Sunday, February 3, 2013

Cliched depictions of high school suck.

As a second semester senior in high school on the cusp of graduating, I have done a lot of reflecting on my four years spent in the institution.  Thoughts composed of regrets, funny moments, internal eye-rolls at how lame I was as a freshmen (and sophomore and junior), some truly happy memories interspersed here and there.  And then that one question I can't get out of my head.  Was my high school experience abnormal?

I came to high school with certain expectations that I got from sources such as Disney Channel and Gossip Girl (and was thoroughly let down).  I present to you:

Reasons why the high school experience has disappointed me.

7.  Apparently, you actually have to do work in high school.  Have you ever seen Serena Van Der Woodsen or Blair Waldorf or Hannah Montana study or do any homework whatsoever?  I didn't think so.  

6.  I thought this was supposed to happen at least a few times.  No?

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5.  High schools isn't like East High where you can break out in song in the middle of the hallway.  The one time someone actually did, all prom-posals were banned for the year (and I almost got trampled).

4.  What school dances are supposed to look like:

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What they actually look like:

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3.  Being the shy nerdy girl doesn't get you anywhere even if Taylor Swift wants us to believe otherwise.

2.  Where are all the Bill's (from Perks of Being A Wallflower)?  The Professor Lupins?  The Ms. Norbury's and the Mr. Schusters?  Aren't high school teachers supposed to be inspiring mentors, guiding us through adolescence and helping us to discover who we want to be?  All of mine look like they just want to go home any second.  

and the final reason why high school was a disappointment?

1.  This never happened.

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So yeah... this was a  really pointless post.  But what I think I am trying to say is that high school sucked and I am so happy that I am only a few months from leaving this place forever.  [rant over]

Saturday, September 29, 2012

first stab at poetry

messenger bag thumping
against her thigh
with every step she takes.

hair up, button-down,
she walks out of her house
and it's such a beautiful day.

sees the men, sees the car,
slows down to let them
back out of their driveway

and keeps walking but
the car behind her,
why isn't it driving away?

the breeze is no longer cool
and her heart beats faster,
thumping, and her hands begin to shake.

the window slides down
and she barely looks up.
sunglasses, brown hair, smirk on his face.

a whistle, the two toned sound
she heard many times before
in movies, but never on such a beautiful day.

face red, she lowers her head
and pretends not to hear.
despite those things she likes to say,

rhetoric about girl power and strength,
she's silent and does nothing but
keeps walking straight.

passenger seat shouts something
and they laugh and zoom past her and they're gone.
her heartbeat, and somewhere along the way

that whistle and that laugh
and that engine
make it rain.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Feature and Follow Friday #3

Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.  

Question of the week:  What is the biggest word you've seen used in a book lately - that made you stop and look it up?  Might as well leave the definition and the book too.

Hm... this is a tough one.  After doing so much SAT prep, words just don't seem big to me anymore LOL.  It would probably be in The Fault In Our Stars by John Green because Hazel and Augustus have the most intellectual conversations about the most abstract and philosophical things. :)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Perks of Being A Wallflower Movie Review!!!

Once I heard that The Perks of Being A Wallflower, one of my favorite books of all time, was being made into a movie, I knew that I had to see it!  The fact that it starred Emma Watson as Sam made me even more excited since I loved her as Hermione!  It has a limited release for now and will only be playing in a few select cities.  Nearest location was a few hours away.  My mom thought I was crazy when I told her I travelling to NYC just to see a movie.  Was the trip worth it?  ABSOLUTELY.  

Sunshine Cinema in NYC was where I saw Perks :)

I'm not just saying that because I love the book.  I feel like many movies are praised (HP cough cough) just because the books which they are based off of are so beloved.  Not in this case.  The movie stood on it's own.  

The acting was superb!  Logan Lerman was the perfect Charlie: awkward, intellectual, yet also realistic as a hormonal teenage boy.  He plays Charlie's mental breakdown parts perfectly, with so much maturity and feeling that it invoked more emotion from me than the book did (I know, blasphemous!).  More than half of the laughs were for Ezra Miller as Patrick alone.  He was hilarious, fabulous and tragic at the same time.  I loved Patrick more in the movie than I did in the book.   

I was a little disappointed with Sam.  I don't think it was Emma Watson's fault (her acting was also great) but I think the writing for Sam's character could have been better.  While Sam was my favorite character in the book, I couldn't relate to her as much in the movie.  

POBAW (the movie) was meant to appeal to the young and artsy, hipster-type crowd (by showing limited release in small indie cinemas before wide release) so "good" music was a large part of the storyline.  People's tastes in music are frequently discussed and name-dropping occurs (The Smiths, Billie Holliday, etc).  I was afraid that POBAW would become some sort of music snob-fest but thankfully that didn't happen.  I loved all the music in the movie though; it was so perfect since the author himself picked it out!   

Some of the more graphic/sexual content was taken out so the movie was just slightly more toned down than the book (only slightly).  Everything else was pretty much true to the book.  Another thing I noticed was that a scene in the trailer (the hilarious part when Patrick says "Be aggressive, passive aggressive!") was not in the movie.  I was a little disappointed in that but it didn't really affect my opinion of the movie that much.  

I'm trying to find other flaws because this is supposed to be an informative review but I really can't think of any.  I probably didn't notice them because of all the amazingness throughout.  I can't describe the love I feel for this movie.  It made me laugh so hard.  It also brought tears to my eyes at times.  It made me think WTF (Rocky Horror Show does that to you) and made me swoon at the same time.  At the end of the movie, everyone was applauding.  I and a few other people gave it a standing ovation.  It was truly a beautiful movie, making you feel all the right emotions.  No, like seriously, please see this movie.  It is completely absolutely worth it!

Info for theater times at Sunshine Cinema:

Info for select theater locations starting from dates:  

The movie comes out everyone on October 5th if you can't make it to any of the locations :)

The movie is rated PG-13 for drug/alcohol use, sexual content, thematic material (all involving teens)

Random phone camera pics :)

I nearly died of happiness when I saw this <3

Best cinema ever!  The staff is so nice, the food was so good (European chocolate and Pocky!!!) and all the movies they were showing were so artsy looking.  

I did 8:00 PM since I missed the 7 one (went on the wrong subway LOL)

Took a million pictures of myself next to this

Giant poster which my friends and I were obsessing over

Monday, August 27, 2012

Tattly Subscription Haul: 2 out of 6

Well it's that time of the month again!  Not that one but Tattly time!

Names and artists

All of them!

Not going to lie, I wasn't as thrilled with this months selection as I have been the past months but I still did find favorites in this one!

My favorites for this month.  
LEFT: I like how you could cut apart the words or letters to create different combinations.  
TOP CENTER:  I think this would look really nice on the wrist or neck, the script is really pretty!
BOTTOM CENTER:  Unicorns are very in this year.  
RIGHT:  Um... it's a giraffe with a stack of books.  How can that NOT be one of my favorites?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Interview With Alice Jane of Crazy Red Pen!

Alice Jane Chen of the book blog Crazy Red Pen has been one of my best friends for such a long time.  I discovered the world of blogging through her and was lucky enough to be able to interview her about blogging, books and more!  

1.  Wow, you've been blogging for about three years already!  What has kept you motivated to blog for all this time?

It's more like I've been seriously blogging for around a year. My other two years were spent writing about random stuff. And I mean random... I feel so embarassed about my posts from two or even three years ago... But back to motivation behind blogging. It's really all about time management and doing something that you like. If you like what you're doing enough, you'll set apart enough time to do it. It really doesn't have to be a book blog; it can be anything. 

2.  How would you say your blog has changed over the years?

I think it's gotten a lot more focused. I read YA a lot more way back but my older posts were just short summaries with something along the lines of "written well, I loved it, etc." I was also into making what I call "artsy-fartsy" book pictures to accompany the posts but I don't really have time to do that anymore. Maybe I should bring it back...? It's harder now since some books I read are e-books so it's a lot harder to photograph...

In addition, I think I've found my "voice" so to speak. If you can find your voice (who you are, how you blog, etc.) then blogging becomes so much easier and a lot less burdensome. 

3.  Since you tortured me with this question, I’ll return the favor.  What is your favorite book of all time?  YA?  Classic?

Ugh. Why did I ask you this...? (Laughs) My favorite book of all time is probably Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. That woman is so witty and I love her personality (her personal letters are hilarious). But by saying that, I feel like I'm going to be branded with the label of  "chick-lit" reader. What is that? As Libba Bray once said in an interview, are men branded with the label of a  "dude-lit" reader? 
Anyways, I find the satire in Pride and Prejudice funny. Comedy is always fun to read. 

YA? My tastes vary. At the moment though, I really like Amelia Anne Is Dead and Gone, a debut 2012 book (came out in July). The woman who wrote it writes the posts for Spark Life. She seems to be quite funny/comedic. I'd like to chat with her one day....
All time favorite book? I'm going to skip that okay? (laughs)

4.  Recommend one book that you've recently read.  

See question three. Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone. I also liked The Buddha in the Attic, a short adult novel about the Japanese American experience in the 1940's. 

5.  What was your favorite book as a child?

Winnie the Pooh! Edward Bear (Mr. Sanders/Winnie the Pooh) is so fat and cute! Hahaha... My parents bought me a 3 ft tall stuffed Pooh Bear when I was younger because I was so obsessed with it. (I still kind of am...)

But I suppose I actually didn't really read the actual stories that were written by A.A Milne, so that doesn't really count. 

But around second grade, I really liked Magic Tree House and A-Z Mysteries. Mysteries are so fun to read. Especially The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. An unrelated sentence to the question though, the BBC series of Sherlock Holmes is really fun to watch. They've modernized the stories but they're fresh and doesn't feel forced. 

6.  If you could be any book character, who would you be and why?

Ugh... This question... I don't really imagine myself as a character when I'm reading, so this is such a hard question. Even if the book is in first person, I still read like I'm a bystander watching. 

Hermione Granger from Harry Potter, I guess? She has magical powers but she doesn't have to fight the Dark Lord like Harry does... Plus she's smart! Hahaha...

7.  What's the best part about blogging?  Worst? 

The best? I get to sit and write. Then press publish. No, uhm, really. I get to read wonderfully written books and share my love of books with others who are similar minded. I also get to meet other people, which is fun! :)

The worst? The time management. The behind the scenes work. You read a book for around three hours and then you have to put your love of that book into physical words so other people can understand. But I think that's pretty okay. I've found my voice so it's not that bad. Definitely the juggling of blogging and actual life though. I'm still a student so it's pretty rough. But you try and you get through it. (I'm not being very helpful, am I...?)

8.  I see you also have an interest in fashion.  Why do you like fashion?  Who is your favorite fashion designer and why?  

Fashion! I actually just had a conversation with a RISD student who interned for an up-and-coming Belgian fashion designer based in NY. It was probably the most interesting conversation I've had with anyone. I used to think fashion was really fickle and shallow and I still do sometimes, but you learn to appreciate the crafting, the details in the garments. Some garments are just so simple but so beautiful. 

I'm a huge follower of art in general, so fashion just branched off of that. I'm a purveyor of random fashion trivia (and basically random trivia in general)... I read things and retain them for quite some time. 

I really, really admire Alexander McQueen's work. They're quite interesting and some pieces are definitely not something you'd wear out on the street but they're just so, so detailed. He really carries a theme throughout a season and does it so cleanly. It feels so natural to him. 

9.  You also frequently review manga or discuss them on your blog.  Why do you like them?  How do you think they are different from/similar to the traditional novel?   

I got into manga in middle school when a friend introduced them to me. It was visually appealing and I've read so much since then. I've actually always read comics, even when I was four or five (San Mao, a Chinese comic about a poor beggar boy). It feels natural I suppose to me?
They're similar in the way that they tell a story. However, the flow of comics and the pacing of it is a lot different than a traditional novel. Pacing, I feel like, is a lot harder with comics (I say that because I find it easier to express myself in words than pictures). You have to have a lot of variation in shots and angles to make it seem interesting.
Yen Press (division of Hachette Book Publishing; sister companies to Little Brown and Company) actually makes manga/OEL (Original English Language) versions of popular YA novels such as the books by James Patterson. Some of them are quite good, actually. 

10.  And finally, what advice would you give to new bloggers like me?  Thank you for this interview; I really do appreciate your time! 

Find your passion. That's the most important thing. Don't blog because you think it's cool to blog. Blog because you like to blog. Blog about the things that you like, not the things that you think are "in" right now. You may become popular in the short run, but what's your voice? Don't be chasing after trends, set your own trends. 

Also, make friends. The book blogging community is friendly and closely knit. We're all nice! Ask other bloggers questions. Don't be intimidated by them. You can ask me questions! (Shameless self-promotion). Ask me things on Twitter (@alicejane011) or via email. 

Thank you for interviewing me!

Haha, that was the first interview I've ever done and I'd say it was a success!  Once again, thank you Alice for doing this :)  Don't forget to check out her blog at Crazy Red Pen or you can find her on Twitter (@alicejane011).

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Review: Fathomless (Fairy Tale Retellings #3) by Jackson Pearce


Title: Fathomless (Fairytale Retellings #3)
Author: Jackson Pearce
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 4th, 2012
FTC: The ARC was sent to me from the publisher.  All opinions in this review are my own.  

Lo doesn't know who she is. Or who she was. Once a human, she is now almost entirely a mermaid -- a term too pretty for the soulless monster she's becoming. Then Lo meets Celia when they work together to rescue a handsome boy named Jude from drowning. Unlike Lo's ocean sisters, Celia has the ability to help Lo remember her human past. The two form a friendship but soon find themselves competing for Jude's affection. Lo wants more than love, though. According to ocean lore, there's only one way for Lo to earn back her humanity. She must persuade a mortal to love her... and steal his soul.

I absolutely love fairy tale retellings so when I received the ARC for Fathomless by Jackson Pearce in the mail, I was very excited to start reading.  As one can tell from the cover and title, this book is based on The Little Mermaid.  Not the Disney movie, but the darker original story by Hans Christian Anderson.  You know, with sea foam, knives and all?  Read more about the original here.

Once I started reading, I could not stop since there were so many questions I wanted answered.  How did Celia and her sisters get their powers?  How did Lo get turned into a mermaid?  Who are the "angels" that the mermaid sisters keep talking about and what part did they play in Lo's transformation?  What was the purpose of her transformation?  Even as I got closer to the end, a lot of the questions remained unanswered.  A lot of the ones that did get answered brought up newer questions which was quite annoying.  I did hear that some of the things referenced in this book were also in the previous books in the series so maybe reading the other ones would have helped.  I disliked the switching point of views back and forth between Lo's human self and Lo's mermaid self.  It was not very effectively done and was confusing at times.  Another thing I disliked in the book, Jude was the most blah YA love interest I have ever encountered.  His character was so flat and one dimensional.  Broke musician who writes songs about girls and the ocean?  *le yawn*

Despite all that, Fathomless is a very engaging story.  Being a soulless mermaid has been all Lo can remember and she can finally start to remember her past with the help of Celia.  Celia has felt overshadowed by her sisters all her life and now has the chance to prove her own worth by helping Lo.  On the other hand, their friendship has a dark side to it.  It's the classic "friends fighting over boy story" but this time, one of them wants to steal his soul.  It's a very cool and interesting idea.  The underwater scenes with Lo and her mermaid sisters were haunting and sad, not what you usually think of when you hear the word "mermaid".  I loved how Pearce redefines mermaids in that sense.  Another thing I loved was the ending.  The ending can make or break a novel; in this case, the ending saved it!  Holy cow, it was definitely unexpected.  Not exactly a perfect ending, but with enough closure to leave me feeling satisfied.  

Overall, I thought the novel had great potential, but I was really conflicted while reading it.  The plot is great and the world that the author creates is really fascinating.  But there are too many things going on at once and many questions are left unanswered.  I'm probably going to check out the first two books in the series to see if that helps.  This is still a worthy read and I would definitely recommend it to fans of the previous books in the series and fans of fairy tales and paranormal romance.