new years

31 December 2011

This new years, my resolution for reading is to read more classics, and to be more active in the blogging community (rather than to super long absences I've logged in this year) more interviews, giveaways, etc...

I hope that you've got awesome reading resolutions (unless you don't believe in resolutions)! can't wait to see what a great year it'll be!

creatures of harry potter part 2: comparisons

29 December 2011

As you've enjoyed the last segment, I'm pleased to welcome you to: creatures of harry potter part 2: comparisons. Please! Hold the applause, I know I'm awesome. Haha.

Here comes the fun part!

1. The Werewolves

Do you see the difference? Up top you've got a Harry Potter and the bottom you've got Twilight. I'm just comparing these two. See, other movies do werewolves properly as well, but they're always buff and ripped. Poor Lupin werewolf is bare and skeletal, and really makes you want to pity him. There's chubby Jacob wolf you looks like you want to cuddle and pet him. Seriously. 

2. The Centaurs

Centaur on the right looks hotter and more dreamy and lovable, but centaur on the left looks real. Centaur on the left, let's call him Firenze, is a beast. Literally too, haha! But I'm trying to say that creatures in Harry Potter and meant to portray the story properly, have a strange feel to them. Firenze is strong and magestic and very in touch with his beast. Whoever this guy on the right is, he just doesn't look right.

3. The mermaids
Typical mermaid vs. Harry Potter mermaid
I love how the HP one is more creature like, more muscles like a swimmer and has a nose that are like African Americans, our ancestral root. It's stunning. You've got the normal mermaids you have super model upper bodies and flimsy fish tails. They're not real mermaids, because you can't have that short tail and a long body, it's not dynamic. 

4. The Inferi (concept)
On the left, we have a dead corpse in The Dead Marshes from Lord of the Rings. On the right we have Harry Potter inferi. I just notice a similarity. 

Gollum vs. Dobby
See! They look alike! Of course, Gollum came first and looks a whole lot better than Dobby. No offense to you Dobby lovers.

Well that's it. Hope you enjoyed this week's special. ^_^

creatures of harry potter part 1: favourites

We interrupt this blog fest of end of the year celebrations, holiday giveaways and the usual book reviews to present: creatures of harry potter part 1: favourites. Enjoy. don't get toooo excited.

(nothing like a good harry potter post to liven up this dead-looking blog)

warning: graphic images!

I was watching this programme on this channel (bio something I think) and it was explaining in brief the creations of the creatures in Harry Potter. I'll be using a lot of what they said to describe why. I picked some favourites.
1. Thestrals
The most brilliant creature ever done on film. J.K. Rowling's original creation.
You'll know that only people who have seen death can see these thestrals. So these beasts are like an interpretation of Death. They've got to be deathly and grotesque, but also sad and heart-wrenching.
They
are
beautiful!
Look at the adorable baby one. Admit that when you saw it, you fell a bit in love with them. You didn't fear thestrals but grew fond instead.



2. The Inferi (Living Dead)




These are amazing. Dead skeletons reanimated by a dark wizard (these are by Voldemort created during The First Wizarding War) They're animated against their will, of course.
Why?

  • They are tragic, in a sense
  • They're eerily beautiful. No, I'm not a creep like that! They're sketched in a haunting way, and how can something so grotesque inspire pity? That's why.

  • They way the film has down it, so they're crawling and groping about, climbing on top of each other in such a manner. It's brilliant
3. Werewolf 
You'll see that Lupin, in my opinion, is a true werewolf. He's got the long spine and human qualities that as J.K. Rowling said, was what made his scarier, more than a monster. 

It's amazing:

You'll see that Rowling's werewolf is much more scary than just a giant angry dog. I love how the artists didn't just use the typical werewolf, but created a much more well done one.

4. Mermaids

Again, not the typical mermaid like Ariel, but something more believable and haunting. Just amazing.
5. Centaurs
Unlike being perfectly half human and half horse, the movie adaptation of Harry Potter made the centaurs human half obtain more horse-ish qualities. It's perfect.

6. Hippogriff
F*cking brilliant. Need I say more?

I'm afraid to actually list all my favourite creatures because there are so many. I hope these will do. 
In Part 2, I will discuss comparisons with the "Accepted" and the "Harry Potter" versions of creatures. It'll be a bit more entertaining hopefully.

Until next time!

memorable books I've read in 2011

In no particular order:

Eden by Keary Taylor
Why I loved it: Amazing writing and brilliant story. Well written and addictive: loved it until the very end and lingered in my head long afterwards.
published: June 6th 2011
note: it's being made into a movie!
summary:
Eve knew the stories of the Fall, of a time before she wandered into the colony of Eden, unable to recall anything but her name. She's seen the aftermath of the technology that infused human DNA with cybernetic matter, able to grow new organs and limbs, how it evolved out of control. The machine took over and the soul vanished. A world quickly losing its humanity isn't just a story to her though. At eighteen, this world is Eve's reality.

In their Fallen world, love feels like a selfish luxury, but not understanding what it is makes it difficult to choose between West, who makes her feel alive but keeps too many secrets, and Avian, who has always been there for her, but is seven years her senior.

The technology wants to spread and it won't stop until there is no new flesh to assimilate. With only two percent of the human population left, mankind is on the brink of extinction. While fighting to keep Eden alive, Eve will discover that being human is about what you will do for those you love, not what your insides may be made of. And even if it gets you killed, love is always what separates them from the Fallen.
 Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
Why I loved it: The incest topic was brilliantly written. It was just as emotional as it should've been and the characters and the whole story was heart-wrenching and emotional and touching. It's unforgettable and one of my favourite books of all time. I still go back and flip through the beautiful words. Mind blowing.

published: June 28th 2011 Simon Pulse
summary:
Seventeen-year-old Lochan and sixteen-year-old Maya have always felt more like friends than siblings. Together they have stepped in for their alcoholic, wayward mother to take care of their three younger siblings. As defacto parents to the little ones, Lochan and Maya have had to grow up fast. And the stress of their lives—and the way they understand each other so completely—has also also brought them closer than two siblings would ordinarily be. So close, in fact, that they have fallen in love. Their clandestine romance quickly blooms into deep, desperate love. They know their relationship is wrong and cannot possibly continue. And yet, they cannot stop what feels so incredibly right. As the novel careens toward an explosive and shocking finale, only one thing is certain: a love this devastating has no happy ending.

 Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Why I loved it: Intriguing. One has to read in between the lines, discover double meanings and think a whole lot while reading this book. It was disturbing but memorable and well thought out and written.

first published: September 17th 1954

summary (not really a summary because the true summary gave away everything)
William Golding's classic tale about a group of English schoolboys who are plane-wrecked on a deserted island is just as chilling and relevant today as when it was first published in 1954



The Count on Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
why I loved it: What I call a "perfect story" The tragic romance, the betrayal, the twists and turns and surprises and heart tugging adventure all adds up to The Count of Monte Cristo. If Alexandre were alive, I'd congratulate him.

first published: 1844

summary:
Falsely accused of treason, the young sailor Edmond Dantes is arrested on his wedding day and imprisoned in the island fortress of the Ch√Ęteau d'If. Having endured years of incarceration, he stages a daring and dramatic escape and sets out to discover the fabulous treasure of Monte Cristo, and to catch up with his enemies.

Why only four? This year, I didn't really read as much as I did, therefore, less books. I hope I can get back on track this new year and make it up!

I know many of you are posting similar posts, and you're welcome to link in the comments. I'd love to visit your blogs and hear about the great books you've read ^_^

review: cinder

22 December 2011

book info:
ages: 13 and up
grades: 7 and up
on sale: January 3rd 2012
copy from: Feiwal and Friends
pages: 387

title: Cinder
author: Marissa Meyers
stars: 3.999


{Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future. }


my thoughts:
Wow, I was really interested that the main character would be half robotic. Now that's something you don't see often. It reminded me of one of my favourite books, Eden by Keary Taylor, where the main character Eve is mechanical as well. Contrary to the allusion I just made, Cinder is different in aspects. It takes place in China and the people are Chinese (not Caucasian!) and Cinder isn't a perfect girl with a perfect life. She grows in the "slums" working as a freaking mechanic. Her foot is taken from her! I mean, this is a great start to the Lunar Chronicles!

characters: Cinder is amazing. I can relate to her, and she makes sense. Unlike lots of teen fiction where the females are all confused and everything. Similar characters to Cinder are Eve from Eden and Lena from Delirium: female heroines whom I loved.

plot: It takes a while for one to get to the actual meaning of the book, but once the plot kicks off, it goes great. I was patient enough to understand who the heck Lunars were and what situation they were in with "Earthlings" And once I got that, I learned that the plot was pretty good.

style: I love the simplistic, but still detailed enough style of writing Meyer writes in. It's not gushy like, his dark set eyes were deep and beautiful, so much that she lost herself in them. Her heart was beating like a hummingbird's wings, and she was so nervous....yeah, not like that. It's concise and to the point, like the character Cinder. Great style ^_^

overall: Wonderful! I de-rated it due to the fact that near the ending, it clipped off into the second book. It would've done great as a stand-alone. Also, the story seemed a little strange and far-off, not what I'm used to. Too much techy stuff as well. Other than that, it's recommended! 

review: if i tell

book info:
ages: 13 and up
grades: 7 and up
on sale: NOW
copy from: Sourcebooks
pages: 244

title: If I Tell
author: Janet Gurtler
stars: 5

"Instead, I ran. Again" (Gurtler)


Jasmine Evans knows one thing for sure... people make mistakes. After all, she is one. Jaz is the result of a onenight stand between a black football player and a blonde princess. Having a young mother who didn't raise her, a father who wants nothing to do with her and living in a small-minded town where she's never fit in hasn't been easy. But she's been surviving. Until she sees her mom's new boyfriend making out with her own best friend. When do you forgive people for being human or give up on them forever?

my thoughts:
After reading I'm Not Her, I had high expectations for this book. AND IT WAS MET! I was so thrilled to read yet another amazing Janet Gurtler list, however it felt like she (Janet) was trying to tackle too many problems, very real problems, and smash it together. BUT, it was subtle. I liked it.

Because I'm too lazy to write exactly how much I liked this, i'll just tell you to read it. read it!



news news, read all about it!

03 December 2011

Right, well this as happened quite often on this blog in the recent past. I suddenly disappear for months and then come back and then leave again. I am bipolar when it comes to blogging. As I've said before, it's my first semester as a freshman in high school and I've been with that. I've got finals in two weeks, so now is the PERFECT time to blog, huh?

You might find it surprising BUT I have my first laptop! It was from the Black Friday sales and it's a Lenovo. I've never heard of it, but my Dad insisted it was a good brand. At least I've got a laptop. I've also had a room makeover, a much larger and roomier desk and freshly painted walls. I'm kind of a loser because I painted my walls the same colour as before: it just looks newer now.
above you'll see my entire bedroom. Isn't it so cute and lovely and warm?























above is my night stand. I have a cold so you'll see the Vicks Vapour Rub and the cold medicine. There's my thyroid pills too. I'm having terrible hair-loss because of my thyriod and I'm depressed because of it. Loss of hair is the worst symptom. My hair gave me confidence. It used to be thick and heavy and envy-inspiring. Now it's thin and delicate and I'm always afraid when I take a shower to look at the hair clumping in the drainage. ANYWAYS! There's my Harry Potter bed-time book (and The Secret Garden)

Above is my quartet music for the quartet I'm in called Nimakisea. This is the song we played at the Winter Chamber Music Concert. It was a VERY difficult song to play, but I had a super skilled All-state 1st  violinist, another All-state second violinist and a Sinfonia orchestra cellist. I'm in freshman orchestra, but many of the other orchestra members agree that I should've ranked higher. Mwhaha, 'cause I'm a freaking amazing violist.
This is my brand new laptop. I've named him Voldemort. Honestly, it asked for my computer name and I made it Voldemort. I'll prove it to you with a picture later, but haha, isn't it a beauty? Black glory!

BOOK RELATED

I've been reading this physics book. It's very organised and makes the content easier to understand, however purely because of the subject, I would not recommend this one.

Above is the two books I'm reading for class. Cyrano de Bergerac, as many of you are familiar with, and Why Geography Matters. The second one is the parallel reading I have to do for my AP Human Geography class that we have to read over the course of the entire school year. Oh, I've just reminded myself that I have a chapter reading to do. GREAT! >_<

Speaking of Human Geography: here's my textbook lying on the ground. It's the prettiest textbook I've ever seen.

Of course you have to see my  bookshelf! Due to my painting of the room, I had to take down the bookshelf temporarily and re-organise it. It looks slightly different, but not that much.

This is the classically messy top of my bookshelf. It makes me so much more a book nerd. Gorgeous isn't it?

Last but not least is me, taking a picture in my bedroom window. You'll see the whole bedroom is flipped over. My desk is supposed to be on the left, and my night table is supposed to be on the right. ^_^

I hoped you enjoyed the tour of my bedroom and current book-life! I'll be posting more often! Come back again!

review: catching jordan

28 November 2011

book info:
ages: 13 and up
grades: 7 and up
on sale: NOW
copy from: Sourcebooks
pages: 281

title: Chatching Jordan
author: Miranda Kenneally
stars: 3.9





What girl doesn't want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn't just surrounded by hot guys, though - she leads them as the captain and quarterback on her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys, and that's just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university. But now there's a new guy in town who threatens her starring position on the team... and has her suddenly wishing to be seen as more than just a teammate.

"Ugh" Ty says, "Are you really a girl?" (Kenneally 87)

my thoughts:

It's not a very common idea for a story, and I like how Miranda chose such an idea and worked on it. However, I recognise this idea from another book by one of my favourite middle-grade authors (I was still an avid reader when I was younger and read higher level books, so she might be considered a young adult author) Catherine Gilbert Murdock. Yes, I actually memorised her name! I have a habit of doing that with titles and authors: but to the point. Catherine wrote a novel called Dairy Queen, about a teenage girl joining the small town's football team with a father who was cold-heartily against it. It's uncannily familiar to this one...a little too familiar. HOWEVER!

All ideas for fiction come from some where and more often than not, it's from another novel (nowadays) and as an aspiring author myself I understand that if one likes an idea, and REALLY likes it, than it's bound to be similar. So I'm not marking down on that (purely because this is such a rare idea for a story in YA lit)

Back to the actual novel itself. Yeah, a football team is large so there's got to be a load of people to introduce. Maybe it's just me, but there was a lot of characters introduced too fast and I hadn't a clue who was who. JJ, Carter, Lacey Henry, Mike, Kristen, Ty AHHH!

characters: Jordan herself is a nice character and I understand her decisions, but it wasn't the epitome of epic characterisation. Still, it was pretty good.

plot: Quite unexpected and well written out. Great job on that!

style: Not evident, but I did enjoy the poems slapped inside every chapter or so. That was stylish ^_6

overall: A great read!

review: Ember by Carol Oates

22 October 2011

book info:
ages: 13 and up
grades: 7 and up
on sale: NOW
copy from: Omnific
pages: 236

title: Ember
author: Carol Oates
stars: 2.99

When Candra Ember wakes up in hospital after a dangerous encounter with a red-haired woman, she is shocked to discover that seeing a winged boy wasn’t her imagination. Candra is exposed to a world of rivalry and sacrifice she never knew existed, and the aftermath of a war to save humanity thousands of years ago. Soon she finds herself relentlessly stalked by Sebastian, a beautiful and arrogant Watcher Angel and romantically pursued by his darkly seductive rival, Draven. Ultimately, dubious about her own goodness, Candra’s very existence compromises a tentative peace in the city of Acheron.

"She was utterly alone" (Oates, 73)

my thoughts:

I liked Shades of Atlantis, and I liked Ember. Oates is skilled in the way that she can delve deep into her characters, and bring them out. I just don't think that the fantasy premise really works for her obvious talent. The story was to me, quite dead. The plot the...the everything really. The actual writing was good, stylish. There's no doubt that Oates is a great writer, but I think she needs to work for a perfect story.

review: i'm not her

09 October 2011

book info:
ages: 12 and up
grades: 6 and up
on sale: NOW!
copy from: Sourcebooks
pages: 288

title: I'm Not Her
author: Janet Gurtler
stars: 5


“For the first time in my life, I didn’t feel envy…”

Tess is the exact opposite of her beautiful, athletic sister. And that’s okay. Kristina is the sporty one, Tess is the smart one, and they each have their place. Until Kristina is diagnosed with cancer. Suddenly Tess is the center of the popular crowd, everyone eager for updates. There are senior boys flirting with her. Yet the smiles of her picture-perfect family are cracking and her sister could be dying. Now Tess has to fill a new role: the strong one. Because if she doesn’t hold it together, who will?



"Is Kristina sick?" (48, Gurtler)

My thoughts:
I love this book so much. It struck a chord inside me. Lately you've seen me hate on the YA genre (I am sincerley sorry about that!) but this book just proved me wrong (and the new one coming out this month! Shhh). I swear, my heart was pounding (cliche, but true) and I was like "Oh no!" Characters have always been the most important thing in a novel, because it's the characters that get you connected to the story. I could actually connect to Tess and even her sister Kristina. It sounds cliche, younger not popular and nerdy sister and older popular cute cheerleader sister? Well.....I'm Not Her delves more deeply than just that gap between the sisters and into the troubles the family deals, how the cancer affects everyone in the family.

characters: Brilliant. Best. Amazing. Nothing more to say ^_^
theme: Family relationships are complex, and are strained under the introduction of cancer.

plot: There was no vampires, magic, witches or anything like that. It was a realistic, sweet and simple yet complex story that followed a simple series of events that are just perfect.

style: Gurtler weaves her own style into that of the lyrical paced story so that it's almost unnoticeable, but there. The writing was flawless, and the style was unique.

overall: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! YOU MUST READ IT!

the danger of a SINGLE STORY

28 September 2011

I really enjoy my AP Human Geography class. It's enriching and eye opening about many of the global issues in the world and is the one class I look forward to every day.

What is Human Geography?
The study of the physical landscape and human interaction. It's mainly to do with human society. Or a more pro definition:  Human geography is the study of the many cultural aspects found throughout the world and how they relate to the spaces and places where they originate and then travel as people continually move across various areas.

a single story on Isreal
The Danger of A Single Story:
I had to watch this video for AP Human about a speech by Chimamanda Adichie on "The Danger of A Single Story" and answer: "Why do you think I wanted you to watch it?" and/or "Have you ever been a victim of a single story?" We'll continue that later, but right now, you must have one big question.

What does this have to do with reading?
Allow a section of my essay on this to explain and some more later.

"It was a good choice to make the class watch this video because it’s a very eye-opening, important video that talks about “The dangerous of a single story” as what Chimamanda Adichie describes as to “Show a people as one thing, only one thing over and over again, and that is what they become” (Adichie) It shows that what we hear on the news, the stories that we hear are only one side of the story, and the other, less publicised It’s a significant video because it makes one become aware of their mistakes, and the mistakes of others, and makes one think about their way of thinking, the way one can automatically assume that one story about a person or group of people defines them, and is the only story, the single story."-----Kirthi Rao


What the heck am I talking about?



How does this apply to YA?
Now that you've read and understand what I had been talking about, we can discuss how it applies to YA Lit. Fiction and nonfiction shape the way the world see's certain things. Media is very important, and feeds our minds. I have gained nearly no valuable knowledge by reading YA, except for the occasional book or two that gives me food for thought. Even historical fiction is 75% fiction and 25% historical fact. I mean, I actually kind of want to read non fiction (not biographies on stupid "stars" and their boring, not important lives) but cultural books. I mean, is there even such thing as YA Non-Fiction

more harry potter love

25 September 2011

Right, so I went crazy during that little free time I had during the week. So every day, I uploaded more funny Harry Potter pictures to my "Harry Potter Humour" Album on my Facebook, and I go crazy laughing at it every time. So I decided, why not share it with my literary bunch of awesome people who will surely enjoy this as much as I did? Any








Oh, here's some favourites:





Some more funny ones:







Oh, I should introduce some Ron and Hermione, right?



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