Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Touching Spirit Bear - Connections to Real Life

In class, we've been reading a novel called Touching Spirit Bear. It's about Cole, a boy with a past of lies, violence, and anger. When he severely and violently beats up a kid at his school,  Peter Driscal, it's the final straw. He is offered a chance at a system called Circle Justice: "a system based on Native American traditions that attempts to provide healing for the criminal offender, the victim and the, community" (Goodreads). If he doesn't go to Circle Justice, he goes to jail. 

This post is all about how this book is much like reality (specifically Canada's Youth Criminal Justice Act), and considering Cole's circumstances. 

If I were a part of Cole's "Justice Circle," there would be many factors to take into account when giving his a consequence. First of all, his past. Cole had been basically beat up and yelled at his entire life. He was raised in anger: the source of his own anger. Cole began to blame everyone else for his own actions, just as his father did. For example, Cole's father hit him because he was angry at his own life. And who does he blame? Cole. Cole was pretty much taught to be angry and blame everyone else…technically it wasn't his fault. No matter what, Cole is still a minor and still has difficulty seeing long term consequences, as all young teens do. That is another factor that may affect what kind of consequence he faces, and a factor that the Youth Justice Committees in Canada emphasize the importance of. 

Another factor to consider is Cole's history with the law. It's obvious that Cole's gotten in trouble with the law before, but he keeps doing it again. While this may be Cole's own fault for not taking responsibility and making positive choices, the fault also lays within the court system. The court system is simply meant to address justice in a way that is the same and "fair" for everyone. It does not consider individual circumstances (like we are now!) and how that may have affected the offender in the crime. This is a reason why things like Justice Circles are more effective! To me, Cole's crimes are basically a cry for help. However, the law just isn't doing it. In order to really help Cole, I feel that he needs a consequence that will help him to understand himself and others in the world. 

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Global Issues Novel Study Mini Challenge: Word Art!!!

Hello everyone! Sorry I haven't been posting much…I haven't been reading much either! Anyways, today in class, we got a chance to do a mini challenge for our Global Issues Novel Study (GINS) and I thought I'd share it with you. :) 

For this challenge, we were asked to choose a powerful quote from our GINS novel and turn it into a piece of word art! I was super excited for this, as I love to create word art. :) For my word art this is the quote I decided to use: "If you are thinking about making some adjustments in your life to allow you to help change the world, my heartfelt recommentdation is not to spend too much time thinking about it. Just dive in." John Wood, Leaving Microsoft to Change the World, pg. 237  

Here is my final piece:

The reason why I decided to use this quote is because of it's power within all sorts of issues. While Leaving Microsoft to Change the World is specifically focused on illiteracy, I found this quote to be very striking, and definitely the drive for the plot of the book. The book, of course, is about John Wood and his journey to help making a difference in the world. And this quote literally captures the entirety in one sentence! 

Anyways, when I read this sentence I found it to be very powerful. I've learned through this book and many other life experiences that sometimes, planning just doesn't work (especially when it comes to doing things like trying to make a change…it's not always logical)! It's often best to just do things from the heart, than doing things because "it makes sense." Take John Wood for example. Quitting his amazing job at Microsoft and spending all his money into a cause that might not work? Was that a logical course of action? Of course not!! He did it from his heart, and when he did, so many great things came out of it! Although it definitely is important to plan later on and know where you want to go. After all, you're most likely going to end up where you think and say you're going to end up. 

Now for the artistic choices. There were many reasons I chose a picture of skydiving to represent this quote. In so many ways, something like skydiving is a very valiant and brave thing to take up on; much like how making a change in the world is! I found that the image related to the quote both literally (anyone up for a dive?) and figuratively. It is important that you are fully believing in what you are doing, to be able to successfully achieve it. And let's get a little bit cheesy here…. I mean, sky's the limit right?!

As for the fonts, I just picked them out on a whim. I found both fonts to be very fun and daring; some qualities I feel like everyone who wants to make a change should have! It's okay to be easy on yourself sometimes, but it's still important to be determined and willing to go through difficult things. :) 

Overall, this book is one of many that has changed my life. There are many hidden lessons like this quote that I picked up from the book, and I will surely carry them with me forever!  

Friday, 7 February 2014

Mr.Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

Hello readers! It's been a while! Super sorry for my absence on this blog....I'm sort of a lazy person! ..... Okay so a really lazy person. But nonetheless, I'm back! Decided to write up a quick review for one of my favourite books of 2013 for you all (I read this book like a month ago, so the review may be a bit vague, bear with me!). 

Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore is seriously the book for all bookish people. It's a about an endless bookstore and a mysterious clerk. It's old mixed with new. Plus, it involves Google! What could be more intriguing than that???!

Okay, so let me first talk about the setting in this book. Robin Sloan honestly did such an amazing job of painting a world where it's simultaneously old and new! Every time I see the cover of this book, I honestly can just feel the presence of Mr. Penumbra's Bookstore. The way he writes about books....honestly? It illustrates the heart of many books in a beautiful way; after reading this book, I honestly have a whole new perception of books... They just feel so much more alive, and it's the best  feeling in the world.

And the characters . I really don't have anything bad to say about the way Sloan portrayed the characters. Like many great books, these characters were just so real. Never mind the bizarre storyline, these characters were so relatable! Seriously though, as unique as everyone may be, anyone could literally find at least one thing in common with the characters in the book (probably more though). The characterization in Mr. Penumbra's is also amazzzing. From the first moment that we meet Clay, I totally clicked with him. Yea sure, I don't have job and I don't live in San Fransico...but that's the point! Robin Sloan wrote his characters to be more than just the surface! The surface things didn't really matter in this book, and that's the best part. Why can't life be like Robin Sloan's world? 

Did I mention that some covers of this book are GLOW IN THE DARK????! Yes you read that right. If that isn't enough to convince you to go get this book now, I don't know what is! 

Overall, Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore was so awesome, inspiring, and adventurous! Read now!!!

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

The SIlver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick Thoughts!

Hey everyone! First off, happy 2014! 2013 has been quite the year; hopefully 2014 will be even better!!

So I read Silver Linings a while ago, but never got to write a review because of the business and chaos! Anyway, instead of doing a fullout review, I thought I would just share some of the main points I loved about this book. 

- Amazing, realistic, and loveable characters. Pat, the main character, had me rooting for him the whole time. He was so interesting and dynamic, and frankly, funny! Loved some of the other characters too, like Tiffany, Cliff, and Jake!!
- Plot was super interesting! There were actually quite a few plot twists that kept me hooked, and the ending itself was so perfect. I swear. Those last couple of sentences. Pretty much how I felt at the end of the book:

Yes. I was the equvalent of Lavendar Brown obsessing over Ron. Except, I was obsessing over this book. Love.
- LOVED the short chapters!!! The were super quick and somehow, made the book a breeze to go through! :)
- Also loved the chapter "My Movie's Montage." I actually played the music along with the chapter. (If you've read the book, you know what I'm talking about)!
- Overall, it was honestly such a fun, heartwarming, and real book. It addressed a lot of the mysterious "questions of life" and keeps you wondering long after you are done the book. It really opened my eyes. What an adventure. :)

Definitely a must read.

Well that is all for this book! I may do a book-movie comparison later on, if I have time. Until next time, keep reading! :) 

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Top Ten Tuesday...kind of!

Okay yeah, so it's technically the 24th right now (it's 12am; Merry Christmas, by the way!!!!!) but here I am at a Christmas Eve party. Being the bookish and weird awkward person, I'm just sitting here listening to some groovy karaoke (sang by some very awesome and brave folks, might I add), and I thought I would do a top ten for you guys quickly! So here is this week's top ten tuesday: books I hope Santa brings! 

Santa's probably on his way now, so I'd better write this quickly! ;D

(ps. no book cover images today guys, sorry!)

1. HARRY POTTER COLLECTION: WOW. As a die-hard fan, it's quite sad that I don't own all of the books, but what a perfect time to receive them! I also want to re-read them this winter, so it's perfect. And getting them at christmas-time adds sentimental value...Please Santa!! :)

2. It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini: I've been wanting to read this for such a long time, and knowing that I would love this book, I would love to own it. Also super sad to hear about Ned Vizzini, I can't believe it. But yeah, this seems like such a great book!

3. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carol: Actually, there is play that is in-the-works at our school right now, based on Lewis Carol's Alice in Wonderland, and I've been needing/wanting to read this book for the play for a while now! Especially because I'm on the costume/makeup crew ( I sense a litspiration challenge coming?)!

4. The Harry Potter Companion Books (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Quidditch Through the Ages, and The Tales of Beedle the Bard): Need I say more?

5. This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales: Even though I've already read this, I loved it so much, and I would love to have it as a part of my collection. :) Definitely read this one, guys!

6. Scarlet by Marrisa Meyer (Part of the Lunar Chronicles): PLEASE PLEASE GIVE ME THIS SEQUEL NOW.

7. Struck by Lightning by Chris Colfer: God I love Chris Colfer. Can I please read his writing already?

8. The Raven Cycle Series by Maggie Stiefvater: I read the first one and I really really liked it! Super excited to read the next ones. Might I add that these covers are so so beautiful? :)

9. Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson: This book pretty much is my Summer 2013, and I just want to hold it in my hands and cry and read it every summer from now on, because it changed me and I love it so much. It's such a nice book. :)

10. The Book of (Holiday) Awesome by Neil Pasricha: Read the first Book of Awesome and I loved it. It's such a light and lovely book, and never fails to put a smile on my face. I would love to read this (Holiday) version!!!!! :D

Well, the list goes on and on and on and on. If I could, I would ask for all the books I could possibly fill my house with (all though I don't think that would go down well with the parents xD)!! But yea, here's just a couple! Hope you all enjoyed, and hope you all have an amazing christmas and holiday! Stay lovely, and keep reading!

What books do you hope Santa brings? :)

Dash and Lily's Book of Dares Review!!

Hello guys, hope you all are having an awesome holiday! Here's a quick review on Dash and Lily's Book of Dares!!

To start off, I loved the style the book was written in! I liked the switching perspectives between Dash and Lily; I liked seeing what the two thought of different situations! It was a great way to give a thorough experience of the "red notebook!"

As for the characters themselves, I loved all of them. They were all so awesome, funny, and amazing! I fell in love with Dash from his very first words in the book. He's one of those characters that really gets you hooked into the story! He was in fact....dare I say...dashing! As for Lily, I wasn't a big fan of her at the start. She was a bit childish, a little annoying, and just not that greatly written. But after a couple chapters, I started to love her as much as the other characters; and by the end, I totally was with her. I also loved some of the minor characters! Langston, Boomer, Grandpa...all of them were literally the best minor characters! They added a lot of comic relief to the book, which enhanced the entire plot and story even more!

Speaking of the plot, there was kind of a plot? I don't know, I guess it all lead up to them meeting, which is pretty much a plot, right? But anyway, I definitely loved the idea of this book and I loved the ending (I'm a sucker for happy endings ^_^)!

Overall, a great and lovely read. And very christmasy and cute, might I add! Glad I read it this particular week! If you're planning on reading, definitely do! :)

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz Review!!!

Okay. First of all, this is my review in a nutshell:

Second of all, five stars. 

Third, the review (finally xD): 

This book. Wow. Just. Wow. I literally just. Wow.

So I just randomly bought this book when I walked by it at Indigo. And just. I am so glad I did. I wasn't really sure what to expect (a story about two boys' friendship could have the potential to be anything!), but I really thought this was such an inspirational and unforgettable read. Wow. I literally love this book so much. Even though it is a mature read (in the sense of having mature content) and follows a slightly controversial idea, I honestly don't even care, because the book was just so much more than those little things.

It's about friendship, relationships, being adults and being teens and everything in between. It's about acceptance and finding yourself. It's about the little moments and love. It's about life. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe captures the very essence of life, and what it really means to live.

There's really no plot to this book. It doesn't have a specific goal or centres around a specific's just about a boy. A boy who doesn't know who he is, and doesn't know what he wants in life. Doesn't know why he's even here, or what life even means. It's about his journey to find himself, the secrets of the universe. :)

The biggest reason why I loved this book so much was that it really opened my eyes. It's tells a story about having your own journey, and that there really is no way to speed it up. You, me, Ari, and Dante: we all are fighting our own wars. And not everyone will always accept themselves from the beginning, but life is about finding that inner acceptance. The will to open up to who you truly are and accept it..even if others won't. And I feel like this book literally was all about that. It was the raw truth; all the pain, happiness, hatred, loyalty, love...none of it hidden or spared. And I loved that. I loved the shameless way this book was written.

AND the characters. Just wow. Okay they weren't that 'normal' by societal standards, but I feel like I was all of the characters. They were me, and I was them. They captured who I was and my life so very realistically. They are one of the most real and imperfect characters I have come across.

AND the writing. WOW AGAIN. Benajamin Alire Sáenz wrote in such a poetic way, but it had just enough prose to make it just right (shall I say...Goldilocks Zone?)! I loved the short/long variation in chapters, and just the simple and plain dialogue written in. It was most and utterly beautiful.

All in all, I just actually really love this book (obviously..haha). I totally recommend this book. It was a truly amazing journey. :)