Thursday, February 26, 2015

Update: February 26th, 2015

I just wanted this short update to say what's been going on with my life. 
Not trying to announce anything major.
More like keeping a journal entry for myself and this school year.

**Okay. Apparently, it didn't turn out short at all, so you don't have to read it all. I guess you can just look for the topics that interest you. Ranting things out feels really
 nice afterwards. :) **

Image result for sophomore year

My sophomore year of high school.
What can I say?
I definitely got more busy.
I certainly overuse the word 'definitely'.
I'd like to join to more extracurricular activities, but at the same time, I feel like I don't time for things like these books and reviews.

I decided to join cross country this year.
Despite hating miles and running, I found out that I actually do like running.
Although the practices are torture and the pre-race feels are crappy, I absolutely loved the excitement and the happiness that follows after a race. Every single one. Except I didn't feel well for the championship.
Bummer. Oh well. It was my best time yet. :D 
Orchestra is probably not going as well as I thought.
The music is actually hard. Like all those flat and sharp changes. And beat changes. I really must learn how to read my notes. 
But I got the amazing opportunity last Thursday to be in a quartet and play a piece with only 4 people. 
Although it was scary, it was a daring and fun opportunity.
Now onto my classes. I feel like I don't care much about my classes anymore. 
At the same time, I care so much more. It really depends which ones you're talking about. 
Surprisingly, pre-calc and english is almost meaningless to me. 
The teachers do not teach well. I can practically sleep and pass the class. Whenever I have extracurricular events that involves skipping my afternoon classes, no worries. 
I literally don't have to be in class and still understand everything that's going on. 
It's probably due to my outstanding teachers last year. 
Where did they go?
 
Then AP Bio and AP World is a whole other world.
My whole sophomore year is about those classes.
Obviously, bio is life. 
Not that I want it to be the center of my life, but it kind of is. 
I study so much for this class. Tests are 95% of our grade! 
Basically, every 2 weeks, we get a 75 question test to finish in one period: 55 minutes. Insane. I don't know how I'm surviving. 
Every week, we get these quick quizzes, which is basically memorizing 400+ root words. It's randomized and we add 15 per week. Sigh.
 AP World is ALL BOUT THEM ESSAYS.
And those are driving me crazy.
I just got the compare and contrast essays down.
Now we have to do DBQs.
Our first DBQ test is this upcoming Thursday.
Someone kill me now. *tears 

Girls Inc. have actually been pretty fun this year.
We get fun events like seeing plays and acrobat performances.
We have movie night every month and career speakers.
Plus, the opportunity to go white water rafting is coming up! 
#Excited
I'm actually looking forward to these events. 

 

Service clubs.
Okay. I've really been meaning to do them.
But they're actually kind of hard to commit to.
There are so many people in the club.
And really the events are dope. And fun. And amazing. And friendly.
I get to meet lots of new people.
But I feel like I don't have time.
Or I rather stay home and sleep. Or read. Or watch movies.
One big problem is that I can't drive and literally every service event needs to be driven to on our own.
My parent's work schedule is really hard to fit around. 
But I'm trying. 
Instead of focusing on the popular Key Clubs and Interacts, I think I'm going to try out Jefferson Service and see how it is. 
I really want to learn how to play a key role in my community and the chance of becoming a leader would be great. 
Of course, this is a book blog.
I've got to talk about books.
And my blog.
I feel like I've been slacking.
Well, I really have been.
I'm way behind on reviews.
Just because I'm too busy for blogs doesn't mean I'm not reading though. I'm just too lazy to review. 
I'll definitely try to keep up.
Right now, I'm doing it, but who knows what will happen in a month? 
I'll try, guys. I promise.
At least I've been reading.
 
Movies.
Just because I talked about reading. 
 I totally understand why people in college and high school love movies so much. 
When I was younger, I thought they were just wasting time.
But now, movies are sanctuaries. 
They provide entertainment, yet times for rest. 
They're funny, tear-jerkers, or anything you want.
You get to see your fellow celebs on the big screen.
Fangirling.
Just life of a teenager.
 
Well, it has been fun talking to you. Or actually to myself. 
I don't really know what to do with this useless post. 
But well. Let's end with an inspiring quote. 

"To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all."
- Oscar Wilde

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Book Review: Lucy Dakota: Rocky Mountain Beginnings by C.S. Shride

Lucy Dakota: Rocky Mountain Beginnings (Book 1)Lucy Dakota: Rocky Mountain Beginnings 
by Carol Sue Shride
Release Date: May 25th, 2011
Publisher: My Piece of the Puzzle
Paperback, 291 pages
Genre: Middle Grade Adventure
Buy a Copy: 
      Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

Goodreads Summary: Lucy Dakota is a typical teenage girl: confused yet intelligent, unhappy with her lot in life yet full of vitality and enthusiasm. Troubled by rocky relationships with friends and boyfriends, she finds it hard to fit in at school until she's invited to join an adventure scouting club and starts exploring the natural world. Her first adventures take place in the backcountry of her home state, Colorado, where she discovers her more daring side, as well as the young woman she is becoming. Join Lucy as she transforms from a timid, chubby tween who hides from school bullies in her teacher's office to a brave, spirited, globe-trotting leader on the hiking trail and beyond. This exciting new adventure series for young adults is sure to encourage readers to discover their strengths and take on the world, whether at school, home-or, like Lucy, skipping across the continents.

Cindy's Review:   
      Lucky Dakota is a persistent and strong narrator that tells us how she got to where she is today. To me, it seems like a great college entrance essay. Except maybe a bit too long. But we learn how Lucy finds her true self in the things she does. She learns her passion and everything she does leads to more and more adventures.

Reading about her adventures were definitely a blast. After the first few chapters of gaining her confidence, we learn that Lucy joined an outdoorsy type of club, where they go skiing and white water rafting. Sounds amazing! I wish our school would have this! 

Each adventure was like its own little story. And like me, Lucy likes to collect things along her trip, so she'd have a souvenir or a memory. I'm not a super outdoor person, but I must say, those hikes and sleds certainly sounds fun! 

      The writing style is definitely more for middle grade. Although Lucy herself was in high school, I felt like the way the story plays out and how things are told are suited more towards junior high students. The way Lucy narrates doesn't sound extremely sophisticated. Like me. I have a hard time trying to sound fancy and proper. The rest of the characters and romance in this book didn't play a big part. There were some characters that made a pretty big appearance, like Keri, but she isn't someone lovable. She sounds like a grade A queen bee. She sounds really fake. There is nothing in depth about her, maybe because she is that kind of person. 

Then, there's other characters I question about, like Dean. Lucy makes pretty bad choices as to picking friendships and relationships. But I guess that does happen in everyday high school life. We students do all make bad choices at one point of life. Another thing I would like to mention is Lucy's inability to pack correctly. I get it if it's the first time she's been on an overnight trip, but it seemed like she packed the wrong clothes every single time! She could asked someone, done research, or just check the weather! I have no comments here. 

      Overall, Lucy Dakota was an inspiring read about self-discovery and learning to know and love yourself. It is a novel middle grade scholars should consider reading.

The Rating: 8.5

Happy Reading~
  

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Fresh February Releases~

I've been on a short hiatus and now I'm back!
Happy 2015, everyone!
Hope you guys are having a great start!

Well, let's start off with some fresh new releases, shall we? 
:) Here goes. 

Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)Red Queen (Red Queen Trilogy #1)
by Victoria Aveyard
Release Date: February 10th, 2015

Thoughts: I'm hooked. Totally hooked. I want to read it so bad! And good thing, I saw it at Costco and I literally couldn't believe it was out already! :) Expect a review from me soon. I hope. I'm a bit slow at reviewing all my books lately. Ugh. Blame school. And movies. Because that's where all my free time gets sucked into. I know. I know. I'm trying. Believe me. I am. 

by Cynthia Hand
Release Date: February 10th, 2015

Thoughts: This book sounds so sad. And deep. I'm pretty sure this is new concept pretty different from Cynthia Hand's paranormal YA series, and we'll see how it goes. It's about a girl trying to get to make herself whole again, to get her life back together. It's about overcoming sorrow and getting over the past.

by Jasmine Warga
Release Date: February 10th, 2015

Thoughts: This one is another deep novel, filled with empathy and learning how to overcome obstacles in life. A somewhat coming-of-age story of a girl learning to understand herself. This deep dark novel, somehow includes romance, and I guess it's really what helps Aysel and Roman pull through. But the fact that they met each other on a suicide partner website to kill each other is quite....um....scary. 

by Kristen Simmons
Release Date: February 10th, 2015

Thoughts: Well, I really don't have much to say about this one, since I didn't hear about it till today via Goodreads. Seems like an interesting read. A dystopian novel about girls trying to survive and not get hunted by men to be used for breeding rights. Or something like that. No mention of love interest, just her trying to survive when she gets caught by these men. But ratings are pretty good so far, so...

by Holly Black
Release Date: February 5th, 2015

Thoughts: This just sounds so cute! Although I'm not hugely into faeries and all that, the glass coffin in the woods and children wanting to become knights and something like that sounds intriguing. What pulled me was the semi- reverse Snow White feel, where the boy in the glass coffins wake up. He's probably a faerie though. Or an elf. I don't know, but either way, may be worth checking out. 

All Fall Down (Embassy Row #1)All Fall Down (Embassy Row #1)
by Ally Carter
Release Date: February 5th, 2015

Thoughts: Mystery. Secrets. Conspiracies. Politics. Even though I'm been over mysteries, since that was like my childhood love, I'm still really into Ally Carter's world of spies and thieves. I still love her series of Gallagher Girls and the Heist Society. So can't wait to see this new series!
 
Lots of great reads this month! 
:) I'm excited to be back in the book world~

Happy February!