Thursday, June 14, 2012

What I've Been Up To

Hello, everyone! I’m finally posting another of my sporadic updates on what I’ve been doing lately. First, though, I’d like to apologize for not doing one of these updates since April. I’m going to do my best both to stop letting procrastination get the best of me this summer and to do more worth blogging about!
  • I finished writing the novel around the middle of May that I started on Easter. It ended up being shorter than I expected, though I think it still turned out fairly well. I’m currently in the process of editing it. It’s going well, though much slower than I’d like, since I’ve had to make a lot of changes from the original draft.
  • I also started a new novel around the end of May, based on an idea that I’d been playing around with for a month or so. Like most of my novels, it’s set in another world, though this other world is very similar to medieval England. It’s about a girl who’s grown up in a wealthy family, and thus is expected to be the perfect lady, wear the latest styles, attend social events, and think about who she’s going to marry. My main character, however, isn’t at all interested in this, and would much rather spend her time out in the forest. When her father is kidnapped, she goes looking for him and ends up, of course, on the adventure of a lifetime. It’s going fairly well, though slower than I’d like.
  • During the past two or so weeks, my family also went on our annual trip to the Allegheny National Forest in Pennsylvania. I had a lot of fun, especially since most of the hiking trails we did were ones I liked. It also helped that the weather was much nicer than it’s been in previous years, which meant we did a lot of marshmallow-roasting! Also, as you may remember, when we went to the area last October, I lost one of my arrows. Well, when we went back this year, we found it! (Actually, Mommy found it.) The tip is a bit rusty, but overall, it’s in surprisingly good condition.
  • Speaking of archery, on May 5, my sister and I went to a one-time archery class. It was very interesting, and I learned a lot, including that I’d been shooting with my non-dominant eye. It also made me want a new bow, a recurve bow to be exact. What’s a recurve bow? Well, you may know what a longbow looks like. It’s the kind that people like Robin Hood and Legolas use in movies. A recurve bow is similar, but the ends curve back.
  • I’ve also been doing the summer challenge from the Focus on the Family Clubhouse magazine with my sister. The challenge is to earn points by doing different types of exercise, and the goal is to earn 260 points by the end of August. So far, I’ve learned that when it comes to getting points, hiking is better than walking, and that jumping rope is more strenuous than it looks.
Well, that’s all for now. Thanks for waiting so patiently for this post!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Mockingjay Review

Author: Suzanne Collins

"Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. Gale has escaped. Katniss's family is safe. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol. District 13 really does exist. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding.

It is by design that Katniss was rescued from the arena in the cruel and haunting Quarter Quell, and it is by design that she has long been part of the revolution without knowing it. District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol. Everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plans- except Katniss.

The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss's willingness to become a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebels' Mockingjay- no matter what the personal cost."

Characters: I’m honestly not sure what to say about the characters. On one hand, like in the previous two books, they seemed to come to life as the book progressed. On the other hand, I disliked the fact that half the time, I didn’t know who it was safe to trust, and many main characters who I knew were supposed to be good (*cough* KATNISS *cough*) make some pretty bad choices. The characters were realistic, yes, but in this case, the realism seemed disappointing.

Location: Good. The settings were fairly easy to envision, as well as being fairly interesting. I didn’t get confused as to where places were in relation to other places. I will note that occasionally, I did get confused as to when things happened in relation to other events.   

Plot: I have mixed feelings about the plot. On one hand, it does a good job of finishing up the trilogy. It’s full of twists and quite fast-paced. Like Catching Fire, however, it almost seems too fast-paced in some parts. Also, I will note that a lot of people die, making it almost a little depressing at times, and the last few chapters seemed a little rushed.

Other: While The Hunger Games was the type of book you can’t put down, and Catching Fire you could put down but you didn’t really want to, this seemed like the kind of book that you have to take a short break from every so often to keep yourself from being overwhelmed. I definitely do not consider it the best in the series.

Overall Rating: 3/5