Sunday, May 30, 2010


I'm back! My trip was amazing... would you like to see some pictures?

I'm going to be busy for the next two weeks with my finals coming up, and then school will be over! I'm also trying to catch up on some reading - I bought Fablehaven by Brandon Mull to read during the flight and never got the chance to start, so I'm hoping to begin that soon. The next couple weeks are going to be crazy, but I'm looking forward to summer!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


I'm going to be away for about 2 weeks (until the 30th) because I'm going to Greece! I haven't scheduled any posts and I doubt I'll get much internet access there, but I will have pictures when I get back!

Friday, May 14, 2010


you said, i don't know if we will come back here

so i tossed a penny
backwards into the clear turquoise water and
watched as it sank down to the treasure below

and the sun shined down on the
detailed marble statues,
reflecting off all the
sunken pennies.

We tried ice-cold gelato in
new flavors
(banana and pistachio for me)
and sat on the steps of the marketplace,
watching the merchants
wheeling their carts through the crowd.

At night the fountain glowed with
gold and silver lights, and we
strolled down crooked cobblestoned alleys

fingering rich scarves and smelling the
starlight on the wind

p.s. (i never got to taste true italian pizza, but i
heard it was good.)

(Poetry Friday roundup here.)

* This picture was taken at the Trevi Fountain in Rome. Legend says that if you toss one penny backwards over your left shoulder (with your right hand) into the fountain, you will return back to Italy.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Conspiracy of Kings

by Megan Whalen Turner

A Conspiracy of Kings is the fourth book in The Queen's Thief series, and in my opinion, it's the best one. This book focuses on Sophos (one of the minor characters in the previous books) and his dangerous adventures and epic rise to power as the king of Sounis.

There were three main things that made me enjoy A Conspiracy of Kings: the characters, the writing, and the plot. I really liked Sophos' character in this book - he was easier to sympathize with than some of the other characters. I felt that he was more accessible to readers and more people would be able to connect with him and understand his actions.

The writing was wonderful as usual - suspenseful and fast-paced. The plot was also fabulous, with several twists and turns. Megan Whalen Turner has this amazing ability to completely fool the reader and take them on this journey only to reveal some secret or something. It's hard to explain - it's kind of the opposite of dramatic irony, where the reader knows something that the characters don't. Instead, in this book, the reader is unaware of many things that the characters know, and therefore believes that one thing is happening when actually, something else is occurring. And it's always shocking when these secrets are revealed! Turner's writing also aided in this; she used potentially two-sided words that had double meanings.

If you haven't read this series, you must! And if you haven't read A Conspiracy of Kings yet, I would highly recommend putting it on the top of your to-read list.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Links and Readergirlz

I found this link through Sarah Miller's blog today about disabilities in children's books.

Via The Story Siren: an inspiring story about a couple of authors who banded together to raise money for flood relief in Nashville.

Chelsea at The Page Flipper is having a giveaway for $40 worth of books - and if you win, you can choose whatever books you want!

On an entirely different note, we're featuring Lisa Yee's new novel, Absolutely Maybe, at readergirlz this month! You can check out this month's issue here, and the live chat with Lisa is on Wednesday, May 19th, at 6 p.m. PST/9 p.m. EST. Come over and join in the discussions!

Monday, May 03, 2010

Spring Photos

About two weeks ago, the weather was really nice. So, while my dad washed the car :) ...

I went outside with a camera and experimented with some of the macro settings (inspired by Q):

Saturday, May 01, 2010

The Cinderella Society

by Kay Cassidy

As an "outsider", sixteen-year-old Jess Parker has mostly felt invisible and ignored by everyone else (except for her enemy, who never wastes an opportunity to snipe at Jess). When Jess gets a mysterious invitation to join The Cinderella Society, a secret sisterhood basically based on girl empowerment and protecting people from bullies, she feels like she's finally fitting in someplace. But as Jess begins to explore her true potential as well as the people around her, she's filled with doubts and questions. Did she really make the right decision by joining the society, and will she manage to live up to everyone else's expectations?

There were some things that I really liked about The Cinderella Society, and then there were some things I didn't like. I liked the idea of the society, and I loved the idea of girl power and accomplishing great things as a part of the female gender. I also enjoyed seeing how Jess was impacted by the society and the changes in her personal and social life. Overall, I thought that the story plot was pretty good as well.

However, I thought that the book was lacking in many areas. Many pages were taken up explaining all the little details of the society, which was kind of boring and made the story drag. I would also have liked to see the characters developed a little more, because they seemed a little flat and surface-level. I think my main problem, though, was that The Cinderella Society was hard to believe. The idea of a society which competed against another society of bullies in order to protect victims of bullying and empower regular students was sort of unbelievable and cheesy, and I think that's what brought down this potentially great book.

In conclusion, The Cinderella Society is a fun and fluffy book that I would recommend, but I wouldn't go into it expecting something amazing.