Fingers crossed that my log will look like this:
or, maybe like this (without all the ornaments):
It's a classic in a way that the Princess Bride is a classic. Both are not said by literary critics that they're classics or anything, but they just are. Almost everyone knows about the books, and mostly everyone has read them (or in PB's case, the author himself declared it a classic). I read the Princess Bride earlier this year, but I've already told my story with that in another post. This post (or this spot in this post) is all about Howl's Moving Castle. This is another book that I've never bothered to pick up despite everyone else doing so, and oh my goodness, I should really stop listening to myself when it comes to books!
And from what my friend showed me in the morning, it looks like there's a new way to Hogwarts from New York City! :D As you can see in this picture, there's a new Platform 9 3/4 in the Union Square Subway Station.
Umm...how amazing is that? :D (In New York too!)
Really really big.
Really really really really big.
Really reall- All right, I think you already know what I’m going to say. ;)
The event started at 7, but since I got just a little paranoid about not finding seats, my brother and I went there a half hour early. (And it turns out, there were seats!) We quickly sat in the front row, but then my seating dilemma started. Did I want to sit in the very front row, right in front of the podium where he was going to talk, or did I want to sit a little in the back so I could take better pictures? Well, I couldn't make up my mind, and the introductions started before I could move, so we ended up having to stay in the seats right in front of his podium. Heh heh.
- When his friend moved to Los Angeles, and first visited a dentist there, the dentist pulled him aside after the appointment and asked him if he wanted a 5-year-plan to perfect his teeth (and make them look like Tom Cruise's). That got Scott thinking about the role perfection and beauty in our lives, and Uglies started from there.
- It was the Japanese version of Uglies that made him start thinking about illustrations in books.
- Apparently, the Uglies is full of Japanese and Australian slang. I knew that adding wa or la at the end of everyone's names in the books was sort of a nod to Japanese custom, but I didn't know that adding -ies to the end of words was Australian. :D
- He doesn't have anything against characters whose names start with a Z. ;)
- If he feels that the story is slowing down, he makes his characters jump off of something (so true!).
- He had always wanted to write a story about a girl dressing up as a boy to do something cool, so he used Leviathan as an excuse to write about a character like that.
- He named the jellyfish creature in Leviathan a Huxley, because one of Darwin's good friends (and critic) was Thomas Huxley, a man who studied invertebrates (especially jellyfish).
- Justine Larbalestier (his wife and author, who was also there!) pointed out that Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves is one of Scott's new favorite books (out of the ones he read recently), when Scott was asked by someone about books he recommends.
- For you NaNoer's: They talked about NaNo for a while and gave a couple of tips, and told us that they have a bunch of NaNo tips on their blogs. (Scott and Justine wrote tips on alternate days last November-Scott's tips start here, and Justine's tips start here.)
It’s hauntingly beautiful and I loves it. :)
This book: Umm...is it too late to mention Behemoth? I breezed through the book two weeks ago and I adored it. I can’t decide about whether or not I liked it more than Leviathan, but let’s just say that it rocked. :)
Anyways, I started it, and...I like it. :) It feels nice to go back to familiar grounds and be with old characters again. The only thing I’m sad about is the fact that several characters from the PJO series made no appearance, including Percy. *sob* Luckily, the next book in the series has his name in the title (or should I say his title in the title), and that right there confirms that it’s going to be spectacular.
This movie: I like documentaries and documentaries do sort of count as movies, right? The Cove is about Dolphins and... it’s interesting, to say the least. It is slightly disturbing, now that I think about it, but I enjoyed it when we had to watch it in class. Seeing it will make you want to pick up your picket signs and start advocating for animal rights everywhere. It's so...*shudder*
Well, it's not the picture I like (sorry for the quality); it's the flower. I took this picture several days ago when I realized that it's the only living flower/plant outside anymore. Maybe I like this flower so much because it's becoming really, really cold here, but it's still surviving somehow. I guess that just amazed me...
- In high school I was: Flipped (Wendelin Van Draanen)
- People might be surprised I'm: Catching Fire (Suzanne Collins)
- I will never be: Cleopatra's Daughter (Michelle Moran)
- My fantasy job: Poison Study (Maria Snyder)
- At the end of a long day I need: A Raisin in the Sun (Lorraine Hansberry)
- I hate it when: You Can't Take it With You (George Kaufman)
- Wish I had: Predator's Gold (Philip Reeve)
- My family renunions are: A Midsummer Night's Dream (William Shakespeare)
- At a party you'd find me: Gone (Michael Grant) -> Tee heee. :P
- I've never been to: The City of Bones (Cassandra Clare)
- A happy day includes: Broadway Lights (Jen Calonita)
- Motto I live by: Only the Good Spy Young (Ally Carter)
- On my bucket list: The Miles Between (Mary E. Pearson)
- In my next life I want to be: The Great Gatsby (Scott Fitzgerald)
by Suzanne Collins
Just a couple more hours...I think I'll be able to make it. ;)
(Oh, and we all know what Katniss thinks at the end is not going to be true, right? Because if what they think happens to be true...I'll be very, very sad. The good thing is...it's probably not true...)
To celebrate the release of Mockingjay (and you know, pass the time until Aug. 24th), the awesome Heather, at The Secret Adventures of WriterGirl, created the YA Fantasy Showdown, where some of the best-known YA characters are pitted against each other in battle, and guess what? We, the readers, get to pick the winner, by reading the stats and mock battles written by the Showdown team, and casting our vote for who you think has the skills to move to the next round.
Me reading Leviathan at night:
Me at -
10:45: *looks at watch* Woah! It’s 10:45 already?! I better get to sleep. Okay, I guess I’ll just end at pg. 200, because I like nice numbers. :D
11:00, at pg. 200: Oh, um...is it pg. 200 already? Well, um...I’m still in the middle of the chapter, so I’ll just put the book aside when I’m done with it...
End of chapter, probably 11:10: Er, this chapter ends with a cliffhanger! I can’t stop reading now!
11:35: Deryn! Why did you just do that?! Alek just helped you out!
11:38: Okay, I know it’s 11:38, but I really, really want to know what happens next. Okay, fine. I’ll stop reading at pg. 300 for sure.
12:17: *stares at illustration on pg. 306, amazed by the epicness of it (and ignores the fact that pg. 300 passed a while ago)*
12:38: So, it’s already tomorrow, or today! Ummm...what to do, what to do...Well, there’s only about 100 pages left...Oh, what the heck. I’ll just read it, because I won’t be able to sleep anyway.
2:00: Hey brain, I know Leviathan was fantastic, but I’m trying to sleep, so can you please stop thinking about it? Thank you.
2:24 (I believe): Zzzzzzzzzz (hehe, finally!)
So, was Leviathan worth staying up until 2:30 AM for me? Yes, totally! The story was completely absurd (Clankers vs. Darwinists? Fabricated animals vs. Machines? Really, now?) but I loved how Scott Westerfeld made it believable in a way. Through its absurdity, it seems possible that such a reality could’ve existed, if the one we had didn’t. How he managed to create all the characters, and how the story plays out was wow. Like really, wow. And I’m really glad it’s about WWI, because 1) WWII gets more time in the spotlight, so reading a book about WWI for once was like a breath of fresh air and 2) personally I find WWI a bit more intriguing than the second (there's so much more tension, so much drama...), and without learning about WWI, it’s impossible to learn about the roots of WWII.
Now, back from the history (before I start talking endlessly about the wars), and to the rest of the review: The characters especially were endearing. I loved Alek and Deryn, who are probably my favorite main characters I've read about in a loong time. Alek reminded me a lot of myself (heh, getting into trouble *cough*), and Deryn was the courageous, quick-thinker, and I admired how she dealt with the situation at hand. Count Volger was an epic character, I thought. In fact, he reminded me a lot of Snape, for some reason. Hehe. :P Basically the whole cast of characters in the book were made of pure awesomeness. :) I cannot wait to see how it all turns out for them!
The cliffhanger at the end (which wasn’t really a cliffhanger), felt abrupt. Way too abrupt. And that’s the only flaw I could find with the book. I turned the last page expecting something to read, but all I saw was the afterword. All I could do afterwards was stare at that page in disbelief that it was already over, trying to see if anything was written in invisible ink or something, and thinking “What? That’s it?! It ends with this?!” :0
But despite that tiny disappointment, Leviathan is a pretty awesome book filled with an enthralling story, exquisite illustrations, and fantastic characters that you’ll root for until the end! I loved how it set up the stage for the next book in the series quite nicely. It came out last year, so I think many people have already read this, but if you haven’t yet, I wholeheartedly recommend this to you. :) Lovers of history, science-fiction, steampunk stories, and thrilling storylines will especially love this delightful book! :D
And yay! It's a series!! Woo-hoo! I have something to look forward to now with the Hunger Games, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid ending soon! The second one in the series is called Behemoth, and it's releasing October 5th.
- At last, a day with a cloudless (or almost cloudless sky) and the sun. And, today's one of those days where it's not too hot and not too cold. It's just a nice, peaceful summer day. :)
- The past few days have been filled with thunderstorms, mini power outages (or as my brother kindly reminds me the correct term each time- brownouts), and overall a very gloomy atmosphere, although...the storms did provide for some good sunset photo-ops. :P
- Spending a couple of hours on a Saturday evening reading Only the Good Spy Young and finishing up Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days. The last few pages of Dog Days are pure gold. If I wasn't in a bookstore at the time, surrounded by other people, I wouldn't have had to restrain my laughter so much (which was very hard, by the way)...
- Reading old essays, journal entries, and the like. Those are always fun to read. ;)
- Almost finishing up with my AP English homework, and starting with my AP Government homework. Reading through the entire Constitution is not as tiring as one may think, though it is very hard to concentrate when the sun is shining, and just *calling* you to run outside.
- While cleaning out my room, I found not one, but three $5 fine forgiveness coupons for my library, so now I have $15 to waive fines with! Yippee! I mean...*cough*cough* Me? Need fine forgiveness coupons for the library?! That's preposterous! Why would I need them in the first place? *cough*cough*I always turn my books in on time *cough*cough*
- Speaking of the library, I just checked a couple minutes ago, and I have this book waiting for me to pick up! For some reason, I feel really really really excited to read this book. So excited, that I'm literally bouncing as I'm typing this. I haven't felt this excited about going to the library to pick up a book since well...a very long time, and I have absolutely no idea why I'm sooo eager about this book as I am right now. Maybe it's the luscious cover? Or maybe because it involves candy?! Or maybe, it's just because it looks just plain old fun.
- Reading Shannon Hale's old interview with Brandon Mull. That picture on the bottom of that post is very, er, priceless. :D
- Seeing old elementary school friends who I haven't seen in 5 years!
- And, of course, reading through this post is certainly making me smile (and laugh along the way). :)
So what's been making you smile lately? :D
And for a few Thursday laughs: