Monday, January 30, 2017

Book Discussion: The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

 A lot of people have at least heard of The Giving Tree, if they haven't read it. I read it for the first time at a friend's house, when I was about 6-8 years old. Most people love the book, I just felt really depressed after reading it.

The Giving Tree is a story of a boy who "befriends" a tree, who loves him very much. As a boy, he eats its apples and plays on it. As he grows older, he uses the rest of the parts of the tree (branches, etc.) as resources, which the tree happily lends over, until he is finally so old and uses the stump remaining to sit on. The illustrations were all very done, but even as a child, I felt the ending was unfair. How come the boy didn't even pay back the tree for all she gave to him? And the tree herself ended in such a sorry state, all chopped up and gone to the boy!

What do you guys think of The Giving Tree? Do you agree that it's a good story but a sad ending? 

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Book Review: Millicent Min, Girl Genius by Lisa Yee

  I remember reading this book for the first time two years ago after staring at every time I went to the library. Since then, I've reread it a couple of times, and enjoyed it. Like usual, the covers are from Amazon.

Millicent Min, Girl Genius
     Synopsis (from Scholastic): Millicent Min is having a bad summer. Her fellow high school students hate her for setting the curve. Her fellow 11-year-olds hate her for going to high school. And her mother has arranged for her to tutor Stanford Wong, the poster boy for Chinese geekdom. But then Millie meets Emily. Emily doesn’t know Millicent’s IQ score. She actually thinks Millie is cool. And if Millie can hide her awards, ignore her grandmother’s advice, swear her parents to silence, blackmail Stanford, and keep all her lies straight, she just might make her first friend. What’s it going to take? Sheer genius.
     My Review: Millicent Min is a really fun character to share perspectives with, since she's a total genius. The book starts out with her telling the readers about a joke she's going to write on people's yearbooks in Latin, which gives you a scope of who you're dealing with here. 
     But seriously, Millicent is only 11, and really does want friends, and tries hard to make them. Emily is a really good friend to Millicent, so it's obvious why Millicent wants to be her friend. I still don't understand how Millicent thought hiding her IQ would be beneficial, though, because I think she should trust Emily enough to tell her she actually does go to high school. Stanford is fine, and he has his own retelling of the story in the sequel, Stanford Wong Flunk Big-Time. Millicent's parents are really nice and not too corny or anything (I hate it when authors make the protagonist against their parents, so luckily there was no such problem in this book), and so is her grandmother. The book is really funny because of how Millicent tries to over-interpret some situations and how she acts and talks (big words, in essence), and also because of her volleyball experiences. It's also sad at a couple of parts because all she wants is a friend, and even that's hard to get. Still, her report card (given in the book) and academic reports are very impressive, and it really puts being a genius into perspective. 
     Overall, I'd give this book 4.5 stars. It's a perfect read for MG readers who think being genius must be easy. Want the whole series? Check out the covers below!

I haven't actually read Warp Speed yet, so tell me how it goes!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Happiness... In Physics Terms

 Question: Jenny wants to treat two of her friends out. She wants to know if she should take them to a movie, then hold a party at her home right after, or take them to a movie and hold the party next week. Assuming the week is a school week, both events let them gain equal amounts of energy, and Jenny lives very close by to the theater, which option would make Jenny's friends the happiest?

Okay, so for this problem, let me explain a few things. First of all, this isn't really a real problem involving real energy, but I'm going to prove the answer to you using "Happiness Energy" and the laws that go along with it in a way similar to how one would solve a physics problem.

The laws:
So let's start with the law of energy, that even applies to happiness energy, HE (and I know that's similar to the abbreviation for helium in the periodic table, but that's not what it means in this case). The law is energy cannot be created nor destroyed. This is a really important law, and similarly, HE can't be created or destroyed either. Another form of energy, however, can transform into happiness energy. A common example is sadness energy, SE (which does not refer to Selenium), which often transforms to happiness energy when one feels happy. However, there's also madness energy, the energy of guilt, selfishness energy, etc. etc, which I may cover in later problems. This leads to a problem, because that means HE does not just come from SE, but from other forms of energy as well. Therefore, there is only one law that sums up the conservation of energy theory, which I'm getting to.

You've heard of mechanical energy conservation in a closed system when friction can be ignored, right? If you haven't, then here it is:
(KE+PE)start = (KE+ PE)end

KE refers to kinetic energy, PE to potential. It's basically stating that the total mechanical energy does not change if friction can be ignored. However, this is totally false in terms of happiness energy. Happiness energy does not have to stay the same before you go read a book and after, when you realize that book was really boring! So here's the real energy conservation law for that:
(T)start = (T)end
 T refers to the energy of the thoughts, the most powerful of all in the world. Now it turns out we can't use this law to find out how much happiness energy they will all have, because we don't know how selfish or angry or sad her friends are at the beginning of the movie, only how happy they are at the end.

Okay, and now for this last part, which is not a law, just a point, is that happiness energy is actually measured in units of happiness energy. So total happiness energy would be in units of HE, not Joules like most forms of energy.

Actually solving the problem:
So let's move on. The truth is, you don't really need any complicated laws to solve this problem, just an idea of the laws above. 
OPTION 1: Let's start with the first option, taking them to a movie, then to a party straightaway. 
At the end of the movie, all three girls will gain happiness energy to result in 3(HE). Driving home, they lose a bit of happiness energy that transforms into the energy of hunger, etc., but since Jenny lives so close by to the theater, we deem that as insignificant. So at the end of the party, they also gain 3(HE).
Total (HE) = 3(HE) + 3(HE) = 6(HE)
So at the end of the party, they have 6(HE) of happiness energy left in them.

OPTION 2: Jenny takes them to the movie, then next week she has a party.
At the end of the movie, all three girls will have 3(HE) of energy, as said above. However, since there is a week in between, there is most likely energy loss, significant energy loss, because guess what, it's a school week. Throughout the week, they lose happiness energy and gain sadness energy, stress energy, etc. until going over to the party. By then, their 3(HE) must have reduced, due to quizzes, tests, and homework, and they cannot make it all up. At the end of the party, they gain 3(HE). 
Total (HE) = less than 3(HE) + 3(HE) = less than 6(HE).

So since first answer is greater than the second, we can conclude option one of going out to a movie then a party right after would make her friends a a lot more happy. 

And that's how to solve a problem using basic laws of physics! Here's your professor, signing out!
-Not a Prima Donna Girl

Friday, January 20, 2017

Book Review: Anne of Green Gables (Book 1)

 I keep reading about this classic in other books and had to find a classic to read for a school assignment, so Anne of Green Gables was what I chose. The cover is from Amazon, the synopsis is from Goodreads.

Anne of Green Gables
by L. M. Montgomery 
Synopsis: Everyone's favorite redhead, the spunky Anne Shirley, begins her adventures at Green Gables, a farm outside Avonlea, Prince Edward Island. When the freckled girl realizes that the elderly Cuthberts wanted to adopt a boy instead, she begins to try to win them and, consequently, the reader, over.

My Review: Anne truly is spunky in a way, and she talks an awful lot in the book, which is fine, because the author does it naturally as if a girl really was rambling on and on. It doesn't feel as if the author is forcing Anne to talk, she just flows from one topic to another without letting anyone else talk as well. This also adds some really funny moments in, when Marilla, her new "mother" tries to talk to her. She also has her fair share of disasters, which each bring out sympathy from the reader, and also a few laughs. Marilla is a great mother to Anne, really supportive of her, though she can't always show it. What I didn't like was that Anne never considered Marilla as someone she really would like to be like when she grew up, even though it was Marilla taking care of her, not her teacher at school or her friend's aunt. Also, the beginning was really long and boring, and I barely could sit through it. If it wasn't a school assignment, I probably would have quit reading it, to be frank. However, the end is really good, and Anne really matures by the time her first year of college is finished. 
Since the beginning really bored me but the end and overall character development was good, I've give this classic 2.5 stars. It definitely was not what I was looking for after hearing so much praise about it. 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

My Favorite-Least Favorite Harry Potter Books Part 1

My top favorite books I read last year (for the first time) were the Harry Potter books, for obvious reasons if you've read them. Hogwarts is such an amazing place, and the whole story line is so unpredictable. So basically, I'd rate each book as 5 stars (excluding Cursed Child), because they are just so well written. They seem so real because J.K. Rowling is such an incredible writer! However, within the series, I'm going to make a list of my favorite book to my least favorite ones. As usual, the covers are from Amazon. I split the list into two parts due to formatting issues.
     1. I love the Half-Blood Prince because of everything that happens. We see characters change, suspicious activity arises, and a book with a mysterious owner is found. Oh, and there's also the end, which is really shocking.
2. Goblet of Fire has so many things going on, and the tournament is so exciting!
3. I couldn't take my eyes off the Deathly Hallows (no pun intended). And finally, all is revealed... 
What is your favorite Harry Potter book? What would you rate them all as?

My Favorite-Least Favorite Harry Potter Books Part 2

Here's Part 2 of my list that I had to separate due to formatting issues, consisting of my 4th favorite book to last favorite book. The top three are in the post above. Enjoy!
4. Order of the Phoenix was awesome as well. Umbridge was my favorite character to hate of the whole series.

5.  Prisoner of Azkaban was really exciting and suspenseful, especially when Sirius Black was found. I did not predict the ending, as usual for the series.

6.  I loved learning about spells, charms, potions, and more in his classes, especially because his classes don't play such a big role later on.
7.  The Chamber of Secrets was really good, it just wasn't the best out of all of them. I still loved it though!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Whatever Happened to the Peanuts Gang?

     I don't know about you, but I've always loved Charlie Brown and his ol' Peanuts gang. I started watching it in second grade, when my teacher played the "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown". And I confess, every year we always watch the Thanksgiving and Christmas ones too, and I even went to watch "The Peanuts Movie" last to last year. Ever since, I've wondered what's happened to the Peanuts gang. So below, I've made a list of what I think all the characters have done in their lives (as they're all about 70 years old now from when the strip started in 1950 when Charlie Brown was 4).
     Charlie Brown ended up coaching baseball, and even though his team never won a single game, he still kept a positive attitude towards the sport. His sister Sally became a teacher, ironically after the fact she hated school, and is now retired after teaching the third grade. Linus became an English professor after attending Harvard on a full scholarship, and gave up his blanket a few years before middle school. His little brother Rerun also was quite fortunate and went to live in Paris, and is now a retired marbles champion. Lucy continued courses in psychiatry and became better, and soon had her own business in a few years after college. Schroeder did become a quite famous musician, but never as famous as Mozart. Peppermint Patty dropped out of high school to become a waitress at a local restaurant, and soon raised enough money to buy her own little house, where she still lives today. Marcie went to Stanford on a full scholarship and became a successful doctor, keeping in touch with Peppermint Patty along the way. Pig Pen was denied many job interviews mainly because of his unclean lifestyle, so he finally got his act together and used a little soap, and now works as a museum guide. No one knows exactly what happened to Heather (the little red haired girl) after she moved away the summer before high school. Woodstock passed away when Charlie Brown was in college, living about 15 years, and soon Snoopy followed, much to the grief of Charlie Brown. He never bought another dog. Right now, they are all in a retirement community in their home state of Minnesota, where they have a blast reminiscing about their childhoods.
    So I know there are many other Peanuts characters like Franklin, Sherman, Peggy, etc., so what do you think happened to them? Do you agree with what happened to Charlie Brown and his friends?Image result for charlie brown and friends
Photo Credit: The Hollywood News

Friday, January 6, 2017

Book Review: Smart Girls Get What They Want

This book is Young Adult, not MG this time, but I wanted to review it since I thought it was pretty clean overall and an enjoyable read.

Smart Girls Get What They Want
by Sarah Strohmeyer

Cover from Goodreads:
Smart Girls Get What They Want
Amazon Synopsis: Gigi, Bea, and Neerja are best friends and total overachievers. Even if they aren't the most popular girls in school, they aren't too worried. After all, real life will begin once they get to their Ivy League colleges. But when an unexpected event proves they're missing out on the full high-school experience, it's time to come out of the honors lounge and into the spotlight. The trio makes a pact: They will each take on their greatest challenge and totally rock it.
Gigi decides to run for student rep, but she'll have to get over her fear of public speaking—and go head-to-head with gorgeous California Will. Bea used to be one of the best skiers around, until she was derailed; it could be time for her to take the plunge again. And Neerja loves the drama club but has always stayed behind the scenes—until now.
These friends are determined to show the world that smart girls really can get what they want—but that might mean getting way more attention than they ever bargained for. . . .

My Review: Smart Girls Get What They Want is an awesome read. I'd recommend it to anyone who wants to read about nice and smart girls, who don't waste time on unimportant matters and try their best. Gigi, Bea, and Neejra are real friends, and actually work hard in school because they know they need to to have better lives later on. I think that message is really important to convey, especially since the girls are in high school. I also like that they all step outside their comfort zones, and try something new. This book is also pretty funny at times,  and Gigi (the narrator) has a bubbly spirit, which makes her side fun to read. In addition, the girls are respectful to their elders, which I feel is usually lacking in most YA books.

I didn't really have any major problems with this book, but I did feel pretty annoyed at *minor spoiler* how Gigi was convicted of cheating because she got a question right on one of her teacher's tests. The teacher didn't actually see her cheating, just assumed she did because someone near her got it right as well. What type of an accusation is that? Especially with Gigi's record? *end spoiler*. 

Overall, I give this book 4.5 stars (it didn't really have that extra bit to turn it to 5 stars, but it was great all the same). I'd recommend it to girls 12 and up, because it is Young Adult fiction, not Middle Grade like I usually review. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Book Review: Mother-Daughter Book Camp

 I've decided to start posting my book reviews as posts, and under the appropriate sections, just so it's more convenient for you guys to be able to read them right when they come out. And don't forget to vote in this week's poll and be honest ;).  So here it is:

Mother-Daughter Book Camp
Amazon Summary: Spend one last summer with the Mother-Daughter Book Club at camp in this bittersweet conclusion to Heather Vogel Frederick’s beloved and bestselling series.

After so many summers together, Emma, Jess, Megan, Becca, and Cassidy are reunited for one final hurrah before they go their separate ways. The plan is to spend their summer as counselors at Camp Lovejoy in a scenic, remote corner of New Hampshire, but things get off to a rocky start when their young charges are stricken with a severe case of homesickness. Hopefully, a little bit of bibliotherapy will do the trick, as the girls bring their longstanding book club to camp. 
My Review: I LOVED the Mother-Daughter Book Camp! I personally think it was the best one of the series because of all the little traditions and ideas that made it real. For example, the tradition of the beads and nicknames sounded pretty fun. The characters were pretty awesome too. All of the characters seemed a lot more grown up (even though Cassidy hasn't given up her pranking ways), especially Becca, as she isn't anything at all like she used to be.
I did have a few small problems with this book. How can they let children and counselors sleep in the middle of the lake on a boat? That seems pretty dangerous, considering how young some of the campers are (and that not all of them can swim). Thank goodness for the life vests. Also, I think the girls should have asked the directors before starting their own club with snacks, as food isn't allowed in the cabin. There was also minimal involvement of the book they are reading itself and their own mothers, which was okay, as I think the more important part was to see how the girls have grown and changed throughout the years. 
In the end, I give this book 5 stars. It's a satisfying end to the series, and I love the directions all the girls are taking in the future (well, except Emma's choice of college. She probably should have thought ahead a little instead of making hurried decisions). The cover of the book from Amazon is below:

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year!

 2017 is here! Now the question is, what to do with the new year? What are we gonna do with this blank notebook?
 Until you figure that out for yourself, let's start this year off with some memes/quotes.
UPDATE: I posted my review of the Mother-Daughter Book Camp :).

Image result for quotes minions
Photo Credit:
That's something to think about. ;)

Image result for funniest memes ever
Courtesy of
 I feel you...

Image result for baby oil meme
Photo Credit:
 I feel so bad for this baby. Their face.


 Photo Credit: WeKnowMemes
Omg I love appearing luminescent as well.

 Image result for some people just need a high five in the face with a chair
Photo Credit: WeKnowMemes
 Always read the fine print.

Happy New Year everyone! 

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