Saturday, February 26, 2011

Yay, Contest!

Wow! I can't believe my blog has hit 20 followers. I've definitely loved learning about each of you through the interwebs. And I hope you've enjoyed my ramblings. I promise to post some more science-related items soon... I know you guys are chomping at the bit for it! I've got a pretty awesome questionnaire in the works that will reveal your inner self with the help of a common flying insect. Wait for it!
One of the fabulous prizes

In honor of my fantastic fourth-of-a-fourscore followers (I know, I could have just said score, right? But I love alliteration.. maybe too much.), I have decided to hold my very first contest (I love contests almost as much as alliteration).
Because I'm excited for Spring, the prize package includes: 
A fantastic nature-inspired journal, for jotting down your great ideas
 Some Spring-inspired soaps, because they're fruity and fun
And a new book (I have a couple of ARCs and new releases- Winner's Choice)
Side view

To win:
All you have to do is be a follower of this blog (new followers are welcome to enter too!) and leave a comment below before midnight on March 3 (March, already?!). On March 4, I'll randomly select one winner with the help of 

Good luck everyone! Thanks so much for being so encouraging. I can't wait to tell you when I actually finish writing something! You'll be the first to know. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

I Read a Book: The Big Crunch

The Big Crunch by Pete Hautman

This was another one of those books that my boyfriend read it first. He proceeded to rave about it and wave it in front of my face repeatedly. I resisted for a bit but picked it up a few days ago. And I loved it. I suppose I need to give him some credit.

The Big Crunch (awesome science reference, btw) follows June and Wes and their dramatic high school relationship. The story is told in four parts (fall, winter, spring, and summer). June is a nomad, whose family moves from city to city. Wes has lived in the same town his whole life and has dated the same girl for years. When June first meets Wes, nothing happens. Not your typical love story, but as these things tend to happen, they are repeatedly drawn to each other and eventual start dating, but then things get complicated.

I loved that the book depicts goofy, realistic love. We follow Wes and June's adventure, from butterflies to realities. I also really like June as a character. She's not the girliest and she's not a helpless romantic, but she wants to find love. I relate to her a bit, having moved so many times while I was growing up; I think it's a very accurate portrayal of what can happen.

The Big Crunch features super short chapters and a narrative rapidly switches focus from June to Wes (even as quickly as every few paragraphs). The style kept me on my toes, and kept my fingers flipping those pages.

Hardcover, 288 pages
Published January 2011

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Books are not TV Shows

As I sit here, watching the latest episode of Bones, I can't help but think about the differences between books and television shows.

I love Bones. And not just like-love. This is the real deal. This is love-love. After six seasons, I wait eagerly for each new episode. I don't have cable, so I watch on Hulu the day after. The wait is agonizing!

The thing about Bones is, every episode is essentially them same. I'm not blaming Bones; this phenomena (phenomenon?) is not unique to Bones. There are a bazillion crime shows on TV that have been playing the same episode for the last 15 years. I know Booth and Bones are going to catch the bad guy at the end. The scenarios are different, and they've been getting more and more outlandish (Dead girl in a chocolate bar? Really?). But, the killer is always one of the three or four characters introduced early on, but not the one you first think did it.

There is a crazy ensemble cast always going in a million directions. And I happily get sucked into the drama. The tension between Booth and Bones, even after six years, is still interesting (Although, come on! Give us what we want!).

Maybe it's not fair, but if Bones was a book, I think I'd hate it. (Also, I do recognize that Bones is based on a series of books that I have never read. Maybe I should read them before I decide that I hate them...)

When I read a book, I want to see change. I want characters to grow and learn. And If I were to read a book series over the course of six years, I would expect the romantic tension between two characters to be resolved. In one way or another, something would change. How is it I can watch a show for six years with the same "will they, won't they" drama?

I think gist is that I expect more from books. There something about the printed word that elevates... I can process trash on my TV, but when it comes from a book, my brain shuts down.

And those concludes my random thoughts for the evening. Good night all! Thanks for listening.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Celebrating Successes

Presentation of Doom: No longer impending, and not as doom-filled as I had expected. I was a little nervous. I got a bit teased about my blushing, but I got laughs where I tried and a lot of people seemed to enjoy. I even had some requests for copies (ultimate nerd compliment!).

Forgetting Yesterday: I hit 25,000 words today (super yay!), and I love the story and my MC just as much as the day we met. Maybe even more. I feel good about this one. I'm in it for the long haul, even when the times get tough. We've been taking it slow, but I think I'm going to start to add a little pressure and speed it up! P.S. The title is so tentative, words cannot describe. I actually kind of hate it but I felt like it needed a name.

Computer: Battery dying. Going to watch Greek in bed. Good night.

Friday, February 4, 2011

I Read a Book: Matched

Remember that time I was going to read a YA book and post a review every week or so? Good, neither do I.

But I am super thrilled to finally post another review. This time I read Matched by Ally Condie.

Cassia is a happy peon, living under the watchful eye of The Society. She works hard at her job as a "sorter," enjoys the same three free-rec activities when she gets a chance to hang with her friends, and anxiously awaits the big day when she’ll meet the one. Except, Cassia doesn’t get to choose who to love. The Society takes care of everything from what its members eat to who they marry.

Confession time: I am "streets behind" when it comes to dystopian YA lit (any other Community fans out there?). I may be the only person on the face of the planet who has not read The Hunger Games yet. So, I can’t comment on any similarities/differences, but what I can comment on is how much I enjoyed Matched.

The book has two plots running in parallel: one, a teen romance, and the other, a story of a girl learning to question the world she lives in. The romance is a typical boy next door-girl-boy from the wrong side of the tracks love triangle. It's not earth-shattering, but it's entertaining. In my opinion, the stronger arc focuses on Cassia's growing curiosity about why things are they way they are. There were times I wanted to grab her and smack her and other times when I pitied her. The writing is beautiful, and I am dying to find out what happens next (second in the series due in Nov 2011). The ending is a cliffhanger, and those usually annoy me, but it works for Matched. It reminded me a lot of the end of the Golden Compass (book, not the movie).

Hardcover, 366 pages 
Published November 30, 2010