Finding Gold

I read the first page. I watch the first episode.

Something about it is different.

I cant put the book down. I click “next episode”.

It’s captured me and I don’t want it to let go.

I close the book. The end credits roll.

It’s all over.


There’s just something all so real about fallingimg_1209 in love with a story. I’ve nearly forgotten what it feels like. But, over the last few days, I’ve fallen in love with Death Note.

It was sudden. It was beautiful. I was staying up until the wee hours of the morning telling myself “just one more”, watching episode after episode. I cheered for the characters, cried when they died (it kinda happened a lot), and thought over the moral message it was portraying. Is it alright to kill people if you’re doing it for all good reasons?

I found something worth as much as gold. I found a new fandom. 

Just like falling in love with a person, it’s easy to look past the flaws, to get excited whenever you hear someone talking about them, and you’re sad when it’s over. (for me, that was 2 A.M. this morning. #sorrynotsorry).

There are so many reasons to declare a story we love as precious to us. One is that they change us. If it wasn’t for Doctor Who, I probably wouldn’t have gotten explorative when it comes to genres. 

Some of us go years without finding a story that we connect with. Some of us love every story we come across. For me, I don’t remember finding a good story in my teen years until I read the Tales of Goldstone Wood series by Anne Elisabeth Stengl a couple years back. Since then I’ve discovered Doctor WhoHarry Potter, and a handful of other stories that I love to pieces.

It’s hard to find something that you’ll enjoy. Sometimes it’s predictable, but you can’t predict that moment when you find what you’re looking for, even if you weren’t aware of what that was. 

My ramblings might not make much sense today, but one thing I want to say is that you should continue exploring.

Look for the stories that touch you and change you. When you find them, don’t let them go, and never stop searching. 


See y’all later ❤

Catherine

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Mini Book Reviews

According to everyone, I read too much. This isn’t true. I’ve only read 54 books this year.

It’s been a while since I did a book post. March was the last time apparently :/

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For this post, I’ll take a few books I read since then and give a short summarization of my opinion.

enjoy:)


Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. 4 stars

I loved the story, and Cath was basically me (we almost even have the same name). However, there is a lot of swearing. But I love the theme of going on even when it won’t hurt you to give up. 

The Mirrorworld Series-Reckless, Fearless, and The Golden Yarn by Cornelia Funke. 4, 5, and 4 stars respectively.

Often when I read fantasy I wonder how the world could have been around for so long and not be as technologically advanced as our world. Mirrorworld is not like this. it’s is in the middle of it’s industrial revolution but there are still fairy tale aspects to it. It’s realistic, and still fantastical. The characters are wonderful, and the storylines kept me on the edge of my seat.

Paper Towns by John Green. 4 stars.

My main problem with this book was all the foul language and the dirty humor, but the wonderful writing, the characters, and the story itself made up for that. And just Q and his relationship with Margo was so much fun and heartbreak at the same time.

The Maze Runner by James Dashner. 3.5 stars.

I think I was tired when I wrote the review on goodreads because I don’t remember disliking it that much…anyway, I love the story and enjoyed seeing the differences between the movie and the book. (I kinda prefer the movie. I’m sorry). There was made up swearing, but no romance at all which made my soul happy 🙂

I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak. 4.5 stars.

This book was amazing. I loved the message of it, and I’d share my favorite quote but that kinda gives away the book. Ed is a wonderful character, painfully ordinary, but that’s what makes the book so special. The only problem I had with it was the language and Ed constantly thinking about sex. I don’t know if that’s how all allosexuals think or if it’s just him *shrugs*.  Anyway, because of that, I would not recommend this for anyone younger than 18. 

Every Day and Another Day by David Levithan. 4.5 stars.

Every Day is the story of A who falls in love with a girl named Rhiannon, but he changes bodies every day, so he never looks the same, is never the same gender, but is still the same person on the inside. Another Day is the story told from Rhiannon’s perspective. Disclaimer: I believe that homosexuality is wrong, and these books say that it’s okay. But I love the overall message which is that you need to love someone for who they are and not because of what they look like. 

Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth. 2 stars

So the main reason why I checked this out is because I was curious about the whole racism debate. I didn’t find the book racist, but there were definitely things I didn’t like. I thought the romance was unrealistic and pointless (though there isn’t that much kissing surprise surprise), and there were holes in the worldbuilding that left me as a very confused potato. The cover is pretty though. 🙂

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. 5 stars.

The story was gripping, scary in places, and I loved it so much! Jacob is an intriguing narrator and the peculiar children are so precious and wonderful.

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia. All the stars

This book blew me away. I loved the story, I loved Eliza, I loved Wallace, I loved Monstrous Sea….I loved everything :). For once, I thought the romance was well done and incredibly cute, and the story within a story was wonderful and now I’m wishing I could read Eliza’s webcomic in it’s entirety. The only downside was the amount of language. It reminded me a bit of Fangirl, but better. 

Becoming Nikki by Ashley Elliot. 4 stars.

I just finished this book today, and while it’s not my favorite, it was well done, though I found a few plot holes and didn’t like the main character that much. But I love the focus on sibling relationships which filled me with happy. 🙂


Now we reach the conclusion of mymini reviews. Let me know if this convinced you to read any of the above titles, and maybe recommend me some books in the comments :). 

Happy reading!

Catherine

March Books

I enjoyed making a list of books I read during February, so here is another list of the books I completed in March, and my summarized opinions on them.

33118942Where the Woods Grow Wild

4.5 stars
This was a very good book! I’ve been eyeing it for a while, not quite certain if it was worth my money being a self-published book and everything, but then I got it for free. Who can say no to free books? This was a great lighter style fantasy, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, although there were a few loose threads that I found weren’t adequately addressed, but I guess that’s why we have sequels. Also, I really, really like the cover on this one:)

Skin

4 stars

I think my favorite horror/thriller author is Ted Dekker. Not that I have read any horror/thriller besides him and Frank Peretti. Out of all the books I’ve read in this genre, this one falls on the ‘meh’ scale. It was engaging and scary, but not frightening to the extent of “House” or as outstandingly amazing as “Thr3e”. So if you want to read something by Ted Dekker, read “Thr3e” because that is the best book ever! (Yes. I have a habit of recommending Thr3e every time I mention any other book by Ted Dekker)

The Selection & The Elite 

3 and 2 stars

Why did I read this, you ask? Well…I kinda heard it was different from the usual young adult style novels, but I don’t know who I heard it from because if I did, I would have found the person who said it and called them a liar. This is a typical YA where it’s a Hunger Games wannabe with a central Love Triangle. And they passed up on the opportunity to have a great guy/girl friendship that doesn’t end in attraction. Also, the most interesting part of this series for me is the politics. Which is not a good sign.

Shadows of the Hersweald & Mercy of Fate

5 and 5 stars

Shadows of the Hersweald is definitely in my top five books read this month. I can only say good things about it and it’s companion short story, Mercy of Fate. And for one who usually hates allegories and is a little wary of fairy tale retellings (though I just can’t stay away from them), this means my praise is not showered lightly.

Holes

5 stars

Well I have been reading this for several months now, spending a week at a time reading in the church library between services. Then my mom finally got it out of the library so I could finish reading the last fifteen pages. It was very good. Strange, but intriguing.

The Book Thief 

4.75 stars

This was an amazing book that practically left me in shambles. Probably my best read this month, although I definitely did not enjoy the swearing. Or Death’s predisposition to spoil everything. But I really did like Death. And my favorite character DIDN’T die, although my second and third favorite did. And I cried. or almost cried. That’s the problem with reading books like that in public. You are forced to keep your tears to yourself.

 

Overall:

8 books (Agh. it feels so small compared to last month…)

4.16 average.

Favorite characters deaths: 2

Have you ever read any of these books? What were your opinions on them?

February Books

My goal for the year of 2017 is to read 100 books. So, hey? Why don’t I talk about all the books I read last month which went towards the goal? This won’t really be a collection of reviews (because I read a lot this month) but more or less my opinions and my suggestions.

The Abolition of Man. I started reading this book months back, but then I found it again and finished it this month. It was good, with some very deep concepts that actually made sense to me (I usually hate nonfiction like this because it never makes any sense). However, the Chronicles of Narnia will always be my favorite C. S. Lewis books.

Doctor Who Psychology: A Madman With a Box. This book was awesome! I read a review

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Isn’t it beautiful?

on another book in this series and discovered there was a Doctor Who version. After a little bit of thought, I bought the book and a few days later, I started reading it. It was a nice
reward for me after finishing my psychology class reading, and I kinda did a little happy squeal every time they mentioned one of the subjects I was learning about in my class. They covered many aspects of psychology, focusing mainly on personality which is the topic that made me interested in psychology in the first place. However, this was not written from a Christian worldview, so there is a bit of evolutionary thought, but not a whole bunch.

The Shakespeare Stealer Shakespeare’s Scribe. The first one was a reread, and I loved it as much the second time as I did the first, even though I remembered almost everything that happened. However, it was my first time reading the second one. It was faster in pace than the first, but I liked it a lot less, although Widge’s character development is to be applauded, but the author tore out my heart, ate it, stabbed it, then lit it on fire. Not certain if I’m going to read the third book.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay. This. Was. Amazing!!! I had seen the trailers a hundred times and seen all the gif sets on pinterest (and read all the reviews that should have been marked as spoilers), therefore I knew more or less what was going to happen. But I still fell in love with the characters, fell in love with the story, and nearly cried at the end. Also this was the first screenplay I read other than my own (which I have never finished. hehe). Also, two days after finishing this, I went and watched the movie 😀

I am the Great Horse. This was a source of nostlagia for me because I read this book at least four times when I was a kid within months of each other (note that this is a very rare treatment because I usually cannot reread books). I rediscovered characters I had forgotten about (and one who might have become a bit of an inspiration for one of my own) and once again was reminded why I absolutely love historical fiction.

The Secret Series (books #1, #2, #3, &4). This was nostalgia again. I read the first two books once before on my cousin’s kindle and really really liked them, then reread them because I told my mom they would make great books for my younger brothers to read. They’re humorous, and full of fun facts about things like synesthesia and alchemy, although slightly dark for being a children’s book. Then I read books 3 and 4 for the first time. I love the author’s sense of humor.

Stars Above. I read the Lunar Chronicles a while ago and liked them a lot, so I was excited when I found out there was this collection of short stories. I didn’t really have a particular favorite, although I nearly cried over “the Little Android”, and was making happy squeals and everything over “Something Old, Something New.”

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Read this book right now.

Heartless. This was a reread, and boy am I glad I reread it. Tales of Goldstone Wood is the best series ever and you had better go out now and buy a copy of all eight books and novellas. If you want a reason, it is because Anne Elisabeth Stengl has put the series on hiatus and buying more of them will give her incentive to change her mind.

Rapunzel Let Down. This was a fast paced book (sort of) and I stayed up until two o’clock in the morning finishing it. Word of warning though, do not read this if you are a younger child. It’s got some pretty heavy subject matter, and almost too much for my taste. It stuck close to the original fairy tale, and that at least made me happy. And the fact that my favorite character didn’t die either, although I was really scared at the end that he would be killed. My favorite characters tend to meet those kinds of ends.

Counts:

13 books

4.30 average rating (They were all pretty good)

2 favorite character death ( not counting the death of my third and fourth favorite characters in I am The Great Horse) 

Have you ever read any of these books? What are your opinions on them?

Thanks for reading!

Catherine

Movie Review: Sing

Hello folks and welcome to my first movie review on this site! I wasn’t planning on reviewing this movie (I wasn’t even planning on seeing this movie) but since I have several strong opinions after watching this, I might as well share them.

Sing is a children’s movie, and I agreed to see it because I do have a high love and respect for movies in this genre, especially after re
cent successes like Zootopia, or Inside Out. It is a cute story about a koala with big dreams who is trying to bring his theater back to popularity with a singing competition. 

Notes: I will try to keep this review spoiler free. Also, I don’t remember character names from just hearing them, so there might be a few characters referred to by completely incorrect names.

What I liked

-the world. I love anthropomorphic animal societies and my initial thought was that this was going to be like Zootopia, but it was unique in its own way.

-I love the main character, Mr. Moon. This is surprising Image result for sing the moviebecause I do not usually like the main characters, but this koala basically stole my heart. Ever since he was a little kid, he has loved the theater, and the movie starts off with him wallowing in the problems of accumulated failure. The bank is at his throat, his previous patrons will not sponsor his shows, and he doesn’t know what to do. However, unlike most characters in this situation, he is not a scrooge character: borrowing money left and right, swindling his friends, penny pinching, forgetting his childhood dreams…etc. Instead, his dreams are big like his heart, and he decides to put on a singing competition with a monetary reward, hoping to draw in the crowds and restore his theater’s fame. He’s incredibly nice to the other characters, and inspires them to keep going and invests in their talent.

-I love the main message. This movie shows people that they can achieve their dreams at any age, in any situation of life. The motley crew of characters consists of everything from an angsty teenage porcupine, to a motherly pig with twenty-five children (#relatable). They follow their dreams of singing, they discover what they excel at, they improve as characters, and they conquer their fears.

-Most of the characters. I love Rosita and her desire to sing despite raising her twenty-five piglets, Meena and her totally relatable stage fright, Ash and her desire to be a singer and songwriter despite her controlling boyfriend, Johnny and his dreams conflicting with his desire to please his father, and the iguana lady just for being endearing with all her quirks (and I love Moon’s relationship with her). 1481710815_sing-movie.png

However, sadly, the cons outweigh the pros.

What I absolutely did not like

-The. Mouse. I WANT TO MURDER THIS CHARACTER LIKE YOU WOULDN’T BELIEVE!

*spoilers begin. Read at your own risk*

I. HATE. THE. MOUSE. I do not remember his name and I do not wish to because I want to forget that he even existed. I am usually a loving and understanding person, especially
when it comes to less than perfect characters. But, after watching this movie I came home and said with absolute conviction that I would murder that mouse with my bare hands if he even so much as came a mile near me. He was a JERK from his first scene to his last scene. He starts off playing his saxophone on a staircase, his case open. Someone generous throws a penny into his case. The Mouse reaches to grab the penny and indignantly yells “A Penny? This is it?” (that might not actually be what he said, but that’s the gist).

In the end, he makes the very nice monkey (I think it was a monkey) turn out his pockets and practically robs him of a large sum of money, just because he believes he’s entitled to everything based on his skills. Then while in the competition, he hears everyone else singing and is constantly yelling at them and tells Meena the elephant that she has no talent (although he hasn’t heard her sing), so he decides that the competition money is as

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Look at the evil monster

good as his and buys a fancy car and a membership to a nightclub, gets a girlfriend, and basically wreaks havoc. In the end, the only reason why he decides to participate in the competition(when there was no prize money offered) was because he wanted to prove that he was better than Rosita and Gunter.

*end spoilers*

-Failed storytelling. Stories are very hard to write. Any writer knows this. I try not to pass judgement on other stories because I know I could not do better. However, I know there were several things lacking which could have very easily been fixed. Basically: THE STINKING MOUSE’S REDEMPTION STORY. He had SO MUCH POTENTIAL TO TURN GOOD!! Think about it: he’s rude in the beginning. A good story would have that change when he realizes that other people have talent too. He’s incredibly greedy and surrounds himself with things that make him feel good. He should have had a moment where he loses everything and realizes he’s been doing everything wrong the entire time. I KNOW DOING THINGS LIKE THAT IS TOTALLY CLICHE BUT BETTER CLICHE THAN NARCISSISM! This movie completely decided to ignore his potential by making him a rude narcissistic rodent in the beginning, and an even ruder narcissistic rodent in the end, and I do not use the term “narcissism” lightly, folks. THIS IS NOT GOOD STORYTELLING, PEOPLE!!!

-Another complaint is that they did not have a message against lawlessness. Johnny, the singing gorilla, is part of this gang led by his dad and a bunch of other gorillas. It is apparent that he doesn’t want to be in the gang, but it isn’t because he thinks it’s wrong, it’s because he wants to sing. He doesn’t seem to ever learn that stealing is wrong, although he does have a wonderful character that makes it into my pros list.

-And a very tiny insignificant reason: I did not like the songs they chose. They sang popular songs that I don’t like. They sang Firework (don’t like it), Shake It Off (hate that song), and Call Me Maybe (hate that song too), and at the rehearsal Johnny sang All of Me (love that song) but he didn’t sing it in the end performance although they sing Shake It Off in the rehearsal too and it makes it into the end show. Why? And they also sing part of Hallelujah, but don’t sing that for the end performance either. Although, I shouldn’t really be complaining. I’m the one with weird tastes in music.

In conclusion

This movie gets a three out of five star rating (from me).

It could have been a four except for the FREAKING EVIL MOUSE and the otherwise butchered storytelling. However, its main redeeming quality is the overall message (not the submessage about lawlessness) and Moon, who is just my favorite koala ever.

If you’re looking for a good kids’ movie with anthropomorphic animals, Zootopia is your best option, or the Redwall movie/tv shows.