Monday, May 31, 2010

Just Cute Outfit

Sorry for showing so many pictures of myself. I just think this outfit is really cute (especially the socks).

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong: A Book Review

Chloe Saunders is just a normal girl...or so she thinks. Until the day she starts to see ghosts. When an incident with the spirit of a horribly burned school custodian gets her into a fight with teachers, ending in her being hustled off to the hospital sedated, Chloe is scared and unsure of what will happen next. Is she going crazy? She can't really be seeing the spirits of dead people...can she? Soon, Chloe is sent off to to the Lyle House, a group home for troubled teens. At first, all she wants to do is take her meds and get out as quickly as possible. But soon, after Chloe's roommate disappears and her ghost shows up the next day, Chloe realizes that there is more to Lyle House...and its residents...than meets the eye. Will Chloe uncover Lyle House's secrets? Will she even survive? Because it seems that someone there wants her matter what it takes.

This was a great supernatural novel, one of the best I've read recently, if not the best. It was filled with zombies, police chases, vengeful, gruesome spirits, and just the right amount of romance. It did not involve sparkly vampire stalkers (in fact, it didn't involve ANY vampires. I know, amazing, right?). Chloe was a complex heroine who had flaws, but was intelligent and could think for herself. Some of the other characters seemed a little flat at parts, but it was still interesting to learn about their backgrounds and the secrets they were keeping. One thing that I didn't like was that the ending seemed slightly abrupt, as if it was only half of the book. Then again, this is just the first in a series. So...this book wasn't perfect, but it was action-packed and suspenseful. I read it in one sitting, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a good supernatural YA book.

This book was read for the Once Upon A Time Challenge.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Maximum Ride (manga) Volume One by NaRae Lee: A Book Interview

So, this review will be a little different. My brother Gray read this book, too, so we are going to take turns asking each other questions about the book.

Me: Did you like the book?
Gray: Yes.
Me: Why?
G: Cuz it was funny.
Me: Who was your favorite character?
G: Fang. Who was your favorite character?
Me: Angel, because I liked the idea of such a little kid (she's seven) being so powerful and mature, and plus she just looked adorable in manga form. :) So, did the characters look like you thought they would?
G: Not Fang and not Nudge.
Me: Why not?
G: Fang looked like a girl and Nudge looked way older than eleven years old. Did you think it was funny that they used swear words in the book? I think it was.
Me: (by now you can probably tell that he's nine, right? XD) Did you think the manga version was a lot like the book?
G: Yeah, all the important events from the book were in this one too. Did you think it was a lot like the book?
Me: Well, it seemed to follow the events more closely than some graphic novel adaptations of books that I've read. So, yes. What was your favorite part?
G: My favorite part was the fighting. And swear words. Are we done yet?
Me: Okay, as you can tell his attention span is short. I guess that's all for today. I hope you enjoyed this Book Interview!

I'm not sure if I'm going to make more of these or not. I hope that if I do make more, they turn out more successful than this one...LOL. But anyway, I hope you liked this review. I have to admit it was more fun to write than normal reviews!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Silent Spring by Rachel Carson: A Book Review

The "control of nature" is a phrase conceived in arrogance, born of the Neanderthal age of biology and philosophy, when it was supposed that nature exists for the convenience of man...It is our alarming misfortune that so primitive a science has armed itself with the most modern and terrible weapons, and that in turning them against the insects it has also turned them against the earth.

Whew, long quote. :) So, anyway...

Although written more than forty years ago, in 1962, Rachel Carson's now famous book preaches a powerful message that is still important in today's society. In towns all over America...and in other countries as eerie silence has descended. The songbirds, who fill the spring air with their joyous songs, have been killed by the very chemicals we use daily in our homes, on our lawns...everywhere. Pesticides. Nature is trying to tell us something, to warn us...and yet still, we refuse to listen. All over the world are signs that these chemicals are unsafe...exterminators suddenly collapsing in convulsions, livestock dying in masses after the aerial spraying of pesticides.

This book revealed to the public the effects of these pesticides...for many, it was the first time they had heard of these negative effects. And, although decades have passed since Silent Spring's publication, many still use these chemicals daily. Rachel Carson has written a powerful critique of our society and our careless use of deadly toxins that we can still learn from in the present.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Teen Book Festival 2010

Saturday, I went to the Rochester Teen Book Festival at Nazareth College. There were a lot of really good authors there. Here's a list of them all:

Laurie Halse Anderson
Holly Black
Coe Booth
Robin Brande
Kay Cassidy
Lindsay Cibos & Jared Hodges (author/illustrator team)
Marissa Doyle
Simone Elkeles
Ellen Hopkins
James Kennedy
A.S. King
Daniel Kirk
Alisa Libby
Barry Lyga
Mari Mancusi
Lisa McMann
Ben Mikaelsen
Alyson Noël
Sarah Ockler
Matt de la Peña
Amy Kathleen Ryan
Lisa Schroeder
Jennifer E. Smith
Terry Trueman
Vivian Vande Velde
Martin Wilson

I saw talks by Vivian Vande Velde and Alyson Noel while I was there, and I also got some books signed at the autographing session near the end of the festival:

I also wanted to get Crank signed by Ellen Hopkins, but I didn't have enough time.

Anyway, overall I had a really fun day!

Thanks to everyone who sponsored during the Read-a-thon last year that raised money for this festival!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin: A Book Review

"Even foolery is dangerous," said Jasper, "in the hands of a fool."

This first installment in the amazing Earthsea series by Ursula K. Le Guin chronicles the life of the great wizard Ged, from the time he was just a young boy to his young adulthood. He shows the potential to become a great sorcerer at a very young age, when he is living in a village on the mountainous island of Gont. His witch aunt takes him under her wing and teaches him basic spells of healing and the like, but he hungers to learn more. When he manages to save his village from invaders, his power is realized by the great mage Ogion, who lives in a neighboring village, and Ged is offered an apprenticeship. Eagerly, he accepts, only to find that he wishes to learn more than even Ogion will teach him. And so he is sent off to the prestigious wizard school at Roke. There he makes both friends and enemies, and proves himself a good, skilled student. But Ged is proud, and his pride will lead him to accidentally unleash a horrible evil upon all Earthsea...

I really liked this book, even more than I thought I would. Ged was a very likeable protagonist, and very real also--he had many faults, but that just made him more likeable in my opinion. The other characters were very likeable also, although it seemed to me that some of them were a bit one-sided. Then again, this may be because they didn't play a large-enough part in the book for us to really get to know them as we did Ged. The setting was very interesting; I liked the concept of an "earthsea", a world that is predominantly ocean, with only small islands scattered across it. I also liked how Taoism was slightly incorporated into it, with the yin and yang idea of Equilibrium. Anyway, I'd definitely like to read more of the Earthsea books.

This book was read for the Once Upon A Time Challenge.