Thursday, December 10, 2009

I suck at blogging

I started so strongly this time around and then fizzled out like usual. OH WELL.
I am towards the end of The Order of the Phoenix in the Harry Potter series. They really do just keep getting better and better. Although so far I would have to say that of the movies, the third is my favorite. I kind of love professor Lupin. Also, I really did NOT like the fourth movie. I felt like they left so much stuff out and changed around so much stuff that it took away from a lot of my favorite moments in the book. I know they have to change things to make it more cinematic and all that, but I think the changed could have been a little less extreme.
Although, in the fourth movie, I absolutely love the scene when Voldemort becomes whole again. I think the actor did an amazing job at being evil and eccentric and a just twitchy enough to make me almost enjoy Voldemort. Not as a person, just as an incredible transfer of character from page to screen.
I have finally, I think, convinced Mike to read the series. He wants to finish the Lord of the Rings first, and he is in The Two Towers now, so maybe next week or the week after he will start the HP books.
In other news, Christmas is coming! I have already bought most of the presents I intended to get, I just want to find something extra for my mom and something for my brother. Other than that I think I am mostly done. I don't have a ton of people to buy presents for really, since most of my friends are friends I made in college when we were all broke so we never got into the habit of giving gifts! I would like to find something small and nice to get each of my skating students, but I haven't thought of anything suitable just yet.

Friday, November 27, 2009

WORD up!

I just won NaNoWriMo!!!!
My novel is, so far, 50,236 words, but there is still a bit to be written before the story is actually done.
I really enjoyed doing NaNoWriMo, and I wish I had started doing it a few years ago. It was good for me to get back in the habit of writing and forcing myself to push through even when there were times I didn't want to. I'm so proud of myself now and I think I'm going to go post it as my status on facebook!

In Harry Potter news, I have started the Fourth book, "The Goblet of Fire," and am enjoying it very much. I've read a few other books in between, but I can't remember what at the moment! (My brain is all jumbled with happiness from WINNING!)

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving yesterday and that you got to spend some time with your families and enjoy some great food! I know I did!

Monday, November 16, 2009

omg omegle

Stranger: knock knock
You: who's there?
Stranger: dis
You: dis who?
Your conversational partner has disconnected.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Eight Days In

Well, technically five days, since I started NaNoWriMo on the 3rd.
I am almost 14,500 words in, which is a pretty big accomplishment for me I think, considering I literally had no preparation and hadn't written anything "just because" since sometime in high school. "Part One" of my novel is done, and it will comprise of a total of three parts. Hopefully it works out, since I now have a bit of a rough outline for the rest of the story. Until now though, I was mostly just making it up as I went. Not the *best* strategy, but at least I'm doing it!
I am almost done with Harry Potter #2, it's been hard to read while I've been spending so much time writing. I'll definitely make a post when I finish!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


I decided to participate after all.
My story doesn't have a title yet. But it's about love and loss and finding yourself by going through those things.
My word count is 975. Which is pretty good for an hour. And it's my first creative writing endeavor since I was ten. So I am proud of myself. I just have to keep it up!
My page on the NaNoWriMo website is

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I'm A Student! Again!

I am so excited! Today was my Advising Day at my new school. I start Graduate School at the end of January, and I am thrilled to get back into taking classes, taking notes, blah blah blah. I love taking tests, but not so much the writing papers part. Especially since in Grad school you're supposed to be smart... Oops. I don't really like homework that much, but I think it will be different now because it's all information that I literally do not know. When I don't know something, but I really want to, it's a whole other story than my usual "yeah, yeah, it's school, I get A's, yeah, yeah" type attitude. Not that I am flaunting that, because it's a terrible attitude to have, but in all honesty, school has been really easy for me (for the most part). I am pretty sure I will be in for a rude awakening in January.
In other news, I am halfway through the second Harry Potter book. It's taken me a while to really get into it because I have been moving all week. The new apartment is great so far, with more rooms and space than the old one, but with less closet space. Which is kind of sucky, but it's manageable. The book is alright so far, just a lot of repetition about incidents from the first book. I am curious to see how the Lockhart story develops, since he's way too annoying and fake. I love Hagrid though, and the Weasley boys (besides Percy). I'll let you know how this continues.
I'm not really sure what else to talk about. I've been really slacking with both reading and writing lately. NaNoWriMo starts on Sunday, which I have always wanted to do, but never really commit to doing it. I have always wanted to write a story, whether it's fiction or my own story, but I can never buckle down and do it. Maybe someday I will write 50,000 words in a month, heck even that much in a year would be great. But for now.. slackerdom is going to have to do.
Anyways, I think that's all for today, I will try and finish HP book 2 soon and give my review of it.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I should also mention that since all of my books are packed up, and I mean ALL, I probably won't have any reading updates until the middle of next week. I'm hoping to get them all unpacked and put back on their proper bookcases by then!
Wish me luck! This whole moving thing is obnoxious!

Packing & Slacking

Today Mike and I went out and bought boxes and packing tape for our move on Sunday. I don't think we actually got enough boxes, but I'm hoping we can work out so we don't have to spend any more money. We have 10 "big" boxes and 5 "small" boxes. So far, all of my books are packed up, as well as our DVDs and video games. Assorted pillows and blankets are in those boxes too to offset the weight of the books.
I have about 4 or 5 trash bags full of clothes to donate and still have our hall closet to go through, which has the most incredibly random stuff in it, including, but not limited to, a play house for my cat (that doesn't live here), my old psych text books, my American Girls Christmas tree, a vacuum, and a box full of arts and crafts. So I have to dive into that mess now and figure out what stuff I don't care about so I can throw some of it out. Not sure if I should toss Ollie's play house or give it to my parents so he can play in it again. I mean, it's just a kitty toy so it's not that big a deal, but maybe he'd like to have it back? Do cats think like that?
Also, this morning I woke up after having a dream in which I was skating in Boston with my former coach, and she was yelling at me because I, for some reason, was having a tremendous amount of difficulty doing a half-lutz (ridiculous!), and my knee was killing me. So all morning my right knee was throbbing. And then I'm sitting on the floor looking through bags of junk, when I try to get up and somehow manage to bang my left knee-cap on the door frame to our closet. SO now both of my knees are in rough shape. Fun!
But tonight is Wednesday, which means ANTM tonight with both Mikes! Hopefully TOMike (yay for John Green references!) isn't intimidated by the many boxes that are crowding our living room. If he is... oh well. Hopefully I can still convince him to buy me dinner!
Now for the "Slacking" part of the title. After I banged my left knee on the door frame, I've been sitting on the couch reading random blogs and checking my facebook every 3.5 minutes. It's been about 2 and a half hours now, so I think I should get my butt back into gear and tackle those closets before Mike starts getting huffy!

Friday, October 16, 2009

I love Prince Brigan

Fire was just as amazing as Graceling was. Kristin Cashore is just a fantastic writer, and I am proud to have been accepted to the same Graduate School that she attended, although for different programs. Fire was a more adult character than Katsa was, and the themes in Fire dealt more with adult emotions and relationships. I think this was really good, because it really made the two books very separate, though they take place in the same "world."
I just started the second Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. So far, the beginning is very boring and contains a lot of review of the previous book. I hear the third book does this a bit in the beginning too, so I'll just have to slug through it to get to the good parts! Dobby the house-elf is rather annoying so far, but I am glad that the Weasley's came to Harry's rescue to break him out of the Dursley's house! I can't imagine being caged up in a room without much food or anything fun to do.
This post will have to be kept short, since I am at work and really shouldn't be writing!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Harry Potter, Fire, and Friendship

I am so excited to read the rest of the Harry Potter books. The first one was great, though very young sounding, which I expected. I know that not every character lives, because that wouldn't be realistic, but I am going to be very sad to find out who doesn't make it through til the end of the series.
I'm about 3/4 of the way through Fire by Kristin Cashore now. I love Cashore's writing, she's extremely talented, and I can't wait for her third book to come out! Fire is a lot more grown up than Graceling was, which is nice because it shows that Cashore is able to do different voices and themes. Fire, Brigan, and Hanna are such great characters, I love the way their bond is forming. I have no idea how the story will end, there aren't many pages left and there is an impending war!
I never used to enjoy or even read fantasy or sci-fi books. But now, with these books and The Hunger Games books, I am definitely more appreciative of the genres.
In non-book news, this weekend I am excited to have a sort of girly-weekend with one of my best friends. I think we're going to have marathons of really awful tv shows, like Melrose Place and Gossip Girls, since she has them all DVRed and hasn't watched any of them. I shamefully admit that I love Melrose Place, mostly because it's really bad and thoroughly amusing, but also because I want to know who killed Sydney!
I am really in need of a good, fun weekend, as there have been a lot of not-so-fun things going on. My aunt (my mother's sister) passed away earlier this week from cancer. And while it's very saddening, it is also very angering because if she had been going to her yearly doctor's appointments they could have caught the cancer when it was new and hadn't had a chance to spread throughout her body. Like my aunt's memory, this knowledge will stay with me the rest of my life.
My apologies for the depressing tone to this post, I promise I will be more upbeat after I finish Fire, start Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and enjoy my girly-fun weekend!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

It's October.

So... it's definitely October now, and it has definitely been a very long time since I last wrote. I'm sorry for that, really, but I've been insanely busy since the skating season started and my new schedule is allll over the place. I really have no idea what day it is half the time.
Yesterday, Friday, I thought it was Monday for the majority of the day, so it's a good thing that my Friday and Monday schedules are almost identical.. at least I go to the same rink on those days so I didn't end up in the completely wrong place.
I'm in the middle of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. So far I really like it, though everyone tells me they get better as they go on because the first three books are more "young" feeling and the later ones get more intense. I'm excited to read them all. It helps when I listen to The Parselmouths & The Moaning Myrtles in my car on repeat.
Yesterday I bought Fire by Kristin Cashore, which is in the same sort of world as Graceling but at a different time and in a different kingdom, or something to that affect. I can't wait to read it, so it's motivating me to get HP Book 1 finished quicker. I also got Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld, Love is the Higher Law by David Levithan, and Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr. My plan is to read a Harry Potter book, then a non-HP book, and so on and so on, until I am done with Book 7. I am going to try to watch the corresponding movies after each book (at least, for the ones that are out). I think it's a good plan.
In other news, there is going to be some family stuff going on for a bit, so I'm not sure how frequently or cheerily this will be updated over the next month or so. I'll definitely write when I finish books, but possibly not during the in-between time. We'll see.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I haven't read in almost a week. I have been trying to think of what has caused this, and the only thing I can think of is that the book I am in the middle of still hasn't grasped me and I am not invested in the characters at all, and therefore I don't feel like picking it up to finish it. I know this is awful, because I just want to finish it and get it over with, so I am bribing myself with the Harry Potter Challenge.

See, I am the last person on Earth who hasn't read the Harry Potter books. I am very interested in them, particularly because of all the amazing people who are involved in HP-awesomeness. I mean, if the books can inspire people to write music about the wizarding world, then they have to be amazing, right? The reason I never read them as they were coming out is because my Mom read them, and throughout those years I was determined to like or enjoy anything that she did, because I was a bratty teenager. But those years have long since passed, and it is time that I relinquish my pride, suck it up, and just read the damn books!

So tonight I will finish Get Well Soon, and then I will read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. I may end up reading all the HP books at once if I enjoy it as much as I expect to. I definitely feel as if I've missed out on them, just from watching the Vlogbrothers and FiveAwesomeGirls. HP basically brought those 5 girls together, since it was the largest thing they had in common, and now they are all close friends as a result of their year long youtube challenge. John and Hank Green were so excited by the last book coming out, that Hank wrote the song "Accio Deathly Hallows," and he's a nearly 30 year old man. So really, I am ready to read these books.

Friday, September 18, 2009

It's true, I lie.

Instead of reading or writing yesterday, I went to work (both jobs) and then went out for Thursday dinner with Jackie. We went to Target first, because Target is our favorite store, and bought cheesy Halloween T-shirts with goofy looking sparkly ghosts in true teenage fashion. We also tried on as many pairs of ugly shoes and boots as we could before getting dirty looks from the young lady rearranging all the shoe shelves.

We then went to TGIFridays for our usual dinner, were seated at one of the awkward little tables that is half booth/half chairs, and enjoyed the waiter who was still in training. He was actually one of the best waiters we've had there, because he was obviously a little nervous and trying to make sure we liked him and a good time at dinner. He was funny and joked back and forth with us, and he was very polite. Usually we get a female waitress who looks like she's on her last leg and wants to poison our potato skins. It's a good thing we tip well, because with the number of times we go there, we'd surely end up dead.

We then took the long way back to Jackie's apartment, where we watched the Degrassi movie from earlier this Summer and then the second episode of The Vampire Diaries, finishing up with the first episode of the new Melrose Place. In one night I went from being a normal 23 year old female to a ridiculously cliche 16 year old girl. I have to say, I enjoyed every minute of it. I love Degrassi, and have since I was in high school when the main "the next generation" characters were Emma, Paige, Ashley, Manny, etc. Now there are a ton of new kids that I don't really like, but the show is so ridiculous that I still love it. The movie focused on a lot of the characters from the earlier years of this batch of Degrassi, like Manny, Paige, Marco, Ellie, Craig, and Jay. It was good except for the part when the DVR didn't record the whole thing, so we still have no idea how it ends. Fantastic.

The Vampire Diaries was so terrible that it was almost amazing. The acting is really bad, and apparently the actors all learned how to be "vampy" from Twilight, because the "good" vampire brother on the show does the "Edward Brooding Look" where he furrows his brow and looks like he has amnesia. The girl, Elena, is actually the girl who played Mia on Degrassi, who was one of my favorite characters. But she can't act all that well, although I don't think the show is giving her much to work with anyways, so it's a tough call. The writing is really just awful, I don't know if I can blame the book series author or the script writer, but either way, I'm glad I never read the series.

Melrose Place was actually really intriguing. I never watched the original series, and I'm not usually into soap operas (except for One Tree Hill!), but the cheesy soap opera dialogue worked well for what the show is trying to accomplish. They did a good job of introducing all of the residents of "Melrose Place," and I am thoroughly confused about who killed the landlady. It's funny to see Ashlee Simpson acting again, since I remember when she was cute and blond and on 7th Heaven. I like her better as an actress than as a singer, I have to say.

So while I didn't spend my night book worming it up, I did spend it being a giggly 16 year old girl, hanging out with my best friend, and eating lots of sugar-coated Donettes!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Bruins, ANTM, and Not Reading

I didn't read at all today. I mean, there's still time, but it's already 10:30 pm and while I have looked at my book many times, as it's sitting right next to me, I haven't even touched it.

This morning Mike and I went to the Boston Bruins practice in Wilmington. I posted some of the pics to my flickr and on my facebook page. It was a lot of fun seeing the new guys practice with the more seasoned players. The practice time was split in two, with the guys who were going to play in tonight's pre-season game practicing first and the rest of the guys going on second. Bergeron, Ryder, Begin, Rask, and Thornton were among the guys on the first practice. In the second group were a lot more of the players we've seen before, like Tim Thomas, Chara, Sturm (glad he's back!), Savard, Lucic, Kobasew, Recchi, and Krejci. There were a lot of the rookies out there too, making the practice a bit crowded, but also very exciting. Coach Julien was out there during the second practice too, which was awesome because you can tell he gets really fired up about his team, and it's nice to see that he just wants them to succeed and improve as players.

The guys that played in tonight's pre-season game did pretty well. There were some rough spots that the rookies will need to work through, but it's to be expected when it's your first time playing in the NHL and you're probably a bit jittery from nerves and excitement. The Bruins won 3-2 over the Toronto Maple Leafs. There were a lot of fights, which is fun to watch, especially when the fights involve the rookies and you're not sure how well they will fair. The goals the Bruins scored were from Begin, Marchand, & Wozniewski, all players who are new to the Bruins (either from another team or rookies).

I only saw parts of the game because today's Wednesday and that means one of my friend's comes over to watch America's Next Top Model. Yes, I am aware this show is terrible, and that Tyra Banks is certifiably cracked, but I still love every minute of it. The girls are usually a bit on the dumb side and somehow manage to make Tyra look like a genius, and there are always some girls that just stump you on how they got on the show. One of the girls, while sweet, looks like Mena Suvari, and another of the girls looks genuinely manly. Two of my close friends and I have been watching the show together every week since freshman year of college, but now one of them lives too far away, so the group is now me & the two Mikes. It's still fun, and has actually forced me to start cooking again, though I'm just making simple things like Sloppy Joes and Tacos. Both are still delicious though.

This leads me to the topic of cooking. I just can't bring myself to do it unless people are coming over. I know, I should be all wife-to-be and cook my fiance dinner sometimes, but the most I can manage is tuna melts and instants mashed potatoes... Sorry, Mom! I just hate making a mess in the kitchen when it's just for the two of us. Cooking itself is kind of fun, because you get wrapped up in thinking about the food and therefore can't really worry about anything else (which is great for me, since I worry all the time about anything and everything!), but I don't like cleaning up afterwards and the mess just seems so much bigger than the meal. Maybe I will get over this. But for now, I am a sandwich and microwavable soup kinda gal.

Tomorrow is going to be kind of busy for me, but I think it will be a good day. I have "Job A" in the morning, followed by "Job B" for about an hour, and then Thursday Dinner! I love Thursday Dinner. It's this tradition my friend Jackie and I started the beginning of this year. We have dinner at TGIFridays every Thursday (not to be funny, just because it's delicious!) and usually hang out for a bit afterwards. It's such a nice way to kick back and have some fun before the work week is truly over, and we always manage to laugh non-stop the whole time we're there. We've switched Fridays locations though, due to the location of my coaching job, which is fine, because people were starting to recognize us at the other location! It was always the same host who would open the door for us upon arrival and one time he was like "Wow, you girls must like it here," which was so awkward, and then once we had a waitress who we had never had before and she asked us if we had one of the Fridays "Give Me More Stripes" cards and was surprised that we didn't have them, because she thought she us in there a lot. That was even more awkward. Someone we'd never had as a waitress before knew we were there every week... needless to say, the change in location was welcome.

Now that I have rambled sufficiently for a Wednesday night, I am going to get back to watching "Lockdown!" on NatGeo. I don't know why we watch this every week, because I've never had an interest in the prison system, and I don't know what Mike is so fascinated by about it, but I don't think we've missed a week since earlier this Summer. Weird.
I promise tomorrow night I'll have a book update!

OH and Happy Birthday to HayleyGHoover!

AND: a photo I took last weekend, for your enjoyment:

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Little Bit Extra

I forgot to mention earlier, that Get Well Soon is the 41st book of the year, according to my not-so-reliable list. See, what happened was that I didn't keep track of the books I was reading until the middle of June. So I wrote down all the books I could remember reading (there were only 12... way below average) and continued from there. I'm like 93.6% positive that I read some other books in there, but I can't remember what they are, so I'm okay with starting at 12 and keeping good record of the rest of them. I may up my goal number to 75. But that might be too ambitious for me. I think I can do 65 safely, so maybe I will try for 70 and if I hit 75, that will be all the more impressive. To me, at least.

In other news, I am watching QVC now, and the product they are showing is a foot buffer. The feet they are showing as the "before" feet, are abosulutely the most disgusting feet I have ever seen. It's kind of like the Ped-Egg commercial, only worse, because the hosts are using it! The guy on now has the most roughed up hobbit-like feet I've ever seen. I know they don't hire you at QVC for the quality of your feet (or really, the quality of anything about you), but I just can't look at them the same now.

If you can't tell, I watch QVC and HSN fairly frequently... as in anytime nothing else is on TV. That probably sounds like I am one of the little old ladies who call in to talk to "their favorite" and tell them that they "feel like old friends, they've been watching them for years!" But I assure you, I am not best buds with any of the hosts. I watch QVC and HSN purely for the comedy. The clothes are always hideous and in no way flatter anyone's figure. The jewelry is usually so huge that it looks like it was made for the benefit of the blind. And the woman who comes on to sell tupper-ware is always dressed in a bright purple chef's coat that makes her look like Grimace from the MickeyD's gang. If you ever want to feel better about your life, just put on a home shopping network and, as long as you don't buy anything yourself, you will feel better for knowing that you have no need for a Diamonique fake engagement ring and for being shown that somewhere out there, someone does feel the need to own one.

Fall Has Begun

Yesterday was the first day of my Fall schedule. I can't really say if I am excited about this schedule or dreading it. I will be at "Job A" 3 days a week, for 5-6 hours on each of those 3 days. I will be at "Job B" for 6 days a week, only for an hour or so each day.
"Job A" is a secretary-type job, doing random office stuff, like labeling envelopes and looking things up online. It's not very interesting, but I amuse myself with the names I have to write envelopes to. I came across someone who's name was "Genipher" once, and couldn't get over why anyone would change the spelling of Jennifer when all it's going to do is confuse and baffle people. I also like that I work with one of my best friends at that job, and while we don't get to be too goofy when the boss is around, we do get to eat lunch together and listen to good music when no one else is in the office.
"Job B" is my coaching job. I'm a figure skating instructor and coach. I teach group classes and private lessons, and while the two are very different, they are both amazing and fun. I've been skating since I was 4, so to be able to continue being involved in the sport and help little kids develop a love for the sport is just awesome. Plus, little kids are hilarious.
The problem with this Fall schedule is that my only full day off each week will be Wednesday. Monday, Thursday, and Friday I will be at Job A until I have to leave for Job B for 1-2 hours. Tuesday, Saturday, and Sunday I have to be at Job B for roughly 2 hours. It's kind of a lot of driving, which might drive me crazy (ho ho that was a pun!). So I'm not really complaining, I am just hoping that everything goes well and I can get from one place to another without hitting any crazy traffic or using up too much gas!
I am currently reading Get Well Soon and so far I like it, though it didn't suck me into the story as I had thought it might. It's written in letter form, from the main character Anna to her best friend while Ann is in the adolescent ward of a mental hospital. It sometimes seems more like diary form than letters because of how much is written each day. I'm only about a third of the way into it, so there's plenty of time for it to suck me in and change my mind.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Three Books

Since my last post I have read three books: After the Moment, The Miles Between, and Emily.
After the Moment, by Garret Freymann-Weyr, was very touching. It was a love story, that started with the end first, which isn't something I usually like. I don't like knowing the end without knowing how the end came about. I like a nice linear storyline. Leigh, the main character, is 21 or so as he is telling the story, but the majority of it takes place his senior year of high school. Leigh was sweet and kind, and also very confused about his future and how to be a good man. Maia was, in her own words, a train wreck, with multiple disorders and emotional problems, but she was very caring and smart, and seemed to be more and more comfortable with herself as time went on. I liked them as a couple, though they seemed more in tune with each other as friends. The ending was okay, though I much prefer clear and concise endings instead of endings that leave me wondering if they end up together or not.

The Miles Between, by Mary E Pearson, was fantastic. I loved Destiny as a character, and all her quirks and stunted emotions. The road trip with her friends seemed so fun and also so eye-opening as they each learned to see the others as more three-dimensional people. I thought it was funny that Destiny thought they became her friends that day, when it seemed that in their eyes they already were her friends and cared for her as such. I wasn't expecting the intensely emotional parts towards the end, where we learn the truth about Destiny and her parents. I literally could not get over it after reading it, I will tear up if I even start thinking about it. And while getting upset or sad because of a book isn't exactly fun, it is wonderful when a book or story can move you that much.

Emily is from the Louder Than Words book series, which are books written by girls who have been through some type of struggle or hard time. Emily is a girl from a large menonite family in Oregon who gets sick more than the average person. At the beginning of her senior year in high school, she finds out she has contracted West Nile virus. Her story is taken from her blog posts from that time and covers roughly one year of her life. She went through a lot, enduring sickness and loneliness, and also missing her friends since she was too weak to go out very much. It was a very honest account, and she never seemed to feel sorry for herself, I think because of her belief in God and that He would only the things that were supposed to happen to happen to her. I hope that Emily is feeling better now, she does still keep a blog I believe, and I'm glad that her struggle that year and the time following have made her stronger.

The next book I am going to start is Get Well Soon by Julie Halpern. I was browsing around Barnes & Noble today and came across it and a few other books that seemed interesting, including Stiff by Mary Roach, which is all about the various uses for our bodies after our souls have left them.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Last night I started and finished After by Amy Efaw. It's about the 10 or so days following the main character, Devon, after she gives birth in her bathroom without actually knowing she was pregnant before those moments. Devon was 15 or 16, I forget, and she was a star soccer player and student. After she gives birth, she puts the baby in a trash can, and though the baby is found, she is arrested for attempted murder and abandonment. One of the most important parts of the book is the trial to determine whether she will be tried as an adult or as a juvenile. I could tell that the author had to put a lot of research into the book and that she cared a lot about the topic to write such a sensitive account of a story that happens a lot more often that you would expect it to.

Most people wouldn't be able to fathom putting their own child out with the trash, but after reading this book, I can understand that Devon did not have a bond with the child because she didn't know she was pregnant and therefore didn't spend time loving the baby before it was born. Giving birth is painful as it it, but at least most people are expecting it and know they already love their child, Devon didn't have that and probably just wanted to get rid of the source of pain, which was the baby. The trial was very interesting, and I really liked Devon's lawyer. Her lawyer was smart and well-spoken and taught Devon to be strong throughout such a tough time. Devon's mom, on the other hand, disappeared after her daughter was arrested and didn't show up til the night before the hearing.

I liked following Devon's emotional journey, and though we are left not knowing about her actual trial or sentence, it is nice to know that the judge thought she could be rehabilitated and had potential to give back to the world by keeping her in the juvenile system.

I'm now starting After the Moment by Garret Freymann-Weyr. I think it is supposed to be about young love and how sometimes it doesn't work out how you want it to. I'll let ya know.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Pretty Little Liars

I wouldn't say that Pretty Little Liars was a fantastic book, but I did enjoy it very much. It was a nice, easy read and was definitely a good choice to go for after finishing Catching Fire. I liked the chapters focusing on the different girls and their secrets, though I kept wishing people would get over themselves and just be honest. It was nice that the girls weren't annoying and that they really seemed like people, with thoughts and fears and emotions.

I liked Spencer a lot, and I kept feeling bad for Hanna because her mom just sort of dismisses her, even when she ends up at the police station twice in a week. Emily seems like the nicest and the most confused, and I really like Aria for being sort of different. "A" is very interesting, and I want to know who it is that knows all this stuff, maybe they're the person who killed Alison, and they made her tell her friends secrets or something.

I really want to know what "The Jenna Thing" is. If I read more of these books, that will be the main reason. I am very curious about it, and I want to know why Spencer seems to know more about what happened with it than the rest of them.

Alison seems like maybe she wasn't a very good friend to them all when she was alive, although it's hard to judge someone based on who they were in 7th grade. Most people grow a lot and stop being bratty or manipulative at some point. I was sort of hoping it wouldn't be her body that was found, so I was actually sad when it came time for the funeral. But I really liked that it brought the other four girls back together. Maybe they will get a little closer as time goes on, even though they are all so different from each other.

All in all, I would say it was a good read and that I enjoyed it. It wasn't life-changing or thrilling, but it was entertaining and had a good bit of mystery to it. I might pick up the second book sometime when I need another break from intense books like Catching Fire. The prequel-ish book to Graceling by Kristin Cashore (it's called Fire) comes out next month, so maybe that will be how I let my brain relax after it.

Next up I am reading After bye Amy Efaw, which the jacket says is about a girl who is charged with attempted murder for putting her newborn baby in a trash can, after she apparently didn't even know she was pregnant til it was time to give birth. I'm expecting this to be a quick read, but maybe not an easy one, since it's about a very emotion-filled topic. We'll see how it goes and I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Next on the List

Next up for books is the first in the Pretty Little Liars books by Sara Shepard. I had vowed not to start reading any series that already has more than 3 books out (like the House of Night, A-List, Private, and Vampire Academy series). Not only because they take too much time away from other books, but because, for the most part, they are terrible.

Yes, I've read the Twilight books, and no, I don't think they're any good. I read the Uglies series, and really enjoyed it. I haven't read the fourth book though, but I will soon. I read the first two pages of Marked (a House of Night novel) and couldn't go any further because the dialogue was terrible. I read the first book of the Private series, and I enjoyed it, but then they just kept coming out with more and more and I didn't want to devote that much time to characters I didn't care that deeply for. I've read a lot of the Gossip Girl books, and I enjoyed them for easy Summer reading, but I haven't read any since the TV series came out because the TV show was so different that it was hard to go back and forth between all the differing story lines.

So you can see my apprehension at starting a series that follows this sort of trend, but I've heard really good things about the Pretty Little Liars books and I'm going to read the first one and see if I like it, and how much I like it. If it's just a good read, but nothing that makes me that invested in the characters then I'll call it a day and not buy the others. But if it's as good as I've heard, then maybe I'll pick up the second book sometime when the rest of my list isn't calling to me.

I may start reading a couple chapters now, before I have to get ready and pick up Mike for dinner at my parents' house. My brother and his girlfriend are coming over to grill some halibut they caught in Alaska. My brother is a chef at a local restaurant and I'm looking forward to the meal. Although they did also mention something about grilling some summer squash with the fish, and that is just unappealing to me, since I think squash is disgusting. Hopefully they pick up some other good veggies while they're at the store.

I'm also going to continue to find the worst music I can on iTunes so I can have a fantastically fulfilling dance party in my dining room. The only creature that can make fun of me at the moment is my cat, Ollie, and I think he would rather just dance with me than make the effort of leaving the room.

Caught Fire

I stayed up late last night reading Catching Fire from start to finish. I started it at midnight, which was probably a poor choice on my part, and didn't finish it until the dark night sky was replaced with the soft blue-gray of early morning. I tried to put it down and fall asleep a few times, I really did, but each time I couldn't fall asleep because I just needed to know what was going to happen to Katniss and the other characters.

I don't want to spoil the book for anyone, so I won't go into details, but I am so incredibly intrigued by the last two pages of the book. The last sentence alone had me staying up even past when I'd finished to try and work it out in my head.

I really like how Katniss has developed as a person, and I love that she lets us in on all the turmoil inside of her and the guilt she feels no matter what decisions she makes. I feel like her character grew a lot throughout the two books.

I still love Gale and now I even really like Peeta, since he obviously cares for Katniss more than even she knew. I can't wait til the next book comes out, I need to know where Katniss and the others are now and what happened in District 12 and the other Districts during the Quarter Quell Games. I NEED TO KNOW!!

Sorry for the outburst, but really, these books have got me hooked and have crawled into my brain. No two books have surprised me and shocked me and completely turned me around more than The Hunger Games and Catching Fire. I love reading them, and then I am in a state of distress when they are done because I want so badly to know what happens to Katniss, Gale, Prim, Peeta, and even Haymitch.

If you haven't read these two books, they will seriously change your life if you give them a try. They're well-written, adventurous, terrifying, and very different from any book I've ever read. You'll enjoy them.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

It's Time!

I finished Redwall last night and now I can start Catching Fire! I am so, so excited, and so far all I've heard about the sequel is that it's amazing. I know it's going to have a lot of twists thrown at Katniss, and it's probably going to leave me bewildered and wanting more, but I am SO ready!
I won't get to start reading it until a bit later on today, since I have to get ready and drive to my parents house now, and then visit some friends for dinner possibly. But I will probably end up staying up really late tonight, because if it's anything like the The Hunger Games, I won't be able to put it down for anything less than a house fire.

Friday, September 4, 2009

So close

I am so, so close to being done with "Redwall." I only have about 50 pages left, but I have the feeling they're going to be pretty intense as the battle gets amped up, Matthias encounters Asmodeus the snake, and I'm assuming many of the creatures Matthias has encountered throughout the story (Sparrows, Shrews, the cat, Captain Snow the owl) will come back in to play an integral part of the fate of the Abbey.
Usually I wouldn't write about a story so close to finishing it, but I had to put the book down and get ready to go to The Killers concert tonight in Boston. I'm very excited to see them live, though I have no idea who is going to open for them. We shall see.
Going to try and get ready quick and maybe I'll have time to finish reading before my friend gets here for the concert.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

I'm concerned about your Wallaby

"Redwall" so far:

I really, really like it. Even though it's about woodland creatures, Jacques manages to make you feel like you are there, defending Redwall Abbey from the rat army. Matthias is a very courageous little mouse and I love the scenes with him and old Methuselah. Constance the badger is very amusing and kind of a bad@$$. Cluny is so viscous, but he is also very smart, and even though I don't like him, I love finding out what he's going to do next in his plans to attack the Abbey. I'm a little over halfway through the book, and I think I will pick up the next couple of books in the series because they are so well written and adventuresome. I'm definitely a fan.

Other happenings:

Yesterday morning Mike and went to the Ristuccia Memorial Arena in Wilmington, MA to watch the Bruins end-of-Summer practice. The Globe site said they'd be there everyday this week starting at 11:30, but I guess they started earlier than that because we got there after Thomas and Sturm had already left the ice. But we did get to see Lucic, Bitz, Ference, Wideman, and a few of the new guys. The practices this week are just informal skates & goalie practice, so there aren't any coaches or trainers. They did a half ice scrimmage and seemed to be in good spirits. I posted some video from the practice on my youtube channel. And you can really see the difference my new camera makes when compared to my videos of last Summer's practices.

I think the rest of the day was pretty lazy, because I can't even remember what exactly we did. So I'm assuming it wasn't of any interest. Though later in the day we did watch Twilight with the RiffTrax for it... which was amazing. RiffTrax are from the same guys that did Myster Science Theater 3000, but they just provide the commentary track and you can sync it up to the DVD. The one for Twilight is so funny, because it's everything you want to say about the movie out loud, but can't, because every 13 year old girl in a 10 mile radius will come beat you up. If you're an MST3K fan, you should check it out here.

Speaking of MST3K, I got home tonight from work & dinner out to find Mike and a friend watching the MST3K episode "Future War," which is a really good one because it so ridiculous. It's like the writers tried to fit in as many different plots and background stories as they could into this one terrible movie. There are dinosaurs, time traveling, prostitutes reformed into nuns, cyborgs, more cardboard boxes filled with air than you will ever see again, and an excess of flannel. After "Future War" they put in the episode "Werewolf." I hadn't seen this one yet, and neither had Mike. The main actors are all foreign, but not distinct enough to tell what exactly their accents are, but just enough to give them terrible pronunciation of words like "werewolf" and "well-being." The main girl says "wurrwolf" every time, and when she says "I'm concerned for your well-being," it sounds like "I'm concerned for your wallaby" (Not that a wallaby wouldn't be cause for concern). The crew of MST3K do a song sketch in the middle of the movie reminiscent of the movie Grease. The song is "Where Oh Werewolf," and contains the line "Where, oh, Werewolf, I've looked every where, Wolf." It's one of the funniest skits I've seen them do, and you can watch it here. Another great part of the movie is when a security guard gets scratched and turns into a werewolf while he's driving. It's like the crazy grandma driving clips where they exaggerate turning the wheel and look like a bat out of hell. I never new werewolves could drive, but apparently they can, although not very well since he did end up crashing and blowing up the car...

My plans for the rest of the night include watching Blood Sport (for the 756435652yth time) and finishing Redwall.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Catching Fire

After dropping off this months rent I went to Barnes & Noble to get "Catching Fire", the sequel to "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins. I am SO excited to read this book! It's hard to put it on hold while I finish "Redwall", but I know it is worth waiting for. "The Hunger Games" is fantastic and well-written and unique. I didn't used to like stories that took place in the future, because they all seemed so unrealistic, but "The Hungers Games" is so captivating that it definitely changed my mind about reading similar books.
While I was at Barnes & Noble I also picked up a couple of the books on my "To Buy" list. I got "The Miles Between" by Mary Pearson, "After the Moment" by Garret Freymann-Weyr, and the first "Pretty Little Liars" book by Sara Shepard. But obviously, they have to go on hold for a while so I can catch up to the other 5 million books on my lists.
After stopping in at B&N I went through the Drive-Thru Panera (So awesome!) because I really just wanted one of their lemonades. Their lemonades are amazing, I don't even know why! I'm trying to savior it and make it last, but that's a battle fought in vain.
Now, time to get back to "Redwall," because the sooner I finish it, the sooner I can dive into "Catching Fire" and see what's going on in the world of Katniss and Peeta! I also have to figure out what's wrong with my desktop computer, it's being a bit feisty and I have to go put it in its place.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Grab Your Muskets!

A Redwall update:
So far I really like it a lot. I like the letter from Brian Jacques in the beginning, explaining how the time period isn't really a time we can relate to, and how he wanted to write about a time when there weren't machines and technology. I love the creatures and the personality traits for each species. Cluny the evil sea rat is pretty terrifying so far and I look forward to happens in the upcoming pages.
I'll update more when I'm further into the book. As of right now though, I'm a fan.

How about some other things I like that I am not embarrassed by nor are they terrible:

Top YouTube Channels: SHAYTARDS, fiveawesomegirls (made up of Kristina, Lauren, Kayley, Hayley, and Liane), sxephil, the vlogbrothers, meekakitty, and The Station

Blogs: Maureen Johnson, John Green, HayleyGHoover, Pamie, Sarah Dessen, Post Secret, 11 Points, The Superficial

Music: Third Eye Blind's new cd "Ursa Major" (here's a video!) Faber Drive, Miley Cyrus "Party in the USA" (and this), Kings of Leon, The Used (particularly the Artwork and Lies for the Liars albums)

The Boston Bruins

Daily Booth & Twitter

By the way, can you tell I didn't know how to do links before? Sorry for the onslaught... but oh well!

The following is courtesy of MLIA
"Today I ran down the halls of my dorm yelling, "THE BRITISH ARE COMING! THE BRITISH ARE COMING!" Some random guy stuck his head out the door and responded, "GRAB YOUR MUSKETS MINUTEMEN! WE'VE GOT SOME REDCOATS TO STOP!" This was easily the greatest moment of my week. MLIA."
Today I was at the mall and I saw a pregnant woman wearing a shirt that said, "Maybe now he'll marry me." By far the best maternity shirt ever created. MLIA. "
Today, I filled a Windex bottle with blue Gatorade. I then sprayed it into my mouth infront of my mother. She began to panic and scream and get hysterical. I thought it was funny. She didn't. MLIA."

I Have A Secret

Every Monday night I watch The Secret Life of the American Teenager. And every Monday day night I wonder WHY? If you've never seen it, it's about a group of teenagers and their experiences in high school, mostly pertaining to their relationships (sexual and otherwise). The main character is Amy who got pregnant in the first season and is now raising her son with the help of family, friends, and the baby's father. I've watched it since the beginning, and now even Mike watches it with me. Every Monday we sit down with our dinners and watch the story unfold. It's part of our Monday Night Tradition (MNT for you acronym lovers out there), which also includes Taco Bell, Jon & Kate Plus 8, Intervention, and Hoarders. It's a good time.

The problem: the show isn't any good.

None, seriously NONE of the characters have any redeeming qualities. Everyone sleeps with each others boyfriends and cheats on their significant others. No one is actually honest with their friends or boyfriend/girlfriend. Even the adults just lie. Amy, the girl who now has a baby, is whiny and tries to use her baby as a way to get pity and help from her family, but then also uses the baby to show that she's and "adult" now -- at 16. Ricky, the father of the baby, sleeps around, most frequently with Adrienne. Adrienne also sleeps around, sometimes with her step-brother. Grace is the religious wannabe-doctor who had sex the night her father died, and now thinks that she caused his death by having sex. Ben is Amy's boyfriend, and he may be the worst character of all. He tries to act and talk like an adult, which doesn't work so smoothly when you're a 16 year old boy with your voice changing.
I can't even get started about the parents.
You would think that the woman who did 7th Heaven would be able to manage at least one family that's not full of nutcases, but I guess not.
It's awful and I love it. I love seeing who's going to fight with whom, who's going to fight with their parents, and who's going to say the most sentences that sound like whoever wrote the script has never been a teenager, let along spoken to one.
I know this is ranting and terrible, but I really just don't understand WHY I like it. I don't even like it, I just can't stop watching it. It's the worst train wreck on TV and I'm watching every minute of it as if there's crack seeping into my eyes from the TV screen.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


I know a lot of people have heard of the FML website, which has made the phrase "fml" become so overused that I can't stand it. I hate when I see people's facebook statuses end with those three little letters, it seems to tacky and self-involved.
But now I have been introduced with MLIA (My Life is Average), which is so much more hilarious because a lot of the posts are about small sometimes amusing thoughts regular, average people are having. And I somehow don't think people will use "mlia" half as much on their facebooks as they use "fml."
Apparently there is also a MLIG (My Life is Good), but I have the feeling that it will just be people being braggy and pretentious, so I may not check it out.
The following are some quotes from MLIA:

"Today, my parents made me put a flashlight in my car because they didn't think the lightsaber in my trunk would help in a time of need. What fools. MLIA"

Today, I was cleaning the garage and found our old christmas lights. I noticed that the label said "for indoor and outdoor use only". I'm still wondering how anyone could possibly break this rule. MLIA"

The other day, dinner with my mom was awkwardly quiet. To break the silence I randomly asked her what her zombie plan was. She said she didn't have one. We spent the next half an hour discussing the best strategies against the undead and she is now sufficiently prepared. I feel like I've re-payed her for bringing me into the world. MLIA"

Today, I was about to put a pie in the oven, so I checked the time. It was 3:14. I felt like the universe wanted me to have pie. MLIA"

I love the Zombie Plan one. Earlier this Summer one of my best friends and I came up with a plan to defend his house if Zombies ever attacked. We worked out multiple scenarios and even got his mom in on the plans so she'll know what to do when the time comes.

Books and Bookworms

Thanks to a friend, Jim, I no longer have to make the decision on what book to read. I've started "Redwall" by Brian Jacques a couple of times, once while babysitting about 5 years ago, and once maybe 2 years ago. But both times I ended up losing the book for a while and by the time I found it, I couldn't remember what happened. My copy has been sitting on my shelf for a couple months now after I found it in the trunk of my car, Lyla. Finding books in my trunk happens more frequently than I'd like to admit. I've bought books at B&N, put the bag in my trunk, and completely forgotten about then for months until someone mentions a book and I go "Hmmm I think I bought that but where the heck is it?" Then I remember the dismal abyss that is the back half of Lyla and go hunting around in it, barely escaping with my life, until I find that bag of books.
One of the main reasons I've always wanted to read Redwall, and hopefully some of the following books in the series, is because the Redwall Abbey books are the only books I have ever seen my brother read. Dan is not quite the bookworm that I am, so if an author can write adventures so well that even he will be sucked in, then I definitely want to check them out too.
Speaking of bookworms, I've been playing the second volume of Bookworm Adventures, an almost-RPG where you spell words to defeat your enemies and increase your health & strength. It's extremely nerdy and I completely love it. I've beat the first volume too many times to count and I've almost beat the second volume. Whoever designs it is hilarious and includes all these hidden literary jokes. One of the "chapters" in the game refers to a bunch of classic characters for literary history and their "attacks" are all references to the books they are from, which amuses me to no end. The great part about the game is that I, a book nerd, can play and have fun, and Mike, who is more into computer/video games than books, can also play and have fun, so it really appeals to both worlds. I recommend it as a great cure for boredom.

I Certainly Do Love Lists

Soon you will all (all zero of you) come to realize that I love lists. Correction, I love making lists, I don't necessarily love abiding by them or actually doing the things on said lists.
Here's my list of books I want to buy, some already released and others that are coming out in the next few months:

Books Already Out:
The Key to the Golden Firebird - Maureen Johnson
Devilish - Maureen Johnson
Vacations From Hell - Johnson, Bray, Clare, etc
When You Reach me - Rebecca Stead
Love is the Higher Law - Dvid Levithan
Break - Hannah Moskowitz
Another Faust - Daniel and Dina Nayeri
Hate List - Jennifer Brown
The Miles Between - Mary Pearson
The Hollow - Jessica Verday
How To Steal A Car - Pete Hautman
Pretty Little Liars - Sara Shepard

Books Yet To Be Released:
Sept 1st - Catching Fire - Collins
Sept 22 - Pretty Dead - Block
Sept 22 - Going Bovine - Bray
Sept 29 - Liar - Larbalestier
Oct 5 - Fire - Cashore
Oct 6 - Leviathan - Westerfeld
Oct 19 - Goth Girl Rising - Lyga
Nov 10 - WTF - Lerangis
Nov 24 - Deadly Little Lies - Stolarz

Jan 2010 - Scarlett Fever - Johnson
April 6 - The Unwritten Rule - Scott
April 6 - Will Grayson, Will Grayson - Green & Levithan
April 20 - The Six Rules of Maybe - Caletti

I realize this list is rather ambitious, especially considering my already lengthy list of books I already own and need to read, but it is just too hard to not buy books. But buying books has to be better for the greater good than buying shoes, right?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Something New and Unusual

Warning: this blog post is not about books. Escape while you can.
While I enjoy writing about the books I'm reading, I also just enjoy writing for the sake of getting something out there and turning a thought into something that exists out in the world. I used to keep journals and write in them everyday, but then I went to college and actually went out and experienced things for myself. Instead of watching other people and writing down what I was observing, I went out and had fun and no longer needed to write about it because I knew I'd remember those times on my own.
Lately, though, I've missed writing. It's seriously been ages, as I've now been out of college for over a year. So my idea was to start writing about specific things (like books) and maybe that would one day (which I just wrote as "wonday," that fantastic day of the week where everyone wins!) get my creative juices flowing and I could start writing about other things going on.
...... 2 hours later ......
I was distracted by having fun, oops! And now I am going to continue to do so, and I will finish this later.
Time to actually post this and write more tomorrow!

Dismantlement by Jennifer McMahon

I finished "Dismantled" by Jennifer McMahon quicker than I though I would. It was very well written, and I truly just wanted to rush through it and find out all the bits and pieces of the story. I was completely fooled by the end of the book. There I was, proud of myself for figuring it out, and then the final twist was tossed in and I was thrown for a loop. For being a random pick out at Target, it was superb.
I have to say the parts with Emma's "invisible friend" were very creepy, and they added this whole other dimension to the story. The talk of Suz's ghost being around and causing all the problems for the group gave it a supernatural feeling, but knowing that the author was trying to mess with the reader's mind, I figured there was going to be some crazy plot twist (which there was). But having Emma actually feel and see and smell "Danner," without it being a plot twist, was the creepiest part. And to find out at the end that "Danner" is apparently the ghost of an unborn shild was equally as disturbing.
I felt bad for Tess and Henry, neither of them wanted to cage the other, and neither of them knew how to tell the other the whole truth of how they even started as a couple and as a family. If they'd been honest throughout their relationship, I think they could have worked better together during the "current" part of the book.
The Compassionate Dismantlers idea was completely engrossing. Though the theory is well based (that you can't fully understand something until you take it apart), their practices were a bit much. Instead of merely taking things apart they shattered things and people and then completely destroyed them. Suz lured them into her path of destruction and then lead them astray and forced them to ruin lives, buildings, anything they touched. They were all lucky they never got caught, since almost of all of their acts of dismantlement were incredibly illegal.
Not that any of these people are real or anything... It was just a really good story so I just want to keep gushing about it!
I'm not at home now, so I don't have my next book picked out. I might try Boy Toy though, so I'll keep you posted.

Friday, August 28, 2009

My Book List Update

I've never really listed the books I plan to read in the future... meaning the dozens of books I buy and put on a list to read and then never do. I've already written them down on a piece of paper, but I'll type up maybe 10 or 15 of them here. Maybe this will force me to read some of the books I'm not all that excited about.
Now, you ask, why would I buy books I'm not excited about? Well, because there are some books that have been recommended to me, or that I'm the last person on earth to read (sorry Harry Potter), or that I know are supposed to be good and well written books but just aren't appealing to me. However, I am able to get past my likes or dislikes and at least admit when I book I've read has been a good book, even if I didn't enjoy it myself.
SO here's the list of upcoming books, possibly won't be read in this order:
Boy Toy by Barry Lyga
Choke by Chuck Palahniuk
Tender is the Night by F Scott Fitzgerald
Wicked by Gregory Maguire
I am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe
Dork Whore by Iris Bahr
Love, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
Footfree & Fancyloose by Elizabeth Craft & Sarah Fain
Gone by Michael Grant
Redwall by Brian Jacques
All Souls by Michael Patrick MacDonald

I'll try and stick to the list, however a few books are coming out soon that I am really excited about, and I will probably drop everything and read them as soon as they are in my hands... Really, it just can't be helped!

Still reading "Dismantled." An update will come when I'm further into it.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Nothing Less Than Astonishing

I finally finished "The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing" today, honestly, it was incredible. It was only Volume 1 though, so I've got to go out and get Vol 2 if it's in paperback yet. I like when books in a series all match on my book shelf. If you haven't read this book, I seriously recommend it; it has everything a quality book should have. It's smart, beautifully written, at times humorous, but above all, it makes the reader think about some really difficult topics. I'm most looking forward to what happens with Dr. Trefusis in the next volumes, besides Bono, he seems to be the most level-headed person in Octavian's irregular life.
Now I am starting "Dismantled" by Jennifer McMahon. This happens to be on my bookshelf because I was wondering around Target one day and decided to check out their pretty limited book selection. I bought this one in particular because it's about a group of former friends who went astray after some terrible accident, and now something tragic is making them relive the past... oddly enough, I like this kind of book. Usually this sort of story line is done in way too typical a manner, but hopefully this one actually keeps me guessing.
I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Survey from hayleyghoover

Here's a survey from HayleyGHoover's blog. My answers probably aren't as fantastic as they could be because I am very, very hungry right now and just really want some lunch. This is not helped by my boyfriend sitting down next to me with a sandwich. Grr.

1. What author do you own the most books by?
Sarah Dessen (9 books), Kevin Brooks (7 books) & Deb Caletti (6 books)

2. What book do you own the most copies of?
Dreamland by Sarah Dessen & Dracula by Bram Stoker (and, for some reason, Twilight)

3. Did it bother you that both those questions ended with prepositions?
Not really, since when do surveys have proper grammar anyways?

4. What fictional character are you secretly in love with?
Dexter from This Lullaby, Adam from Before I Die, & Sebastian from The Nature of Jade (Yes, all these characters are teenagers and I'm 23... I should probably start reading books with male characters my own age now)

5. What book have you read the most times in your life (excluding picture books read to children; i.e., Goodnight Moon does not count)?
Dreamland by Sarah Dessen gets read about once a year, as does The Nature of Jade by Deb Caletti. The Catcher in the Rye and Love Story have both been read 3 times (I think)

6. What was your favorite book when you were ten years old?
When I was ten? Probably the Rosy Cole books by Sheila Greenwald

7. What is the worst book you've read in the past year?
The Time Traveler's Wife. Everyone said I would love it and so on, and I read it and the guy, Henry, just had no appealing qualities as a person. So he can time travel, ok, that doesn't make him nice or funny or smart. He was a slutty drunk until he met Clare. And the only things Clare liked about him, were attributes he developed because of her. Henry reminded me of Edward.

8. What is the best book you've read in the past year?
Graceling by Kristin Cashore, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and I'm currently reading The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, which is already going to make the "best books" list

9. If you could force everyone you tagged to read one book, what would it be?
Paper Towns, I think it would reach the most people

10. What book would you most like to see made into a movie?
I mostly dislike movies that have come from books, but I would love to see what boy would play Dexter in This Lullaby

11. What book would you least like to see made into a movie?
Dracula already was, and the movie was not so hot, so if we could make it so that never happened, that would be good... Keanu

12. Describe your weirdest dream involving a writer, book, or literary character.
I can't say I've ever had a weird dream involving any of those things, not that I don't have weird dreams, just not about those topics.

13. What is the most lowbrow book you've read as an adult?
I'm gonna go with the Twilight series, and then close my eyes and pray I don't get struck with lightning for admitting to reading them all.

14. What is the most difficult book you've ever read?
Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder. It's very well written, just very difficult to read because it alternates chapters of the story and chapters of learning about various philosophers, and I have difficulties going back and forth between things like that. I do recommend it though, because Sophie's story is very nice.
Lolita was very hard to read to, not because of the writing or the topic, but because for some reason it took me about a year to read it on and off, and I still don't know why.

15. What is the most obscure Shakespeare play you've seen?
I've seen A Midsummer Night's Dream many times, and while the play itself is not obscure, the performance the Theater Co at my college did of it, definitely was.

16. Do you prefer the French or the Russians?
I do enjoy the Russians, but maybe it's because I haven't read much French?

17. Roth or Updike?
I've only read bits of both, so... tie?

18. David Sedaris or Dave Eggers?
Definitely a David Sedaris fan, but I haven't read any Dave Eggers, yet.

19. Shakespeare, Milton, or Chaucer?
I do love Shakespeare, but after my college British Lit class, I do find Chaucer quite amusing

20. Austen or Eliot?
Austen for sure

21. What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading?
I own tons and tons of books I will never get through, and then I buy more tons of books. There will always be gaps.

22. What is your favorite novel?
The Great Gatsby has been a favorite since freshman year of high school, Dracula is definitely at the top as well, and 1984 also makes the cut.

23. Play?
The Glass Menagerie, for no other reason than the memories I have from reading it in class always make me smile.

24. Poem?
TS Eliot "The Wasteland" and many by EE Cummings

25. Essay?
Not a genre I have a favorite in

26. Work of nonfiction?
I love reading autobiographies and memoirs, I'd have to say Smashed by Koren Zailckas, or even the book my dad wrote on John Ruskin for his doctorate because it is so very "my dad"

27. Who is your favorite writer?
I'm going to have to be a 13 year old girl for this and say Sarah Dessen.

28. Who is the most overrated writer alive today?
Since I don't have the mass following that HayleyGHoover does, I think I can say Stephenie Meyer and still escape with my life.

29. What is your desert island book?
Hmm.. something long that will distract me.. Let's go with Atlas Shrugged.

30. And... what are you reading right now?
The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing by MT Anderson, The Last Unicorn by Peter Beagle, and some stories in Geektastic

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Book 30 and sort of 31

"Stealing Heaven" by Elizabeth Scott was a very good Summer read. I kept getting angry while reading it because Danielle's mother made no sense by dragging her daughter into a life of crime, knowing that everyone gets caught at some point. Every time they actually referred to her as Danielle I'd get confused because I mostly though of her as the other names she had to go by so no one knew who she really was.
The boy was very adorable, and it was funny to read the second book in a row to have a cute cop boy in it. It was nice that he and even Allison showed her what friendships and relationships have the potential to become.
It was sort of obvious that her mother was going to be seriously sick from the very start of when she started coughing. "Going Too Far" did a better job of making cancer be more of a surprise than this book did. While it's always sad to read a book that involves a serious illness, I think it's better and more heart-wrenching when it comes as a shock.
Anyways, after I finished that book I started "Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd." It's a compilation of short stories and comics from some of the "nerdiest" authors around. John Green is one of them, and his story was very good. I only read about half of the stories, because honestly, I am not that much of a geek. I don't know anything about Star Trekk or computer games or comic books. And those are the things these stories were talking about. I am more into nerdy TV shows (Buffy, Alias, Roswell), and classic novels (& all other novels) and biographies of random people. I could read all day long. I can't play video games for more than an hour.
So after finding "Geektastic" just a little too on the geeky side for me (I just had no idea what some of the stories were referencing.... sadly), I started MT Anderson's "The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing" (Vol. 1). So far I really like it, I am not that far into it, but so far it just wraps you up into Octavian's world, and the way it is written you can tell that Octavian never questioned anything for most of his early years, and this only makes you as the reader question things more. Definitely intriguing and I think I'll read through it pretty quickly when I have some more time to do so.
Tonight's about fun though, since it's Saturday, so I'm gonna get back to having some.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Onto book 30

I finished "Going too Far" last night, and was actually very pleased with it. The whole time I was reading it I was guessing at the two main characters' secrets, and I didn't guess either one correctly. Jennifer Echols pulled off a somewhat typical storyline in a very unique way. I liked how she put Meg and Officer After together in a way that would force them to talk to each other and sort of uncover the other's secrets.
Now I am onto Elizabeth Scott's "Stealing Heaven," which is so far a pretty good read. I don't know how Scott writes so many books, every time I go to B&N there's another one! I am only a few chapters into it, so I don't have much to say about it, other than that I already correctly predicted one of the "plot twists," so hopefully the rest of it isn't so easy to pick up on.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

50 books a year

So last year I did completer my "50 Books in One Year" challenge.. which was inspired by "italktosnakes" of Youtube. I am also doing the same challenge this year. I got a late start and only read about 9 books by July, and then read about 20 books in July to catch up. Now I am on roughly my 30th book of the year, "going too far" by Jennifer Echols. So far it's pretty interesting, it's doing the typical style of slowly revealing the truth about a character & all that... but the way they are setting it up is different.
I just finished "The Time Traveler's Wife" the other day, and I have to say I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as everyone said I would. Henry just wasn't appealing... he wasn't particularly charming, witty, nice, and so on. He was just sort of there, and then of course sometimes he wasn't. He was mostly a jerk in the "present time" when he was an alcoholic and just slept with a bunch of women and wasn't very nice to any of them. The only thing Clare liked about Henry was Clare. She's what made him likable. It reminded me of John Green ("vlogbrothers" on Youtube) and what he said about Edward Cullen from Twilight... that he's just a vessel for you (the reader) to put your thoughts and feelings etc into, basically he is what you want him to be, without actually having any good personality qualities on his own.
I've been keeping a sort of book report diary on all the books I've read since the beginning of the Summer, which has kept me up with my writing and it's been nice to write by hand and not on a computer. Two of my favorite books that I've read this year are "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins and "Graceling" by Kristin Cashore. Both books have very strong and independent female lead characters and both have sequels coming out this fall, which I am very excited. I recommend both books to anyone who likes a little adventure in their YA fiction.