Stop, Feel, and Dive: What is That Sudden Stop and Wave of Fuzziness in Our Chest?

My True Love Gave to Me by Ms. Stephanie Perkins is without a doubt written to give swoony feelings. Yesterday, while I was inside the bus (which for some reason is the most comfortable place for me to read) I felt like dandelion fuzz were whirling around my chest while I was cruising Welcome to Christmas, CA by Ms. Kiersten White. I just stopped and flashes of me spending time with my crush, jumping up and down non-stop with my best friends, and other beautiful memories start flashing inside my head like a slide presentation in fast forward. As book lovers, that feeling is no longer new to us, but why do ever time we get that feeling, it always feel brand new to us?

Reading lets us escape, it let’s us experience other lives– can I go on with more clichés? But once a book taps into our lives, that fuzzy feeling dives back into our lives. I don’t know if there is a name for that feeling, so I call it SFADStop, Feel, And Dive. After reading that line that reminds you of the time you stood up from that bully, you suddenly just Stop to simmer that memory; suddenly the memory becomes vivid, and then the Dandelion Fuzz Feel starts dancing around your heart. After all that, you are more interested in the story, so you Dive back inside that book.

That is the reason we are like wild animals inside bookstores. Each books has a unique element that can touch a hidden, not so hidden, or undiscovered parts of our lives. So the next time you get that dandelion fuzziness after reading that love romantic scene, just tell yourself “I just felt an SFAD.” 

Books Mentioned:

If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by twelve bestselling young adult writers, edited by international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins. Whether you enjoy celebrating Christmas or Hanukkah, Winter Solstice or New Year's there's something here for everyone. So curl up by the fireplace and get cozy. You have twelve reasons this season to stay indoors and fall in love.

My True Love Gave to Me by Stephanie Perkins

   

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Confessions of a College YA Reader

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It’s no longer new to say that one of the most stressful part of your life is being in college. People who know me surely rolled their eyes as they read the first sentence. I am an English major focusing in creative writing. So I should be having the best semester of all time. Or is there something off when I said that? I love my major. I love being a student, but even though I am so close to doing what I love, there are times that school hinders me from saying I am 100% happy as a student.

For starters, I am more than happy that most of my homework require tons of reading. This is similar to getting paid to drink your favorite Starbucks drink. But college is different. Most of the times, I am reading a book that I don’t even want to read. There are many nights that I look at my YA book on top of my bedside table with watery eyes. I would release air of exasperation through my nose as I put myself on my study desk and start reading an assigned book for the semester. Again this is the time that you will find yourself raising an eyebrow and asking, “I thought you love reading?” And to answer that, yes, I do love reading, but let’s hit rewind and remind you my definition of reading.

Reading, for me, is the most divine hobby (I hate myself for using that word though). It is the only time I find peace, be somebody else, and allow ecstasy to fill my veins. I must also mention that reading relaxes me. 

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My friend took a stolen picture of me reading Percy Jackson and The Olympians: The Lightning Thief during a stressful school day.

YA novels have that certain effect on me. The characters just reveal themselves to me, and I fall in love with them almost all the time. However, for college reading, the magic is not there. Digging inside the page of the book is mandatory for school reading. I need to be on my A-game to get a passing grade for the next essay. As I flip the pages of that book for school reading, I need to drill into my brain that I need to find something, so I have something to use as evidence for that essay. Because of that I am always asking the questions:

  • Did I miss something on that last paragraph?
  • Can I make an argument out of this quote?
  • Do I need to reread this chapter, so I can see what the professor wants me to see?
  • Is there something I need to analyze before looking at this scene?

For college, reading novels becomes exhausting. It drains me unlike reading for fun.

The very first time I stepped on California State Northridge, I thought I was finally closer to my dreams and that I would be closer to YA books since I want to be a YA novelist. The first semester (Fall 2014) gave me the exact opposite of my expectations. I need to put aside my YA novels and read books that are not even close to YA. I also read non-YA books, but I just can’t find the feeling that I am one step closer to my dreams with my classes.

I guess I am being unfair since I am all basing this emotional burst on my first semester, but there is another chance. This Spring semester 2015, I am taking a Young Adult Literature class. The textbooks are beyond awesome.

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Those are the required reading for my YA class. Even though the pressure that it is still “required” is still there, at least the fact that those are YA books, gives me a light and fuzzy feeling inside. This class is the fuel to that spark inside my heart.

I hope and I pray that my next post relating to school involves how thankful I am for being a better YA novelist.

5 Problems Readers Encounter While Watching a Movie With a Non-Reader

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Yes, it’s true. We, readers, can sometimes be a big pain in the ass to non-readers when watching book to movie adaptations, but this is our turn to give our side of the story. Non-readers can sometimes push our buttons too while watching movies. Here are 5 problems we encounter with non-readers while inside the theater. 

1. They don’t understand our fandom. 

giphyRemember the day you brought your non-reader friend to see the premiere of The Hunger Games? After he saw how every girl are wearing the same Katniss braids and how the guys whistle the mockingjay call while on the line, he calls them freaks? The nerve! Don’t forget the time he rolled his eyes when they announced it’s time to go inside the theater and we all whooped in excitement. Most non-readers tend to not understand our fandom and how we are one big family because we could connect using our fandom knowledge. All non-readers know is that boring is normal. We live in a very cool world. We’ve experienced life in Panem through Katniss’s eyes. The movie is one way to get same experience over again, but our non-reader friends just see our fandom some just freak show. 

2. You Cringe When You See Them Missing a Very Important Part. 

giphy-2Finally, the part where Marcus Eaton is calling Four Tobias Eaton is now on the screen. What is your friend doing? TEXTING! You just sit there chanting like Elsa “Conceal. Don’t feel.” You know he’s just gonna be confuse later, that’s gonna ruin the whole movie experience. When will he do is he doesn’t understand what is going on in the movie? That leads to our 3rd problem.

3. They Ask A Lot of Questions.

giphy-1Because they miss the important part, you know what they will do when the big reveal happens– they will ask questions! And sometimes they jump ahead of the plot and ask you questions. “Is Four Divergent too?” “Why is Johanna helping Katniss?” “It’s a sad ending because Hazel will die, huh? I’m right, huh?” To answer those kind of questions, you need to give spoilers. Even though the theater is full of readers, when you get out of the theater, they are ready to burn you at stake. 

4. They Get You into Trouble for Talking. 

So you decide to finally answer your friend’s questions, so he would shut up. But on the process people will shoot you shush from different directions. And you’re like

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5. They Judge The Book By Its Movie. 

Let’s face it; the book will always be better than the movie, but non-readers sometimes see that the movie is also the book. They don’t know that no matter how faithful the book is to the movie, the screen will not give the very essence why you’ve fallen in love with the book. If the movie is a bad adaptation, and then your friend exits the theater saying, “That movie sucks. That book is really not written well. The author needs some work to do.” So you just give them a death glare and be like

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You think us, readers, give non-readers a hard time inside the theater? I don’t think so. They have the powers to turn us into Incredible Hulks because of what we experience with them. 

Books Mentioned:

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

  

Brave Reading 2015

LogoWhat’s your New Year’s resolution for 2015? If your answer is to read more books, you really are a bookworm, and one of the things we, bookworms, love is we embrace challenge. We’re like Tris, jumping down into the unknown– with no guarantee of a safe landing. Does this mean adding extra 50 books to your usual 100 books in Goodreads account? Probably! Brave Reading, however, is not like that. Let me tell you how to be a brave reader of 2015.

I am part of a book club called Book Club Without A Cool Name for a couple of years now. One of the fun that my book club do every summer and winter is to make a reading list. Not an ordinary reading list. Each members would write on a piece of paper what kind of “theme” he/she would like to read; the more random the theme, the better. Here are some examples:

  • A book with something yellow on the cover
  • A book from an author with “Alex” on his/her name
  • A book with a smiling emoji on the cover
  • A masquerade theme cover

After that, we’re going to find titles that would fit in our chosen theme.

What makes my book club fun?

Finding the books!

Sometimes, we would find out the book that we’ve listed is out of print, and it could only be found from a far away library. Sometimes, it’s not available in libraries, but Vroman’s is carrying a single copy. Getting it before the other members is like The Hunger Games That is why I jump to my greatest delight when I saw this list on my Facebook newsfeed.

Reading Challenge 2015

The list is very similar to what my book club has been doing for a long time now. Some of the books on the list are easy to find. As a matter of fact, they are already in my library. But others? A book written by an author with my same initials? Book set in my hometown? Not so easy. All I can say is good luck to me finding those books. But this is what makes it fun. The adventure! Getting those books will make me feel like Indiana Jones holding a rare relic. And I know you will also get the same feeing.

So dive into 2015 with this list. Challenge yourself. After all, reading is an adventure. Before you find a book from that list, I will tell you what Veronica Roth writes beside her autograph.

“BE BRAVE”

Books Featured:

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent by Veronica Roth