Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Another Day, Another Book

I just realized how long it's been since I've posted something new on my blog.  Bad, Super Nerd!  In light of that, I decided to start off with another book review.  Go me!

I recently finished The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet by Erin Dionne, and I rather enjoyed it.  It was written for a younger audience than I usually read, but it was still pretty enjoyable.  Kind of reminded me of my middle school days.  Blech.

Here's what the book says: Hamlet, named for her Shakespeare-obsessed parents’ favorite play, is starting the school year with the goal of fitting in. Not so easy when her parents walk around in Elizabethan garb and her seven-year-old genius sister, Desdemona, will be beginning eighth grade alongside her. Hamlet’s two nemeses immediately befriend her sister and her crush doesn’t notice her (though her male best friend is supposedly crushing on her). The final straw is the Shakespeare festival at school. When selected in class to read from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet proves to be a brilliant reader of the Bard, a skill she quickly tries to hide. Unsurprisingly, she must decide if it’s better to shine as herself, both at school and at home, or to blend in the background. Hamlet’s parents and circumstances feel over the top, but her emotions will resonate with anyone who has been embarrassed by family or confused by boys. Dionne’s (Models Don’t Eat Chocolate Cookies) pacing is a bit slow (the story is structured in three acts), but her voice is relatable and engaging.

Putting horrible middle school memories aside, this book was entertaining, but I wouldn't suggest it to most readers.  If you generally enjoy a good YA book, then give this one a shot.  Keep in mind that it's written for a younger audience.

I'll be posting again relatively soon...and by relatively soon, I mean either later today or tomorrow.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

$1 *can* change the world

My wonderful roommate and a bunch of other terrific people have started a fantastic organization called Students for the Family.  Here's their project description:

We all come from families. It is no secret that healthy families generally lead to better life outcomes for all involved, including society. Unhealthy family relationships can lead to a host of issues. To combat these negative outcomes, Students for the Family has developed and is implementing an interdisciplinary symposium, this year called Strengthening the Family: Engaging Issues with Courage and Civility, combining the wisdom of experts, the perspective of professionals, and the innovation and drive of students and community members to discuss how we all can strengthen families through public policy, laws, research, and individual and family efforts. The symposium will feature key note speakers, a reception, breakout sessions, and presentations by individuals ranging from nationally known experts to exceptionally qualified students.

The first $4,000 will be matched 5 to 1. That's right. A $5 donation, if we meet our goal, will result in $30 towards strengthening families, a $10 donation will result in $60 dollars, etc.

One of the primary purposes of Students for the Family is to strengthen families and communities by increasing the reasoned dialogue on family issues in a civil and respectful manner, helping students and young professionals to become well-educated on these issues. As a result, student submissions representing many view points on a variety of family topics will be selected. Student presenters will be chosen based upon the quality of their arguments and tone of civility, not based upon the viewpoints they represent. Plenary session presentations will address topics such as the importance of civility, principles of parenting, and the impacts of pornography.

C'mon!  Donate a dollar.  That's one dollar you won't be spending on various dollar menus at McDonald's, Wendy's, or  Dell Taco.  By donating one dollar, you'll be saving yourself lots of calories and it's one step closer to being healthy.  Not only that, but you're helping to change the world and strengthen something truly important: The Family.  Donate here: http://tippingbucket.org/.  This ends on Tuesday, at 9:30 pm, so donate!

This was a fairly serious post...more hilarity to come!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Happy Friday the 13th!!! More to come but I wanted to post something on one of my favorite days. Ever. :D

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Book in Review

I finished reading Eoin Colfer's The Supernaturalist over the weekend, and I loved it.  The characters were engaging, though I did see some of the twists coming, but such is life.  This book wasn't nearly as hard to acquire as Prom Dates from Hell was, for which I'm very grateful.  It was an interesting glimpse into the future, and one that made me rather sad to imagine, especially in the treatment of "parentally challenged youth."

So, here's what the book says:

In the not-too-distant future, in a place call Satellite City, thirteen-year-old Cosmo Hill is unfortunate enough to come into the world unwanted by his parents. And so, as are all orphaned boys his age, Cosmo is dipped in a vaccine vat and sent to the Clarissa Frayne Institute for Parentally Challenged Boys. But when Cosmo attempts to escape, he finds himself caught in a web far worse that he could have ever imagined, embroiled with private police, illegal racing gangs, and a corporation cover-up, until he discovers a horrifying secret that will force him to question everything he knows and everything he believes in.

This is a pretty apt summary of the book.  I definitely recommend this little treasure if you have a couple hours to devote to reading.  The only thing that kept me from finishing this quickly was work. *grump*  Not that I don't love my job (insert slight sarcasm here), but it always seems to get in the way of reading.  That, and my love for NCIS: Los Angeles and Chris O'Donnell *dreamy sigh*.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Gotta love the library

Remember that really loooooong (okay, it wasn't really that long) post about the books I was reading?  Well, I forgot to add one and by the time I remembered, I was finished reading it 0.0

I just finished reading Prom Dates from Hell by Rosemary Clement-Moore.  I love this author!  The first book I ready by her was The Splendor Falls and it hooked me.  I began searching for other books written by her and was finally able to start the Maggie Quinn Girl vs. Evil series (the first is Prom Dates).  She also has a blog, full of hilarity and awesome.

Here's what the book says (i.e. the synopsis): 
Maggie Quinn, Girl reporter. Honors student, newspaper staffer, yearbook photographer. Six weeks from graduation and all she wants to do is get out of Avalon High in one piece. Fate seems to have different plans for her.

High school may be a natural breeding ground for evil, but the scent of fire and brimstone is still a little out of the ordinary. It's the distinct smell of sulfur that makes Maggie suspect that something's a bit off. And when realTwilight Zone stuff starts happening to the school's ruling clique—the athletic elite and the head cheerleader and her minions, all of whom happen to be named Jessica—Maggie realizes it's up to her to get in touch with her inner Nancy Drew and ferret out who unleashed the ancient evil before all hell breaks loose.

Maggie has always suspected that prom is the work of the devil, but it looks like her attendance will be mandatory. Sometimes a girl's got to do some pretty undesirable things if she wants to save her town from soul-crushing demons from hell and the cheerleading squad.

Getting this book took some serious planning.  They didn't have it in my local library *tear* or in the library at my university.  In a moment of groundbreaking genius, I looked it up on the library site of my hometown.  One button click and a string of maniacal laughs later (and some pleading for my mum to mail me the book), I was able to read it.  It was a long process, but so worth it.  I'm definitely adding this book to my shelf, and instead of going through the same convoluted process, I'm just going to purchase the Maggie Quinn series from one of my favorite places.  Ever.  Barnes and Noble.

Yes.  There's nothing like the sweet, sweet scent of new books and Starbucks. *drool*

Anyway.  This is one of my new favorite books.  Maggie is a captivating character and I love how snarky she is.  I felt her pain--especially when her computer melts, in the literal sense.  I had trouble putting this book down (curse you, work!), but I somehow managed to finish this in about a day and a half, despite work getting in my way.  I'm looking forward to reading the next two in this series.