Wednesday, August 25, 2010

New to my shelves

Today I went to a local used bookstore that I have never been to before, and I got four books:
1. Down a Dark Hall by Lois Duncan
2. Faking 19 by Alyson Noel
3. Dead is the New Black by Marlene Perez
4. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

I hope they're good!

Commenting is back!

Yay! Commenting is back! :DDD

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

Eighteen-year-old Merricat Blackwood lives in a secluded mansion with her older sister Constance, and their uncle Julian. They are the only ones out of the seven Blackwoods who survived when a fatal dose of arsenic found its way into the sugar bowl one night. Having been acquitted of the murders of her mother, father, brother, and aunt, Constance has returned home and is shielded from the villagers' hostility by Merricat. But their fragile peace shatters when their cousin Charles comes to visit. Merricat knows that Charles is only after their wealth, and that no good will come of his visit. She has to protect her sister from his greedy claws...before it's too late.

This was the first Shirley Jackson book I've read, and it was so good I'm reading another now. I suppose it can be classified as a horror book, but the horror is more atmospheric and psychological; it's more creepy than downright scary. The book builds up suspense slowly, leading to the revelation of who the murderer really was. I was surprised by who the murderer was, but disappointed that, except for a few thoughts in Merricat's mind, the reason for the murder was never really explained. I enjoyed the fact that Merricat was a completely unreliable narrator, and her twisted psyche was maybe the creepiest part of the book, not, as the description on the back cover suggests, cousin Charles' visit. She veered between cruel fantasies of pain and death for the villagers, and childish fantasies of living on the moon. She talked and seemed like a much younger child as well, certainly not eighteen.

Overall, I greatly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to fans of Gothic and subtle horror.

Rating: 8.5/10

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Just Cute Outfit


This is an outfit I really like, so I decided to put it up here. The shirt is from a store at my mall, called Rainbow. I think they have an online store, too. The skirt I actually got at Goodwill. I like shopping at thrift stores--you never know what you'll find! The leg warmers were made by my mom--thank you Mom XD--and the shoes are Rocket Dog, but I found them at another thrift store. The headband is from the Rennaissance Festival.
























Friday, August 20, 2010

Just Cute: Iwako Japanese Erasers

I blogged about my other Japanese erasers a while ago. Those were sold under the name Crazerasers, by the company Fashion Angels, while these are sold by a Japanese company called Iwako. These are sold for about a dollar per eraser. In Japan they actually have eraser stores that sell these erasers specifically; I've never seen one of these where I live though. However, you can buy these things online. They come in sets on Amazon. Places that sell them individually include erasercrazy.com and zoolicompany.com.

Monday, August 16, 2010

New Books

I got three new books this week, and I wanted to share. The first one is a manga, Bizenghast Volume 1 by M. Alice Legrow. I got this from Paperbackswap and it looks very good.















The second book is The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. I got this from a local used bookstore. I don't really know much about what it's about, but...













Kissing Kate by Lauren Myracle. This book I have been wanting for a while, and I finally bought it when we went to Borders yesterday.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Renaissance Festival

Last Saturday we went to the Rennaissance Festival about an hour away from our house. In the afternoon, after lunch, we saw comedy "jousting", shown in this picture. There wasn't much jousting with lances, etc., but they did sword-fight.








Later on I got a henna tattoo of a cat. It was expensive, but worth it, as the end result was so adorable! x3 With good care, it's supposed to last 1-3 weeks. I don't have a picture of the complete tattoo, but here it is being drawn.




















Camel riding. This was pretty cool, and not half as uncomfortable as my brothers claim it was. Although it was pretty bumpy.

We also did other things, including a maze. It didn't look very big, but it was actually pretty hard! And very fun. I got to see a glassblower make a champagne flute, which was very interesting. Overall it was very fun. And I would definitely go again next year. :)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Fade by Lisa McMann: A Book Review

Janie is a dream catcher: she has the rare ability to see into others' dreams. Unfortunately, Janie has no way to control this ability, leading to her often getting sucked into dreams at bad moments. However, her power can also do a great deal of good. She is currently working as an undercover cop at her school, Fieldridge High, along with her boyfriend, Cabel. But her newest assignment is more intense than she could have imagined. Several disturbing phone calls have led Janie and Cabel's superiors to believe that there is a sexual predator(s) at Fieldridge. When Janie offers herself as bait, she never imagines what she's getting herself into. Meanwhile, she's been learning more about her future as a dream catcher, and what she's learned is far from optimistic.

While I enjoyed Wake, I liked Fade even more. Wake was dark and creepy, and this next installment was even more so. Fade also had much more excitement and mystery than its predecessor. Although I sort of guessed which people did it (the book made it pretty obvious, at least for one of them), it was still very creepy. Janie and Cabel were interesting characters with both strengths and flaws, which made them seem more realistic. My only concern is that this book is definitely for mature readers; there were many mature topics such as drugs and rape, as well as some swearing.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Just Cute: Japanese Erasers


Apparently these things are very popular, but I hadn't ever seen them until today. They are very cute erasers that come in different shapes: food, animals, etc. I got these four for $1 at a craft store. I think you can buy them online also. Sorry for the bad quality of the picture. XP

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Luxe by Anna Godbersen: A Book Review


Beautiful socialite Elizabeth Holland, although a member of the elite upper-class of New York City, has just discovered that her family's future is far from secure. Fortunately for the family, her mother has devised a plan to marry Elizabeth off to the extremely wealthy and handsome Henry Schoonmaker. Unfortunately for Elizabeth, she couldn't care less about Henry...she's in love with the family's coachman, Will Keller.

Diana Holland, Elizabeth's younger sister, is a free spirit. She shudders to think of the dull life that is ahead of her...endless balls and tea-time visits with vapid gentlemen. She dreams of finding true love, but, after much searching, she's decided this borders on hopeless. So she buries her nose in books, hoping to find consolation in fictional romance...until she meets her sister's fiance. It's soon clear that they're both in love...the only problem is, Henry will have to marry Diana's sister in a matter of weeks!

Henry Schoonmaker has been forced into a marriage he doesn't want. In his eyes, Elizabeth is, although beautiful, vapid and dull. Her sister, on the other hand, is filled with life. He'd love nothing more than to marry her instead. But he also has another girl after him...

...Beautiful and wicked Penelope Hayes, Elizabeth's best friend. That is, until she finds out that Elizabeth is going to marry Henry, whom she loves. Feeling betrayed, Penelope decides that she'll stop at nothing to keep Elizabeth from marrying Henry...even if it means getting her out of the picture, permanently.

Lina Broud is Elizabeth's maid. Having been one of her closest friends until Elizabeth's debut, now Lina is saddened at watching her former best friend drifting further and further away, into a world that Lina will never be introduced to. But this regret turns to rage when Lina discovers that Elizabeth and Will Keller are together, because she happens to love Will as well. Lina wouldn't mind getting rid of Elizabeth either. In a chance meeting, Lina discovers that she and Elizabeth's beautiful "friend", Penelope, have much more in common than they thought...


This was a good, if pretty mindless, read. The historical details were lush, vivid, and accurate, and the characters were for the most part enjoyable, even if a few were a bit one-sided. Diana had to be the best character, in my opinion. She was many-sided and complex, and a fun character. Elizabeth and Henry I didn't like as much, though I began to like Henry more near the end when his kind side began to show through. Elizabeth was boring to me, and although she was always thought of as "nice" throughout the book by other characters, she was rude and unpleasant to Lina. Maybe this was why I sympathized with Lina more; I could see why she would be resentful towards Elizabeth, who used to be her friend and now was cold to her. Penelope was...not a nice person, but she was one of the more interesting characters because of it, and I liked reading her chapters.

Where this book failed, sadly, was the plot. At first I thought it would be a murder mystery, but it turned out to focus more on the time BEFORE the one character's "death". And the plot was completely predictable...as soon as it was mentioned that no body had been found, I knew how this book was going to end. Luckily, the great historical details and the enjoyable characters saved it. I WILL be reading the next one--hopefully the plot will be better.

Overall rating: 7.5 out of 10 stars