Friday, July 31, 2009

In Review: Viola in Reel Life

Very rarely will I ever gush about a book. This is one of those rare times. I love "Viola in Reel Life" by Adiana Trigiani. I actually finished about half this book in less than an hour (something I haven't done in a very, very long time) and put it down for a few days just to savor the thought of the ending. This book had a lot I could relate to- I picked it up as my "vacation" book while I was traveling, so I too was leaving New York City behind, just Viola. I can also relate to her experiences going to a school she wasn't super excited about; in my case, it was a NH prep school in the good part of town. For Viola, it's in Indiana. Hers was worse.

Viola has a cutting, witty personality that I think many girls (and even none girls) can relate to. She manages to be hip and cool without being overly whiny. That is always on the plus side. With her and her roommates, it gets a little too much like a certain sisterhood involving pants a little too fast, but I do like that she befriends one of them, Marisol, a little better than the rest- especially when they are both stuck at the school for Christmas. I would have liked it a little more if Viola had some more conflict within her perfect room, maybe with Romy the sports star, but alas. Viola is not even really given a proper nemesis; but since this is the start of a possible multi-book series, that can totally be something that develops down the line. I also like how Viola handles her men; she doesn't seem to care that much on the outside, but internally she's not thinking about a lot else. Her documentary filmmaker parents are cool, and I like her strained relationship with them, but the emotions they stir in Viola definitely made me see her as a little less cool, a little more vulnerable. This is worth the read for people of any age, especially is you like your protagonist sassy and cool, which I always do.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Concerts & People: A Bad Mix

While this will break from my usual, "What am I reading?" blog entries (it's Viola in Reel Life right now- coming October 2009- and it's GOOD, girl!) I just came back from a concert and feel compelled to write. Who did I see? Well, Jay Brannan in NYC... but that hardly matters. What matters is the people who were at the show. Someone decided to shove right next to me after Mr. Brannan took the stage, and it was in an area that was not okay. He was violating my personal space. I also took a seat, which meant I had to BUY things at this show. He didn't. His view was as good as mine. And that's just not right. Plus PLUS!!- He decided to whip out his cell phone for 2 minutes during every song, then proceeded to get drunk and sing along badly. I paid $15 for the tickets, but ended up spending over $100 over the course of the night on a 2nd unused ticket, merch, and the food I was forced to buy. For what? For this guy to try and ruin the show for me? I still had fun, but geez. This is why concerts are a bad idea. People seriously don't give a flying ::expletive:: as to whether they ruin their fellow concert-goers time. At. All.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Saying [Hello] in RoBot

I finallyFinallyFINALLY finished The Doom Machine. An outer space epic is hard to get through sometimes, even if it is pretty good. And I did love me some gigantic alien spiders, but the descriptions in the book were often so brief I went back and read them over again many times. It became time consuming. All in all, a good book- I recommend it, especially if you're one of those My Teacher is an Alien! fans.

I should be re-reading A Wrinkle in Time for my teen book club, but decided to take a chance with a Scholatic ARC coming out in October titled How to Say Goodbye in Robot. Robot it very, very good. References to everything I love; late night radio, Female Trouble, and Beverly Cleary books. You know you love it. I kind of don't love the busted subplot about her friend's brother, but I figured they had to have some secret thing that ties them together. I have a hundred pages left, and I picked it as my vacation book so... kind of savoring the end. I have a feeling I will do it in one shot. Kind of wish I brought 'Wrinkle' along for the ride.

I have an Oscar Wilde play to read (always forget the name of it) for a Book Discussion Training at work, so I guess I'll read that next. All in all, my trip to NH is really good. No better place to catch up on all your reading.

Monday, July 6, 2009

We Built this [Geo]city

This is a little off topic as far as books are concerned, but while I was looking up an old romantic poem I wrote in high school for a random buzzers contest, I logged in to one of my old Geocities sites. I'm sort of dating myself here, but I was a computer nerd before it became trendy or cool. And Geocities was my jam. That's where I had many, many homepages back when I spoke HTML when I should been learning Spanish. My best website, The Coven of Amy, a tribute for the Buffy character Amy Madison, was even recognized and published in the now defunct Sci-Fi Teen. When you're 16 and have no friends, that's pretty awesome.

Well, when I logged in to retrieve this poem, a little message pops up saying that Geocities is officially shutting down in October of this year. I knew (and sort of stopped using G-cities) when it got bought out by Yahoo! and the ads went all wonky all the time. But to close all the geocities sites on the internet!? That's just plain bananas!

I'm going to try moving the Coven over to an old angelfire site I have set up, but... angelfire has deleted many a site from me more than one time with no cause or reason. Hopefully it's not like that if I put some work into moving everything over (and work it will be, since I largely forgot how to do all this stuff), but... geez. I wish there was a way to stop this from happening. It's sad. I'm inconsolable.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Reading Updates... and More!

So I just got a promotion at the library. It was no big deal though. They basically had to give it to me. Scott called them "loyalty raises" because you automatically get them at a certain point. My review actually made me mad. I didn't exceed the 'satisfactory' base at any point (even though there was a box higher to check) and in things like taking care of the building when I'm in charge and programming ideas, I definitely feel I do more than I should. I would have liked them to at least acknowledge that. I guess I should be happy I make slightly more money than before. And ya know, hang on to that.

FINALLY finished the first in "The Waking" series. I read it fast for me, but not as fast as I usually read Chris Golden's books (for instance, read 'Baltimore' A LOT faster last year). Finally moved on to "The Doom Machine" (isn't that just the best name?), followed possibly by "Happyface" or "How to Say Goodbye in Robot" or, possibly, both. In that order I think, because "Happyface" sounds slightly more interesting when I read the summery descriptions just now.

All in all, still kind of difficult to get back into the reading. "The Doom Machine" has been a good book so far, since it's very much like a modern day "My Teacher is an Alien" - with space travel and whatnot. It's bringing me back to those 3rd grade, 4th grade days when I actually picked up a book and read it for fun. They story is involving, too. I'm now officially shooting for one book a month, since I might actually be able to accomplish that.

Other random notes-

-Went to go see Transformers 2 tonight. Not as bad as everyone says it is. I mean, what were you expecting, people? A film worthy of an Oscar? I was entertained.
-I love Blick. There's one in NYC- near Bleecker St. They gave me a discount on my bulk glue order today. And future discounts for being a librarian. Love you guys.
-There's something called "Doctor Swatch" day where I guess you can go to a Swatch store and get yours fixed for free. Must. Go. to. That.
-Bought Jay Brannan tickets today. Hopefully, he'll want to go with me.

The End.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

In Review: The Waking | Dreams of the Dead

The story follows a girl named Kara who, along with her teacher father, move to Japan. The pair have relocated to the small Japanese town of Miyazu Bay following the death of Kara's mother a few years before. Kara doesn't make many friends at first, but is instantly interested in a rebel punk girl named Sakura who seems to be an outsider herself. As Kara gets into the swing of the Japenese school year and way of life, she starts to hear whispers about a girl who was murdered just outside the school grounds several weeks before. After visiting the dead girl's shrine and seeing a cat die and then explicably return to life, Kara realizes there is something not quite normal going on. She, and several other students at the school, start having vivid nightmares about laughing girls with no faces. When the mean clique of soccer girls start dying one by one, Kara fears she's next.

This is exactly the type of title teens coming into my library are always asking me for. They want spooky, scary books. This book definitely brings the creepy, and it has a little romance between protaganist Kara and a Japanese boy named Hachiro. It's also part of a series, with the other two books coming out several months after this one. I believe that will appeal to teens as well, who often like series opposed to single titles. Recommended for ages 13+.