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September 2017 & The Start of My Junior Year: Musings

Hello everyone!

I probably should have posted something, as it’s been over a week, but as the title of this post says, I started my junior year of high school this past week. Today’s Friday, September 1st, (it’s also Eid, so Eid Mubarak to all my Muslim friends!), and I wanted to write this post about things I’ve realized lately. I wasn’t feeling like writing a post about books, but if this interests you, please keep reading!

The first thing is, well, I’m a junior in high school now. I know, it sounds young to many bloggers, but I started this blog in 8th grade. I’ve changed…like, so much. I can’t believe I’m an upperclassman (!!!) now. I survived two years at a super vigorous STEM school.

Kind of along similar lines, I also turn 16 this month. And nothing’s actually happening, I know–I’m not even going to have a Sweet Sixteen–but it feels like I’ve reached a certain point in my life. I mean, 16! It’s supposed to be a great year! I finally got my permit, so I’m going to try driving soon. I don’t know. It just feels weird I guess. In my head, I’ve always idealized being sixteen in a way. Or it always seemed so far away, and now it’s right around the corner and knowing that just feels different.

One thing I’ve realized is that…I don’t think I’m ever going to be avidly reading and blogging with the same fervor as I did when I first started. Nope, this does not mean I’m quitting blogging. This most certainly does not mean I don’t enjoy reading anymore. Because I do. I love doing both, still. It’s only that at one point in my life, these two things were so important for me that I forgot about other things. And I sometimes miss that, being completely obsessed. But now I realize it’s not really the best thing–it shouldn’t be taking over my thoughts. They’re both still things that are really dear to me, and will always be. The thing is, though, I think I have to come to terms with the fact that it’s not going to be in the same way as it was two years ago.

Something else I noticed was that (in the past year, actually), contrary to popular belief, you can be good at (and love) both humanities and STEM. Why is there such a distinct line between the two? Why do you have to be either a “STEM” student or a “humanities” student? Because heck, I’m not that good at biology, but I still love it, and I am better at humanities classes, but that doesn’t mean I can’t pursue a career in STEM. Anyway, I want to talk about this later, but just food for thought.

I also realized, I mean–I had always known it, but I especially realized–I reaaallly want to do something art related in college. I’ve never taken an actual art course since fourth grade, but I really love drawing. I’m definitely not that good, but considering the fact that I’m pretty much self-taught…I like to think I’m not that bad, either.

Similarly, I want to learn a new language SO bad. Arabic, for practicality (since I already speak Turkish, and Arabic would be useful in the Middle East), and Russian, purely out of interest. It would be SO cool.

Finally, of course I have other things to say, but maybe for later, I want to have more posts like this on my blog. Of course this blog will still be book-related mostly, but I want it to be a bit more personal. Plus, I can put up posts even when I’m not reading that much. I’ll probably call all of these posts “Musings”. Some of my old posts have a really childish voice, and these posts might balance them since I’ll probably talk about more serious stuff. Anyway, I hope you’re interested in that!

I honestly don’t know who read through this whole jumble of thoughts, but if you did, thank you! It truly means a lot to me. Even if no one did, it felt good to write in a “mature” way on this blog–it kind of helps me sort out my feelings. (Please tell me if you did in fact read all the way through!)

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Airplanes in the Night Sky Regular

my social medias: // goodreads // studygram // tumblr // questions? contact me: aloofbooks@gmail.comSeptember 2017 & The Start of My Junior Year: Musings

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Science (or Sci-Fi) Related Books

Hi guys! As some of you may or may not know, I attend a pretty rigorous STEM high school, so along with my interest in the Liberal Arts, I also am passionate about science, too. Naturally, I love it when books have some form of science in them, whether or not that be a main character who has an interest in STEM, or if the book is sci-fi, or even if the book is non-fiction.

Today, I wanted to share with you guys some books I’ve read (or want to read) that I know have some scientific influences. I hope you enjoy!

The Martian by Andy Weir is easily the most science-influenced books I’ve ever read, so I think it deserves a place on this list. Not only is it really intriguing, but the main character is so funny and you won’t get bored, even if the science doesn’t make sense at times.

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The next book on this list is Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things by William McDonough. This is a non-fiction book that piqued my interest because it is really relevant to our world right now; the synopsis is below:

Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things has garnered a reputation as the definitive work on eco-effectiveness since its publication in 2002. Described as an enlightening, imaginative, and accessible manifesto, Cradle to Cradle draws on William McDonough’s work in sustainable architecture and design to develop new eco-intelligent philosophy, evolving from “cradle-to-grave” industry standards to “cradle-to-cradle” practices. As relevant and important as it was fifteen years ago, McDonough and Braungart’s text marks a trail for industries looking to engage with new and innovative environmental solutions now more than ever before.”

I haven’t read it yet, but I definitely want to pick it up, especially considering current environmental issues like global warming and reusable, renewable energy sources.

A book I’ve been wanting to read for over three years now is These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. I don’t know much about it, except that it’s set in outer space, and most people really enjoy this series. Also, the cover: *hearty eyes*

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The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey is one of my favorite books that I read back in middle school, and although it’s not necessarily set in stone “science fiction”, it has aliens and is an awesome apocalyptic story. I haven’t read the last book yet, but when I first them, I fell in love with everything about the books. ❤

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My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga is definitely not considered science fiction, but I wanted to include it because I love it and because the main character, Aysel, is a physics nerd. It’s not that influenced by science, but lots of her thoughts are influenced by her love for physics, which I thought was a unique trait for a YA contemporary.

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Warcross by Marie Lu is by far one of the books I’m most anticipated for, and it’s coming out pretty soon so that’s great. Most people know about it and based on the reviews I’ve heard of the ARC, it sounds AMAZING. I’m so so excited! (I think it’s supposed to science fiction-ish in the near future).

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The last book of this short list is Invictus by Ryan Graudin–a book that’s also to be released. I recently read Ryan Graudin’s Wolf by Wolf and LOVED it, so I’m excited to see what her science-fiction book will be like. (Plus it’s about history too!!)

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…and, that’s it for this post! I hope you enjoyed reading it & if you have any recommendations, please let me know!

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Airplanes in the Night Sky Regular

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Historical Fiction Book Recommendations

Hi everyone! As some of you may or may not know, I love history. Naturally, I also love reading historical fiction, but something I’ve realized is that I don’t really read that many. And when I do, they all seem to be set in WW2–which is super important, of course–but there are so many other time periods that also deserve recognition. Anyway, today I decided to make a list of some historical fiction books I really enjoyed, regardless of the time period. (The books I chose exclusively have lots of historical information in them and are not just randomly set in a different time period).

I hope you enjoy!

The book I read most recently from this list is Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin. It’s set in a world where the Axis powers have won World War II, and the main character goes on a mission to kill Hitler. It’s super intriguing, with some fantasy elements, an awesome lead, and plot twists.

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Then, we have Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys. This book is set during World War II, however, the story is not a commonly told one as it is not about the Holocaust but about Lithuania and how it was also impacted by the war. It’s really emotional, well-written, and touched me greatly. I also finished it in only a couple of sittings because I was hooked.

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This next book is set in a historical setting that’s not as well-known either: Afghanistan. A Thousand Splendid Suns takes place within a few decades and shows how drastically one country–and its people–can change over the years. It is one of my favorite books as of now and extremely moving.

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And I Darken, obviously, I had to include on this list. This actually takes a twist on history so it’s not that historically accurate after one point, however, the setting and the characters are from the 15th century Ottoman Empire and I thought they were really well represented. When will I ever stop talking about this book? Nope.

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Distant Waves is actually a book I read a long, long time ago. (I think I was in fourth or fifth grade? So, like, 6 years ago.) That’s why I don’t remember much except for the fact that I enjoyed it. I know it had something to do with the Titanic, and like And I Darken, it changed some historical facts, but it was pretty good.

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The last book I have on this list is also one that is not well known, but when I read it I thought it was really important (and it is). The Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbell Bartoletti is actually based on a true story about a teenager in Nazi Germany who decides to tell the truth about Hitler. It is one of the saddest (and it is even sadder when you know this actually happened to someone) books I’ve ever read, but extremely worth it. I highly, highly recommend everyone pick this book up!

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That’s it for this list, since those are all of the historical fiction books I’ve read and enjoyed. I really want to read more, so if you have any recommendations, don’t hesitate to let me know!

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Airplanes in the Night Sky Regular

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Windwitch: You Should Totally Read It Too!

Windwitch by Susan Dennard is the second book in the Witchlands series. Last summer I read Truthwitch and had enjoyed it very much so I was partially hesitant about reading this one. Luckily, I loved it just as much as the first book.

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This review will be spoiler-free for both books in the series, so feel free to read it (and learn why you should read this series too!)

Maybe for the first 70 pages or so, I couldn’t quite get into the story. This series has probably the most complex world I have ever read from, so I had forgotten a lot of the terminology, magic, and plot of the previous book. Thankfully, I got a hang of it once again and started enjoying it even more.

This book focuses on Merik–and I love Merik. Whereas in the first book he is mostly seen as a love interest that is kind of bland (I still loved him, but this is what I hear are the opinions of other people as well), in Windwitch, his character is almostly completely transformed. Throughout the book he goes through one of the best character developments I’ve read in a while. (It’s so great that the ending made me even happier). It doesn’t really have as much romance, because the characters are separated, but I thought it was nice to take a break from this.

All of the characters, the new and old ones, are awesome, badass, and three-dimensional. They constantly question themselves, as anyone normal would do, and often times you can’t really tell where the story is headed because they appear somewhat morally ambiguous (which I love).

On top of all the amazing characters and world, the plot was so well written. Susan Dennard cleverly switches between chapter to chapter from character to character so that you don’t get bored reading the same story. Almost all of the time each chapter ends in a cliffhanger and so you want to keep reading. And of course, there are lots and lots of plot twists–and who wouldn’t love plot twists?

Long story short, this series is probably my ideal high fantasy series and I urge everyone to pick them up. They deserve so much more recognition than they get! \

Have you read this series as well? Who’s your favorite character? (Merik is my favorite, but I love all of them).

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Airplanes in the Night Sky Regular

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The First Date Book Tag

Hi everyone! I saw this book tag on Twirling Pages‘ blog (quiet possibly my favorite blog in the world), and it’s so cute so I decided to do it.

1. Awkward first date: a book where something felt off. It wasn’t a bad book, just lacked that spark for you.

For me this was definitely Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. I expected so much from it, but it just didn’t give me that “zing” that makes me like other books. It was a good book, just not amazing for me.

2. Cheap first date: A book that turned out less than you expected.

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas. The funny thing is, I loved the first couple hundred pages but after I continued reading, I realized I didn’t actually like it that much. (Sadly). I do love some of Sarah’s books, but this was one I ultimately ended up feeling “meh” about–it was kind of…cheap.

3. Well prepared first date: A book that was better than you expected.

The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon. I actually read Nicola’s Everything, Everything as an ARC and it was kind of a “meh” book for me–so my standards weren’t really that high for this one. Luckily, though, I ended up falling in love with her new book. It exceeded all my expectations!

4. Hot but dumb: a pretty book, but not so hot on the inside.

Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke. I have to say, I was initially really into this book because of the cover. I mean, yes, the synopsis sounded cool, but that cover?

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It’s so nice. Too bad I thought the book was not so nice.

5. Blind date: A book you picked up not knowing anything about.

I just went back and went through, like, my whole Goodreads read shelf, but I couldn’t see any books that I had absolutely no idea about the book before I read it. I can almost guarantee that I read the synopsis or read a review of a book before I actually read it, so…yea. No answer for this question!

6. Speed dating: A book you read super fast.

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini–I think I only mean to read a few chapters when I first sat down, but I ended up finishing the whole book within a few sittings. I surprised myself with this one.

7. The rebound: A book that you read too soon after a book hangover and it kind of ruined that book for you.

Probably The Crown by Kiera Cass. I had just finished And I Darken, which I of course had absolutely loved, so when I read this one, I just didn’t like it as much. Also, I didn’t think it was as good as the other books in this series anyway, but it does have something to do with the book I read before it.

8. Overly enthusiastic date: A book you felt was trying too hard.

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes. Maybe because I read it way after the original publication date (which meant I had already read so many amazing fantasy series), I thought this was like a less good fantasy book. It didn’t catch my interest as much, sadly, since I felt like I had already read the same plot line a million times already.

9. The perfect first date: A book that did everything right for you.

I feel like I shouldn’t, but…And I Darken by Kiersten White. I read this over a year ago last year, and despite my expectations, I still loved it. Dark, gritty, slow-burning romance with kickass characters. What’s not to like? (Plus, Ottoman setting, and a really diverse cast of characters!)

10. Humiliating first date: A book you’re embarrassed to be seen reading in public/to say you like.

I don’t really have any books like this? Mostly because what I read is generally what is considered “appropriate”. At most it would be maybe My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick, and this is not because of the content itself, but rather because the title and cover makes it seem like it’s some stupid romance or erotica. (Which it’s not).

11. BONUS! The second date: a sequel you are most excited to read. (This question was created @ Twirling Pages, and is not part of the original tag).

After all that talk about And I Darken, do you really expect me to say a book besides Now I Rise? (Of course it’s Now I Rise. Duh.)

This tag was so much fun and I hope everyone does it, I’m so glad I found it! It’s actually one of my favorite tags right now I think. Hope you enjoyed reading, and please let me know of your opinions as well!

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Airplanes in the Night Sky Regular

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Days of the Week In Books

Hi everyone! I saw this tag on Instagram and I wanted to do it because it seemed short and fun–I’m not sure who the creator is but here we go!

  • Monday // A book you’re too lazy to read–Honestly any classic; because they kind of scare me since the writing is usually much harder to read or understand. Also, Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor despite the fact that I actually loved the first two. I just know it’s super long and it’s intimidating me!
  • Tuesday // A book that’s hard to read–I want to go ahead and say The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. Some scenes were super gritty and tough to get through because of the characters, although this is an amazing book.
  • Wednesday // A book you didn’t finish–I tried reading The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine over two years ago and I absolutely despised it. The instalove was so bad that I just…couldn’t.
  • Thursday // A book you wouldn’t recommend–Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke. I know. That cover is beautiful, right?

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It just promises something good. Unfortunately, I was very disappointed. Don’t let the cover fool you–you can learn more about why I thought this wasn’t good here.

  • Friday // Anticipated book releases–omg, there’s so many? The Becoming of Noah ShawHere We Are Now by Jasmine Warga, and The Girl With the Red Balloon by Katherine Locke are just three I haven’t spoken much about but I am very excited for to come out!
  • Saturday // A book you’ve reread–I always have the same answer for this, because it’s basically the only book (series) I’ve reread, and that’s Percy Jackson. I reread it so many times when I was in fourth grade.
  • Sunday // A book you didn’t want to end–And I Darken by Kiersten White. This book guys. This book. I need to get my hands on the sequel ASAP, but I loved it sososo much.

I hope you enjoyed reading this short little post! Thanks for reading!

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Airplanes in the Night Sky Regular

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Always and Forever, Lara Jean | Review

The Lara Jean series (otherwise known as To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before) has always been one of my favorite contemporary series, ever since I first read them in 8th grade. I love the cuteness, the little details, the innocence. When Jenny Han announced that she was writing a third book, I was over the moon: I liked PSISLY, but I wanted more.

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ADORABLE picture from PaperTrailDiary.com (it’s so cute ahh!!)

This book was just what I wanted.

Those who don’t like books that have no specific plot likely won’t enjoy this story. And really, I think it was in a way a delayed coming-of-age story. It continues with Lara Jean’s past personality, and she makes more mistakes, but she’s somehow more mature. She has to make actual, important decisions (like college) and it feels more real. Whereas with the other books I enjoyed them but couldn’t connect to them, with this one, I could see my future self having to go through the same things.

(I haven’t even gone through college application stuff yet–but it’s looming over me, so it was really interesting reading about it.) Then of course, all of the small things that made me love this book: Lara Jean and Peter’s relationship, the cute little decorations, baked goods, etc. etc.

I hadn’t been completely immersed in a story that filled me with happiness in a while, but I was with this one. It may not have the best writing, plot, or characters, but it made me happy and I think that’s why it deserves 5 stars.

Have you read this series? What did you think of this bittersweet conclusion?

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Airplanes in the Night Sky Regular

my social medias: // goodreads // studygram // tumblr // questions? contact me: aloofbooks@gmail.com