Monday, January 18, 2016

So long, but not farewell (also, thanks for all the fish)

It is time to bid so long to Dolls, Books, and Things That Matter.

But this is not farewell, for I have opened a new blog! From now on, you can find me at Abbey's World of Pure Imagination. I hope to see many of you migrate over there with me!

Why am I closing Dolls, Books, and Things That Matter? Read on...

When I started this blog in 2011 I was hoping to become a part of the American Girl Doll blogging community. That quickly evolved into hoping that I could become a part of the reading and writing blogging community. I supposed I hoped to become "Internet famous," like girloftheyearstudios or Basilmentos, two American Girl bloggers and Youtubers; or like Jack Lewis Baillot at However Improbable. These people had fanbases and adoring readers and made close friends through their Internet experiences. I haven't become "Internet famous" and I don't have a fanbase of adoring readers. (Though this is probably my own fault because I'm horrible at replying to comments and interacting with the readers I do have. Despite this, I have made friends in the blogging community whom I love very much!)
I've come to realize that I really don't want to become "Internet famous." My motivation to become "famous" was so that I could have friends. Somehow, in my mind, having hundreds of followers raining down praises on my brilliant content would lead to gaining the close-knit group of friends that I've always longed for. Then I had the revelation: I have friends and the opportunity for close friendships outside of the Internet. Just because I've witnessed other people finding their best friend through the computer doesn't mean it has to happen like that to me. While spending time searching for my BFFL online, I've been neglecting my real life friendships.
On this blog, I feel pressure to be someone I'm not; to imitate the "bigger bloggers" that I respect and admire so I can gain the following and friendship that they have. But I am not like them: I am not an Internet hermit. I am not a fangirl. I don't spend all my time writing. I don't spend all my time reading. I am not a lifestyle guru. I have a life outside of the World Wide Web and I don't feel the need to share all of it with my followers. More importantly, I don't feel the need the search for a sense of community online any more.
Dolls, Books, and Things That Matter represents a different time in my life. Not only a time of searching for friends, but also a time of experimentation with blogging content and style. It's time to move on from that to a more mature place to express my thoughts and opinions without the pressure to become someone I'm not.

Here is a preview of what I hope to accomplish on my new blog:
-Book reviews.
-A series following the rewriting and editing of my current writing projects (inspired by Katie at Spiral-Bound's "Editing Diary" posts).
-Well-written nonfiction articles on various topics.
-Engaging more with my audience (*cough cough* like actually answering comments... *cough*).
-Update posts on my life, goals, reading, writing, and music.

Moving to this new blog is scary. I'm not sure how it will work out yet, but I'm hoping that you, my wonderful readers, will follow me there and we can explore the future together!

For one last time: Live long and prosper.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Review of Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Summary: Cinder is a cyborg, and in New Beijing, that means that she is an outcast. She also happens to be a fantastic mechanic, and that is how she first meets Prince Kai and becomes embroiled in palace intrigue. Prince Kai, meanwhile, is desperately trying to stop the deadly plague that covers the nation and make tentative peace with the Lunar people.

My rating: 8/10 stars.

Plot: For a Cinderella retelling, I greatly enjoyed this story. I loved that the familiar Cinderella storyline was noticeable, yet subtle enough not to distract from the other elements of the story. Marissa Meyer deftly managed to meld fairytale with original tale, adding her own twists to the familiar story. I especially loved it when Cinder arrived at the ball and caused a stir, but not because she was the most beautiful girl there—because she was wearing a wrinkled dress, grease-stained gloves, and had mussy hair!
One tiny qualm that others might have about the plot was its predictability. I guessed the two major plot twists near the beginning, and turned out to be right when they happened. But, since I like to know the end of the story before I finish reading (because the Unknown causes me a lot of stress), I didn't mind at all.
I did feel, however, that bits and pieces of the political plotline could have been explained just a little more clearly, and that other parts of the plot could have been expanded on a bit (like Cinder fixing up the car).

Characters: The characters in Cinder are delightful. I immediately liked Cinder and Prince Kai. I also liked Dr. Erland, though I was a bit suspicious of him. I think Cinder felt that way about him, too, but that didn't inhibit her from learning all she could from him.
And let's not get started on the Lunars... They have something called "glamour," where they can manipulate biochemical energy and make people think, feel, and do whatever they want. Their queen, Levana, wants to take over earth. Like the characters in the book, I felt repulsed by Queen Levana and her threats.
Each character fulfilled their purpose, and left an impression on me.

Would I recommend this book? If you are a person who likes fairytale retellings, and if you are a person who likes quick, easy reads with good plot and characters, then I would definitely recommend this book! (There are, I believe, two swear words in this book.) The other books in the Lunar Chronicles are also great.

Live long and prosper.