Category Archives: Books

What kind of name is Hermione?

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hermione granger

 

“I hope you’re pleased with yourselves. We could all have been killed – or worse, expelled.”

I am not Hermione Granger. I’ve never been to Hogwarts, I’m not the brightest young witch of my age, and my boyfriend’s name is not Ron.

However, I have had strangers repeatedly comment upon the similarities between me and this fictional character.  I guess there are similarities.

We both

  • Have bushy brown hair
  • Have brown eyes (although mine are hazel-ish)
  • Have rather large front teeth…sadly
  • Are know for intellect and cleverness.
  • Can be quite bossy
  • Are book-smart
  • Are afraid of failure
  • Are loyal

And I’m sure there’s more. But I’m not Hermione! Unless this means that I get to ride a train to a magical school for young witches and wizards…

This is not an uncommon occurrence. Additionally, when I used one of those online “generate a nickname” site, it gave me, you guessed it, the name Hermione. Sigh.

The Fault in Our Stars

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The Fault in Our StarsThe Fault in Our Stars by John Green
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”

Interesting, this quote from The Fault in Our Stars may just some up how I feel.

It is about cancer, but almost incidentally. It’s about pain, suffering, and the human condition. It’s about the idea of oblivion and existence and meaning. It’s about the reason we’re here and what we should do with the time we’re given.

It’s honest. Candid. Relevant.

I don’t know how to go on without being pretentious or spoiling the plot. Please read it. I can’t promise you’ll enjoy all of it. But it’s the kind of book that makes you question assumptions. It takes you back to first being in love, first seeing death, first questioning the universe. I think the world would be an infinitely better place if we all revisited those moments, free from the irony of blase eyes. Look at the world unfiltered.

*This is straight from my Goodreads account because I don’t know if I could write another review without crying. It really is a wonderful read!

View all my reviews

Happy New Year

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English: Two New Year's Resolutions postcards

Image via Wikipedia

 

I’m not one for New Year’s Resolutions. However, I’m all for to-do lists. They’re what keep me organized. So here’s a list of some of the things I want to accomplish in 2012. I’d love to read yours

 

  • To get started, I’m doing the Try Something New Revolution through the UK’s Channel 4. Everyday, I have to complete a challenge and I plan to vlog about it. To stay up to date, you can follow me at youtube.com/ifimjuliet.
  • I want to blog at least once a week. Because I miss you.
  • Also, BEDA. Need this be said?
  • Finish editing 2011’s NaNoWriMo
  • Do NaNoWriMo this year
  • Complete my submission to Less Than Three
  • Read at least 50 books. Reviews to be posted here.
  • Watch 100 movies. I’ll post the reviews on this blog, if I feel the movies deserve reviews.
  • Make a black and white silent film.
  • Keep my 4.0 college GPA.
  • Do Drawctober
  • Make a top 5 college list by February (I’m a high schooler attending a community college, so I’ll need to transfer after next year)
  • SAT!
  • Help decrease world suck. Every year, I choose an organization to volunteer with. I haven’t chosen one yet..
  • Take a kickboxing class
  • Learn how to do a backflip. I only recently learned how to front flip, but I want to try!
  • Meet John and Hank Green (and the Katherine!). I’m going o the local stop of the Tour de Nerdfighteria courtesy of my dear friend Caitlin (she of the Green Applesauce fame).

That gives you an idea. I tend to be overly ambitious.

 

Things I like

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Let’s ease back into this, shall we?

1. The fact that I’ll finally have a real computer again in about a week.

2. Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog

I love this musical! It’s been a little while since I’ve watched, but after getting the behind the scenes book at the library, I’m feeling a need to rewatch it.

3.  Speaking of Dr. Horrible, have you ever imagined what a Dr. Horrible/ Doctor Who crossover would look like? Well, apparently somebody did. Presenting Dr. Whorrible:

Personally, the first thing that comes to mind is the Wizard of Oz…

4. Have you ever wondered how similar the lyrics of Weird Alare to the works of Shakespeare? Well, now there’s a way to find out!

http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2011/08/how-shakespearean-are-you/

I compared some my work, and I had a poem that was 97% Shakespearean.

5. Tumblr. Seriously, though, it’s amazing! It’s taken my Doctor Who fangirling to a whole new level.  If you ever get the urge to check it out, you can find my Tumblr at ifimjuliet.tumblr.com

6.

7. 

8.Blogging again.

Adieu!

Anna and the French Kiss

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“So what do I wish for? Something I’m not sure I want? Someone I’m not sure I need? Or someone I know I can’t have?”

You may remember that I promised you a review of “Anna and the French Kiss” a long time ago.  Here it is. Sorry!

Boy meets Girl. Boy and Girl fall in love. And, despite everything thrown in their way, Boy and Girl are able to be together in the end. This is the typical plot of a young adult romance book. It’s predictable and more than a little clichéd. So, it can be a bit of a challenge for a writer to take this concept and breathe new life into it.

Stephanie Perkins manages this challenge quite well. Anna and the French Kiss is a story about a girl transplanted from Atlanta, Georgia to Paris, France for her senior year of high school. Her parents are divorced, and her wealthy novelist father has decided that a year at a boarding school is just what Anna needs before heading off to college. Anna isn’t so sure. After being befriended by an eclectic group of boarding school veterans, though, Anna feels like she may have found a place to belong. And where she belongs is with St. Clair, a “English French American Boy Masterpiece.”

Of course there’s a problem. Although St. Clair and Anna are friends, he has a girlfriend and she has a boy she’s sort of interested in at home. But as things become more complicated between the two of them, Anna is forced to question what she really wants.

The book was good but did border on cheesy at times. However,  as much as I loved the romance,  my favorite part was Anna. She was a narrator that I felt connected to. Her experiences were raw, real, and poignant.  Another thing that made this book special was the way the author wrote about Paris. It was real Paris, not the way it looks in guidebooks, but it still retained its magic.

So that’s that.

The Beginning of the End…

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Metallic ballpen tips / biro Ballpen Ballpoint...

… of Summer.

August is all but here. Back to school ads fill the television.  Decisions get harder and harder. Choices that I make now actually matter in big, life-shaping ways. My stomach is tied in knots.

Soon, I’ll have to put away fun and spontaneity. They’ll be replaced by planners and deadlines.  My carefree days will become crammed full of places to be and things to accomplish, expectations to meet and rules to follow.

And I hate it.

I hate the tense that fills the air as my friends and I begin to separate. I hate the fact that I’m going to have to figure out a plan- soon. I hate the lined paper, #2 pencils, and fresh pressed smiles that you buy on sale at Target. I hate having to change.

And I hate the fact that my world is slowly being dissolved by the real world. The cold-faced realities replace the kind looks of my childhood.

When we come right down to it, I guess I hate growing up.

What’s Up with Poetry?

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The Old English epic poem Beowulf is written i...

Poetry isn't about dead, boring old men jabbering in a foreign language.

So, I write poetry. Poetry has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Because of this, it is strange to me when I hear people saying they dislike poetry. Dictionary.com (oh how I love thee) defines poetry as: “the art of rhythmical composition, written or spoken, for exciting pleasure by beautiful, imaginative, or elevated thoughts.”

How could anyone dislike that?  I mean, I understand disliking a particular poem, poet, or type of poetry, but I do not understand how anyone can dislike the genre as a whole.  It’s like saying that you hate art or that you hate music. It doesn’t make sense.

I think that the reason people feel like they hate poetry is because they associate it with classrooms, syllables, rhyme patterns, and analysis. It’s something you have to “get” in order to pass a test.  But if that’s all you see, that isn’t poetry at all.

Poetry is “the measured language of emotion.” It’s a way of taking what you feel and turning it into something that others can understand. It’s about using language as a sieve through which you filter the messy existence of yourself and see what you find.

In the words of poet Babette Deutsch, “Poetry is important. No less than science, it seeks a hold upon reality, and the closeness of its approach is the test of its success.”  But I think Elizabeth Dew describes it best.

“We read poetry because the poets, like ourselves, have been haunted by the inescapable tyranny of time and death; have suffered the pain of loss, and the more wearing, continuous pain of frustration and failure; and have had moods of unlooked-for release and peace. They have known and watched in themselves and others.”

I don’t know if that makes sense, but I hope that you “get” poetry a little better.