Sunday, July 29, 2012

Midnight Sun

Midnight Sun
Stephenie Meyer
264 pages

I did say about two months ago that I was done posting about vampires, but I just finished reading this, so had to write about it. Now, I promise, no more until November :)

Midnight Sun is an unfinished companion novel for the book Twilight written by Stephenie Meyer. The story is told  through the eyes of Edward Cullen, as opposed to that of Bella Swan. Meyer said that Midnight Sun "[was] an exercise in character development that got wildly out of hand."

The first twelve chapters were leaked illegally online in 2008, therefore Meyer has put this project on hold indefinitely. As she has stated in several interviews, and on her website, she was just too upset to continue, because it was a violation of her rights as an author.

As with the other four books in the series, I was thoroughly pleased with the way this one was written. Readers will receive entirely new insight from Edward, and a broader understanding of the close-knit Cullen family. What I liked best about this partial draft, is that the reader can really get a gist of Edward's whole "mind-reading thing", something they can't do when the books are written from Bella's perspective. Very cool.

And although I wish very much for her to finish this new take on the world-wide bestselling series, I do understand her feelings for putting it on hold.

If you want to read Midnight Sun for yourself...

Out of respect for the author, I am posting the link here, that will take you to her official website where she has posted the first twelve chapters herself, instead of the link for the actual PDF file.

To read this review, and others about Midnight Sun on Goodreads, click here.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Something to Think About

I am now beginning a new series of posts entitled "Something to Think About". These posts will consist of a poem, or passage from a story in which I hope you will take the time to think about during your very busy days. I might even share my own thoughts as well.

We'll start the first post off with...

The Road Not Taken
Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear.
Though as for that the there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

When I read this poem by Frost, it makes me think of something my mom or my teachers would always (and still) say, "Be your own person" or "Don't be like everyone else". In this poem, I think the traveler is trying to decide whether to follow the crowd, or to go his own way. In the end, he decides to take the "the one less traveled by" or the road that will take him to a place where he will find his own destiny, not everyone else's. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Pride and Pronunciation

Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen
368 pages

When Elizabeth Bennett first meets Mr. Darcy, a noble and esteemed bachelor, she finds him conceited and ill-mannered. She dislikes him even more when she finds he has been trying to squash the relationship between her sister Jane, and his friend Mr. Bingley. To make matters even worse, they seem to be running into each other everywhere they go. In the humorous, and dramatic events that follow, readers will be transported to early 19th century England with style and grace.

As Pride and Prejudice is one of the world's oldest novels, it has been read and loved by so many that I find it is not my place to criticize or review it. The author is long deceased, so no edits or changes can ever be made. However, I will just say this, everyone should read this book at least once in their lifetime.

As this was my first time reading it, it took me a while to get through. I had to keep looking up words like "vexation" and "vanity" for which I had to learn to pronounce, and flip to the footnotes every paragraph or so as this book was written in a time when strings of long vocabulary with a strange word ordering littered pages.

I find it quite interesting to read books written so many years ago, as you can laugh at the way things were said or done, but you also learn quite a bit as well. In Pride and Prejudice, the reader will learn about old courting methods, marriages of the 1800s, and pastimes and styles of the time.

As I stated before, Pride and Prejudice is not only a much loved British classic, but a must read for all.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Austen in August

I am proud to announce that I will be participating in the Austen in August reading challenge hosted by Roof Beam Reader. You can sign up for yourself by clicking on the previous link. You don't need a blog to participate, just leave a comment.

I am currently reading Pride and Prejudice but I hope to read Emma this August as well. All of Jane Austen's novels are accepted as well as biographies about her, or any modern versions of her works.

You might consider reading, Mansfield Park, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Persuasion or Northanger Abbey.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Thin Yet Thick: the perks of being a wallflower

the perks of being a wallflower
Stephen Chbosky
213 pages

Just as a reminder, "Thin Yet Thick" reads are books thin from cover to cover (around 200 pages or less), but have a thick and deep meaning. These reads will leave you feeling great and I think might even change your life. These books should take three days or fewer to read, and most likely are of an easy reading level.

The perks of being a wallflower is written through letters from Charlie, a fifteen-year-old incoming freshman with a lot on his mind. Once he enters high school, he becomes close friends with two seniors, Sam and Patrick, who teach him how to let loose on the dance floor, stick up for himself, and how to feel infinite. Although we don't know where Charlie is writing from, or who he is writing to, we do know his letters are unique, funny, and devastating as he learns not only about himself, but about the difficult world we live in.

Without giving to much away from the story, there is a piece from it that I would like to share with you, and the way I feel about it.

“Standing on the fringes of life... offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.” 

You could interpret this image quite literally - that watching people dance might be entertaining, but actually joining in yourself, will be a totally different experience. In a more metaphoric sense, this passage could mean something not so different. What if the dance floor stood for something else; like a kid being bullied, or a lost child in the mall? You could sit and watch, or you could be a help, have a say, and even make a change.

In the book, Charlie's English teacher tells him to "participate" more. At first Charlie takes this literally - he goes to the homecoming dance, watches the school's football games, but by the end of the book, Charlie finds another meaning to his teacher's words. The perks of being a wallflower deals with the delicate topic of passivity vs. passion, and what it means through the eyes of a normal teenage kid.

I hope you see just by this snippet of text that the perks of being a wallflower is a story not only to read, but to act on.

The perks of being a wallflower is becoming a movie! See it in theaters Sept. 13th!
Click here to watch the official trailer.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Fourth of July! In honor of the patriotic day, I figured I would post some books here that will surely put you in the summer mood, and some, might even take you back to the days of quill pens, gunpowder, and redcoats!

1. Chains - Laurie Halse Anderson

2. Forge  (sequel to Chains) - Laurie Halse Anderson

3. Turtle in Paradise - Jennifer L. Holm

4.. The Fifth of March - Ann Rinaldi

5. Touch Blue - Cynthia Lord

6. Fever 1793 - Laurie Halse Anderson

7. The Penderwicks - Jeanne Birdsall

8. Hang a Thousand Trees with Ribbons - Ann Rinadi