Friday, July 31, 2009


if I could recreate myself,

I would have wild, shiny blue hair
a leather jacket and sleek, black leather gloves
a belt of white diamonds

the one everyone knows and no one sees

I would leap across my stage at night
from building to building

leaving nothing but shadowy whispers and starlight behind

and in the mornings, I would
hide myself in steam
red roses and velvet pianos--

jazz notes fluttering in the air—

and read poems to myself, very
very quietly

(Poetry Friday roundup here.)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


From Liv

1. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be and why?

Oooh, tough one. I think it would have to be spaghetti. I went on an Alaska cruise last summer and managed to survive on spaghetti for most of the time.

2. What's your favorite kind of weather?

I love days which are sunny with blue skies, but still a little breezy. But I also love snowstorms, sleet, hail, and heavy rain.

3. What's the first word you think of when I say "skydiver"?

Ummm... blue?

4. Do you prefer yellow or blue?

Blue, hands down. Yellow can be nice, but blue comes in more shades and is more versatile.

5. If you could change one thing about the world we live in, what would it be and why?

I'd like to say something like "end war" or "eradicate world poverty," but everyone says that and I think that ending war or poverty is going to take a loooong time. So, one thing I'd like to do is get more people to read. It's really sad when I see people who say that they don't like reading, or they don't have access to books. For those people who don't like reading, I say that it's just a matter of finding which kind of books work for them, whether it's sci-fi or graphic novels or romance. For the people who don't have access to books, I'd love it if there were more libraries out there, or more low-price bookstores. Libraries are fantastic in motivating kids to read, and once you explore them, you realize that there are a lot more books out there than you could ever imagine.

So here's how it goes:
1. Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.” Please include your email address.
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog/website/whatever with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Only 5 questions. They're fun and easy. The "comments" button is just waiting for you...

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Eyes Like Stars

by Lisa Mantchev

Eyes Like Stars is the kind of book which, after completing, you wish you had written yourself. It's not just a book about theater (although drama is a big part of it). It's a novel about discovery, love, betrayal, truth, trust, creativity, and much much more. It's incredibly imaginative and timeless and something that will appeal to readers of all sorts.

All the characters, although borrowed from various classic plays, had their own originality and spunk. The setting was brilliantly described and made me feel as though I was part of the story, acting out the parts of the characters. The plot was suspenseful, funny, and intriguing. Everything was laced with magic which made the book enjoyable, but strangely, it was still realistic enough that I actually believed in it. The ending didn't wrap up everything and left me with lots of questions, but I was still satisfied and didn't feel as though I would die if I couldn't read the sequel (like some other books). Overall, Eyes Like Stars is a lovely, enthralling debut novel... JUST READ IT!!!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Flickr, Unicorns, and Wimpy Kids

I found this wonderful photostream on Flickr today -- the shots are amazing, almost unrealistic... I could stare at them all day long.

Also, I have been given an award from Sadako! This is a new one she made up called the "Evil Pink Unicorn Award." Here's the description:

The Evil Pink Unicorn sees all, knows all, and spears all annoying teddy bears who get too close to her essential pinkness. She also commends good bloggers for being hilarious, bizarre, and just plain fun.

I pass this award onto Beth Kephart, for her lovely posts and unique thoughts, and Cuileann, for her terrific pictures and happiness lists.

Finally, the cover for the fourth Diary of a Wimpy Kid book has come out!!! (or maybe I just didn't see it until now):

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Slept Away

by Julie Kraut

Imagine the usual scenario: Sophisticated city girl (Laney) is forced by her mother to go to sleepaway camp in the middle of nowhere. Now add in a disgusting little boy, a trio of mean girls with horrific fashion sense, an obsessed-with-pink-and-extraordinarily-cheerful camp counselor, and a TON of humor, and you've got Slept Away.

This book is one of the funniest ones I have read in a long time. The characters were so silly, Laney's sarcasm was top-notch, and the scenes were so ironic that I was rolling around the couch giggling the whole time. I could relate to all the characters, and overall had such a blast reading this book. In the end, not only does Slept Away provide a humorous look at summer camp, but it also teaches how to judge people by their personality rather than their clothes or outer appearance. I'm looking forward to reading more books by Julie Kraut in the future.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince Movie

Yesterday, I went to see the sixth Harry Potter movie. Overall, I thought it was very well done. Although it was quite different from the book, it still managed to capture the gloomy, forbidding feeling of the wizarding world at that time in the story. Everyone acted really well -- my favorites were Draco Malfoy (with all his angsty, dark scenes) and Bellatrix Lestrange (her scenes were so much fun to watch).

There was also so much humor in the movie! I don't think I've ever laughed so much in a movie before. Lavender Brown was hilarious ("Won-Won! Oh! I think he senses my presence!"), Ron was terrific (if you haven't seen the scene where he eats the Chocolate Cauldrons spiked with love potion, check it out on YouTube), and even Harry, Hermione, and Snape had a lot of great punch lines.

There were just a couple things I wish were different about the movie. I thought the Harry/Ginny scenes were kind of flat; I cringed every time they were alone on-screen. I also wish that they had included more of regular Hogwarts life in the movie (more Quidditch, classes, Apparition, etc.), even if they were quick one-minute scenes.

Finally, you know who I really missed in the movie? These charming people:

The Dursleys are always fun to watch at the beginning of Harry Potter movies and I was really sad that they were cut out from this one. I hope they're in the next movie!

In conclusion, if you haven't watched the latest Harry Potter movie yet, this is a must-see! I had a blast at the theater and I want to see it again!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Twilight taken to a WHOLE new level

You are not going to believe this:

Twilight is going to become a graphic novel.

Yes, you did read that right. Twilight, in pictures. The art is going to be done by Young Kim.
(Maybe it'll appease all the Edward fans. Or maybe not. Take a look at a sample.)

Edward is sweating. Yes, perfect, cold, marblelike Edward is sweating. Or it might be an attempt at sparkling (or spitting?), but whatever it is, it's not working. Honestly, Bella looks more like she's sparkling than Eddie does.

Re: the clothes, Bella looks like she's going for a business conference or something. Does anyone wear ruffly blouses on a regular basis? Plus, Eddie's shirt looks all crumpled (gasp!). And what's that machine thing pointing at them? I can't tell what it is.

First the books had to be published, then movies, then a ton of random merchandise, and now this?

Thanks to Little Willow for posting this up at readergirlz.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Lightning Thief trailer!

The movie trailer for the first Percy Jackson book, The Lightning Thief, just came out! You can watch it here.

I really love the visuals in the trailer -- they're very dramatic and Mount Olympus looks cool! (Like Hogwarts) But there's no dialogue in the trailer, no explanation of the plot, etc. which really bugged me. And why does Logan Lerman's hair look brown?

What do you think?


When I was eight years old, I wrote my first Harry Potter fanfiction. It's 177 pages long and is titled "Dobby and Winky" (why, I do not know). I was recently rereading it and it is the most hilarious story I have ever read. It's full of made-up spells, Hogwarts teachers going crazy, house elves learning magic, and a particularly troublesome Celestina Warbeck.

So in anticipation of the upcoming Harry Potter movie, I'm going to post some excerpts from the very beginning of the story (I seem to have lost the majority of the story). The words in Georgia are directly copied from my fanfic, and the words in Verdana are my personal comments.

“Dobby and Winky, you are now my official helpers,” Dumbledore recited.

Dobby and Winky hugged each other. “Yes!” they screamed. Winky sobbed in happiness.

“Boo!” shouted the Slytherins. They were sitting in the Great Hall enjoying their breakfast, and Dumbledore had just announced this.

“Much as I admire you, Albus,” Snape replied, “but don’t you think you are going a bit overboard?”

“Not at all, Severus,” said Dumbledore calmly. They finished their breakfast and went off.

It was a Saturday, so no classes were arranged for them. Dumbledore had arranged a challenge for them. At the entrance of each tower, there were 3 clues to find the password out. When they got it, they had to go inside the tower and find a hidden safe with 100 Galleons in it. The winner got to keep the money. Everyone had to do this for all the towers but their own. There were three safes in each tower. On purpose, Dumbledore had made Gryffindor clues the hardest. Harry, Hermione, and Ron were a team.

A little bit later...

A few hours later, Dumbledore was at the Great Hall with everyone else. A trophy was next to him.

“The winner,” he announced, “is....... the D.A. team!!!!! Consisting of Ron Weasley, Harry Potter, and Hermione Granger!!!!!” The Great Hall erupted into applause. The D.A. team was speechless.

Hermione hugged Harry and Ron. “We did it!” she said. Harry and Ron were stunned.

Fast forward a little:

That night, the elves got together. They wanted to form a club. “Let’s make a movie club,” Dobby suggested. “Great idea, Dobby,” Winky said. She clapped her hands. “We can show Quidditch replays for the first meeting,” Dobby defiantly said. “And I have a funny thing to put to it,” added Winky.

The elves worked hard all night and day to make posters. Finally, they finished them. It said:


Skip to the end of the chapter...

Dobby motioned Winky to switch on the screen. It went blank, then black, and then it started. It was very funny, funnier than the real game. This was because the thing Winky wanted to add was tiny zooming objects. Occasionally, you would see a hippogriff zooming across the screen, or a wizard flicking his wand. The audience loved the Quidditch replay and promised to come to the next meeting, which was the next week, exact day, evening, exact place, and exact time.

Before the new members of the Movie Club left, they remembered their manners. “Thank you,” they chorused.

The elves were proud of their hard work and very sleepy too. They shared two bottles of butter beer, a tasty drink, and a feisty meal of fried chicken, salad, chips and salsa, and a delicious pumpkin pie smothered with banana pudding and topped with a red cherry. Dobby and Winky went to sleep with full stomachs, happy minds, and a heart full of spirit.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

American Idol Live Tour 2009 recap

(Click on the pictures to enlarge them.)

Leaving at 4:30 on Tuesday afternoon, we drove for 1 1/2 hours to Tacoma Dome, where the concert was. Approaching the gigantic parking lots, we saw many cars with signs that said "Honk if you love American Idol," etc. (As you can imagine, there were many cars honking ahead of us.)

Then we got to the lines outside the dome. There were loooong lines of AI fanatics waiting outside multiple entrances to the dome. When we got inside the dome, there were mobs everywhere: a giant mob near the t-shirt area, food booths, and bathrooms. We finally got to our seats and looked around:

We ended up waiting an hour for the show to start, but even that was fun. They were showing music videos from past Idol contestants, and Maya and I were watching the seats fill up with people of all sorts. I'm guessing that the number of people there was well into the thousands.

Finally, the lights dimmed and we saw this:

Everyone started hyperventilating. Then, the room erupted in screams as this guy appeared:

Michael Sarver. He was definitely enthusiastic and got us pumped up for the rest of the show.

Next was Megan Joy.

She was very classy and looked absolutely gorgeous in her hot pink dress.

And then Scott MacIntyre:

He sang really well, and his piano accompaniment was wonderful. I'm still in awe of his mad piano-playing skills.

Next (I think you can tell where this is going) was Lil Rounds:

Lil was a terrific performer and definitely into what she was doing. One of her songs was "Single Ladies" by Beyonce, and she actually used a lot of moves from the music video in her choreography. In the above picture, you can see some of the words to the song on the screen.

Anoop Desai:

He sang really well (and we're all wondering what's up with those glasses) :P

Up next was Matt Giraud:

Unfortunately, these seem to be the only two pictures I have of him. He also performed two piece on the piano ("You Found Me" by the Fray and something else), and he was really popular among the crowd.

Then came a group performance:

Then an intermission. :(

And the TOP FOUR.

Allison Iraheta:

Allison is a natural entertainer, and it was so much fun to see her perform. She had such a dramatic entrance, and she looked like a total rockstar.

Danny Gokey:

Danny is an incredibly soulful singer, and the whole time, you could tell that he really meant what he was singing. He talked about the meaning behind his songs, and how important it is to dream and have wishes.

OK now, drumroll....

I mean, seriously. There was a drumroll for Adam and nothing for Kris.

And then everyone started screaming.

And everyone stood up for a better view. You could practically feel the tension and excitement in the air.

And you know what? I'm just going to put in a ton of pictures here to satisfy your needs for Adam Lambert-ness. We took so many photos. (Here you go, Lorie Ann!)

"Slow Ride" duet with Adam and Allison:

And the last Adam song (a David Bowie medley):

Adam Lambert has amazing stage presence and charisma. He had everyone up screaming and dancing in the aisles. I would say that he was the best in the show.

And finally, KRIS ALLEN!

His songs were more low-key than Adam's, but still really good. The funny thing was that during "No Boundaries," the coronation song for this season, everyone sat down. (Apparently, since there has been such a "lack of enthusiasm" for that song, the producer has replaced it with another song for the rest of the tour.) Other than that, Kris' performance was marvelous. He picked all his hits from the season ("Heartless," "Ain't No Sunshine," etc.), so all of us in the audience really enjoyed it.

The concert ended with a group performance ("Don't Stop Believing") with all of the contestants:

All in all, it was a noteworthy night that I'm going to remember for the rest of my life.
(For a more in-depth recap of the concert, go here.)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover

by Ally Carter

When Cammie "The Chameleon" Morgan visits her roommate Macey in Boston, she thinks she's in for an exciting end to her summer break. After all, she's there to watch Macey's father accept the nomination for vice president of the United States. But when you go to the world's best school (for spies), "exciting" and "deadly" are never far apart. Cammie and Macey soon find themselves trapped in a kidnappers' plot, with only their espionage skills to save them.

As her junior year begins, Cammie can't shake the memory of what happened in Boston, and even the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women doesn't feel like the safe haven it once did. Shocking secrets and old flames seem to lurk around every one of the mansion's corners as Cammie and her friends struggle to answer the questions: Who is after Macey? And how can the Gallagher Girls keep her safe?

Soon Cammie is joining Bex and Liz as Macey's private security team on the campaign trail. The girls must use their spy training at every turn as the stakes are raised, and Cammie gets closer and closer to the shocking truth...

(snatched from Amazon)

Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover definitely matched up to the first two books in this series, I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You and Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time, wanting to know what would happen next. The story was suspenseful with lots of action while still incorporating humor and sarcastic dialogue. New, interesting characters were introduced, but I also got to know more about the older characters (like Cammie and Macey). And the twisted ending was awesome (but abrupt). I totally did NOT see it coming.

Definitely suggested. I can't wait for the next one!!!

(Ally Carter is hosting a chat this coming Sunday. It's focused mainly on Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover-- go check out her blog for more information.)

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

About to leave for the American Idol concert...

Eeek! I am quite looking forward to it.

Saturday, July 04, 2009


Friday, July 03, 2009

Interview with Danielle (Seeking Neverland)

I'm very excited to present to you my very first blogger interview, with Danielle of Seeking Neverland. Her cheerful and colorful blog is filled with book reviews, lovely poems, and much much more. Her posts also range from funny to random to thoughtful, and are always a pleasure to read. So, without further ado...

How did you get started in blogging?

I started blogging because of authors like Shannon Hale and Libba Bray, who inspired me with their amazing blogs!

What is your favorite part about blogging?

Probably the people, and the opportunity to share things like writing and get feedback on it from people that are interested in what I have to say.

Describe yourself in three words.

Faith, Hope, Love :)

You often post detailed book reviews on your blog. What are some of your favorite books?

Books... I do love them. I have many, many favorites but some of them include anything by Jane Austen, C.S. Lewis, Melody Carlson, The Goose Girl, Harry Potter, Sarah Dessen (just read Along for the Ride, it was amazing!), Wildwood Dancing, and so many others!

You've mentioned that Jane Austen is one of your favorite authors. What do you love the most about her books?

I love how she can tell the perfect boy meets girl story a million different ways, and capture audiences of all genders and ages in perfect bliss. Her books make excellent movies as well.

How often do you write poems/stories? What is your writing process, and where is your favorite place to write?

Haha, often. I don't know if I have so much a writing process as much as a state of mind that I like to be in when I write. It usually takes me a while to get going but once I do I really hit that place where the writing flows, and suddenly you're not creating the story anymore, you're just writing down the words that come to you. It's really wonderful. I'm currently brainstorming ideas for a new contemporary novel that I'm quite in love with! I like writing in a quiet place ;)

You love to play the piano and guitar. What part does music play in your life?

Music is huge. My favorite song changes every week, seriously. I love using lyrics to convey stories, I love amazing rhythms and beats, and the way people use music to express themselves. For me I do play piano and guitar, as well as sing, and tend to drive my friends crazy by never keeping that song stuck in my head to myself, until they all have it stuck in their heads too.

Do you have any idea what you want to do in the future?

I definitely have ideas. And they're always changing! Presently, I would love to go into graphic design relating to the publishing field. It would be my dream to own my own childrens and young adult bookstore, complete with a cafe and a special section devoted entirely to notebooks and cards. And of course I would have Shannon Hale signing on opening day, and Josh Groban singing in the cafe ;)

Name one of your guilty pleasures.

Ohhhh, probably day dreaming. But I think that's good for the soul :)

Who is your favorite singer and why?

No way I can name just one! Gah... If I have to I would probably say Taylor Swift (for those that know me, shocker right?) but I also love Jars of Clay, Relient K, John Mayer, etc!

Describe your dream vacation.

Currently it would be any place that's warm and I would have a fabulous time.

If you could own one magical object (for ex., Harry Potter's invisibility cloak), which one would you want?

Hmmm, I think I would want a magic wand. There are many awesome things you could do with that :)

If you could have a special power, which one would you want?

The power to make wishes be reality, and of course that would come with an undo button!

And finally...what would you do if you met a giant, talking worm in the forest?

I would ask if he preferred books or apples? Either way I like both, so we would get along splendidly :)

Thank you so much, Danielle!