Monday, September 27, 2010

New Layout, New Buttons, New Blog + Short In My Mailbox

Hey everyone. Sorry I've been in and out for the past two weeks. School is really starting to build up its homework and I've been trying to set up the new layout for a while. As you can see, it's all finished :D
In my opinion, I think it's beautiful, but I would love to hear your comments and suggestions.

First of all, I wanted to thank my friend, Heartbreakn, who created this whole layout, header, and blog button even with all my pestering. I also wanted to thank my other friend, Astrid, for creating the Movie Poster Monday and Fashion Friday buttons. Thank you so much to both and I really appreciate your work and effort :) You don't know how much I love both.

Here are some buttons that I hope you guys will share and help publicize my blog 2.0 :)


Movie Poster Monday


Fashion Friday


I am planning to put my review of Girl, Stolen, which I got from Holt InGroup, oon in a few days time. In addition, a few days back I went to Suzzane Collin's book signing and I got her Mockingjay stamp with her signature :D :D I was so excited and ecstatic. I'll put a picture of it asap.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Halo Review

Title: Halo
Author: Alexander Adornetto
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Published Date: September 2010
Price: Amazon ($9.93)

Nothing much happens in the sleepy town of Venus Cove. But everything changes when three angels are sent from heaven to protect the town against the gathering forces of darkness: Gabriel, the warrior; Ivy, the healer; and Bethany, a teenage girl who is the least experienced of the trio. They work hard to conceal their true identity and, most of all, their wings. But the mission is threatened when the youngest angel, Bethany, is sent to high school and falls in love with the handsome school captain, Xavier Woods. Will she defy the laws of Heaven by loving him? Things come to a head when the angels realize they are not the only supernatural power in Venus Cove. There′s a new kid in town and he′s charming, seductive and deadly. Worst of all, he′s after Beth.


Embedding the romantic belief in true love and angels (with the occasional hot guys), Adornetto entrances the reader into a utopia of love and heaven, of earth and heaven connecting together in a love story that was never supposed to happen. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of true love, but after reading Mockingjay, the romance, kisses, innocence provided a brief relief from the hatred and destruction seeping through that book.

Bethany and her two siblings (at first I thought Gabriel and Bethany and Xavier were going to create a love triangle, which would have taken an exciting turn) enter Earth to create and form humans into more sensible and good beings. However, the mission goes askew off course when Bethany lays her eyes on Xavier and irrevocably and of course, fatally, loves him (i.e. Their relation isn’t supposed to happen.)

Maybe it was all the bloodshed I experienced in Mockingjay, I devoured the sweet fluff of the cotton candy of romance. I wished I had a boyfriend like Xavier swoon. However, there are many flaws in the book, including the characterization and the plot. Before I do though, let’s all take a moment of envy of the 17-year-old girl who’s already published two books. Sigh, how unfair life is. Kudos, Alexander Adornetto!

The flat characterization of both Xavier and Bethany detracted from the book and the romance a bit. They were the perfect couple you could only dream of and I didn’t really believe there was anything exciting happening in their relationship. They kissed, hugged, said “I love each other”, realized how much they love each other, wonder about their future, in which there wasn’t a plot driven conflict or tensions in their relation, just showing adorable chemistry and cute moments.

My favorite part of the book was the description and the fantasy world she created with the angels and their relation to God. Personally, I’m not a very religious person and don’t attend church weekly, which means I don’t know much about angels. However, I absolutely love the different levels of Heaven and their roles they took. In addition, I loved the conflict and the cliffhanger at the end (even though it was way too obvious that it was coming) and it heightens up the angel world (that the readers are left out on due to Beth’s infatuation with Xavier, ignoring her original mission of saving humans).
Since the first book focused on developing the characters, the romance, and assimilating into human society, I cannot wait for the second book (Hades) to come out and bring out the evil forces the readers only got a taste of at the end.

Plot: 3/5
Characters: 3/5
Cover: 5/5

I mentioned Halo before in my Waiting on Wednesday Post and like I said I’m absolutely entranced by the color scheme and Beth and Xavier’s silhoulettes. Unlike my movie poster, it really conveyes this heavenly sense.

Overall: 3.5/5

Even though I believe Adornetto could develop the characters a lot more emotionally (including Jake), I thought the heavenly angel idea was unique and conveyed the creativity in the novel. The chemistry between Xavier and Beth, including their cute scenes, was adorable, but there was a lot of development needed in the plot section and also in the evil demons part. There was too much of black and white, good and bad, heaven and hell. The book isn’t very much action packed and only brings back Beth’s role as an angel at the end, but if you like romantic books (reminding you of your hope for true love) then Halo is a great book. Either way, I’m excited for Hades to come out next year (ah, too far!)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Waiting on Wednesdays (11)

Waiting On Wednesdays is a weekly meme, hosted at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights highly anticipated releases.

Title:  Entwined
Author: Heather Dixon
Publishing Date: March 2011

Azalea and her younger sisters dance in the mysterious silver forest every night, escaping from the sadness of the palace and their father’s grief. What they don’t understand—although as time passes they begin to get an inkling of the danger they are in—is that the mysterious and dashing Keeper is tightening his snare with deadly purpose. Luckily, Azalea is brave and steadfast. Luckily, a handsome young army captain also has his eye on Azalea. . . . Lush, romantic, and compelling, this debut novel by Heather Dixon will thrill fans of Shannon Hale, Robin McKinley, and Edith Pattou.

My Thoughts: 

I smell another love triangle :). And beautiful adventure, fantasy, and also romance. The premise (and of course I'm so shallow that I absolutely love the cover and will read it because of the cover) seems so intriguing and it reveals very little while still making me interested.  This book reminds me of Princess of Midnight Ball with the dancing and the sisters, but it actually seems more adventurous and mysterious. What book are you waiting for?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Movie Poster Monday (5-Halo)

First of all, I wanted to jump in joy with my new MacMini. Essentially, the hardware is Mac. I don't have a Mac Laptop (I wish I did.) I'm getting used to the hang of things and I actually like it better than Windows Vista :)

So I finished Halo today. It was really nice and calming, with the romance, compared to Mockingjay so it was a nice change. The movie poster is pretty simple. Because of school I couldn't do it much elaborately. I had a hard time choosing the actress for Bethany, because she was supposed to represent innocent beauty and I didn't know who could portray it. While I was looking through other fantasy casts, Emma Roberts caught my eye and I thought she could pull it off a bit. And for Xavier Woods, there were just so many options I could choose from, but ultimately I chose Logan Lerman. Who could resist that dimpled smile? :) So, without further ado, here is my (pitiful) attempt at the movie poster for Halo.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Mockingjay Spoilers Discussion Forum

My face after finishing the book.

So, I already had a heated debate with my friends, but I would really love to have everyone else's opinions, because I felt like Collins just left so many gaps and so many controversial moments.

I'm going to list the thoughts on some important parts of the books (chronologically.)
  •  Hijacking Peeta: I thought it was a brilliant move on Collin's part because it really just turns the tables and everything over in the book. The loving, warming Peeta has turned hostile to Katniss, but also calculating and realizes the flaws in Katniss. I just loved how she did and I really felt that it perpetuated Katniss's character development. 
  • Katniss's Reaction to Peeta: In one word: B*TCH. (and a brat). I absolutely hated it! I mean, GOD what the heck?! Would Peeta do that to you, Katniss? I felt that it detracted from Katniss and I know it isn't part of her character to be comforting, but ARGH AFTER EVERYTHING PEETA DID TO YOU, YOU BETRAYED HIM THAT WAY! And, she only changed AFTER Haymitch TOLD her to, which emphasizes that she isn't acting on her emotions or love for him.
  • Deaths: I didn't really think the deaths of the characters were actually that bad or too many. I think it really emphasized the violent human destruction theme. But Finnick's death just nearly killed me. After Collins took all that time to develop his character in the book and made the readers sympathize and love him more, she just killed him off in ONE sentence. And in the whole section where Katniss tries to go to the Capitol, Collins doesn't mention Finnick much, maybe once a page. And the other deaths, who got killed by the mutts, we don't even read what happens to them. Just that they disappeared. (Also, what the heck happened when Katniss looked at Finnick and saw his life flash by? They didn't explain it at the end so I'm really curious.) I  believe that the weakness in the deaths was not the quantity, but the quality as Collins just killed off each character quickly, not really elaborating on it a lot.
  • Katniss Going Insane (Both before and after Coin's death): I don't know about this one. I'm really controversial about this. I understood WHY Collins did this, to emphasize the effects of war and being shell-shocked. But was it necessary to go into it that much that the readers lose faith in the protagonist? The hero we relied solely on? I don't know. This also made the whole ending with Peeta and Katniss loving each other and marrying as invalid. What's your opinion?
  • Katniss's Response to Hunger Games: Ok. PLEASE TELL ME WHAT HAPPENED HERE! Why did Katniss say yes to another round of Hunger Games? Maybe she was insane, I get that. But what is up with the long paragraph leading up to that? It was like "Oh, I think humans will always be destructive no matter what." And she ended up going against her thoughts.
  • Katniss's Decision: So Katniss decided Peeta. But did she really? Where did Gale go? I thought that was the worst ending ever with Gale and it seemed that Collins wanted to end the love triangle quickly in order to emphasize the anti war. But there weren't even parting words with Katniss and Gale. And how could Gale just leave Katniss alone like that when she was in the worst condition ever and just go get a fancy job when two other books pointed towards that Gale cared and loved for Katniss. 
  • Did Katniss and Peeta really love each other?: I believe that they've moved an inch away from their insanity/killing persona. But my friend thinks otherwise. She took it as a wholly negative and pessimistic view and saw Peeta as never loving Katniss again and Katniss never being sane. I don't know. I thought the epilogue was a nice relief for the readers, but...
  • Will there be another Hunger Games?
    • The ultimate million dollar question. What does everyone think?
The beginning was well played and brilliant. But, I really wish that Collins could rewrite the ending. So I gave my opinions and I hope to hear everyone else's thoughts :)

But however the series ended. I'm so sad so so so sad that they ended the series. No more Hunger Games. Let's just hope they release a movie soon!

In My Mailbox (11)

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren and inspired by Pop Culture Junkie.

Borrowed (from friend)
What did everyone else get for the weekend? Luckily for me, September is scattered with holidays so more time to read rather than the banal homework. 

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Mockingjay Review (Non-Spoiler Edition)

Title: Mockingjay
Author: Suzanne Collins
Published Date: August 2010
Price: Amazon ($8.44)

Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. Gale has escaped. Katniss's family is safe. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol. District 13 really does exist. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding.

It is by design that Katniss was rescued from the arena in the cruel and haunting Quarter Quell, and it is by design that she has long been part of the revolution without knowing it. District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol. Everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plans -- except Katniss.

The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss's willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebels' Mockingjay -- no matter what the personal cost.

This is the non-spoiler edition. It’s primarily to discuss my overall perception of the book.

The day I got Mockingjay: Hands shaking. Crying. Trembling. Throwing the book against the wall. Staring up at the ceiling for 3 hours (not getting enough sleep) and wondering what the heck just happened.

1 day after completing Mockingjay: My post about my first reactions to the ending. Reread the book, trying to digest it all.

It’s been a week since I completed it. In the beginning of the book, I wanted to pray to Ms. Collins and worship her saying, “Oh dear Ms. Collins, how can a brilliant author like you exist? The plot, the tension, suspense spinning this book into a dystopia shattered with emotions, like a game you control masterfully. ” By the time I finished this book, I wanted to throw this book at her and beg her to write another ending, another sequel and say, “Ms. Collins! What the heck! How can you end the book that way? Don’t you have any conscience to what you did to your characters, your “grandchildren” really, that you took so much time and effort to stoke fire into, created depth into , making the readers love them, sympathize with them, even developed crushes for them (ok, maybe that’s just me) and this is what you DID?!.”

Mockingjay was a plate of emotions, not sparing us any deaths or any nice flowers or unicorns to a mirror of the destruction of human nature. Many would say the book was a stance against antiwar with the sadness, sorrow, and anger entrancing the deaths and the readers, but I wouldn’t say so. Laced with the violence and trauma the ultimate questions of human nature are not answered, but shown. “What can we constitute as a boundary of war and destruction? What are the limits to human’s instinct to kill, murder, if there are any?”

The one thing that didn’t change in the final trilogy was the tension, suspense, and Collins dropping a bomb at every chapter (literally and also metaphorically). There were twists in plot and one part (can’t say what, sorry ;)) just made me stare at the book for ten minutes straight without comprehending what the heck happened. The details of the war, bloody scenes, and also Katniss’s emotions (which were magnified by a hundredfold with a sense of intimacy that I came to love and then hate) were detailed so vividly that the readers’ emotions mirrored the protagonist. (By the way, the romance is kept to a bare minimum, sadly.)

The ending was what leaves me angry and sorrowful (no more Hunger Games, except for maybe the movie? Please, pretty please with a good cast?). To me, it seemed like Collins became lazy, decided to tie a nice little ribbon on it, and tried to create it into an ending that pleased the readers. There were so many gaps, rushed ends, and I kept thinking “Wait? What just happened?”, that it didn’t feel like a nice close. (I wish I could say more, but I would be revealing a bit too much.)

Plot: 4.5/5
Characters: 4/5 (More explanation in spoiler post)
Cover: 4.5/5

I have always loved the simplicity of the cover with the Mockingjay. But I think the blue color, which evokes a sense of peace, deceived the readers into thinking that this was a peaceful ending. Alas, Collins couldn’t even spare the readers that much.

Overall: 4.8/5

The emotions, the deaths, the violence, the suspense, and the twists in the plot creates a war environment within the reader’s mind, playing each scene of a loved one falling, of a look of love turning to disgust, but ultimately spelling out what humans are. Do humans have the innate want to kill and destruct each other? And if we do, where is the line to killing innocent people? I wouldn’t be surprised if Mockingjay left a spark of fire and started a revolution in 2010.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Fashion Friday (4-Fallen)

I haven't done Fashion Friday in a while. So for those of you who are new this is the gist:

Fashion Friday is creating a fashion wardrobe and picking out clothes that I would think a character would wear based on the type of personality Using pictures from different magazine, such as Vogue or Elle, or from model shows, I will usually pick out one or two types of outfits, and even accessories or shoes. I hope everyone enjoys it and if you have any suggestion or fashion websites, please feel free to tell me!

So I wasn't able to finish Fallen because like me, there were a hundred other fans waiting like wolverines to rip the book out of my hand, before I could finish it. So I decided, while I wait again in the long line of holds, I decided to do a little tribute for it.

 For the dark Luce, she mentioned in the book she liked black so I decided to use the "bad and sexy girl" kind of fashion.

f(x) in Calvin Klein Jeans © Eiffel in Seoul
Miranda Cosgrove © Teen Vogue
For Daniel, I decided again the "bad guy look" and of course the smoldering, sexy look.

Kim Soo Hyun © Dramabeans
Song Jong Ki © Dramabeans

Also, I couldn't forget Cam (which is by far my favorite character.) who came across as a skater boy or casual boy.

©Armani Exchange

I also saw some really good "couple" pictures of both Daniel and Luce (the fashion of both the boy and girl are so perfect.)

Also, I'm working on the background right now, so please bare with the white color. Thanks!


Related Posts with Thumbnails