Celebrating LILbooKlovers’s (Belated) 2 Year Blogoversary with My Research Paper on Middle Grade Literature!

Hi everybody!!! I had meant to post up a blogoversary post on May 28th–the day the first ever post went live on this site–but because of Boys State and last-minute activities, I was not able to schedule a post in time. But that is okay. It’s better to be late than never!

My opening remarks are going to be a bit short because I am way behind on posting (so my summer posts will be very erratic in the upcoming weeks) and because I want to get straight to my special gift for y’all. Thank you so much to everyone who has supported, helped, or contributed to the blog in any way. The blog has grown exponentially over the past year, and I have made so many connections with bloggers and authors all across the country. I appreciate all of the support and encouragement you have poured into my blogging and personal endeavors, and every kind word and cheer fills my heart up to the brim. To be able to make an impact on readers is what makes blogging worthwhile, and I am excited to see where this next year will take LILbooKlovers to.

For my AP English Language and Composition final research paper, I decided to use Middle Grade Literature as my topic. I wrote a total of 22 pages (along with 6 more pages full of cited sources) that explore why “The Importance of Middle Grade Literature for Adult Readers.” Yes, I wrote 22 pages. Yes, the page limit was supposed to be five to eight pages. Yes, I did get permission from my teacher. And yes, I did enjoy it. (Well, I liked the revising more than the drafting, which was really rough–pun not intended.)

Here is a little snippet from my essay if you would like a small taste of it:

By combining this experimentation of various genres, cultures, poetry and prose styles, and perspectives with the vast world of themes, issues, real-life inspirations and people, and conflicts, Middle Grade is an entire buffet of unique stories and qualitative writing that can be considered by many literary enthusiasts as modern classics. Alyssa Hollingsworth, author of The Eleventh Trade, reflects upon this high degree of excellence: “[I]t was just so amazing to me as I read Story Thieves that I was having the same metanarrative discussions on the same level that I did in an upper level English class at college” (Hollingsworth). Whether they possess subtle symbolism or majestic world-building or authentic realism, MG can be dissected for lesson plans in the classroom or discussed by readers of any age in book clubs and panels. It tackles a wide variety of issues in ways that more mature fiction cannot, and it has the power to promote unity and dialogue between children, adults, and their fellow peers, regardless of their backgrounds.

If you would like to read the entire essay and see the thoughts of many authors and professionals in the Middle Grade industry and community, please click the link below! I definitely hope you enjoy it!

The Importance of Middle Grade Literature for Adult Readers

In addition, I am being interviewed on MG Book Village (co-founded by the amazing Jarrett Lerner, author of EngiNerds), and it was really fun to be on the other side of the interview this time! Get to know a little more about me, my bookish life, and also my personal life as I approach my senior year of high school!

An Interview with Kester on MG Book Village

I hope you enjoyed my essay and interview, and thank you so much for celebrating our (albeit late) two-year blogoversary! It has been such an amazing journey to provide y’all with great recommendations and introduce many great author to you all, and I hope you’ll continue to stick with me and this blog.


Happy Reading!

+ J.M.J.

~ Kester

What are your thoughts on Middle Grade?

Comment below, or find me in one of my social media pages, and let’s chat!

Email | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Bloglovin

 

 

 

May Reading Recap

Hi everybody! This month’s Reading Recap will be very short because I have read only two books this month. Yes, two. This past May has been one of the busiest months of my entire life, with AP exams in the first two weeks, end-of-school activities the third, Boys State on the fourth, and traveling to the Philippines on the fifth. It has been very crazy for me, so I have not been able to read at all. Hopefully this summer, I’ll be able to catch up on reading and reviewing and blogging!


4 Stars

The Gravedigger’s Son by Patrick Moody

The Gravedigger's Son

Goodreads

The Island by J. L. Pattison

The Island

Goodreads


In Case You Missed It: This Month’s Posts

Author Interviews

Kristin O’Donnell Tubb, author of A Dog Like Daisy

Author Guest Posts

Wendy McLeod MacKnight, author of The Frame Up, on “The World Behind the Frame”

LILbooKtalks

“Mermaid Tails and Fairy Tales” with Tobie Easton and D. G. Driver

Discussions

Memorial Day: A Personal Reflection on Washington, DC, and TN Boys State

Book Reviews

Genesis by Brendan Reichs

Onyx and Ivory by Mindee Arnett

Runtime by S. B. Divya

Seeing through Sampson’s Eyes by Pamela Schloesser Canepa

Blog Tours

Genesis by Brendan Reichs

Reading Recap

April Reading Recap


Happy Reading!

+ J.M.J.

~ Kester

Have you read any of these books? What are your thoughts?

Comment below, or find me in one of my social media pages, and let’s chat!

Email | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Bloglovin

 

The First Ever LILbooKchat!: What It Means to be a Teen Book Blogger

Hi guys! As you know, I am starting my junior year of high school. That means two more years before college, but it also means one of the hardest years of high school. I know I’m going to be more busy with homework and extracurricular activities, so it got me thinking, “What does it mean to be a teen book blogger?” Because I am starting a monthly discussion bit, I thought this would be the perfect topic for my first ever LILbooKchat! I hope you enjoy!

So what does it mean to be a teen book blogger?

For me, it’s summed up in three words: School, Extracurriculars, and Time.

Continue reading “The First Ever LILbooKchat!: What It Means to be a Teen Book Blogger”

LILbooKlovers 1 Year Blogoversary!: Q&A with Kester

Hello! Today is a special day for the blog because it is our 1 year blogoversary!!! Woo hoo!!! I can’t believe it’s already been one year that I’ve started this blog, and it has grown quite considerably! Now, to celebrate this special day, I’ve answered all your questions from last week’s post below! Hope you enjoy!


Misty from mistysbookspace

What was the first book that got you into reading??

Regarding my newfound of reading from 9th grade, I would say Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich made me first go “Reading can actually be super fun!” and I sped through it in a few days.

You can only read one genre for the rest of your life, what genre would you choose?

Historical fiction! I love reading books that are set in different time periods, especially World War II! I can’t get enough of Ruta Sepetys!


Tiana from The Book Raven

What time do you find yourself reading the most?

It usually depends on my schedule for the day. I usually read during breaks in school or the afternoon, or I read at night right before bed. But I don’t have a set time to read.

What are you currently reading and what do you think about it so far?

I’m currently reading That Thing We Call a Heart by Sheba Karim, which I think is pretty good so far. I love learning more about the Muslim and Pakistani culture that is inside the book, and I just love the romance!


Stephanie from TeacherofYA

Is it hard being a male blogger in a female-dominated market?

It provides its benefits and challenges. I think it is hard especially on Twitter because I’m often mistaken as a girl because I use the blog Twitter account under LILbooKlovers rather than my name, even though I use it 100% of the time. I think that it’s harder to find other males in the YA market, especially in the US, but it helps me stick out as a reviewer. You know, you need that male perspective on those romances!

Funny story: Brittany Goodwin and I talked about her secret epilogue for If You’re Gone, and I told her I didn’t like it. She said that males did not like the epilogue, including her husband, but females loved it. So you see how a male perspective is valuable for books!

What do you do when you enjoy a book that’s been labeled “problematic?”

I stand by my opinion that I personally don’t think it’s problematic. I’ve encountered this problem once now, and all I can say is that I will stick by my opinion. I will write what I feel about it in my review, regardless of whether it’s an unpopular opinion or not, but I will avoid debating about it.

What are your future blog goals?

I hope to expand the blog and get noticed by larger authors and publishers! It would be a dream to get ARCs from the Big 5 that are some of the hottest releases!

Who is your all-time favorite author that you’ve met, and that you still have yet to meet?

Shaila Patel’s my favorite author I have met. She’s super nice and sweet, and we’ve been chatting for a while leading up to SE-YA! She’s amazing, and I look forward to Soulmated‘s sequel!

I really want to meet Ruta Sepetys so much! Her books are some of my all-time favorites, and they have definitely changed my outlook on the world! She’s such an amazing historical fiction writer that I just want her to sign my books!

If you could buy a copy of any book or own any book (ARCs included), what would you pick?

A Caraval ARC. I really want one so much. I’m hoping I could trade for one soon! Or a signed Ruta Sepetys book!

Continue reading “LILbooKlovers 1 Year Blogoversary!: Q&A with Kester”

Sunshine Blogger Award

sunshineHi guys! We got nominated a few weeks ago for the Sunshine Blogger Award, our second award, by two bloggers, Mandy from Book Princess Reviews and Jannin from The Booknerd Dragon! Thank you so much, Mandy and Jannin, for your nominations, and if you have the chance, go check her blog out! Cayli and I were so excited to answer these questions, and we hope that you’ll enjoy them!

Rules

1. Thank the person who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.

2. Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.

3. Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write then 11 new questions.

4. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

 

Mandy’s Questions (Answered by Kester)

1.  Favorite Disney character – look at me, I’m not even limiting it to a Princess! Can we call this progress?

I would say Joy from Inside Out or Olaf from Frozen. They’re always so positive, and I would be them if I were a character in their movies.

2. What can always make you laugh?

Pretty much anything funny can make me laugh. Sometimes I’ll just burst out laughing in class and I’ll be the only one laughing.

3. What is your favorite quote?

I live by many quotes, but for now, this is the one that sticks out a lot in my mind:

“Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes but when you look back everything is different…” – C. S. Lewis

I always think that I’m not improving as a person each and every day, but this quote reminds me that we might not see our changes each day, but in the future, we’ll see the big changes. I want to be a better person, one who’s more selfless and charitable to others in my family, in school, in my church, and everywhere I go. Sometimes it does not seem that I’m improving, but I know that I’m becoming better little by little. Like they say, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” We might not see our improvements now, but we will definitely see them later.

4. If you could have any animal in the world (or beyond) as a pet and you knew for sure that it wouldn’t eat you, what would it be?

I would have want to have one of those cute little puppies with big eyes, fluffy fur, and a little tongue that tickles you when he licks you. They’re super cute! I can’t resist cuteness!

It’s either that or a pig named Hamlet that I’ll dress up in a Shakespearean outfit. I’ll also place him next to a skull when taking pictures of him.

5. What book do you wish that everyone could read?

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys. People need to see the untold stories of World War II, and Ruta Sepetys does an amazing job of that. My eyes were truly opened by her book, and I think reading this book will certainly change the way people see about the world. 

6. Coffee, tea…neither?

I am a coffee drinker, except when I have a choral audition the next day or the day of. Then I’ll drink tea. But if I could drink at Starbucks I would jump at the chance.

7. What authors are insta-buys for you?

Ruta Sepetys. I really don’t have an “insta-author” since I don’t buy books frequently, but it’s usually just books that I really want to read.

8. How do you feel about classic books?

I like classics, but the language is what makes me not want to read them. It’s so hard to read the olden, flowery language of before, and it makes it harder to understand the text and easier for me to get confused or bored. Some of my favorite books are classics, but if I have to read it for school, it kind of feels forced upon. I’m reading Animal Farm by George Orwell right now for English, and although I love it, it feels like a chore at times because I have to read two or three chapters every few days, which makes it more like work and not pleasure.

9. What song is stuck in your head right this very minute?

“A Lovely Night” from La La Land. It is such an amazing song, and I love the ending with the strings! The entire La La Land soundtrack is “lovely!” I got to go buy it on my phone soon!

10. And last but not least, what do you think your favorite book of 2017 will be?

The United Continuums by Jennifer Brody. Nothing will top that book. It was so amazing!


Jannin’s Questions (Answered by Cayli)

1. What is your favorite color? Why? 😀

I honestly don’t have a consistent favorite color. It’s whatever matches at the time. My room is blue… blue curtains. Blue walls. White dressers and nightstands…. my doors are brown. I guess I have to say blue, brown, and white are my favorite three colors when put together. They create this elegant look that I adore. Very calm and clean. A color isn’t as grand until you set it next to another.

2. Would you rather be smart or beautiful?

Hmmmmmmmmmmmm I would would rather be smart. Being smart gets me into college. Getting into college gets me a good job. A good job gets me money. Money gets me a good haircut and a manicure. So in the end, being smart lets me beautify myself.

3. What is the most boring book you ever read? 

When it comes to fiction, I’ve never really read a boring book. I want to say nonfiction in general, but I have read good nonfiction books in my time. If I had to say one fiction book… I have to say Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly. ImsorryIdidntfullonhateitIpromise. I just didn’t like it in terms of what it could have been. Oh jeez, I honestly cannot tell you what I didn’t like specfically other than there was way too much dialogue (last time I read it was like two years ago) I would go further into it but I’ll just leave here for later. 

4. Name one famous author with bestselling books that is not just your cup of jam. 

Urrrrgggh I don’t know… lol I loved Divergent. I loved the Hunger Games (but not as much as I could love it but that’s another story). I love anything from Cassandra Clare. I love The 5th Wave. I guess I have to say The Giver… I read the first book, and it was awesome, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t know… I wasn’t quite into it all that much. I have the other three books on my shelf, and I feel bad because I still haven’t gotten to read them (out of choice). I know one day I have to, but I don’t see it coming up soon.

5. If you could change nationality/race, what would it be? Why? 

BRITAIN. I want a British accent. I want to go to England, and I want one of their cool accent. I watch British people on YouTube and they say “Zeb-ra” instead of “Zee-bra” and I find it so oddly amusing. WHY CAN’T I LIVE IN BRITIAN? 😥 

6. What language do you want to learn fluently? Choose only one. 

French. I don’t take the class yet, but I will. Beautiful language. People tell me I should take Spanish because I would encounter more of that language than I will French. I told my mom, “One day there will be that one person who speaks French and will need my help to translate. Then you’ll all be sorry!” I play around too much…

7. You are given a chance to become a book jumper (nope, I haven’t read that book yet),what’s the first book you’ll jump into?

I really should say Chronicles of Narnia. I really, really should, and I want to. So bad. But I also want to jump into the world of Percy Jackson. Where I could train at Camp Half-Blood and make the gods mad and almost die over and over again because I made wandered into some monster’s lair… get cursed… visit the Underworld…haha… what fun… okay, which warbrobe should I step through…

8. Give one to/or three frustrating things about being a reader/booknerd? 

Number one, movie adaptations. When the producers decide they can just do whatever they want to a book that I LOVE. How dare they? I understand a few twists and turns to fit tue audience. Like the Miss Peregrine’s movie? Loved it. The played around with th ending, yeah, but overall, it was a wonderful film. But then you got movies like Percy Jackson and Chronicles of Narnia and The Mortal Instruments and The 5th Wave…. why? Why must they tick me off this badly? Annabeth was a brunette in the first movie and then decided to cover up their little mistake by dying her hair for the second movie… only made it all even worse. #salty

Number two… when you need to rant to someone because someone just died or the characters are being idiots…. and no one understands, therefore no one cares. Here I am in my bed, crying my eyes out, talking to Kelsey about how so and so are being adorable and how they will most likely die in the end…. and she has no words. She sits there and nods her head. “There, there…” 

Number Three? When the characters do something embarrassing, and you just want to hide yourself. I wasn’t the one who got drunk and confessed my love to someone across the street. I wasn’t the one who decided going against orders and got yelled at in front of everyone. *I* wasn’t the one who said made herself look like a fool during arguement in front of everyone. I did none of these things, yet I can’t help but cringe. Their emotions hit me. I cannot pick up the book until I am ready to face the horror that is this the aftermath of this embarrassment. These characters will be the death of me. 

9. Do you play sport? What sport? 

I’m not really a sports person. Im not competitive. But I love Volleyball. I play it now with a small group of girls. Maybe one day I’ll play for the high school? Who knows…. Time will tell. 

10. Would you rather be the author? Or the character?  

Well, since a lot of authors love killing off their characters (looking at you, Roth), I think I’ll play it safe and be the author. I’ll do the killing. Don’t worry, though, I am not as heartless as some authors (Cassandra…)

11. Favorite movie of all time. 

Miss Peregrine’s, probably. I don’t rewatch movies unless there is some time in between them, but I love this film nonetheless. I watched it again a month after the first time with a friend of mine. Still laughed and cried at all the memories and the “Your lives were so easy back then…. sniff sniff… you sillies think your burned down house is the biggest problem…”

 

Our Nominees

Stephanie from Teacher of YA

Joana from Bookneeders

Rakel from MiRakelBooks

Rendz from Reading with Rendz

Rafael Ray from The Royal Polar Bear Reads

Jamie from Book Pandamonium

Payton from Payton’s Book Thoughts

Kim from By Hook Or By Book

Mikaela from the well-thumbed reader

Sophie from Blame Chocolate

Klara from Ribbon Reviews

 

My Questions for My Nominees

1. What is one book that made you cry?

2. If you could travel one place in the entire world and all your expenses were paid, where would you go?

3. Where is your favorite place to read? Like in front of fireplace, outside on the grass, on your bed in a blanket… what?

4. Which TV show would you choose to binge watch?

5. Would you rather meet your favorite author but you cannot say a single word, or would you have a signed copy of your favorite book made personally to you but every 10th page is missing?

6. What is your top reading strategy to maximize how many books you will read in a year?

7. What is the talent or achievement that you are most proud of?

8. What is your favorite movie adaptation of a book, and why?

9. If you were going to recommend me one book, which one would it be, and why?

10. Which fictional character would you go out on a date with, and do you think it would work out?

11. What kind of book swag (e.g. buttons, bookmarks, postcards, bookplates, wristbands, etc.) is your favorite?

 

I hope you guys will do this tag! If you were already nominated or tagged, I am not making you do this, but you are free to do these questions if you’d like! Thanks for all of your support! We have another award coming up- the Liebster Award- and we’ll be nominating another batch of wonderful bloggers! Thank you, and we hope that you may continue share our blog with your friends! It’s fun to meet more book lovers!

 

Til next time! ~ Kester