Sunday, January 01, 2012

Hello Everyone!

Happy New Year! I know I haven't been here for a while, but I am hoping to start blogging again this year. Yay!!! I have a couple reviews that I'd like to write too, so we'll see how that goes...

Thursday, May 26, 2011

More New Covers!

Two covers have come out this week for two of my favorite series! The first one is for Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare:

Jem kind of looks like a mad scientist with the hair, but I still love the cover!

The second cover is for The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan, which I CANNOT wait for October to read! The cover looks so beautiful and epic, and I really want to know where all this ice is coming from!

The first chapter of The Son of Neptune is also up here. What do you think?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

My Sparkling Misfortune

by Laura Lond

My Sparkling Misfortune is the hilarious and quirky tale of noted villain Lord Arkus and his struggles to become the most evil villain ever. When Arkus' attempt at becoming invincible goes wrong, he embarks on adventure that somehow involves saving damsels in distress and helping little princes realize their dreams. Somewhere in all of this, Arkus starts wondering: is he really cut out to be a villain?

This was one of the most original middle-grade fantasy reads that I have encountered in a while. It was refreshing to read from the viewpoint of an antagonist and really understand the motives behind their actions. Lord Arkus also has a wonderful personality and voice- sarcastic, witty, and humorous, with subtle undertones of kindness and compassion.

Another one of the characters, goody-two-shoes Jarvi, had a great personality as well. He often interfered in Arkus' plans and it was fun to see the friendly-insults kind of relationship between the two.

The ending was unexpected, so I'm hoping that a sequel is coming! But overall, this was such a lovely and wonderful read (quite similar in mood to the Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede) - if you're ever looking for a fun fantasy book, My Sparkling Misfortune would be a great choice!

(pdf provided by author)

Friday, April 01, 2011


I spend an eternity in liquid porcelain,
a quiet but wildly spun
dance of time and
cold light, always turning.

frozen, time-piercing.

I fall
like voices of smoke.

I love twitter magnets! It's such a great way to come up with poems.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Adventure at Simba Hill

by Susan Runholt

If you haven't read this series yet, you have to! All of the books are really fun mysteries set around the world. Adventure at Simba Hill is the third book in the series, and it takes place in Kenya. The story follows the two main characters, Kari and Lucas, as they attempt to find out who stole a bunch of ancient artifacts at a nearby archeological dig. Their adventure takes them into close contact with angry natives, stampeding hippos, lion heads, and more.

What I absolutely love about this series is the level of difficulty of the mysteries. They are complicated enough that you spend the whole book guessing what might have happened, but they're easy enough that you have a couple hunches yourself. Although I love mysteries, I always like the book less if the mystery is so convoluted that I have no idea who the culprit could possibly be. This is never the case with Runholt's books. In Adventure at Simba Hill, I was able to make some guesses. Most of my guesses were right, but I was wrong in a couple of them too.

I also really enjoy the fact that each book is set in a different country. I've never been to Africa, let alone Kenya, and I learned A LOT about the lifestyle, culture, and wildlife there. So this book was educational and fun at the same time.

Bottom line - this series is definitely something to check out! I think it's marked as YA, but it's great for middle-grade readers as well.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Sneak Peek at HP7 Part 2 Movie!

It looks amazing!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Inside Out

Sorry for not posting in weeks... tennis season for girls just started and I've been at tennis practice every day after school.

Anyways, I just got a bunch of books from the library, and the first one I read was Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder. I'd seen so many reviews for this book, it's surprising that I never picked it up until now! Inside Out is about a girl named Trella, who is one of thousands of scrubs, who work in the lower levels of Inside to keep them clean for the rich and dominating Uppers. Known as the Queen of the Pipes for her superior knowledge of the inner workings of Inside, Trella keeps her head down until a series of events result in her starting a total revolution.

Inside Out is fresh and original. It was literally suffocating to read about an entire society that lives inside and has no idea what the outside is like. Metal walls on all sides, no windows, doing the same menial tasks every day, thousands of identical weeks stretching out in front of you... ugh.

A simultaneous pro and con of Snyder's novel is the constant action. There's never any sitting around. While it made the plot more exciting and interesting, it was also a bit overwhelming. Trella hardly ever slept, she was constantly running around, and she always had things to do. I don't know how she managed to keep track of everything she had to do and get everything done without much sleep, and while leading a rebellion! I wanted to hand her a planner or something, but I don't even know if she would have time to open it. :-)

The ending was disappointing for me... shocking at first, but then a bit anti-climatic. I'm planning on reading the next book though... I want to know what happens!

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

On the fifteenth of May, in the Jungle of Nool,
In the heat of the day, in the cool of the pool,
He was splashing... enjoying the jungle's great joys...
When Horton the elephant heard a small noise.

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

City of Fallen Angels excerpt

As a teaser, the first chapter of City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare is up on her website! Go check it out! I'm counting down the days until April 5th...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Pretty New Covers!

The past few weeks, there have been so many pretty cover releases! You've probably seen most of these already, but here are my favorites:

The sequel to Heist Society... I love how it follows the theme of the first cover with the same model and sunglasses, but the color scheme is different. I love the purple and the teal!

The sequel to Paranormalcy... the dark reds are gorgeous!

And this one is my absolute favorite - the last book in the Theatre Illuminata series. Everything about this is amazing. :)

It doesn't help that I can't WAIT to read all of these! Only a couple more months...

Friday, February 18, 2011


I go down to the edge of the sea.
How everything shines in the morning light!
The cusp of the whelk,
the broken cupboard of the clam,
the opened, blue mussels,
moon snails, pale pink and barnacle scarred—
and nothing at all whole or shut, but tattered, split,
dropped by the gulls onto the gray rocks and all the moisture gone.
It's like a schoolhouse
of little words,
thousands of words.
First you figure out what each one means by itself,
the jingle, the periwinkle, the scallop
full of moonlight.

Then you begin, slowly, to read the whole story.

-by Mary Oliver

(Poetry Friday roundup here.)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone! I hope you had a wonderful day filled with lots of candy and sweets. :)

A couple updates:

First of all, I'm going to be doing another CSN review soon! CSN is a chain of online stores that sells a variety of goods from office desks to yoga mats. I would highly recommend checking them out!

Second of all, my sister Maya and I were the featured guests on the Seedlings show on the Bit by Bit podcast. The show is hosted by three teachers and basically is all about education and technology in the classroom. Here's the link to our show if you're interested in listening. By the way, I read this poem at the very end.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Enchanted Ivy

by Sarah Beth Durst

Lily Carter, age 16, just wants to finish high school and get into her dream college, Princeton. As everyone knows, the admissions process can be very difficult - however, her grandfather, a Princeton alumnus, has signed her up for the Legacy Test, which, if she passes, will grant her automatic admission into Princeton. Her task? To find the "Ivy Key." What's that? Who knows. As Lily struggles to complete the test, her magical past is revealed and she realizes that the world is nothing like she thought it was.

Enchanted Ivy was yet another entertaining read from Sarah Beth Durst. With witty writing, a fast plot, and a cast of admirable characters, this book was so much fun to read. I appreciate how closely readers can identify with Lily - college admissions is definitely a big part of high school and it was nice to see a character who finally cared about their education and wasn't constantly off having adventures and not doing their homework.

However, I felt like Lily was so skeptical whenever she encountered magic. She was always looking for secret controls and speakers, even when there obviously were none. I understand why she would deny that magic exists at the start, but after being exposed to it several times, she still refused to admit that magic exists. That was annoying.

I still tremendously enjoyed the book though, and I would recommend it to anyone who loves YA, fantasy, and gargoyles. :-)

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Princess and the Frog

I FINALLY got a chance to watch "The Princess and the Frog" at the beginning of January. It was such a cute movie! I didn't realize until I watched it that it was set in the New Orleans bayou. Disney did a really good job of depicting the setting and bringing it to life - I could almost feel the warm, muggy air. It reminded me of our stay at the Port Orleans Resort in Disney World last summer (the resort has a Southern mansion/bayou theme).

The story was quite unique. I enjoyed the new aspect of Louisiana voodoo, although I was a bit surprised to see it in a Disney movie. I was also surprised by some of the scenes involving the villain, like when he called up creepy shadow monsters. They were actually rather scary, and I can imagine several younger children getting extremely frightened.

However, I did like Disney's fresh take on the movie. The main character, Tiana, is not born a princess - rather, she grows up in a poor community and has to work hard to achieve her dreams. I liked all of the other characters as well, including Ray the firefly. There are no fireflies here in Washington so I have to get my fill of them through books and movies! I've always wanted to see a real firefly...

I liked some of the songs, but they were definitely a bit disappointing compared to many of Disney's other songs. I had trouble figuring out the words several times, especially since many of the voices (unique as they were) were a bit hard to understand.

The main thing I liked about the movie was the message of working hard - not just having a goal, but actually doing your best to reach it. This is something that never really comes across in any other Disney movie, so I was glad to see it here.

"The Princess and the Frog" was definitely not my favorite Disney movie (in fact, "Tangled" was much better in my opinion), but it was still adorable and entertaining and worth the time.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Harry Potter Calligraphy

Finals are over, so I'm back to blogging! One thing I wanted to share with you was a calligraphy manuscript that I did in art class in December. I decided to write the Harry Potter school song from the first book.

By the way, it's much harder than it looks - everything has to be perfect and if you even make one teeny tiny mistake (spelling mistake, writing a letter in the wrong font, having one letter look weird, smudging), you have to start over because you're using India Ink (which is permanent) and "calligraphy" means 'beautiful writing,' so it HAS to be exactly perfect.

Anyways... here it is!

(you can click on the pictures to enlarge them)