Sunday, May 15, 2011

What's Up?!

What's been up with me you ask?

In a few words... and graded.

The book I just finished reading and liked quite a lot!
Grade: B+


And for comparison I also went out and saw the movie.
Starring: Robert Pattinson, Reese Witherspoon, Christoph Waltz.
Grade: B-



Synopsis courtesy of IMDB

"When Jacob Jankowski, recently orphaned and suddenly adrift, jumps onto a passing train, he enters a world of freaks, drifters, and misfits, a second-rate circus struggling to survive during the Great Depression, making one-night stands in town after endless town. A veterinary student who almost earned his degree, Jacob is put in charge of caring for the circus menagerie. It is there that he meets Marlena, the beautiful young star of the equestrian act, who is married to August, the charismatic but twisted animal trainer. He also meets Rosie, an elephant who seems untrainable until he discovers a way to reach her. Water for Elephants is illuminated by a wonderful sense of time and place. It tells a story of a love between two people that overcomes incredible odds in a world in which even love is a luxury that few can afford."


What I am watching!
Glee - season 2
Grade: B+
 

What I am stressing over!
The Maple Valley House
Grade: D
 
 
We are still on track for buying it, but boy are the seller and escrow company complete crap. The closing has been put off until mid- June.
 
What I am looking forward to!
Playa Del Carmen, Mexico
Grade: A
 

By the time you read this I will be on a plane.

See you all when I get back!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Matched

*Book Review*

I recently finished an audio book by Ally Condie. It was written for teens, but since I've been accustomed to young adult fiction as of late, I decided to give it a try.

I spend enough time in my car during the week that a new audio book could only help pass the time.


In Cassia Reyes’s world, everything is designed for living an optimum life. People eat specially prepared healthy food full of vitamins and minerals. Their physical and mental status is monitored to make sure they are functioning at their finest. They die on their 80th birthday, the best possible age that allows a fulfilling life without deterioration from being too old. And, if they want to get married at twenty-one and have children before the most favorable cut off age, they’ll need to be Matched to their best genetic option at seventeen.


The story starts out with Cassia heading to her Matching ceremony, excited to see the man she is destined to be Matched with. But imagine her surprise when she gets paired to her longtime childhood friend, Xander, which is almost unheard of. She’s given a disk of information about him to view, like all the Matched, and even though she knows pretty much everything about Xander, she decides to watch it. Xander’s face appears on the screen, but after a few seconds it disappears, to be replaced with another boy’s face. A boy she also knows, named Ky Markham. What does it mean? Who can she talk to about this? And why, even though Xander is her true match, does she find her thoughts continuously drifting back to Ky?

One of the major themes that I loved was about freedom of choice. In this world, everything is decided for you, eliminating most of the dangers that caused humans stress and early death prior to this shift in society. And throughout the book, the author writes this life in such a way that you can definitely see the perks to some of them. I mean, who wouldn’t want the option of being able to have your ideal mate, both emotionally and genetically, chosen for you? It’s definitely an intriguing thought. But even in that sentence, I state that which is never actually available to Cassie: option. If she wants to get married and have kids, then being Matched is her only choice. And as the story progresses we learn that maybe she doesn’t want to go gentle into that good night after all.


This book was well-written, complex, and interesting. The love triangle aspect was handled beautifully, and the development of Cassia’s desire for personal freedom was wonderful to watch. It will definitely have you thinking about choice and ultimately what is right for all of us.

What would you do if 'society' took over in making all the big decisions for you? What job you would have...who you would marry....how many children you could have...when you would die?

I have read books and watched movies that have tackled this idea and find it so intriguing! It takes me back to: The Gift, The Huger Games, Unwind, and The Island.

A pretty good listen/read for teens - and myself.   :)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Gleeking Out

I have to say - I have really been enjoying Glee.

But you know what? I knew I would. It's fun-tastic.

It takes me back to the days of high school where everything was the end of the world and you tried everything you could just to fit in.

The show covers a bunch of misfits who all join a glee club in order to find camaraderie, acceptance and a place to showcase their talents.

Looking back now, I really wish my high school had a show choir. I would have fit in perfectly! Singing and dancing? - heck yes!

This show is great for just about anyone looking to watch something with a little pizazz. Something that reminds you of the important things in life: being yourself, respecting yourself and others, tolerance and enjoying the little things in life.

And well...the music is fabulous. Just the right mixture of show tunes and pop music. I love their music mash-ups the best however - the way they take two different songs and mash them together to make it completely unique.

I am just now trying to catch-up with Season 2 on Hulu and came across two great mash-ups on the last episode I watched.

Here is one for your viewing pleasure! (don't worry, they aren't very long!)






"Don't Stop Believing"... because I love Journey.



I am formally considered a Gleek. But ya know what? I was already a Twi-hard so who could be that surprised?
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