I Need Your Help


Hello!

Lately I’ve noticed that I reviewed and read a lot of books that could be considered  along the lines of chick lit. I don’t mean, like hardcore chick lit (if there really is such a thing as “hardcore chick lit”), but only a few of my books don’t have “romance” written in the genres section in my reviews. I mean, I know that it can be a major part of any YA book, it’s just that I need a book that isn’t so… girly. It can get tiring after a while.

I know that the last couple of books I’ve reviewed lately actually haven’t really been that girly, but that’s because I read those books a while ago (but I still remember them).

Right now I’m reading The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima, which is a good break from all that fluffy stuff. I’m also curious to see what other people think, and I want other opinions. So, I;m going to ask you something: what book should I read next?

Comment below to tell me! I’d greatly appreciate it.

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Book and Movie Review: Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen


Flipped 

Written by Wendelin Van Draanen, and directed by Rob Reiner

Rating: 9.5 out of 10 ( I know I usually make it out of 5, but I couldn’t manage it now because it was nearly perfect. )

Genres: YA Chick Lit, Coming of Age, Romance

Bryce Loski is the new kid in the neighborhood. Juli Baker’s the only girl in the famiy, and there aren’t any kids her age, until Bryce moves across the street. Juli thinks it’s love at first sight, while Bryce isn’t so sure; especially since it’s second grade. For the next 6 years, Juli chases Bryce, while Bruce runs from Juli. That all changes in the middle of eighth grade, when Bryce finally starts to see that there might be more to Juli than meets the eye. At the same time Juli’s starting to wonder if Bryce really is as wonderful as she thought. Can the girl with the iron backbone and the boy with dazzling blue eyes ever see eye to eye?

I read Flipped a couple years ago. I’m pretty sure that it was one of the best books I read the whole year. The main reason why I read Flipped was because I saw the movie trailer before watching the new Karate Kid movie. I had no clue that it was Flipped, until the end, which was when it got my attention, because I knew that a former teacher of mine had the book.

Anyway, since this book was one of my favourites, I’ll tend to gush about it, but I’ll really try to keep the teenage fangirling to a minimum.

With that said, I’ll start with the things I didn’t like. One thing would be Bryce’s attitude for the first half of the book, which is kind of hard to explain. Basically, I wanted to smack him upside the head.

That’s it. Now for the things that I did like in the book.

First off, the characters. Juli is my favourite. She’s witty, funny and passionate about life. She’s also a bit misunderstood, and her family isn’t exactly well off like the Loskis. She’s extremely smart, and according to Bryce, she’s an annoying know-it-all who hands in her A+ projects early to be used as weapons for the teacher to use against the rest of the class. If she was real, it’d be so awesome for me if she was my best friend.

Bryce is a hard character to talk about. All I can say is that you hate him, then you love him. But I think that’s only because the author makes Juli so likeable and Bryce makes a couple (slightly amusing) mistakes. You can’t help but go on Juli’s side.

The plot of Flipped was very good. There were barely any drags, and everything went smoothly. Bryce and Juli’s transition throughout the years as second graders to eighth graders was also nice, it didn’t seem as there were a lot of holes. There were a couple gaps, like from second grade to sixth grade, where you know nothing except Bryce still avoided Juli and she still really liked him. Other than that, it was fine.

The climax of the story is when everything changes. It was enough to make me worry abut how everytihg was going to turn out, and read as if there was no tomorrow (but that was probably because I had nothing to do the next day).

Also, Ms. Draanen is very desceiptive, and makes the world of Flipped leap off the pages. I sided with Juli for the most part of the book, until the climax, which is when you start suding with Bryce. I really felt for all the characters.

The ending was one of those where it leaves you wanting more. I really wanted it to go on, and I couldn’t believe that it ended there. The thing was, though, I also thought that it couldn’t have ended a better way! I think it might’ve had something to do with the fact that too much of a good thing isn’t that good. But it didn’t end like that, so it was awesome!

Callan McAuliffe (left) as Bryce Loski, and Madeline Carroll (right) as Juli Baker. Best leads ever.

Okay, now about the movie. First, it was really close to the book (plotwise), so that makes it automatically awesome. Next, the casting was very good, and they acted the parts very well. I especially liked Callan McAuliffe, who played Bryce (ahem). Madeline Carroll was excellent as Juli, too.

Also, the soundtrack is excellent, full of 50s classics like “Teenager in Love” by Dion and the Belmonts, and “Chantilly Lace” by Big Bopper.

Also, the movie’s set in the 50s and early 60s (I forgot to mention it earlier). The filmmakers transitioned everything very well from the 90s and early 2000s to that era. It made it seem better, in some aspects, because everything was so much simpler then, what with TVs with antennas that you had to fix to get the right channel (and no TV remotes! How did they survive?!) and no computers! So there were less distractions. Everything also seemed authentic; the clothing, mannerisms and technology clearly belonged to the fifties and sixties.

All in all, Flipped, both as a book and a movie, was excellent. I’d really recommended, especially if you like coming of age, he-said-she-said teen romances.

Edit: They have a movie website, too: flipped-movie.warnerbros.com/dvd/. I’ve checked it out myself, even back when it was promoting it in theatres (basically September 2011). It’ll play the trailer automatically when you visit the site.

The First Bit


Hello! So I thought that today I’d start off with putting some old writing of mine up here. You know, not reviews, but stuff like creative writing. So this is something I wrote a couple months ago, and it’s a fractured fairy tale. The idea of posting it came after I read the prompt for the August chain on Teens Can Write, Too! When I first wrote it  I asked a couple of my friends to edit it, but editing a 16 page draft seemed daunting to them (even though I told them it was double spaced. Didn’t make much difference). Only one of my friends actually edited it in whole, and her response was “It’s cute.”

The story is a (hopefully) new take on The Little Mermaid, which I called…The Little Merman. Obviously I was very original, as evidenced by the title. Oh, and another thing: I went by the Disney version, I really don’t like the non-Disney version, since there wasn’t a very good Happily Ever After in it.

Anyway, here is the first chapter of it, and I hope you enjoy . Feel free to critique it, I really need it. I can’t wait to hear what you guys say!

The Little Merman

Chapter 1

What year is it now? Okay, go back a century. Then another. Then another. And maybe another. Alright, that should do. Now the story starts.

A long time ago, in a land not so far away, there lived a young girl. Her name was Lily. Lily had everything: joyful friendships, a loving family, lots of money… what else could a normal girl want? A lot, actually. It also didn’t help that Lily was not a normal girl. She wanted more freedom. She wanted to explore. Even at the tender age of 10, she wanted to see the world. Unfortunately, even as they tried their hardest, her parents couldn’t see why she wanted to go. According to them, she was perfectly fine here. So they set some limits, and tried in vain to squash her dream. It wouldn’t be fit for an inexperienced princess to go travelling about the large, frightening world outside the kingdom, now, would it? Still, Lily would keep questioning her parents on why she wasn’t allowed to go. This was how it usually went.

“Mum, isn’t it so pretty?” Lily sighed dreamily, while staring out a window of the castle.

“What’s so pretty, dear?” asked her mother, barely glancing at her while she embroidered and sat daintily in the sunny part of the stone room.

“Outside, mum. It looks so charming; with all the lovely cottages, the green, grass and the cattle, and far away, do you see that? Mum, do you? Those are the mountains, where they say the snow falls really thickly. And the beach! I want to go there, mum.” She said, looking bright eyed and very excited.

Lily’s mum, the queen of Anthesia, looked warily at her daughter. They’d been through this conversation a hundred times before. “Dear, you know you can’t. Papa and I know what’s best for you. And what’s best for you is to keep you safe. We can do that best if you’re in the castle; however, I can see that you’re feeling rather restless today.” Lily raised her eyebrows, not believing that the queen only saw that now. “So,” the queen continued, “I will allow you to stroll in the gardens, but only if you have two guards with you at all times, understood? You may go now.” She dismissed Lily with a wave of her hand.

Outside the room there were already two guards waiting for her. She sighed, and resigned herself to skipping all the way down the corridor. The guards marched alongside her, and easily kept up with their long strides.

Soon Lily was only walked, and was very aware of the guards’ presence. She glanced at the sea beside her; she didn’t realize that she walked that far.  The sun glinted off the smooth water, temporarily blinding her. Gulls floated lazily above, and the wind off the water was cool. She stood there silently admiring everything, and wished that she could just dive under the water. Little did she know what would be waiting for her underneath if she did…

What’s down there, you ask? A paradise. Not just any paradise. This was a kingdom called Aquaria, ruled by the Sea King Neptune. Soon, one of his six sons would inherit his throne. It would most likely be Seth, since he was the oldest. Young Prince James, however, only had a chance if all of his other brothers had gone, since he was the youngest.

Now, even back then, this saying had worth: “The grass is always greener on the other side.” James, like Lily, could not stop fantasizing about what was on the other side. In Aquaria, the young merfolk couldn’t visit the surface world until they reached the age of 16. James and his siblings were each born a year after the other, so every year one more of them were able to go up to Terra .  James listened to all of the thrilling adventures with happy eyes and a wistful heart; he wanted to go there more than anything, but it seemed like it would take forever.

 

Thanks so much for reading it! I’m kinda nervous, putting it out here, because I’m the type of writer who writes something, thinks it’s good, looks at it 2 weeks later and absolutely cringes at every sentence. Well, not so much with this, but you get the idea. Crossed fingers.

P.S I realized this a couple days after I wanted to post it. My main characters’ names are James and Lily. Turns out Harry Potter influenced me more deeply than I thought.

Ruby Red (Ruby Red #1) by Kerstin Gier


Ruby Red (Ruby Red #1) by Kerstin Gier

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Genres: YA Adventure, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Paranormal, Romance, Sci-fi

Time traveling runs in Gwyneth Shepherd’s veins. There’s a mysterious gene that allows certain women in her family to go back in time. All her life, she thought her intelligent, classy and otherwise perfect cousin Charlotte would be the gene carrier. Suddenly Gwyneth gets thrown back in time, and replaces Charlotte as the gene carrier and the one that everyone pays attention to.

Now Gwyn has to find out why her mother hid her true birthday for 15 years, meet the man who started everything, including their secret society, and work with Gideon De Villiers, the male gene carrier. Soon Gideon’s presence becomes less annoying and irking, and more essential.

They need to discover who they can trust back in time. Or else they may not get home.

Okay, let’s just get this straight. I saw this on a list at TeenVogue.com titled “25 Must-Read Summer Books“. I read the description, and started obsessing over it. So an after0effect of that was having rather high expectations of the book, which I think was unfair of me and made the book seem worse than it really was (it wasn’t horrible).

So. I thought Ruby Red seemed promising. I mean, it had time travel, which i thoroughly like (see this review and you’ll know why), plus it had a hint of a romance that didn’t seem to dominate the whole plot. I got that from the summary written at Teen Vogue.

Here is what I thought after reading the book.

The first chapter was slow and uninteresting. it was one of those where my reaction was “Alright, this is happening. What’s next (so we can get this over with)?”, not like “Oh my gosh this is actually happening!” followed by a squeal. The prologue was one of the good parts. It made me think, because it was confusing. I managed to get that they were talking about Gwyn, it happened when she was born, the 2 people were a man and a woman, and they were in love with each other (the guy proposed and she said yes).

Another thing that didn’t wow me so much was the characters. Everyone seemed so typical. There was Gwyneth, the girl that no-one pays attention to much, and lives in Charlotte’s shadow. Charlotte’s the typical Miss Perfect; the complete package with good looks and brains. Then Gideon came along and became the “unbearable-turned-adorable” love interest. If this happened anywhere else, and it played out well, then I wouldn’t mind; I might even be shipping! In here, though, it’s a different story. I didn’t ship at all.

Another thing about Gideon: his personality didn’t seem realistic. In one part of the book (don’t worry, this isn’t a major plot point, so it’s not really a spoiler. Much.), Gwyn sees Gideon comforting Charlotte about her “loss” of her position as the gene carrier. Gideon’s saying things like Gwyn wouldn’t erase the memories they had of each other, and I think at one point he even insulted Gwyn to make Charlotte feel better. Of course, being Gwyn, she immediately assumed that Gideon loved Charlotte. It also seemed that in the first bit after Gideon’s introduced, he treats Gwyn like she’s inferior to him and Charlotte, and basically he’s just really rude. After Gwyn gets scared, though, he comforts her, and it’s like he turned likeable with a snap of someone’s fingers.

Another thing I’m slightly miffed about: the time traveling. Before reading this, I looked up how time traveling worked on (what else) howstuffworks.com. They had so many theories, and I managed to get most of them. They were rather complex, and I couldn’t help but compare it with Ruby Red, and I felt that it contrasted with time travel’s simplicity there.

The plot seemed like it was missing a problem. The whole story’s based on Gwyn going back in time, doing pretty much nothing but meeting The Count (I’ll leave you to discover who he is). There was no real problem, as far as I could tell. The conclusion didn’t wrap things up too well either. It’s extremely open, and leads directly into the next book, Sapphire Blue. It seemed like Ms. Gier left us with a cliffhanger. It’s not even a good cliffhanger. If you get to the end you’ll see what I mean.

A thing I did like about Ruby Red was that it took place in London, England (there are a lot of Londons in the world, as evidenced by the 2012 Summer Olympics :D). Even though I’ve never been to London, or even Europe, for that matter, I still love it. The thing is, (oh, here I go again :() the settings aren’t described too well. Pretty much the only places she described a lot were the Temple, Gwyn’s house and street, and maybe her school.

My end opinion of Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier was that it was disappointing. If any of you read it, and totally agree/disagree with this post, you can tell me so in my comments 🙂

 

Well This Never Happened Before


Hi, guys! If you’re wondering about the title of this post, I’m going to clear it up now: it’s not a book. In a way it’s news. But it’s my thoughts, too.

Basically this is what happened: I read a Freshly Pressed blog called Musings from Neville’s Navel, written by nevillegirl (it’s a really good writing blog). She inspired me, along with others, to make this post (this is technically my fifth draft), and change things up a bit. By the way, I had no idea what this post was going to be about until I crossed out my third draft.

What’s going to happen is that along with me posting reviews, I’m going to also post stuff like this. You know, stuff that’s on my mind at the moment. I think it’s going to help me be a better writer than I am right now (I fell out of practice). Plus, it seems freer (that’s a word, right?) than writing a review, for some reason. *shrugs* Maybe because I’ve missed it so much.

Besides Musings From Neville’s Navel, here are a handful of other blogs that have inspired me: