Monday, April 30, 2012

What's Up in April

Hello, everyone! As you can see, I’m finally posting an update on what I’ve been doing this month. Sorry for taking so long to get around to it.
  • ·        I had fun this Easter. We went to church, and then we went to a friend’s house for lunch. I had a lot of fun there, especially since I got to play Settlers of Catan, a board game that I really enjoy.
  • ·        My writing has been going well. If you remember from my last news post, I was writing two short stories at the beginning of the month and trying to finish them by Easter. I succeeded, and so I started a novel on Easter. That novel is going very well. I’ve been able to keep up my goal of ten pages a day, which means I’m about halfway done and having a lot of fun.
  • ·        Although I haven’t been doing much photography, I did enter some photos in the a photo contest that I’ve entered in for the past few years. This year, one of my photos, Cherry Blossoms, won best in show for the youth category, and several of my other pictures also won ribbons. You can see the winning pictures on my blog here.
  • ·        School is going well. We’re finishing things up for the year and getting ready for the end-of-year tests. I’m pretty excited about school ending and about most of my summer plans.
  • ·        I semi-recently (around the end of Easter week) read The Hunger Games for the first time. Although I was a little unsure at first, I really enjoyed it and am eagerly looking forward to reading its sequel once we can get it. I’ll be posting a review of it once I finish posting reviews of books by Andrew Klaven, a new favorite author of mine.
Well, that’s about it. Thanks for reading and for waiting so patiently for a post.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Photo Expo Winners

Hello, everyone! Recently, I entered some photos in a local photo expo. I received multiple ribbons, including a youth best in show! These are the photos that received ribbons.

Cherry Blossoms- Won first place and youth best in show
Screaming Hawk- Won second place
Hero's Face- Won third place
Flower Center- Won honorable mention
Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Truth of the Matter Review

Author: Andrew Klaven

""Never give in."
Ever since he woke up in a terrorist torture chamber- with a year of his life erased from his mind- Charlie West has been on the run. He has one desperate hope of getting his life back: track down the mysterious agent named Waterman. But in fact, reaching Waterman- and recovering the secrets lost in his own memory- will only increase his danger. Because a team of ruthless killers is rapidly closing in on him, determined to stop him from finding the answers. And the truth of the matter is more incredible . . . and more deadly . . . than he could ever imagine."

Characters: Incredible! The characters are easy to visualize, sometimes frighteningly so. I was glad that we finally find out about whether certain characters are good or bad. I was also amazed by how well the author makes you feel what Charlie’s feeling.

Location: Good. Like the previous books, it was clear and easy to visualize. Nothing struck me as spectacular, though I did find Waterman’s hideout to be interesting.    

Plot: Amazing! Many questions are finally answered, though there are still some uncertainties left. The plot is fast-paced and intense, and extremely exciting.

Other: Wow! That’s all I can say about this book, which is probably the best yet in the series.

Overall Rating: 5/5

Friday, April 20, 2012

Author: Andrew Klaven
Sometimes you have to go home to find out who you really are.

Charlie West went to bed one night an ordinary high school student. He woke up a hunted man. Terrorists are trying to kill him. The police want to arrest him for the death of his best friend. He doen'st know whose side he's on or who he can trust. With his pursuers closing in on every side, Charlie makes his way back to his hometown to find some answers. There, holed up in an abandoned mansion, he's joined by his friends in a desperate attempt to discover the truth about a murder he can't remember- and a love he can never forget.
Characters: Amazing! The characters are realistic, and the good guys are thoroughly likeable. I was also very glad that I got to know Charlie’s friends a bit better, as well as Charlie himself.

Location: Good. Like the previous book, nothing spectacular, but the locations were clear and easy to visualize.  

Plot: Even better than the first. This book is exciting, but also funny, with almost more plot twists than The Last Thing I Remember. You definitely won’t be able to put it down.

Overall Rating: 4/5

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Last Thing I remember Review

Author: Andrew Klaven
"Charlie West just woke up in someone else's nightmare.

He's strapped to a chair. He's covered in blood and bruises. He hurts all over. And a strange voice outside his door just ordered his death.

The last thing he can remember, he was a normal high-school kid doing normal things- working on his homework, practicing karate, daydreaming of becoming an air force pilot, writing a pretty girl's number on his hand. How long ago was that? Where is he now? Who is he really?

And more to the point . . . how is he going to get out of this room alive?" 

Characters: Very good. The main character, Charlie, is realistic, likeable, and even familiar-seeming despite his unusual circumstances. And though there are many characters who you only get a glimpse of, you get a feel for them very quickly in those glimpses.

Location: Good. Though nothing stood out to me as spectacular, the locations were clear and well-described. In most cases, I could easily picture what was happening and where the characters were.

Plot: Wow. This plot is fast paced and exciting, with plenty of twists and turns to keep you hanging. This is one book you definitely won’t want to put down.

Other: Before I read this, when I thought of action-adventure type books, I thought of Ted Dekker and the Alex Rider series. This, however, blows them both out of the water.

Overall Rating: 4/5

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Blame

Forced to die
A criminal’s death,
Though in all things
You were innocent.

Turned against and denied;
Beaten and betrayed,
By those who You loved;
Those who You made.

And who shares in their guilt?
Certainly not I!
I was not there
When You were sentenced to die.

It was not I
Who called out from the crowd;
It was not I
Who denied you aloud.

I did not drive
The nails in Your hands;
I did not help
In the Pharisee’s plans.

And yet, perhaps I
Share some of the blame,
Though I did not live
In the time that You came.

For it was I
Who sinned against You;
And it was I
Who tried to go without You.

It was indeed I
Who went my own way,
And it was I
Whose sins You did pay.

Yes, it was my sins
That You bore on the tree.
It was because of those sins
That You died for me.

And yet even though my sins
Led to Your death,
You still forgave me
In Your final breath.

And when You said
That it was done,
Those sins were wiped clean
The battle was won.

You died for us all,
For we all share in the blame,
But for those who trust You,
There is no shame.

And when the last trumpet sounds
And the world is made new
Those who accept Your forgiveness
Will have a home with You.

Simply because
You loved us so much
That you carried our sins
In Your death on the cross.

"For He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed."
-Isaiah 53:5