Author Archives: Tiffany

Typography Tuesday


Typography Tuesday is a weekly event here on Read, Breathe, Read. In this post, we recommend a must-read book and showcase gorgeous typography (which is usually a quote from the novel) created by Bea (Instagram) from The Tiny Artist.

This week, we’re all over a famous classic by Jane Austen- (Yes, you probably know what’s coming)

Pride & Prejudice


I don’t think any words are needed to explain why this title is a must-read. (Or a must-watch if you prefer visuals. The Kiera Knightley version is an obvious choice but The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is a good option for a more modern setting.)

And now, for Bea’s beautiful typography featuring a quote all Mr. Darcy/Elizabeth Bennet fans must know…


(This very, very popular quote is actually from the movie adaptation–from a bonus scene at the end, if I’m not mistaken.) Typography by Bea Reyes

#StephaniePerkinsinPH: Are You Ready?

Poster - Stephanie Perkins

With four days left (or three, if you’re in Cebu) until Stephanie Perkins’ book signing tour in Manila, Alyana and I felt the need to compile a list of things to do/remember to make sure that you guys are nothing short of prepared on this long-awaited day!

First up, a refresher on FAQs on NBS signings + some Qs on the availability and prices of Stephanie’s books:

Frequently Asked Questions 

When and where are the book signings? 
July 5, 1:00 pm, at National Book Store, SM Cebu 
July 6, 2:00 pm, at National Book Store, Glorietta 1

When will the registration be? 
Registration opens at 10:00 am on July 5 at National Book Store, SM Cebu (in the store, NOT the events area) and 10:00 am on July 6 at National Book Store, Glorietta 1. Each guest will be asked to fill out the registration form upon arrival. Separate registrations for each event is required should you wish to attend both events. First come, first served. 

Is there a registration fee? 
No. There is no registration fee. 

How many books can I have signed? Is there a limit as to how many people can have their books signed? 
You may have any number of books signed as long as they were purchased from National Book Store, Bestsellers or Powerbooks, and we do not have any preset limit as to the number of people. 

However, although we will take every effort to get as many books signed as possible, depending on the number of attendees, we reserve the right to limit the number of copies per person or limit the number of people in line. First come, first served. 

Can I bring old books or other editions of the books? 
Yes, as long as the books were purchased from National Book Store, Bestsellers and Powerbooks.

Do I need to buy on-site? 
No. You can buy books before or during the event. 

Can I have other items signed? 
No. Only books will be allowed to be signed by the authors. 

Can we have our photo taken with the author? 
Yes, you can have your photo with the author when she signs your book. However, we strictly allow one photo per person only. 

How much are the books? 
Anna and the French Kiss (Trade Paperback – P349) 
Lola and the Boy Next Door (Trade Paperback – P349) 
Isla and the Happily Ever After (will be released in August 14) 



  1. If you haven’t purchased the books you want signed, reserve them ASAP. RESERVE. You can’t afford to take risks a few days before the signing! Sure, there’ll probably be loads of available copies at the event, but reserving ahead of time ensures that you get the book. (and the cover you want, if you’re particular about those things) You know what they say: Better safe than sorry.
  2. If you’re planning to give Stephanie something (a gift, token, fan art, etc.) make sure it’s small and compact. Chances are, all the other fans are thinking of doing the same thing as well, and bulky items will make it so much harder for Stephanie to lug everything back home. Make your gift thoughtful, but practical. :)



1. Be at the event location early to avoid long lines. Filipino fans are known to camp out in front of NBS every time an author comes by, (it’s not our fault we’re hardcore fans, ha) so make sure you get there before registration starts. Are you okay with being in one of the later batches? If yes, then drop by at your own time. (Don’t say we didn’t warn you.) ;)

2. When the NBS employee or Stephanie asks you the spell your name out for them, make sure to do so clearly. Once it’s written on your book with permanent marker, there’s no going back! (On the bright side, you get to learn that there are so many different variations to spelling your name.)

3. Don’t be shy. The day of the signing is a time to get to know other book lovers such as yourself! Trust us, the experience is a thousand times better when you have other people to squeal and fangirl with.

4. Have a friend take your photo with Stephanie. With so many people planning to attend the signing, chances are you’ll only have a minute to talk and take a picture with Stephanie. Instead of fumbling around with your phone trying to fit you and Stephanie in the picture selfie style, have a friend stand at the side and do it for you. If you’re coming alone, fear not! One of the NBS staff will be glad to take your photo.

5. Have fun! A signing with Stephanie Perkins is seriously a once in a lifetime experience, so make the most out of it!




Blog Tour: Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern (Review)

  • TitleSay What You Will
  • AuthorCammie McGovern
  • SourceARC from Harper
  • No. of Pages352
  • PublishedJune 03, 2014 by HarperTeen
  • Rating3.5/5
  • Check it outGoodreads or Amazon
John Green's The Fault in Our Stars meets Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor & Park in this beautifully written, incredibly honest, and emotionally poignant novel. Cammie McGovern's insightful young adult debut is a heartfelt and heartbreaking story about how we can all feel lost until we find someone who loves us because of our faults, not in spite of them.

Born with cerebral palsy, Amy can't walk without a walker, talk without a voice box, or even fully control her facial expressions. Plagued by obsessive-compulsive disorder, Matthew is consumed with repeated thoughts, neurotic rituals, and crippling fear. Both in desperate need of someone to help them reach out to the world, Amy and Matthew are more alike than either ever realized.

When Amy decides to hire student aides to help her in her senior year at Coral Hills High School, these two teens are thrust into each other's lives. As they begin to spend time with each other, what started as a blossoming friendship eventually grows into something neither expected.


Thanks to Harper International for providing me with this ARC for review!

Welcome to my stop on the SAY WHAT YOU WILL blog tour, hosted by Pinoy Book Tours! Click on the tour banner to check out the tour schedule and other ongoing tours on the site.


To say that this novel surprised me is an understatement; Say What You Will fascinated and shocked me in ways that were all too real compared to the carefree and happy-go-lucky atmosphere most contemporary YA books seem to have.

Say What You Will, in a nutshell, is about a teenage girl born with CP (Cerebral palsy) who uses a computer to talk and faces a continuous struggle to fit in and be accepted by her peers. During Amy’s senior year, she encounters Matthew, a boy with OCD, (Obsessive-compulsive disorder) when he is hired to be her student aide. Through this experience, the two teenagers are able to help each other face their own problems while facing and conquering their own new ones as well.

It was a little bit hard for me to feel for the characters at first; I was still pretty emotionally detached from them and the plot. Amy seemed too forceful (though it might have been because everything she said was in caps lock) and naïve for my taste, while Matthew had too much going on in his head. However, as the novel progressed, I began to understand Amy and Matthew’s individual quirks and nuances and as a result, I felt the need to continue on reading their special story.

The best thing about this book is the way Cammie McGovern made the book completely down-to-earth. She didn’t hold back on the little details or the raw emotions that I needed to feel from each of the characters, and I loved being able to read them in Amy’s unsent emails, or in the way Matthew tried to stop his OCD from getting the better of him. These two characters, when together, are forces to be reckoned with; nothing will stop the two of them from achieving something or conquering a huge fear.

So I guess, given the impressing character development and emotional portrayal of the two protagonists, the plot and the minor characters felt a little bit…lacking. I didn’t quite know what to expect while reading the story because some characters’ personalities kept jumping back and forth while the plot became a whirlwind of clichés mixed in with random surprises that I felt weren’t needed to make the book better. The ending of the book wasn’t as impacting as I would have liked, and some characters’ relationships weren’t fully fleshed out or given the closure they deserved.

Overall, though, I can’t say that Say What You Will isn’t poignant or beautiful in essence. The harsh reality people with disabilities face in our world is captured perfectly all throughout the novel, and the emotional and psychological growth Amy and Matthew had in spite of this is not only awe-inspiring but is also one that will leave a mark on every reader’s heart.



Cammie McGovern was born in Evanston, Illinois, but moved to Los Angeles when she was seven years old. She is the author of three adult novels, The Art of SeeingEye Contact, and Neighborhood WatchSay What You Will will be published by HarperTeen in June, 2014. She currently lives in Amherst, MA, with her husband and three sons, the oldest of whom is autistic.


Event Recap: Tahereh Mafi, Ransom Riggs, and Veronica Rossi in the Philippines! (Blogger Forum)

TRV_Poster book signing tourThank you so much, National Book Store (and JB and Chad and all the other awesome NBS peeps) for hosting the blogger forum and this amazing event!

Although the day started at roughly around 9am for me, some fans were already, in fact, waiting outside NBS at 1:45am to be the first ones in line for the trio signing! If that isn’t a sign of dedication, I don’t know what is. It’s just all thanks to National Book Store that everything ran as smoothly as possible (imagine trying to contain over 2000 people!!) and that the event turned out to be a huge success. :)

Blogger Forum

10317607_306233559526950_6107050179267731906_o  Say hello to the lovely YA book bloggers who attended the forum!

The blogger forum started out with the usual introductions and greetings, shortly followed by a Q&A addressed to the panel of authors. Here are some of the questions I found incredibly interesting: (not verbatim, of course, and mild spoilers ahead for those who haven’t read the books!)

To Ransom-

Q: If you could use a photograph to describe the whole series, what would it contain?

A: A heart.

To Tahereh-

Q: Have you always known from the start that Juliette would end up with Warner?

A: Yes.

(This actually surprised me a lot, considering that Warner was a pretty crazy villain in Shatter Me. But yay for Juliette and Warner!)

To Veronica-

Q: What message did you try to send to your readers through the Under the Never Sky series?

A: Themes about home–that it can be found anywhere, as long as you’re happy.

(The message in itself is beautiful. I assure you, the way she phrased it was better than I did just now.) ;))

After the Q&A, I got my books signed (yaaay) and I also got the opportunity to chat a little bit with the authors and take a few photos. These three are the sweetest and nicest people in the world! Meeting Ransom and Tahereh again (and Veronica for the first time!) was such an indescribable experience, and I’m really, truly, thankful for this opportunity.

IMG_3308 IMG_3306 IMG_3304

Here are 2 of the books I got signed by Ransom and Tahereh, respectively:


Overall, it was a great forum and signing! National’s line-up of authors never fails to please (I mean come one, these three are AWESOME! Plus Jenny Han and Stephanie Perkins up next :D) and I will surely attend the next events to come. But before I go…here’s a parting message (more like a really sweet thank you) from Veronica Rossi, Ransom Riggs, and Tahereh Mafi!

Review: Grim by Multiple Authors

  • TitleGrim
  • AuthorChristine Johnson (Editor) & Various Authors
  • SourceEbook
  • No. of Pages480
  • PublishedFebruary 25, 2014 by Harlequin Teen
  • Rating4/5
  • Check it outGoodreads or Amazon
Inspired by classic fairy tales, but with a dark and sinister twist, Grim contains short stories from some of the best voices in young adult literature today:

Ellen Hopkins, Amanda Hocking, Julie Kagawa, Claudia Gray, Rachel Hawkins, Kimberly Derting, Myra McEntire, Malinda Lo, Sarah Rees-Brennan, Jackson Pearce, Christine Johnson, Jeri Smith Ready, Shaun David Hutchinson, Saundra Mitchell, Sonia Gensler, Tessa Gratton, Jon Skrovan

I’ve never been one to enjoy anthologies, especially if they’re collections of short stories. Poems, I can tolerate, but short stories always seem to leave me hanging–sort of like snatching away my slice of cake after one bite–so to say I was a teensy bit wary about this is an understatement.

However, I am glad to say that I quite liked Grim. Though I felt like some of the stories were lacking and unoriginal, others were creative and enjoyable. The medley of authors suited the dark theme of their own respective fairy tale retellings and a lot of them did their stories justice.

Some particularly memorable ones:
1) Untethered by Sonia Gensler
This is by far my favorite in the entire anthology. It was pretty short compared to the other stories, (maybe because I enjoyed it too much) but somehow it was able to perfectly capture the essence of the tale from start to finish without having an open, unfinished ending. Also, plus points because the twist totally hit me square in the face!

2) The Key by Rachel Hawkins
The Key started off as a lighthearted, slightly kooky story, but it gradually transformed into a darker, more epic thriller. I sort of saw it coming, but not completely. Amazing short story.

3) The Real Boy by Claudia Gray
This was one of the only two sci-fis in the entire anthology and it was really cute and sweet–a stark contrast from the stories before and after it. It was a breath of fresh air because I didn’t expect to like it, but I did.

A close, always had other during would middle viagra online you replacement products notes, daily pomade s.after it. It was a breath of fresh air because I didn’t expect to like it, but I did.

4) Sell Out by Jackson Pearce
Sell Out felt more like a contemporary than all the other retellings, and in this case, it played out really well. The striking character development was evident in the protagonist in the story, which is a great feat for something significantly shorter than a novel. Furthermore, the last words ended not only the story, but also the whole anthology nicely.

Special Mention:
Beauty and the Chad by Sarah Rees Brennan
Though the story as a whole didn’t live up to my expectations like the ones above did, this was the only humorous piece in Grim, and I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t amused by the lingo and the way the

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story progressed. Enjoyable, but not really well thought-out or significant.

All the others were well-written and easy to read, but not entirely moving or world-changing. However, I really liked seeing how each author was able to mold classic tales to form their own dark and complex stories because let me tell you, it’s not easy to capture a reader’s attention with sixteen other stories vying for the spotlight. Fortunately, in a way, all the authors made their tales fit in that circle of light.

Review: Anything But Ordinary by Lara Avery

  • TitleAnything But Ordinary
  • AuthorLara Avery
  • SourceReview copy from publisher
  • No. of Pages336
  • PublishedSeptember 11, 2012 by Hyperion Book CH
  • Rating4/5
  • Check it outGoodreads or Amazon
An inspiring, bittersweet love story about making every day count.

Bryce remembers it like it was yesterday. The scent of chlorine. The blinding crack and flash of pain. Blood in the water.

When she wakes up in the hospital, all Bryce can think of is her disastrous Olympic diving trial. But everything is different now. Bryce still feels seventeen, so how can her little sister be seventeen, too? Life went on without her while Bryce lay in a coma for five years. Her best friend and boyfriend have just graduated from college. Her parents barely speak. And everything she once dreamed of doing—winning a gold medal, traveling the world, falling in love—seems beyond her reach.

But Bryce has changed too, in seemingly impossible ways. She knows things she shouldn’t. Things that happened while she was asleep. Things that haven’t even happened yet. During one luminous summer, as she comes to understand that her dreams have changed forever, Bryce learns to see life for what it truly is: extraordinary.

You can tell when you’re about to read an emotionally-packed novel and when you’re about to read something light and fluffy–perfect for summer afternoons by the pool. You can tell when the story you are about to delve into is something you can finish in one sitting and when the story is something so beautiful it will leave you speechless, unable to continue on with an end that will probably change your life.

Anything But Ordinary truly lives up to its name–it’s shockingly touching and heartbreaking, and it sheds some light on the experience of a girl who has nothing left to lose because even if she still seemingly has everything, she is but a shell of herself. She is a child inside a woman, and her whole life moved on without her. For five years, Bryce was in a coma, and the fact that she even woke up or showed signs of movement and life was a huge miracle. However, she finds that five years is enough to drastically change her perfect life from when she was seventeen. She used to be an Olympic-hopeful star swimmer with tons of gold medals, a wonderful family, a loyal best friend, and a faithful boyfriend–her life was more than perfect. But now?

Her five years of non-physical movement renders her almost incapable of using her fully-functioning limbs to walk properly, much less swim. Her younger sister, Sydney, who used to be a sweet twelve-year old, is now a troublemaking teen who feels unloved by her family because of the constant attention Bryce has been getting from the day she was born. And what of her best friend Gabby, and her boyfriend Greg? Moving on seemed pretty easy for them, since they are engaged to be married. Despite these, Bryce does everything for her life to go back to normal. But as much as she wants everything to be what they were five years ago, time changes people, and certain circumstances lead her to meet Carter, who quickly becomes a friend and a potential love interest. Young love blooms between the two of them as Bryce tries to live out the five missing years in the time she has now–practicing, pushing herself, rekindling relationships, and grudgingly accepting the fact that the love of her life is betrothed to her best friend.

Actually, I liked Bryce a lot. She turned out to be such a complex character–extremely different from the whiny, petty, and annoying protagonist I

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had in mind when I pictured out the story in my head. There are these little things about her that get me so emotionally attached to who she is and what she does to live out her life to the fullest. Instead of crying and instead of whining about how unfair her life is, (which is probably what some would do) she makes the most out of what she has and strives to improve herself in order to retain a sense of normalcy in her life. Besides this, she doesn’t forget to look out for her family and friends instead of leaving them to look out for her, and she always holds their best interests at heart. Selfless even to the point of her own unhappiness. Sure, there may be some things that made her slip from that characteristic, but she never failed to regain her balance and come out a better person than before.

A huge factor in the rating I gave was also the writing of the author. Her portrayal of heartbreak, sadness, happiness, and inner turmoil hit my emotions spot-on, making sure I never flipped a page without feeling something. She managed to fit so many essential things in the plot in a mere three hundred and thirty-six pages, which made some scenes perfectly-paced, and others savoringly-slow to draw out the emotions of a reader.

The ending, I thought, was extremely unexpected, and despite my feelings about it, it was so heartbreakingly beautiful and bittersweet because of its perfect simplicity. Lara Avery was able to capture that exact moment that left the book hanging, but also closed, in a sense.

Overall, Anything But Ordinary is an extraordinary book that pulls at your heartstrings and leaves you with a simple but powerful parting message about life, beauty, and happiness. I strongly recommend those who enjoy emotional contemporaries to pick up this book and revel in Bryce’s story because as soon as you turn that last page, it will become a part of your heart for the rest of your life.

Blog Tour: American Girl on Saturn by Nikki Godwin (Review + Giveaway)

  • TitleAmerican Girl on Saturn
  • AuthorNikki Godwin
  • SourceDigital review copy from author
  • No. of Pages340
  • PublishedAugust 29, 2013 by Self-published
  • Rating4/5
  • Check it outGoodreads or Amazon
The summer after graduation is supposed to be that first real taste of freedom - but not for eighteen-year-old Chloe Branson. Just as that breeze of freedom is making its way into her galaxy, her secret-service-agent dad drops a meteor-sized bomb of bad news on her and her sisters. An attempt has been made on the lives of Canadian boyband, Spaceships Around Saturn, during their USA tour, and the guys have to go into hiding ASAP. The only problem? In the midst of the crisis and media frenzy, their dad volunteered to hide the their house.

Six-year-old Emery is as ecstatic as any self-proclaimed Saturnite would be, but Chloe and her seventeen-year-old sister Aralie watch their summer plans crash and burn like a falling star. The SAS guys aren't happy with the situation, either. Bad boy Jules picks fights with Aralie about everything from his Twitter followers to his laundry, and heart-throb Benji can't escape Emery's fangirlisms for more than three minutes.

But after the super-cute Milo kisses Chloe during a game of hide-and-seek, she finally understands what Emery means when she talks about SAS being "out of this world." If this is what Saturn feels like, Chloe doesn't want to come back to Earth.
Welcome to my stop in the American Girl on Saturn tour, hosted by Oops! I Read A Book Again. Be sure to check out the giveaway below my review as well. :)

If I had to describe this book in one word, I would use the word ‘cute.’ Giggle-inducing-butterflies-in-stomach cute. (Okay, maybe not just one word.) In fact, American Girl on Saturn was indescribably fluffy, extremely reminiscent of two young people in love and beautifully written in its simplicity.

When I read the blurb for this book, I had my doubts. It sounded like a light, comfortable summer read, but with an added factor that delineated it from all the other contemporaries in the market—a boy band. And to be honest, that made it sound a little too fan-fiction-y and fangirl-y for my taste. Don’t get me wrong; I have nothing against boy bands and overexcited fans, but my ideal

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contemporaries are those with a little more plot depth and characterization instead of washed-down fiction with characters based after real-life celebrities that have way too many problems. Little did I know that I was going to be swallowing these words and regretting that I ever even thought the book might turn out bad.

Right from the get-go, I had a hunch that this plotline was going to be risky. There were only two ways a book like this could go—it would either be really good, or really bad. And I knew there was a reason I signed up to review a book that’s not usually right in my comfort zone because Nikki Godwin sure got this one right.

In a nutshell, American Girl on Saturn is about Chloe and her sisters, Aralie, and Emerie, a devout fangirl to the Canadian boy band, ‘Spaceships Around Saturn.’ Said boy band was the target of a shooting at one of their concerts and Chloe’s secret-service-agent dad volunteered to house them—Milo, Jules, Benji, Tate, and Noah—for a few weeks for their safety. But with a fangirl of a sister in the house, Chloe can’t help but see her summer as a disaster. However, what was supposed to be the worst and most awkward vacation of Chloe’s life turned out to be something more as she meets Milo, a handsome twenty-year old in the band who might just be interested in her. So what happens when you put Chloe, Aralie, Emerie, Milo, Jules, Tate, and Noah together in one house on lockdown?

That’s for you to find out when you read the book.

Surprisingly, the book was a lot more in-depth than I thought with its heart-racing, fluffy scenes that were just so real and down-to-earth and relatable that any teenage girl reading it would probably feel a lot like Chloe or Aralie or even Emerie. There were tinges of humor and sarcasm there too that fit perfectly with the author’s style of writing and the scenes at hand. American Girl on Saturn is a real, simple romance story that brings people back to the feeling of crushes and the feeling that is and only can be, love. It brings everyone back to their first heartbreaks, their first break-ups, and the first experiences that they finally let go and learn from. It’s complex, yet simple. It sparks a feeling inside of you that really is “out of this world.”

It’s the miracle that comes from reading American Girl on Saturn.

Something Strange & Deadly Book Club Week 3

Note: Susan is currently hosting a book club for SS&D with discussion questions from both Something Strange & Deadly and A Darkness Strange & Lovely. This is Week 2 of her book club.

Something Strange & Deadly Discussion Question

Eleanor finds herself more and more intrigued by (perhaps even attracted to) Daniel Sheridan, the inventor of the Spirit-Hunters. What is it about him that appeals to her? And vice versa, what do you think attracts Daniel to Eleanor?

Then there’s Clarence Wilcox, the seemingly perfect eligible bachelor. Why do you think Eleanor doesn’t like Clarence?

Daniel is an enigma. He’s mysterious, dark, and so different from all the other boys Eleanor’s mother forces her to interact with.

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He’s smart, witty, and someone her mother would totally disapprove of. She also needed the Spirit-Hunters’ help to find her brother, and it couldn’t have hurt for her to spend quite some time with Daniel, interacting with him, getting to know him, and seeing all the great qualities in him that are oh-so-lacking in Clarence.

Clarence and Eleanor is the prime example of a forced relationship gone wrong. Due to her mother’s goal to set her up with

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a rich man, Eleanor is continuously forced to charm Clarence and form a relationship to secure her future. Unfortunately, love simply cannot be forced, especially when Clarence represents the very things Eleanor is running away from.

Something Strange & Deadly Book Club Week 2

Note: Susan is currently hosting a book club for SS&D with discussion questions from both Something Strange & Deadly and A Darkness Strange & Lovely. This is Week 2 of her book club.

Something Strange & Deadly Discussion Question

Magic and ghostly elements frequent the Something Strange and Deadly series. Even

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though corpses do awaken from time to time and hauntings are hardly that uncommon, the people of Philadelphia seem determined to pretend the Dead are not a growing threat.

Do you think that’s part of human nature? To push on and ignore the danger at our door? Or do you think Philadelphia’s ignorance—or for that matter, any ignorance/false sense of safety in modern days as well—can be pinned on politicians? Can you think of any examples where something similar happened, but rather than the Dead, it was a natural disaster/growing crime rate/etc.?

As much as I’d like to say that people in our society in the past and present would be practical and intelligent enough to realize when supposed fiction becomes reality and come up with a strategic plan to get things back to normal, human nature will and always will be somewhat flawed. Many factors play into this ignorance though. We have the majority of people who refuse to believe that unspeakable monsters are right on their doorstep for the mere fact that it’s not the norm, so therefore, it must not be real. But that feeling can also spark from the pretty lies of politicians, who appear on our televisions everyday giving us this false sense of comfort–a security blanket, of sorts–because they are too high and mighty to admit that something is going wrong under their leadership. So back then, in Philadelphia, both of these factors could have contributed to the society’s ignorance. After all, no one wants to believe that the world or their leaders are failing, right?

This definitely has happened in the past as well. Rwanda, for example. The international community refused to believe that intervention was required there even though masses of people in that country were being killed everyday due to complex ethnic conflicts that stemmed from almost petty differences. People were being murdered and no one did anything to prevent it from getting worse because they all told themselves that it was something that would die down soon. The media made it look a lot better than it really was. Leaders from all over the world prioritized their own but ignored the very people dying for no reason at all. These events in the past show just how far human ignorance can go

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when we want it to, and hopefully, these tragic mistakes will not happen again.

Something Strange & Deadly Book Club Week 1

Note: Susan is currently hosting a book club for SS&D with discussion questions from both Something Strange & Deadly and A Darkness Strange & Lovely. This is Week 1 of her book club.

Something Strange & Deadly Discussion Question

Eleanor’s mother expects a lot from poor El. She wants Eleanor to marry and save the family from financial ruin (despite the fact that Eleanor is only 16), she wants Eleanor to become friends with the rich “cool” kids (like Allison or the Virtue Sisters), and she wastes money the Fitt family doesn’t have on new gowns and fancy house decor. She demands Eleanor behave according to “proper etiquette” and squeeze into a corset that deforms her ribs.

Do you think, given the time period, Mrs. Fitt is justified in her demands on Eleanor? Why or why not?

I think no matter how selfish or desperate for money parents are, (or in this case, Eleanor’s mother) inherently, they always want the best for their children. For

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Mrs. Fitt, the “best” situation Eleanor could possibly be in would be in a marriage with a rich husband who could support not only Eleanor, but also her family. And though her daughter might not think so, Mrs. Fitt has always been exposed to social norms telling her that “this is the right way,” and “every woman’s goal must be to be on top of that social hierarchy, or at least part of it.” Furthermore, even with this mindset that isn’t exactly something she should believe in because of their financial

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difficulties, I can’t say that I blame her for the choices she forces Eleanor to make. Sure, she could be a more flexible and a more practical mother, but the fact that her characteristics are so deeply molded by everyone else’s means that she can’t help but act this way because she thinks it is the “right way.” She looks out for Eleanor in her own peculiar and somewhat loving way, and I know that she can improve in the parent (and spending) department, but at the same time, we must understand her reasons for being this way as well.

Only time and exposure to more difficulties can change the was she thinks, and hopefully, she will be able to accept the changes that she and Eleanor will most probably have to make in the future.