Saturday, January 28, 2012

One of Many

I will inform you right now that I am a huge Potterhead. It is pretty much my life and passion. So I will try to keep the Potter to a minimum so I am not too biased, but there will be the occasion when I have to remark on something Potter-related. Like this:

It is so amazing. I may have actually liked Chemistry last year if I had this. If you need to see it larger, I think that just clicking on it should work... Well, enjoy! And Potter on.

Do not try this at home...

Okay, I know that I tried this at home, but I am simply advising others against it. I decided to make Hatter Madigan's hat from The Looking Glass Wars, which is a top hat that flattens down forcing several sharp blades out that are very good for slicing things. I realized that this probably wasn't the smartest of ideas fairly quickly, so I decided that I would not wear or attack anyone with the hat. Just quickly make it, take a picture, and disassemble it. I am pretty fond of my eyes and of not being in prison. Whether you are or not, I do not know.... (But for all legal reasons, I am uninvolved and therefore unable to be blamed) So here is the beautiful hat: :)
Isn't it amazing? That Hatter has got to be jealous.

The Looking Glass Wars

The Looking Glass Wars [Book]
The main reason I read The Looking Glass Wars was because of how much I hate Alice in Wonderland. I'm probably getting a ton Wonderlanders wanting to kill me now, but I do have my reasons. My mom read this book to me as a child, and I just have this horrid memory of a little baby that Alice picked up turning into a pig. It was a moment in my childhood where it was like, "Okay, what the hell is this? This is so ridiculous..." As a result, I have been yelled at by several friends who loved the movie Alice in Wonderland (which I again didn't like, Johnny Depp is so creepy. I don't get why people think that he is hot. And besides, its all "Ohhh... Johnny Depp," but its ALICE in Wonderland. Not Mad Hatter in Wonderland. I apologize for this rant, back to the topic at hand...)  Plus, in Creative Writing we had to do a report on a different poet, and one group got Lewis Carroll. They presented on him, and to be blunt, he is a creeper. I am not going to get into the details because they make me sick, so do the research yourself.
I just realized how off topic I got, so back to the main point. What was it again? Ah, The Looking Glass Wars. Yeah, I pretty much read this, because it I heard it shows Carroll in a bad light, and that it was what REALLY happened in Wonderland. Not all of the drugged up gobblededuke that Carroll came up with. (Gobblededuke is a real word! Trust me!) And that is exactly what I got out of it. A completely different version of Alice in Wonderland. And I must say, it was very good. Alyss as a small girl was attacked by her Aunt Redd on her birthday, but barely managed to escape. Hatter Madigan saved her and she accidentally ended up in our world, without Hatter (who is the Mad Hatter for those slow on the uptake). She meets Lewis Carroll and tells him her story and he completely changes it, and destroys Alyss. She looses faith in Wonderland while Wonderland itself is undergoing turmoil brought on by Queen Redd. This version was much better than Carroll's and I felt completely satisfied with author Frank Beddor's version of events. (4/5 stars)

Year of the Dragon

I honestly had no idea whatsoever as to what adventure to pursue for Falling Leaves. Unless I traveled to China, there was no real way for me to recreate her life. So I was forced to create my own China. Yesterday we ordered a ton of Chinese food (which I don't even like) and polished off the evening with a Jackie Chan movie (which I do like.) I am starting to feel like this version of China could seem a little racist as to what we assume of the Chinese. Oh well. This is the best I could do. By the way, it is really hard to eat with chopsticks. I swear that shish-ka-bobs were created for people like me who can't use them. I was left to eat with my kid chopsticks. They pretty much rock:
Who knew that pandas have such long legs anyways? My fortunes were pretty lame too. Last year, my cousin got a fortune that said "An attack or windfall is present in your near future," or something to that effect. A few seconds later I attacked him from the back while he promptly choked on his fortune cookie. Now THAT is a good fortune.
Who really wants to earn anything?
We watched Shanghai Knights with Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson, which was good but it would have been nice to know before hand that it was a sequel. It would have made more sense. Plus, you may not want to watch it with your dad... It is quite, um... Awkward....
Oh well, happy year of the dragon!

Falling Leaves

I took a temporary break from my dystopian novels to read Falling Leaves by Adeline Yen Mah for Chinese New Year. I had already read one memoir by her called Chinese Cinderella when I was 13 years old, but my dog Lucy has since chewed up that particular book by her. I had remembered really liking Chinese Cinderella, however Falling Leaves did not live up to the fond memories I had of the previous book. Mah was a much abused child who always strived for her father and stepmother's approval, but was never able to gain it, no matter how well she did in school or how wealthy she became. Much of this novel is composed of Mah's woes over her childhood memories, which I understood but a 250 page book without much color or change grows tedious. Mah is obviously a good writer, but is lacking of any emotional changes. She never had much of a bright spot in her life, so there was no good that at least made you smile occasionally. You just had to sit and grimace at her misfortunes throughout the whole book. You would at least imagine that when she became an adult things would have gotten better, but her parents continue to rule over her a continent away, and even choose her job for her. I still found the culture interesting, but there are still far better books that you can read about China. I am sure that you are all now rushing to the bookstore to pick up a copy. (2/5 stars)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

I am now the legend of my neighborhood...

All right, so I thought, Legend. Day does a lot of climbing right? He scaled a 6-story building in 10 seconds. June pretty much spends her life on roofs. How hard could it be? Ah, we need to take down our Christmas lights? What a perfect opportunity. Let's say that the adventure went a little something like this:

And of course my dad just stood there taking pictures of me. I'm starting to think that this little blog here isn't worth the two dislocated shoulders...


Legend was the second book that ended up in my "read all the dystopian books possible in the next month." It took me a little longer to get a hold of, since it was taken out at the library, so I had hopes that this would turn out to be a good book as so many people wanted to read it. My suspicions were luckily correct. It was a thrilling book that was hard to put down. I finished it in a single weekend while I was waitressing for 6 hours and playing my drums for a solo competition. While it may be slightly stereotypical, cookie cutter dystopian book, Marie Lu threw a wrench in the plot. Instead of a completely brainwashed nation, the United States has been cut in half and the country is at a point where it doesn't even remember being united. June has been brainwashed by the government. She is the elite soldier that they love and who could be a great asset for their schemes. Day is the government's most wanted criminal. Of course, they meet and Day introduces June to the truth the government has been hiding from her. While I admit that this happens in pretty much every dystopia novel (in fact, looking at this plot it looks surprisingly similar to that of Matched) Lu has created an engaging novel that you can't put down and is definitely worth the read. (4/5 stars.)

My Match

So I decided to, in honor for the book Matched, find out who my own match would be. I was afraid at first, but then his picture came up, which I will now post on here. I blacked out his eyes to preserve his privacy:

Well, I was gonna black out his eyes, but then I decided to, not. You are all jealous right now I am sure. The only irony is that I don't even like Twilight. Oh well, I'm still not gonna turn down Taylor Lautner!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


I have to read a dystopian book for AP English, so I decided that with all the Hunger Games hype going on, I should try to read more books of that nature and then do an article for NeXt in the Buffalo News... Plus I get to use the books for my blog. Is that multi-tasking or what? I started off my dystopian phase with Matched. It follows the pretty generic "government has taken over everybody's lives, life stinks without us knowing because we are all brainwashed" format. Everything is chosen for you, where you work and who you love. There are no books or outside thinking allowed. Cassia Maria Reyes has been matched to be with her best friend, Xander, but ends up falling for the mysterious Ky, who is an outsider. Of course, he awakens within her a realization that this form of government isn't good, and she needs to decide whether or not to play it safe like the government wants, or go against everything she believes in. Of course. Despite the plot being pretty generic, author Ally Condie creates an interesting, well written world that is worth the read. Matched gets a magical 3/5 stars.
Matched [Book]

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Stop Motion

This is just something cool that I found on the magic machine that is the wonderful internet... But it is book related!:
I love all this stop motion stuff (but it is very tedious) so I created a video over the summer through a class at my school, and promptly put it on Facebook for all the world to see before deleting it off my then-full camera. How I regret that now. Due to some technical difficulties, it is refusing at gunpoint to show up. It was so amazing too! There were books and they were attacking a mannequin. The mannequin didn't like it very much. Alas, I cannot share it with you, but I will work on making it possible as soon as my computer decides to negotiate. (Which means I will be going into a several hour long Union meeting... Boy will this be fun.) Still, return soon and I will hopefully have the video posted along with another review. To see the books I am reading, just glance over to the sidebar, and I may post on it later this week. Happy watching!

Half Broke Rusty

Okay, so I attempted to ride a horse after reading Half Broke Horses. I was able to pull myself over the thing's bony rump, dig my foot into its side, and then I was flying. It was glorious and breathtaking. I had never gone so fast in my life, or felt so terrified and exhilarated at the same time. I was just getting used to the thing, but then the cashier from Vidler's pulled me off and told me I was too big to go on it. That was a waste of 10 cents, let me tell you. I didn't get the chance to take a picture of myself on it, but I do have a picture of my amazing horse:

Okay fine. The picture isn't mine. I couldn't find my own picture of Rusty (thank my computer for that) so I got one off the internet- but it is still Rusty! Just, an older picture of him. And he's not so, broken. Or old. Or worn out looking. But whatever state he is in now, it is not (completely) my fault! (Oh, and thank you to whomever I just stole that picture from.) 
Okay, so here is the exciting part... A real picture of me riding a horse a few years ago.

Oh, yeah. I am awesome. And it is 100% genuine. 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Half Broke Horses

The first book that I have read for this here blog is called Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls. I wanted to read this book because I absolutely loved Walls own memoir, The Glass Castle. As I got about to actually reading this book however, I felt an increasing sense of disappointment. It is well written, but not The Glass Castle. I put this down to the fact that Walls actually lived Glass Castle, but had to go off second hand information for Half Broke Horses. It lacked the personal effects that Glass had, and was both barren in details and lacking in emotions. However, Horses was still a good book. It was focused on the author's grandmother, Lily Casey Smith. Lily lived a difficult life on a ranch. Here, tornadoes and flash floods were common, and her parents didn't do all that they could to help her. Perhaps I feel emotionally unconnected to this book because it has been snowing outside for the past 24 hours, gathering over a foot of snow and leaving me feeling not very sorry to other people's weather problems. Boy it has been fun here (heavy sarcasm).  Since Lily was six she began breaking horses for her father's business. She eventually moved out of this life to try her hand at city living, but the country always beckoned her home. This book is a good read, and is an even better companion to the Glass Castle. Walls' life becomes more interesting the more I read about her family. I must say that my initial disappointment abated and I became quite excited when I read this book, because I had such a good activity in mind for what to do with it. I will learn how to ride a horse, preferably a half broke one. How perfect will that be? So later this week (hopefully this weekend) I will ride a horse, and more importantly, I will not fall off and die. So wish me luck, and I hope you enjoy Half Broke Horses. Next time I write, I will also be writing as a horse rider. Maybe I should be a rodeo clown, that would be cool, right? I digress. Happy reading!
3/5 stars


Hello Internetees!
My name is Alissa, who will not give away any more personal information than my name. My purpose here is to review books in a hopefully amusing way, but also to do at least one activity from each book so that I can actually live inside of a book for a little while and so you have something mildly interesting to come back here and look at. So this means that this blog is here for your input. Let me know of any books or activities you want me to partake in and I will try to do it to the best of my ability, just please keep it clean and relatively cheap because I am a high school student and therefore pretty much broke. So I will post my first review in a few minutes (if my computer stops acting stupid) and let the reading/adventure-ing begin!