Since You Asked

This book, and this is for real,  this book is completely and totally hilarious. I love it. It’s full of sadistic humor (at the expense of others), an insulting newspaper column, and much much more. The main character makes fun of everyone from the popular kids to the lame idiots on the student council, and everywhere in between.

She is forced to deal with her strict Korean mom, who has very specific ideas about how her children should act. Also, there’s the whole Asian-child-genius thing, which Holly Kim and her entire family (which meets once a week for dinner) have to deal with. So basically it’s work, get good grades, have no social life= DOCTOR! YAY! MOM HAPPY!

How does she even survive? With friends like David, Carrie, and Liz. David is like skater dude, Carrie is reluctant hippie, and her parents are extreme hippies. Liz is on the outside a popular kid, but she hates those sadistic freaks. Together they are the only normal people in the school. And they stay under the radar, just the way they like it.

Until the day Holly replaces a Seniors column with her own, a column which mocks everyone and everything in the school. Suddenly, over half the school hates her. A bunch of people love her, though. I mean, who doesn’t want to see people they hate get made fun of?

So Holly gets herself set up with a column for the rest of the year. And fights with the student council. And her mother. And the rest of the world. There is a whole lotta humor in this book, and it is a definite good read. Also, this is more a teen book, elementary kids do not read This.

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The Mysterious Benedict Society

“Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?” Gets you thinking, doesn’t it. As it did me. That’s why I picked up this book. Even if you are older, it makes you think. It would start the brain of anyone. You want to know what these special opportunities are.

Reynie lives in Stonetown orphanage, a diamond in the rough. He is much smarter than your average child, and is simply not challenged by the local school’s curriculum. But the orphanage director won’t allow him to go to an advanced school. He wants the money he gets from having Reynie around. So Reynie is taught by a private tutor who is like a mother to him. And one day, while they are reading the newspaper, she points out this ad. And he wants to find out about these special opportunities.

Sticky is a supergenius. Blows everyone else out of the water. Simply stunning. And his parents took him to all the Jeopardy-like competitions. And he wins all the time. The contests and the prizes get bigger and bigger, and the pressure on Sticky is finally too much. He runs away, but actually lives in his parent’s basement. He thinks about revealing his hiding place until he hears this : “…better off….” And he runs away for good. But then he hears about special opportunities.

Kate knows her father is alive. She just doesn’t know who or where he is. She was technically an orphan. But then she ran away to join the circus. Seriously. She is super athletic, and can do just about anything, due to her bucket, which she keeps at her side at all times. She keeps many incredibly useful things in there. And besides, bucket + water = instant ton of bricks. She is SuperWoman without the powers. That’s why she’s interested in special opportunities.

Constance Contraire, as her name suggests, is very contrary. She is cranky, annoying, insulting, and writes incredibly insulting poetry.  Many times you many find yourself asking, why is she even in this book? She seems to have no purpose but to annoy the main characters. But the midget, devilish, child is of extreme importance to the ending and the plot of the story. She provides special opportunities for the rest of the world.

Why do I keep talking about special opportunites? I certainly won’t tell you. You’ll have to read the book.

Songs And Stories: Finding The Connection

As many of  you might know, the Grammys were last night. I tried to watch them, but I guess my luck wasn’t good, because I couldn’t even get a signal. To tell the truth, the real reason I wanted to watch the Grammys was because of all the nominations Lorde got. I really love her music. I feel it really sends a good message, and I also feel I really connect with the music. I love how it is kind of bare, that there is almost nothing in the songs but a drumbeat and a voice. I really like that. But it’s kind of awesome how a lot of new songs these days really send a message, even if its kind of muted. But that’s the problem. Songs can send any kind of message.

But it’s not always good. Consider the lyrics to Summertime Sadness, by Lana Del Ray. “I got my red dress on tonight, dancing in the dark in the pale moonlight. Done my hair real big beauty queen style, high heels off, I’m feeling alive.” So you need a red dress, a big hairdo, and a moonlight dance to make you feel special. Message received: you need to be pretty and have a male by your side.

“Im feeling electric tonight, cruising down the coast going ’bout 99. Got my bad baby by my heavenly side, I know if I go, I’ll die happy tonight.” Drive cars fast and dangerously, get drunk and date bad boys. I don’t know about you, but that’s what I picked up from this song. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not dissing Lana Del Ray. I’m just saying her songs aren’t exactly the best message. And I’m saying this because our unconscious mind processes information everyday. But this means we get negatively influenced because of media and songs like that. Our brain just stores those ideas away. Not good for us. Not at all.

But songs like Royals can positively influence us. “But everybody’s like Cristal, Maybach, diamonds on your timepiece, jet planes, islands, tigers on a gold leash, we don’t care. We aren’t caught up in your love affair.” This part kind of suggests disdain for all the things society values. Those things don’t really matter. Lorde knows that. And she recognizes how songs scan affect you. “And ever song is like gold teeth, grey goose, tripin’ in the bathroom. Bloodstains, ball gowns, trashing the hotel room. We don’t care, were driving Cadillacs in our dreams.” She gets it. Now it’s up to us to follow her example.

Please let me know what songs send you a message!

The Vengekeep Prophecies

I have a funny story to tell you about this book. I actually didn’t pick up this book because of the description. I picked it up because of the illustrator. Brett Helequist. (Did I spell that right?) He illustrated the Series Of Unfortunate Events, as well as this book. And he is the reason I picked up this book. I said to myself, “Why, these illustrations look familiar! Aha! I know! That boy on the cover bares an uncanny resemblance to Klaus Baudelaire.” So I picked up the book. And I am so glad I did. What a great book.

Jaxter Grimjinx and his family are as thick as thieves. Probably because they are. Master thieves. The entire family is. They all can pick locks, pick pockets, and lie with the best of them. And they have never been caught. Everyone knows it’s them, but they have no proof. Thievery is a family thing. All the Grimjinxes do it. And that’s Jaxter Grimjinx’s problem.

Jaxter has almost no talents with thievery. He can’t pick a lock, pick a pocket, or lie to save his life. All he can do is break magical spells put on objects using potions he creates using different combos of 12 plants. Not exactly a good skill for a thief. Which is why Jaxter and his family get in big trouble when Jaxter and his father try to pull off Jaxter’s first robbery, and Jaxter messes it big time.

Fortunately, they are safe for the moment. The Twins (Lived 500 years ago, could see the future, wove tapestries depicting the future) have predicted that there will be a series of disasters, and only the Grimjinxes will be able to save everyone. But, it’s a fake, woven by Master Forger Ma Grimjinx. But the prophecy is coming true! Why? It was accidentally woven on fateskin, which makes whatever is woven on it comes true. Big Problems for the Grimjinxes. What are they going to do?! Well, I guess you’ll just have to read the book.

An Interview With Psudonymous Bosch

The famed and un-named author Psudonymous Bosch.

Remember when, a while ago, I told you folks about the Secret Series, by Psudonymous Bosch? If not, you might want to go check that post, or those books out, because I got an interview with him. Unfortunately, he didn’t answer all of my questions. Mostly, I received answers to my “borderline insane” questions. Never the less, I am here to grant you the great privilege of reading a Psudonymous Bosch interview.

LibraryLassie: Do you think you will continue writing? If so, what do you think you will produce? If not, what do you think you will be doing?

Psudonymous Bosch: There are other books coming! Another series, in fact. There will be more posted on the website- as soon as we know the information.

LL: What first inspired your love of chocolate? Also, don’t you find it rather frightening that chocolate is a food, which you put into your body by eating, and it can easily be tampered with, say, by adding poison or a sleeping potion, so that the Midnight Sun could kill or capture you easily?

PB: We’ll be extra careful about eating tainted chocolate. Thanks for the heads up.

LL: What advice do you have for aspiring authors?

PB: Advice for aspiring authors- LIE CHEAT AND STEAL!** And there are more tips in WRITE THIS BOOK. Procrastinating is a good one.

LL: Can I join the Terces Society?

PB: As for joining the Terces Society, I believe that subject is broached in WRITE THIS BOOK.

LL: What is your real name?

PB: Mr. Bosch IS his real name! I mean, it’s the name I know him by- and it’s what his mail says. And what is “real” anyway…

*All answers are provided by Mr. Bosch, and thoughtfully transcribed by his rabbit, Quiche.

** To fully understand this, check out the website- http://thenameofthiswebsiteissecret.com/home

For some other answers, check out these posts on other blogs-

http://www.livemom.com/2011/09/19/interview-with-the-elusive-author-pseudonymous-bosch/

http://i-devour-books.blogspot.com/2010/10/author-interview-pseudonymous-bosch.html

The Fault In Our Stars

As you all know, I am a big book moocher. And when a book disappears into my humble abode, most often it never comes out. (Except for library books. Those suckers cost serious money.) I actually got this book off lend from my friend, (Let’s call her… Uh… Belief.) Belief very reluctantly shared this book with me, and I m so glad she did. It was really full of meaning for me, especially as a close relative of a cancer victim.

Hazel is a cancer girl. Hair falling out, needs an oxygen tank at all times. Forced to got to a stupid support group in the “literal heart of God”. She hates that stupid support group almost as much as she hates her cancer. Until the today she meets extreme hottie, fellow cancer person, and LEG AMPUTEE!!! WOW THAT’S SO AWFUL! Not really. You can’t even tell. People really shouldn’t care about that kind of stuff. It’s what’s on the inside that counts,

Yes, it is a love story, but it is also a life story. People grow, change, and die. (Hmmmmmm. Maybe someone dies. Oooooooh!) And this book is actually centered around a fictional book, in which there is a character with cancer. That fictional book actually shapes the entire story. Everyone and anyone should read this. I almost cried at the end. And I’ve finally decided one thing: this is a life story, with a whole lot of love for the world.

Close To Famous

I know I’m not very famous, and I probably never will be. In fact, this blog is most likely the closest I will ever get to fame. But the main character in this book is definitely someone who I would hope would be famous.

Foster McFee, baker extraordinary, and her mother are in deep trouble. Foster’s mother, Rayka, had been dating a suddenly turned abusive Elvis Impersonator, Huck. Foster and her mom have to leave real fast. Like Fosdavid said, it was like a game show. How much can you pack before the evil Elvis Impersonator comes back?

From the start, it’s obvious someone from up there is watching out for them. When they are driving at the edge of a cliff in thick fog, but they somehow manage to decide to stop driving just before they would have gone over. When they arrive in a small town in West Virginia, a kindly middle aged woman allows them to live in their trailer.

There’s only one problem with the town: built right outside it is a prison. The prison promised the town new jobs and more buisiness for locals shops. Turns out, they lied. So a lot of people are angry.

Foster ends up making cupcakes for a restaurant called Angry Wane’s, and soon people recognize her talent. But she’s not the only talent in town.

Another thing on the outskirts of town is a movie star, Ms. Charleena, who was sick of the cameras, and still sad about her husband leaving her for a supermodel. Macon, documentary- maker wannabe and new best friend of Foster’s, works for Ms. Charleena, and he gets Foster a job with her.

There’s one other thing I forgot to mention: Foster can’t read. Kind of a problem when you want to become a famous cook like her idol, Sonny Kroll. But Foster is determined to find a way.

Uglies

I am a bad LibraryLassie. I read the comic book version first. Well, actually, that’s how I discovered this series. I tend to “borrow” books from people. That is, to say, I snatch them out of my friends hands and beg to read them. It usually works. One of my friends was reading the graphic novel version from the other main character’s point of view, which kind of totally ruined the plot line for me, but it also made it to easier to understand.

Let me clear up some things that kind of confused me, and that you should really know in order to understand this book, and the other books of this series.

Tally= Insecure one. She thinks she is really awful looking, typical ugly. She narrates the story, the books are focused on her. She is very ordinary.

Shay= Toughened-up, sarcastic, prank-puller, rule-breaker. She defies society and doesn’t really want to be pretty. She leaves for the Smoke, and leaves behind a cryptic note for Tally.

If you haven’t noticed, I’m really into dystopian fiction, and this is DF at it’s best. Betrayal, secrets, lies, love, it couldn’t get any better. Except it does! This is a trilogy, so there are 2 other books. And an aftermath book which focuses on a new character. Actually, Extras is kind of related to The Circle, so if you liked that, you’ll probably like this series, especially Extras.

The Seven Books Of LibraryLassie

At first, I was a little bit apprehensive about reading this book. It looked like all those orphan/magical powers/finding your true self kind of crap I’m always getting sucked into, which I hate myself for. (No offence, Harry Potter) You wouldn’t believe how many of those there are. Trust me! I googled it. And it is seriously crazy how many books there are about orphans with magical powers/involving a magical object. It actually scares me

I , for reasons unknown to mankind, picked up this book for no apparent reason, and began to read it. And soon I began to enjoy the book. The Seven Tales Of Trinket is presented in such an interesting way. There are 7 tales, and each tale has an accompanying song. I know this might be a strange way to write book, but when you think about it, it makes complete sense.

Trinket’s father was a bard. You know, song and stories guy. But one day he went out on a journey, and he never came back. Eventually, Trinket’s mother dies as well, and she sets out on a journey to find her father. She is accompanied by her friend, Thomas the Pig Boy.

This book is a great book kids mostly will enjoy, and really is worth checking out. I loved it, and I bet you will too.

The Circle

*Warning this book is not suitable for children, unless they are at least 13, maybe 15, or is they are really, really mature.

I do belive that this is one of the most thought- provoking novels that I have ever read. I simply couldn’t put it down. It was such a profound piece of writing that echoed the strange future that we may someday live in. Everyone is safe. Thanks to new technology quickly being invented, there is no crime, and it is incredibly easy to track people. Everyone knows everything about everyone. It’s safe. And at the hub of this computer- controlled world is the Circle.

Almost everyone loves the Circle.With a TruYou account, created by computer genius Ty, is so convenient. You can do everything on one account. And best of all, you know everyone’s exact name and location. No memorizing complex passwords or leaving around pieces of paper that could be seen by anyone. No creepy, lewd comments. Safety and security.

This book led me to an important question: what is more important, freedom or security? This question obviously drives many of the characters  in this complex story. Take Francis. His sisters were kidnapped and raped. This drives Francis’s life and decisions. It also causes him to create a chip/program called ChildTrack, in which a chip is implanted in a child’s ankle to allow police and parents to track the child at all times. What an invasion of privacy!

In fact, many things dreamed up by the author, Dave Eggers, are, in my mind, a complete invasion of privacy! Sure, they would keep more people safe, but at what price? Again and again, the book brings up this moral question, as well as many others. Perhaps this is what makes it such an interesting tale.

One of the things I loved to do as I read this book was thinking about the impact of the main character, Mae’s decisions, and how they affected the company and the world. The ending of the book could have been so different! If only she was more like Marcel…

Another thing I loved to do was compare the Circle to google. Oddly similar. And I hope I wasn’t the only one who noticed the little google comparison. I mean, Google Circles, the book title is the Circle. Just something to think about!

Tell me what you think about privacy v. safety! You can comment or take my poll.

 

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