Monthly Archives: August 2011

“Five Simple Ways to Conquer Anxiety”

Hey guys,

I just wanted to let you know that I’ve done another article for The Daily Inspiration!¬†This time rather than telling of my own personal struggles with anxiety, I’ve listed five simple ways to conquer it! Please check it out and give us some feedback.

To view my article, click here.

Have a great day ūüôā

-Chelsea

 

 

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The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore

In Pittacus Lore’s edge-of-your-seat sequel The Power of Six. We once again meet up with “John Smith” aka Number Four, Sam Goode, and Number Six. They’re still on the run from the evil Mogodorians who are seeking to kill John next–numerically– since One through Three are dead. His death would mean they were one step closer to killing Number Nine, and thus achieving galactic domination. This book flips between two perspectives, and many new characters are introduced, namely Number Seven.

In The Power of Six, we meet “Marina” aka Number Seven. She lives in a convent/orphanage in Spain with her Cepan, Adelina. Her days are spent developing her Legacies in secracy¬† waiting until she is old enough to forge out on her own and find the other members of the Garde.

Meanwhile, John is involved in a much more dire struggle. Not only is his number up with the “Mogs,” but he is also on the FBI’s most wanted list for terrorism. Humans and aliens alike fervently hunt him. Only thoughts of his desceased Cepan, Henri and his girlfriend Sarah keep him going strong. But is Sarah everything that she seems to be?

I have nothing but good things to say about this sequel, in fact, I’d even venture that it’s much better than I am Number Four.¬†Far more suspense, and way more action-packed; I couldn’t put it down. I liked the triad of interactions between Four, Six, and Sam and the new (romantic?) developments between the comrades. I also really liked the introduction of Marina, which gave a breather from all the frenetic energy of John’s story (and a good peek into some other awesome Legacies.)

One of the most interesting aspects of the book in my opinion, was the stark difference between Henri and Adelina. How Henri was an intellectual and always on the move with John to keep him safe– yet Adelina stopped believing in the Loric quest to save their race and rather than protecting Marina, turned her face towards God instead. I could really feel Marina’s frustration in wanting to start her real life, and her anger towards her Cepan for refusing to help her develop her Legacies– telling her that Lorien was nothing more than a fairy tale.

Many new things are learned about Lorien, and that also adds to this book’s appeal. We also (finally!) get to see what’s instead John’s Inheritance chest.Without giving too much away, I will say— The Power of Six certainly held power over me…

5 of 5 stars


Quote from The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore

“If you ever know a man who tries to drown his sorrows, kindly inform him his sorrows know how to swim.”


The Virgin by Erik Barmack

So… This book turned out much differently than I expected… The Virgin¬†by Erik Barmack is about a bachelor named “Jeb” that feels he is aimlessly floating through his life. So he decides to audition to be a cast member on the new hit reality¬†TV¬†show called The Virgin (about, you guessed it… a virgin.) He gets accepted and he and 20-odd other men are competing on national television to win beautiful, blonde “Madison’s” virginity.

 

This book was interesting in that Barmack used several different perspectives to tell the story. Jeb was the main narrator, but there were also letters from Madison describing her feelings throughout the whole process, and the show was described from the viewers’ point of view as well. There was a pretty good description of life in the bachelor house that the men lived in and I could imagine the strangeness of that whole scenario. That being said, I didn’t really get a good feel for the relationships that were being spawned between the men and The Virgin (as she was called during the whole book– which I found a bit irritating.) I also didn’t like how the taping of the show only seemed to span a few weeks, yet men were already declaring their undying love for her. Especially since I don’t think Madison ever developed very strongly as a character. But then again, “reality” TV shows never seem to be that real, do they?

There were some stand out characters that made life interesting for Jeb. The beautiful virgin, obviously, but also the other men. Nova, King Douchebag of the house, Fat Jack, Shep the cowboy, Greg the religious virgin, etc… I liked seeing their different interactions with each other. You’ll also find yourself rooting for a certain character to win the prize.

I would recommend this book to followers of The Bachelor¬†and The Bachelorette TV series, but people who don’t like manufactured drama should avoid it. There is a twist ending, which in my eyes is predictable halfway through, but let’s see what you think…

2 of 5 stars


Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner

Freakonomics¬†by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner was a book lent to me with the mysterious line, I think you’ll like it…¬†Hmmm. Economics? Not really my best selling point. Visions of high school math class–the droning teachers and indecipherable equations–swam before my eyes every time I even looked at the cover. It sat on my night table for over a month before I cracked it open. But man, when I cracked it open, I couldn’t put it down! ¬†

Levitt is the main author of this book, and Dubner mostly helps him along the way. Together, they accomplish an almost impossible feat. They make reading about the economy interesting.  Full of insightful social commentary and interesting experiments, Freakonomics really makes you consider how events (from everyday to historical) shape the world around us.

It poses titillating questions like:

  • What do teachers and sumo wrestlers have in common?
  • How is the KKK similar to real estate agents?
  • Why do drug dealers still live with their moms?
  • What was the event that caused 7 million American children to disappear overnight, yet never made the news?
And many more…
I really haven’t much to complain about this book. It was a thoroughly consuming read and although it was outside my usual genre, I really enjoyed learning something new. I came out the other side of this book feeling a little bit more enlightened about life and not weighed down by technical jargon. Levitt presents the information in a way that is easy to understand for all. ¬†A new favorite.
5 of 5 stars

Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

“Oh, the ball that’s thrown, the ball that dared,

Does it not fill your hands differently when it

returns:

made weightier; merely by coming home.”

-Rainer Maria Rilke

So, this weekend I the pleasure of finally being able to finish the much anticipated third and final installment of the Wolves of Mercy Falls Trilogy, Forever¬†by Maggie Stiefvater. I’ve been really stoked about this series for a couple of years now, ever since my roommate checked Shiver¬†out of the library and left it laying around for my word-hungry eyes to find. She never could get through it, but I couldn’t put it down. It was the same with Forever.

¬†The end of the series revisits and alternates between the perspectives of the four main characters: Sam Roth, Grace Brisbane, Isabel Culpepper, and Cole St. Clair. Now if you haven’t read the two previous books, Shiver and Linger, I’m going to go ahead and warn you that SPOILERS ARE TO FOLLOW:

In Forever, the young lovers Sam and Grace are still together– but the tables have turned. Grace has now been infected with the werewolf virus and Sam has been “cured.” In this cruel twist of fate, it is now Sam who must endure lonely winters waiting while the one he loves roams the frozen Boundary Woods. However, when Grace changes back for the season, the couple doesn’t get to enjoy peace for long. They learn that in light of several fatal wolf attacks, the politicians of Mercy Falls (including Isabel’s father) are plotting a mass extermination of the wolves. And by wolves I mean the werewolf pack that Sam used to be a part of, Grace is now a part of, ¬†and that is lead¬†by his now full-time-wolf father figure, Beck.

Talk about drama. Not to mention the fact that a local missing girl was found naked with her throat torn out on Sam’s property, and that Grace is still “missing” in the eyes of the authorities. Police and townsfolk are now watching the yellow-eyed nineteen year old with loathing suspicion.

Cole (a werewolf/missing rock star) and Isabel (Grace’s best friend) are further into developing their hate/love/hate relationship and in between caustic remarks must come together to not only help Grace and Sam stay together, but to help both of them stay alive.

To cut to the chase, I really, really liked this book. Obviously, if I’ve followed the story through to the third round. Stiefvater has enviable talent when it comes to poetic lines like: “My pulse was shallow and fast, a moth destroying itself on a light” making what could come across as slow moments in the plot enjoyable to read. Kind of lets the reader roll the flavor of the moment around on one’s tongue. I also LOVE the concept of temperature/seasonally based lycanthropy versus the traditional lunar lycanthropy.

My criticism of Forever would be that I wanted to see a little more solidity in what was holding Grace and Sam together. There weren’t many tender, “alone together” moments to remind you why their bond was so strong. I like that their love is sweet, but it seems to lack passion. Sam’s extreme sensitivity was a bit of a turn-off for me, but it may be appealing to the younger audience.When she changed back into her human skin, they didn’t even kiss for several days, which I didn’t understand at all. The love of your life (whom you’ve been waiting months for) comes back to you and even knowing you only have one short summer to be with them, you don’t smooch them right away? Come on!

I also wish that the Cole and Isabel thing had gone farther, because both of them are so damaged, putting them together could only result in (amorous/arduous) fireworks. I feel that Stiefvater left enough of their relationship unexplained that she could easily revisit them in another book. Which I hope she does.

All in all, this Forever was definitely worth the wait.

4 of 5 stars


From Goodnight Kiss 2 by R.L. Stine

This actually made me laugh, so I had to post it…

 

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