Thursday, March 31, 2011

Anna and the French Kiss Review

     Remember how it felt to be young and have a crush on someone? It was awkward, lonely, embarrassing, wonderful, exhilarating, amazing. That's how this book feels. This book makes you have a teen crush on it.
  
      Don't read it if you have something you need to get done in the next few days. It's best read in a short period of time or all at once if you can manage. And once it's over you don't want it to be. You want the story to keep going because you actually fall in love with the characters. The characters become your best friends. And the same way you felt about the people you really liked in high school (friends and crushes) is the way you feel about the people in the book. You want to spend all of your time with them and don't want to be apart. It takes immense skill to write this way. Stephanie Perkins creates a book that is funny, thought-provoking, and emotional. This book actually feels like adolescence.
  
      Most of the credit for that goes to the narrator and main character of the book, Anna. Anna is an American teenager who goes to boarding school in Paris for her senior year. She makes new friends, falls in love, and learns a lot about herself. Pretty standard stuff. But Anna and the other characters are so interesting and real that nothing about the book feels cliche. Anna is 100% relatable. She feels like a sister, like a best friend, like yourself.
  
     When I was a teenager I read a lot of Meg Cabot and Ann Brashares. Those authors knew how to make strong female characters. Maureen Johnson is another example of an author who knows how to make good characters. Anna is the type of person that young girls should be reading about. She is cool, funny, smart, and interesting. She has interests, hopes, goals and dreams. She has flaws. She gets confused and makes mistakes. She hurts and betrays her friends. She has to deal with problems. A direct quote from the book is "Boys make girls so stupid" Anna realizes this about herself when she contemplates not learning French so her crush can help her more. One of the most compelling and relatable aspects of Anna's character is that she is not totally happy to be living in Paris. She just wants to be at home with her mom, her little brother, her best friend, and her part time job at the movie theatre. Anna feels like a real person and that is why the reader becomes so invested in the story and what will happen to her.
  
I noticed a lot of similarities to the plot of Looking for Alaska by John Green. If you haven't read it, I will try not to spoil it. You should read it. It is good.

Formula of LfA:
(Pudge) goes away to (Alabama) for boarding school. Meets (The Colonel.) Meets and falls for (Alaska). Spends school year trying to tear (Alaska) away from (her boyfriend.) Realizes something important about relationships in the end.

Formula of AatFK:
(Anna) goes away to (Paris) for boarding school. Meets (Mer.) Meets and falls for (St. Clair). Spends school year trying to tear (St. Clair) away from (his girlfriend.) Realizes something important about relationships in the end.

     However, there are a couple of important differences. 1.) the ending. the books have completely different messages in the end, the characters learn different things about themselves by going away and meeting new people who change their outlooks. and 2.) the central relationship. While Pudge spends the novel misunderstanding Alaska (something John Green dealt with in his third novel Paper Towns about how we misconceptualize people, especially if we like them) Anna and St. Clair have a real relationship. They understand each other mutually and know each other very well and the reader feels like the version of St. Clair we are reading isn't oversexualized or exaggerated in any way, because St. Clair has flaws too and he screws up and hurts people as much as Anna does.

What I love about this book is that none of the characters are perfect. I think it's a healthy presentation of teenage relationships. It's a great book and I recommend it to all of you.

Also, it started out as a NaNoWriMo novel so how cool is that?

I don't have a rating system but I really liked the book so you should read it.

Click on the book to buy it!

anna french kiss

Books Read So Far: 8
Currently Reading: Still haven't finished that transcript. Also reading The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spring/Summer Inspiration.

I've been super busy this week. I'm interning at a school for a few weeks so I'm learning a ton but I'm also working really hard and since this week was a short week it's gone by fast. This is an image post. I made a collage out of images I've been collecting on my computer for a little while. Things that inspire me and make me excited for spring/summer. I want it to be warm but I don't want it to melt too fast because there is a LOT of snow here and it needs to melt slowly. Anyways, here are the pictures. Enjoy.


I tried to group them logically. Sorry I don't have sources, they're from all over the place really.

That last one is The Gorge Amphitheatre, where I'm going in May! It looks so beautiful and amazing there, I can't wait.

Books Read So Far: 7. My phone tells me we are in the 12th week of the year so I'm doing pretty awesome. I'm only 3 books behind (if I read 50 books in a year it gives me two weeks off) and I will definitely catch up over summer, so go me.

Currently Reading: an unpublished manuscript I'm proofreading for my parents before they publish it. It's good. I need to get working on it. I'll finish it this weekend.

Have a great weekend! I'll be busy for the next couple weeks interning but I have some cool posts planned if I have time for them.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Happy Birthday!

 Today is a really important day. It is the first day of spring! (supposedly, though I'm not seeing evidence of that here.) It's Anti-racism day, and lots of cool people were born on this day.

Awesome People Born On this Day in History
- Gary Oldman
- Matthew Broderick
- Timothy Dalton
- Rosie O'Donnell
- MY SISTER

      My sister is my best friend. She is a great lunch partner, movie date, and travel companion. I have known her MY ENTIRE LIFE...obviously, and she has always been there for me.



       She influenced my taste in books (gotta love Babysitter's Club), music (Backstreet Boys 4eva), movies (Little Mermaid!), television shows (Degrassi...the old school ones) and many more things. Now that I'm older I like to think we influence each others' taste a little and it's not so one-sided.

    
       She lived 8 hours away for my adolescent and teen years but was still a big influence and role model to me. 

She's been there for all of the major events in my life and I know we're going to be close our whole lives, no matter where each of us lives or what we are doing.


      I'm so happy we're sisters and I'm so grateful to have a friend like you in my life. I love you.


This time last year we said you would have the best year ever and it was pretty freakin' great. This year will be even better.

Happy Birthday! I love you!

P.S. I'm so happy we're old enough to choose our own hairstyles. 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Songs About Days of The Week.

I was planning on posting this later because I wanted to finish a book today and add it to my list, but the day has zoomed past me and I didn't finish a book and I'm posting this anyways. Happy day after St. Patrick's Day, everyone.

If you haven't heard of Rebecca Black you probably gave up the internet for Lent. Or you just don't talk to people.
This young girl made a song and it went viral on youtube and it's pretty funny but people are taking it way out of hand (as they often do) and saying that she represents everything wrong with the music industry and sending her death threats on Twitter and stuff...not cool.

But anyways, one of the funnier lyrics in the song (watch it here) is when she breaks it down for you in the bridge.
"Yesterday was Thursday, Thursday. Today it is Friday, Friday.....Tomorrow is Saturday and Sunday comes afterwards. I don't want this weekend to end."

and while it's stupid to list the days of the week as a song lyric, a lot of great songs have done it in the past. So here is my playlist of  Songs about days of the week. (I know this idea isn't all that original but I thought it was fun anyways.)

Monday, Monday by The Mamas & The Papas  "Monday, Monday, so good to me..."

Manic Monday by The Bangles "It's just another manic Monday, I wish it was Sunday..."

Pieces of Me by Ashlee Simpson  "On a Monday I am waiting, Tuesday I am fading, and by Wednesday I can't sleep..."

Friday I'm in Love by The Cure  The entire song is just talking about how the other days of the week can suck it because Friday is awesome. That's right, hipsters. People who make fun of Rebecca Black are also making fun of The Cure. Yup.
*As a side note, this is one of my favourite songs to sing on SingStar. And also I kind of want this Threadless shirt.

Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting by Elton John

I Gotta Feeling by the Black Eyed Peas Let's end on a high note, shall we? this lyrical gem offers the poetic line, "Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. Friday, Saturday, Saturday, Sunday." Really, Black Eyed Peas? Really? Two Saturdays? Rebecca Black may not be a poet but at least she knows there is only one Saturday per week.

If I missed any, leave them in comments. Have a good weekend everybody.

Books Read So Far: 6 or whatever. Shameful.
Currently Reading: Still The Element. I can't read non-fiction books quickly apparently. I'm going to finish it, though. I will.

    

Sunday, March 13, 2011

We just wanna make the world dance, forget about the Price Tag

  I had a great weekend. Sadly it wasn't as productive as it maybe should have been, but whatever. I haven't bought myself anything for a while but I actually bought quite a few things this weekend, which I didn't even realize until I went to compile this post because I didn't actually shop, just went to my school's bookstore and then to Value Village with a friend for a bit on Saturday. I didn't spend too much money, either. 

I bought these two scarves for $5 each.

I finally got this book which I've wanted to read for a while. 

And I got these books too because they were on sale for $3.99 each.

I got this sweater for $2.99

$2.99

$3.99
I got another sweater too but it's in the dryer right now. It's kind of like the little polka dot shrug one, but it's brown and purpley argyle pattern, it's cute. 

And I got this nail polish for $2. It's a nice spring-y colour.

Watching this movie and doing some homework right now. I love Clueless. 

Books Read So Far: 6
Currently Reading: I'm going to finish The Element this week and then proofread/edit a manuscript that my parent's company is publishing. Yup.

Have a good week, all! 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Mashups and Medleys

Last night I went to that new Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston movie Just Go With It and I really liked it. It was funny, the actors had good chemistry, and it was set in California and Hawaii so it was nice to look at and it made me feel all warm and happy like vacation movies always do. It kind of reminded me of Forgetting Sarah Marshall, too, which is one of my favourite movies. It also had a really great soundtrack, featuring songs by The Police, The Beach Boys, and some interesting mash-ups.
We all know I love me some mash-ups, but sometimes I find them disconcerting, like my ears only want to listen to one song at a time and that's kind of how I felt about these two mash-ups featured on the film's soundtrack.
1.) "Tender Umbrella" (Umbrella by Rhianna and Tenderness by General Public)
2.) "Every Car You Chase" (Every Breath You Take by The Police and Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol)

In any case, it made me think of some of the great/interesting mash-ups I've come across lately on the internet and I wanted to share some.
(Born This Way by Lady Gaga, Waterfalls by TLC, Express Yourself by Madonna, Vogue by Madonna, Fever by Adam Lambert, When Love Takes Over by David Guetta, Walk Away by Kelly Clarkson, God is a DJ by Pink) - more of a medley
Never Gonna Give You Up by Rick Astley and Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana (this is another one of those disconcerting ones, kind of uncomfortable but it's interesting)
Sprawl of Glass (Sprawl II by Arcade Fire and Heart of Glass by Blondie - scroll down to play the song)

Books Read So Far: 6
Currently Reading: I just finished The BFG so now I want to finish The Element.

This is my 50th post! Awesome!
Have a great week!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Ignite the Light and Let It Shine.

Hey, this isn't a real blog entry.
I'm working on a project for school about how vlogs and youtube can be used in the classroom, and these guys are my favourite, I've seen their videos before and I'm obviously using them for my project.
They're super famous so you've probably heard of them/seen their videos, but in case you haven't check them out. Their videos always make me happy....and usually make a me cry because I'm sappy like that.



Have a great weekend, everybody. March is full of working, finishing projects for school, and just being all around super busy, but I'm going to try to have some more creative, inspired posts so my blog isn't so boring and neglected. And I'm going to try to get caught up on my 50 book challenge, too.

And for anybody who's had a let-down recently, I leave you with this:

"Maybe the reason why all the doors are closed 
is so you can open one that leads you to the perfect road.."

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Skype Emoticon Poem

Last night on Skype my friend and I made a poem using the emoticons. There had to be one emoticon per line and it could be anywhere in the line. He wrote the first line, then I wrote one to rhyme it and another line, then he wrote the two after that, then I wrote the two after that and so on. Here is the result. 

And that is the end of the emoticon poem.

It was left unfinished because we had to go to bed. 

Books Read so Far: 5 still. School is killing my motivation to do anything I enjoy. :| sort of. Mostly I'm just lazy.
Currently Reading: The Element (though I'm not really reading it) and The BFG by Roald Dahl. It was one of my favourites as a kid but I sold my copy. I bought a used copy a couple weeks ago and started it last night. I'll probably finish it today just so I can add another book to my list. and because I love it!

Follow the jump to read a text-only version of the poem.