Twilight

Author: Stephenie Meyers

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

Copyright: 2005

Pages: 498

 For Ages: 13 to Adult

Rating: ****

 

Public Service Announcement for the Zombie Queen Only: Greetings!   Do not read this review.  It will drive you mad. Instead I offer you the brain of this delicious looking writer. [Rowena drags out an unnamed writer, loosens her grip, and lets the writer flee.] Quick! Go eat that brain. You’ll like it much better.

 

Book Review For Everyone Else:

When her mom remarries, 17-year-old Bella sacrifices her sunny home in Arizona to give the new couple space and moves in with her dad in the small rainy town of Forks, Washington.  The story starts off like a regular YA novel with Bella adjusting to small town life.  Here in Forks boys can’t seem to resist her, they certainly could in Arizona. Then she notices the beautiful pale Cullen family, especially gorgeous bronze-haired Edward Cullen.  Edward’s odd inexplicable actions toward Bella pull her in. He seems to almost be repelled by her and Bella has no idea why.  Edward’s never even met Bella or said to words to her. By the time Bella figures out Edward’s a vampire, it’s too late, Bella’s already drawn in.

 

This book was like an addictive drug. I read the first 100 pages in two days. By the third day I couldn’t stop and stayed up almost all night to read the last 400 pages. The story easily blends teen drama with suspense, romance, and action-adventure in unique way. I wanted to reread it again as soon as I finished. Satisfying Guilty Pleasure.

 

Sequels:

New Moon ***

Eclipse **1/2

 

My advice is to enjoy Twilight and skip the sequels. They aren’t horrible but they’re not half as enjoyable as Twilight. They’re both over 400 pages each and the last one is chock full of over-the-top drivel.  You can use the time to read 800 pages of something better. 

Why We Fight

Movie Type: Documentary

Director: Eugene Jarecki

Year: 2005 (I saw it on DVD)

Length: 98 minutes

Rating: **** ½

 

Why We Fight is a fantastic documentary that looks at America’s military-industrial complex starting with President Eisenhower’s farewell speech in 1960 until midway through the Iraq war.  This isn’t Fahrenheit 9/11, Jarecki lets people and facts speak for themselves.  He lays out for the viewer what the military-industrial complex is, how it’s funded, and the heavy role it plays in the wars America fights.  There are numerous interviews with figures from the right and left, the military, the government, industry, and regular citizens.  The most poignant is the retired New York cop who lost his son on 9/11 and his quest to get his son’s name on a bomb in the Iraq war.  There are also interviews with Richard Perle, the ubiquitous Billy Kristol, Gore Vidal, a former Lt. Colonel who was at the Pentagon on 9/11, fighter pilots who dropped the initial bombs on Iraq, a former CIA agent, and a young man who enlists in the Army after his mother dies.  This movie will give you a fuller picture of America’s military decisions and how our government really works.

 

Highly recommended.  Anyone else seen this? And? What did you think?

 

[One caveat: Gore Vidal says something about Japan in WWII that made me want to stop the film and ask for evidence. I don’t doubt what he said might be true, but I wanted some proof.]

 

A Drowned Maiden’s Hair: A Melodrama

Author: Laura Amy Schlitz

Publisher: Candlewick Press

Copyright: 2006

Pages: 389

 For Ages: 9-14

 

On the “best day of her life” 11-year old Maud is locked in the outhouse of the Barbary Asylum for Female Orphans singing “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”. Beguiling Hyacinth Hawthorne hears Maud and adopts her on the spot. Maud so wants to please Hyacinth; she’ll do anything—even be the three Hawthorne sisters’ secret child and learn the family business. 

 

This is one of those rare stories that will appeal to girls, boys, and adults. The melodramatic larger-than-life events and characters are the kind you’d expect to find in a Charles Dickens story. It’s easy to identify with impulsive but good-hearted Maud, the girl who just wants to be loved for who she is. Once the reader makes it through the beginning set up, there are unpredictable twists, sadness, action, danger, and heart-warming moments.

 

Parent Notes:  This is a kind of a ghost tale so there are some scary and sad parts, but as with most ghost stories, that’s what makes it fun.

July & August 2007: Inbrief

Quote of the Month:

“Being me is a full-time job and I’ve never missed a day.”
Stephen Colbert (June 27, 2007)

 


Hightlights:

July SCBWI Conference in Westminster

Bought an mp3 player- Wow! It’s like living in a movie montage: Rowena walking to the store, Rowena cleaning the house, Rowena riding metro.  

L.A. Trip:

-August SCBWI Conference in L.A. w/ ZQ & Laura

-Hanging out w/ ZQ

-Hanging out w/ Ladytiamat

-Meta’s Uno Party

-Venice Beach, Santa Monica Pier

-Celebrity Sighting: Enrico Colantoni  (aka Keith Mars) crossing the street to the Celebrity Scientology Center for their annual festival with what looked like his wife and two young daughters. 

-Tons of good food

-A whole relaxing week of books, writing, & TV talk, games, music, and fun

The new school year starts. Yay!

 

Books Finished:

*** ½ New Moon, by Stephenie Meyer

****    ZQ’s WIP (reread)

****    Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows, by J.K. Rowling

 

 Comics & Graphic Novels:

***      Buffy, season 8 comics, issues 1-3

*** ½ The Plain Janes, by Cecil Castellucci and Jim Rugg

 

Movies Seen:

***       Stranger Than Fiction

****    Pan’s Labyrinth

****    Freedom Writers

****    Why We Fight

*** ½ The Devil Wears Prada (Meryl Streep was the highlight of this movie, for me.)

 

Music I Listened To:

Fall Out Boy: From Under the Cork Tree *** ½   & Infinity on High ****

Frou Frou: Details *** ½

Imogen Heap: Speak For Yourself **** & I, Megaphone ****

Charlotte Martin: Veins *** ½

Paramore: Riot! *** ½

Emiliana Torrini: Fisherman’s Woman *** ½

 

Sub Jobs:

1 day- computer lab (1st week of school)

 

TV Watched:

****    Big Love, current season

****    Daily Show, current season

***     Entourage, current season

****   Monk, Season 1 (in French or Spanish w/ English Subtitles)