Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Service, missed books, and weeds!

So today was Christian service day at my school. I figured something like that would trigger an excellent blog entry on my part. Hmph, guess not.

Anyway, my whole class of '13 went to a local camp, the same one I've attended the past six summers, to clean up and do some general volunteer work. From there, we split up by homeroom and into smaller groups as each task needed. There really aren't that many people in my homeroom I'm fond of; maybe one, I'd refer to as 'Friend'. I was grouped with five other people and we were given the opportunity to rake leaves and pull weeds out of planters and pick of sticks under some trees. So we got to work, but it got hot and the sun was shining....and the boys weren't working (What a shock!)...and some of the girls were doing what girls do when stupid boys were around (Flirt. Yes, that's all! You people nowadays...) so it was basically me and one other doing most the work. But that was okay because we did it all for Him.

It was a long day of work and sweat and grime. But it was beautiful out. I just wish I woulda lathered on that sunblock.

Also, the second The Summer I Turned Pretty came out yesterday. I friend and I were going to head on over to the Local Bookstore, but alas, we forgot. Yesterday was the Fine Arts Recital!

Hoping to get over to the LB to get It's Not Summer Without You...
As Always.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Just last night, one of my friends commented on how awkward I was. And sitting in church today, I started thinking, and this is what I came up with:

I am 100% comfortable in my awkwardness. I am comfortable being awkward.

I'm not all that confident in being sure of myself, but I am confident in being an awkward person. Does that make any sense?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott -- one of my new favorites.

I go to the local bookstore all the time with my friends. We can sit there for hours on end just reading books that we wouldn't normally buy. Well, for the last couple of times, I've been nursing on the book The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott. (This is the first book I've read by her, and it definitely encouraged me to read more.) And although at times, it can be extremely difficult to concentrate with certain people running mad in the background, picking up goth magazines or weird self help books you never even knew people had problems about, I tried my best to read this book. And I never bought it because it was a hardcover. Hardcover copies are expensive. Anyway, back to the book.
It's about this girl, Sarah, who has been best friends with Brianna since kindergarten, when Brianna stood up for Sarah. So Sarah has always been there for and with Brianna, even when her parents seem to not care about her or who she is.But on the outside, Brianna has always been the pretty one, the outgoing one, and the boy crazy one ever since she stood up for Sarah. But now enters Ryan: the boy Sarah has longed for over years, even got asked to go to a school dance with back in grade school-- the one boy who Brianna can't seem to hold on to. Sarah's feelings for Ryan are the one thing in her life that she keeps to herself, and she likes it that way. But one single night at a back to school party changes the way Sarah begins to view her life. Everything is full of what-ifs and Sarah doesn't know what to do when she finally begins to understand that she wasn't imagining things, and that someone actually might choose her, the mousy one always lagging behind the center of attention. But now, Sarah has choices to make--friendship or love?

At the beginning of this book, I was able to picture the characters vividly. Maybe it was because I could relate a little bit. But as the book progressed, I was able to see these people as real, as real to me as they would have been to someone living on a secluded island half their life, only vague memories of human contact. They would be able to see these characters in their mind; it was that good. I liked how Sarah steadily progressed in confidence and understanding of herself as a person. She was such a captivating and dynamic person to read about, with real life issues that could happen to anyone of us.

Random side note: I got third place in the Literature short fiction story Fine Arts competition for my work "Because of the Cat"!!! =)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Hot lunch day is usually a good day...

So today I was going to review the book I've been mulling over at the local bookstore and finally finished. But life came along and dragged that away from me.
You know when you wake up crabby and someone says "Well look who woke up on ethe wrong side of them bed this morning." Today wasn't like that. I woke up knowing that I was in a bad mood-- I didn't need anyone to tell me!
The Fine Arts Literature critique was today. And that actually went okay(ish). I submitted two pieces: a personal essay and a piece of fiction. But he critiqued my essay as though it were fiction and I didn't say anything...
And then luch rolled around and it's Wednesday, so it's hot lunch. Usually, that's all awesome becuase I brown bag it every other day of the week as my school does not have a those hired luch ladies the teen movies make fun of. But I get there and start wainting in a long line only to get extremely close to the front for them to tell me that they ran out of tacos, the best lunch. So I had to go wait in another long line to get my food. I made my way back to the table where all of my friends were already happily enjoying their meal to look at the clock and see that I had seven minutes left to eat my lunch. Great. Just great.
I also had a drive. Parallel parking. Boo. I missed the mark three out of the five times I attempted to park. Maybe I need practice? Hahaha.
And now, American Idol is on and Time Urban just got voted off. The one person I was rooting for after Alex Lambert got voted off before they went to the big stage. Tim, I wish you the best.

And even though my day was pretty much pure suck for no hugley particular reason, I know that it was completley terrible for some of my relatives a few states away. My great uncle passed away today. He had been pretty sick for a while now, having been battling cancer since I started growing up. And it sucks. Cancer sucks. But I am so incredibly glad that I went on that little roadtrip last summer to visit that family I never get to see. Because it was the last time I saw him. And it was nice. Here's to you, uncle Lee. We'll all miss you.

Monday, April 19, 2010

My very first review, among other things.

I am a reader. It's just who I am. I'm not very fast, but I get the job done comprehensively. I like to take every beautifully woven phrase the author pain-stakingly hand picked and savor them like they were meant to, not gobble it all up in one bite, thank-you-very-much. I guess that's why my reviews won't come as often as someone who can take in a book in one sitting. But I do have a whole shelf of books I read and vividly remember to work on from here on out. I'm relatively new to this, so bear with me.

The book in question: Breathe My Name by R.A. Nelson.
Frances has a past like no other. Born first out of four girls, at age seventeen, she's the only one still alive. She doesn't live with the people she called Mama and Daddy for the first six years of her life. In fact, she doesn't even keep in contact with them. And for good reason. At a very young age, Frances had been in the house when her three innocent, younger sisters were smothered to death with a pillow by one of the only people a child can fully rely on: her mother. Eighteen years later, Frances has tried to repress those memories. She's got a good home, a great family, and a wonderful best friend. It's not until she receives a letter delivered by her birth mother's attorney that Frances begins to questions everything she knows. She has to see her mother. Even though she could never forgive her.

Frances is a great, fully developed character, especially after going through what she did. There were times in this book where I didn't always agree with her choices, but I did enjoy the outcome that followed. Nix is original, more original than anyone I think I actually know. He never ceased to amaze me. There were times where I wanted to start sobbing because I felt what they felt. In fact, I was reading in the room with my mom, but actually had to leave because I knew something was about to happen, and I'd have some sort of crazy reaction that I didn't want to be questioned on. I'm still not quite sure where the title fit into the contents of this book however, and that just leaves me questioning and thinking. And in my opinion, I think that's the point.

I haven't read a novel like this before. It's chick-lit that makes you question everything good, really makes you wonder about the life you live. After finishing this book, I began to think about why things happen. But then the answer is almost clear: to shape who you are.

With so many aspect of chick-lit, it's almost undeniably places in that category. The title and cover, sparks of romance throughout the book. But think again. This book isn't just for the hopeless romantic. It's for the justice seeker, the one who's stuck inside simple monotony and looking for a way out, anyone who read and who can feel and who has a heart.

This book gives so many clear, descriptive sensory images, the last few pages might want you leaving more.

So I decided to start this blog...

I'm not quite sure what inspired me to plunge headfirst into this thing. Well, actually, I do. Books. I've been getting into them more and more recently. I guess it's an addiction? Probably what my parents would say, but I guess I'll let you be the judge. That is, if anyone is reading...

The funny thing is, yesterday I didn't even be thinking that I'd start a blog today. It also didn't occur to me the day before, or even the day before that. It actually just came to me about an hour ago. I was writing a letter to a friend, (don't even get me started on that topic in m my first post as a blogger!) and was searching for a picture to include. I came across this blog where someone reviewed books. And then I saw something that sparked my interest: challenges. I had never in the slightest heard of this. I clicked on some of the side bar links and started reading about these "challenges."

It's actually quite interesting. It's something you sign up for, and then personally stay with as you go through and read books that meet specific requirements. Example: A to Z challenge where you must read 26 book titles, a through z; 26 authors' books, a through z; or both.

And then I came across one that I really thought I wanted to try. The Debut Author Challenge. Read a novel by a debut author that is released in 2010, and blog about it. And then, you can post that blog and enter a contest to win Advanced Reader's Copies of some awesome books.
The thing is, I don't think I'm up to that point in my blogging abilities. I mean, I haven't had this thing more than the time it takes to make mac and cheese. I'm working my up. And I guess I'll just be reviewing the books I've been reading in the past, present, and, well, not future. If you know how to do that one, let me know.

Also, I don't have many books to read that were released this year. I know, I know. The Library! Yeah, for a reader, I don't get there much. Boo.
Well, I think that's all for now.