mary Wortley Montagu

“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.” 
― Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood

[D]on’t ever apologize to an author for buying something in paperback, or taking it out from a library (that’s what they’re there for. Use your library). Don’t apologize to this author for buying books second hand, or getting them from bookcrossing or borrowing a friend’s copy. What’s important to me is that people read the books and enjoy them, and that, at some point in there, the book was bought by someone. And that people who like things, tell other people. The most important thing is that people read… ” 
― Neil Gaiman

“Only the very weak-minded refuse to be influenced by literature and poetry.” 
― Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Angel

“My grandma always said that God made libraries so that people didn’t have any excuse to be stupid.” 
― Joan Bauer, Rules of the Road

“Don’t join the book burners. Don’t think you’re going to conceal faults by concealing evidence that they ever existed. Don’t be afraid to go in your library and read every book…” 
― Dwight D. Eisenhower

And finally, from the classic literary standard on book burning and book censorship, 
“The books are to remind us what asses and fool we are. They’re Caesar’s praetorian guard, whispering as the parade roars down the avenue, “Remember, Caesar, thou art mortal.” Most of us can’t rush around, talking to everyone, know all the cities of the world, we haven’t time, money or that many friends. The things you’re looking for, Montag, are in the world, but the only way the average chap will ever see ninety-nine per cent of them is in a book. Don’t ask for guarantees. And don’t look to be saved in any one thing, person, machine, or library. Do your own bit of saving, and if you drown, at least die knowing you were headed for shore.” 
 Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Please check out my other Banned Books Week posts and keep reading!


Waiting on Wednesday (20)

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we seriously can’t wait for.

 Here's my pick for the week, that I seriously can't wait for:

Sam thinks she's months away from freedom. After spending her life in a secret school, rented out to the rich and powerful as a paranormal spy, she is ready to head to college like any normal eighteen-year-old. 
Only Sam isn't normal. She reads minds. And just before her big going-away party, she links to the mind of a young man who changes everything. 
Drake wasn't raised as a 'Rent-A-Kid.' He was kidnapped and taken there by force. But his exceptional physical strength and powers of mind control make him very dangerous, especially to Sam.
When they meet, Sam is forced to face the truth of her situation, and to acknowledge that not all is as it seems in her picture-perfect world. For what awaits her on her eighteenth birthday isn't a trip to college, but an unexpected nightmare from which she may not be able to escape.
To survive, they must work together. 
But will their powers be enough to save them before it's too late?

I don't know a lot about this book, but it sounds cool!  I like the premise that these paranormal kids are rented out for use by the rich and powerful.  And then the whole twist to what Sam really expects sounds like it'll make a great race to survive story!  There's a contest on Goodreads right now to win a copy of the book!  Check it out!

Banned Books Week: Virtual Read-Out

This was suppose to be for the Banned Books Week Virtual Read-Out, but it was too long.  I'm going to record a new one, but I wanted to share this one with everyone!  Just Listen by Sarah Dessen was challenged in my hometown of Tampa, at the high school I actually interned at last year! Strange.

Did you participate in the virtual read-out?  If not, you can view other videos here, at the BBW youtube page, and you can still upload your own 2:00 minute virtual read-out video in support!  


Teaser Tuesday (19)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be ReadingAnyone can play along! Just do the following!
  • Grab your current read.
  • Open to a random page.
  • Share a few teaser sentences from somewhere on that page.
  • MAKE SURE NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (you don't want to give too much away and ruin the book for other readers)
  • Share the title and author too, so that other readers can add your book to their TBR list if they like your teaser!

    Michael Vey: Prisoner of Cell 25
    by Richard Paul Evans

    "Dude, that's more than a full-grown electric eel.  You could paralyze a crocodile with that." His eyes narrowed. "You could kill someone."

    This book is great so far.  I think boys, especially, would love this.  Superpowers, mystery, adventure, and girls; the formula for a great guy book ; )

Thoughts from an Acute Triangle (3): The Banned Books Week Edtion

Thoughts from an Acute Triangle is a feature I started where I discuss things related to the book field.  This is a place for me to be a little brainy.  The conversation is always open for comments and if there is ever a topic you want me to discuss, please leave a comment!

Let's talk about Banned Books Week, in particular this pleasant article from USA Today contributor, Jonah Goldberg, in which he claims Banned Books Week is just "hype".

Now this might enrage me a little more than others, as I am a member of the American Library Association and studying to be a librarian, but I feel like this article is simply an attack against the ALA and librarians as a whole.

Goldberg writes, "Banned Books Week is an exercise in propaganda" (2011).  Is it propaganda to promote the intellectual freedom of our society?  Is it propaganda to try to stop individual citizens from applying their opinion and views on every other person within that community?  No, real propaganda is thrown in your face each day when you watch television, when you pick up the newspapers, and when you turn on the radio; Because if you know the definition then you would know that propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position so as to benefit oneself.  I don't think promoting propaganda is what the ALA is doing with their news articles and their highlighting of banned books.  The only thing they possibly gain from it, is the promotion of intellectual freedom and the importance of reading.

Goldberg additionally states, "Indeed, it's a staple of nearly every major newspaper to at least let the American Library Association air its dire warnings about the growing threat to the freedom to read" (2011).  Well let us walk back in time and examine why there would be such a fierce position against the threat to the freedom to read.  In 1933, Nazi German authorities started to synchronize professional and cultural organizations with Nazi ideology and policy.  On May 10, 1933, university students, under the guidance of Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Minister for Popular Enlightenment and Propaganda, burned over 25,000 volumes that were deemed "un-German".  This act ushered in an era of state censorship and control of the culture.  Now you might think I'm being ridiculous, but the censorship of books is the first step to this horrendous act.  And book burning still takes place in America, typically by the American right, which is just as much of a problem as Goldberg claim's the "American left" is (2011).

But I think the statement that Goldberg wrote, which made me the angriest was: "As an educational enterprise, it denigrates the United States as a backward, censorial country when it's anything but.  It demeans parents and other citizens who take an interest in the schools" (2011).  Now I don't believe he understands what the ALA does, but it is conveniently outlined within the ALA Code of Ethics.  Principle II states: We uphold the principles of intellectual freedom and resist all efforts to censor library resources.  Furthermore, principle IV states: We respect intellectual property rights and advocate balance between the interests of information users and rights holders.  The point is not to demean parents or other citizens, and the point is not that librarians feel the U.S. is some police state, but it is a fact that with the censorship, a limited amount of people are trying to dictate what other people should or should not read, and that is an infringement on their rights.

So with that said, I will continue to fight for peoples’ right to think what they want to think, say what they want to say, and read what they want to read, and yes that courtesy includes Jonah Goldberg even if he doesn't seem willing to extend the same courtesy to others by supporting a movement which is so important.


Divergent (Review)

TitleDivergent (Divergent #1)
Author(s)Veronica Roth
Edition: Hardcover, 489 pages
Publication Date: May 3, 2011
Source: Bought from Barnes and Noble

The Summary

Beatrice "Tris" Prior has reached the fateful age of sixteen, the stage at which teenagers in Veronica Roth's dystopian Chicago must select which of five factions to join for life. Each faction represents a virtue: Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, and Erudite. To the surprise of herself and her selfless Abnegation family, she chooses Dauntless, the path of courage. Her choice exposes her to the demanding, violent initiation rites of this group, but it also threatens to expose a personal secret that could place in mortal danger. Veronica Roth's young adult Divergent trilogy launches with a captivating adventure about love and loyalty playing out under most extreme circumstances.
My Opinion

I'll admit, I was skeptical at first when Divergent came out.  People were making this comparison that this was the next Hunger Games (which is a series I LOVE), and I hated when everyone did that to Harry Potter with Twilight.  So I put off reading it, and put it off, and put it off until I finally decided to see for myself if it was as good as everyone was saying.  The answer: HECK YES!!!

Divergent is easily one of my top books for 2011.  The world that Veronica Roth created is fantastic.  there is so much layering, and intricacies that the reader immediately gets sucked into the story.  There are five factions one can be a part of within the world of Divergent: Amity, Candor, Erudite, Abnegation, and Dauntless.  If you looked up the definitions of each of these words, that would sum the faction up perfectly.  While each lives in Chicago (not the one we know) as a whole, all have different values, morals, and rules in which they live by.  And then of course there's the whole divergent thing....ooooh leave you guessing!  At 16, each citizen goes through a test where it is determined what faction they are best suited.  They then can choose to stay with the faction they were born into or choose to join the new faction the test gives them.  After the choice is made is when the biggest divide happens because you don't always make the cut and can become factionless (no one wants to be that).  The governmental system is entirely based around these 5 factions, and I love it!

Tris is the protagonist of the story, and she is the most human character I've read in a while (See I didn't compare her to Katniss.... ; ) ).  She is strong and weak and scared and determined and brave and amazing and harsh, etc.  I absolutely rooted for her the entire time.  She is probably the only character, besides a couple periphery characters, that I really connected with and didn't, at one time, hate.  Even though she does some morally questionable acts, Roth does a great job in showing why and giving her redeeming qualities.  I really want to see how further her personality and character develops through the trilogy.

And be prepared for a cliff-hanger!  And a not so nice ending!  And a ton of questions!  Oh, and hope for the future!  Yes, the ending of Divergent was that intense, but luckily we have the second book, Insurgent, to squirm over (publication date is May 2012.  SO FAR AWAY!).  It is such a great book, and I love the whole premise so much.  If you want to know what faction you'd be in, you can head over to Facebook and take the quiz (it's the same one, essentially, that the candidates in the book go through); I got Erudite, which I'm not sure I'm too happy about (when you read the book you'll see why).  Divergent is available in all majors bookstores, and if you don't have a copy go get one now!!  You're going to love it, I promise!


Final Rating
Book Cover: 4/5
Book Title: 5/5
Plot: 10/10
Characters: 9.5/10
Writing: 9.5/10
Ending: 10/10
Overall: 48/50: A+ 

Banned Books Week: An International View

Not only is supporting the work against banning books important to continue here in America, but it is possibly even more important to start across the world.  We, as Americans, are very lucky to live in a country, that while books might be pulled from public shelves, they aren't banned from purchase by the citizens of this country.

That unfortunately is not the case in many countries.  and not only are the physical books attacked, but the authors of these books are attacked as well.  Censorship of all kinds are conducted every day across the globe, but we can help.

During Banned Books Week Amnesty International directs attention to the cases involving individuals (journalists, authors, etc) who are being censored, detained, or imprisoned due to writings they have produces.  So while we might highlight banned books for a specific week, it is important to remember that this is an ongoing struggle.  One which continually needs your support.

Here is a case folder containing information about all current cases involving censorship issues in which Amnesty International is aware of, and is working toward ending.

Here is the selected Amnesty International cases for action in which you can help by writing appeals on behalf of the imprisoned.

And finally here are 10 ways you can make a difference:
  1. Take action right now! With so many issues happening all around the world, sign a petition on one of the many human rights issues facing our communities around the world.
  2. Attend an event. Events are a great way to get to educate yourself and others about human rights and meet other like minded people in your community who want to take action together.
  3. Become a member. We are a movement of people. Each time a new person joins, Amnesty’s light shines brighter on the injustices occurring at different places around the world. Join today.
  4. Donate. Your gift helps keep our movement free from corporate influence and independent from government agendas. Donate now!
  5. Volunteer. Our network of volunteers have the chance to try almost anything—from phone banking, writing letters and organizing a group to responding to a crisis, leading a lobby effort or carrying out our campaigns—we invite you to explore the diverse volunteer opportunities available to you around the country.
  6. Join a Group. Together, the members of our groups take action, reach out to new communities and educate the public about how they can make human rights a reality for all.
  7. Follow a Campaign. Are you passionate about a certain issue? Join a network of activists around the country who are using campaigns to teach communities about torture, abolition of the death penalty, ending poverty and more.
  8. Shop for a Cause. At our online store you can shop t-shirts and a variety of gifts with a purpose.
  9. Write for Rights. Join over 17,000 people in one of the largest events on behalf of political prisoners, human rights defenders and others whose rights are being violated by their governments or corporations.
  10. Partner with us. Through collaborations, partnerships and collective action, we can improve the state of human rights here and abroad. If you represent a university, association or agency, explore the ways you can support Amnesty International.


In My Mailbox (26)

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren and inspired by one of her friends, Alea of Pop Culture Junkie where we get to post about the books we receive each week through publishers/authors, our own purchases, contests won, and libraries.

Banned Books Week website: http://bit.ly/oLC4hZ

List of Banned Books by Year: http://bit.ly/oOpQkJ
List of Banned Classics: http://bit.ly/qsqsYt

Virtual Read-Out website: http://bit.ly/ppvfXA
Virtual Read-Out Youtube channel: http://youtu.be/SoicHOW12Ds

Banned Books Week Posts on my blog: http://bit.ly/pFzO01
Banned Books Week Giveaway: http://bit.ly/mQybIf 

The Name of the Star (Review)

Title: The Name of the Star (Shades of London Book 1)
Author(s)Maureen Johnson
Edition: ARC, 370 pages
Publication Date: September 29, 2011
Source: Part of a book tour from Fire and Ice

The Summary
The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago. 

Soon “Rippermania” takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities.
My Opinion
I was lucky enough to be a part of the book tour, from Fire and Ice, of The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson.  This book captivated me right from the start.  Being a Maureen Johnson book, I knew I would probably like it, as I loved 13 Blue Envelopes, The Bermudez Triangle, and Suite Scarlett.  But The Name of the Star has a definite shift in tone and feel from those other books, and I was pleasantly surprised.

The best part of this book was the atmosphere.  Some books are light and airy, but this was dark and heavy.  But NOT in a bad way at all.  This feeling kept rushing me forward, urging me to turn the next page.  Rory was a delightful protagonist to follow.  I loved seeing things from her perspective, an American caught up in a very British situation.  It was interesting to see "Rippermania" from someone who didn't grow up hearing about it.  And this inexperience really lent itself well to the ominous tone of the book; as Rory is discovering things, so is the reader!  I also love that Rory isn't your typical "perfect" American.  What I mean is she isn't cookie-cutter.  She comes from BĂ©nouville, Louisiana, which has it's own set of crazies, many of whom are related to Rory.  Therefore she has some experiences which I think prepared her for what comes in the book.  Just loved her so much.

The other delicious aspect is the "Rippermania" stuff.  If you like some gory stuff, then Jack the Ripper is your guy.  While the book itself doesn't go into super explicit detail, there are some descriptions of murders and violence.  But you can't really have a Jack the Ripper book without it.  The fact that this is a modern copy-cat is terrifying, especially as you learn exactly how these murders were conducted and that no one ever caught the murderer.  On top of all this crazy violence is some crazy paranormal happenings.  Such a cool twist to the whole book.  I especially didn't see the end coming at all (Got you interested yet? HUH?!), and I loved it.  Made me squirm with the need to read the second book already!!!

The Name of the Star has shot to the top of the list of my favorite Maureen Johnson books, and it will do the same to your list.  The book comes out on September 29th, just a mere 4 days away!  If you can't wait and need a preview, the first 78 pages are up at Maureen's website here (just scroll down!).  Check out the book trailer below, and go grab The Name of the Star as soon as possible!


Final Rating
Book Cover: 5/5
Book Title: 5/5
Plot: 9.5/10
Characters: 9.5/10
Writing: 9.5/10
Ending: 10/10
Overall: 48.5/50: A+ (highest yet!)
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