Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

It's hard to write an original review when the book's been around for 200 years, so I'll write a poem reviewing it instead. (BTW, I think I should warn you that the poet in me is severely lacking. :P)

Jane Austen's beloved love story
intelligent and lively Elizabeth,
and proud but dashing (and smart) Mr. Darcy,
adored by most,
and now, even me.

Ta-da! :D

So I did finish the book, and I cheered with happiness! To understand my happiness, you have to know about the relationship between P&P and I: Last April, we got an assignment in English in which we had to read a novel by a foreign author, and basically we had to write a letter to the author about it and such. I picked P&P because I thought it would be fun reading old English, but I didn't know anything about P&P before the assignment other than it was written by classic author Jane Austen, it was a love story, and the most recent movie version had Keira Knightly playing the lead role.

To make a long story short, there was some family chaos that erupted at the time, so I couldn't finish the novel (but I finished the letter thanks to my grandfather, my friends, and the first ten chapters I read), but I made a promise to Jane Austen's memory that I would read it someday, and that someday was yesterday, because I sprained my ankle the day before playing Tennis, and I had to stay home from school. :D

Now about the book, all I can say is that I think that Jane Austen was a brilliant observer of the society around her. The characters are realistic, and show true emotion. There's at least someone that we can all relate to in the story or someone like the characters that we see all the time wherever we go. There's immense truth in the pages about how everyone views the world, about pride and prejudices, and about first impressions and how they're not always correct. For a while, it felt like I was reading a foreign language book, because of all the "translating" I had to do, and it took me twice the time it would take for me to read a similarly lengthy novel, but it was worth it. :D

Oh, honestly, I really can't explain my immense love for this novel and I know I'm doing a really bad job explaining it, so I'm just going to conclude with me recommending you to read it too someday, and saying that I will be reading the rest of Jane Austen's novels. (I think Sense & Sensibilty and Persuasion are up next in line for me. :]) Oh, gosh, I love the classics.


Earth Day!

Today is, as we all know, Earth Day! Hooray! :D Last year, I made an environmental blog for journalism, and for my very first post in the blogging world, I wrote a bunch of awesome (and some frightning) facts about our very own planet. I just thought I would pull them out again in honor of today:

-The Earth is actually pear-shaped! Scientists have found that the top is pushed in and the bottom bulges out. Weird, isn't it?

Rainforests once covered 14% of the earth's land surface, now they only cover 2%.

- The largest ocean on earth is the Pacific, which was named after the pacifis
ts who were killed and tossed into it by pirates and malevolent mariners.

80% of all life on earth is found under the ocean surface.

- Roughly 2,000,000 pounds of space dust enters the atmosphere from space every year and reaches the planet's surface. Some scientists claim that they bring space microbes that cause the flu!

- There are about 10.5 million species existing on the planet now.
Environmentalists are predicating that more than half are predicted to go extinct.

-There is 97% of salt water and only 3% of fresh water. (Since we're consuming the fresh water so fast, that 3% is probably soon going to disappear.)

I think Nathan Hale put it perfectly when he wrote today and said, " I am glad that we have an Earth." :)

Every Earth Day (and actually every holiday), I always look forward to the Google logo! Last year's was this:

This year's is this:

Which one do you like better? I still like last year's, but this year's is very pretty too. (BTW, yes I do like to save all the fantastic, special Google logos that I see :D) Anything special you do in school or other places for today? In one of my classes, we ate a scrumptious Chocolate cake with a tree on it. :D (Oh, and we went around and cleaned our campus, like we do every year :P)


Oh, cloudy day, how I feel so conflicted about thee

I wish today was sunny, not cloudy. It would make me feel better about studying for the APUSH exam and finishing up the rest of my homework. :P Hmm...

Well, onto the main reason why I'm posting- My latest obsession has been watching piano covers for my favorite movie songs or tunes! :D I don't know why, but one day during spring break, I saw a magnificently done cover of "A Whole New World" (found later in this post), and then I started listening to others I could find.

I adored all of these sooooo much:

This one brought so many memories back, (as well as this one) and I love this tune in the Anne of Green Gables movie. This took me back to the shores of Prince Edward Island. Ahhh...

Part of Your World is one of my most beloved Disney songs of all time. :) This cover is soo beautiful...

I actually just watched Aladdin two weeks ago, and like many others, fell in love with this song. I can't tell you how many times I've listened to this video. :D

This one made me tear up! (Well, this is from the second most emotional parts of the movie!) At least it ends happily. I love the Lion King...

(I recommend seeing the other covers from this user ^. They're all amazing, and well done.)

*sigh* Aren't they all lovely? These videos added a little happiness to my day, and I hope they do to yours. :D

Teehee...now, back to studying for APUSH!


An announcement by Mr. Riordan, and recipes!

The Percy Jackson fan in me was very overyjoyed when she saw the following in her google reader:
- Rick Riordan, the author of the amazing Percy Jackson & the Olympians series, has officially announced the title for the new Camp Half-Blood series! While the cover hasn't come out yet, we do know that Book 1, will be called The Lost Hero, and it will be released on October 12! Here's a little blurb about the book that came from the official press release:

After saving Olympus from the evil Titan lord, Kronos, Percy and friends have rebuilt their beloved Camp Half-Blood, where the next generation of demigods must now prepare for a chilling prophecy of their own:

Seven half-bloods shall answer the call,
To storm or fire the world must fall.
An oath to keep with a final breath,
And foes bear arms to the Doors of Death.

Now, in a brand-new series from blockbuster best-selling author Rick Riordan, fans return to the world of Camp Half-Blood. Here, a new group of heroes will inherit a quest. But to survive the journey, they’ll need the help of some familiar demigods.

Am I excited? Yes, I think a little. Ok, not just a little... A LOT. I can't wait for this series, and I'm just so happy that we'll see a few of the old characters again. I've been so used to waiting for a release of a Percy Jackson book every Spring that now I can hardly believe there'll be none to look out for this May. :( So...yay for the announcement of the new book! I'll be waiting anxiously for Mr. Riordan to post up the cover, and the rest of the information from now on.

Speaking of Percy Jackson, Heather from the Secret Adventures of WriterGirl, posted up a recipe for Percy's Golden Ambrosia. It sounds delicious. (Maybe I'll make these for the release of the new CHB book in the fall. :D) Here's the second one she provided. :)


The Princess Bride

"Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya, and you've killed my father. Prepare to die."

:D And that phrase up there, as many probably already know, comes from the classic, the Princess Bride. One word I would use to describe this book: clever. It's dazzlingly clever. The dialogue is clever, the characters are clever, the setting is clever, and the author-oh my goodness. I was halfway through the book when I realized who the author really was... (I hope I wasn't the only person who did that. Everything was so convincing. :0)

The Princess Bride has officially become one of my cherished books of all time. If you haven't read this yet, drop what you're doing, go to the nearest library or bookstore, and read it (well, put it on hold if you have to first :P), because it has: (Oh, I just love this part of the description)- fencing, fighting, torture, poison, true love, hate, revenge, giants, hunters, bad men, good men, beautifulest ladies, snakes, spiders, beasts of all nature and descriptions, pain, death, brave men, coward men, strongest men, chases, escapes, lies, truths, passion, and miracles.

And now for my most favorite quotes in the book, (along with the one up there) *Minor Spoilers*:

"You have dizzying intellect." - The man in black

Inigo: "I donna suppose you could speed things up?"
The Man in Black: "If you're in such a hurry, you could lower a tree branch or find something useful to do."
Inigo: "I could do that. I have some rope up here, but I do not think you would accept, my help, since I am only waiting to kill you."
The Man in Black: "That does put a damper on our relationship."

"Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while."- Westley

" Well," Inigo began, "ten years is what? About thirty-six hundred days. And that's about- I figured this one out once, so I remember pretty well- about eighty-six thousand hours. Well, I always made it a point to get four hours of sleep per night. That's fourteen thousand hours right there, leaving me perhaps seventry-two thousand hours to account for."
" You slept. I'm with you. What else?"
" Well, I squeezed rocks."
" I'm sorry, my hearing sometimes fails me; it sounded like you said you squeezed rocks."
-Inigo to Yeste

(Of course, there are a ton more quotes I would love to write, but I have to stop somewhere don't I?)

I would also like to say that the movie has become one of my favorites too. It has perfect casting, and just like the book, it's suspenseful, funny, witty, delightful and basically, it's awesome. It's one of the few movies that, I believe, does justice to the book it has been adapted from (partly because the screenplay writer is William Goldman, himself). It's definitely not one to be missed. :D


The Princess and the Frog

My friends and I got together yesterday afternoon, and after a loong series of emails and phone calls about what movie to watch, we finally decided on the Princess & the Frog. I've been wanting to watch it for a long time, (I mean, a traditional, hand-drawn, Disney movie, in 10 years?!), so let's just say that I was a little more than ecstatic to watch it. After finishing it, I guess it's fair to say that I really, really, really, really liked this twist of the Frog Prince. (Is that enough reallys? :D)

It's post-WWI New Orleans. The film follows Tiana, who's a hard-working girl, saving enough money to fufill her (and her father's) dream of becoming a chef, and owning a restaurant. Along comes Prince Naveen, who comes from the fictional kingdom of Maldonia, who dances his away into the city for the Mardi Gras masquerade ball in hopes of finding a rich girl to marry, because you see, due to his carefree lifestyle, his parents cut him off, and now he's totally broke. Everything is turned upside down, when he gets tricked by a voodoo master, Dr. Facilier, and he's turned into a frog. After finding Tiana, and convincing her to kiss him (because he believes she's a princess due to the costume she's wearing), she turns into a frog herself. Together, with a couple of new friends, they go on an odyssey to turn themselves back into humans, and learn about themselves, and maybe even find true love along the way. :)

There were four things I absolutely LOVED about this movie: the characters, the animation, the culture, and basically the story. Each character had a well-developed personality, and for this reason I was especially enchanted by Prince Naveen (hehehe :P). We got to know him more than we do the other princes. He's a bit of a weirdo at first, but he's cool and quirky. The last couple of scenes with him and Tiana were especially sweet, and I just liked how supportive he was of Tiana and her dreams. :D The other characters were also eccentric, like Ray the Firefly, Louise the Alligator who dreams of becoming a Jazz musician, Mama Odie the crazy voodo lady, and Tiana, herself.

The animation was sweet, and I liked going back to the original way of hand-drawn movies after watching CG movies all the time. It was...refreshing. And, I enjoyed seeing the Mardi Gras celebrations, and hearing the different style of songs. Though the songs weren't as good as other Disney songs like the one in the Lion King & the Little Mermaid, a few were still catchy. Oh yeah, and the fact that I understood all the little bits of French that were spoken made me happy. :P

The Princess and the Frog tells about how hard work is also needed along with hoping and wishing, friendship, finding out the difference between what you want and what you need, and like all other Disney movies, love. :D It's quirky, sweet, cute, hilarious, and maybe even a little heart-warming at times, and...it's a Disney movie! Now, who doesn't like a good Disney fairytale rendition, huh? Huh?! :D


Revisiting the Goose Girl- Audiobook style!

So, I finished listening to the Goose Girl audiobook last night. My thoughts on it? Well...

- AMAZING STORY!!! AHH! Each time I read or reread one of the Books of Bayern, I'm again reminded about how brilliant Shannon Hale's writing is.
- It was a Fullcast audio production so instead of one person narrating the story and voicing all the characters, there were multiple actors acting/voicing different parts. Everyone (err...their voices) fit their characters perfectly, especially the actors for Geric, Enna, and Selia.
- The person who voiced Razo made him sound like a 10 year old though, so that disturbed me.
- The audiobook let me relish my favorite parts of the story again (*Gasp* Geric is the...?! Talone?! Ugh, Ungolad!)
- At the very end, there's a little commentary by Shannon Hale, and umm...it was actually the first time I heard her voice, so I was kinda surprised by how she sounded. You know how when you read someone's blog, or article, or something else they wrote, you start hearing their voice (or how you imagine it) in your head, right? And when you hear their real voice, you get taken aback for a while. Well, that's how I was last night. (But it's always fun, matching a face with a voice. :D)
- I think the audiobook increased my love of the story even more. The whole audiobook experience was so enjoyable, and even my brother dropped in to listen to the climax. :D Even if you've already read the story, like me, it'll be fun to go through it again. :) (I'll definitely be rereading the whole series again soon.)

After I finished the audiobook, I've started thinking about the Books of Bayern again, especially the leading ladies. I love Ani. I love how she changes and grows throughout the story. Shannon Hale rocks for writing a character like her. Then there's Rin. She's just like me on so many levels. So much that while I was reading, it sometimes it felt like the story was about me, and my feelings. Anyway, I was just thinking about connecting with the characters, so I wanted to ask something.

So, my lovely readers, if you've read the Books of Bayern, who are your favorite leading ladies of Bayern, and why? Who can you relate to the most? :)



I changed the layout as I promised. What do you think? Oh, and I have break all this week, so I'll try to write something everday! :D

And because I feel like posting it, here's one of my favorite Disney songs:

Which reminds me...I have a tennis match tomorrow. Hopefully it'll rain (like we're expecting it to) and get canceled, because as of right now, I still feel very unprepared. Yeesh. :P