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REVIEW: scythe, by neal shusterman

I received this book for free from Publisher, Simon and Schuster in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

REVIEW: scythe, by neal shustermanScythe by Neal Shusterman
Series: Arc of a Scythe #1
Published by Simon & Schuster, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, Simon and Schuster on November 22nd, 2016
Genres: Action & Adventure, Death & Dying, Dystopian, Fantasy, Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 448
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher, Simon and Schuster
Amazon // The Book Depository
Goodreads

Thou shalt kill.

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

THIS BOOK IS PHENOMENAL.

when i received this title in the mail – having known nothing about the story or read anything by the author – i wasn’t sure if i’d like it. i sworn off dystopian novels after reading one too many but this one sounded so interesting. so i decided to read the first page and i knew, right off the bat, i would love this novel.

i love everything about this book – the writing, the plot, the characters, everything. my love for this book came in quiet waves. i started off being really intrigued, but that soon became something more. the plot began to build (love all the twists and turns it all has – nothing i was expecting!) and soon enough i was flipping through pages and rooting for characters and screaming at situations. i also love how there was a romance in the story, but it was very slow-burn and wasn’t the main point of the storyline. it was so small that i almost thought there was no romance at all! but the chemistry builds and it becomes more obvious as the story progresses.

the main reason why i love this novel is due to its recurring themes. i find it hard to see meaning/a purpose in some dystopian novels aside from an entertaining story, but SCYTHE was different. when you’re forced to kill people as your job (or you’re learning to kill people), your humanity becomes questionable. when you live in a world where there is no pain and your life is immortal, you see how detached we can become. nothing is at risk. is that really a perfect world? it made me really think about what it means to be alive and what it means to be human. it made me question the meaning of life and death.

the one thing i will say is it was a bit hard to reaaaaaaally connect with characters at first because the book is written in an omniscient POV. the story would jump around from person to person, making it easy for me to stop reading and do something in my daily life. also because of this, i didn’t feel the need to continuously read. BUT, this is my first time reading a book with this type of writing and it didn’t bother me too much. the writing itself was beautiful and i often found myself wanting to annotate.

all in all, this book is amazing. i wasn’t expecting much from it and now it’s one of my favorite reads of 2016. not only is the story well thought out, but i also gained a lot of perspective on what it means to be alive. and that, i think, is something really special.

Rating Report
Plot
Characters
Writing
Pacing
Cover
Overall: 4.6

five fictional females i’d nominate as president

female-president

if you’re up to date about the politics of USA, you’d know that today is the presidential election! 🇺🇸 i’m going out and proudly voting for someone who’ll (hopefully!!!) become the first female president of the united states. it’ll be a symbolic moment; it’s one step closer to gender equality, and not just for my country, but for others as well. in celebration, i’d like to share five fictional females who i believe would be a great president. 🙌 (warning: may contain spoilers for the books selected!) (photos aren’t mine; click on image for source.)

macey mchenry from the gallagher girls series

president - gallagher girsl

#MCHENRYBAXTER2020

BONUS: rebecca baxter as vice president

macey was an obvious choice for me. daughter of the vice president AND (formerly??) dating the son of the (former?) president? she’s already in politics and can’t be better for the job. not to mention, she’s also a spy and has friends working in the CIA and other great political circles. macey is smart, bold, and demanding – all fantastic qualities for someone responsible for a country.

reyna avila ramirez arellano from the heroes of olympus series

president - reyna

#ARELLANOCHASE2020

BONUS: annabeth chase as vice president (can you IMAGINE?!!!?) (i think annabeth would be a good vp because she’s allowed to have a somewhat relaxed life with percy but also lead.)

reyna is already the preator of all greek demigods at camp jupiter. what difference would it be if she decided to rule the country? i feel like we’d never need to worry if the presidency were in her hands. she has all the leadership qualities one would need and more. but most importantly, reyna would protect our country at any cost.

tessa gray from the infernal devices series

president-tessa

#GRAYLIGHTWOOD2020

BONUS: isabelle lightwood as vice president (*screams*)

some say knowledge is power. i don’t think there is a female more knowledgeable than tessa. now it’s not necessarily because she’s super smart, but more so because she’s so experienced in life. having lived for a couple hundred years and experienced america in its early days, i think she’d have a good idea as to where the country and people should go.

hermione granger from the harry potter series

president-hermione

#GRANGERLOVEGOOD2020

BONUS: luna lovegood as vice president

following along with the ~knowledge~ thing, hermione would be an obvious choice. however, it’s a different type of knowledge than tessa; hermione is hardworking and just generally smart. she would bring a logical part to the plate, but also never lose sight of morals.

nina zenik from the six of crows duology

president-nina

#ZENIKGHAFA2020

BONUS: inej ghafa as vice president

nina is someone who doesn’t stop until she gets what she wants. the flame inside her burns bright, despite all the hardships she’s endured. and i think because she’s experienced so many things, it would be very beneficial to her as a leader. a leader shouldn’t be someone who speaks but doesn’t do; a leader should be someone who says, does, and also knows from personal experience. nina’s also very proud of her country so… it all works out.

emily from forever literary also did a post on characters who’d “break the glass ceiling!” but among my picks, who would you vote for as president? let me know in the comments!!

uppercase unboxing

uppercase october unboxing

last month, uppercase sent me their october box for an unboxing review and i finally got the chance to share it with you. here it is, in all its glory:




it included…

  • a signed spooky book (VASSA IN THE NIGHT, by sarah porter)
  • a cute set of magnetic bookmarks
  • a notebook
  • a sticker

my favorite aspect of this box is definitely the bookmarks. i like how you could write on them and add some personality to your reading experience. i’ve seen VASSA IN THE NIGHT floating around but thankfully didn’t get myself a copy until this box. it’s fitting for the time of year, but i honestly don’t think i’ll get to read it soon. (overwhelming TBRs are overwhelming.) the notebook is also a nice touch (love the illustrations!) and i feel like the 70s/80s punk theme has something to do with the book. overall, last month’s uppercase was a decent collection despite its few items.

have you tried any bookish subscription boxes? let me know in the comments!

how to find your groove & conquer the blogging slump

blogging-slump

i often go through phases in my life. one time, i was obsessed with graphic design and photoshop; i’d often make fan edits of shows or books or anything, and stay up huddling over my computer. i was once obsessed with anime and fan fiction; you’d find me clutching my phone at 4am, crying over characters that didn’t exist, on plots that didn’t exist canon-ly either. (SIGH.) i do this often (echm monthly favorites are just monthly obsessions that i may or may not get over), and i’ll probably do this forever. but recently i began to question: was blogging just “a phase?” (and i think that is the REAL FEAR)

this blog always felt ~more than~ my other obsessions. it felt like something i could do with a purpose and not just a “waste of time,” as my parents would say. but when every post and all the things i believe i should be doing feel like a chore, i begin to question myself. i don’t want my blog to just be a phase (which, quite possibly, is the worst phrase to describe something you’re passionate about). so i decided to do what i usually do when i feel unsure or confused: blog about it.

i-am-ready-jongsuk

when i usually try to figure something out, i make a how-to blog post about it. (see: how to read when you’re a busy bee, how to cope with a book hangover, etc.) in a way, it’s my version of giving myself an assignment and figuring out how to teach it to myself. so although this post may not work for you, i sincerely hope it works for me. these past few months made me forget why i’m even here. the page views? the “popularity?” the god-forbid FREE BOOKS?! (one should never blog for free stuff, but that rant is for another post.) writing this post is a reminder that i’m blogging for myself. i’m writing because i have words to emit and thoughts to share and things to LET OUT. everything else is just perks. i think we, as creators, need to be reminded of this whenever we feel lost.

step one: find the problem and remember your purpose

are you feeling ~out of it~ because there’s no time to blog/read/do all the things? i usually see this during the autumn months. summer is over and vacations are over; there’s more time spent doing real-life duties and less time on “hobbies” like reading and blogging. if that’s the case, then time is your problem. but when you actually have time on your hands, you’re no longer in the mood or, you know, feelin’ it, then there’s an internal conflict. (ooooooo)

externally, i don’t think there can be much done. try your best to make means with the problem (ex: time) and wait for it to get break (ex: a break). but internally? it can be more complicating. the key to getting out of any funk is to remind yourself why you’re doing this. i think that’s the main reason why we lose track of ourselves. everyone is given 24 hours in a day, and i could be doing ANYTHING in that time. why am i spending it on making this blog post? and why am i NOT spending it on making this blog post?

step two: give yourself space… or throw yourself into the task

the way i see it, this can go in two very different directions. you can either ignore the task at hand, or force yourself to do the thing you need to do. sometimes it’s necessary to take a step back and do ~other things~ and maybe find other interests. if you feel like a weight has lifted off your shoulders, i believe that’s a sign you need to let go of the thing(s) that are holding you down. you can always pick it up again later if you feel the need.

if you’ve already taken a break and still feel like you gotta do this thing, then it’s time to throw yourself into the task. brainstorm posts, create deadlines, and do what you need to do. you may feel like you forgot how to blog (me); you may feel like your content is 💩 (me); but just remember: you’re not here to be perfect, you’re here to make progress. if there’s no momentum, MAKE momentum. the key is to make a decision. don’t hang onto something because you feel obligated to, and don’t force yourself into something you don’t want. *repeats vigeroulsy*

step three: be sure of yourself

i think the worst part of The Slump™ (or any slump) is the confusion, the awkward in between. you’re not sure what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, or what to do. you just feel OUT OF IT. once you openly decide to do something, you need to hold yourself accountable. ignoring the problem and leaving it for “later” does nothing. this applies to any slumps, not only blogging ones. whether you decided to stop the thing you’re doing or fling yourself into it, be confident in the choices you made. tell others of your plans to change. ask your friends to remind you. create something.

do you have any tips for when you feel out of it? please let me know in the comments!

THE MIDNIGHT STAR mood board + quotes

the midnight star blog tour

THE YOUNG ELITES

THE ROSE SOCIETY

THE MIDNIGHT STAR (released october 11, 2016!)

if you pre-order THE MIDNIGHT STAR, you can get some great pre-order goodies like a TMS tote and a water bottle! info here~

THE YOUNG ELITES series (by marie lu) gives so many distinct vibes. it’s not like anything i’ve ever read; they’re dark, eerie, and unknowing. what i love about mood boards and quotes is that you can take a glance and know the entire aura of the topic. based on its colors and symbols, you just know how the book will feel. and hopefully, my mood board will give you those nice and creepy vibes that make you want to run away and also pick up the book, like NOW – because that’s exactly what reading THE YOUNG ELITES series is like.

DISCLAIMER: all photos, typefaces, and text belong to their respective owners. i found images from weheartit to create these graphics with marie lu’s quotes.

the young elites
the rose society
the young elites
the rose society
the midnight star

if you’re interested in seeing my entire THE YOUNG ELITES mood board, you can check it out here:

have you read this series yet? if not, there’s really no better time than now; the finale is releasing soon (so soon!) and halloween is coming aka MORE CREEPY VIBES. it’s super fitting for this time of year.