Saturday, February 28, 2015

February Wrap-Up

Books I Read

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee 


Loved this book! It's by far my favorite classic. The writing is beautiful, the characters are fantastic, it makes you laugh, it makes you cry, and it reads very quickly. I love Scout. She's a great protagonist--spunky, smart, has a mind of her own, wise, and a total tomboy. (I can fully appreciate my dog's name now after reading the book.)

1984 by George Orwell


This was an especially cool book considering how much dystopian I read. You can totally see the similarities to The Hunger Games in this. If it weren't so depressing, I'd rate it higher.

The Walled City by Ryan Graudin


It took a little bit to get going, but the second half of the book flew by. I stayed up into the early morning to read it. It was action-packed almost the whole time. I really liked the different POVs, too. But my favorite part was the family aspect. The three main characters--Dai, Jin Ling, and Mei Yee--were so sweet with each other. They all have very distinct personalities, but it's impossible to choose a favorite! I loved them all. I also thought it was cool that it was set in China. Most YA books seem to be set in America, but I like it when authors branch out and pick a different country. Some of the drug runs and infiltration missions Dai and Jin Ling pulled off reminded me of "Firefly."

Concluding by Henry Green


This was quirky to say the least. I liked all the different storylines, the fact that the entire book is set during one day, and the bizarre ending, but it was hard to keep track of everything. All of the girls at the boarding school have names that start with 'M,' which made it nearly impossible to set them apart. And since the story is set during one day, a lot of the book was long and dull.

The Prisoner of Cell 25 by Richard Paul Evans


Oh my god was this poorly written. I couldn't take it. I read a total of 150 pages of stiff dialogue, cheesy descriptions, and cliches before tossing it aside. I'm pretty sure it was meant to be a YA book, considering the main characters are 14-15, but they seemed so young. It read like an MG book, which I'd be fine with if it didn't read like a bad MG book.

Movies I Watched

"To Kill a Mockingbird"


This was a good adaptation, but it didn't do the book nearly enough justice. They left out a lot of characters and subplots, which I know they have to do to shorten it, but the details are what make the book special.

"Chicken Little"


My brother and I used to watch this movie over and over and over again when we were little. I'd forgotten how funny it was! It's short and super cute.



Not a bad story, but not a particularly interesting one. It's really hard to follow at first, because all the characters seem the same. But once you can keep track of everyone, it's pretty good.



We watched this after watching "Emma." The way they adapted it is clever, and it's funny. I couldn't stand the main character, but it's a good story.

"The Imitation Game"


This movie was so, so good. It's probably my favorite WWII story, too. Benedict Cumberbatch was incredible (as usual), the story was amazing and tragic, and the music was fantastic. I went to see it with my mom, then went again the next day with my dad. It was just as good, if not better, the second time. If you liked "The Theory of Everything," you'll like this. They're similar artistically, are both stories about geniuses, and both have great lead actors.

"Pride & Prejudice" 


I liked this one a lot better than Emma. I could keep track of the characters, I actually liked the main character, and the story was a ton more interesting. Keira Knightley's a really good actress. I do recommend watching it with subtitles on, though, otherwise you'll miss half the dialogue!

Quotes I Wrote

"There he is," Ross said, in a voice that wasn’t exactly comforting. It was the kind of voice that someone used when saying, "This is where we’re going to bury him," or "It was nice knowing you."
--August Knight and the Sword of Gold

"Holy banana split of the seven realms."
--August Knight and the Sword of Gold

"You’ve never heard of 'Buzzcut Season?'" Jenny gaped at me.
Jenny began to sing the song. "Explosions on TV—"
"Still don’t know the song."
"—All the girls with heads inside a dream—"
"I. Don’t. Know. It."
"—We live beside the pool—"
"You can keep singing, but I still don’t know the song."
"—Everything is good."
--Sunflower Springs

The worst part was the hugging. Kids, adults, it didn’t matter. They all wanted to wrap their sweaty, germy arms around me and hold me close. They wanted to suffocate me with their kindness. They wanted to choke me with their, “I’m so sorry”s. There was no escaping it. They all wanted to touch me, no matter how hard I tried to stay away.
--A Day to Remember

This is a poem I entered for my library's poetry contest called Stardust:

Falling wishes hit the ground,
And glistening stardust scatters ‘round.
I’ll keep some in a jar for you,
And plant them in your yard to
Watch the golden flowers grow.
And if your dreams survive the snow,
You’ll know your wish came true,
And you can plant some stardust, too.

Obsessions I Acquired

"Firefly." Even though there's only one season, it's really good and should've stayed on longer. It reminded me of "Torchwood," but more steampunk and less alien. I'm excited to watch the movie!

"Quiz Up"/"Trivia Crack." My brother and I recently got tablets and had these two apps download. So. Addicting. "Trivia Crack" is a lot like Trivial Pursuit with a few changes that make it extra fun. "Quiz Up" is my favorite, though. You can choose specific categories like "Doctor Who" or "Young Adult Fiction." They have every category you could possibly think of, and then some. You can level up in those categories to get cool titles, move up the ranks the more you play, and play against friends. If anyone reading this plays either of these apps, leave your username in the comments so we can play! :)

"Clarence." This is such a weird and random TV show, but it's hysterical. It's kind of like what "Invader Zim" would look like if GIR were the main character of the show. Each episode is only ten or fifteen minutes long, but they're so funny.

I recently discovered that I'm good at drawing eyes. They look pretty realistic, and now that I've got the hang of it I've been trying to draw the eyes of different celebrities. They're all so different, so it's definitely a challenge to get the colors and shapes right.

Picture of the Month

Regular eye, plus Benedict Cumberbatch's eye

Jensen Ackles' eye

3 human eyes (the one at the top is mine), plus a cat eye

By the way, Alexia Stevens and I are starting a group for teen writers called Bean Bags and Sofa's Writers Group. If you're interested in joining our community, please take our survey so we know what to add!

How was your February?


Hannah Rachelle said...

Hello! Found my way to your lovely blog here from The Write Practice! It's so neat how young you are doing all this! I'm impressed. I'm 18 and struggle for paciance just getting myself to read books and you read and write. So neat. So inspiring. Well, I'll be a new follower of yours, definitely! (Nice Benedict eyes by the way... love that guy!)

bookishandawesome said...

HOORAY FOR TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD!! But I'm sad you didn't love the film. But it's cool; we're still friends. And oh gods. YASS! I agree with watching English period films with subtitle! (Although I must add, you get better over time. I don't do subs now.) And if you liked P&P, try the BBC 1995 adaptation. It's so very detailed! I also want to see The Immitation Game because Keira!

The Magic Violinist said...

@Hannah Rachelle Nice to meet you! :) Aww, thanks so much. I'm glad you like my blog.

(He really is the best, isn't he?)

@bookishandawesome It was good, just not my favorite. If the book hadn't been so spectacular, I think I would've felt differently. ;)

That's good to hear, because oh my gosh . . .

That's the mini series, right? I've heard it's really good. I think we're planning on watching it as a family at some point. :)


Boquinha said...

I LOVE THIS POST! I'm loving your thoughts on all the books and movies. ;)

I'm so happy that I've read/watched a bunch of this month's stuff with you! And Emma? Not interesting?!? Oh c'mon! She fixed up that one girl and then that other girl and then things got messy and she set people up again. That's adventure! Just kidding.

LOVED "The Imitation Game!" LOVE.

I think we should watch the BBC version of P&P. It's worthwhile.

Sunflower Springs? Wait. What's this? (Great quote, by the way).

How'd you come up with the idea for the Stardust poem? (Lovely, by the way).

I prefer Trivia Crack to Quiz Up, but both are fun.

Clarence is hilarious! Love watching it as a family.

The eyes look great! I do think you have longer lashes, though. Beautiful job!

(By the way, I think something was wrong with our streaming version of P&P - it wasn't a case of not understanding British speak. It was blatantly not audible. I think it was a technical thing/glitch).

The Magic Violinist said...

@Boquinha The wrap-ups are some of my favorite posts to write. :)

That's what everyone keeps saying. ;) I think I've had three people recommend the BBC P&P to me in the past 48 hours.

Thanks! It's another YA contemporary romance, but this one's set in a small town similar to Stars Hollow.

I honestly have no idea. It was one of those things that hit me while I was taking a shower. I was trying to figure out what I was going to enter in the poetry contest when I thought of it.

Probably. :P It was pretty bad.