Sunday, March 29, 2009

Story of a Girl (book review)

Story of a Girl, by Sara Zarr, is the tale of sixteen-year-old Deanna Lambert, who, three years ago, made a huge mistake that she's never been able to forget. Her father caught her in the back of Tommy Webber's Buick. Tommy was seventeen, her older brother Darren's supposed friend, and Deanna wasn't even sure she liked him. Even now, she is still struggling to overcome the role of "school slut" and get people to see her for who she really is. She is not who the rumors portray her as, but how can she get everyone else to realize that? So much drama is going on in her life right now, and Deanna soon finds that everything can change in one summer...

I loved this book! It was the second book I read by this author, and I enjoyed it just as much as (maybe even better than) Sweethearts! The language was beautiful, and it flowed very smoothly. The characters were very realistic; I felt like they could walk out of the book and tap me on the shoulder at any time.

This book is for the Spring Reading Thing Challenge '09.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Three Poems

Here are three poems I wrote yesterday:

The Forest Sleeps

In the heat of midday
when the chirping of cicadas
drones on and on
and the field, ripe with golden wheat
shimmers with heat waves
the forest sleeps.

But when the sun sinks slowly out of the sky
and the doleful call of the mourning dove rises and fades,
rises and fades
and the crickets play sweet music
for all to hear
and the deer frolic under the trees'
bent boughs,
and the willow
sways calmly in the gentle breeze
it is filled with life.

And in the early morning light
the crickets stop their song
and the deer recede back into
the thickets
and the chickadees chirp for joy
because a new day has begun.

Murder in the Palace

Gilded crimson
velvety cloak
flutters slowly to the ground.

Blood, red as the fabric itself,
pools on the floor.

The assassin, with his
clenched between his teeth,
slips quietly out
the window
just as
the royal guards
come rushing into
the queen's chambers.


There are three
who walk
the endless path of the stars
on icy nights when the cold
freezes off the toes
of the homeless man,
on sultry nights,
when couples
sit on their porches
and gaze out into the heavens,
and on rainy nights,
when the stray dog
shelters under a soggy cardboard box.

First, there is the girl,
young though she may seem,
her eyes show wisdom
beyond her years
and her feet are worn from treading paths
even the oldest man on Earth
has yet to touch.

Second, there is the cat,
wild though it may seem,
its breath is the wind,
wild, fierce, and free
and the ground upon which it walks
glows with silvery molten light.

Third, there is the elder,
old though he may seem,
his cane
is the trunk
of the tallest redwood tree
and his cloak
is the wing
of the prettiest

the girl, Time,
and the cat, Earth,
and the elder, Life
maintain the intricate balance
of the world as we know it.

When they finally
fade away
into the distance
and the earth
and the life
and the time

Friday, March 20, 2009

Yay!!! Once Upon A Time 3!!!!

I am SOOOOOOOOOOO excited for the Once Upon A Time III Challenge!!!!!!!!! I chose Quest The First, which means you have to read five books that fall under the category of fantasy, myth, folklore, or fairy tales.

Here is my pool of books to choose from:

The Forest in the Hallway
by Gordon Smith

Stoneheart by Charlie Fletcher

Seekers: The Quest Begins by Erin Hunter

Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Attica by Garry Kilworth

by Lois Lowry

Here, There Be Dragons by James A. Owen

River Secrets
by Shannon Hale

Iris, Messenger by Sarah Deming

Gifts by Ursula K. Le Guin

Little (Grrl) Lost
by Charles De Lint

The Ruby Key by Holly Lisle

The Siren Song by Anne Ursu

by Rachel Hawthorne

Into the Wild
by Sarah Beth Durst

I can't wait to start! Thank you Carl for hosting this challenge!

Spring Reading Thing!!!!

I am so excited for the Spring Reading Thing!

Here is my list:

Looking for Alaska by John Green

Paper Towns by John Green

Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr

Monkey Town: The Summer of the Scopes Trial
by Robert Kidd

The Captain's Dog: My Journey with the Lewis and Clark Tribe by Roland Smith

The Last Full Measure by Jeff Shaara

Evolution, Me, and Other Freaks of Nature
by Robin Brande

Saving Zoe by Alyson Noel

When My Name Was Keoko by Linda Sue Park

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Changed book

I switched from The Faerie Path to Story of a Girl because I just couldn't get into it. Maybe I'll check it out from the library again another time and try again.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

The Plain Janes (book review)

The Plain Janes is a graphic novel by Cecil Castellucci and Jim Rugg. When Jane moves from exciting Metro City to the boring suburbs, she's convinced her life is over...that is, until she meets three other girls named Jane, whom she persuades to form an exclusive club called P.L.A.I.N. (People Loving Art In Neighborhoods). Together, the Janes, through a bunch of so-called "art attacks," try to bring the beauty of art to the people of their town. But some people don't appreciate P.L.A.I.N.'s attempts so much, and now the police are on their trail! Can the Janes keep pulling off their art attacks, or will they get busted once and for all?

I thought this book was very good. It was a nice, quick, and very unique read. In my opinion, it was an excellent break from heavier reading.

This book is for the Support Your Local Library Challenge and for the Graphic Novel Challenge 2009.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Beneath my Mother's Feet (book review)

Beneath My Mother's Feet, by Amjed Qamar, is a wonderful coming-of-age story which takes place in Pakistan. Nazia is a dutiful daughter, and does whatever her amma (mother) asks her to. She has never questioned the fact that she will soon be married off and have to tend to her husband's house. That is, until all the clothes for her dowry are stolen, her family is kicked out of their house, and her father abandons them all. Now Amma has arranged for them to work as house servants for three wealthy Pakistani families. Nazia has never wondered if there was another life for her, but now she begins to question all the rules she has grown up with. Perhaps there is another destiny out there for her. It is thoughts like these that eventually lead Nazia to rebel against the tame life planned for her and throw aside all the restrictions that have bound her for so long.

This book was wonderful! It introduced to me a world that is so different from the world that I know, a world where girls are married off at a very young age, with no say in the matter. I felt very bad for Nazia because of all the hardships she was going through, and sometimes I wondered if I would have been brave enough to do what she did if I were in her situation.

This book is for the Support Your Local Library Challenge.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Ghostgirl (book review)

Ghostgirl, by Tonya Hurley, is the story of Charlotte Usher, who's invisible to virtually everyone at her high school. She's a nobody, someone who the popular girls, Petula Kensington and her crowd, look down upon. Charlotte wants more than anything to become like Petula and to catch the eye of her crush, Damen. But things never seem to go Charlotte's way, and just when she thinks she's getting somewhere she chokes on a gummy bear on the way to the next class...and dies.

But, as it turns out, she can't rest in peace until she completes an unfinished task. For now, she's stuck on Earth in some kind of strange school for ghosts. Charlotte can only guess what her "unfinished task" is. But for now she's completely fine following Damen around in secrecy. After all, no human can see her now...except for one, Petula's younger sister, Scarlet. And Scarlet just might be the key to scoring a kiss from Damen. Now that Charlotte's a ghost, she can possess humans and inhabit their bodies. All she has to do is convince Scarlet to agree...and get Damen to fall for her. But carrying out this plan just might destroy the delicate world that Charlotte's ghostly friends have built up around them.

This book was okay. I was really enjoying it at first, but towards the middle it seemed to be getting old. All it talked about was Damen, 24/7, which started to get annoying. However, it began to pick up towards the end again. I really loved the bittersweet ending. Overall it was a good book, but I wouldn't rush out to buy it or anything. WARNING: This book, even though it's a fast read, isn't for very young readers. It uses quite a bit of bad language.

This book was for the Support Your Local Library Challenge.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Long Shadows (book review)

Long Shadows, by Erin Hunter, is the newest installment in the Warriors: Power of Three saga. Power of Three is the most recent of three six-book series about warrior cats, the first two being Warriors and Warriors: The New Prophecy. There is also a Warriors Super Edition book, called Firestar's Quest, and two Warriors field guides.

Hollyleaf, Jaypaw, and Lionblaze are kin to the legendary clan leader Firestar (who first appeared as Firepaw in the original Warriors series) and are the subject of a prophecy about three of Firestar's relatives who hold the power of the stars in their paws. The three siblings belong to ThunderClan, one of four warrior cat clans, ShadowClan, ThunderClan, WindClan, and RiverClan. One cat from each clan, known as the medicine cat, has the ability to heal other cats with herbs as well as to speak to the cats' warrior ancestors, who are known as StarClan. Jaypaw is the apprentice of ThunderClan's current medicine cat, Leafpool. He has the ability to walk in the dreams of other cats, and although he was born blind, he knows things other cats don't know. When a horrible bout of sickness strikes ThunderClan, it seems as if this more than half of the clan may die. And StarClan has placed their fate in his paws. Can Jaypaw save the sick cats before time runs out?

Hollyleaf is the diplomat of the group. Her dream is to become leader of Thunderclan one day. To her, preserving the warrior code, which all clan cats live by, is more important than almost anything else. But when a mysterious loner begins convincing ShadowClan to abandon the warrior code, Hollyleaf may have to break it herself if she wants to convince them to return to clan life.

Lionblaze is dedicated to becoming the best warrior he can possibly be, but he's hiding a big secret from the rest of ThunderClan--he is visited in his dreams by the dark warrior Tigerstar, who once caused the forest to run red with the blood of innocent cats. Lionblaze is beginning to free himself from Tigerstar's control. However, he is still tormented by bloody visions and violent dreams. Will the darkness within him affect the cats around him?

When madness and murder reach the heart of ThunderClan itself, the three siblings uncover a shocking secret. This revelation forces Jaypaw, Lionblaze, and Hollyleaf to question everything they've ever believed, and it changes their whole world forever.

I LOVED this book! Once I started reading, it was almost impossible to put it down (although that's happened with every book in the series that I've read so far)! This book revealed darkness in the hearts of some cats, which I didn't notice before. It was very descriptive and easy to understand, and it ended in a cliffhanger that left me wanting more! I will DEFINITELY run out to buy the next book as soon as it comes out in early April. However, to new readers of Warriors I'd definitely recommend starting with the first series. The books are much easier to understand that way.

This book was for the 999 Challenge under the category of "Fantasy with Animals".