Monday, January 9, 2017

Life shouldn't be taken for granted.

I've been pretty consistent with my reading these past few days. Although I didn't read much over Christmas break, I was still able to finish reading Eleanor and Park. For my AP novel, I chose to go back and read The Color PurpleSince this semester is coming to an end, I wanted to read a little bit more each day because I know that when second semester comes, I won't have time to read thirty minutes everyday.
At first, I was hesitant in reading this book because I knew it was going to be a more challenging book than the ones I've read before. I also knew that it would be a more difficult book to interpret and really understand. This book is also in the format of letters, which made it interesting yet challenging to read. This book gave me a glimpse of what life was like back in the days of segregation and racial discrimination. It made me realize that although these things existed in the past, they still continue to exist today. This book informed me a lot about racism in America back in the day. Celie, the narrator who is writing the letters to God is almost beaten and abused to death. She was an African American female living in the South during the pre-civil rights period, she doesn't see anything to be proud of in her race, and disagrees that "white folks [are] a miracle of affliction" (Walker 103). African Americans were often targets of discrimination, and the African American women in this book are victims of violent crimes committed by white men. In my own everyday life, I don't see race as an issue because of how diverse the world has become. However, it made me realize that even though I may not see racial discrimination in my everyday life, I know that it still exists today. It disgusts me that even though people are extremely blessed to be able to live in world like today, they still continue to take it for granted and continue to attack others because of their race or religion. Amazing people stood up for these things and changed the world for the better, yet the world is still so dark. People continue to choose to treat others with such disrespect because of the color of their skin. I hope that we are able to overcome these issues that people back then fought so hard to extinguish.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Is violence ever an effective way of letting out your anger?

The book I am currently reading is Eleanor and Park. I've been reading this book for about two weeks and it was a bit slow in the beginning but now it's starting to get really good. After this novel, I am thinking about reading The Color Purple or The Great Gatsby as my AP book. I was able to get through a lot of the book during the STAAR test, but this book makes me want to read it every minute of everyday until I finish.
I chose to read this book because I felt that this was one of those classic love stories that every girl reads. My friends who have read this book also recommend it to me, especially those who love fiction-romance novels. Honestly, this book is completely different than I thought it would be. I thought it was just going to be about a love story of how two people met, but I was very wrong.
Another reason I really enjoy reading this book is because it has presented many lessons that are important to acknowledge. There are lessons about bullying, family, violence, and standing up for those around you. The two main characters Eleanor and  Park come from two different worlds and at first they despise each other, but once they start talking they realize that they are actually very similar and that they were wrong about each other. As their story progresss, they figure out so much about each other and they become infatuated with each other. The relationship that the two characters share led to bullying and violence. I think that depending on the situation, violence may be the answer. Sometimes the only way to solve a problem may be violence, however in the situation that is presented in the book, I don't think that violence was the answer. Park was upset at his friend because he made fun of Eleneaor. Park let his anger get the best of him. In that moment, I don't think he realized what he was doing, but he only knew that something had to be done. Before Eleanor knew it, Park had already started to fight Steve. He thought that,"it was something he had to do, and that [he'd] be happy to do it again" (Rowell 245). There is nothing wrong with standing up for someone or something, but I think it's absolutely important to think before acting, and always being cautious. It's important to think because once you do something, it can't be undone and it may be something that could be regretted in the end. Although there are far more serious situations that go on in our world and high drama seems irrelevant, it's so crucial to the individuals involved. These kinds of situations can be avoided if everyone respects each other and treats each other the way they would want to be treated.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Is change good, or bad?

It's the new nine weeks of the fall semester and by the end of the semester I hope to read at least four or five books. I haven't been able to read adequately because of other homework and such. However once things start to settle down more, I hope that I'll go back to reading at home for at least 30 minutes if not more. Although I love reading fiction books, I want to branch out of my comfort zone and read maybe more fantasy, mystery, crime, or non fiction. I'm open to reading anything that stands out and catches my eye. I usually read books that others recommend. I also need to look into some AP books, but I'm leaning towards To Kill a Mockingbird, The Color Purple, The Great Gatsby, and The Invisible Man.
The book I am currently reading is Crush by Lacey Weatherford. I chose to read this book because it reminded me of who I was a long time ago. When I first read the summary, I thought that I wanted to read this book for fun and read without having to worry about how difficult a book can be. This book is fairly easy to understand, which is why sometimes I just want a break from reading difficult books and read novels that are more fun. The main characters are in high school makes me feel that I can read this book while being able to perceive the things they do through the perspective of a high school teen. I think that high school for many teenagers is a time to figure themselves out. Teens are trying to figure out who they are and who they want to become. During these stages of growing up it can be confusing because people could come to school one day, "completely transformed... and decide it was time for a change" (Weatherford 63). In the novel, a character changes himself physically to make himself more appealing to others and trying to impress them. In the end, that change did him no good, after changing himself physically, he stated to become different mentally. He became jealous and ignorant because even though he changed the way he looks, people still wouldn't see him the way he wanted. It is cliche to say that looks don't matter at all , but in the end people will appreciate a true person with a kind heart rather than a person with a perfect face. High school is a big change, the transition from middle school and growing up and maturing is a significant time in one's life. Change is a difficult time for teenagers because of this society that we live in. Seeing these changes happen is despairing because the only reason why people seem to want to change is so that others around them will accept them. People who change so that others will accept them are never really happy with who they make themselves out to be.
Everyone is entitled to do whatever their heart desires, if they want to change, they can. I hope that people can see that change isn't necessary to be accepted in this world.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Tragedy or Triumph?

I'm amazed at how much reading has impacted my views on my perspective of life. So far, I've read about five books and I never thought that I'd enjoy a non fiction book. I've been reading twenty minutes a day in class and trying to get in an extra thirty minutes outside of class. After reading my first nonfiction book of my choice, I am really surprised at how much I enjoyed it although it wasn't a very happy story. A reason I go for more fictional books is because I like books with a happy ending or at least a resolution. The next book I'm going to read is Lord of The Flies, I hope I'll enjoy it as much as I've enjoyed my other novels.
The book I recently finished is A Child Called It by Dave Pelzer. This book has changed my perspective on life in so many ways. It's difficult to choose just one specific topic from this heartfelt story. When reading this story, only sorrow and heartbreak came to mind. I thought to myself, how does a person, a child in this case survive in a world like he did. This book only brought tears to my eyes , but in the end I found it more uplifting. In the Afterword, Pelzer reveals that for a long period of his life, he "feared his own life and thought [he] was alone" (Pelzer 95) . He didn't understand his own existence, and was furious at God for letting him live a life like this. When reading this book , I truly didn't understand what drove a person to treat their own child the way David was treated, and I still don't. When David couldn't turn to anyone, he felt helpless, and "began to believe that there was no God" (Pelzer 77) . [spoiler] This book, but this scene specifically just broke my heart, because in that moment a little boy lost all his hope and belief in the one person he thought could save him. The way he was treated, from being stabbed, smashed into a mirror, starved, burned, and having to eat contents from his brother's diaper made me realize that things like this still exist in our world even though I wouldn't know how awful it must've been for David, it has opened my eyes up to how blessed I am. Even though David lived such an awful life, I am so glad, that even as the little boy that he was, was able to stay so strong, and didn't let anything or anyone get him down. I'm thankful to the people at his school, his teacher and the school nurse for helping him as much as they could. This book gave me so much appreciation for everything I have and all that I am, it also taught me that although times may be hard, it will get better. Even though David lost all hope and gave up on everyone around him , he didn't give up on one person, himself. The fact that David was living his life for himself gave him more hope than anyone else could've, and in the end he was triumphant.
Lesson of the day: Never give up on yourself, and never lose hope.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Obstacles in life.. can be overcome

I've been reading so much lately. After finishing my first book of the semester, I'm now starting a new book that I started the beginning of this week and I've already read more 3/4 of it. I never realized how much I actually like reading, if it's a book that I'm really interested in. Other than reading during the 20 minutes in class, I've tried reading in my other classes and at home for as much as I can. My first two books have been Romance-Fiction novels and they are still my favorite. For my next book I'm probably going to read a nonfiction book. Although I'm still not sure what kind of book I want to read, I think I'm going to go with a historical book.
The book I'm now reading is Safe Haven. Chapter 11 caught my eye because of the fact that Katie feels that she is finally safe , " and that maybe it would be possible for her to experience similar days in the future" (96), because spending the day with Alex and his two children was a "wonderful moment [for her that] she didn't know it even existed" (96) . She knew that even though it was an "ordinary day for Alex and his family" (97) , it was one that she'll cherish forever.
It stood out to me that a day as simple as going to the beach meant so much to Katie and it really helped me understand her situation, it helped me able to interpret and visualize how tough her situation is. I also think that it sends a message to the readers that you should cherish everyday, and it's important to live in the present rather than the past, because life is too short to be living in fear or even in a way that doesn't make you happy. This book really has been motivational and inspirational to me and other readers as well, because Katie's experience shows the readers that even she was able to overcome a different time in her life, and that obstacles can be overcome.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

I hate reading. J.K!!

Hi, My name is Julie Kim, and I don't hate reading. (: Other than reading I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, and just watching tv. As I've gotten older reading has been so much fun. Reading books that really interest me and grab my attention really gets me hooked onto books. I mostly go towards fiction, books that end up being movies, and my favorite authors John Green and Nicholas Sparks. Their books interest me the most for some reason, I think it's because I find it fun to read about these intriguing characters and their stories. However, maybe I'll try to read some books of other genres just so I can see what else is out there for me to read and maybe I'll like them just as much or even more than fiction novels.
This year I'd like to read a lot of books but just to give a number maybe around seven to eight books just because I've really been into books lately. I really want to try reading at least thirty minutes at home or anywhere other than in class in hopes that I'll make it a habit and it'll be something that I have to do. I'm really excited to read Lord of the Flies this semester, especially since I haven't read it or heard of it at all. I also really want to read more non fiction books, books about historical events like the times of the Holocaust and 9/11 are events that I really like learning about. So this semester I want to read Unbroken , a book about World War II. Along with those two books I will definitely read this semester is Safe Haven and Thirteen Reasons Why. I hope that even when I am not in English class anymore that I'll continue to read more and further develop not only reading skills but also improve vocabulary and connecting with the author and their books.