Sunday, February 28, 2010


I've been having tons of homework and competitions and events lately, which is why you're not seeing me around much. Hopefully I will have more free time next weekend...

But anyways, I found this quote on my quote-of-the-day widget on iGoogle and I thought it was interesting:

One of the few good things about modern times: If you die horribly on television, you will not have died in vain. You will have entertained us.
- Kurt Vonnegut

Hunger Games, anyone?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief Movie

So I went to see the Percy Jackson movie last weekend (after looking forward to it for almost a year). I thought it was pretty good, overall. The plot had changed quite a bit and a lot of stuff was taken out, but I liked most of the additions.

I really liked Grover in the movie. Even though he didn't match the Grover in the book, he still had a lot of funny lines and always kept the mood light. I thought that Logan Lerman was great as Percy too - he looks exactly like Percy and his acting was a little too angsty, but still good.

The only character who really annoyed me was Annabeth, which is sad since she's one of my favorite characters in the books. First of all, the actress didn't look much like how I imagined Annabeth; in fact, she looked a little like Fergie at some places. Plus, she was wayyy meaner than she was in the books - I could never imagine the book Annabeth purposely hurting anyone during Capture-the-Flag. The rest of the characters ranged from good to ok - Chiron was awesome and all the gods were meh.

The plot was different, but still interesting. I mean, it's only a two hour movie and they had to cram a lot of stuff in. The whole overarching plot of Kronos rising to power was cut out, but that's understandable.

The fight scenes were my only other problem. I don't know much about sword fighting, but what I saw of it in the movie looked really choreographed and cheesy and fake. Annabeth kept raising the sword above her head and kept managing to block other swords even without looking back - I thought that was pretty unrealistic.

But in the end, I thought that the movie was worth watching. Different from the book, but still entertaining.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Robotics Guest Post

I have a guest post about robotics up at the Royal Educator's Treatment blog, which strives to bring together educators and discuss (sometimes controversial) topics in education.

I participated in a robotics competition last year and my team ended up going all the way to the international competition. (We won first place in the Teamwork Award there!) I was asked to put in my two cents about robotics for the blog's "Kid's Eye View" series... go check it out!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

I don't have a wonderful story or yummy cakes to share today like some people do, but I'd just like to say:


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Hunger Games 3 Book Title and Cover!

I don't know if you've already seen it or not:

But it looks so cool! I love the blue-silver-white color scheme, and I love how it contrasts with the first two covers.

I can't wait!

(Thanks to Scholastic for the official announcement!)

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

I was wondering...

Over the past week or so, I've been reading The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner (let me tell you, the hardcover cover is pretty ugly). It's interesting so far, but one thing that really put me off at first was the layout and formatting of the pages. The copy that I have (from the library) has a fat and unpleasant font and there's hardly any spacing.

This made me wonder: we often judge books by their cover (you don't want to admit it, but you probably do), but do you ever judge a book by the way it looks inside? I know that I've often put down books because of tiny print or a distracting font. Are there any particular fonts or layouts that work well for books? (I love the Garamond font in Harry Potter, for example, and I love original art at the beginning of each chapter.)

Feel free to answer in the comments... :-)

Saturday, February 06, 2010

The Secret Crush

by Tina Wells

I reviewed the prequel to this book, Mackenzie Blue, back last March. And well... I didn't really like it that much. I'm very pleased to say that I enjoyed the sequel much, much more.

In The Secret Crush, Zee's class is putting on its very first rock-and-roll musical. Zee is having a lot of fun working on the props, script, costumes, and more. Plus, the musical is her chance to get Landon (the cutest boy in school) to notice her. However, Zee later finds herself caught between several different directions (schoolwork, friends, the musical...). Will she be able to pull herself together in time for the musical?

This book was really cute and fun to read. I haven't read a book about a musical or school play for a long time, so it was great to read about the process of putting a musical together. I was worried that the characters would still be kind of cliched, as they were in Mackenzie Blue, but I was glad to see that all the characters were explored more in-depth. The mini-illustrations in the book were fun to see and really added to the story. Overall, The Secret Crush is a wonderful book for upper elementary school kids, and older readers will find themselves smiling as well!

(Review copy provided by publisher.)

Monday, February 01, 2010

My Soul to Save

by Rachel Vincent

My Soul to Save (the sequel to the thrilling novel My Soul to Take) is book 2 of the Soul Screamer series. As the synopsis says, "When Kaylee Cavanaugh screams, someone dies." However, when a pop star dies onstage at a concert and Kaylee doesn't scream, she knows that something's wrong. She soon finds out that several girls are giving up their souls in order to achieve fame - even though they'll be forced to spend eternity in torture. With a few friends, Kaylee embarks on a journey to get the girls' souls back and find out who's behind this soul trade. (Go here for the official synopsis.)

My Soul to Save was a fantastic sequel, full of action, suspense, and great characters. The writing was fast-paced and descriptive, and the plot was exciting. Although I felt like Kaylee had a little too much luck in some places (whenever she's in trouble, something always comes up to get her out of it), overall, I enjoyed this book very much. It's labeled as paranormal, but it's much more than that - I would definitely check it out if I were you!

Here's the book trailer for My Soul to Save.
You can also learn more about Kaylee by downloading the free Soul Screamers prequel My Soul to Lose here!

(Review copy provided by publisher.)