29 April 2010
Terrified that her mother, a schizophrenic and an artist, is a mirror that reflects her own future, sixteen-year-old Aura struggles with her overwhelming desires to both chase artistic pursuits and keep madness at bay. As her mother sinks deeper into the darkness of mental illness, the hunger for a creative outlet keeps drawing Aura toward the depths of her own imagination—the shadows of make-believe that she finds frighteningly similar to her mother’s hallucinations. Convinced that creative equals crazy, Aura shuns her art, and her life unravels in the process.
First of all, amazing cover? Yeah, beyond amazing, the depth and the meaning of it portrays the book so well, it's crazy how great it is.
The idea of having to take care of a schizophrenic mother is new and original, however there was something missing. That sense of reality wasn't sharpened enough, and something wasn't there! I don't know what exactly, I just know that there was a thing missing.
Beginning: Not as grabbing as it could have been. It was...empty, and confusing. It took me a while to catch onto the fast moving plot-line.
Middle: Hard to stop. As confusing as it is, there is still that nice tough of goodness to the story, it was very fluid and the events passed smoothly, with occasional dis-placed ripples intruding.
End: No. Just no. It just isn't realistic, or imaginable, the ending. I was still lingering in the tail-dust of what had happened, and tehn I re-read it to see if it had actually happened. It did, ut you'll have to read it to find out about it.
Characters: Aura, our main character, is obscure and hidden. She appeared to be a normal, dull, dreary girl with no special talent or individuality. Her character is just plain.
Her mom, however, is, of all the characters in this book, my favorite character. Her craziness was true and had this mad fun with it. She was amazingly fun and different from any character I've ever read about.
All in all, I didn't dig any characters but Aura's mom.
Conclusion: A Blue So Dark is a simple debut novel with a good topic and plot, but it was like a thick, hard, tough bone with barely an meat, just a few juicy scraps hanging on (sorry you non-meat-eaters for this descriptive analogy)
Not a must-read, you can read it though, nice and quick.
Note: If you want to win a copy of A Blue So Dark, enter my Green Week Giveaway! Ends 5/5
27 April 2010
How it all started:
When I first began to blog about books, I thought I was the only book blog out there, hence the URL "the1bookblog.blogspot.com", I never knew there was an entire network of book bloggers.
I wanted to blog because I wanted to share my thoughts on books, and blogging seemed like a great way to keep track of what I read.
For many months, I had 8 followers, my friends who so kindly followed me, and I felt discouraged that no one was reading, but I kept on blogging, loving the feel of my words on the web. Then Priya from Book Crumbs started following, and I was inspired to help other blogs with comments and following, from Priya's blog, I branched out and discovered the "Book Blog World"
I went crazy after that, obsessed with blogging. What's there not to love about blogging?
Why I love blogging:
Blogging was a great way to connect to the wonderful people around the world who share the same interest: Books! I met great people who I now e-mail and talk to frequently, a close 'new friend' of mine is Milli from Everything Crazy.
People are so supportive, comments left behind are really appreciated and I love reading them. It does:
- Give me a sense that someone is actually reading what I write
- Give me other people's opinion on the topic
- Give me a warm fuzzy feeling (on some comments)
Then, ta-da! Book blogging showed me thousands of great books and told me whether I should read them or not, and the more blogs I followed, the more choices I got to choose from.
What I look for in a blog:
- An original, snazzy layout
- Great posts. Can be humorous (always appreciated) happy or sad, anything!
- Unique and different, something that no other blog has
- A good topic, not something boring and dreadful-to-read
I was sort of shy to tell my friends that I blogged, I was already nerdy (still am) then, so why mention it? So when I let it slip to a few close friends:
"You have a blog?" Friend 1 said, surprised clear in her voice
I blushed, "Uhh...yeah...it's about books..." I said nervously.
"That's cool!" Friend 1 replied.
End of Conversation
As I talked more about blogging, more of my friends got interested, and THIS happened"
Sincerely From, Rose Cunningham
Best Manga's and Their Reviews
A friend named Catherine is currently working on her blog, when I let her borrow my ARC of Linger, she was so interested.
In fact, when word got out that I reviewed ARC's, more people wanted to know about them and how THEY could get a copy, and it was kind of hard to explain that in order to get an ARC, you can't just start a blog and ask for an ARC! You have to have good blog stats, commenters, and publicity!
The start from 8 followers to now 224 has been a great journey, and I hope to keep on blogging! My readers/followers are the amazing people who made this happen, and I love you all so much for it, and you guys, and books, are the reason why I love to blog!
24 April 2010
Today, I'm sharing with you an interesting theory about Karma. Is the Earth getting back at us for years of destruction? I mean, look at what's happened recently, most happening this year!
- Oil Rig explosion
- Haiti Earthquake
- Chile Earthquake
- Violent storms in Europe
- Flash Floods in Rio (April)
- Floods in Bangladesh
- Floods in Angola (April)
- Antarctic Ice Shelf collapses
- Volcanic Eruption in Europe
- Tornado in Western Mississippi
- Storms in Marietta, GA (where I live!)
Earthquakes caused by Global Warming (re-named to Climate Change)
Haiti Earthquake caused by Global Warming
Antarctic Ice Shelf Split
With more CO2 in the atmosphere, more heat gets trapped in, and I know you're saying that it's cold in North America and Europe. Why?
Rising sea temperatures (from fresh water ice-caps and glaciers) causes a disturbance in the Gulf Stream effect, which brings warm air to North America. The warm air patterns shift, removing that warm air, which causes the climate to be cold, and that causes unusual weather. Europe is experiencing bad weather too, not just North America.
I'm truly scared about what will happen in our future. Every day I wake up and say "Electricity won't be here in the future, I should stock up on candles and matches" and "My I-pod won't be able to re-charge, I'll need to get a CD player and lots and lots of batteries" and last night, while violent thunder/lightning storms raged on keeping me awake, I thought "I don't want to die, please don't be happening, this is not the end of the world. Crap, I'm jinxing myself! I will live, I will live".
I know I sound too dramatic, but the apocalypse is so real to me, it's a real fear that I'm afraid of every day now because of climate change. The weather scares me so much, the weirder it is, the more scared I become. That's why I'm such a big environmentalist, I want to save this Earth so it'll be there tomorrow, to save all those lives in the future, because if I don't, the world is at stake.
Pretty please (with whats-your-favorite-food-on-top) help me save the environment?
Big Question: Do YOU believe in Climate Change?
"It's not about believing, it's about doing."
Enter my Green Week Giveaway to show me how you help the environment! 5/5
23 April 2010
The video above may be from 2009, but it's still happening today. The one below is from 2010, though the official Earth Day has passed, every day is Earth Day :D
I know that everyone says that one person can make a difference, and you're like "No, that's so not true" It actually is, because all those "one person"'s add up to make a HUGE number, and that huge number, together, can make a unbelievable difference to profit the environment.
Today is inspirational day! With the two inspirational videos and the pictures below. If you want to take photo's of your environment, I'll be happy to add extra entries to my Green Week Giveaway if you want me to. Just e-mail me at raokiki6(at)gmail(dot)com
21 April 2010
Happy Official Earth Day, but as they say, "Earth Day is everyday"! I'll recieved many amazing and warming stories from entrants of my Green Week Giveaway, and I thought I'd share it with you on this important, worldwide should-be holiday!
Jennifer from Book Crazy:
In the past year we have planted 6 new tree's-it's so fun watching them grow, just this year we planted a peach tree and my son is DIEING for it to produce fruit, though not sure it will this year, it's a baby, so hopefully soon.
We also recycle books- LOL I know right, book blog--but I donate to lots of places. We are also a member of freecycle.org-amazing place-I post my OFFERS often, and am so thrilled to get rid of stuff that we don't use anymore- just yesterday I posted a bag of my daughter's older clothes that she can fit into.
I've been recycling since I was little. At first, it was to make a couple of bucks, but now I also do more by unplugging electronics, always turning off the lights when I'm not in a room, my friends and I take weekly turns carpooling. I've also gotten some friends and family into recycling and making sure they don't waste so much water and energy. Last year over the summer, I volunteered in planting trees and flowers in my local park and some areas downtown. Plus, I'm also a vegetarian.
I plan to spread the word with my students. My seniors have already blogged about this in relation to their reading of Into the Wild. I also have a garden, a compost pile, and generally care about my environment. I live in one of the most wooded states (Maine) and spend a ton of time enjoying my surroundings. I would hate to see an increase in pollution in my beautiful state.
Make your blog "green"! Click here
Thank you Tynga's Reviews for showing me this! My blog is now carbon neutral (see sidebar)
Be sure you enter my Green Week Giveaway 5/5 to submit your own story!
…meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs
We do not inherit the earth from our parents; we borrow it from our children.
Today, at school, there was a Campus Clean-up at my middle school in which my friend, Roma, and I teamed up to clean the nature trail (which is beyond gorgeous) and the land around our school (we walked all the way around) Together we filled a large, orange trash bag up half-way. Go us! We were rewarded with pizza and lemonade, and after that the both of us, along with everyone else who showed up, shoveled gravel onto the places on our campus that needed it. For THAT we were rewarded with truck rides around the school, thanks to an awesome 6th grade math teacher.
Enough about me though, to the environment! This is copied from a slide that a public environmentalist speaker presented to the school.
20 April 2010
Happy 40th Earth Day! (week!)
I hope you all are recycling, picking up trash and litter, and are turning off your electricity! Everyday this week I'll be posting fun "green" posts to promote Earth Week!
40 tips for 40th Earth Day for some cool tips
Complete List of Environmental Organizations!
If you want to promote Green Week on your blog, please link below to your blog or blog post (about Green Week):
Win a choice of A Blue so Dark by Holly Schindler or an ARC of Claire de Lune by Christine Johnson. This giveaway is to raise awareness to climate change and the environment, I just picked these books because they're good and enjoyable!
Must live in U.S/Canada (note: if you're international and have a friend in the U.S. or Canada who's willing to send it to you, then feel free to enter!)
Must be a follower
Must fill out THIS FORM (can only fill out one)
17 April 2010
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
In Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. Now, in Linger, they must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping a very dangerous secret about her own well-being. For Sam, this means grappling with his werewolf past . . . and figuring out a way to survive into the future. Add into the mix a new wolf named Cole, whose own past has the potential to destroy the whole pack. And Isabel, who already lost her brother to the wolves . . . and is nonetheless drawn to Cole. At turns harrowing and euphoric, Linger is a spellbinding love story that explores both sides of love -- the light and the dark, the warm and the cold -- in a way you will never forget.
After reading the phenomenon that was Shiver, I had high expectations for Linger. I wasn't sure if I would like the new characters involved and the changed plot, but my doubts were erased as I read.
The romance between Sam and Grace is easy, wordless and deep. Maggie Stiefvater created a new type of romance with her unbelievable writing skills. The poetry in Sam's songs are amazing and emotional. There are bits of poetry from Roethke and Rilke too, I hadn't heard of them until I read Shiver and Linger, and I'm glad I did because now I'm their fan!
Note: The overall writing style is what I like about Maggie Stiefvater's books; her writing is unique. However, I felt that there wasn't that thick, rich love between Sam and Grace. It wasn't strong enough, the love, it was just there in space, floating around.
Beggining: An enticing prolouge, mysterious and haunting; poetic. Chapter 1 begins from Sam's point of view. I love how Stiefvater changes P.O.V's to other characters it's (sometimes) more enjoyable than just one person narrating the entire time.
The beginning almost instantly began with action, which is awesome, and there's no stop to the action.
Middle: I wasn't glued to the pages as I had been with Shiver, it wasn't that good, but the writing kept me going.
End: It was most definitely not my most favorite ending. I didn't like how things turned out, plot-wise. The ending left me hanging, and hungry for more.
Characters: I love Sam, his character is really sweet and loving, totally lovable. Sadly, he's too...depressing and emo-ish at times. (kind of spoiler in next sentence) He believes that he and Grace can never be together, and he doesn't fight it, you know?
Grace is pushy and bossy and strong, and not so much as Grace as she had been in Shiver. She lost a little glow, but she's still an admirable character.
Cole: strongly dislike. Too emo
Isabelle: strongly dislike. Too mean
Overall: Not as good as Shiver, but still a must-read after the hang-off ending Shiver left readers with.
12 April 2010
Today in my mailbox, I recieved:
Won from Lori from Pure Imagination
Sea Change by Aimee Friedman
16-year-old Miranda Merchant is great at science...and not so great with boys. After major drama with her boyfriend and (now ex) best friend, she's happy to spend the summer on small, mysterious Selkie Island, helping her mother sort out her late grandmother's estate.
There, Miranda finds new friends and an island with a mysterious, mystical history, presenting her with facts her logical, scientific mind can't make sense of. She also meets Leo, who challenges everything she thought she knew about boys, friendship...and reality.
Is Leo hiding something? Or is he something that she never could have imagined?
The Very Best of Enya CD/DVD version including a mini book with enya's career as a singer and amazing photographs of enya, like a time-line.
As Easy as Falling off the face of the Earth by Lynne Rae Perkins
As Conspiracy of Kings by Meghan Whalen Turner
Now Harper Collins has been sending me these many books like
- A Nest for Celeste for younger audiences
- this baseball book for younger audiences
- Crispin: The End of Time (ARC)
- As Easy as Falling of the face of the Earth (ARC)
- A Consipracy of Kings (ARC)
10 April 2010
You have already seen the amazing Crescendo cover, I'm sure. I, however, know that the Hush, Hush cover will always have a special place in my heart. I'm glad that this cover has Nora on the cover, and I love the lightning and rain, I'm sure it shows the mood of what the story is going to be about. When I'm a published author, I want the artist who made this cover to make my cover. Just saying....
so do you like it?
(an excited Beth Revis who had recently got her book deal)
I have no idea about the publishing process, or anything about getting your writing published, so I asked debut author Beth Revis for an interview to get those questions answered. Thanks Beth! Feel free to ask any questions, Beth has kindly offered to answer them!
1. How long did it take for you to finish your manuscript?
I started writing at Christmas, and wrote from then through spring. I used summer and most of fall to revise, and started submitting late fall.
A year sounds like a long time...(nervous look)
2. What’s your writing schedule, do you write all at once, or do you write in chunks, or is it something else?
Typically, whenever I get a break (especially during summer break, but long weekends, movie days in class, etc. work as well), I will just sit down and write and write and write. I might to 5k words in a day--my record is 8k in one day. But between those big sessions of writing, I'm always thinking about the story. I don't outline, but I run through scenarios in my head all the time when not writing, and that means when I do write, I write a whole lot relatively quickly.
Just like me, writing in chunks is my writing style. Yay!
3. Where’s your favorite place to think?
Too bad I can't drive yet
4. Was the road to publishing bumpy? What was the worst part?
I hate to say the worst part was jealousy. I don't like myself when I'm jealous, but when I'd see writer friends reach their dreams so much quicker than me--I'd turn green.
I hate jealousy, and rejections doesn't sound so fun, I'm buckling my seat belt in!
5. Did you start writing in hopes of publishing, or was it something you considered after writing?
Same here, cool!
6. You went to the Bologna Book Fair, did you ever think your book was going to get picked? (you don’t have to answer this, I have no clue about book deals)
Oops..I suck at researching
7. You’re a high school teacher, how did your students react to the good news?
That's hilarious, I'll buy a detention form from them when you get famous :D
8. How are you killing time waiting for the publication of your book Across the Universe?
Oh insensitive of me, I didn't know you had to do all that!
9. Is there something you do while you write, like listening to music or biting your pencil/pen?
I also listen to music--but it's very low-key music that I can zone out of when writing. I like sound, but I don't want to focus on it.
Snacking is a good way to think, especially if it's chocolate!
10. Is there anything you would like to say to bloggers/readers/everyone?
Thanks for the interview, Beth!
If you have any questions, feel free to comment and Beth will answer!
09 April 2010
I'm so glad that you guys like my News Around the Blogosphere posts (according to the poll) but some of you don't (boo-hoo) but still, why not?
Book Blogger Hop started by Crazy For Books , the Book Blogger Hop is a real huge hit! I mean, 131 blogs participating so far, incredible or what? I think it's an amazing idea, and I love it!Cover Craze
The New Linger cover (U.K) Which do you like?
Question: Do you judge books by their covers? I do, but not in the other sense like judging skin color or judging personalities, I mean I literally pick a book because of it's cover. To me, even if it's a really good book, the cover will always make it seem..bad. You know?
Contest Updates: As of now, I have 191 followers, which is really close to 200 (9 more) so that means that I'll add another prize to my Follower Appreciation Celebration. Woot!
Also, thanks to Kristen from Bookworming in the 21st Century for hosting my Ballad giveaway, it ends 4/16 so you should enter (here)
I had no idea what the book blog hop was until I visited Book Crazy Jenn and now I want to participate!
ABOUT THE HOP:
This is a weekly event, hosted here, where book bloggers and readers can connect to find new blogs to read. It's a great way to network with other bloggers and make new friends! In the spirit of the Friday Follow, I thought it would be cool to do a Book Blogger Hop to give us all bookies a chance to connect and find new blogs that we may be missing out on! It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs that they may not know existed! So, grab the logo, post about the Hop on your blog, and start Hopping!!
I don't really know how to find other blogs, so if you have a blog that I probably haven't seen, please link below and I'll follow (if it's my type of blog)
08 April 2010
Can I let a friend read an ARC?
My friend Deniz, from Best Manga's And Their Reviews, is reading Shiver. I told her I was reading my ARC of Linger, and she really wants to borrow it, but I'm unsure if I'm allowed to or not. Any advice anyone?
05 April 2010
I'm so happy, I'm so happy happy happy!!! I GOT AN ARC OF LINGER (MAGGIE STIEFVATER) IN THE MAIL!!!!!!! I love you, Monday, thank you so much Scholastic! I'll be reviewing this A.S.A.P.!!!!
Sadly, my camera cable thing won't work, so I can't take a picture of my ARC. Boohoo, but still!!! I CAN'T WAIT TO READ THIS!!
Are you guys jealous? You shoud, but you can read it when it comes out in July 2010! It's a long wait, but you'll make it!
I"M SO SO HAPPYYY! This totally MADE MY DAY!
04 April 2010
Hi guys! I'm excited to say that I'm featured by the lovely Kristin over at Bookworming in the 21st Century today, on Easter. Though I don't celebrate Easter, I still love the candy sales :D
My other writing blog, Dreamer, is the blog that's featured. I'm giving away a copy of Ballad by Maggie Steifvater to U.S./Canadian residents on Kristin's blog! It ends 4/16, so go ahead and enter!
Eat lots of candy, and then recycle the plastic egg shells!
03 April 2010
And picked up a free template because I really can't afford a custom template! I'll be working on making my own header for now, but when I save up enough later, I'll finally be able to get a custom blog template.
I'd like to thank Milli from Everything Crazy for spending time to help me make a blog button that you see on my sidebar (the one that matches my new template) Thank you Milli!
How do you guys like it? Do you miss the old one (I feel nostalgic)?
01 April 2010
Author- Marjane Satrapi
Summary from GoodreadsPages: 153
Persepolis paints an unforgettable portrait of daily life in Iran: of the bewildering contradictions between home life and public life and of the enormous toll repressive regimes exact on the individual spirit. Marjane’s child's-eye-view of dethroned emperors, state-sanctioned whippings, and heroes of the revolution allows us to learn as she does the history of this fascinating country and of her own extraordinary family. Intensely personal, profoundly political, and wholly original, Persepolis is at once a story of growing up and a stunning reminder of the human cost of war and political repression. It shows how we carry on, through laughter and tears, in the face of absurdity. And, finally, it introduces us to an irresistible little girl with whom we cannot help but fall in love. My thoughts:
I never read anything about the Islamic Revolution, so Persepolis was like an easy to comprehend history lesson. Marjane's autobiographic graphic novel blew me away. Satrapi shows how it was like during the Islamic Revolution from the first hand point of view. The harsh reality stunned me, the violence and the terror were at times incredibly grotesque.
The humor, though, was enjoyable. I loved that no matter what happened in the Islamic Revolution , Satrapi stayed true to herself (read the last part where 'staying true' is mentioned). The drawings were lovely, and cute, and amazing. No, it's not manga or anime, its a unique cartoon.
Beginning: Amazing. The first panels automatically 'drew' me into Iran.
Middle: Could not put it down!
That pretty much summarizes my volume thick thoughts."Delectable...Dances with drama and insouciant wit"
-New York Times Book Review
Ending: Emotional, loved it!
Characters: My favorite character, besides Marjane, was Uncle Anoosh. He was my hero, loving, strong, and inspirational. His story was unique and scary, and I loved him!
Marjane was hilarious, her innocence and brightness (and strong involvement in politics) throughout the book made me smile to myself at times.
Marjane's mother and father were ranked next to Uncle Anoosh and Marjane, they were (are? like the dream parents everyone wants to have. Their constant love and support and just plain coolness is so easy to like.All in all, 5+ stars to the characters!
Persepolis has, by far, the BEST characters ever!
Conclusion: Illustrious, memorable, and immortal, Persepolis is a time-less (graphic) novel that will blow you away (like it did to me)!
The panels from above are from Persepolis 2: A Story of a Return. It wasn't as good as the first one, but it was good all the same. You can see how funny Marjane Satrapi is, Persepolis is a must read!