Thursday Thoughts: This Week’s Happenings

watercolor rainbow

Happy Friday Eve! Or maybe Friday… Guess what! I’m being edgy and unpredictable again by writing and posting this really late. We’ve kind of got a bit of a predicament now because I’m trying to make up for lost time every night but never quite getting back onto my normal schedule… I’m working on it.
I promise this Thursday Thoughts won’t be as boring as the title may suggest. It doesn’t really stick to one topic so it was hard thinking of a title. If you had enough faith in me to trust that this post would be semi-interesting and are taking the time to read it, thank you. I’ll try my best not to disappoint.
Basically because so many exciting bookish things happened this week, I thought I would make a post with a bunch of mini topics and my thoughts on them. Let’s get into it.

the crown by kiera cass

Now, if you’re wondering what The Crown is, it’s the title of the fifth book in the Selection Series by Kiera Cass. The title and release day (May 3, 2016 by HarperTeen) were announced today! If this is a complete shock to you, then why didn’t you read my blog post about it, huh? Nah, I’m just kidding. But if you are interested in reading that post, feel free! We had a fun time predicting what the title would be (and can I just say, we were spot on with most of our guesses?)
While I have a complete predictions post that is honestly long enough to probably be considered one of the Selection’s short stories (this will be going up once the cover and synopsis are released in a couple of weeks), it’s hard not to be making more speculations based on the title alone. The obvious thing that can be deduced from this is that someone is most likely getting crowned in this final book. But what kind of post would this be if I didn’t throw in my own crackpot theory? Ahem…

Book #1 was called The Selection and America was a part of the Selection
Book #2 was called 
The Elite and America was named an Elite
Book #3 was called 
The One and America was named the One
Book #4 was called 
The Heir as Eadlyn was the Heir
Book #5 is called The Crown because Eadlyn will be crowned

But wait… Eadlyn wouldn’t be crowned, she would get a tiara (which was also an option for the title). All of the other titles reflected something that was happening to the main character of the book, but this last title wouldn’t really reflect a going-on of Eadlyn’s life… so maybe she’s not the main character. What if the entire book of The Heir was just Eadlyn telling the story of the real hero, Ahren? Maybe Ahren is going to be the real Heir! After all, he’s already found a nice girl and seems to be a lot more logically thinking than Eadlyn. Plus, his name has a hidden meaning:

Ahren? More like HEIRren.

I’m just kidding, guys (although if this ends up being right: I KNEW IT ALL ALONG).
(P.S.: While researching for this theory I looked up what names meant in the book… turns out that Eadlyn means “born into royalty”, and Ahren means “high mountain” or something like that. Sounds like Maxon and America certainly weren’t picking favorites there…)

LIFE AND DEATH BY STEPHANIE MEYER

I don’t know if I’m allowed to have an opinion about this book because I never finished Breaking Dawn, but we’re going with it.
I was considering calling this blog post “A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH”, but I didn’t want to get clickbait-y on you. I was tempted though. It’s just such a dramatic title.
So if you didn’t already know, Stephanie Meyer was super sneaky and randomly dropped a new book on October 6. She pretended like the book was the Twilight 10th anniversary edition. However, while the book does contain Twilight, when you flip it over there’s a brand-new, full size book called Life and Death.
Well, kind of brand-new.
What Stephanie Meyer did is rewrite Twilight by switching all of the male characters to female characters and vice versa. For example, Bella is now Beau and Edward is now Edythe (another name meaning fun fact: Beau means “handsome” and Edythe means “spoils of war” which is… interesting). From my understanding, she did this in an attempt to prove that “Bella is not a damsel in distress, she’s a person in distress.” The idea is making sure that everyone knows that Bella isn’t representing some stereotypical, love obsessed, helpless little girl. She’s flipping the tables (is that a thing that people say?) to show that if Bella was a boy things might not be so different.
Though I’m not the hugest fan of Twilight, I definitely have to applaud Stephanie Meyer for pulling this big surprise off and for thinking of this idea. It’s definitely a really unique concept that’s sure to start some great discussions in the book community about the similar/different attributes of male vs. female protagonists. However…
From what I’ve been hearing from people who have read the book and from the Barnes and Noble sample the I read, it really seems like this book is a product of copy and paste. Obviously the concept of this role reversal wouldn’t really work if it was an entirely new story, but I can’t imagine purchasing and rereading Twilight just with some name swaps. Stephanie Meyer did say as part of her interview that there are some differences in the story, but the first chapter was so ridiculously similar that I’m having a hard time deciding if I want to put the time into reading it. Again, it’s a fantastic concept, but I can’t imagine how successfully it could play out.
One big reason why is because Stephanie Meyer obviously has to make some little tweaks to the story to try and make it more obvious that Bella is now a boy, right? But this raises another issue. Every time Stephanie Meyer changes something in the original Twilight story to make it “manlier” and fit Beau’s character as a boy protagonist, isn’t she kind of suggesting that whatever activity or inner thought Bella had in the original story was too girly? Isn’t that kind of perpetuating the gender stereotypes that this entire book is supposed to contradict?
I mean, maybe I’m completely misunderstanding the point of this new book or maybe the issues I mentioned aren’t really issues in the story. I’d love to hear your thoughts about this book in the comments if you have read it or plan on reading it. Let me know if you think it would be worth me reading as well. I mean, as long as it’s well done (at least on the level of Twilight or above) I’d be willing to give it a shot.
(P.S. If you love Twilight, I respect you. If you hate Twilight, I respect you. This post isn’t trying to convince anyone to love or hate Twilight in anyway. Everyone has their own opinions on the books. They were all pretty solid three stars for me. If you find this new book laughable, great. If you cried tears of joy when you got your copy, that’s awesome! Enjoy it.)

GIGANTIC BOOKSHELF SPIDER OF DEATH

So this last section is a little less book related than the other two, but it is terrifying, so I thought October would be the perfect time to post about it.
(And it happened yesterday, so it’s not like I could’ve posted about it in past months, and it wouldn’t be relevant next month…)
Yesterday I innocently went downstairs into a little room where I keep pretty much all of my books. I was getting #scandal by Sarah Ockler because a friend was interested in borrowing it. It was on my hardcover contemporary shelf so I removed it and I was bending down to admired my favorite shelf – my paperback contemporaries – when my view is obstructed by the largest spider you ever did see. This thing was huge. Like, Aragog would’ve been quaking in his boots at this thing.
Look down at your computer keyboard and observe the size of one of the keys. Or, if you’re on your iPhone, observe the size of the home button. Or, if you’re on an Android… why are you making this so difficult?
Anyway, do you have that general size in your mind? That was the size of its body. We’ve not even yet taken into account the size of its freaky, hairy legs (no shave November is next month, buddy).
And I know you’re probably thinking that I’m a wimp and I should’ve just picked it up with a paper towel. Yeah, not happening.
You know in elementary school when you would do those experiments where you tested the strength of different paper towel brands by stretching them and seeing how many pennies they could hold?
Even Brawny would’ve ripped itself in half before even getting near this thing.
The thing was, it wasn’t moving. Of course, this was understandable. It was on a contemporary shelf, so it had probably crawled on up, read a Jenny Han book, and then died of “the feels”. Even if it hadn’t, it was definitely dead by some manner. Like, when I took close-up Snapchats of it to send to all of my friends, it didn’t even raise its eyebrows to get one of the cool filters. No creature can be that much of a kill-joy and not be dead.
So I left. I figured that I could come back downstairs the next day (today) with a gas mask and a vacuum to dispose of the sad but gigantic spider body.
Everything was going according to plan until I went back downstairs…
AND THE SPIDER WAS GONE.
It wasn’t even dead. It was probably planning my murder as I sat there taking pictures of it. It could be running rampant among my books, weaving webs across the covers…
I left immediately and told my dad my dilemma. He had to go downstairs to clean anyway and said he would look for it.
He found it.
But you’ll never guess where (so I’ll tell you)! That freaky thing was chilling up in the corner of the door frame into the room. I walked right under it. It could’ve dropped down onto my head or suddenly started laying hundreds of spider babies into my hair (considering its size, I wouldn’t be too shocked if it was pregnant).
I’ll never be the same again.


You’ve reached the end of the long and ramble-y post. I hope you enjoyed reading it – it’s been one of my favorites I’ve made in a while! I’m leaving for a weekend long fall retreat tomorrow, so I can’t say for sure if a blog post will be going up or not. I’ll have Wi-Fi while I’m there but there’s a pretty good chance I’ll be spending more time dealing with more spiders in actual nature than I will be blogging. We’ll see!
I’d love to hear your thoughts below on any of the topics I mentioned in this post. Are you planning on reading The Crown and Life and Death? Do you have any super freaky spider stories? Tell me all about it!
Thanks for reading 🙂

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9 thoughts on “Thursday Thoughts: This Week’s Happenings

  1. Spiders are my paranoia. You have my sympathy. I once had a dock spider (would make your shelf spider look like a baby) crawl into my cozy warm hoody. Which I then put on. And felt something on my head. When I shrieked and brushed it off, it FELL DOWN MY SHIRT AND INTO MY SPORTS BRA. Which I whipped over my head, flashing a boatload of guys as they cruised by the dock. That was 20 years ago, I still have nightmares! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m currently reading Life and Death, and majority of it so far is cut and paste. It does get a little different as you get more into it, but I felt that she should have changed how she wrote the story because for some scenes it’s just doesn’t have a great flow because of the gender swap.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, I can definitely imagine how the gender swap could break up the flow of the book, especially since Stephanie Meyer is used to writing from a female perspective. I’m sure it was pretty hard for her to try and take a story that she was incredibly familiar with and flip the point of view around. I hope you start to enjoy it more, though, and I’m interested in hearing your final thoughts when you finish the book! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. i too have suffered from spider paranoia, and i sympathize with you. As a Girl Scout camper and counselor, I had many unpleasant encounters. The worse being when I woke up to an eyelid swollen the size of a plum and realizing one of those disgusting creatures bit me while I slept.

    Like

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