Hailey’s Reads

Hello and welcome!

My name is Hailey Lessard and this is my book blog, where I will be critiquing the novels I read this school year. I am in my final year of my double major at Western University in English Language and Literature and The School for Advanced Studies in the Arts and Humanities (SASAH). This blog is being created for an experiential learning credit through SASAH, with the official course code 4491F, however the ideas behind this blog began much before that. I am excited to see where this blog takes me as I do my best to read critically, the way someone working in the publishing industry would.

Thanks for stopping by, come visit again soon for any reading updates!

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In my experiential learning endeavor, I will create a blog in which I critically review the books I read on both a professional and personal level. This is the area of research that I am most interested in, for after my four years as an undergraduate at Western University I intend to complete a Certificate in Publishing from Ryerson University’s Chang School of Continuing Education. This program involves participating in an internship with one of the many publishing houses that Ryerson is affiliated with. After completing this program I will be pursuing a career in the publishing industry. I contend that this book critique blog will allow me to develop my skills in critical reading, preparing me to view novels the way an editor might, with the help of secondary sources that will enrich and strengthen each of my critiques and responses.

In the book critique blog, I will be professionally addressing all-encompassing areas such as plot, characters, conflict, setting, point of view, and pace. More specifically, I will look at areas including emotional attachment by the reader, world building, author’s writing style, plot holes, predictability, tropes, and clichés. On a more personal, creative level, I will be stating whether I would recommend this novel, and if so – to whom, give it a rating on my own personal scale out of ten, and list the quotes from the novel that stood out to me the most.

I intend to include ten books in my blog that I have chosen for myself and that interest me. I mean to stay within my preferred genre of Young Adult Fiction (novels written with teenagers age twelve to eighteen in mind) for approximately five of the novels because that is the area of the publishing industry that I am ideally hoping to work in. Although I will be providing variety in the other five novels, to challenge myself to adjust my editing and critiquing methods according to the intended audience and the writing complexity of the novel. For example, I will chose novels from different categories such as adult, middle-grade (novels written with children age eight to twelve in mind), autobiography, and poetry. I will also choose to read at least one novel using its audiobook to provide a different kind of reading experience, which I will then discuss in my critique.

In regards to the reflections, I am excited about the different possibilities and directions I can choose to take. Ideas for these reflections that I have in mind include comparing a book I read to its film adaptation, a discussion of the differences and challenges I find in reading and critiquing a middle-grade novel, a final reflection of how I believe this project benefited me, and a fourth reflection that I am leaving open to myself for when the inspiration strikes.

I am very excited about this blog and cannot wait to work on something that will help me prepare for my future career. I am planning to try to challenge myself as much as I can and hope to complete a finished product that I can be proud of.

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