Paper Towns Review



Paper Towns by John Green
Publish Date: October 16, 2008
Publisher: Speak
     Who is the real Margo?
     Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the wildly adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs into his life-dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge-he follows. After their all-nighter ends, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues-and they're for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew...

      I was really hesitant about reading this book. I liked TFIOS (Like being the very important keyword), but I thought it had too much hype, it was over-glorified, and the writing/characters were way too mature. I think I read this book because Cara D is going to be in the movie adaptation and the book was only $8.00 at BJs.
      So how did I feel about this book? I'm still reading it at this point
      Q is a pretty creepy guy. He's so obsessed with finding Margo. He has always watched her from afar and he even remembers her scent. Margo isn't any better. I love her wild personality, her drive for revenge, her creativity, intelligence, and way of thinking, but she's a terrible person for leading Q on. Her mission for Q is a wild goose chase. It's misleading. When you think you're going somewhere, you're halted by a dead end.

After Finishing the Whole Book
      I didn't expect this book to be great throughout, which is great because I would be very disappointed if I did. This book had its ups and downs. It was not consistent. The beginning was all about Q's boring, constant, uniform existence. Then, Margo comes along, shakes things up, and they execute their revenge. They have some fun, bond a bit, and then Margo leaves Florida. Goddamn...
      This leaves Q heartbroken in some way. He goes back to his boring life, obsessing over the thought of Margo and pulls his two friends into this mess.
      I was just aggravated by Q during this time. He keeps thinking She wants to be found by me. I must find her. As said above, he's just obsessed and annoying.
      But, the events really start snowballing and get exciting on graduation day. The real adventure starts and it's mind-blowing. Green has so much knowledge on road trips. It's thought out wonderfully and executed well. Seriously, I learned so much from the trip.
      I loved how everyone contributed to the trip. Lacey kept them going with her "knowledge" of nutrition. Radar helped by calculating speed, time, breaks, and all those variables to ensure that they get to their destination on time. Q...the only thing he really contributed was hope and determination. He was pretty useless out of all of them. Then, there's my favorite character in this book, Ben.
      Sweet, dirty, funny Ben. Love you to pieces. I think he's the reason why I kept reading this book. He is a GREAT, AMAZING, WONDERFUL comic relief.
      Anyway, I changed my thoughts on this book towards the end. Q isn't as terrible as I thought, it wasn't his fault. It was Margo all along. She's obsessed with Q, like he was obsessed with her, and she planned this whole elaborate plan to "be with him." This whole plan was to reminisce the old days-the days when they were close friends. She was the sick, puppet master.
      Well that's my interpretation...
      This book was so John Green. It was full of metaphors and had very intelligent, thoughtful ideas/writing. He's a very intelligent person and his writing is great, but it didn't speak to me. It's so high thinking and philosophical...which isn't really my reading style.

The Witches of BlackBrook Review



The Witches of BlackBrook: A Novel
by Tish Thawer
DNF
Publisher: Amber Leaf Publishing
Publish Date: 2015
     Through space and time, sisters entwined. Lost then found, souls remain bound.
     Three sisters escape the Salem witch trials when the eldest casts a spell that hurdles their souls forward through time. After centuries separated, fate has finally reunited them in the present day.
     One the healer, one the teacher, and one the deceiver.
     Will their reunion return their full powers, or end their souls' journey forever? 

     When I first saw the blurb for this book, I was really excited. I was really excited because the book includes/mentions the Salem witch trials. I LOVE the Salem trials. It was probably the most interesting topic in the Social Studies curriculum, along with WW2: The Holocaust. It [witch trials] had so much drama, hype, tension, and false accusations! What isn't to like?!
     Sure, this book has a lot of drama. But, was it the drama I was expecting? No. The drama seemed very Real Housewives-esque.
     The main character lives in the modern world and that's where most of the story revolves around. But, there are flashbacks (Of sorts) that take place in the past. These flashbacks were boring to read because nothing much happened. The present was also pretty boring.
     I didn't sit down and drink this book in. I took very long breaks from it.
     I thought this book was going to be The Craft with the three sisters, who worship the Goddess aka Mannon. I got excited, but that died down from the dialogue and the writing.
     The writing was not my cup of tea. It was a little too wordy and long for my taste. Plus, the dialogue was unexpected. You want to know why? Okay, grown ups talk to each other in a one dimensional way that resembles a teen speaking with his/her crush. Everyone was too happy/go-lucky in my opinion. The kids in the "flashbacks", spoke with more maturity than the adults.
     Finally, after reading that synopsis a little more closely and reading a little excerpt, you know exactly what happens, so there isn't a need to read this book.

Cookie Recipe

This year, I had to do a science experiment to graduate. For some reason, baking cookies was considered science. I went on a journey to find the perfect cookie and I did, but I don't know where the document with the recipe went. These cookies are great snack during reading. I suggest making these cookies beforehand. If you let it sit in the fridge for 2-3 days, the flavors develop and taste better. These are a great snack when you're reading.

Ingredients

-1 cup (220 g) of butter room temperature
(DON'T MELT THE BUTTER-the cookies will spread out faster and sink. Just leave it out for half an hour to 1 hour.)
-3/4 (165 g) cup of packed, light brown sugar
(this helps make cookie crunchy)
-1/4 (50 g) cup of granulated sugar
-2 eggs
-2 teaspoons of vanilla
-2 1/4 cups (288 g) of all purpose flour
-1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
-1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
-1/2 teaspoon of salt
(brings out the sweetness to cookies/any sweet food)
-2 cups (350 grams) of chocolate chips.

Directions

1. Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees F (190 degree C) and line your cookie tray or brownie tray with parchment paper, if you intend to eat it fresh bake. You should set it to this temperature, so the Maillard Reaction occurs. Fancy terminology for caramelization.
2. THIS STEP IS OPTIONABLE. Take all your dry ingredients (sugar, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt) and sift it.
3. Cube your butter and whip it until it's fluffy with electronic mixer.
4. Add the dry ingredients little by little into the butter and continue to mix with a wooden spoon. Once all the dry ingredients are incorporated, add the vanilla extract and eggs. Then add chocolate chips.
5. If you're not eating it now and want the cookies to have more flavor, pop the batter into the fridge and refrigerate for 2-3 days.
6. Put in the oven and cook for 8-11 minutes. I don't use a timer. Some researchers said that once it turns golden brown and you can smell it, then it's done.
7. Take the cookies off the tray and let it rest for 2-3 minutes. 

V is for Virgin Review



V is for Virgin (V is for Virgin #1) by Kelly Oram
Publish Date: December 5, 2012
Publisher: Bluefields
Recommended by Rachel E. Carter
     When Val Jensen gets dumped for her decision to stay a virgin until marriage, the nasty breakup goes viral on YouTube, making her the latest Internet sensation. After days of ridicule from her peers, Val starts a school-wide campaign to rally support for her cause. She meant to make a statement, but she never dreamed the entire nation would get caught up in the controversy. As if becoming nationally recognized as "Virgin Val" isn't enough, Val's already hectic life starts to spin wildly out of control when bad boy Kyle Hamilton, lead singer for the hit rock band Tralse, decides to take her abstinence as a personal challenge. How can a girl stay true to herself when this year's Sexiest Man Alive is doing everything in his power to win her over?

Book Borrowing Rules

I have a small collection of books. Some of these books pique the interest of certain friends. So, I let them borrow it. That's probably one of my biggest mistakes ever!

1. The most important rule is to return the book the way you found it.
     You know how some softcover books have this line near the spine that you can kinda bend? DO NOT BEND that part! If you bend it too often, white lines appear running vertically down your book.
2. Book Storage
     Since I deal out my books in school, the backpack is the choice place to transport books. That's not a good idea! Stuffing books in and out of your backpack in haste does not agree with books. Corners, covers, and pages will be bent.
3. Book Return Policy
     If you're a slow reader, you should warn your librarian. Your librarian will ponder when you'll return the book. Then, they'll start stalking your every moment of the day, asking you for it. I nagged my friend for like three weeks because she didn't return my ARC copy.
4. NEVER EVER DOG EAR THE BOOK!
     This is someone else's book after all. Treat their book like you would treat yours, unless you dog year books.

5. Don't bring these books away/out.
     This is probably very obvious and doesn't really need to be stated, but... Restaurants are disasters just waiting to happen. There's people bustling around and trays of food being balanced by youngsters and old people. Sometimes, you forget books too..

Blog Feature

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          So, bloggers of the week obviously ended. Congratulations to Ana & Madi! I'm featuring Ana.
          I really like her blog. It's super refreshing looking and her blogger theme was a throwback to my old set-up. Her reviews are so great and detailed. I'm a little envious tbh. Hopefully my reviews get better with time.
          She's from Portugal. English is her second language. I'm actually quite surprised because her reviews don't seem like that. There may be a few spelling mistakes, but who doesn't have spelling mistakes? She has a bunch of the cool gadgets I see on other blogs. The only bad thing I must say is that she doesn't include a rating system.
          Nonetheless, this is a great blog. Go check it out!