Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe | Benjamin Alire Sáenz | Book Review

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This book, I tell you.
I found myself saying this so many times.

I didn’t realize this would be a romance novel. Well, not exactly. Kind of chick-lit? Is it okay to say chick-lit if the book has male main characters? Because the book is so much more than romance. It’s about a couple of boys (Dante and Ari, if you haven’t guessed already… and mostly Ari) who are having trouble finding their identity. So possibly spiritual? I’ve decided that it’s a mix. [EDIT: Just found out that this sort of thing is called Coming-of-Age. Cool.] And the book presented complex ideas in a very simple form. OMG wait– I know the perfect word to fit that description! You guys, I promise this wasn’t planned out, but here’s a word I’ve been in love with lately:

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It is THE perfect word to describe the book. Picture found on tumblr, obviously. 😄
So. I wasn’t sure what to think of Ari at first. To be honest, we didn’t know much about him. But then Dante was introduced, and I LOVED his character. Aghaghagh fangirl fangirl fangirllll. He was so unique and refreshingly honest with himself. What kind of 16-year old is “crazy about his parents”? Dante was just awesome. Ari was just as awesome, but it took him a while to realize it, with Dante’s help. And that’s what I think Dante did for him– brought out the real Ari. Ari really owed him a lot, didn’t he? Dante helped Ari see the world differently– beautifully. But then — no spoilers — he did something crazy for Dante. But I won’t talk about it because that’s one of Ari’s rules. Those sad, limiting rules that Ari forces himself to live by. That’s another thing Dante helped him do; break those rules. Sáenz once said, “[Ari] is so afraid of loving [Dante]. And Dante isn’t.”

This wasn’t a cliché LGBTQ book, where after being friends with the other a while, the MC goes, “Omg, I think I’m gay!”. No. No, that’s not Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is Ari falling in love with Dante as a friend, so much that it crossed the border of the friend-zone, without them noticing, At least, without Ari noticing.

Another thing I wanted to talk about was how the treatment of LGBTQ’s in 1987 is sometimes not much different today. Just because you don’t agree with how someone lives their life doesn’t mean you have to abuse them, both physically and verbally. That’s kind of sad. Why can’t people just let them be? Is it hurting you? No. So leave them alone.

As for the technicalities of the book, I loved the cover.

~To conclude.~

If I had to describe this book in one word, it would be beautiful. Because it was beautiful in its own way. It was perfectly paced, to show that the little details in life are not just there to be there. They serve a purpose, like all things. I’d say this would be good for 13-14+-year-olds. This. Book. Was. Phenomenal.

AND GUESS WHAT I JUST FOUND OUT?!? THERE WILL BE A SEQUEL!!!

*victory screech*

Thanks for reading this review!

-Hera

 

The Survival Kit | Donna Freitas | Book Review

So… this is a little weird. Because my review isn’t going to be in the same format as one of my last reviews. It’s on a document because I did it for a school project and I wanted to show you what my report ACTUALLY looks like.

We had to do what was called an Amazon Listing Project. It had to include almost everything a regular Amazon listing for a book would include. I didn’t make it e x a c t l y  like an Amazon listing (which wasn’t part of the requirements anyway…) and added a personal touch.

Actually, my favorite part of the assignment was making a new cover for it. As you know by now, I love to graphic design. So I was really hyped for that. I’m afraid to say it didn’t come out as well as I’d hoped. Maybe I should have kept it simple with just a kite on the cover?

Anyway. Here’s the file: the-survival-kit

If you have problems viewing it, let me know. :/

There’s a meme easter-egg in there too… enjoy!

-Heraaa

Animal Farm | George Orwell | Book Review

This was summer reading I didn’t do because I’m new to the school I’m currently going to… So this may be a bit boring. Just a heads up.
So because of my chattering classmates, I’ve heard a lot about this book. Mainly that it’s a political satire, and a bit boring and predictable. One even wrote anonymously, “…no one should ever have to be forced to read this uncultured book.” Like… okay?

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But moving on. I didn’t really have a choice to read the book, and who knows, maybe I’ll like it? So I picked up a copy and tried to begin reading. However, I had gotten one of the newer editions and it was filled with praise, prologues, introductions, author bios, etc. etc. Like, I JUST WANT TO GET TO THE STORY, I should not have to flip through 20 pages of Orwell’s publication story. Finally, I came to Chapter One.

I must say, I like the way Orwell introduced the characters, by just grouping them all together in a meeting. That was an interesting way to start off the book. As I read the book, I happened to realize that if I didn’t know that the book was a metaphor for the Russian revolution, it could have just been a book about animals on a farm. This is exactly the trait of a summer reading book, forcing you to have to research the book in order to understand it the assignment. .-.

Arbitrary note: I did not like Mollie, but I get where she’s coming from… I mean, it WAS kind of unceremonious for them to scold her for liking ribbons… even if they are a sign of obedience to humans, what if she just thinks they’re pretty?

The book does seem pretty slow, however… at the time of writing, I have finished Chapter 5 and even though a LOT happened in the first and second chapter (none of us were expecting the Rebellion to come THIS soon), it kind of slows down in the next three. The third, fourth, and fifth chapters are mostly about the animals setting up the Farm, with the exception of that one moment where Jones tries to take back over… and failed…
Not to say that I didn’t enjoy them. Even though the plot was boring in those three chapters, the way Orwell wrote it makes the text itself pretty engaging.

Things aren’t perfect on the farm after that, of course. If they were, it would make for a boring as anything book. Trouble had started brewing… And that’s all I can say without spoiling it. Unless, of course, you already know the story of the Russian Revolution and the Soviet Union.

My assignment was to research a bunch of people from the Russian Revolution itself, because like I said, you won’t be able to understand the full story without background knowledge. I’m not going to just release my assignment to the world, because it’s not a file, and will take 1,000,000 years to type out. But I will tell you that Mr. Jones is equivalent to the real-life Czar. That bit is clear.

Well, when I finished the book, it was… a very wow ending. Kind of profound. Like wow. Kind of sad. But I expected it… my classmates were right, it was predictable. It was still a good book. I quite liked it, actually. Something about it made it very realistic. And that’s sad to think that because it WAS based off of a real-life story. 😦 So the Russians had to actually go through that! And the Soviet Union emerged… if you’d read the book, it’s kind of obvious what had gone wrong with the SU.

Thank you for reading! 🙂

This was one of my lamer reviews. I promise I’m not a nerd.

-Hera

Graphic Showcase #1

Well, here’s something new I’m trying out… a graphics showcase. Unless you’ve come from my Wattpad, you probably don’t know that I graphic design for fun, and I take requests on Wattpad. I’ve decided to share a few of them here with you.

Shadow Thieves

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The swirls and castle-y things were separate images that I blended in. I like the stained glass effect on the text. But I just realized that I, being an absolute idiot, spelled ‘thieves’ wrong. WHAI?!?! Luckily, I didn’t get points taken off for it, so. 🙂

These were the requirements that I was to follow:

Title: Shadow Thieves
Author: Emily Zhang and your watermark
Genre: Fantasy
Subtitle: Humanity is being devoured.
Requirements: raven, dark, enchanting, misty, girl

Everything is Blue

So for this we had to use a song we were assigned as inspo… My song was Colors by Halsey which I just looove. So I had the PNG of Halsey with the awesome hair, then I desaturated just her face. The I used splatter brushes and erased and added color to the cover. I did the same with the text. I didn’t want EVERYTHING to be blue (contrary to the title) so I added some baby pink. 🙂 I do not know the result of this round at the moment. Maybe I’ll add an update when I do?

Requirements:
Title: must be related to song
Author: GraphicKingdomCC and something that says you made the cover
Theme: make it about your song

Fun Fact: I’m actually a part of GraphicKingdom (AND part of their competition– I’m just not allowed to access that part of the account), so go over there and show us some love. 🙂 Pwease?

Desktop Wallpaper

I’m very proud of this one, actually. I guess the placement of the planets could be a bit better, but all in all, it’s okay. If you want, I’ll share the link to the premade version. Just be sure to tell me before.

Requirements:
Author: League of Graphics and our username very small
Title: no text is allowed apart from author
Dimensions: 1920 x 1080
Genre: any
Must Have: a dark mood, must be manipulated and ONE object as the
main focus; it can not be a celebrity

Looking at it now (last December… ;)), I’m wondering if I followed the requirements as well as I should have… Ah well. I’ll update you on the results soon!

Well, there you have it. My first graphic showcase… thoughts? If you have questions, I’m free to answer them. 🙂 If you want to see more of my work, check out my cover shop @TheHeraEra on Wattpad.

-Hera