Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Classic Books -- they're actually good

Wow, it's been forever since we posted. Anyway, up until like, a month ago, I had this phobia of classic books. Seriously. I hated them. Any book written before 1980, I just wouldn't read unless forced to by the school or by my parents (yeah they do that sometimes). But, during this Spring Break, I decided it was time for things to change. Like yeah, I love YA dysptopian novels, but it does get boring when every book has nearly the same plot (with some MAJOR exceptions). I was sick of the whole "aaah world has ended and life sucks but then a guy comes along and sweeps me off my feet and then happy-ish ending." So I thought, what is a book that I can get on really short notice. And by short notice, I mean like, within 5 minutes. So, I whip out my phone, and go to my handy audiobooks app. I go to the free books section, and all I can find are classic books. Me, being extremely bored, decides to randomly pick one of them, and my finger lands on Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Originally, I thought this was going to be sappy and way too romantic, but I listened to it all, and was hooked. Great plot, I loved the characters, especially Elizabeth Bennet, and thought that wow, I can actually relate to these books even though they were written decades ago! Soon later, I finished Sense and Sensibility, Jane Eyre, 1984, and many more. I recommend everyone who hasn't read these books to read them. Yeah they're long, yeah they lack action and technology, but they still are AMAZING!!!!!!! Makes me want to go back in time, meet the author, and be a total fan girl in the early 1800s. So, try reading them, it may be a challenge, but definitely do it.

~ Marium :)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

This book definitely took me by surprise, and I absolutely LOVED it. I finished in about one or two days, and grabbed Hallowed as soon as I had finished. At first, I was a little hesitant. The blurb talked about angels, moving schools, and a possible love triangle... hmmm, where have I heard this before? However, Hand's novel was beyond my expectations.

The writing, for one, is smooth, flowing, and clever. I highlighted countless lines on my Kindle, and couldn't help smiling at multiple scenes. Clara is also a very relatable heroine. She feels lost and confused at times, but she perseveres for the ones she loves. Speaking of loved ones... I fell for Tucker. Hard. And truth be told, I didn't really like him at first. Christian was just that brooding, god-like male character that I tend to love reading about, but later on he just kind of irritated me. Tucker is most definitely THE ONE.

All the characters served a great purpose in the book. I loved everyone, including Angela, Wendy, Jeffrey, and Clara's mom. Even Kay Patterson, the "mean girl", was interesting to read about. The storyline was fast-paced, and kept me rapidly turning the pages. Partly for Tucker, and partly because I wanted to get to the fire scene already! When I actually got to it, even that took me by surprise. (Wonderful twist in the story, BTW).

All in all, Unearthly is amazing. If you haven't read it yet, go get it now. You won't be disappointed.

~Lily~

Penspinning


This would be the definition from Urban Dictionary. The guy had some serious spelling mistakes, so I fixed those for him :D

Penspinning is a very fun way to annoy your teachers and/or waste time and/or look impressive :) 
That was a lot of "and/or"s but oh well. That guy up there says that most people learn from the Universal Pen Spinning Board (which would be right here: http://forum.upsb.info/). Looking around their website, I have noticed a few links to KTrinh93 on Youtube. http://www.youtube.com/user/KTrinh93 
He has good tutorials, so if you really want to learn how to penspin, you should probably look at his tutorials :D

The fundamentals of penspinning are sonic, charge, thumbaround, and fingerpass.
Personally, I find that fingerpass was the easiest to learn because you are merely manipulating your fingers. 

Here are the tutorials:
  • Sonic: http://bit.ly/FOrOeJ By the way, this takes a really long time to learn
  • Charge: http://bit.ly/FOgcwm
  • Thumbaround: http://bit.ly/wJ4mv5
  • Fingerpass: http://bit.ly/FOqnwF 
These are bit.ly links because the Youtube links were much too long :P

Seeing as this post has nothing to do with books, I might as well finish my post :)
I hope you end up trying pen spinning, its really fun :D

~Lioness

This is me being boring and annoying my friends by spinning (they were afraid I was going to hurt myself. Pfft. No trust at all XD) 
video

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

I really did enjoy the book. It was great. I just didn't absouletely love it to death or whatever. So, I give 4/5 stars.

Summary: Seventeen year old Lena starts out as a self-doubting, weak-willed girl. She also happens to live in a dystopian society where love is a disease, something to be cured of at age 18. Marriage? Just a convenient match to reproduce. Anyways, few months before Lena gets her surgery, she falls in love with Alex, a boy who never had surgery and was born in the wilds. And then the story unfurls.

My thoughts: The premise was unique and undoutedly interesting, something really hard to achieve in this YA dystopian craze. The plot itself? Not as interesting. I could see the plot unfurl more into something more exciting than the generic forbidden-love-in-dystopia formula. It wasn't bad. Just not outstanding. The characters? Okay about them. They're not bad. Just Lena seemed too indecisive and wimpy, while Alex was too average and dull. However, I did love Lauren Oliver's writing style. Despite its nearing 500 pages thick book, the writing was beutiful and flowed from the author. Put all my opinions together? It was a pretty good back that just didn't stand out or shine in any way.

So yup. 4/5 stars for this book.

P.S.  To all the people comparing Delirium to the Hunger Games: Dystopian? Yes. YA? Yes. Forbidden love? Yes. Hunger Games? Um no. Definitely not. They aren't even closely similar to one another..

-Joanne-

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Little Rant on Dystopian Books

So me and pretty much everyone who reads a lot of YA novels have to read Dystopian YA novels, as they are the most popular. You're probably thinking "oh, like the Hunger Games." If you aren't, kudos to you, but if you are, then you are like most librarians, teachers, and kids that I know. These days, every dystopian book is either classified as "like the Hunger Games" or "the next Hunger Games" or it's compared to the Hunger Games in some way, shape or form. Whenever I pick up a Dystopian novel these days, I always seem to see some comparison to The Hunger Games in the "Praise For..." section. At school, the genre we are doing for a project is Dystopian Books. most people I know are coming up to me and asking "oh but I've already read the Hunger Games, what now?" I'm like asdfghigvwilkj.szk!!! Seriously, it's not like I didn't like the Hunger Games, in fact it is one of my favorite series, but the thing is there were dystopian books before the Hunger Games! People keep forgetting that there are amazing Dystopian novels out there that are NOT the Hunger Games. And every Dystopian book cannot be compared to The Hunger Games. In the copy od Inside Out I was reading (review below), in the Praise For section it said that it was a great novel just like The Hunger Games. The Hell? It was nothing like the Hunger Games. They were completely different novels, with completely different themes. Anyway, just something to think about.

~ Marium

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Inside Out by: Maria V. Snyder

So I read Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder. I have to say, I was a bit disappointed. It sounded much better in the summaries. It was about a girl named Trella who lives in a Dystopian world called Inside. In Inside, (that sounds weird), there are two classes of people. Trella is part of the lower class, the scrubs. She meets Riley, part of the upper class, and together they lead a rebellion. This sounded pretty cool to me, but it started out a bit rough. Maria never really explained the Dystopian world that well, and i was very confused the first few chapters. I only really understood everything after starting the sequel, Outside In. The plot went a little too fast and again, some parts I thought "when the hell did that happen" and stuff but other than that, it was a pretty good story and an ok novel. I would give it a 3 out of 5 stars.

~Marium (who feels like no ones gonna read this except the other admins)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Three words: BEST BOOK EVER.
I would probably rate this book 5 out 5 stars; it is my new favorite book. I truly loved the characters, plot, AND the writing of this book! Another must-read dystopia novel. There was never a point where I lost interest. The idea of factions with different self-values and initiations was creative; it caused great character development. My favorite character would probably be Four, just for the way he could hide his fear and be calm throughout the entire book. Also, I loved Tris' character development. At the beginning, she knew she didn't truly belong in Abnegation, but eventually she became more and more confident in what she could do and her purpose in her faction. I must say, Veronica did an amazing job with writing this book, and I cannot wait until the sequel, Insurgent comes out! Definitely read this one if you haven't; I'm sure you will love it.

~Nanako

Across the Universe by: Beth Revis

Just finished reading the book Across the Universe by Beth Revis. I would probably rate it about 2 1/2 out of 5 stars. Yes, it was that bad. The idea was interesting, although I lost interest about half way through. Also, the characters weren't the best. Honestly, it could've been much, much better. There were a lot more abstract concepts that were discussed in the book including leadership, individual thought, and diversity. The regular cliche concepts discussed in most sci-fi novels. The book was VERY PG 13 rated, and there was a lot of, well, sex. Yes, I said it, sex. Way too much of it in my opinion but I guess Beth was feeling a little lonely while writing and could only write about it. Jk. Anyway, I would say not to read this one. Read more about the book at my blog http://confessionsofatrueasian.blogspot.com

- Marium