Monday, September 29, 2014

Naruto Shippuden Review: Episodes 196-200

I can't tell you how excited I am to finally be past that filler. I feel like I've said that a million times by now in various places, but it's just so true. I really enjoyed these five episodes, and it's just such a relief after such a long span of filler.

There's a lot more of Sasuke in these episodes than there had been recently. I'm always up for more Sasuke. He was by far my favorite character when I first started watching Naruto, and while he's definitely not anymore, I have a bit of a sentimental soft spot for him whenever he's in the story. Part of it is probably his past position as my favorite character, but I think a lot of it also has to do with the fact that the story just seems to be absolutely fantastic whenever he's around in some capacity. In other words, I'm more excited for the stories that include Sasuke than Sasuke himself these days.

I cried a lot in the last few of these episodes, and most of it had to do with Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura's friendships. Talking about that always gets to me. Naruto getting beaten up instead of revealing any information about Sasuke (especially considering what Sasuke did to him) was such a powerful scene. I also love Sai's developing friendships with Naruto and Sakura in comparison to all of that. I'm really enjoying watching Sai learn what it's like to be someone's friend and learning what exactly that means, and I like when it's done in comparison with Sasuke. I also really liked how he became aware of Naruto's feelings for Sakura. Naruto's crush on Sakura hadn't been mentioned in a while, and it actually kind of surprised me when it came up. I don't ship Naruto and Sakura, but I still enjoyed all of that more than I would have expected. (I'd probably consider myself a Naruto/Hinata shipper, but I'm not too attached to the idea of them.) I'd definitely have to say that the relationships between the different characters were my favorite parts of these episodes, which isn't surprising for me.

Honestly, there's very little I want to say about these episodes that isn't connected to the friendships in it. I really think that's one of the shows strong points most of the time, and I just loved it so much.

The only other thing I'll mention is a bit of cheering for Gaara, Temari, and Kankuro showing up again. Gaara (like Sai) was a character I hated at first and then came to love. I didn't hate Temari, but she's also managed to become one of my favorites, so I'm happy whenever they show up again.

Now that I'm out of that filler, I'm really excited to keep watching episodes and seeing what happens next!

Life Post: Lousy Start to the Week But Already Turning Around

Today didn't start off all that great if I'm being entirely honest. I don't know what it was about this morning, but it was a complete disaster. It wasn't outside things though. Well, it was, but it was more like the state of mind I was in was causing a ton of crap to happen. I came back from my first class and took a nap, and things have been significantly better since then. That's all I'll say since I really just want to forget that this morning even happened.

Like I said though, the rest of the day has been much better. I got Starbucks today (in the morning but after my nap and all the terrible stuff), which has started being a huge positive for me, and I also had to go to the bookstore to pick up something my mom ordered online. Starbucks and the bookstore are in the same building, but of course, I would forget about needing to have to go to the bookstore and then have to walk all the way back there. Luckily, it was during my long break between classes on Mondays.

Aside from my earliest class, my other two classes today went pretty well. We discussed feminist literary criticism in British literature today, and that's always exciting for me. I am a bit worried about my classes tomorrow though because we're having our first oral exam in Spanish, which freaks me out quite a bit. We're doing it with the computer instead of face-to-face, which eases my nerves a bit, but I still feel like I'm going to screw up. Here's hoping I'm wrong.

I'm nearly done with my homework, so I'm hoping I can get it done before it's dinner time. All that's left is to get started on my reading for my next British literature class, so I'm going to get to that now.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Legend of Korra Book 4 Trailer Reaction

The original plan was to write a Naruto review today since I'm a bit behind on that, but then the Book 4 trailer for Korra was released yesterday, and I just have to talk about it. I freaked out about it on both Twitter and Tumblr, but I'm definitely not satisfied yet and need to talk about it. I feel like there are so many things in it though that I'm sure I'll miss things.

First of all, we're going to have a time skip of three years. That wasn't something I was expecting at all, but I'm excited because it means we get a Korra who's my age. The airbender kids are also all three years older (obviously), and I'm really excited to see them at their new ages. Rohan will be walking and talking now, guys! I didn't realize how excited that would make me until now.

I'm also curious to see how everyone's relationships will be now after such a gap in time. Kai and Jinora will be older. Will they be an official couple? I'd love it if they were, and I can easily see that being the case. I'm also excited to see all of the friendships strengthened after another three years of knowing each other because I'm a sucker for friendships. What I'm most curious though is how they're going to handle Makorra. It'll be interesting to see what Mako and Korra's relationship is like now after the awkwardness of last season. I really think they'll be together by the end of the series, and I look forward to seeing that happen.

I only had a few things that I most definitely hoped would happen this coming season. Those things were seeing Zuko and Katara again and hopefully seeing Toph as well. I said it would be even better if we saw the three of them together. Well, both Zuko and Katara were shown in the trailer, so I'm really happy to know that we're at least getting that. Then the bomb was dropped at the end of the trailer when Korra says something to Toph but we don't actually see Toph. The farther we got in season three, the more I thought we'd see Toph in Book 4, but I wasn't at all expecting confirmation of that in the trailer. I'M SO EXCITED, GUYS! I'm praying for a scene with the three of them together. It would probably kill me.

We also got a glimpse of who has to be Zuko's daughter. That was the other character I was hoping to see. I'm so excited to learn more about her and see what her personality is actually like.

The only other thing I'm really hoping for at this point is something I'm not sure if I'll get. I talked a little bit in one of my reviews last season about how I thought it was weird we didn't know anything about Sokka's kids or if he even had kids. I'd love for that to come up in the last season, but I'm not betting on it. Then again, I never in a million years expected to see Toph during the first two seasons, and look where we are now.

Words can't even express how excited I am for this season, and I can't believe we're getting it in less than a week. I'm not prepared for it to be over, but I'm also so ready to know what happens. It's a double-edged sword. I'm pretty sure this is going to be an amazing end to the series though, and that's all I can ask for.

Life Post: A Morning of Volunteering

Today didn't turn out to be as busy as I suspected it might be. I mentioned this briefly before I think, but one of my professors asked me to volunteer at a writing teacher's conference being held on my school's campus today. I agreed to it. Mostly because I was surprised to even be asked out of all the students she could have asked (and also partly because I like to please people and say yes if I can do something, I'll admit).

The downsides to this were 1. waking up way too early for a Saturday (even earlier than I get up for my classes) and 2. not being entirely sure what the expect. I'm always a nervous wreck if I'm not sure what to expect. Mostly I was just worried about getting there and not knowing what to do. It went easily enough though. Someone pointed me to my professor right away, and then my professor introduced me to the woman who was "in charge" of me. The woman was really nice, and from what I learned, seems to live a pretty interesting life.

My job was just to help people write name tags, so nothing difficult at all. It did get a little boring considering I had to sit there for more than two hours, but I'd definitely consider it a positive experience. (Plus, we were in this historical mansion that's part of my school, and that place is gorgeous. I always love being in there, and tons of people who came were talking about how impressed they were by the building and even just our campus in general. I had a bit of a proud student moment. Sometimes I need to be reminded that our campus really is gorgeous compared to other campuses.

I was invited to stay for the rest of the conference and go to the panels and all of that, and I almost did. In the end though, I chose not to for a variety of reasons. The two biggest reasons were my allergies acting up and giving me a sinus headache that made focusing difficult (medicine has helped that since), and the other was just the simple fact that attending panels when I already have lectures five days a week seemed like it would be difficult to get through, especially after how early I was up. (The panels all did seem interesting though, and I'm sad a bit because I could have learned a lot of stuff.) There's also homework to be done. I'm not rushing to get done with it right now (partly because I've already gotten some done), but if I'd been at that conference all day, I would have hated doing that all tonight. I don't know. There's definitely a part of me that says I should have stayed, especially since other people paid and volunteering would have allowed me to attend the panels without paying. I'm saying that as someone who didn't though, and I can also imagine myself losing my mind from tiredness, allergies, and just plain being worn out of lectures if I had stayed. I'm just too indecisive over these things to feel like I made the right choice.

It's lunchtime now though, so I need to go find myself some food. My breakfast was ages ago by now, and it's definitely time for something else.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Life Post: Time to Write

This week was one of those that drag on forever. It's hard to believe it's actually Friday. The thing is, my Saturday is looking like it's going to be busy and even stressful most likely, so today and Sunday are basically the extent of my weekend. Of course, I had class this morning, but since it's only one, it still basically feels like the weekend. Plus, that one class isn't as early as my classes every other day of the week, so I get to sleep in.

Somehow, I managed to get more writing done this week than I think I have any other week since school started back (and there's a reason for that because I don't think I can keep this up much longer with how long it's been taking me to get all my work done every day). It's been really nice, and I'm really excited that I finally feel like I'm making progress on this story again. It all seems to finally be coming together. Still, I feel like I'll be working on just this first draft for ages at the rate I'm going. There's a part of me that feels like I won't finish until I get more time over Christmas break, but I don't think that's actually true. I'm writing as much as I can, especially on weekends (one reason I wish I wasn't so busy tomorrow).

As usual, I still have some homework to get done, especially since I'll hardly have time for it tomorrow. I also want to get some more writing done today, so even though it's not all that late, I want to get back to all of that. I don't want to be working on it really late on a Friday night.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Life Post: Canceled Classes, Tests, Etc.

My earliest class today actually got canceled. I'm definitely thankful that I got more sleep out of that, but I feel bad for my professor because apparently she was at urgent care because of some emergency with her baby. The funny thing is, I went back to my room (we didn't find out class was canceled until we all got there and she called one of us while we were waiting) and slept for ore than an hour, yet I don't feel like I got any extra sleep at all. I'm was incredibly tired, and I know I did sleep. I just woke up feeling like I hadn't at all. It was weird.

I've only had one other class so far today, and not much happened in it other than a lecture like normal. In my next class that I have in a bit though, I have a test. I actually managed to completely forget that said test was today this morning until maybe an hour ago. Now I'm just dreading it. A bunch of people were freaking out about it in another class I have with them all yesterday. I'm not as worried as them (they think the professor is going to make it much harder than I think she's going to make it), but it is going to involve a ton of writing, which is a sort of test I always dread. I just don't enjoy knowing how much my hand is going to hurt after the test.

I almost forgot that I also ran into another one of my professors while walking to class this morning, and we walked with each other for a while and talked about what we're reading for class. That was nice. One of the things I love about the size of my school is that things like that aren't uncommon. She just saw me and immediately struck up the conversation. I'm not sure how much that would happen if I was at a bigger school.

Anyway, I'm going to go try and get some homework done before I have to go take my test. I haven't actually done any yet because I gave myself some time to write things that aren't school related (something I haven't allowed myself to do on a weekday in a long time).

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Life Post: College Students Love to Color

Today has definitely been like most of my other Tuesdays this semester. I feel like my mind's been working like crazy all day today. I did a pretty good job of getting as much work done as I could during the only real break (the other one is insanely short and hardly gives me time to just eat lunch) in between classes today, but since I finished with classes, I feel like I've hardly gotten anything done. I still have quite a bit I need to do, including study for a test that I have tomorrow and am a bit nervous about.

Classes today all went really well though. We got to color in Spanish today, which is funny since I've been having this weird desire to color (but didn't have anything to actually color with) for months now. My professor even kept mine because she said it was cute. I think it ended up being "cute" because I'm terrible at art and it was more of an endearing in its terribleness sort of cute, but I'll take it.

My other classes today all felt rather long to be honest (which is usual for Tuesdays), but we had some great discussions in them. This is the day of the week that I have my one-on-one class with one of my professors, and in that class in particular we had a really good discussion. It's crazy how talking about things can make you voice (and therefore become consciously aware) of things that seem to have been sitting in your unconscious for quite a while.

Anyway, I need to get back to my work. Most of what I have left shouldn't take long, and I want to get through all of that so I can study.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Book Review: Paradise Rules by Jimmy Gleacher

Published: July 12th, 2011
Publisher: Gallery Books
Read from September 13th to 17th, 2014
Synopsis from Goodreads:
It’s only a week into summer break and already seventeen-year-old Gates has . . .
a) Hustled millionaires on the golf course
b) Tried to stop his mother from having a(nother) nervous breakdown
c) Promised to lose his virginity with his girlfriend, Mel . . . which would be great if he hadn’t already lost it to his forty-year-old godmother
d) Almost killed a man
Yeah, Gates has a lot of secrets, but he’s determined to keep his heart true. When he’s not swinging golf clubs like a pro, he reads pulp fiction to old folks at the retirement home. And despite his occasional slip-ups—drinking before noon and sneaking glimpses through his sexy godmother’s open negligees—Gates only has eyes for Mel. But she knows he’s hiding something, and she’s beginning to lose her patience.
Just as Gates is about to spill his shameful secrets, he gets tangled up in a golf club scandal that jeopardizes his dreams of a normal life. He’s never been a fighter, but this time he finally pushes back at the world—which could have been a breakthrough but turns into an epic fail. Probably because Gates fights back dirty. Now his life is on the verge of ruin, and he’s got no one to turn to for help.
Or so he thinks. Because what Gates is about to discover might hit him with the most amazing shock of his life.


I won this book in a giveaway several years ago, and I had no idea what it was about until I started reading (or maybe I did and had just forgotten). I wasn't expecting the book to deal with such a heavy and serious topic as statutory rape.

I really just thought this book was okay. My biggest reason for that is just that I couldn't get into the story at all. The story made me uncomfortable, and that could have been a good thing considering the subject matter. However, I think a lot of those feelings were because I didn't think the issue with Gate's godmother was handled well. At the ending especially, it all left a bad taste in my mouth because I didn't think it was handled the way it should have been. At times the story seemed to get scarily close to glorifying it, and I was constantly worried that it would end that way. In the end, it wasn't really glorified, but it was never resolved either, which left me feeling very frustrated.

Beyond that though, I just wasn't into the story at all. It could have been worse, but I probably wouldn't recommend this book to anyone.

Life Post: Finishing Up a Paper

This is one of those Mondays where it's been a slow start to the week. I was actually being so productive this morning and getting a ton done, but that seems to have dropped off now. I still have a good amount of work to get done, including finishing up editing a paper that's due tomorrow.

I really want to get my homework done because last night I started watching that Creating the World of Harry Potter (it's entirely possible I screwed up the title) documentary that's on the Ultimate Edition DVDs for the first time, even though I've had the DVDs for quite a while. I've made it about half of an hour in, and I really want to finish it up tonight after I've finished my work. Because of that, I'm going to get back to that paper right now. I'm a bit nervous because this has been a hard one to write. I changed my thesis at least four times while writing, and I still feel like it's a bit all over the place. It makes me nervous to turn in, but I'm going to go do what I can before I call it finished.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Life Post: Family Came to Visit

Yesterday my mom and brother came up to visit. I ate lunch with them and my sister at a Chinese buffet, which is always an experience that I cherish. I don't eat Chinese food all that often, but it is some of my absolute favorite food. I could seriously go on about my love for Chinese food forever, but I'll refrain.

We also went to the mall and then grocery shopping for me and my sister. I'm not a huge fan of shopping at all, but I got Auntie Anne's, which is always a bonus. I didn't even get anything at the mall other than one pair of khaki pants. (I swear I used to have someone, but apparently the all disappeared, since my mom said they weren't in my closet.) My siblings found a lot more than me though.

After writing all that out, it really doesn't sound like we did a lot, but it took quite a while. Nothing too eventful happened, but it's always nice to see my family.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Book Review: What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

ISBN: 0670012947
Published: May 10th, 2011
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Read from September 8th to 12th, 2014
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Who is the real McLean?
Since her parents' bitter divorce, McLean and her dad, a restaurant consultant, have been on the move-four towns in two years. Estranged from her mother and her mother's new family, McLean has followed her dad in leaving the unhappy past behind. And each new place gives her a chance to try out a new persona: from cheerleader to drama diva. But now, for the first time, McLean discovers a desire to stay in one place and just be herself, whoever that is. Perhaps Dave, the guy next door, can help her find out.
Combining Sarah Dessen's trademark graceful writing, great characters, and compelling storytelling, What Happened to Goodbye is irresistible reading.


It's been about four years since I last read a Sarah Dessen book. I kind of want to hang my head in shame. Sarah Dessen is one of my favorite authors and the author that got me into reading young adult in the first place. This is another book that I've owned almost since it came out, but I'm only just now getting around to reading. Hopefully I'll manage to get her other newer book as well before her newest comes out next year.

I really did enjoy this book, which is what I was expecting going in. I think the idea of moving to new places and constantly getting to be new people always seems like something people want at a certain period in their lives, but it's not something most people actually get to do. I loved that aspect of the book, and I loved the idea of McLean finally getting kind of ambushed into being herself for the first in in two years. I think that provided a great story about being yourself.

Another favorite aspect of the book for me was McLean's relationship with her mother. I loved that that was part of the story. At the beginning of the book, I really did feel the same frustration with her mother that she did, but as time went on, my feelings towards her changed as McLean's did. I liked seeing that explored.

Then there's Dave. I don't even know where to begin with Dave. Dexter (from This Lullaby) has been my favorite Dessen love interest for a while, but Dave came him a run for his money. I still think Dexter wins if I'm being honest, but Dave probably beat Wes (from The Truth About Forever) out from second place. He was a lot of fun, as were his friends. This book had an all around great cast of characters.

Speaking of Dessen characters, we get cameos from various characters from other Dessen books. Heidi appears briefly as a friend of McLean's mom. Jason also appears throughout the book. Funny thing about that is, I hated Jason in the other two Dessen books he appeared in (it was just two, right?), but he grew on me in here. I think that's because he finally seems to have matured, so I was happy to finally see him being a like-able person. The funnest cameo though came from Annabel and Owen. Their names aren't even mentioned, but they're sitting on the wall when McLean sits down at lunch on her first day. Just Listen was my first Dessen novel, so I have a huge soft-spot for Annabel and Owen. (They're basically my favorite Dessen couple even if they're not actually my favorite Dessen couple.) I loved having them thrown in there even really briefly.

I think those who enjoy Sarah Dessen's other books will enjoy this one as well. I know the romance usually gets emphasized in her books, but for me, the story of McLean discovering who she is, finally making friends as herself, and repairing her relationship with her mom were really what this book was all about. Dave was just a really nice bonus to the story.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Life Post: I May or May Not Be Developing a Starbucks Problem

This week kind of flew by because I was so wrapped up in school stuff, which is an ironic thing to say. I definitely have a heavy workload right now that's taking up most of my time, but I don't feel overwhelmed. At least not yet. I'm just getting so involved in it all that I do almost nothing else.

Yesterday, I randomly got asked by a professor to volunteer at something next weekend. It was really unexpected. They just came up to me before class started (and they weren't even the professor of that class), and asked if I'd be willing to do it because it would also be a great networking opportunity for me. I was really surprised, but I agreed to it. I'm not completely positive what all it entails at the moment, but I'm feeling a bit anxious about it.

I also got Starbucks again today. I'm a bit worried that I've started a problem. Before I would drink coffee occasionally, but I didn't like it enough to drink it all the time. I'd had Starbucks before, and liked it enough but not enough to go unless dragged there. Something seems to have clicked though. Now I'm enjoyed the taste of coffee a lot more, especially when it comes flavored like at Starbucks. I'm think a lot of it has to do with actually drinking it in the mornings when I'm tired and haven't slept enough. All my other experiences were in afternoons and whatnot when I was less tired but had been taken to Starbucks by someone else. I get a better idea of why people drink coffee when I actually benefit from drinking coffee. I refuse to get it every day though. I will not do that. I'm just lucky that my meal plan already has money on it specifically for spending at restaurants on campus. Otherwise I'd be forcing myself away from Starbucks even more.

In years past, I always did my laundry on Saturdays, but I was running out of clean clothes and my mom and brother are coming up tomorrow. I decided to do it today instead of waiting until Sunday. I actually think I'll do that in the future. The laundry room was slower than I usually find it on Saturdays. I didn't have to worry about finding a machine at all. It made doing laundry so much easier, and since I did it right after my only class of the day, I managed to get it out of the way quickly.

I also wrote some today, which is the first time I've managed to fit that in all week, and that's always nice. I'm getting to the climax of this story, and I'm excited to finally have this rough draft done, even if it'll still take forever at the rate I'm going. I haven't even gotten started on my homework yet though, so I really need to get to that. I don't want to still be doing it after dark, so I need to start getting that out of the way.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Life Post: Surprise of Extra Time

Not only is it almost the weekend, but one of my classes for the day got canceled, which means one less class standing between now and the weekend. My two remaining (or supposed to be remaining) classes of the day are actually taught by the same professor, and she canceled the earlier one saying she was sick. The second one hasn't been canceled so far yet though. I'm not sure why that is, but I guess I'll have to wait a few hours to see if she ever cancels it as well. It would be nice if she did, I'm not going to lie. Then I'd be done for the day, and I also would only have one more class before it was the weekend.

Class being canceled has also given me more homework time, which makes me excited because hopefully I'll finish it earlier in the day. My workload this week has been somewhat insane, and I haven't been finishing my homework until really, really late in the day. Here's to hoping that doesn't happen today.

I've already finished the rough draft of a paper, which is awesome. My thesis changed about halfway through when I realized I was writing about something completely different than I intended, but that happens. I'll start revising it tomorrow and fix all of that, but I'm just happy to be done with a draft of it at the moment. That's the only homework I've done so far though because I only woke up from a nap a little while ago. I have two sociology assignments due tomorrow, so I think I'm going to get to those next.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Social Media Book Tag

This is another one of those tags that I took from Youtube and ended up doing on my blog instead. In this case, I saw both Kristina and Mallory do it before deciding to do it myself. Basically, it asks questions that are inspired by different social media.

Twitter: Choose your favorite shortest book.

This is difficult because I'm so bad at thinking of things in term of size. I looked at Goodreads to try and gauge it, but even with that, a lot of the page numbers are either unknown or I can tell they're wrong. I think I'm going to have to go with The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling. It's only a little over 100 pages, and I really do love all of those stories.

Facebook: Choose a book that everyone pressured you into reading.

This one is also difficult because I never really feel pressured to read anything unless you count school books. If I have books recommended to me, I'll only read it if I'm interested, even if it's recommended a million times, and I don't usually have people who really push a book on me hard. The book community online definitely influences my reading but I wouldn't say it's in a pressure sort of way.

My answer is going to be The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, but that's not because I was pressured into reading it. I was just pressured into reading it earlier than I had planned. I preordered the book in order to get it signed and I'd read John's other books, so I knew I would like it. Once I got it though, I set it aside to read the other books I already owned. During that time, I lent it to my friend Haley, and she went on about it so much that I had to push it ahead in my TBR and read it immediately. I'm glad I did because with the state of my TBR, I think I would have only gotten around to it about now otherwise, which would have meant a big disadvantage with the movie.

Tumblr: Choose a book you read before it was cool.

What constitutes a book being cool? This is difficult because I feel like a good deal of the books I could say were books I read when they were already "cool" within a certain community (namely online) but not quite incredibly mainstream. The Fault in Our Stars is one example. I also read both Twilight and The Hunger Games before they were series that absolutely everyone you know has heard of, but they were already big around the Internet, which is how I had heard of them in the first place.

Myspace: Choose a book where you can't remember whether you liked it or not.

This is difficult for me. I'm pretty good at remembering my reactions to books. The only way I can really see myself going with this is wondering if how I would feel now has changed since I read it. There are definitely books like that. Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell was a book I read for school in sixth grade, and I remember being really unimpressed at the time, but not I wonder if I would like it more now because it actually seems like something that should appeal to me.

Instagram: Choose a book that was so beautiful that you just had to Instagram it.

The funny thing about this is I really don't pay a whole lot of attention to covers unless they really grab my attention, yet I Instagram a ton of books because books. There are a lot of covers I could say for this, but since The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson is here at school with me, it's the first one coming to mind. Honestly, I don't think pictures of the cover do the book justice. The cover has also changed now, so I don't know how easy it is to find the actual cover that I own.

Youtube: Choose a book you wish would be turned into a movie.

What book don't I wish would be turned into a movie? I love movie adaptations just to see how they turn out, even if they're terrible (although I prefer them good of course). However, I'm going to go a kind of different route and choose City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare. That's the second in the Mortal Instruments series, but the first one was made into a movie I haven't actually seen said movie because I read the first book right after it left theaters, and I haven't gotten a hold of the DVD yet. From what I hear, it was pretty bad. Still, I love this series so much that I really would love movies for all of them, and right now, it's looking like that probably won't happen.

Goodreads: Choose a book that you recommend to everyone.

Am I making this choice because it's always my answer to this question or because I have to keep with the trend of having it in every tag ever that I do? Both. It is without a doubt the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. If there was something I wanted everyone in the world to have read, it would be Harry Potter. Watching the movies is better than nothing at all, but it's still not good enough.

If any of you would like to do this, feel free to, and let me know if you do as well. I'd love to know your answers!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Book Review: So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld

ISBN: 1417699450
Published: September 8th, 2005 (first published January 1st, 2004)
Publisher: Razor Bill
Read from August 27th to September 7th, 2014
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Hunter Braque, a New York City teenager who is paid by corporations to spot what is "cool," combines his analytical skills with girlfriend Jen's creative talents to find a missing person and thwart a conspiracy directed at the heart of consumer culture.


Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series earned its spot on my favorites list a long time ago, but I had yet to read any of the author's other books. This was the first book outside of the Uglies that I got a hold of, but even then it's been sitting around for a couple of years (like all of my other books) waiting to be read. Considering this is a contemporary instead of a dystopian, this book was very different from the Uglies, and of course, I knew that going into it. I wasn't expecting something too similar, and I was interested to see how much I liked Westerfeld's writing outside of Uglies.

I did enjoy the book, although not anywhere near as much as the Uglies. What was really neat to me was Hunter's job as a cool hunter. The weird thing is that that exact term ended up coming up in my sociology textbook as I was reading this book. There was a whole section discussing the job and it even talked about cool hunters in real life. That was a cool little tie-in with the book that I hadn't been expecting.

I found the book entertaining, but I wasn't incredibly moved by it. At first I thought it would explore consumer culture more than it did, which would have been really interesting to me. It definitely did do that some, but I think more of the story seemed focused just on the mystery of the shoes and the mysterious people that they can't figure out. Any exploration of consumer culture seems to take a back seat, which was a bit disappointing to me.

Then there's the fact that the book is a little outdated. I'm completely willing to let that go because of course it was bound to happen with so many references to consumerism and pop culture. What annoyed me though were the attempts at being vague without really being vague. At the beginning of the book, Hunter declares that he won't name drop any brands, but each time, we're given enough information to know exactly what brand is being talked about, and it's so obvious that it just seems annoying to not have it named. I'm not sure why that decision was made. Maybe it had to do with legal issues or maybe it was just an artistic decision. Either way, I found it annoying.

Overall, I did find the book enjoyable, but I wish I had gotten more from it.

Life Post: Sleep and Homework

I'm currently in the middle of what is my only break between classes on Tuesdays (except a short one that leaves just enough time for me to rush to eat lunch). Theoretically, I'd probably be a lot better off if I used this time for homework, but instead I usually sleep for at least an hour. I'd feel bad about not doing homework if it weren't for the fact that I don't think I'd last the rest of the day without the nap.

I actually have already managed to get some work done since waking up, so that's one thing to check off. Unfortunately, my list of homework to do is insanely longer than normal, which is just great on today of all days. I also have a test in my next class, but I'm hoping I'll get finished at least a few minutes before the usual time and be able to do homework as well as eat some lunch.

I don't have that much longer until class, so I'm going to get back to homework and try to get more done. I'm not sure I have enough time, but it's worth a shot.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Life Post: I Refuse to Have a Starbucks Problem

My Mondays typically pale in comparison to my Tuesdays, but this particular Monday is trying really hard to be a difficult one. This morning was one of those mornings where I woke up and my covers were all messed up, which is a sign that I didn't sleep well. Sure enough, even after a morning nap after my first class, I feel exhausted. It's not usually this bad even if I feel tired.

I realized this morning that I've hardly used any of what's called knight bucks at my school. They're part of our meal plan, and they work exactly like real money at any restaurant on campus (other than the dining all of course). Since we got new restaurants, they changed around the meal plans and now only offer one which includes double the amount of knight bucks we used to get, yet I've used even less than I typically would have last year. I decided that meant it would be a good idea to use some today. They just expire if I don't use them by the end of the semester, and that seems like a waste. So, I went to Starbucks and bought a pumpkin spice latte. It's the first time I've had one other than a sip of a frappuccino one my sister got once, and this thing is delicious. I think I get why this becomes a problem for some people. (This is only my third Starbucks in my life, which I know is shocking for some people.) I'll probably manage to use up those knight bucks now, but I refuse to become one of those people constantly at Starbucks.

I also had a test this morning, and it went really well. We got to choose the format of it, and everyone chose multiple choice and true and false. It wasn't that bad at all, so here's hoping I did as well as I feel like I did. The only thing I wasn't certain on was some of the stuff involving sociologist's names. I'm terrible with names, so I'm never sure that I have who's who straight in my head.

What's weird about Mondays is it's not even noon yet, but I've already been to two of my three classes for the day. Plus, I have three hours in between these classes. I could take another nap, but I really want to get things done. Tomorrow is my crazy day after all, and it'll be even crazier tomorrow because I have this RA scheduled thing that I'm not entirely sure what it entails. I suppose I should enjoy the three hour break I have today.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Life Post: Lazy Sundays Are Nice

Today feels like the epitome of a lazy Sunday, which is incredibly nice. I did have homework to do, but I'm mostly done with it already. The weird thing is that I did all of that, but it still feels like a lazy day. Probably because I worked on two papers, but they're not due for a while, which meant it wasn't too stressful of work. I also studied for a test I have tomorrow, but even that didn't seem too bad. Probably because I've already studied enough to feel prepared.

As for the rest of the day, I do want to get some writing done that isn't for school, but it probably won't be that much. I also have one other test to study for later. For the most part, I just want to appreciate the last bit of the weekend before it's back to classes tomorrow. I'll probably need this when I'm starting off my week with two tests.

Book Review: The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

ISBN: 0142422053
Published: September 29th, 2011
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Read from August 16th to 26th, 2014
Synopsis from Goodreads:
The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago.
Soon “Rippermania” takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities.


I bought this book when it came out. In fact, I preordered it. I was already following the author on Twitter and had been for a long time. Plus, I had seen her at LeakyCon 2011, and I desperately wanted to read something she had written. When I saw I had an opportunity to preorder the book and get a signed copy, I jumped on it even though I had yet to read anything by her. I didn't even know much about the book at that point, just that it involved Jack the Ripper, and considering creepy things were really off-putting to me at the time, that should have scared me off.

As is usual for me though, I had so many books to read that this one got push to the side until about three years later, and I think that was a good thing for several reasons. As I said before, I used to hate anything even remotely scary. I kept a wide berth. Recently, I've started changing that, and I've been getting into more things that are a bit on the creepy side. I still won't really do full on horror, but things like The Name of the Star have much more appeal to me. I'm not sure how I would have reacted to it if I'd read it earlier than I did.

I want to stay really vague about what this book actually involves because the only things I knew going into it was that it involved an American girl going to boarding school in England and Jack the Ripper was somehow involved. I liked having only that information as I got farther into the story, so I don't want to reveal what exactly is going on with the Jack the Ripper stuff. It's much more fun to keep that a mystery. I did make some correct guesses just from the cover though, and I wonder how many other people will as well. They seem to have changed the cover since the original release, so many people probably won't even get to make the same guesses. The synopsis I listed above also gives it away pretty much, so I'm thankful I didn't read that before I read the book.

Since I don't want to go into too much detail about Jack the Ripper, I'll talk about some other aspects of the book. First of all, I thought there was a great cast of characters. Everyone seemed so unique, and their interactions with each other were amazing in my opinion. I love reading books with vibrant characters, and this book definitely has that.

The concept of Rory being an American at an English boarding school was also a fun one for me. Because she's the main character, you're getting the perspective of England from an American throughout the book, which was very entertaining. I think it helps make things understandable for those outside of England who don't know much about it, but I also think that even English people can appreciate some of the jokes made about the differences between England and America. I really enjoyed it. It was a way to read a book set in England that I'd never really experienced before.

This is also the first in a series, and when I first started reading the book, I was a bit confused by that because I couldn't see how this storyline would keep going on after this book. But now, I think I get it. I won't say much since I don't want to spoil anything, but without looking at what the next book is actually about, I think I have a good idea about what the series as a whole entails. I'm excited to get the next book and find out.

Overall, I think this book was a great first experience with Maureen Johnson's writing for me, and I look forward to reading her other books as well, particularly the rest of this series. I enjoyed it more than I would have thought possible back a few years ago when I bought it, and I'm actually thankful that I held off on reading it.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Life Post: The Fast Yet Slow Semester

This semester is a bit odd. In a lot of ways, it feels like it's flying by, but then I remember that it's only September, which doesn't seem right. It seems like we're much later in the semester than that. As long as if keeps feeling like it's going by fast though, then I guess that's all that matters.

My weekend is probably going to be full of more studying than anything. I have a test on Monday and a test on Tuesday to study for as well as two different papers to work on. I also managed to get a bit of writing done on non-school related things this morning. I haven't had much time to write outside of homework so far this semester, so everything's coming along slowly. I'm still posting my Hunger Games fanfiction Rebuild and Recover though (just posted a chapter yesterday), so that makes it seem like I'm being a lot more productive than I am.

I had an unexpected "adventure" with my sister yesterday. She's decided to apply to work somewhere about twenty minutes away, and I went with her to turn in the application. There were a few missed turns that probably doubled the trip, but it was interesting. Coming back we even had trouble because she kept missing turns for restaurants, and we were starving before we got to one.

I'm seeing her again today because we're going to go grocery shopping with her two roommates. They're almost out of food all together I think, and I'm running low on snacks (although not so much meal-type foods, which is odd for me). I don't know when that's happening because I haven't heard from her, but they're probably all still asleep. Who knows when it'll be.

Naruto Shippuden Review: Episodes 191-195

It's been about a month since my last Naruto review, but that isn't because I've been all that slow with watching it. I'm just behind on doing reviews. I've actually been ready to do this review for about three weeks now (and am close to having watched enough episodes for another review as well). Anyway, on to what I thought of these five episodes.

Episode 191 involved a female ninja whose job it was to infiltrate Konoha as a spy, and Kakashi is heavily involved with the story. I thought it was an okay episode overall, but nothing too great. My favorite part was probably Team 7 spying on them. I've just really enjoyed seeing flashbacks of Naruto, Sakura, and Sasuke all together. I think that's been my favorite part of these filler episodes.

Episode 192 is about Hinata getting kidnapped and Neiji, Tenten, and Kiba going after her. I really, really enjoyed this episode. Hinata is one of my favorite characters, but I also really like the dynamics between Neiji and his whole family. That was what made me really like this episode. I really think it might have been one of my favorites of the filler episodes. What Lord Hiashi says about Hinata being his "precious daughter" and Neiji being a "memento of my late brother" was really cute to me.

The whole ghost thing in episode 193 was a bit odd, but Naruto bringing the picture to the man's grave was really sweet. The entire idea of a soul detachment jutsu is a bit creepy to me, but I'd say I liked the episode more than not. It helps that Shikamaru made a quick appearance and, like Hinata, he's one of my favorite characters.

Speaking of liking getting to see Team 7 together in flashbacks, we got a lot of that with Naruto and Sasuke in episode 194 since the literally got stuck to each other. I did really like this episode overall.  It was nice getting to see Naruto and Sasuke work together like they did. This episode also had quite it's share of bathroom jokes.

Then the last episode of this set was 195. We got to see Team 10 in this one, which is always great for me since Shikamaru is one of my favorite characters like I said. I really loved seeing how well Team 10 knew each other that they were able to pull everything off. I just always love seeing friendships like that develop, so that was a nice flashback. I also just have to throw it out there that the one guy's name was Tofu. Tofu. Oh, and Kakashi makes a comment about how talented "this year's rookies" are, and I really loved that.

Like I said earlier, I'm almost through watching the next five episodes, so hopefully a review will come relatively soon. Those five episodes are also when the filler finally ends, which is incredibly exciting. (I'm actually already through the filler, and I can't tell you how relieved I am.) I'm sure that means the next review will be more rambly than the reviews like this were over the filler, and I'm looking forward to it.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Life Post: Allergies and Experiments

This week went by so quickly. I can't believe it's Friday. Of course my allergies would choose today to get absolutely terrible though. I should have seen it coming since it's been getting colder. My allergies are around year-round, but weather changes always make them even worse for a bit. (Not to mention that they're all around worse when I'm in Indianapolis (i.e. farther north) as well.) I took my allergy medicine today, but it's not seeming to make much difference. I can already feel a sinus headache coming on, so I'm trying to get as much work done as I can before it gets even worse.

Anyway, this isn't meant to be one long complaint. My day has actually been really good except for the allergies. I only had one class, and we didn't really have class in the traditional sense. Instead, we were put into groups, and each group was assigned a research method for sociology. My group got experiment, so we spent the entire period out on campus (actually in the campus center and Starbucks mostly) performing our experiment. It was basically a failure. Most people were in class or already gone for the weekend, so there weren't enough people around campus to really get a good idea of what we were trying to study. Instead, we're going to do what we can on our own over the weekend. My part is to help write the paper up on the findings along with one other group member. It shouldn't be hard. It's not a difficult thing to write, and I'm only doing half of it.

I'm going to get back to my homework though. I want to get through it so that I can enjoy my Friday.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Life Post: Unexpectedly Sleeping In

Today's been pretty great so far. Mostly because my earliest class of the day was canceled, and that led to me sleeping in as late as I usually sleep on weekends (which admittedly isn't that late to most people). Now I feel really awake, and it's awesome. The only downside is the fact that I keep thinking that it's Friday because I only wake up slightly earlier than I did today on Fridays, and that means that I feel like I should be going to different classes.

Anyway, I have class in about twenty minutes, and I really need to leave the room right now. I thought I could get more written in the time I had, but it turns out that I was too busy glancing at the clock as the time inched closer to actually write all that much. I'm off to my class now.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

On David Yates Directing Fantastic Beasts

David Yates is going to direct the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie. From what I gather, it's not completely official yet, but everyone seems to accept that it's going to happen. That was news almost three weeks ago, so I realize that I'm insanely late talking about it. I'm behind on everything I want to blog and/or make videos on though, so bear with me and let me talk about it.

This is definitely a post where writing it earlier would have been a good thing because my excitement was fresher. Now I've had more time to let my feelings stew, and their not bubbling over quite as much as they were before. Don't get me wrong, I'm still ecstatic that he's directing. It's just that I've gotten used to it now.

I've seen a good deal of people upset, and I can definitely get most of their reasons. I don't think every single person would have been happy with any one director. Everyone has preferences in directors because they like different styles, and David Yates brings that out even more because not only do we have other movies to go off of for his style but we have other Harry Potter movies. Which Harry Potter movies are good and which are bad can be a pretty divisive argument. For my part, I loved the sixth through eighth movies. The fifth (i.e. the first of the four that David Yates directed) wasn't my favorite, but I didn't absolutely hate it either.

To be fair, I haven't seen anything that David Yates has directed other than the Harry Potter movies. I'm not sure how relevant that is though considering this is going to be a film within the Harry Potter universe. That makes me think that using those four movies as a basis for how Fantastic Beasts will turn out is relatively accurate. They'll definitely be different movies just based off of the fact that there will be different characters in a different time period and not during a war (that we know of), but I imagine that their will be some sort of similar feel between the later Harry Potter movies and this one if David Yates directs. I'm all for that because I think it's good to have subtle tie-ins with the original Harry Potter films like that.

Fantastic Beasts should stand on its own as a film (or films) in my opinion, but I also still want it to feel like a Harry Potter universe film, which means letting it have similarities with Harry Potter in some ways, and I think that using the same director is a good way to do that. Maybe it won't end up happening, and there'll be a different director. I won't be heartbroken if that happens. If David Yates directs though, I think I'd approve.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Life Post: Tuesdays Are Hectic

Tuesdays are definitely going to be hectic days for the rest of the semester. I have so much to do. It's the day I have the most classes, and maybe for that reason, I always seem to have the most homework to get done on those days as well. It's not a good combination. I did so good yesterday and got my homework done relatively early in the afternoon. Today I still have a lot more to do than I would like, and it's been like this every Tuesday so far I think.

Anyway, I shouldn't even be writing this. I need to get back to work. I'm tired, and I really just want to get through the rest of what I have to do. Plus, it's getting to be around dinner time, so I need to decide what I'm doing for dinner. Hopefully, I won't be working too late into the evening.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Life Post: One Direction Just Made My Monday

I've had a pretty unexpected Monday morning. The first weird thing is I actually feel well-rested, which never happens on a Monday, but then, to top things off, I come out of my first class of the day to find out that One Direction has announced their new album (It's called four. They named their fourth album four. I can't even believe.) and released a song from it for free on their website.

The song is amazing, guys! I'm refraining from using all the caps lock here that I was using on Twitter, but just know that I am beyond excited. I was excited for the album before of course, but I really like the sound of this song, and I can't wait to see what the rest of the album sounds like in comparison. It's such a great song. I'm going to be listening to it all day long now when I'm not in class. I don't even know how I'm going to sit through the rest of my classes because of my excitement. Normally I'd be taking a nap right now, but I guess it's a good thing that I don't feel as tired than normal after this craziness and being on the computer instead. I'll probably feel even more dead tomorrow than usual, but I'll deal with that when it comes.

I'm going to go now since I have class pretty soon, and since I'm awake, I might as well trying and get some stuff done before it. While listening to the new song over and over, of course.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Supernatural Review: First Half of Season 3

I'd been doing all of my Supernatural reviews here on the blog after doing the first one as a Youtube video, but about a month ago I reviewed the last half of season two as Youtube video. If you missed that, it's here.

The first thing that struck me when I went to watch this season was how short it was. As soon as I saw that, I realized that it was probably being released during the writer's strike, and it turns out that I was right. Some research told me that the strike also led them to have fewer story lines this season, and I think it's interesting seeing how that played out.

Also, since it was shorter, I debated reviewing the entire season at once, but then I decided to just keep up with the half thing even though I've already surpassed it with the episodes I'm watching. I'ts actually a bit odd to be talking about only eight episodes at one time.

The big story of this season is trying to save Dean, and I do think it's been a pretty good season so far. I like the emotions involved with that story, especially seeing how it's affecting Sam.

I'm also interested in the idea that they released all of these demons that have been locked into hell for centuries (or millennia or something? I can't remember what exactly they say) and now they have to track them down. The giant demon cloud floating over Chicago was definitely an interesting image.

The idea of the seven deadly sins actually being specific demons was another one that was interesting to me, and the idea of fighting the seven deadly sins was a cool one. I really liked that episode, although the scene where they make that man drink drain cleaner really freaked me out. I also liked the line about casting the first stone that they used from the Bible.

The second episode of the season was another one that took place in Indiana, and we all know how excited I get when things take place in Indiana. I've never actually been to Cicero, but it's just north of Indianapolis, which means I'm not even that far from it right now. It's made even cooler by the fact that Ben and his mom live there. (I've mentioned before that I have a new goal to stop looking at spoilers, but before I set that in place, I may have looked up some things that gave me more information about that.)

Changelings have always been cool to me though, and I liked seeing an episode about them. The one other thing that I thought was a bit odd was the reed dirt they found. I've lived in Indiana my whole life, and I don't think I've ever seen red dirt here. Like I said though, I've never been to Cicero, so I don't know what kind of dirt they have there. It just struck me as odd.

We got another episode with Gordon and the guy who tags along with him whose name I can't remember and didn't write down. Gordon really freaks me out, and it's not really in an enjoyable way either. I'm just glad he's dead. I did really enjoy the "don't play with my Jesus" line that the one guy had. Mostly though, I just liked the later episode of the season where he dies because it means that he's gone.

The episode where the priest is a demon really freaked me out. I started suspecting it before it was actually revealed, but it was still weird. That's a brilliant cover though, if you think about it. If I were a demon, I'd probably disguise myself as some sort of religious figure.

The episode with the fairy tale murders might have been one of m favorites. As soon as the episode opened, I started realizing that it was the three little pigs. (To be fair, I can't remember the title of the episode, but I think it tipped me off to the fairy tale thing.) It was interesting to see that, although the Hansel and Gretel one was one of those things that really freaked me out.

The ghost ship episode was another cool one. As soon as the ghost ship appeared, I thought of the Flying Dutchman, and as soon as it was mentioned later, I got excited. There was also a hand of glory in this episode, which reminds me of Harry Potter and the hand of glory Draco gets, even though I know it's something that goes back farther than Harry Potter.

Bella is also in this episode. She's really grown on me. I didn't like her much at first, but now I'd say I can at least like her a bit. She's still not my favorite. I think I tend to like episodes she's in though, so that's making me warm up towards her.

Then we have the episode where Gordon dies, which I liked as I already said. I think it was definitely a good idea to make Gordon a vampire first. I love that sort of thing. I also enjoyed hearing about the vampire in the episode's experience and how he feels. Mostly though, I'm just happy that Gordon died. I'll admit it.

The last episode of this half of the season was a Christmas-y episode, which I'm really glad I didn't actually watch around Christmas. This episode involved pagan gods again, and I'm really interested in knowing the difference between pagan gods and demons. I think there is one, but it seems a bit confusing over what that is. I kind of want to look into it and see if there's an answer, but I'm wary of spoilers. Anyway, these pagan gods seem really ruthless, and terrifying. I also enjoyed getting flashbacks to Christmases that Sam and Dean had in the past.

Overall, I thought these episodes were good, and I'm looking forward to seeing what happens in the rest of season three.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Book Review: Fluent Forever by Gabriel Wyner

ISBN: 0385348118
Published: August 5th, 2014
Publisher: Harmony
Read from August 12th to 15th, 2014
Synopsis from publisher:
The ultimate rapid language-learning guide! For those who’ve despaired of ever learning a foreign language, here, finally, is a book that will make the words stick. At thirty years old, Gabriel Wyner speaks six languages fluently.  He didn’t learn them in school -- who does? -- rather, he learned them in the past few years, working on his own and practicing on the subway, using simple techniques and free online resources. In Fluent Forever Wyner reveals what he’s discovered.

The greatest challenge to learning a foreign language is the challenge of memory; there are just too many words and too many rules. For every new word we learn, we seem to forget two old ones, and as a result, fluency can seem out of reach. Fluent Forever tackles this challenge head-on. With empathy for the language-challenged and abundant humor, Wyner deconstructs the learning process, revealing how to build a foreign language in your mind from the ground up.

Starting with pronunciation, you’ll learn how to rewire your ears and turn foreign sounds into familiar sounds. You'll retrain your tongue to produce those sounds accurately, using tricks from opera singers and actors. Next, you'll begin to tackle words, and connect sounds and spellings to imagery, rather than translations, which will enable you to think in a foreign language.  And with the help of sophisticated spaced-repetition techniques, you'll be able to memorize hundreds of words a month in minutes every day. Soon, you'll gain the ability to learn grammar and more difficult abstract words--without the tedious drills and exercises of language classes and grammar books.

This is brain hacking at its most exciting, taking what we know about neuroscience and linguistics and using it to create the most efficient and enjoyable way to learn a foreign language in the spare minutes of your day.


I've been trying to teach myself Japanese for over a year now. In that time, I've managed to make some progress, but it's been really slow going. When I saw this book, I immediately wanted to read it and see if it could offer any advice. It ended up being even more helpful than I thought it would be.

The book does a great job recommending what to do in order to actually learn a language, and it's all very easy to follow. I'm pretty sure that I've already accomplished more in the few weeks since reading this book than I did in the entire year before that trying to teach myself Japanese. I honestly can't praise it enough.

This book has a lot of helpful advice, and the author clearly knows what he's talking about, which is evidenced by the number of languages he's managed to teach himself. The author also runs a website that is helpful as well, and the book provides a lot of advice for other resources to help you. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in learning another language by themselves.

I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.

Life Post: Finally a Break

You know you're really into the semester when you start being as thankful for the weekend as I am today. I still have a lot of homework to do, but I hope I have time for other stuff without classes happening as well. I already got to sleep in a two extra hours this morning because I don't have my earliest class on Friday, and that was the absolute best. I was about to pass out all day yesterday, and that was after taking a nap.

I actually haven't even started on my homework yet because I'm so ready for the weekend that I can't be bothered. I'll get to that really soon though. I also want to write today because it's been more than a week since I last had time. I can't even remember the last time that happened. I'm feeling such a strong urge to write, but I'm also afraid I'll have really bad writer's block about where I was in the story since it's been so long. I guess we'll see. I'm really hoping I actually have time to write during the week this coming week. This past week was kind of crazy, but I don't foresee every week being like that.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Life Post: A Fast Week

The long weekend completely through my sense of the days of the week off. I'm finally starting to actually remember my schedule for the semester, but when you add in the fact that I keep thinking it's Tuesday instead of Wednesday, I'm still having trouble remembering which class I'm supposed to be in at what times. On the bright side, at least I keep thinking it's a day earlier in the week instead of later. I have one more class today, and then I'll be halfway done for the week. That's pretty awesome when I keep mistaking today for Tuesday.

I feel like I've really had the homework piled on me this week though. It's not so much that I'm feeling completely overwhelmed and stressed. It's definitely enough to handle, but it is taking an incredibly long time to do. The funny thing is, I feel like I'm doing a lot better job at getting it done than I was the past couple of weeks when I had less work. I just think I'm focusing on it better this week, so hopefully that keeps up.

Anyway, I have to get going to class in a few minutes, and if I had anything else to write about, I can't remember it now. I feel like there was, but my frantic glancing at the clock is the only thing on my mind. I'm off to go talk about some British literature.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Book Review: Ouran High School Host Club, Volume 10 by Bisco Hatori

ISBN: 1421519291
Published: January 29th, 2008 (first published August 14th, 2007)
Publisher: VIZ Media
Read from August 13th to 15th, 2014
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Ever since the day he helped her up after a nasty tumble, Black Magic Club member Reiko Kanazuki has been obsessed with Hunny. She is devoting all her knowledge of the dark arts to curse him and steal his soul. Will the sweetest member of the Host Club fall victim to her spells?


I finally got around to reading volume ten! I really like where the story is going. It's exciting now in a way that it wasn't when the manga was still similar to the anime. Then, I had an idea of what was coming next, but I like that now I don't really know exactly what's coming next (although I haven't completely avoided spoilers).

The synopsis only focuses on one episode in the volume, and unfortunately, I left volume ten at home and don't have it with me at school. I'm really struggling to remember what exactly happened in each episode. I'm trying to pick it up from other people's reviews, so it's quite possible I'll forget to say something.

Focusing on Hunny's new love interest though, I've very intrigued. I'm usually not one that likes stories where every single character is in a relationship at the end, which seems to be more or less where Ouran is going. However, I do like the beginnings of what's happening here, and I'm looking forward to seeing what happens in future volumes.

I really liked Mei after awhile, but it did take some time for her to grow on me. I really like how she calls both Tamaki and Haruhi stupid for not realizing their feelings, but neither one of them actually get what she's talking about. She actually kind of became a voice of reason, which I wasn't expecting when she first appeared. I think she appears again in the future as well, so I'm looking forward to that.

Also, I really love Hikaru and Kaoru's dad. It was nice to see them, and I liked the little bit about how much attention he pays to the boys considering their mom can't even tell them apart.

The little rivalry going on between Kyoya and Tamaki seems fun, and I'm looking forward to seeing how it plays out in the next volume. Kyoya's grown on me as a character since I became an Ouran fan after watching the anime, so I always enjoy seeing him get some development. I particularly love anything about his and Tamaki's friendship, so I'm excited for the rest of that storyline.

Now that I'm thinking back on it, a lot seemed to happen in this volume. I'm really liking the direction the story is going in, and I look forward to reading volume eleven whenever I manage to get a hold of it, which might be a while in all honesty.

Life Post: September 1st

I can't believe it's already September. I actually remembered to change my calendar this morning, which doesn't happen all that often. The last several months especially, it hasn't been changed until at least a week in. I think I'm pretty good at changing it on September though because I'm always aware of September first. Everyone goes back to Hogwarts today. How could I forget?

It also helps that I have a One Direction calendar with all of the boys having their own picture on the month of their birthday. Niall's my favorite, and his birthday is in September. I can't waste any precious time of having him staring at me every day.

It's still early in the day, but I'm having a pretty relaxing Labor Day. I have a good bit of homework to do, and I've already managed to do some. I still have quite a bit more, but it's not too bad. It still feels nice to have today off. I just need to finish up two papers that are due tomorrow, start another paper, and do some reading. I think that sounds like more than it will actually be. Finishing up the papers is just going over them for any mistakes one last time and then printing them off. The reading will probably be the hardest because it's a lot of pages. That's why I'm going to get to that reading right now. I'm hoping to get at least most of it done before lunchtime.