Sunday, August 22, 2010

In My Mailbox (41)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren 


WON:


 Gimme A Call by Sarah Mlynowski


Devi's life isn't turning out at all like she wanted. She wasted the past three years going out with Bryan—cute, adorable, break-your-heart Bryan. Devi let her friendships fade, blew off studying, didn't join any clubs . . . and now that Bryan has broken up with her, she has nothing left.

Not even her stupid cell phone—she dropped it in the mall fountain. Now it only calls one number . . . hers. At age fourteen, three years ago!

Once Devi gets over the shock—and convinces her younger self that she isn't some wacko—she realizes that she's been given an awesome gift. She can tell herself all the right things to do . . . because she's already done all the wrong ones! Who better to take advice from than your future self?

Except . . .what if getting what you 
think you want changes everything? 



 Sister's Red by Jackson Pearce


Scarlett March lives to hunt the Fenris-- the werewolves that took her eye when she was defending her sister Rosie from a brutal attack. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet and blood-red cloak, Scarlett is an expert at luring and slaying the wolves. She's determined to protect other young girls from a grisly death, and her raging heart will not rest until every single wolf is dead.

Rosie March once felt her bond with her sister was unbreakable. Owing Scarlett her life, Rosie hunts fiercely alongside her. Now Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves and finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax-- but loving him means betraying her sister and has the potential to destroy all they've worked for. 



The Giver by Lois Lowry


In the "ideal" world into which Jonas was born, everybody has sensibly agreed that well-matched married couples will raise exactly two offspring, one boy and one girl. These children's adolescent sexual impulses will be stifled with specially prescribed drugs; at age 12 they will receive an appropriate career assignment, sensibly chosen by the community's Elders. This is a world in which the old live in group homes and are "released"--to great celebration--at the proper time; the few infants who do not develop according to schedule are also "released," but with no fanfare. 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday (37)

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine.


The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen
Knopf Books for Young Readers/January 11, 2011


Jessica thinks her life is over when she loses a leg in a car accident. She's not comforted by the news that she'll be able to walk with the help of a prosthetic leg. Who cares about walking when you live to run?As she struggles to cope with crutches and a first cyborg-like prosthetic, Jessica feels oddly both in the spotlight and invisible. People who don't know what to say, act like she's not there. Which she could handle better if she weren't now keenly aware that she'd done the same thing herself to a girl with CP named Rosa. A girl who is going to tutor her through all the math she's missed. A girl who sees right into the heart of her.With the support of family, friends, a coach, and her track teammates, Jessica may actually be able to run again. But that's not enough for her now. She doesn't just want to cross finish lines herself—she wants to take Rosa with her.


Why I Want This: WOWZA. This summary sounds so great, very intense. I'm quite obsessed when it comes to running. I just love the sound of it and I think that it will be so great. Not to mention the fact that the person who wrote this, Wendelin Van Draanen , also wrote the YA/MG novel Flipped, which I've heard amazing things about!! 


I think that if this book came out this fall I would so add this to the list of books I'll be reading during cross country season, on the way to and back from the meets, to help motivate me and whatnot. But it doesn't come out until next year! : (

Monday, August 16, 2010

10th Grade Required Reading List

A week ago, I made my 9th Grade Required Reading List. Here is my 10th grade.

Kate Chopin
 Short Stories Unit 

In my 9th Grade Required Reading List, I mentioned I adore short stories, I especially loved the ones my English teacher had us read! We actually read a few dystopian type short stories (There Will Come Soft Rains, By the Waters of Babylon) and I think I should really read some dystopian YA books because the short stories were awesome!

I think my favorite short story we read was Desiree's Baby by Kate Chopin.



Night by Elie Wiesel

Short book, but so emotional and so very good! Here is my review of NIGHT.

The theme for this unit was tolerance and we also had to make a powerpoint




 The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

This wasn't actually a really serious unit. We read the play and took a test over it and then watched the movie.



A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare

I'm really involved in theatre and have seen this play at a theatre convention (although I did fall asleep but it was a really good performance!) and I knew what it was about somewhat.

I really can't remember how I did on this book. I think I did okay. So yeah..


 Life of Pi by Yann Martel

This is definitely one of those books that I would've never picked up on my own. In fact this is one of those books that I thought I was going to have to spark note because I wasn't going to finish in time (I'm horrible with required reading, I know) because it is also rather lengthy. Even though, I only caught up right before the test, I still finished it on time. I loved the ending to this book!

Here is my review. Oh, and I did fantastic on the major test! SCORE!
 Poetry Unit

I didn't like the choices of the poems this time. Like last year, Mrs. C had us each  read about 2 poems each that she had already chose and give the class information about the poet and stuff.

I chose to read Sonnet 18 from Shakespeare and The Waking by Theodore Roethke, both of which I really liked! Also, we had to right a couple of poems like last year but only 5 this year. I wrote about feminism, running, fear of mirrors and two others that I can't exactly remember. Our teacher picked the overall themes.



The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

I knew even before I picked this book up that I was going to have trouble with this one.

I mean, I liked the first page, and I actually did like the dialogue (once you start reading it it's not so bad and I did find it kind of funny) but I don't know. We read this in the middle of soccer season. And soccer just happens to have to really far away and long games. Not a good combination if I want to get reading done.

I don't know what is wrong with me. I didn't do so good on the test. I got a freakin' C! I will go back in read this book one day. I hear the ending really makes you think or something.

Oedipus the King by Sophocles

Then, we had our Greek Theatre lesson and read this book. I am really good with theatre, so I knew, pretty much, all of the terms and where to label the things on our stage map we had on our test. Now, the play itself isn't too long. Here's what happened. I was gone for about 4 days (which is pretty much the time we had to read the play) and my teacher told me that I would have no problem with what I had read over the weekend and I only needed to study a couple of other things.

I didn't do too horrible on the test but I definitely would've done better had a read the play. Ah, I think I'll finish it up one day and read Antigone, the next play in the trilogy.


OVERALL GRADE: B+ One thing that we also did that we didn't do freshman year was have weekly test over hard vocabulary words. But it was kinda easy for me. In some ways I feel that this year was easier than freshman year, except for Huck Finn! UGH! 

Also, Sophomore year I was in APUSH– AP US History and we were required to read a book each quarter and to be honest, all of them for the most part were books that I would've never even thought about reading. Here's what I picked:

• 1776
• Uncle Tom's Cabin 
• The Jungle
• On The Road 

I am a terrible, terrible student, lemme tell you. I am just damn horrible. These history books were basically sparknoted. Although, I did like On The Road and will be buying it soon, so I can actually read the whole thing. The Jungle wasn't too bad (gross but not bad). Uncle Tom's Cabin was just okay and 1776...Well, I don't even know why I chose to read it. 

I AM NOT READY FOR ENLIGH 11 HONORS THIS YEAR! Well, actually it's called composition/American literature. Books such as The Crucible, The Scarlet Letter, Cold Mountain are on our reading list. 

School starts tomorrow. YIKES! 

I will be a better student this year. I will get all A's. *repeats mantra*

Saturday, August 14, 2010

In My Mailbox (40)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren


For Review:
The Secret of Ka by Christopher Pike (ARC)
-I got this surprise review from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt! Thank you!

Won:
Feather by Abra Ebner
Knight Angels by Abra Ebner
-I won these last two books for participating The Once Upon a Readathon at Pure Imagination's blog. :)

Folly by Marthe Jocelyn 
Sea by Heidi R. Kling (ARC)
The Education of Bet by Lauren Baratz-Logsted (ARC)
-I won these last three books from a Got Books? giveaway. 

I also won a Linger tank top. Unfortunately, I misjudged the size I thought I needed (small) so it definitely doesn't fit me. I should've asked for an extra large because of the way its made. XD

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday (36)

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine


Fall For Anything by Courtney Summers 
December 21, 2010/St. Martin's Griffin


I stare at the bonfire until I realize it’s fallen quiet and everyone is staring at me.
“Oh. It’s okay,” I say to Deacon. “It’s okay.”
“Sorry about your dad,” Deacon says. “That was supremely fucked up.”
“Yeah,” I agree. “It was.”
“Is it true your mom’s like, catatonic?”
“Deacon!” Jenna.
“What?” Deacon asks. “It’s not like we’re not all thinking it.”

A gritty story of one girl’s attempt to make sense of her father’s untimely death…



Why I Want This: UM. Courtney Summers is freakin' awesome. And I've only read Cracked Up To Be (I NEED SOME GIRLS ARE RIGHT NOW!). That paragraph sounds amazing and I just love the plot. Also, WHOA! Look at that stunning cover! Now, I'm sure that's not an official one but its still gorgeous and I think it's intriguing. Anyways, I guess December isn't too long of a wait, but still. 

Monday, August 9, 2010

9th Grade Required Reading List

Required reading is something that I'm really not to good at, especially during the school year. Since I'm in Honors English, I've had the same teacher -who is fantastic- my freshman, sophomore and will have her this year for my junior year. She's is, like, the smartest teacher at our school. Anyways, I want to share with you guys what we read my freshman year in her class (and maybe I'll post my sophomore reading list).

Every time we got a book, my teacher would give us a sheet for what page number or chapter she wanted us to be on the next day and there is something about having to read it on a schedule that makes it horrible for me to read. I don't know if that is the real reason, but I hardly kept up with my reading. Also, after we finished we always had a huge test over the book/unit....And often times a couple tests during.

Okay, on to the books and my opinions and such.

FRESHMAN YEAR

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee 

This was the very first book I read for high school. Also, one of the few that I actually finished on time! It was really good and is one of those books where you just have to read once in your life!

At the end of the unit, we were assigned to write a future!fic about To Kill A Mockingbird. I was really proud of mine, but the others including my English teacher were worried about me. Apparently, it was too dark and depressing. I'll share it along with some of my other writings on here one day. If anyones interested.



Guy de Maupassant
After reading TKAMB, we moved onto short stories. I ADORE short stories and often times I found myself reading them just for fun.

The Top Number One Thing About Short Stories:
They are simple, yet so complex, and they almost always have a really awesome twist-filled ending!

We read around 20 short stories, my favorite being The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant. Although it is a favorite for many, my least favorite was The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell. Maybe it was because this was the only one we listened to on audio but it put me to sleep.

The test for this unit was part memorization (all the authors names for each story) and questions on the stories and poetry in general. Easiest test all year.


Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare 

My teacher was gone for most of December and we had a substitute teacher come in. Now, Shakespeare is hard to teach for most subs (along for many regular teachers) but luckily this sub was, like, a drama teacher/actor and a puppeteer. I love Shakespeare and like this unit.

Since our teachers made puppets for a living she had us make characters from Romeo & Juliet. Fun.

The Odyssey by Homer

Um.  I'm just going to come out and say it. I can't remember a damn thing about this book. I mean, I had English 9 Honors 7th hour - the last class of the day. In the winter my insomnia is just at its worse (something to do with the light or whatever) and so, I fell asleep a lot during this. This was actually a book that we read most of it in class. The abridged version and it was still as long....I do remember there being a question on the test about Cyclops and doing miserably on it, though.

Maybe one day I'll check it out again and read it. It is a classic after all.


Animal Farm by George Orwell


It was mid February when we received this book. Also, this was the time when we had a student teacher come in (who is the most beautiful teacher to ever grace our school and he has since become the regular 10th grade english teacher this year. Too bad I don't have his class!) and teach us.


A week before we actually got the book we had a little history lesson on Stalin and saw a documentary. This book is definitely different from other books I have read. I can't remember reading a book where there are animals that are telling the story (besides children's picture books) and a satire. Overall, I did like it.

Poetry Unit


This was a pretty fun and great unit. I love poems! My teacher had each of us read 1-2 poems that she had assigned to read to the class. We had to find out information about the author and such. I chose to read Casey at the Bat, which is a favorite of mine. The major test for this unit was we had to write down the authors name for each of the poems (I love memorization!) and she had several other things on it.


Also, we all had to write 20 or so poems that fit Mrs. C's criteria. I'll share some of mine, on here one day. For the theme poems, I wrote about sports and I'm very fond of those.


Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

Let me just tell you, I DON'T LIKE SCI-FI (except for the Back to the Future movies!). I don't read a lot of it at all so it was definitely a change for me. I would probably give this book a 3/5 for enjoyment. The story and writing were good but it really wasn't for me.


However, Ender's Game features one of my favorite scenes EVER from a book. There's a part in the beginning where Ender's brother, Peter (who is so viciously mean and vindictive) tells Valentine, their sister, that he will harm Ender one day she isn't around to protect him.

But there'll come a day when you aren't there with him, when you forget. And suddenly you'll remember, and you'll rush to him, and there he'll be, perfectly all right. And the next time you won't worry so much, and you won't come so fast. And every time, he'll be all right. And you'll think that I forgot. Even though you'll remember that I said this, you'll think that I forgot. And years will pass. And then there'll be a terrible accident, and I'll find his body, and I'll cry and cry over him, and you'll remember this conversation. Vally, but you'll be ashamed of yourself for remembering because you'll know that I changed, that it really was an accident, that it's cruel of you even to remember what I said in a childhood quarrel. Except that it'll be true. 
0.o Holy! This absolutely blew my mind when I read it! Then again, I read and watch many documentaries about past serial killers and other insane people. (Okay. That sounds weird. I'll shut up.)

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas 

Last but not least, we read this. I'll admit, when we first were handed this book, I couldn't believe how many pages there were. And that's reading the abridged version.

I didn't finish this one in time before the test (I blame those long and far away soccer games!) but it's one of those book where I asked my teacher if I could keep it until I finished it because it really is very intriguing and so good!

Edmond Dantes is a character that you don't want to mess with!!


OVERALL GRADE: B+ Darn! I should've finished some of those books. Also, we did a couple weeks of grammar, but thats every English class.

Well, high school was certainly a change for me. The only book I remember having to read in middle school on our own was Lord of the Flies by William Golding and I hated it. So boring. ZZZZZZZ

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

You know what's awesome?

CSN has made me one of their Preferred Bloggers, in which I am so honored and greatly appreciate the opportunity to review some more of their wonderful items. CSN has 200+ stores and you can literally spend all day looking at products. You can buy anything from Wall Clocks to Bedroom Furniture Sets! Many of their products are inexpensive.

The North Face Women's Boreallis in Fissure Green

On account of school starting in less than 2 weeks (AHHHH!) I need a new backpack because my old one kind of ripped. I love the color and it looks like it can hold a lot of books. Hopefully this backpack won't be too bad on my back! 

Waiting On Wednesday (35)

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine.


Inconvenient by Margie Gelbwasser
November 28, 2010/Flux


Summary
Welcome to Glenfair, New Jersey’s Little Moscow, where fifteen-year-old Alyssa Bondar lives with her Russian-born, Jewish parents. In their culture, drinking is as traditional as blinchiki and piroshkis. So when her mom starts having bad days, it seems like Alyssa’s the only one who notices-or cares.

Alyssa would love to focus on regular stuff like her first kiss with Keith, her cute track team partner-or simply come home without dread of what she might find. But someone has to clean up her mom’s mess. Her dad is steeped in work, the evening news, and denial. Her best friend Lana is busy-shamelessly vying for a place with the popular crowd who ridicule their Russian heritage.

It’s up to Alyssa to save her mom-and her family. But who will be there to catch Alyssa when her mom’s next fall off the wagon drags her down, too?



Why I Want This:
HOW AMAZING does this sound?! I love the fact that it features a Jewish main character where the culture plays apart in the book (I've read some books where the MC is Jewish but the religion and culture isn't necessarily talked about) . AND RUNNING IS INVOLVED! I love books that their is running. This summary mentions track team but another summary I read said cross country team -which is better ;)- but either way it sounds amazing! 


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
Hyperion/March 25, 2008/Young Adult/342 pages

Summary
Frankie Landau-Banks at age 14:
Debate Club.Her father’s “bunny rabbit.”
A mildly geeky girl attending a highly competitive boarding school. 

Frankie Landau-Banks at age 15:
A knockout figure.
A sharp tongue.
A chip on her shoulder.
And a gorgeous new senior boyfriend: the supremely goofy, word-obsessed Matthew Livingston.

Frankie Laundau-Banks.
No longer the kind of girl to take “no” for an answer.
Especially when “no” means she’s excluded from her boyfriend’s all-male secret society.
Not when her ex boyfriend shows up in the strangest of places.
Smarter than any of them.
When she knows Matthew’s lying to her.
And when there are so many, many pranks to be done.

Frankie Landau-Banks, at age 16:
Possibly a criminal mastermind. 

This is the story of how she got that way.

Review
Feminism, secret societies, and boarding schools are all things that I truly love and The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau - Banks delivers all of this and so much more. I ADORED this book. It is going on my all time favorites list!

Frances "Frankie" Landau-Banks is a wicked good character. Often times, unfortunately, I find myself reading books where the main character (who's a girl) is dependent upon a guy, stays with some douche bag of a guy, and/or who is obsessed with looking the best, etc. Well, I don't know about you but I am damn tired of it. Imagine my surprised when Frankie turns out to be a girl that I would love to be friends with. She definitely reminded me of myself somewhat or at least someone who I would love to be like. There were times when I thought, 'whoa! that's what I would say!' and I've read some reviews of this book where some people hated it because it had a feminist mindset and well, maybe it's because I'm a feminist myself, but I loved that Frankie is this kind of person! 

The characters! Oh goodness. I really enjoyed them. *

• Zada - Frankie's older sister who graduated from HS the previous year and although she is only appears a few times in the book, I definitely enjoyed reading about her. 
• Matthew - His inner copy editor self is just awesome. 
• Alessandro "Alpha" Tessorieri - I don't know what to say about this Alpha. I really enjoyed this character. I like how we first meet him and yeah..
• Porter - Jeez. I really can't figure out who this character reminds me of and it's driving me insane! 

* I realize those was horrible descriptions. 

I really liked the guys in this book. Their loyalty and personalities impressed me and yet they....I don't even know how to explain it. Just read the book. 

Other little things I liked about TDHOFLB: The chapters were short. The way Frankie would make up words, kind of. 

On to the secret society part. In order to not give anything away, I will do my best to keep this vague... Oh, how I love secrets and societies. Secret societies are awesome. I really enjoyed reading about all the secret meetings and everything and what Frankie does. 

Had it not been 5 AM and had I not been so sleep deprived, I think I might've reread it. Something that I don't think I EVER done. In fact it's been a couple of weeks since I read it and I still keep looking at it and picking it up and rereading parts over because I loved it so much!

I'll admit there were one or two things that I didn't like about it.  The ending was okay–good. I guess it's more of a personal thing for me.. 

 /SPOILER/*****My heart ached for the guys after Frankie tells what she did and the book and all the society's history and pranks is discovered by the headmaster.  Because I am in somewhat of a secret group thing (I'm not going to say society but it has been around since the 1960s) with my school's theatre club and if our secret or whatever it is that we do got out or something I would seriously cry. And yeah, I know a lot of people who think its stupid but to me it's has been one of the best experiences with high school. But yeah, that's pretty much that only thing that I didn't like. The book being exposed like that.******/END/  

Also, the book is in 3rd person omniscient which, I have not read in an extremely long time and I definitely need to start reading more of. 

Overall: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks is an enthralling and addictive  read that is so hard to put down. Everyone needs to read this book at least twice! 


(This long space is annoying the hell out of me. I can't fix it. UGH!)












RATING
Writing: 5/5
Originality: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
Voice: 5/5
Ending: 3.5/5
Overall: 5 stars!! 

Favorite character(s): Frankie, naturally. And you know, I'll have to say Alpha, too. 
Cover: A! Love the colors, the fonts, and I love the fact that it goes with the story. The dog is awesome. I hate the paperback version!!
Put-down-ability: 1 - Very hard to put down! I read the first 30 pages in the car or somewhere but when I finally sat down and read it, I could not put it down at all! I was up until nearly 5 AM finishing this book! 

*Source:  public library. Must buy my own copy ASAP! And even though, I prefer paperback over hardcover, I need the cover on the HC!