Friday, July 31, 2009

Q&A Friday 6: Kate of the Neverending Shelf

 It's time for another edition of Q&A Friday! This week's guest is Kate from The Neverending Shelf. This is a big day for Q&A Friday, as it is the first interview I've ever gotten from a reader that I don't know in real life or from my writing group. ^_^

Screen name: Kate
Blog: neverendingshelf.blogspot.com

1. What is your blog about???

It is about my passion for ya books. I also love finding quirky information and passing it along.
2. Would you survive in a zombie apocalypse, or would you be eating brains???
I would like to think that I would be able to survive the zombie apocalypse. After all, I have seen countless zombie movies. And since my husband is more obsessed with zombies than I am, I would like to think he would want me to survive.. lol.
3. Would you say you're obsessed with blogging???
YES!!! Neverendingshelf is my second attempt at blogging, and in the short time I have had it, it has begun to consume my every thought.
4. Name 1-3 blogs you love.

http://www.thestorysiren.com/
-There is so much good information here
theladybugreads.blogspot.com
-I love her honest reviews
I love Story Siren too! Is it just me, or is she like the grand poo-bah of book blogs? :)

5. What's you favorite book, movie, or band/singer (answer as many as you want)???
Favorite book, right now, is Unwind by Neal Shusterman.

Band: HIM, Framing Hanley... there are so many
6. If you were going to be famous, would you want to be a writer, actor/actress, musician, or athlete???
I would love to be a writer.

Thanks for stopping by, Kate!
If you would like to be interviewed here, visit the Q&A Friday page and fill out the questions on a comment. :)

Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

I'm a huge fan of Harry Potter (who isn't?! [don't answer that]), and I'd been waiting to see this movie since the credits rolled on the last one. So naturally, I had to see it opening day! I had to wait in line for a bit, but it was worth it. So worth it!
I'm really glad they decided to make this one funny. The other movies had funny moments, but they always left something to be desired in the humor department. And you know Deathly Hallows is going to be a bit of a downer, you know, with half the characters we've come to know and love dying and all, so I personally think making Half-Blood Prince funny was a smart move.
I found Lavender Brown to be super scary! She was just so... clingy, and... and... just plain scary. If I were Ron, I would have run into the Forbidden Forest and never come out (though she probably would have followed him).
Luna Lovegood is officially my favorite character! I never really had a favorite character from the books, but from the movies, Luna's the best. She's just so funny without meaning to be funny. ^_^
There were a few scenes in the movie that I didn't remember being in the book, and a few (somewhat important) scenes from the book that weren't in the movie. But the new and missing scenes didn't ruin the movie at all.
I think they might have botched Dumbledore's death. It just wasn't sad enough. And I don't like that they completely removed the last scene. Maybe they'll open the next movie with that scene instead, I don't know. That was really the only disappointing thing about HBP.
This movie, like its predecessors and the books they're based on, was awesome! If you haven't seen it, I suggest you go do that now. Needless to say, I'm really excited for Deathly Hallows!!!!!

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince gets five Fists of Rock.
Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

What's That Other Thing I'm Supposed to Blog About? Oh Yeah, Now I Remember!

I feel like I haven't done an actual post (i.e. not a review or video) in a long time. So, let's take a short break from reviews and talk about that other thing my blog is supposedly dedicated to: writing.

B9 has been temporarily put on hold so I can polish up one of the character's personalty (okay, "polish" might not be the word I'm looking for, "create" is probably more appropriate). I didn't think the character would play such a large role (stupid, really), so when it came time to write a scene with him, I realized I had made a big mistake and didn't know what he was supposed to be like AT ALL. Once I give him a personality, I'll have to rewrite the beginning of chapter two (aaaaagh, I've only written one chapter!), then I can move on with the story.

Actually, I've been considering putting B9 aside and either rewriting B1.1 or writing B1.2 (is it just me, or does talking about my books sound sound like bingo?). I just think that B1.1 could be... better. I liked it at first (then hated it, then liked it, then hated it...), but now that I've finished reading through it, I feel there's much room for improvement. But I guess I can't expect too much from my very first book. Maybe I'll just finish editing it, write the sequel, and try to get the first one published. If it needs rewriting, I'm sure my agent or editor or whoever will tell me. I don't take my opinion of my work very seriously because I'm very dramatic about it, so it could be fine.

I've recently started working on a new story for 13 & Co. It's steampunk, and involves airships, giant robotic dragons, pirates, and chemical warfare. If I can finish it, I think it's going to be really good. It was inspired by Airborn by Kenneth Oppel (my review for that should be up soon).

Speaking of reviews, I've been getting behind on them. I used to be able to publish my review of something as soon as I finished writing it. But at some point around my week long vacation, things got a little piled up. But I kinda like having a few reviews in my draft box, takes away the sense of urgency to write and publish a review right after I finish the book. :)

Well, I think that about does it for my weekly (or monthly) dose of rambling. I will close by saying that my birthday is next week (yay!), and after about a month of stressing over it, I've finally decided what to do with my cake. I'm not going to tell you what I'm doing yet, but I will post some pictures afterwards (I'm not sure I'll be able to top last year's cake, but I'll do my best).

Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Monday, July 27, 2009

So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld

"We are all around you.

You don’t think about us much, because we are invisible. Well, not exactly invisible. A lot of us have hair dyed in four colors, or wear five-inch platform sneakers, or carry enough metal in our skin that it’s a hassle getting on an airplane. Quite visible, actually, come to think of it.
But we don’t wear signs saying what we are. After all, if you knew what we were up to, we couldn’t work our magic. We have to observe carefully, and push and prompt you in ways you don’t notice. Like good teachers, we let you think you’ve discovered the truth on your own.
And you need us. Someone has to guide you, to mold you, to make sure that today turns into yesterday on schedule. Because frankly, without us to monitor the situation, who knows what would get crammed down your throats?
It’s not like you can just start making your own decisions, after all.

Ever wonder who was the first kid to keep a wallet on a big chunky chain, or wear way-too-big-pants on purpose? What about the mythical first guy who wore his baseball cap backwards? These are the Innovators, the people at the peak of the cool pyramid.
Seventeen-year-old Hunter Braque is a Trend setter, on the second level of the pyramid. His job: find the newest, coolest thing for the retail market. His MO: observe, don’t get involved. But from the moment he meets Innovator Jen James, he can’t help getting involved in a big way.
Part love story, part mystery, part stinging satire, Scott Westerfeld’s spellbinding new novel will make you question everything you’ve ever believed about how to be cool."

So Yesterday was good, but not as good as Westerfeld's other books. It didn't pull me in right at the beginning like his other books did, but it picked up, though not as quickly as I would have liked. I had no idea how the book was going to end, it was just so different from Midnighters and Uglies. Come to think of it, I never know how his books will end (which is a good thing).
Hunter and Jen were interesting characters, I wouldn't mind reading about them again. Jen was probably my favorite. She was crazy, and hanging out with her seemed like fun because interesting things happened when she was around. Her shoelaces were awesome! I tried doing the Rising Sun Laces on my shoes, but my laces are a tad too thick and after the third or fourth loop, I couldn't get it through the center eyelet anymore. Though I'm pretty sure I know how to do them now, it took about two days, but I figured it out (now all I need are some skinnier laces so I can actually do it). :)
The "villain" was interesting, if not a little strange. They were evil, and yet not. And their leader was pretty cool. I wish I could go around on skates all the time, but I'm not too steady standing on wheels.
I liked the "cool pyramid", it was neat. I wish I were one of the super cool, Logo Exile Innovators at the top, but sadly I'm not (I'm not sure where I am on the pyramid, because I don't start trends or follow them).
This book was really funny, had good characters, excellent writing, and a nice plot.

So Yesterday gets four Fists of Rock.
Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Peace, Love & Baby Ducks by Lauren Myracle

"Growing up in a world of wealth and pastel-tinted entitlement, fifteen-year-old Carly has always relied on the constancy—and authenticity—of her sister, Anna. But when fourteen-year-old Anna turns plastic-perfect-pretty over the course of a single summer, everything starts to change. And there are boys involved, complicating things as boys always do. With warmth, insight, and an unparalleled gift for finding humor even in stormy situations, beloved author Lauren Myracle dives into the tumultuous waters of sisterhood and shows that even very different sisters can learn to help each other stay afloat."

This book was really good. Chicky, but good.
Carly was a good character, but she got on my nerves at times. So did Anna. Carly was bossy and a little selfish, and Anna was needy. But Lauren Myracle did an excellent job with the sister thing.
In my review of Dead Is a State of Mind I said never trust the handsom foreigner that likes the main character, but I would like to change that statement. Never trust the handsom new guy that likes the main character/that the main character likes. They're always evil!
I love the cover of this book! The title is on the back, which is a style I have loved since I saw it on The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod. If I ever get multiple books published, I want the title to be on the back of at least one of them.
I had a hard time liking, or even tolerating, Carly's friend Peyton. She was so annoying! And fake! And the worst part is that Anna became like her near the end. Peyton was tolerable at first, but by part two I couldn't stand her. As for Carly's other friend Vonzelle, I liked her. She was cool. :)
Something very sad happened near the end. Not nearly sad enough to make me even feel like I might cry, but still sad.
This book was good, I recommend it to anyone who likes chick-lit. But if you're looking for action and adventure, I suggest you read something else.

Peace, Love & Baby Ducks gets three Fists of Rock.
Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Friday, July 24, 2009

Q&A Friday 5: Zombie Girrrl and Her Character

This week's Q&A Friday guest is my real-life and blogging buddy Zombie Girrrl aka 21 and the main character from her last story on 13 & Co.


Name: Maris, featured in The New Olympians
Genre: fantasy/adventure
Author: 21 (Zombie Girrrl)
Author's blog: The Everchanging Lives of 13 & Co.

For Characters

1. If you could put yourself in any other story, what would it be???

The Lord of the Rings, I would make an awesome tenth in the Fellowship!

2. If you were to write a book about your author, what genre would it be???

Hmm, toughy. If it were based on her life, it would just be contemporary fiction with a strong sisterhood vibe, but I'd like to see her in something more exciting like alternate reality fiction! She'd appreciate that.

3. Would you survive in a zombie apocalypse, or would you be eating brains???

Dude, I'd be leading the civies into battle against the undead legion! Machetes sharp and ready!

4. If you were given control of your story, would you change anything? What and why???

I wouldn't've dug up Aphrodite's artifact. Some things are best left in the ground.

5. Do you ever try to give your author writer's block (don't lie)???

Oh, all the time! I do things that she doesn't understand sometimes just to keep her on her toes! Hahaha!!!


For Bloggers

Blog(s): Crackin' Spines & Takin' Names, In Stitches, and 13 & Co.

1. What is your blog about???

Crackin' Spines & Takin' Names is where I post my thoughts on books. I read a lot of YA books and prefer fantasy and supernatural to contemporary fiction, though I read a lot of that too. I love that blog because of all the new books I’ve found through it and the all the people I’ve met (hi people!).
In Stitches is a place where I can (but don't often) post things I make and drawings and stuff. I haven’t posted on that one in a while, temperamental artist and all that. I haven’t made anything post worthy all summer.
13 & Co. is a group blog where me and a few friends post short stories. My last (and first) story was called The New Olympians and I'm working on a new one right now, it's about a girl cursed from birth with super bad luck. I'm torn between two titles, Mira, Mira or (un)Lucky 7.
I like Mira, Mira more. The other one (no offence) sounds a little cliche. :)

2. Would you survive in a zombie apocalypse, or would you be eating brains???
I'd totally survive! Why? Because I've got a Plan. Two of 'em, in fact. Both fool proof.

Plan A: Assess the Situation.
Before sharpening the ol' machete and fueling up the blow torch, I'd play Michael Jackson's Thriller for the approaching horde. If the zombies don't start dancing, then I'd know the situation has gone critical, and it's time for Plan B.
Plan B: Bunker Down.
I'd go to ground with my family and ride out the walking plague in secrecy and seclusion. In short; I'd hide, and I'd hide well. I think I'm ideally suited for this. I'm self-amused, so it's not like I need a ton of people around to keep my entertained; I enjoy rereading books, which is good because I think in case of a zombie apocalypse, the library would be closed; and I'm not afraid of eating new things, a fact that will come in handy when the food runs low and we have to supplement the larder by eating pinecones and dandelions.
3. Would you say you're obsessed with blogging???

Not really. I like reading blogs, looking at pictures, finding new books and authors, and I like posting stuff and seeing what people think, but I can go days without updating. (A fact I’m sure you’ve noticed.)

4. Name 1-3 blogs you love.

Can I say my own? No, that's cheating. I like Bloody Bookaholic, The Tainted Poet, and Design Inspired. Really though, I like everything I follow (duh). There are some great reviewers out there with great taste in books.

5. What's you favorite book, movie, or band/singer (answer as many as you want)???

Right now? World War Z, by Max Brooks and A Little Princess, by Francis Hogdson Burnett.
Movie would be a toss up between Snatch, Master and Commander, and Star Trek.
Band... Ugh! Too hard! My fave songs right now are Panic Switch by The Silversun Pickups, Feel Good Drag by Anberlin, Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked by Cage the Elephant, and While My Guitar Gently Weeps as played by Jake Shimabukuro on the ukulele. It made me smile and sort of want to cry. But my favorite singer is Mary Clayton. Listen to Gimme Shelter by the Stones, she sounds elemental, man!

6. If you were going to be famous, would you want to be a writer, actor/actress, musician, or athlete???

I have a recurring dream where I'm a speed skater in the Olympics, that's pretty awesome, but I think I'd want to do something more creative. Musician, maybe. I can't play an instrument, but if I could I'd wanna play bass guitar like Nikki Monninger. I have a lot of respect for writers though, so that would be a cool gig too. If I could get my thoughts organized, I’d say a writer, but my mind is a cluttered mess. Drawing works better for me than writing I think. Hmm, I think I'll have to say... An adventure seeking kayaker working in collaboration with National Geographic magazine to capture footage and photos of the worlds most remote and unspoiled scenery. Wait, that wasn't an option?


Thanks for stopping by, Zombie Girrrl!
If you would like to be interviewed here, visit the Q&A Friday page and fill out the questions in a comment. :)

Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Star Trek

I really didn't think I would like this movie. I mean, it's Star Trek! I thought it would be like Star Wars-- really long, boring, and way too far-fetched for my liking. But I liked it! A lot! It was funny, which I really didn't expect. I've never seen anything Star Trek before this, so I don't know much about the characters, but I think the casting was really good. The effects were great, which was good otherwise I wouldn't have been able to sit through the whole thing.
I didn't really know what it was about before I saw it. All I knew was it was about space travel and their ship had a teleporter. If it hadn't been about the origins of the main characters, I probably would have been totally lost and not liked it. But the story was great. It was interesting and easy to follow.
This movie was good, definitely worth seeing whether you're a Star Trek fan or not.

I give it four Fists of Rock.
Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Shattered Mirror by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

"Sarah Vida is a witch and a vampire hunter — and a loner. Christopher Ravena is a vampire trying to pass as a normal high school student who wants to know Sarah better."

I really liked this one. I think it might be my favorite so far. There was a lot more action than Demon in My View, and I think more than In the Forest of the Night too (it's been forever since I read that one, so I don't really know).
I found Sarah to be annoying with all her "Vampires are evil monsters, witches are awesome!" stuff. Though the witches were pretty awesome. I'm not sure if I said this in my last Den of Shadows review, but I liked how the witches weren't just people with powers.
Nikolas was an interesting villain, because he wasn't totally evil. I love bad guys like that! *coughRedXcough* But that thing about carving his name into his victims was really creepy.
I can't really think of anything else to say except, the characters were good (I hate the Vidas!), the story was really interesting, and the writing was great.

I give this book four Fists of Rock.
Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Friday, July 17, 2009

Q&A Friday 4: Steph Bowe

Q&A Friday is back! Yay! The fourth interview was supposed to be with 21 I mean, Zombie Girrrl, but she kept rewriting her answers, and Friday kept passing, and I kept forgetting, so... yeah. Anyway, she's rewriting her interview again, and I figure, I've made this one wait long enough (sorry, Steph!). So here it is, my interview with the awesome Steph Bowe and Gracie Dove, star of Gracie's List which can be read on Steph's blog, Hey, Teenager of the Year.

For Characters

Name: Gracie Dove
Genre: YA comedy?
Author: Steph Bowe (I don't have a screen name, I don't really care about anonymity)

1. If you could put yourself in any other story, what would it be???

TWILIGHT!! I would definitely be Alice.
2. If you were to write a book about your author, what genre would it be???

Romance, naturally. But not one of those stupid Mills & Boone books. It would be an upper YA romance, with the possibility of Steph getting laid.
Steph interjects: Gracie Dove, what did you just say??
3. What would you be in a zombie apocalypse, a zombie fighter or a zombie???

ZOMBIE. D'urg.
4. If you were given control of you story, would you change anything? What and why???

There would be zombies. I would be a zombie. It would be wicked.
5. Do you ever try to give your author writer's block (don't lie)???

Never! I give Steph soooo much to write about.
 For Writers

1. Why do you want to be a writer???

I can't imagine doing anything else.
 2. Do you have anything in common with your characters? Do you wish you were like them???

I am an amalgamation of Gracie and Teddy and Jake from Gracie's List. All of my characters are very similar to me.
3. Do you base characters on people you know? Do they end up like that even when you don't try???

I always make up characters.
 4. What would you be in a zombie apocalypse, a zombie fighter or a zombie???

ZOMBIE! I just got back from camp with a bunch of people I didn't know before camp, and we got along because we all drew zombie pictures. I should photograph my two zombie pictures and put them on my blog.
 5. What books/authors inspired you to write???

I always have written, but many of the fabulous authors I've interviewed on Hey, Teenager of the Year have inspired me along the way.
 6. How do you feel about killing your characters???

It must be done. Gruesomely.
 7. Do you have any advice for other writers???

Write. And write. And keep on writing. Eventually, you will get good.
 For Bloggers

1. What is your blog about???

Reading, writing, YA literature, zombies, puppies, underage sex, pyromania.
 2. Would you say you're obsessed with blogging???

I'm obsessed with refreshing my email.
 3. Name 1-3 blogs you love.

I can't. Sorry. Check out my blogroll.
 4. What's you favorite book, movie, or band/singer (answer as many as you want)???

Book: Can't choose one.
Movie: Hot Fuzz or Shaun of the Dead
Band: The Killers, Matchbox Twenty
5. If you were going to be famous, would you want to be a writer, actor/actress, musician, or athlete???

A writer, a singer and an actress. All three!

Thanks for stopping by, Steph!
Currently, there are no finished interviews, so Q&A Friday may not be back for a while. If you would like to be interviewed here, visit the Q&A Friday page and fill out the questions in a comment. ^_^

Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I Had My Doubts, and I Was....

Wrong! I was so wrong! I thought M. Night Shyamalan was going to screw up the Avatar movie (actually titled The Last Airbender), and I was wrong. *hangs-head-in-shame*
I saw the trailer below a while ago, and it looks awesome!!!! It looks pretty different from the show, but that's okay. I mean, look at the Harry Potter movies. They're different from the books, but they're still awesome, just in a slightly different way.
Anyway, on to the trailer!


I CAN'T WAIT!!!!!!!!!! I'm still a little worried about the rest of the cast, because they are way older than the characters they're playing. But who cares?!?! The movie looks awesome!!!

Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Necropolis by Anthony Horowitz

"As the fourth novel in the spellbinding Gatekeepers series begins, the world is under the greatest threat it's ever known. The evil corporation Nightrise has amassed an immense amount of power . . . and the devastating force of the Old Ones is about to be unleashed around the globe. To stop this from happening, Matt and three of the Gatekeepers head to Hong Kong--not just the modern city of skyscrapers and wealth, but the secretive underworld beneath. In Hong Kong they will meet the final Gatekeeper, a girl named Scarlet, whose fate is inextricably joined to their own...."

The beginning of this book was a little slow in my opinion, because Scarlett was the major focus, but there were other characters, ones I had grown more attached to, that were in the story as well. I had the same problem with Nightrise, which was all about Scott and Jamie. For me, it's just kinda weird to be reading a book in a series you've read since the beginning without reading about the character you started out with. I mean, you want to know what's happening with the characters you know, but you have to read about someone else.
This book was frustrating at times. They would get so close to their goal, just to have it all taken away. And most of the time it was taken to the other side of the world. But it wouldn't have been nearly as interesting if things were so easy. Their struggles were a lot of what kept me reading (that and the general awesomeness of the book).
Scarlett was a great character. I believe this is the first time Horowitz has written a book about a girl, and he did great.
I am really glad they changed the cover. It used to be the one on the right, but it was changed to the top pic. Yay! I loved the original cover of Raven's Gate. The cover and title were what drew me to the book, but then they started putting people on the covers, and I was more than a little bummed. Anyway, I'm just glad they went back to the peopleless covers (though I'm a little mad that the British covers are now available in the US, even though they're only paperbacks and I have the whole series in hardback).
There were a few chapters written as journal entries from Matt. I really liked that. It was a great way of getting to know the character better, and I wish there had been a chapter or two like that for everyone else.
The last chapter was EPIC!!! It says a lot about a book when your heart is pounding like you just ran a marathon, I mean, it is just words on paper. But that was one of the most exciting and stressful arrangements of words on paper I've ever read! The ending was sooo good and unbelievable that I actually had to sit for a few minutes to let it all sink in when I'd finished.
This book had it all: magic, battles, death, zombies (yes, I said zombies), loads of evil, betrayal, jet lag (not that exciting, but there was a lot of it), [spoiler] triads working for the greater good, and lots of other stuff. It was awesome! I think Necropolis is my second favorite in this series, after Raven's Gate.

This book was Too Much Rock for One Hand!
Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Monday, July 13, 2009

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

I gotta say, X-Men Origins: Wolverine didn't quite live up to my expectations. Maybe I got cuaght up in the hype and forgot how I only kinda liked the first three X-Men movies, or maybe I just expected too much from it. Either way, I was a little disappointed. The action was good, but it just wasn't as cool as it should have been.
Wolverine looked weird with his hair all normal. Though that did answer the question of did he style it, or did it just grow that way? (kidding)
While the final battle was awesome, I found it kind of stupid. Why did he climb the tower thing? Wouldn't he have been better off staying on the ground?

Anyway, this movie was good, but not really my thing. Fans of X-Men and other Marvel things might like it, but of all Marvel's movies, it wasn't even close to be my favorite. If you're into action and lots of fight scenes, I recommend you see it. If not, then you would be wasting your time.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine gets three Fists of Rock.
Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Mini Blog: Back With A Vengeance

I'm back from my week long vacation. I'm a little sad it's over, but it's nice to be home again. Got back yesterday afternoonish, but I was pretty tired, and there was unpacking to do and blogs to catch up on (sooo many blogs to catch up on), so I decided to wait until today to post.
While I was away I saw Star Trek, and I must say, it was surprisingly good. I didn't really want to see it, but my sister wanted to so I went... and I liked it! A lot! I'll probably have to buy it when it comes out on DVD (it'll look nice next to Transformers, and eventually Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen which looks sooo good!). I was pretty busy with vacationy things, so I only managed to finish one of the four books I brought (one was an audio book). But that one book was about 350 pages, so it's not so bad.

Anyway, that's all for now. I'll be back with a book review (and a few movie reviews) soon.

Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

"In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before-and survival."

This book was amazing! I loved it! It doesn't take long to get going, which I loved. It starts out right where the games do, at the reaping. The present-tense, first person narrative made it really easy to relate to Katniss. The writing almost gave the sense that you weren't just reading about Katniss, you were Katniss. Everything Katniss felt, you felt. When Katniss was in danger, you were in danger. It was a little stressful, but made the book all the more exciting!!!
The way they lived in the districts, starving and hunting their own food and working in coal mines, made it really easy to forget that the book was based in the future (then a hovercraft would drop out of the sky). In just about every other book based in the future (except, of course, post apocalyptic nightmares), things like that don't happen. People don't starve to death in a little town where electricity can only be counted on during mandatory-viewing broadcasts. I loved how different it was from most peoples' view of the future.
I have to admit, Peeta's name bothered me a little in the beginning. I mean, come on! Peeta, the baker's son! It was almost too comical for the extremely depressing country of Panem. But after the Games started, I got over it. Because after the Games started, they no longer lived in a world with bakers. After the Games started, nothing existed outside of the arena. It was just so hard to think that while 24 teenagers hunted and killed each other, there was a civilized, and very advanced world beyond the barriers of their prison.
Katniss was a great character. Though, it annoyed me how she seemed to get so caught up in winning the crowd's favor. I know it was a means of survival and she needed sponsors, but it still bothered me.
Collins did an excellent job of making you like all the characters Katniss liked, and hate all the characters Katniss hated. The villains were some of the best I've read about in a while.
There's a lot more to say about this book, but I don't want to give anything away. :)

Anyway, I loved this book. The writing and characters were great, and the story and world were absolutely amazing! I totally recommend this to EVERYONE!

Hunger Games was Too Much Rock for Two Hands!!!
Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Me and Hey, Teenager of the Year

I was interviewed a while ago by Steph Bowe at Hey, Teenager of the Year. It was so much fun! Check it out here. XD
(Speaking of interviews, I should probably get back to Q&A Friday this week. I forgot to post an interview the last few weeks.)

Besides being interviewed by Steph, I also sent her the first page of my current project, B9, to be critiqued. I won't tell you which one it is, you'll have to guess. Below is a list of the First Page posts on her blog. :)
First Page #1
First Page #2
First Page #3 (this one is by an actual author, so obviously, it's not mine)
First Page #4
First Page #5
First Page #6
First Page #7
First Page #8
So, which one do you think is mine?

Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Sunday, July 5, 2009

In My Mailbox 7

In My Mailbox was started by The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. None of these books were or ever will be in my mailbox, but whatever.

From the Library
Airborn by Kenneth Oppel
Pub. date: May 04
"Matt Cruse is a cabin boy on the Aurora, a huge airship that sails hundreds of feet above the ocean, ferrying wealthy passengers from city to city. It is the life Matt's always wanted; convinced he's lighter than air, he imagines himself as buoyant as the hydrium gas that powers the ship.
One night he meets a dying balloonist who speaks of beautiful creatures drifting through the skies. It is only after Matt meets the balloonist's granddaughter that he realizes that the man's ravings may, in fact, have been true, and that the creatures are completely real and utterly true.
In a swashbuckling adventure reminiscent of Jules Verne and Robert Louis Stevenson, Kenneth Oppel, author of the best-selling Silverwing trilogy, creats an imagined world in which the air is populated by trancontinental voyagers, pirates, and beings never before dreamed of by the humans who sail the skies."
This sounds a bit steampunky, which I'm really into right now, so I decided to get it even though I've never read anything by the author or even heard of the book before.

The Finnish Line by Linda Gerber
Pub. date: October 07
"When Nordic ski jumper Maureen "Mo" Clark set foot in Finland, she breathed a sigh of relief. Finally, escape from her famous skier father's shadow and a chance to jump in the renowned Lahti Ski Games. But Mo quickly realizes that balancing practice and classes is more challenging than she expected. So when a gorgeous bad boy teammate offers coaching assistance-for a little publicity in return-how can she refuse? Surely she can work in a few extra practices somewhere between studying for calculus and sightseeing in Finland? Amid snowmobiling and dog-sledding, ice hotels and Northern lights, Mo begins to discover what strength and perseverance-the Finnish sisu-is all about. Now it's up to her to take that final jump and cross the finish line in style."
My library has a ton of these books, and I've toyed with getting one for a while. I want Linda Gerber's book Death by Bikini and thought it would be a good idea to test out her writing first (my library doesn't have the Death by series).

From Friends
So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld (from Orchid)
Pub. date: September 05
"We are all around you.

You don’t think about us much, because we are invisible. Well, not exactly invisible. A lot of us have hair dyed in four colors, or wear five-inch platform sneakers, or carry enough metal in our skin that it’s a hassle getting on an airplane. Quite visible, actually, come to think of it.
But we don’t wear signs saying what we are. After all, if you knew what we were up to, we couldn’t work our magic. We have to observe carefully, and push and prompt you in ways you don’t notice. Like good teachers, we let you think you’ve discovered the truth on your own.
And you need us. Someone has to guide you, to mold you, to make sure that today turns into yesterday on schedule. Because frankly, without us to monitor the situation, who knows what would get crammed down your throats?
It’s not like you can just start making your own decisions, after all.


Ever wonder who was the first kid to keep a wallet on a big chunky chain, or wear way-too-big-pants on purpose? What about the mythical first guy who wore his baseball cap backwards? These are the Innovators, the people at the peak of the cool pyramid.
Seventeen-year-old Hunter Braque is a Trend setter, on the second level of the pyramid. His job: find the newest, coolest thing for the retail market. His MO: observe, don’t get involved. But from the moment he meets Innovator Jen James, he can’t help getting involved in a big way.
Part love story, part mystery, part stinging satire, Scott Westerfeld’s spellbinding new novel will make you question everything you’ve ever believed about how to be cool."
I love Scott Westerfeld's books! I've already finished this, but my review probably won't be up for a few weeks since I still have to post my reviews for a bunch of other books.

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, read by Ari Graynor (from 21)
Pub. date: April 07
"When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder -- much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing -- not even a smear of blood -- to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know. . . .
Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare's ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end."
21 got this from the library because they didn't have the actual book. I think I'm only on disk 4 of 12. I've been wanting to read this since Scott Westerfeld said he was doing a signing with Cassandra Clare a while ago, but never got around to buying it.

That's what I got, what about you?

Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Mini Blog: Vacation

Hello Loyal Readers!
I will be gone all week on vacation (yay!), so there won't be many (if any) updates. Sorry! I'll try to schedule some stuff so you won't get bored, but I'm leaving tomorrow (talk about leaving it to the last minute) and it's getting late-ish. :)
Happy Fourth of July! I'll be back next week with a bunch of book reviews and other fun stuff*!

Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

*"Fun stuff" subject to opinion.