My Summer Plans!

Since this is my last required post on the year (yay!), I’m going to leave off on what I’m going to do when school ends: I’m going to Greece!

Okay, fine. It’s only for like a week, but still. Also, I’m pretty sure Greece is really hot and sunny, because my friend went, and he got a really bad sunburn, so… Hopefully, I’ll be fine. We’re going to one of the islands, called Rhodes, because my dad has a business conference there. I’m looking at nice beaches on the internet so that we don’t end up killing our feet hobbling along rocky shores. There’s a pretty popular one, Pefkos Beach, that looks nice and everyone says there are free sunbeds, so I’m down. Another one, Tsambika beach, is also really pretty. It’s bigger than Pefkos, so we’ll probably have more space. Since we did so much during spring break, my brother just wants to lounge on the beach for the whole day, and frankly, I don’t disagree with him.

Other than Rhodes, we’re also going to Athens (obviously) to do the normal tourist things and visit ruins and stuff. I’m not that interested, but they went to Athens in Percy Jackson, so it’s pretty cool. What are you doing this summer?

More from the Shadow World…

Soooo… remember when I said in my previous post that the Shadowhunters TV show is “not exactly the same” as the books? Yeah, I was wrong. The whole freaking show is different!

I get it, the show writers didn’t want the how to be identical to the books, fine, right? But– I don’t know how to say this without spoiling anything, so I have to. I’m sorry, okay? Just don’t read if you don’t want to. Anyway, Clary’s mom dies! Like, really? Can the show be more different from the books? And Aldertree isn’t a minor character like in the books, he takes control of the New York Institute! He gets Isabelle addicted to yin fen, which doesn’t happen at all! Yin fen is introduced in the Infernal Devices series, I think, but I haven’t read it yet. I could go on and on about everything that’s different, but maybe it would be better just to watch the show itself. I have mixed feelings about the differences; I like how it’s not boring, because I don’t know what’ll happen next, but on the other hand, it feels weird kind of knowing what happens but not really. Anyway, it’s complicated.

You can watch Shadowhunters on the Freeform app or website, and season 2B will premiere June 5th! Of course, you should also read Cassandra Clare’s books. As I said, it’s pretty fun to do a little compare/contrast every time I watch an episode. Have fun!

Alice

Shadowhunters!!!

I’m going to start this post by saying that if anyone dares to spoil anything to me, I will—uh, nevermind. Anyway, this is going to be about the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare and how I am way too late to the Shadowhunter world.

I mean, seriously, three series and a TV show that’s already on season two? I’m still on the fifth book of the first series. I really want to read it right now and I probably should to catch up a little, but I have to do this blog post. Ugh. The TV show is actually pretty good, but it’s not exactly the same as the book. I guess it’s not bad, because it’s cool to see how different creators portray the Shadowhunter world. It’s good to watch when you want to get your daily dose of Shadowhunter, but you’re tired and can’t focus.

All this talk about Shadowhunters is making me want to read very much, so I’m going to go now. For anyone who hasn’t started the series, read it! To anyone who has read the series, don’t tell me anything, unless I ask you to. Sometimes the characters are having a dark time and I need some reassurance. Don’t judge me.

Alice

Why I’m Looking Forward to Spring Break

Spring break is just a week away, and I’m actually going somewhere this year. Aside from the obvious pros of sleeping in and going to bed late, I’m flying to Las Vegas!

All right, everyone loves to be able to stay awake at night and stay asleep in the morning for some weird reason, so any break from the usual go-to-bed-early-wake-up-early routine is welcome. Usually, we only have three nights to do this: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. But, we have to go to school during the day on Friday, and on Sunday we have to prepare for the dreadful Monday that’s coming up, so technically Saturday is our only break. Also, I have to wake up before nine (which should be banned on weekends) to go to swim practice and then a math class on Saturday. During spring break, however, we have the whole week to mess up our sleep schedule! Awesome, right? And we can just sit around all day and do nothing, and it’s great.

Although I would love to sleep for the whole week, I’ll be kicking off the break on Friday by going to Nevada! First, after we arrive at the airport, we’ll be driving through the early morning straight to the Grand Canyon. After sightseeing and hiking for the whole day, we’re staying at a hotel for the night. We might go on another trail the next day, but we’re leaving before noon to get to the city! I’m not really sure what exactly we’ll be doing in Las Vegas, but I know we’ll be eating a lot of awesome food. When I went to Las Vegas as a five-year-old or something, I didn’t get to eat much, but right now I could really use a good all-you-can-eat buffet. Anyway, it’s going to be so fun, and I can’t wait!

Because I get to sleep a lot and actually travel, spring break is going to be a blast! I hope everyone else will also have a great spring break.

How to Choose the Best Book

We all know that feeling when you can’t seem to find a good book to read. Well, there is some good news and bad news for you. I’ll spare you and combine them: there are ways to find a good book, but sometimes they don’t work. Sorry, but it’s the truth. After all, nothing in this world really always works. Anyway, let’s just get on to it.

The first method is very simple—that is, if you have the materials needed. For this, you need a  friend or two (they need to have read many books before for this to work), and a way of communicating. Then, all you have to do is ask for a book recommendation. You can also ask what the friend is reading right now, or maybe let him or her pick a book for you (if your friend knows you well enough). Notice how I’ve used two pairs of parentheses in this one paragraph—basically, if you can’t meet the requirements, this method won’t work for you. Pretty straightforward, right?

This next method is kind of just… meh, as is everything else I suggest. So, you have to know yourself really well, and lots of book knowledge helps too. Go to a place where books are available: a bookstore, library, or a magic book generator—a library is best, obviously, because you don’t have to pay. Then, you have to find your section: if you’re in middle school, are you mature enough to read YA (young adult) books? Should you stick to the tween section? Do you like supernatural or fantasy books? Maybe you want to go to the non-fiction section. Browse the sections, see if you can find anything. Read the summary on the back or on the front cover jacket flap of any book you find interesting. Pro tip: if the book is part of a series that you haven’t read before, make sure you read the first book first! My friend accidentally read the third book in a series first and I think she may have died. This method is kind of difficult if you just started reading, so I suggest using this one after you’ve read books from most genres for better judgment.

So there you have it: two methods to find a good book. I can’t guarantee that you’ll have a lifetime’s supply of phenomenal books to read, but I can guarantee that these methods will get you reading better books than if you wander aimlessly through the aisles for hours. Either ask around or ask yourself: what book should I read?

Alice

Eczema and How It Usually Works

UGHHH! Why must my eyelids become irritated like this??? Aaaand I ran out of coconut oil. Just great. Ah, the pleasures of waking up fresh only do find that your eyelids now feel strange when you blink and they have dried up into a reddish semi-flaky mess. You may have read one of my previous posts about eczema, in which I talked briefly about how the skin becomes like this, but here it is more in depth.

First, eczema can be different for every person, but it generally works the same. The skin’s outer barrier is damaged, either because of your genes or some other cause. This allows irritants such as dust, allergens, and residue from all kinds of material to come into contact with the sensitive parts of the skin. So, these things irritate the skin and can cause inflammation. If your biological parents had eczema or if they have that gene, you may have gotten it. I haven’t really studied genetics, but I think that’s how it works. My dad has generally dry skin, so I guess that got passed down to me.

In addition to the barrier being damaged, the oil glands in your skin may not be able to produce enough oil to keep the skin hydrated. This is what I focused on in my other post about this, and you should check that one out to read some more in-depth stuff about this. Essentially, to keep your skin hydrated (please notice  my deliberate  non-use of the m-word), you have to apply oils from other sources. For example, I put coconut oil on my skin. You can also use jojoba oil and petroleum jelly (found in lip ointments like Vaseline and Aquaphor). Great, huh? You can thank your skin for not being able to produce its own oil.

Eczema is different for everyone, but it’s usually because of a weak skin barrier and not enough lipids to keep the skin moist (fine, I said it, but I wrote the word ‘hydrated’ way too many times already). If you want to learn more, there is a whole National Eczema Association dedicated to eczema. The National Eczema Society is a charity in the UK and has a great article about how eczema works. If this post was boring to you, it’s probably because whenever I think of eczema, it’s in the morning and I just feel really good at ranting and droning on and on about stuff I feel passionate about. In this case, it’s dermatology.

Alice

Wires and Nerve

I know I keep talking about books and no one reads this stuff, but too bad. Anyway, Marissa Meyer has taken the book spotlight again with her new book. On January 31, Wires and Nerve will be available at the bookstore!

Wires and Nerve is a graphic novel, a format Meyer hasn’t taken on before, and it is set in the world of the Lunar Chronicles! It’s about Iko, the endearing android that accompanied Cinder from the beginning. When the wolf soldiers from Luna endanger the peace alliance between the Earth and their home, Iko hunts down their leader, meeting a royal guard along the way who steals her (mechanical) heart.

I’m so excited to read this book! Other members of the Lunar Chronicles crew are said to make appearances as well, and Meyer is already planning the second book in the series! You should definitely check this book out.

Alice

Carve the Mark

You’ve probably heard of Divergent, whether you’ve read the books or seen the movies. Well, the author of the books, Veronica Roth, has written yet another book set in a completely different universe.

Her new book is called Carve the Mark. It’s about Akos and Cyra, who live on a planet where everyone develops some power that shapes the future. These powers are called currentgifts, and most of the time, people enjoy their currentgifts. However, Cyra and Akos’s abilities make them easy to be taken advantage of. Cyra’s currentgift is power over pain. Her brother, who is the ruler of the Shotet nation, uses her to persecute his enemies. She can’t stand being just her brother’s tool for torture and longs to be herself.

Akos is from the peaceful Thuvhe country. His currentgift is extreme loyalty to his family, which really reminds me of Percy Jackson’s fatal flaw from Rick Riordan’s series. When Shotet soldiers capture him and his brother, Akos only cares about his brother getting out alive. When he and Cyra meet, their families and countries immediately clash. The two characters with unfortunate currentgifts must decide whether to help each other or not.

A more detailed description of the book is available on GoodreadsCarve the Mark is coming out on January 17th. I know more than one Divergent fan out there, so save the date! I look forward to seeing it at the library in a few weeks.

Alice

More Heartless Junk

❗️❗️❗️SPOILERS❗️❗️❗️

I already made a post to warn you. Now, you will see the spoiler in gigantic, bold font under this sentence and you will regret not subscribing to my blog and realizing that that stuff is important. And yes, that long sentence was for a reason. Please don’t kill me. Also, here’s the preview to Heartless if you’re interested.

 

 

 

[This is for your safety. I have skipped many lines to guard your eyes. I’m a kind person and I have warned you many times. DO NOT LOOK BEYOND THIS IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE BOOK!]

 

 

 

Alright, all the disgraceful people are gone. Let’s get this started.

So, you know how I totally died a while ago about Heartless? Well, I finished it in the car on the way to go hiking during Thanksgiving break. Yeah, I was in a terrible mood when I got back home.

Why would you kill the Joker?

Evil author, playing with everyone’s feels. Sir Peter murdered Jest just because he killed his monster wife. She was the Jabberwock! Cath and Jest went just to save Mary Ann, but Cath and Mary Ann weren’t even friends anymore. And then, Catherine is just like, “Mary Ann should’ve died. Mary Ann should’ve died. Mary Ann should’ve died.” So why did you go and save her?

She was about to become one of the queens of Chess. She was about to live a happy ending with Jest, but she just had to go and save Mary Ann, who betrayed her. Cath risked her life and her heart for a traitor. After Jest died, she didn’t even care about Mary Ann anyway. In the scene where the Sisters come to claim their payment, we see that her heart has a deep fissure and full of blackness and ashes. Her heart was so, so broken.

I wish Marissa Meyer could be like Gary Paulsen, who wrote Hatchet, then wrote an alternate ending, Brian’s Winter. He did this because he received many letters about his original ending in Hatchet. Readers wanted a more dramatic, satisfying ending, so Paulsen wrote Brian’s winter and two other books in Brian’s Saga. Maybe, if we write to Meyer, she will write another book in Cath’s universe. Who knows?

Well, I’m going to go wallow in my misery now. This post was really jumbled, but that’s how my mind felt after I closed the book.

Alice

A Warning for my Next Post

WARNING: SPOILERS IN MY NEXT POST!!!!!

If you haven’t read Heartless, get out. First, you are a disgrace because you didn’t read it yet (if you never knew it existed, shame on you, but I guess you’re fine.) If you knew about it and you DIDN’T read it, go to bedlam. Second, GO READ IT. Here’s the preview. Also, don’t look farther down this post, because I will be putting the link to the actual post that has spoilers, and you don’t want to see that.

Alright, here’s the post. Bye!

Alice

1 2 3