Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Miles Halter is fascinated by famous last words—and tired of his safe life at home. He leaves for boarding school to seek what the dying poet François Rabelais called the “Great Perhaps.” Much awaits Miles at Culver Creek, including
Easily one of the greatest, most eye-opening books I have ever read. I gush about a lot of the books that I read and write reviews on, but this one totally isn’t exaggerated. I feel a little bit closer to this author because I have been watching him and his brother video blog back and forth to each other (well, a lot of the old ones as well as the new ones when they come in. The DFTBA music video that is in a previous entry is one of their video blogs. Seriously check them out. They’re built of awesomeness!). They talk about certain things in their video blogs that are in the books (which was weird, because when they started this video project, ‘Looking for
I liked how well-developed the characters were (
This might sound a little morbid, but I read a number of books that have to do with death. I find them fascinating. But I’ve never thought about what would happen if one of my friends or someone that I knew that was around my age died. I’m sorry guys, this is horrible. Of course I don’t want anyone to die. But I guess what I’m trying to say is you don’t really know what you have until it’s gone. Like many songs, the description above, and this book has tried to convey to me. It only got through my thick skull just after reading this book.
This was life-changing.
I really, really, really highly recommend this book, but if you are of a younger audience, I would suggest that you wait until you are mature enough to read books with tons of swearing, hard drinking, smoking, and a sex scene or two. I’ll leave that up to you and your care-takers though. Otherwise, please pick up this book and John Green’s other books (which include ‘An Abundance of Katherine’s’ and ‘
Thanks for reading guys! I’m not sure how often I’ll be writing for this blog considering school starts tomorrow… I have AP English this year, so I hope that means we read all sorts of really cool books! Then I can write stuff about them when I complete them!
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
- Write a new novel-- Eeee... not so much. When I wrote this, I intended this to mean that I would start and finish a novel all in three months. I have been writing, just nothing of novel length. The stories I did start are not finished. This did not get finished.
- Prepare for NaNoWriMo-- Umm... hehe, funny story... I did no formal planning for this crazy event.
- Make a trip to Uptown-- Afterwards, I proceed to make a mini list of places I wanted to go. This did get done! When my family was hosting our French student, I took her to visit Uptown and my grandmother. That was an excellent day! Unfortunately, I didn't bring my camera, or else I would have shared pictures with you...
- Get a new quill pen and ink-- I didn't look hard enough when I went to Barnes and Noble.
- Pull an all-nighter with Ezra Zank-- I did do this! There is a blog entry to prove it!
- Take the train to Mall of America/Ride the light rail from end-to-end-- Nope...
- Apply for jobs-- Oh boy, did I!
- Actually get a job-- Eeeh.....
- Visit Avery and Nyaruach at their respective working places-- Halvsies. I went to Kowalskis, hoping to see Avery, but I was also going for my own selfish reasons.
- Show Clementine the city-- Clementine was our French student. I think (hope) we did an okay job with this!
- Go to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts-- YESyesYES!! Most amazing museum ever!
- Do odd jobs-- I had a few.
- Hang out with Rosemary, Avery, Ezra, Jack, and Laura-- a check to all!
- Attempt to fix violin-- I did attempt, but alas, I failed. I am no violin expert. I blame the rosin.
- Go on a "bike trip" in July-- Check! Unfortunately, I don't think I took any pictures...
- Get a better camera-- Due to my lack of steady job, this wasn't entirely possible.
- Get better at bass guitar/bass clarinet/clarinet/piano/guitar/violin-- This one is iffy too. Some instruments I worked at more than others (i.e. piano).
- Finish summer school-- 2/3 done! I did not complete a semester of gym.
- See 'Robin Hood,' 'The Last Airbender,' 'Up,' and anything Jack makes me see (:D)-- 1/2 done!
- Build a bookcase/desk-- I had plans drawn up and everything, but alas, my dad and I never got around to it. But I might not have been persistent enough.
- Make a family tree in French-- I started, and I learned a whole bunch of vocabulary, but I never actually completed it.
- Get lots of cork board and push pins-- I went to the art store and I was about to get some, but it was really expensive. Since I don't have a job, it would not have been the smartest thing for me to have done.
- Scrapbook and create an old-fashioned photo album-- I took plenty of pictures for it, but I think I will wait to work on it during the slow days over the school year.
- Take lots of pictures-- oh boy, did I!
- Put money away towards France and Australia trips-- Again, the job thing...
- Paint-- I did!
- Rearrange my room-- Too much work. If I had fewer books to shuffle around and a book shelf that could actually detach from the wall, that would have made life easier. So I didn't do it.
- Read a lot-- Not as many as I would have liked, but yes, I did read quite a bit (my reviews below are my proof).
- Wearing flannel in the middle of summer
- Becoming a part-time amateur web-designer to help my dad
- Becoming a part-time architect and realizing that I can express my ideas verbally when I try
- Making a YouTube video and trying video blogging (however unsuccessful it was).
- Being as active on this blog (I have my Shelfari buddies to thank for that. We all got into a blogging phase where everyone was creating blogs left and right. I had one, so I just realized my love for blogging)
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
I’m going to be slightly nostalgic and serious Jude tonight. I give you permission to pass over this post if you want.
Since I am heading into my Junior year of high school, I have come to realize that I’m going to have to be a little more serious when it comes to school work and… well, life in general, I guess. This is the sucky part about growing up. I want all of this responsibility, but I still want to be that kid I was a few years ago (meaning that I’m still living at home with my parents there to help me and my best friends close to me). Eventually, I’m going to have to leave the house and start figuring out this whole thing I’ve been given (life).
Tonight, as well as post my schedule (which you can check out below, I got that out there first) I’m going to write a list of things I want to do before high school ends for me.
- Take a fun class in high school—seriously, just look at that schedule I have down there. Does a majority of that look even remotely fun? I like French, music, and English, and that’s what I’m excited about. But ever since I’ve gotten to high school, I haven’t taken one art class. I miss art… I want to get my hands dirty during the day.
- Keep this blog up—you know, I really like blogging. Even though I might be insanely busy what with these ridiculous classes and life in general, I would still like to do at least one entry a week. Probably on the weekend.
- Get into Pop Singers—I am by no means trying to imply that I am a superior singer. I’m not, I can tell you that much. My voice isn’t trained. What’s there comes from singing along to Disney movies and the songs on the radio/iPod. It’s really a hobby, and I think it would be fun to do something with this. I auditioned last year, with a non-acceptance as a result. Now I know what I can expect when I go into that room. I can practice! I must get into that group! I am willing to get up early in the morning!
- Make a new friend—I’m horrible at making friends. Maybe it’s my sarcastic humor that puts people off. I don’t know what it is. The friends I made my freshman year are still there, but since then, I haven’t met anyone new that I would like to invite over to hang out. I would like to change that. Acquaintances are great, but friends are ingrained in your memory much longer.
- Try Handling Things by Myself—of course, I’m going to need my parents’ help a lot of the time, but when I go off to college, they won’t be able to come running to my aid like they could if I were here, at home. I figure that if I have a complication at school, I should handle it and find out who to talk to because it’s ultimately my education. I’m already going to do this, starting tomorrow, because I need to finish up my online gym, so I need to talk to my counselor.
This list will definitely change, but for now, I think it’s a good start. I will leave you to mull that over (or completely ignore it, depending on what you decided to do in the beginning). Obviously, if you’ve read this far, you’ve probably read through all of this craziness. Thank you for bearing with me. I will try to be a little more exciting for my next post!
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Monday, August 23, 2010
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Friday, August 20, 2010
This is what it says on the back of the book. I’m not sure if it counts as a description, but if I can find a better one the following will definitely be replaced:
“I was told to beware the accursed spindle, but it was so enchanting, so hypnotic…
I was looking for a little adventure the day I ditched the tour group. But finding a comatose town, with a hot-looking chick asleep in it, was not what I had in mind.
I awakened in the same place but in another time—to a stranger’s soft kiss.
I couldn’t help kissing her. Sometimes you just have to kiss someone. I didn’t know this would happen.
Now I am in dire trouble because my father, the king, say I have brought ruin upon our country. I have no choice but to run away with this commoner!
Now I’m stuck with a bratty princess and a trunk full of her jewels… The good news: My parents will freak!
Think you have dating issues? Try locking lips with a snoozing stunner who turns out to be 316 years old. Can a kiss transcend all—even time?”
I don’t think this description does this book justice. This description makes this amazing and extraordinary book seem petty and ridiculous. And it’s anything but!
If you are familiar with the story of ‘Sleeping Beauty,’ you know the underlying plot. But Alex Flinn is so amazing that she puts a modern twist on these modern fairy tales (read my review of ‘Beastly’ if you are curious about another of her modern fairy tales). This story made me laugh, it made my heart break at times. At first, it started out with this really self-centered princess, Talia, who was gifted with beauty, intelligence, and musical talent by fairies at birth. Then you meet Jack, this typical teenage guy who appears to have no interest in anything other than to party and get in another girl’s pants (or, at least he would if he wasn’t still trying to get over his ex-girlfriend, Amber, who is a complete and utter shallow jerk-wad).
It was really exciting to watch as it became more apparent that Talia actually had a heart (I didn’t think I’d like her as I started reading it) and that Jack really did have an interest (in her and when it comes to his future).
It was really interesting to read Talia's innocence when it came to the 21st century. She fell in love with french fries (for a not really funny scene, I did let out a laugh, because I heard her with a precious French accent (even though she was from Belgium) saying, "I love french fries!") and she had a drunken experience... just read the book. I don't want to give everything away and ruin it for you!
I strongly recommend this book. It’s not exactly what you would call a quick read, but I was able to finish it in about two days (because it’s just that good!). So go to your local library and pick it up! Also, read Alex Flinn’s other books. They’re just as amazing!
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
So I was rooting around on DeviantArt (my favorite art website) and I found this really cool picture created by the user KidNotorious. He has a very comic book-like style and I’ve added a few of his creations as favorites because of that. Any way, the picture that I found was called ‘Muerte’ which I believe means ‘death’ in Spanish. This led me to think about ‘Dia de los Muertos.’
This holiday is very close to Halloween (it’s either the day before, All Hallows Eve, or the day after, All Saints Day—or something of that nature). I’ve decided something. I want to go to
I have never traveled anywhere outside of the
If I go, it’ll give me an excuse to re-learn enough Spanish to get me by and I’ll get to see a new country. I am so psyched for traveling! Let me tell you, there’s going to be quite a bit of it in my future!
I just thought I would make this update, because the last entry probably wasn’t that exciting to read. Now, perhaps I can get you a little excited with me (whoever you may be).
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
The story of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is very difficult to describe. Usually we give some clues about the book on the jacket, but in this case we think that would spoil the reading of the book. We think it is important that you start to read without knowing what it is about.
If you do start to read this book, you will go on a journey with a nine-year-old boy called Bruno. (Though this isn’t a book for nine-year-olds.) And sooner or later you will arrive with Bruno at a fence.
Fences like this exist all over the world. We hope you never have to encounter such a fence.
Before I read this book, I saw the movie. So I had an idea about what I was getting myself into when I started reading this book.
I’m trying not to drop hints as to what happens in case you have neither read the book nor seen the movie. I’m just going to avoid a commentary about the plot altogether in this blog.
As I started reading this, I couldn’t really tell whose perspective this story was being told from. At first, I thought that the narrator knew everything about Bruno and that was it. But as I kept reading, I realized that the narrator was all-knowing (meaning that he knew what all of the characters were thinking). But the narrator seemed to prefer Bruno. It was an interesting perspective.
This was a sad story. The naivety of this nine-year-old boy is heart-breaking. He really doesn’t know… this and the ending of the story is very saddening.
I think I prefer the movie over the book, but they both appealed on their own levels in their own ways. I highly recommend reading this book.
I would suggest this for a young adult audience because they’ll be old enough to know what went on at concentration camps (clue) in World War II. Generally, I think they’ll be able to handle it.
Today, I printed off ‘Murder by Rulers’ and I’m going to start editing it yet again. I just casually looked at the file one day and I noticed so many typos in one glance. It was horrendous. Plus, it could use a little updating and some rewriting.
Today, I went to the library, so I can pick out another book to read and review for you. It’s by one of my favorite authors and it looks a lot like ‘Beastly,’ so it seems promising.
I’m not sure if I can keep promising you chapters for my horror story. I’ll try to keep writing it just for you, but I’m not going to make any promises as to when every chapter will be here any more. I don’t want to be your unreliable blogger. I already post at unpredictable levels (maybe I’ll have one post on one day, the next I’ll have four).
Have a good week everyone!
Monday, August 16, 2010
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Friday, August 13, 2010
“The year is 1502, and seven-year-old Bianca de Nevada lives perched high above the rolling hills and valleys of
Yes! I have finally finished it!
This was an interesting read, because the characters seemed so real. In some cases, the characters were real. The Borgia’s actually existed once upon a time. Of course, they’ve been fictionalized to fit the needs of this book. I liked the sprinkling of Italian terms over the entire thing—though I know I probably botched the pronunciation up pretty horribly. I have probably disgraced the Italian language…
I like it when Gregory Maguire rewrites classic fairy tales that we become familiarized with as young children. Like the description from the back of the book (it’s above) says, he gives fresh life to it. He made it rather political (but most of his stories are, at least a little bit), as well as historical, but he stayed true to the bare-bones of the story, which was good.
I did not like how he kept switching perspectives unexpectedly. Whenever I started a chapter, I always started out confused because I didn’t know whose voice the words belonged too (well, expect for the dwarves’ chapters, because the titles of their chapters were the first words, so it continued below… if that makes any sense). Lucrezia Borgia had a more elegant language about her chapters (because she’s a more educated person than most of the other characters in this book). Vicente had similar language, but I always had to wait to see where this person was, because if they weren’t at Montefiore or nearby, it was probably Vicente. There was just no clear-cut indication. But I applaud Maguire for keeping me on my toes!
This was an exceptional book, but I have to say, I didn’t like it as much as ‘Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister.’ However, I do suggest it! If you are sensitive to sexual content, I suggest that you don’t read this book. Lucrezia is just that kind of a person, unfortunately.
Thank you for reading!
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
You may proceed…
Director Justin Chadwick’s opulent historical drama stars Natalie Portman as Anne Boleyn and Scarlett Johansson as her sister, Mary—both beautiful, ambitious, and vying for the heart of powerful but intemperate King Henry VIII (Eric Bana). Though both women are the monarch’s mistresses, only one can become his queen consort—but at what cost? The supporting cast includes Kristen Scott Thomas and Jim Sturgess.
Okay, no one told me Jim Sturgess was in this movie. I love him so much!!
I really enjoyed this movie. I actually came close to crying (it’s really hard for me to cry during movies… only ‘Marley and Me’ accomplished that). I won’t tell you why exactly, but I can tell you that it has to do with Jim Sturgess… or rather, his character.
Natalie Portman is an amazing actress. She has really outdone herself in this role. In the beginning, she’s playful and flirtatious, but after they send her to
When Anne Boleyn becomes the Queen of England (after Catherine of Aragon is removed from the throne), she is expected to give birth to a child that will ultimately be the king's heir. King Henry really wants a son of his to be the heir to the throne. The first child the King has with the Boleyn sisters is with Mary. But since they are not married, the son that Mary yields is not eligible for the throne. After Anne and King Henry are married, their first child is a girl, Elizabeth. Not a problem, Anne is still young and can bear another child—a son this time.
When she does conceive, she doesn’t go very long before she miscarries. She is devastated because she knows how mad the King will be. Since she wasn’t really showing that she was pregnant, she and Mary figure there is still time to conceive again. She plans to commit adultery. They then decide that that’s not such a great idea. They need to keep it between siblings: Anne, Mary, and George. In order to keep the secret between them, Anne asks her own brother, George (Jim Sturgess), so “lie down with her.” Initially, he agrees… reluctantly, but he agrees. When they get to the bed, George decides that this isn’t right and he can’t do it. Luckily, Anne doesn’t force it.
This is where things start going downhill. I don’t want to tell you anything else. I probably just told you anywhere from thirty to forty-five minutes of the movie (if even that long). It is so intense! If I didn’t tell you, this might have been an awkward review for you to read.
Basically, the Boleyn’s are abusing marriage to improve their status as a whole. Personally, it’s sickening. This whole shebang was started because the father of the Boleyn girls and their Uncle started this whole thing by asking Anne to try and get into bed with the King because his marriage with Catherine of Aragon was so strained due to her last stillborn child.
This whole movie is one big roller-coaster and it’s amazing! I really need to read the book. Actually, I should have read it before watching the movie… too late for that now. If you’re walking by your local movie rental place one day and you really want something good and heart-wrenching to watch, pick up this movie.
However, if you’re not comfortable with *extremely sentimental instances in movies, I strongly suggest that you don’t pick this up. ‘Up’ is a very good movie. It’s not just for children! And you can watch it instantly on Netflix! So you don’t even have to leave your house!
I should have another movie review for you in about a day or two, depending on how long it takes me to write it. It will be about ‘Inception.’ I’m very excited for that!
Thanks for reading!
*Note my effort to keep this as family-friendly as possible J