Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Book Review: A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron

 The movie adaptation of this book was just released last month. If you like it  Since you'll like it, I recommend checking out the movie, though I haven't seen it yet. However, the trailer looked awesome, which is why I bought the book in the first place.

A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron
Cover image from Goodreads. A newer edition is available here.

 Goodreads Synopsis: 
This is the remarkable story of one endearing dog's search for his purpose over the course of several lives. More than just another charming dog story, this touches on the universal quest for an answer to life's most basic question: Why are we here? Surprised to find himself reborn as a rambunctious golden haired puppy after a tragically short life as a stray mutt, Bailey's search for his new life's meaning leads him into the loving arms of 8 year old Ethan. During their countless adventures Bailey joyously discovers how to be a good dog. But this life as a beloved family pet is not the end of Bailey's journey. Reborn as a puppy yet again, Bailey wonders, will he ever find his purpose? 

My Review: I can't believe how amazing this book was. The whole entire story was just... amazing! I know I sound repetitive, but it's true. The dog in this story (let's just go by Bailey for now, even though he has quite a few names because of all his lives), tells the story through his naive, innocent ways, and you can really see him grow and become less naive as the story progresses. Each time he gets reborn, he comes back and realizes his previous purpose. The story's concept itself was cool, but the execution was better. One can really imagine the bond between him and his owners, especially Ethan, the boy, which is really touching. It's also cool to see a dog's insights in the world and about it. Even though this book was sad at some points, it was also moving, and everything worked out in the end. I actually stayed up until 1 AM to finish this book, as it was so good. I give this book 5 stars. I'm so glad to have found it, and I'm going to recommend it to everyone I know!
Oh, and here are a few notes on the age level. Many recommend this to age 14+ on average, I myself think 12-13 years of age is fine, as it was pretty clean overall. Scholastic says grades 6-8 and 9-12.
Enjoy reading! I hope you'll check the rest of the series out as well!

Friday, February 24, 2017

My To-Read List of Classics

 I'm really behind on my reading this year. But people say that if you write things down, you're more likely to remember them, so I'm making this list of the classics I'd like to read. To be honest, the classics are the genre I usually stay away from because I find some really boring, but I'm trying to edge away from that stereotype. After all, there are good books in every genre. So without further ado, here's the list (all covers from Amazon):

1. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
I read started reading this book, but stopped at about midway because the story seemed a bit prolonged. But since I own this one, I have no excuse to stop this time around... 

2. The Hobbit by Leo Tolstoy
I can't believe I haven't read The Hobbit yet! I'd better start soon!

3. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville

4. Daddy Long-Legs by Jean Webster
I first heard about this one from The Mother-Daughter Book Club book, Dear Pen Pal. I've been meaning to try it out since then. 

5. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

6. The Odyssey by Homer
This is more of a long term goal, to be honest. I'm not really in a rush to read this one.

7. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
I started on this one yesterday. Hopefully I'll be able to finish it over the week.

8.  A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

So that's my to-read list for classics! The ones I have read include Anne of Green Gables, The Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan (abridged), Oliver Twist (abridged), and Frankenstein (I don't remember if it was abridged or not :) ). What are the classics you need to catch up on? And the ones you've read?

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Raina Telgemeir's Graphic Novels

 In case you haven't heard of Smile or Sisters, I'm here today to tell you about them! I remember reading them for the first time when my friend lent her copy to me. I instantly loved Smile, and was so excited to read Sisters. Smile is based on Raina's own life, and how she had to go through so much dental treatment as a child because of one accident she had. I love all the character development in the story, and her illustrations themselves, of course. Here's the cover from Amazon:

 If you haven't read it yet, I totally recommend it. It'll leave you in smiles :).
Okay, bad pun.
Sisters is also really nice, and its about Raina's summer before high school and her relationship with her sister then. The best part of these novels is that they aren't corny or anything, and show how Raina changed as she progressed from 6th grade to high school. And since they're based off Raina's real life, they seem real too! Just imagine a contemporary novel in pictures!
Well, that's it for today. I hope you'll check it out.

Monday, February 20, 2017

If You Gave A Harry Potter Fan A Genie

 If you gave me a genie for all things Harry Potter related, here's what I'd do...
1. I'd ask to meet J.K. Rowling, and get her autograph on everything I own.
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2. I'd visit Diagon Alley (in the books) and get my wand and a Quidditch Broom.
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3. I'd get Butterbeer from The Three Broomsticks (non-alcoholic, of course).
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4. I'd go to Zonko's and Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes, and get all the pranking items I could get.
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5. I'd eat munch on chocolate frogs, sample Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans, and lick sugar quills.
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6. I'd get my own owl, not a toad.
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7. I'd remind Neville to bring his Remembrall.
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8. I'd buy my Hogwarts robes...
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9...get a ticket for the train....
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10... and I'd be off to Hogwarts!
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What would you do with a Harry Potter related genie? Or a book-related one?

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Book Series I Should Have Read... But Didn't

When I was younger, I was in denial of reading all the popular book series. I think I just believed that nothing that famous could be good, if you get what I mean. Now that I realize I must have been crazy then, here are childhood series I missed out on. Some of these I did start to read, just a lot later on than I should have. The covers are from Amazon.

11. The Lemonade War Series by Jacqueline Davies
10. Frindle by Andrew Clements (and the rest of his books)

9. Geronimo Stilton by Geronimo Stilton

8. The Land Of Stories by Chris Colfer

7. The Beacon Street Girls by Annie Bryant

6. The Babysitters Club by Anne M. Martin

5. The 39 Clues by various authors

4. Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan

3. A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

2. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

1. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

 Well, those are my confessions. Which book series do you need to catch up on? Comment below!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Book Review: Beauty and the Beast Novelization (Disney) by Elizabeth Rudnick

 My parents surprised me with the 2017 Beauty and the Beast novelization! Since there's only a month before the movie, I've decided to review it! Image courtesy of Amazon.com.

Amazon Synopsis: Belle has dreamt of adventures like the ones she reads in her books, of traveling the world outside her small town. But when Belle's father is taken prisoner by a beast in an enchanted castle, her path is forever changed. Enjoy this tale as old as time about adventure and love, about looking past first appearances, and about the inner Beauty and Beast in all of us in this beautiful novelization of the upcoming star-studded film!

My Review: Argh, I really didn't enjoy this novelization as much as I though I would, which was disappointing. There were a few things I enjoyed, like the French names of people, because their translations matched, but this really wasn't that good. Belle herself was nice enough, but whenever the author wrote thoughts in her head, they came out sounding a bit pathetic. I didn't even pity Belle very much, to be honest, because her character didn't really connect with me. Her father was an okay character, there wasn't too much character development with him, but Gaston was awesomely portrayed. He was very vain and selfish, just like the original story, and made parts of the book funny. His sidekick, Le Fou, was too naive for me, but he did pick the right side to work with at the end. The Beast himself was pretty well done, along with his staff in the castle. The story was a bit fast-paced in the middle, though. I suppose my real disappointment, however, was really just with Belle, because I expected her to be a lot better than she was in the novelization. I'd give this story 3 stars overall. I still think I'll watch it in theaters, though, because a novelization is just a summary of the movie, and can't always provide enough detail for the audience. 

What do you guys think if you read the novelization? Did you enjoy it?

Friday, February 17, 2017

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Book Review: The Meaning of Maggie by Megan Jean Sovern

The Meaning of Maggie

Amazon Synopsis: As befits a future President of the United States of America, Maggie Mayfield has decided to write a memoir of the past year of her life. And what a banner year it's been! During this period she's Student of the Month on a regular basis, an official shareholder of Coca-Cola stock, and defending Science Fair champion. Most importantly, though, this is the year Maggie has to pull up her bootstraps (the family motto) and finally learn why her cool-dude dad is in a wheelchair, no matter how scary that is. Author Megan Jean Sovern, herself the daughter of a dad with multiple sclerosis, writes with the funny grace and assured prose of a new literary star.

My Review: Maggie is sweet and innocent, and easy to connect to. She has no problem with her dad in a wheelchair, except being worried about him, and still thinks he's cool. Her family members are supportive, and her relationships with her two older sisters develop over time. However, I did have quite a few problems with this book. The author made Maggie sort of ramble on at some points, which made her sound pretty immature. Maggie doesn't even have the desired effect on the reader of being a genius, because it wasn't really expanded upon. Also, many issues were unresolved in the book and many different plot lines, like her gym class and running issues. In addition, there were parts of the book I would not find appropriate for the target audience, which was disappointing. I always hate when authors include those few inappropriate words that aren't even necessary and ruin the whole recommended age of the story. Due to those parts and the immature writing style, I'd give this book 3 stars. Not the best book to read.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Quick Valentine's Day DIY

Want a quick and easy Valentine's Day craft to do in less than 5 minutes? Look no further!

Quick Valentine's Day Package:
Step One: Find a cup you can use. It doesn't need to be very decorated, but I just got some of these heart ones to go along with the theme.

Step Two: Assemble your candies! These can be any kind. I recommend wrapped candies though, just so they don't stick together. Also, make sure to get a huge bulk of them as well, so they fill the top of your cup. I'm using Hershey Kisses.

Step Three: Fill your cup to the top.

Step Four: Wrap the plastic wrap over the cup.

Step 5: Tie a ribbon, and you're done! 

So I hope you enjoyed this quick and easy craft! Stay tuned for more!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Question One: Anger or Sadness?

     Is it better to be angry or sad? That's the question I'm going to answer today using the ideas and concepts from my previous post.
     So if you did your homework, which basically was just to read my previous post, you'll know sadness is really just a lack of happiness molecules, and that anger tries to diffuse very fast, not necessarily through the Thoughts passage though. Punching a pillow may make you feel better, because the molecules diffuse on contact, though the pillow may not feel it.
     Alright, so let's consider recovering from sadness. To recover, you need to gain happiness molecules, which must diffuse from someone around you, or something good must happen to help some molecules convert into happiness molecules. So unless you hear some good news, you'll most likely stay sad. We can't exactly measure how long it may take for the good news to reach you, but we can compare these ideas with how anger molecules play out.
    People can regret their actions when they were mad within mere seconds of them taking place, because their molecules have diffused into the surroundings, causing the overall kinetic energy of them to also go down, and their anger to decrease. Therefore, this means that you will most likely stay sad longer than you will stay mad. So based on my theories, anger is preferable to sadness, unless you do not mind staying sad longer. Then, the choice is yours! 
     But of course, the real answer is to try to be happy, because who knows the half-life of a pillow? 

Monday, February 6, 2017

Properties of Happiness Molecules... and more!

 I had a lot of fun writing the other energy post, so now I'm going to expand on the idea of these Feelings molecules (which, by the way, have happiness energy, if you did not guess). Again, you'll need a basic knowledge of something, namely diffusion. Even if you do not remember what on earth that term means, don't worry, you will when I explain it.
 So if you've ever had a tea party with actual tea (unlike the games I played when I was little), you'll know the scenario goes something like this:
 Host: "Good day, Sir (or Ma'am). Would you like some tea?"
 Guest: "Oh yes, please."
 Host: "And how many lumps of sugar would you like?"
 Guest: "Seven, please."

Please do NOT go pouring seven lumps of sugar into your tea. This is merely an example. 
Anyways, the point is, the guest goes pouring their sugar into their cup of tea. The sugar cube, as you may realize, has a large amount of particles in a relatively confined space, or high concentration. The tea, however, has lots of molecules as well, but in a larger volume, or low concentration. Therefore, the sugar's molecules will spread out from their high concentration into the low concentration in diffusion, or what we call dissolving. The molecules don't shrink or anything, just spread out. I don't know about you guys, but when I first read this a few years ago, I thought it was pretty cool.

...Which brings me to the point. Today we'll learn about the properties of certain specialized molecules rarely heard about: the Feelings Molecules. There are a few main types of those molecules: happiness molecules, anger molecules, fright molecules, and tension molecules. 
Happiness molecules: Happiness molecules can be gained in a variety of ways (A on test, fun time with friends, etc.) which I may expand on later on, but I'll leave alone for now because I do not want to talk about the Thoughts very much, as they are very powerful. But what I can explain is that happiness diffuses! If one is very happy, they want to spread the happiness to others! However, the molecules in this case do not need to spread out on contact, and can travel in many complicated ways, again relating to T, the Thoughts. Unlike regular molecules, Happiness molecules can travel through people's Thought passages, and actually try to do so. You may think that "Hey, then how come you don't get less happy if your molecules diffuse to other people?". Well, this is because as you transmit happiness to people, they transmit them back simultaneously, so there's a constant balance formed. 
Anger molecules: Anger, unfortunately, tries to diffuse very fast. If you're angry, well, you most likely feel like hitting or punching something and diffusing the anger you feel. This is especially why you shouldn't stand near someone while you're angry. Now, the good thing is that people usually have the tendency to give you some space, but other times they may start snapping back at you because of what the anger molecules have done. The positive side is that happiness is stronger than anger, so if you're mad, go buy a cake or something.
Fright molecules: More fright molecules means more fear. Fear, however, does NOT diffuse throughout others, and just stays confined to your body. The only way to get rid of fright molecules is to overpower them with some one of the other types mentioned. Now, really, the "overpowering" is just diffusion of other molecules into the area of the fright molecules. Complicated, right?
Tension molecules: These molecules are from anxiety, nervousness, etc. For example, an oral report will most probably increase your nervousness because your tension molecules number increases. Tension molecules usually do diffuse. You can spread anxiety to others and make them nervous. Just like in happiness molecules, increasing tension molecules in others usually still results in the same amount of tension, because they will pass through the Thoughts passage back and forth. 

These are the main properties of the four Feelings molecules. You may wonder about sadness molecules as well, but really, they don't exist. Sadness is caused by a lack happiness molecules from the regular healthy amount. A regular decline of the happiness molecules can lead to depression and other things, so that's why they should always be kept up. I'll do a follow-up post on the uses of these properties, probably with more problems. I hope you enjoyed reading! Here's your professor, signing out!
-Not A Prima Donna Girl

Saturday, February 4, 2017

My New Pet Dragon

  All right, all right, so it isn't a living dragon. But did I say it was? And besides, she's equally as cute. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you... my polymer clay dragon! 

 I made her for like 2 hours, took a break, then worked the next to get her done. And I know what you're thinking: where are the wings? I wanted to make here a baby dragon, so I actually left her without them. And yes, baby dragons do have little stubbly wings, but she wouldn't be as graceful with them than without. If I do decide to add wings, I'll post an update.

 Nothing like a good bowl of salad to start off the day.

Oh, the irony.

And I couldn't finish without a Harry Potter reference!

 There's Luna petting her, and a tentative Hermione peeking in (I did a post on those characters I made here.

I usually don't do such advanced creations, but ever since I saw the tutorial I'd been dying to try making a dragon. I tried to change it up from the tutorial, so there are only a few similar parts (like the body, stomach, head, etc.). I did not use the aluminum foil as a core, and for the eyes I just used clay. But anyways, here's the tutorial I found that inspired me to make her! The artist there is so talented! You can click on the Youtube button below to be redirected there for a better view. Enjoy!

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