Sunday, September 30, 2012

Arcadia Review (sort of)

So this post has been sitting, unpublished, in my post archives waiting to be finished off.  So what is a better time than when I have two essays to write!  Sometimes my priorities are not all the straight but oh well.  

Anyway, how many of you read plays?  Well if you do I was definitely not one of you.  Sure I have read Shakespeare and other plays for classes but I have never, once, read a play on my own.  For fun.  That was until last weekend.  I read Arcadia.

Before I get into the nitty gritty parts of this review-ish thing, I have some things to clear up.  I don't read plays outside of class, but my room mate this year is a theater geek.  She loves everything about theater and she has introduced me to so many other theater geeks.  A few weeks ago my they forced me to have the play Arcadia by Tom Stoddard.  Now I put off reading it for a while but this past weekend I sat down to read it and surprised myself by loving it.

The play takes place in a mansion during two time periods, the nineteenth and twentieth century.  It follows a group historians/scientists and the original owners of the house.  As the play unfolds it focuses on the intricacies of romance, mathematics, and sex within the universe.  Really it is quite profound but oh so lovely at the same time.

The reasons I love the play?  So many.  The characters are funny and the slowly meshing time periods is intriguing and unique.  I also love the setting.  It is set in an old mansion of which I have a slight obsession with.  At some point in my life I will see an actual castle and these kinds of stories remind me of how much I need to do that.  Can I also say that the play is funny.  You would not think that of something that deals with the meaning of life/reasoning or the universe but this play has a fair amount of humor in it.  It really balances out the sweetness of the ending.

Ah the ending got me.  It is the perfect, bittersweet moment.  I simply love how well it is all wrapped up in a nice tidy bow.  You will have to read it to know what I am talking about.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

RTW: Best Book of September

Okay, it has been more than a week since I have posted and I am sorry.  I am not going to make excuses I just have not been on blogger lately.  All that aside, today is Road Trip Wednesday and if you don't know what this is I strongly urge you to check it out.  It is a blog hop over at YA Highway where a reading or writing related question is asked and bloggers answer and hop around to other blogs.

This week's question:
What was the best book you read in September?

Well, this shouldn't be that hard.  Yes, I did actually read things outside of class, thank goodness, because I really did not like any of the novels for my Gothic Novel class other than the Lee stories, which I posted about over the summer.  I read Arcadia which is a play by Tom Stoppard, and Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver.  I have also been slowly reading pieces of my room mates writing.  I am not going to say anything about it other than she is brilliant and I hope someday she is published. 

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
Hands down Pandemonium was the best book I read this month.  I loved Delirium and was excited to read Pandemonium.  It proved to be very good and the ending had my heart in knots.  I don't think I will be able to wait for the third installment of the series.  

In the mean time I would love to hear your thoughts on this book or the ones you have read this month. What have been your favorites?

Friday, September 14, 2012

Feature Follow Friday

It's Feature Follow Friday!  If you don't know what this is you should go over and check out all the fun at Parajunkee's or Alison Can Read.  Basically it is another blog hop where you answer a question and meet a ton of new bloggers.  This weeks question is:

What hyped up book do you think was not worth all the talk?

I don't have very many books that I have read but haven't liked.  Maybe it is because I mostly stay within the genre I enjoy  (*cough* dystopian *cough*).  The only book that really comes to mind when I think about this question is Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer. 

Now before all you Twilight fans jump all over me, I have to tell you that I was one of you...when I read them in eighth grade.  I think they were good during that particular part of my life.  I had yet to really get into the dystopian craze and I had just begun writing myself.  My standards for writing were low.  By the time I read Breaking Dawn, though, I realized the difference between good writing and not so good writing.  For me Breaking Dawn fell into the second category.  The biggest problem I had with it?  I could guess most of the major plot points before reading them.  I was fairly sure what was going to happen halfway through the book which made the last 300 pages incredibly boring. 

Oh well, we cannot love everything.  Still, it is upsetting when a book you cannot wait to get your hands on ends up letting you down.  It is a disappointing topic, but what are your feelings about this question?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Pandemonium Review

I have done it!  I have read my first book that is completely unrelated to school or college or Shakespeare or any other class I am taking this semester.  What book, you may ask, has captured my attention from my ever growing pile of chemistry homework?  That is Pandemonium!

For those of you who do not know, Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver is the second book in the trilogy of Delirium.  It follows the life of Lena after she has left Portland, Maine and the cure for the wild's of the North Eastern United States.  It is written in two parts.  There is the "Now" chapters and the "Then" chapters alternating throughout the book.  Each recalls what has happened in her life from the time she first left Portland to her time in New York city working for the Resistance.

Let me first say that this is an amazing book!  Like Delirium I could not put it down if my life depended on it.  (This is probably why I am behind on my homework).  I might even like this book a little better than Delirium because Lena seemed more real.  Maybe this is why I have grown to love her so much.  If you have read Delirium, you know that Lena has gone through a TON of stuff.  Oliver writes Lena's emotions brilliantly and you believe everything that she is doing.  Overall, I think Lena is one of the more developed dystopian heroines.

It can also be said that this book is an eye opener.  It is sad and you cannot help but feel for the people trying to make their lives happy in a world where love is a disease.  Let's face it, love is hard and when you are shunned from society it only gets harder.  There is also the fact that Lena continually brings up Alex which seemed to stab me every single time.  I really liked Alex and missed him in this book.

The one part of the book I had mixed feelings about was the alternating chapters.  I do not always like this because I usually end up liking one point of view over the other.  This makes me want to skip over parts that I know are important (uggg).  I stuck with it though, and without reading the "Then" chapters it would have been difficult to understand the "Now" chapters.

Okay, one last thing before I stop rambling on about how much I loved this book.  Then ending is amazing and horrible at the same time.  It was so kick ass (pardon the language) but I hate how Oliver fell into a classic young adult novel cliche.  I will let you figure out what that cliche is if you haven't read the book but if you have, what did you think about the ending?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

RTW: What Program do You Write With?

So, this week's RTW is fairly self explanatory and I have to say I am not entirely excited about it.  As many of you know I am a writer of many things but I have yet to finish anything substantial.  I have ADD when it comes to story ideas so thus my computer is filled with many great beginnings but few endings.  On to the question though.

What do you use to write?

Like I said the topic is not very exciting but to answer it I use a mixture of Word and Pages.  I am one of the few people who use both Macs and PC.  I grew up with a PC and learned to use word but in high school we were all given Macs so I learned to use both.  As of right now I am writing this on a Macbook Pro but I would be just as happy to use a PC.  

I think Pages is a pretty simple word processing program but there are few things that it cannot do.  Word, I think, is used by pretty much everyone and I have nothing to wrong with this program.  Now, I really do not have any helpful hints for using this programs.  Just type away I guess!  Sometimes I feel as though there should be a better organized way to keep WiP but as of now I am not interested enough to want to relearn something new.  

Well, I am sorry if that was a little boring, but my best advise for writing no matter what program you are using is to occasionally look back at old pieces of work.  You never know what your past self wrote that your current self has forgotten and your future self can rework. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Feature Follow Friday

I cannot tell you how many times I have seen this blog hop and wanted to try it out but simply did not have the time at that moment.  Well, now I have finally done it.  Here is my post for Feature and Follow Friday!  For those of you who do not know, this is a blog hop hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.  Basically you jump from blog to blog making new friends and gaining followers on the way.  (Oh and there is also a weekly question!).   So let's get right into things!

This week's questions is:  What book are you currently reading?

This is an interesting question because as of now I should probably be reading my chemistry book rather than writing this post (oops).  As a side note, we are only two weeks into the semester and chemistry has taken over my life completely.  

Putting that aside, I am currently reading and enjoying some other books for classes.  For my amazing Shakespeare class I just finished reading Antigone by Sophocles, as an introduction to the tragedy.  I am currently reading Romeo and Juliet which I am excited about because I haven't read this play since high school.  I love a good love story and Romeo and Juliet is the most perfect of the tragic love stories.  It really makes me swoon and cry at the same time.

Other than books for school, I haven't read many books that I brought from home.  I think once I have gotten into the swing of college life again I will start posting more reviews.  In the mean time I would love to hear what you are reading right now, so post a comment and I will go check it out.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

RTW: Favorite Book Read for School

It's Road Trip Wednesday!  If you don't know what I am talking about, this is a blog carnival hosted by the lovely people over at YA Highway where bloggers answer a writing or reading related question and hop from blog to blog looking at other's answers.  This week's questions is:

What's your favorite book read for a class?

This question took a little bit of thinking for me because I really did not like that many of the books I read during high school.  I just do not like having a deadline to read something.  It makes me uncomfortable and I feel books are less enjoyable when you don't have time to, well enjoy them.  However, I did read some books throughout my classes that I have loved.  

The first being Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.   I love the feeling surrounding the book and the characters (and no it has nothing to do with Twilight).  Perhaps it is the dark and mysterious air shrouding the moors they live near.  It sends shivers down my back.  Another book that I really enjoyed reading during class was To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (how bad is it that I almost wrote Mockingjay here?).  

This book will forever be on my shelf as one of my favorite books ever.  I love the writing style and the characters are simply amazing.  Scout is great main character and Atticus is a shows that true depth of a person.  I haven't read this book in a while but I think it is time to dust off its cover and reread it.  Maybe this will be my project over one of my breaks from college. 

And oh my gosh, I almost forgot one more that I really loved reading!  That is A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams.  I am utterly in love with this play.  I have not read it in such a long time and I just remembered it a few moments ago.  If you have not gotten a chance to read this play I strongly encourage you.  I just loved the character of Stella and the tensions within the storyline.  Plus the name A Streetcar Named Desire simply captures your attention.  

Ok, well that was more than one piece of writing but I think each of them are amazing and deserve recognition.  I would love to hear what you all think about these books and the books you have read during class.  Have a great day. 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Movie vs. Book

First, I would like to say that I have made it through the first week of classes of my Sophomore year.  So, high five for that!  I am quite happy to be back but am not enjoying the piles of homework forming as I speak (or write in this case).  Oh well, the price for education (on top of the ever cumulating debt *shudders*).  Overall it has been an amazing week.  The new classes and professors are what I look forward to every day.  

It is one particular professor I would like to address today.  I am taking an introduction to Shakespeare course, which you all know by my gushing this summer.  All I can say is the professor is AMAZING!  I mean simply perfect.  Ever time I go to his class it makes me smile little a giddy little girl.  A few of my friends and I were discussing how his has the enthusiasm of a golden retriever puppy chasing a tennis ball.

Anyway, the other day we were discussing drama and whether movies are more like plays or novels.  Many of the people in the class felt as though movies were more like plays but a more important question was brought up.  That is, does seeing the movie prevent you from reading the book?  I realized how correct this feeling was for me and it made me a little sad to think that a movie would hold me back from enjoying a novel.

Take Harry Potter, for example, I read the books long before the movies came out, and therefore had a clear picture in my mind of what the characters/world looked like.  Going back and reading them again, as I often do, I continue to see the characters how I pictured them the first time around.  Sure, some aspects of the movies find their way into my imagination but this is blurred or mixed with my own perceptions as a reader.  I do not know if this would be the same had I watched the movies first.  I feel as though the movie pictures would be tattooed into my mind forever.

Take the Game of Thrones series.  A wonderfully created series that is very similar to the books, or so my friends say I haven't read the books.  When I do read them, I don't know how well it is going to go.  I feel as though I will skim through the chapters because, let's face it, the secret is out.  Movies and TV series are spoilers. They should have caution tape wrapped around them because they ruin a book for me.  I have such a difficult time enjoying the reading experience after watching a movie; the spoilers make the story boring, the characters shove my own imagination out of the way, and the world is almost too clean and perfect.

Maybe one day I will get over these feelings but for now I will try my hardest to read first and watch later.  I would like to know what you all think.  Can you read a book after seeing the movie and how much does the movie color you perception of the book?