Thursday, March 27, 2014

books, books, books

I am a thief. *shrugs* Sorry, but I'm not sorry. And if you get that reference, you are an awesome person.

Why am I a thief? I'm stealing yet another post idea, this time from this person (if it makes it any better, she stole it from someone else, so it's more like I'm copying her idea than actually stealing it, right?) Plus, it's all about books, so how can I resist?

1.  Your favourite book as a child?
 According to some people, I'm haven't escaped the childish phase...but I think the correct answer to this is probably the American Girls books. I own over half of them, and the other half I repeatedly borrowed from the library. The McGurk Organization, by E.W. Hildick was another favorite series.

2.  What are you reading right now? 
 Erm, a lot, actually. As always, A Tale of Two Cities is keeping company, along with Uprising (Margaret Haddix), Clockwork Prince (Cassandra Clare), Paige Rewritten (Erynn Mangum), Strikeforce (Nick James), and the Royal Ranger (John Flanagan).

3.  What books do you have on request at the library? 
The Fault in Our Stars. The freaking thing won't come in, or the librarians are just messing with me. That might be a bit more likely.

5.  What do you currently have checked out from your library?
 Prized (Caragh O'Brien), Watcher in the Woods (Robert Liparulo), and the Scorpio Races (Maggie Steifvater)

6.  Do you have an e-reader?  
My phone has the Kindle app on it, but other than that, nope.

7.  Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or do you tend to read several at once? 
 Seriously? Think long and hard about this one.

8.  Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog? 
Not especially, tho I have noticed that in the period when I couldn't blog because of my stupid dead computer, I read a whole lot more (partially because I couldn't waste as much time on the internet, perhaps?)

9.  What was your least favourite book this year?
Probably City of Ashes. Or City of Glass. Whichever one of those that had the faux-incest in it.

10.  What was your FAVOURITE book this year?
 That's like asking my mom which of her kids is her favorite. You just don't do that.

11.  How often do you read out of your comfort zone?
  I try to give most books a shot, but if they're obviously outside my "reading requirements" or if I encounter something that truly infuriates/disturbs me, I usually put it down. The one exception of this is the Dream Thieves, because I freaking love that story, despite its many serious issues.

12.  What is your reading comfort zone?
  If a book has unceasing swearing, sensual or sexual situations, or graphic violence (and by graphic I mean REALLY graphic), I don't read it.  Genre-wise, I just don't like the supernatural/romance genre of things, but they're not out of my comfort zone.

13.  Can you read in the car? 
 Yup, but only for about an hour and a half at a time. Otherwise I get a headache. 
 
14.  Where is your favourite place to read?
 The bench under the giant tree in my front yard.

15.  What is your policy on book-lending? 
 I'll let you borrow a book, but if you crumple one page of my precious, I'm never lending anything to you again. Books have feelings too, you know.

16.  Do you ever dog-ear in books?
  ...I'll admit it. As a child, I did dog-ear some of my book pages. But I've since seen the light and have repented.

17.  Do you ever write in the margins of your books?
 Only if it's a book I'm reading for school and have to take notes on.

18.  What about text books?
  not really, actually. Weird.

19.  What is your favourite language to read in?
 Ummmm...I can read Hangul (korean characters), I just don't know what half the words mean (actually, not even half)...so I'm gonna go with English here.

20.  What makes you love a book? 
 It changes every time, actually. I've read too many books to count in my 17 years, and I have yet to figure out the main component that makes me fall in love with one. I'll let you know when I do.

21.  What would inspire you to recommend a book?
  Depends on the person. For my column at Inspired, I have 3 age groups I target, and I try to pick relatively Christian-friendly books. But with my friends, I'd be a bit more willing to recommend a wider variety of books.

22.  What is your favourite genre?
 Again with that picking thing. Honestly, you can do better. I love all my genres equally, thank you very much.

23.  What is a genre you rarely read but wish that you did?  
Historical fiction. I seriously loved that genre as a little girl, but in the transition to teenager-hood, I've lost the talent for finding good books in that genre. Makes me sad, actually.

24.  Favourite biography? 
 This is terrible, but Albert Marrin's Stalin stands as one of the best books I've ever read. Also, John Adams by John McCullogh, as long as you're willing to wade through that monstrosity (and have strong enough wrists to hold it up).

25.  Have you ever read a self-help book?
 Nopity nope nope no.

26.  Favourite cookbook? 
 Ummmmm.....I don't use cookbooks much. Most of the things I cook I've memorize the recipe and don't remember where the heck it originally came from.

27.  What is the most inspirational book you have read this year?
 Ender's Game--even thought it was a reread, it still inspired me.

28.  Favourite reading snack? 
 Apples! Ideally, oranges too, but they're so sticky that I can't read and keep my books clear from smudgy fingerprints at the same time.

29.  Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience. 
 I personally hated reading the Hunger Games, just because I'm a bit of a book hipster and didn't want to read it because everybody was freaking out over it (yes, I am a weird person).

30.  How often do you agree with critics about a book? 
 I don't really read book critic reviews, unless I'm unsure if I want to read something. Even then, I don't let their opinion change what I think of the book. Or at least, I try.

31.  How do you feel about giving negative reviews?
 I view it as something that has to be done. If a book didn't interest me, then I leave it alone, but if I had hope for it and it let me down, then I'm more likely to give a negative review of it. I do try to find little redeeming parts to it, tho. Don't want to be a complete Debbie Downer.

32.  If you could read a foreign language, which would you choose? 
 After the obvious choice of being able to fully read Hangul, probably Japanese. Though I'd have to get around the whole read backwards thing. Yeah...maybe not...my brain might explode.

33.  What was the most intimidating book you've ever read?   
At 13, Pride and Prejudice was seriously intimidating. But currently, I can't think of any book like that.

34.  What is the most intimidating book you're too nervous to begin?
 I need to read Mere Christianity. And Until We Have Faces. And a whole bunch of other C.S. Lewis books that I haven't had the guts to delve into (because I don't want to read those books and come away with half of what he meant). Oh, and the Silmarillion. Need to read that too.

35.  Who is your favourite poet? 
  (can I completely fake out and say Shakespeare??) Emily Dickenson is a fave, too.
 
36.  On average, how many books do you have checked out of the library at any given time?
 5-8, usually. About half of those return unread, unfortunately. I need to learn moderation.

37.  How often do you return books to the library unread?  
^^see above^^

38.  Who are your favourite fictional characters?  
oooooooh this is gonna be a long one.
Simon and Dido from Joan Aiken's Wolves series (also Arun and Is, but let's not go there)
Mikkel, from Viking Quest, by a lady who's name is escaping me and I'm too lazy to look it up.
ANY of Rosemary Sutcliffe's characters.
Hazel Grace Lancaster, from TFioS.
Blue, from the Raven Boys.
Nasuada and Murtagh from the Inheritance Cycle.
Everyone in the Leviathan Trilogy (yes, even you, Vogler. Though I'm not quite sure about Malone. Give me some time.)
Howl from Howl's Moving Castle
Sean Kendrick, from the Scorpio Races
Day from Legend, by Marie Lu
and I could go on for hours.
 
39.  Who is your favourite fictional villain?  
Murtagh.  Robbie's Glimpse from the Door Within that I secretly wanted to adopt when I was little. Vogler (tho he's not really a villain...) 
 
40.  What are the books you are most likely to take on vacation?
 At least one of the Leviathan books, and After the Dancing Days. The others vary, but I always bring at least those two.

41.  What is the longest you have gone without reading?
 ...no comment...

42.  Name a book that you could not or would not finish.  
Mockingjay, the last Hunger Games book. Completely lost my interest after page 10. Never tried finishing it, probably never will.

43.  What distracts you easily when you're reading? 
 People talking around me. I usually can block them out, but sometimes it seeps in and I have to go and reread the last 5 pages because I wasn't truly reading. 

44.  What is your favourite film adaptation of a novel?  
 LOTR...Ender's Game...Divergent was good, but not a fave...Pride and Prejudice...Emma...and others that I can't think of right now...

45.  What is the most disappointing film adaptation?
 Erm. Percy Jackson. City of Bones (tho I've only watched half of each movie, so I can't completely judge them).

46.  What is the most money you have spent in a bookstore at one go?
 heh...I bought Insurgent and Allegient in one go...both hardback...it cost me a good 40 bucks...it was a moment of weakness. 
 
47.  How often do you skim a book before reading it?  
 Always.

48.  What would cause you to stop reading a book halfway through?  
Dry characters, school, cheesiness, school, gaping plot holes, school, just being bored, have I mentioned school?

49.  Do you like to keep your books organized?  
 YESH. I keep my personal books and my library books separate (not to mention my 'special-these-make-me-happy' books) and they always have to be in alphabetical order. Drives my family nuts. 

50.  Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you're done with them?  
Keep them. Even if I don't like them, I don't give them away, unless there's a book or garage sale I can profit from. Hence the reason why I still have a Maximum Ride book on my shelf, rotting away.
 
51.  Are there any books you've been avoiding?
 Not especially. For a while I avoided reading the Maze Runner, just because I'd heard many different things about it, but I'm (still) working my way through it, and it's quite interesting, actually.

52.  Name a book that made you angry. 
 Fahrenheit 451. In the most amazing way one can be angry. And After the Dancing Days. Angry at myself.

53.  A book you didn't expect to like, but did?  
The Fault in Our Stars, actually. Because of I was dealing with cancer in my own family life, I really expected to hate it, but it turned out to be so much more than a book about two kids with cancer.

54.  How about a book you expected to like, but didn't?  
...I'm still deciding about the Dream Thieves...

55.  Favourite guilt-free pleasure reading? 
 Goliath, by Scott Westerfeld, Roadside Assistance, by Amy Clipton, and any of the Penderwick books. 

That was fun!
now I need to go read a hundred pages of A Tale of Two Cities and finish memorizing James 2. 
Wheeeeeeee.....

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

this is the story of a boy...

 Back when there were two of us, everything felt balanced. We were like Yin and Yang, my mom always said. We broke every stereotype that twins could have, but at least we fit together perfectly. Jonathon, the easy going type, smiled and charmed his way through life, except for his trigger-happy temper--once you got him mad, it was duck and run. I, on the other hand, got labeled as the sullen, rebellious type...while, in reality, I was the more laid-back of both of us. Not that I wasn't stubborn or rebellious. I was definitely more than a bit of those.

Yin and Yang.
Dark and Light.
 Right and wrong.
Happiness and sadness.

 Like the two ends of a seesaw, one end goes up while the other goes down. Happiness never comes to the one, while the other gets to thrive in blissful tranquility. But by what logic does the one get saddled with his unfortunate life? How can it be fair, when one rides high on his end of the seesaw, while the other drags the earth?

I never had an answer to this until now. Even now, I don't know if I've come to the right mindset. All I know is this, that I've had to change in an inexplicable way. I've split the atom, and I can't go back. I don't want to go back. And I don't want anyone else to face what I've gone through.

My name is Matthew, and this is the story of my rapid descent from the high end of the seesaw right down to the very bottom. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

time


so apparently it's Friday already. I somehow was not aware of that fact. Dunno how that happened.

Maybe it's partially because this week has been one confusing mix of relaxation and whirlwind. I've done so much these past few days, and yet I've also done so little. I haven't done a licks worth of algebra, but I've read almost half of A Tale of Two Cities, poured over it looking for themes, and dissected the main characters and their minds. I've spent time basking in this glorious sunshine that's blessing my state right now (HALLELUJIAH!!!!), but I've also spent way too much time inside hunched over a book. So yeah, it hasn't nescessarily been a bad week, it's just been a bit...weird, I guess you could say.

I've had time to read. Lots of reading. Obviously, A Tale of Two Cities is part of that (oh school, how I do love thee), but I also read Death Note, Ranger's Apprentice, and a Christian chick-lit book (yes, I do read that kind of book every once in a while. Sue me.) And I know that the Fault in Our Stars is waiting for me next time I stop by the library.


I had the time to go see two movies--two of them, I tell you! I haven't been to see a movie in months, and then I went and saw the LEGO movie and Mr. Peabody and Sherman right after each other, practically (both were equally cute movies, actually). And tomorrow *cues dramatic theme music* I get to see Divergent--I haven't been this excited for a movie in a loooooooong time.


I've had time to go outside. I wish I was healthy right now, because it's the perfect weather for basketball, long walks, and bike rides. Unfortunately,  my sinus infection says otherwise, so I'm content to sit under my tree with my book and quiz cards and just soak in all that Vitamin D that I've been missing throughout this long winter.


I've had time to listen to amazing music. I rediscovered my Grooveshark account; I'd forgotten all about the songs I had saved to listen to there. Currently, my absolute favorite songs for my week are Sail by AWOLNATION, Crooked by GDragon, and Tell Me by He Is We.




I've had time to start watch some TV. Reply 1997, Doctor Who, and Elementary have kept me company this week. I started rewatching Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, and it's making me nostalgic for the anime world. I almost sat down and watched the first episode of Bleach last night, but then I remembered just how many episodes that show has... yeah. Watching Bleach is kind of like making a long-term commitment, now that I think about it. 300 episodes is something to do over the summer, not when you're super-busy with quizzing and school and life and such. Instead, I'll settle for some Eden of the East, or perhaps Toradora. Haven't decided which yet.


And finally, I've had time to breathe. It doesn't seem like much, but just being able to sit and think has been nice. Being sick stinks, but at least it gives me the time to chill, for just a little bit. Hopefully, I'll be back on my feet soon, being my busy little self again, but for now, I'm glad that I have time to breathe again.


Anyway, I'm sorry if this was boring or made no sense. But I'm just happy that  I've had time to do these things. Because that hasn't happened in a long time, and I want to take in every minute of it. I'm never taking having time to do the simple things for granted ever again. It's just not going to happen.

nope. not ever again.
What have you had time to do this week?

hope you all have had a fantastic week, and that your weekend is just as awesome. I know mine is going to be!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

frustration {a letter}


you frustrate me, Jonathon. 

you frustrate me a lot.

you're such an interesting character. you have so much potential. you have a cheeky smile and an impudent voice. you make me wanted to open a new notebook and start scribbling the ideas that are churning around in my head. 

and I haven't even written one word of your dialogue yet.



your brother misses you a lot, you know. the amount that he misses you and yet still won't admit it make me sad. can you feel sad for a fictional character that you yourself are inflicting pain upon? cos that's how I feel about Matt. 

i think he doesn't just miss you. i think he's afraid, too. 

afraid that he's going to turn out just like you.

afraid to hurt someone like you hurt him.

afraid to lose someone else.

afraid to admit that he's not as strong as the rest of the world knows he's pretending to be. 

and that makes me sad too.

is there something you wish could say to him? a word of encouragement, a kick in the pants? he could probably use both. do you ever wish that you two had been switched? That he'd been the one to go, and you'd be the one to stay? do you think you'd be coping any better than he is? 


because, quite honestly, I don't think he's coping at all. 

 sometimes, it just hurts to watch. 

and that makes me frustrated too. 


Monday, March 17, 2014

in which I venture into the great unknown

Today, for my music themed post, I'm touching a subject that I really don't know all that much about. I don't listen to it much, but if I'm in the right mood when I do, I enjoy it very much.

this particular type of music?

rap.

My family has never been very fond of rap, and I doubt that they ever will be. I remember the day when I first started listening to Lecrae off and on, and my father was like, "Ummmm...what are you listening to?" Even with twenty one pilots, none of us in our family really liked them until we saw their performance live--which, on a side note, I get to see again in less than a month. Wheeeeeeeee!!!! We're just not that big on rap, and that is totally okay.

However, there are several rappers/artists that I admire, just because of their amazing voices, music, and skillz (see, I spelled that with a z. I'm so hip.) Each one of these people are extremely different, but in my humble opinion, they are all very talented and amazing. And that's coming from someone who knows absolutely nothing about rap. ^.^

My number one favorite rapper? *tsk* Did you even need to ask? (though, I'm not really sure if you did ask...) Tyler Joseph of twenty one pilots will probably always be my favorite rapper. Though he and Josh Dunn do much much more than rap, they are my favorites when it comes to that. I remember listening to Car Radio on my computer and thinking, "Meh." and then watching him sing it live and thinking, "HOLY COW THIS IS KINDA FREAKIN' AWESOME." needless to say, my mind was rather blown that day.


Secondly, I don't think that in the Christian genre of music you can get away with talking about rap and not mention Lecrae. They probably send in people to beat you up or something. :) That being said, Lecrae is another artist who I occasionally listen to when I feel the need for some rap in my life. Not only is he an amazing musician, but I also find him an interesting role model and example of an incredible Christian.


now hang with me here. It may sound crazy, but we're switching over to singers from the other side of the globe. There are two people (well...one person and one group) from South Korea whose rap/music impresses me a lot. Korean is not easy. Not a lot of words rhyme or flow very well. To rap in Korean is something I could never do (well, not that I can even rap in English...) And these people do it quite well--at least, in my personal opinion.


okay, that video was weird. I'll give you that. Apparently it's symbolic, to which I say, "Ummm...sure...the creepy baby just confuses me..." but the song, the song. I love this song. I don't know why I do, but it fascinates me to no end. I try to sing along with it and I can't. How T.O.P's words come flying out that quickly, I have no idea.


a little less weird, huh? I only just started listening to B.A.P., and boy howdy do I enjoy the strength in their songs. Not all their songs are this intense, nor are they entirely made up of rapping, but they all have an energy that I really like. This and their song 1004 (Angel) are two of my favorite songs, currently (you can watch 1004 here if you like).


words cannot express how much I love this song. I downloaded this artist's album and every so often, when the mood strikes me, I listen to it. No matter how many times I listen to it, this song remains my favorite. Such a great song.


also another favorite song. I've been listening to this song since I was 13 or 14, and every time I go back and relisten to it, I fall in love with it all over again. Might have something to do with the fact that Trevor from TFK sings part of it. Yeah, that might be part of it. ^.^

So there you have it--me and my favorite rap artists/songs. What are some of yours? Or if you don't like or listen to rap, what is a genre of music that you only listen to when you're in the right mood? I'd love to know!

Hope you all have a fantastic week!



Friday, March 14, 2014

i want to go back

things seem to change rather suddenly these days. one moment, everything is in an uproar and chaotic and no one knows what's going to happen, and then--out of nowhere--peaceful serenity descends. those peaceful moments are probably the power of prayer, but in some ways, they're almost worse than the chaotic times. why? because when it's peaceful, when things are calm, when I can sit and breathe, that's when my mind starts to go back.

I don't like change. never have, never will. I do not adjust quickly, nor do I do so in a graceful manner. moving from my home of 12 years, having a permanent house guest, losing a best friend...I did not cope well with any of these three things (all of which have happened to me in the past year and a half). I even have a hard time when the change is for the better--seeing someone I love and cherish flourish in their independence and start a new life with their chosen person hurts, because I miss them. 

I guess that's my problem. I miss the past too much.

I miss the late night talks I had with a best friend. I miss being able to tell her about my dreams, my frustrations with a certain male individual, my family life. I miss telling her jokes. I miss watching TV with her. I miss sharing books. I miss our inside jokes. I miss her. A lot.


I miss tickle fights with my big brother. I miss getting to see him every day, getting his giant bear hugs, getting to fool around in the kitchen with him. I miss the way he'd hold me when all I could do was cry into his shoulder. I even miss our little tiffs and arguments, because we'd always make up before you could even call it a fight. I miss him. A lot.

I miss a person who I never loved much to begin with. I miss how peaceful, boring, and ordinary our life was. I miss being able to smile at certain people. I miss being able to respect certain people. I miss eating meals at tables and not feeling weird about it. I miss sleeping and not having dreams. I miss all these things. A lot. 


I miss a lot of things. A lot of things I wish had never changed.

but would I be the same person as I am now? Would I love the people I now love? 
Would I be happy with how I turned out?

quite honestly, no.
I'm a person who's drastically changed over the past 3 years.

I love that God has put certain precious people in my life that keep encouraging me and that there is no way I would've gotten this close to them if certain hard changes hadn't happened. 

I am happy with what I've become.

but that still means I can have days when all I want is everything to go back to how it was.

and that's okay.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

king

The drumbeat in my head grew til it was a whole marching band. The ground before me swayed like a rope bridge, and I could hear Colt’s voice, but not what he was saying. All I could see was the decrepit building before me. Ivy crawled up crumbling stone walls. The entry way was broken down and faded paint peeled off the door. I counted 3 cracked windows. Above the door, a sign read “Welcome to Stony reek Inn” in yellowed letters. The ‘C’ had clearly fallen off a long time ago.

My knees gave out.

“Whoa!” Colt jumped to hold me up. “Don’t freak out that much, man! I was just kidding about the whole ax murder thing. Your mom’s friend is probably a really nice person.”

My mom’s friend, I thought blearily, still staring at the building. What did she have to do with anything? Why was I here? Had I run, finally? If so, why the heck had I brought along Colt?

Suddenly, the peeling door burst open, and both of us jumped. Colt shifted anxiously, tightening his grip on my shoulders. “Who’s there?” he asked, his voice wavering a little. I almost smiled—cat calling the kettle black, or however that saying went, I thought—then another wave of pain hit me, and darkness touched the edges of my vision. “Stay with me, Matt,” he muttered, squeezing me hard. “If you pass out and leave me to defend you from what could be psychos, I will kill you when you wake up.”

“I’m not going to pass out,” I managed to eek out. “Just stop killing my shoulder, okay?”

“Oh. Sorry.” He loosened his hands. “Better?”

I grunted. "Better."

Two figures stepped into the half-light coming from inside the building. “Who’s that out there?”

A woman? Teenaged girl?

“We’re looking for a friend of ours,” Colt said politely, though his voice still shook a little. “You wouldn't happen to be…” He paused. “What’s your mom’s friends name again?”

Struggling to sit up, I untangled the knot my thoughts were making. “Jade Carpenter," I managed to eek out, just as a fresh wave of pain swept over me.

There was a loud silence. The shadowed figure didn't shift. I looked at Colt. He shrugged.

“Sammy, why aren’t we leaving?”

A kid. A little kid.

I took a deep breath, trying to clear the humming in my ears. None of this was making sense.

The first voice finally spoke again. “Don’t worry, Linds. We’re leaving right now.”

I saw her step down from the porch, then lift the younger one down after her and head our way. Everything about her was shadowed, but she moved jerkily, like a marionette on strings. The whole area around her seemed to be electric with frustration.

Colt leaped to his feet when she passed by. “Please could you help us—”

“You’re not from around here, are you?” she asked. She wore a baseball cap, which shadowed her face just enough to keep us from seeing her expression. The little girl beside her looked between the two of us with anxious blue eyes, clutching the older girl’s hand tightly. Even as my head pounded, I quickly cataloged them. Backpacks--stuffed to the point of bursting. Heavy down coats, in late March. Threadbare jeans and ratty tennis shoes. A scowl poking its ugly face from under her cap.

We should run, while it's still safe, I thought.

Colt tried being friendly. “We’re visiting Perimont Village for a day—gotta get my quaint on, you know?” He chuckled at his own pathetic attempt for a joke.

The girl cocked her hip. I got the feeling she might be glaring at us. No, wait, she definitely was glaring at us.  “If you were smart, you’d find somewhere else to stay," she barked, her scowl degenerating into a glower.  "Or just leave here. Nothing good happens here. Nothing.”

Colt started to answer, but she walked by him without another word, pulling the other girl along after her.

The ringing in my ears paused as she tossed her hair over her shoulder, and it caught in the light.

Red. Bright red.

“Well!” Colt huffed, his breath clouding in the chilly air. “That was weird.” He turned back to me. “Do you need help getting up? Or are you going to spend the night out here?”

I got up on one knee. My ears still rang, but I don’t think it had anything to do with my headache now. That encounter…it made no sense. And it needed to make sense. It had to make sense.

I needed it to make sense.


 {excerpt from the great ones and the general, by ely s. gyrate}


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

pearlbreaker

over my various weekend car trips, I've been rediscovering just how much I truly love reading. Just the absolute peacefulness of it all--it's just me, my book, and the words upon the page. In three weeks, I've gone through about 5 books (which is sad, when you compare it to when I used to read a book a day...). I've been so busy with school and quizzing and life that it's been tough to sit down and read, but these few books...these were the ones that latched onto me right away and wouldn't let go until I finished them.

Skyship Academy: The Pearl Wars was one of them.


As with most of the books that I fall in love with, reading the Pearl Wars was merely a whim as I walked past the library popular section. It looked futuristic and steampunkish, something that is right up my alley, so without thinking I tossed it into my ginormous black book back (trust me. It may look small, but that thing is huge. Bigger on the inside, or something.) It wasn't until about a week later that I actually had the time and desire to pick it up and start reading, but boy howdy, once I did start, I devoured this book without stopping.

What stood out to me about the Pearl Wars? First of all, the setting. Oh my gosh. I don't know why I loved the futuristic, sci-fi combined with a steampunk feel, but it felt very developed and strong. I saw my surroundings without trouble, and the realistic descriptive passages were scattered in amongst everything else perfectly. Secondly, the politics of things. Unlike some more political aimed books (ahem...I'm looking at you, Marie Lu's Prodigy), I didn't have to reread chapters or wade through things that quite honestly did not interest me. There is definitely quite a bit of political matter in the Pearl Wars, but not enough to be stifling. I liked the somewhat different political parties--instead of having your typical 'they're-bad-we're-good' government, you had the United Party, the Seperatists, your destitute Fringers, and I really loved that. Hats off to you, Nick James, for spicing things up a little.


Which brings me to my third favorite thing about this book.

Cassius.
Cassius Stevenson.


^^this is more accurate than I'd like to admit.

I like villains, okay? Especially when you take what's theirs away from them, confuse them, and make me want to hug them and tell them that it's going to okay. Plus, this guy's name is Cassius. Talk about awesome. (I have a thing for weird names too, I guess...) Cassius isn't exactly the main villain in the story, but I feel like he's the character who had the most development throughout the book. Did Jesse change that much? Nope. Madame surely didn't, and Avery switched sides, but Cassius' change felt a heck of a load more realistic than hers did. Twas a beautiful thing.


Yup. Time to add Cassius Stevenson to my list of fictional crushes. Not afraid to own up to it.

The only problem I had with the Pearl Wars is this: I saw the ending coming from a mile away.

Now, this may just be me. My sister read the book the day after I finished it (I repeat: the day. Guess who has a little more time on her hands?) and when I asked her if she'd been frustrated by the obvious plot, she gave me a confused look and said, "The plot was obvious?" (to which I nearly pulled my hair out by its roots and shouted "Their freaking powers showed up when they met for the first time and they're 'mysteriously tied together somehow.' How is that not obvious????")


However obvious the plot might be, I still enjoyed it--though I did keep wondering if the author was trying to trick me and suddenly have a unexpected plot twist at the very end, but alas...it was not to be. I picked up books 2 and 3 at the library today, and am already a good portion through Crimson Rising.


The fact that the guy on the cover looks a bit like Matt Smith is bugging me.

{side note}
if you're curious as to the other books that I've read recently, here's a list. Enjoy!
  • Flipped, by Wendelin Van Draanen
  • The Light, by James MacHale
  • Champion, by Marie Lu
  • Cinder, by Marissa Meyer
Have a good Wednesday, everybody! God bless! 

Monday, March 3, 2014

playlist mode: take two

"don't you think failure is a beautiful thing?" she asked.
"I think it's pathetic," I replied.
"but don't you see how amazing it is, that we can sink to the very pith of our existence and rise up again at moments notice?"
"Or we can stay in the dark forever."
"True, but there will always be potential to move upwards."


that's what you get //paramore


face down // the red jumpsuit apparatus


tonight // fm statik


all right // lim kim

crushcrushcrush // paramore

prove you wrong // he is we


say something // victoria justice and max