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Happy First Day of Spring!.

The above link is to a blog written by my dear friend, Lisa. It is dedicated to picture books. I always love her recommendations – they are always on the mark! Please check out her blog!

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Posted by on March 20, 2013 in Literature

 

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A million reasons to love Beth Revis

Okay, I don’t really have a million reasons, but I do have very two big ones: Across the Universe and A Million Suns.

Across the UniverseHonestly, I didn’t think I would ever read the first book. The title actually dissuaded me a little because I thought, “Well, here’s someone else trying to capitalize off  the Beatles.” But the day of its release, I read a synopsis of it on my nook and it sounded right up my alley. So I downloaded it and started reading in bed. I was so enthralled with it that I was pissed when my eyes betrayed me and decided to close up shop for 8 hours.

The worst part about any first book in a series is waiting for the next installment to come out. I’ve had friends who’ve purposefully put off reading the Harry Potter series until all 7 books were released, just so that there was no waiting. Sure, I like instant gratification, but I also kind of like all that anticipation, even though it can backfire (see yesterday’s post).

A Million SunsAfter 51 weeks of waiting, I finally got A Million Suns, the second book in the Across the Universe trilogy. Just like its predecessor, it drew me in and didn’t let go until the very end.

The book picked up a few months later from when the last book left off. Everyone on board the ship has been taken off Phydus. Complacency is no longer a norm. The Recorder Hall is filled with people every day who want to learn more about life on Earth and other topics like history and science. But with this curiosity for knowledge comes rebellion and the questioning of authority. Bartie, once a friend of Elder’s, calls for him to step down, to let a real leader emerge. Bartie doesn’t get much following at first, but once people start getting murdered, more join the ranks. Elder tries to balance between giving people freedom and controlling them so they don’t descend into complete chaos and he still plans on getting to Centari-Earth, no matter what.

Amy, meanwhile, starts exploring Godspeed more closely than before, even though things are far from safe. Luthe (now Luthor) still roams free and Amy fears he will attack her again. But Amy’s stubbornness to learn the truth will not let her stay safely locked up in the hospital. Soon she discovers secret stairwells and containment chambers, as well as clues left behind by Orion. The clue lead her and Elder to Godspeed’s biggest secret. But there’s someone on board the ship who will do anything to make sure it stays a secret. Anything.

There’s not much more that I can say about what happens in the book without spoiling it all. What I can say is this: it far exceeded my expectations. Once again, descriptions of the ship were so well written that I was able to clearly picture in my mind the new sections that were introduced. As more and more secrets of Godspeed were uncovered, the more I wanted to keep reading.

The third and final installment, Shades of Earth, is due out January 2013. It cannot come soon enough.

 
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Posted by on June 28, 2012 in Literature

 

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Imagination is good, but this is too far

I’ll admit it: I love watching children’s movies.  One of my favorite movies ever is Follow That Bird with the Sesame Street cast.  Another all-time favorite of mine is The Chipmunk Adventure in which Alvin, Simon, and Theodore race the Chipettes around the world and unknowingly smuggle diamonds to various countries.  One movie I like even more than both of those together is Polly, which stars Keshia Knight Pulliam.  It’s a twist on the Pollyana story, set in the South in the 50s and includes, in my opinion, a lot of good music.

So I’ve seen my fair share of children’s movies in my lifetime.  I wanted to see Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs when it came out (I liked the first two) but Fred refused to go.  I tried to persuade him again when it was released on DVD but he stood his ground.  Recently, though, he started back at school, which guarantees me two nights a week of being on my own.  So I rented Ice Age 3 and eagerly sat down to watch it.

I should have listened to Fred.

It was bad.  Really bad.  For those who haven’t seen it (don’t!), the basic plot is that Sid the Sloth finds dinosaur eggs and decides to take care of them.  They hatch and mama dinosaur tries to get her babies back but in the process kidnaps Sid.  She takes him underground and the rest of the gang follows to try to rescue him.

Here’s the thing: I knew that dinosaurs were dead before the Ice Age but I thought the movie would have just one or two who somehow survived and perhaps they could explain away the little “glitch”.  Nope.  Not even close.  When the gang goes underground to find Sid, they pass through tons of feet of snow and then, ta-da!  They’re magically in an underground world where there are all kinds of dinosaurs, plants for them to eat, and even a sun which rises and sets like the one above Earth.

Really?  How stupid do they think their audience is?  I know that it’s a children’s movie but children need adult supervision when going to the movies, so let’s say about a third of the audience is going to be an adult.  And from what I remember from my childhood, a lot of boys in elementary school loved dinosaurs and read everything there was printed about them.  So I think we should give a little credit to the younger audience’s knowledge.  But for the rest of the crowd who doesn’t know the scientific impossibility of the movie, it has done a huge disservice to their education.  Oh, they may find it funny (though I didn’t laugh a single time), but the image of a secret dinosaur land during the Ice Age is stored in their observant little brains.  What happens when they learn about dinosaurs and the Ice Age later?  Are they going to stubbornly think that they coexisted because of a movie?  I hope not, but it is possible.*

I let myself fall asleep during the movie so I don’t know how it ended and, frankly, I don’t care.  If you have kids, I suggest you keep them away from this movie.  If it’s just you, I suggest you stay away from it as well.  There are a lot of other movies out there; movies that encourage imagination and knowledge of the world.  Don’t waste their time or your own.

*More possible than an underground world with its own sun.

 
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Posted by on September 7, 2010 in Entertainment, Rants

 

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