Sunday, January 30, 2011

Life is Good

So, after one of the best weekends of the year, here I am to blog. Mostly, though, because I wanted to post this.

Myra McEntire got her cover! -claps- I did an interview with Ms. McEntire here, and she's kind of awesomely wonderful, guys. I'm totally loving on the cover, too, and my excitement to read Hourglass is crazy, y'all.
I have math homework, however, so a longer blog post will have to wait. However, I got trophy this weekend, so that has kind of made me bouncy and crazy-happy (it was HARD. I like winning when it was hard to do.) Maybe the happy will rub off on the math homework.
(Probably not....)
Well, wish me luck.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Review of Divergent, by Veronica Roth

Release Date: May 3, 2011. (HEY! It's my birthday!)
Amazon Says:
In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.
During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.
I Say: 
Get your hands on this book. Pet it. Worship it. Do NOT under any circumstances take it to school, because you will NOT do your work. I literally read the first chapter and forced myself to leave it home from a debate tournament. It is THAT good.
Beatrice's world has been split into factions. There are the selfless people, the happy people, the truthful, the knowledge seeking, and there are the courageous. (They're called differently in the book -- Amity, Dauntless, Candor, such and such.) Beatrice has been raised to be selfless. However, she's 16 now. She's 16, and it's time to choose what she will be for the rest of her life.
One choice. One life. The rest of her world is on this one choice. 
And the choice she makes? Yeah, it turns into one heck of a book.
I can't really say that much about this book without giving away too many awesome bits and pieces. But there is so much excitement. There is ROMANCE. And dude, it's a good one. It's a great one. There is familial drama, and political intrigue, and moments of breath-taking danger. 
Guys, I haven't wanted a sequel so badly since I first read Hunger Games.
You LIKE Beatrice. She's such a good character, because she's flawed, but you still really, really like her. She might be one of my favorite characters of all time. Her supporting cast is full and realistic, and -- just AGH. The guy, the guy, the guy! I love him so. And I can't say who it is.
Bottom line.
Read this book.
Read it as soon as possible. 
I promise, it will DEFINITELY be worth it.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

And onward we go

So, we are officially a week into the New Year of 2011, and so far, things seem to basically be the same. Good books, too much debate, not enough sparkles, dramatic high school moments that will totally be a book someday, and waaaaaay too much math.
(Seriously. This math stuff needs to stop.)
Anyway. With the new year, new worlds are supposed to open. We're supposed to be new people, shinier, sparklier, smarter. So far, I haven't seen it. But hey, 2010 was kind of awesome. I got Top Five on inkpop, got to meet so many cool people through this blog, got my driver's licence (which, um, is kind of a miracle) and realized my true love for coffee. All in all, a win. 
I am not a resolution kind of person. I go into debate tournaments planning on failing miserably. That way, when I walk out with a trophy, I've been happily surprised. That way, when I crash and burn, I can joke about it without hurting my pride too badly. (Hey, I'm 16. Pride is important to me.) (Well. Kind of . . . Actually, not really.)
I like being surprised. I never would have guessed that 2010 would have had so many weird, awful, wonderful turns and twists. It makes sense, I guess -- a good story isn't predictable, so why would life be any different? 
So, a week into 2011, I have finally figured that the only real resolution I have is to keep having fun. Even through the crappy moments, the bad boy stuff, the dramatic friend moments, the writing lows, and the reading slumps, I loved this last year. I plan on liking this next one, too. Heck -- in 2012, I'm done with high school, so I'd better enjoy my last year of free education and cliched moments while I can.
However, I might possibly do more of my math homework this year. 
(Probably not, though.)
What about you all? Resolutions? Anit-resolutions? Thoughts on last year, next year? A mutual hatred of that evil thing called math?
Also. As my farewell gift to 2010, a few things that seem to illustrate my blog posts of the last year:

Cute furry thing. Cute shirtless thing. Sparkly pretty thing.
Yup. That pretty much says it all.
More later.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Release Date: March 22 2011

Amazon Says:
What if you knew exactly when you would die? 

Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb—males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out. 

When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden's genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape—to find her twin brother and go home. 

But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden's eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limted time she has left.

I say: 
This story is interesting. Creepy, freaky, and waaaaay interesting.

It's one of the most inventive worlds I've seen, and one of the best well crafted. I've seen a lot of people comparing this to The Handmaid's Tale (which, admittable enough, I haven't read -- it was in my Christmas pile, though, so it's coming) but honestly, I think that there was enough variety that it keeps the story fresh. The tiny details are everywhere; the similarities to the modern day is eerie. Every once in a while it seemed as if maybe the story was a tad predictable, but there were enough loops and turns that it keeps the pages turning. I picked the book up, was forced to go do stuff, and had to keep myself from sneaking it underneath the table at lunch. (These are the kind of books that got me a B in math. Gah.)

The story is part of a trilogy but stands on its own. And dude, that is enough to gain it serious points. Wither tells a complete story, but it is obviously part of a larger picture. The suspense and confusion builds through the entire story, and is barely brushed by the end; it's enough to make the reader want more. I did have a slight issue with how easily some of the end problems seemed resolved, but I'm banking on the fact that this will be addressed later.

The characters, however, are what make this book shine. You hate them. You love them. You admire them, you cry for them, you want to smack them. Seriously. They are real people. Not a single one is simple, and it makes this book incredibly interesting. The main character, Rhine, is incredibly complex -- she's an orphan who has been living a kind of miserable existence, but when dropped in a world of luxury, she is still horrified. And it makes sense. You even feel something for her captors -- it's confusing and odd, but so real that it's almost kinda freaky.  Even Rhine's brother, who isn't a predominant character in much of the story, is someone that you grow to care about, just because Rhine herself loves him so much.

The story is great debut. It's beautifully written (and oddly enough, just kind of beautiful; seriously, the detailing inside the book is great) and I'll most definitely be picking up the sequel. Props to Ms. DeStefano for keeping me totally enthralled.

More later, guys. I hope you're all still whole and healthy after New Years. (And if not, well, I'm sure it was worth it. :P )