Category Archives: Reading

MY Hunger Games Cast (work in progress!)

For those of you who haven’t heard, The Hunger Games is an AMAZING trilogy by Suzanne Collins that’s quickly rising in popularity since it first got published in 2008.

Long story short, in a post-apocalyptic North America a battle called the Hunger Games takes place every year. 2 people (tributes) from each of the twelve districts are chosen to fight to the death in an ever-changing arena, all because of the all-powerful Capitol. This story has everything from romance (my favorite!), action, suspense, violence, and thrills. And it’s comparable to it’s other popular counterparts, such as Twilight and Harry Potter.

So I just finished Catching Fire, and that cliff-hanger almost left me tearing my hair out, you know what I mean? All that’s left to do now is wait for Mockingjay to come in from Amazon.com. A tip from me would be to always buy books online, from retailers like Amazon.com, because you can usually save much more money than buying them straight from the bookstore. You have to wait a few days for shipping, but in the end you still end up getting a book either way!

Lately,there’s been a lot of talk about The Hunger Games movie coming out in 2011. I watched a special on Youtube about it, and in the video they were talking about possible actresses who might possibly be playing the leading lady, Katniss Everdeen. The first consideration?

Kristen Stewart.

Okay, I have nothing personal against Kristen Stewart and all, and I actually think she’s a fine actress. But really? She’s already been labeled as Bella Swan from Twilight , and I don’t think many of her die-hard fans could bear to see her with anyone but Edward. And since I’m entitled to my own opinion, I just don’t really feel that she’d be right on playing Katniss. I’ve seemed to develop some sort of  special “bond” with this character, like how hopefully many other readers have. Admittedly, she does look a lot like Katniss, but I have a few other people in my mind who would be perfect on playing this and many other accompanying roles from the story.

Right. So here are my picks for a perfect Hunger Gamescast! Feel free to fantasize and mix and match your favorite choices(note: only characters from The Hunger Games and Catching Fire will be present, for I haven’t read the last one. Updates will probably come sooner of later :))

KATNISS EVERDEEN

olive skin, straight black hair usually done up in a braid, gray eyes, 16 years old, impulsive, protective

 

Kaya Scodelario

 

PEETA MELLARK

16 years old, charming, “ashy blond hair that falls in waves over his forehead”, blue eyes, “medium height with stocky build”, natural ability to perform on camera, can easily manipulate the audience, even-tempered, selfless

 

Jeremy Sumpter

 

GALE HAWTHORNE

good-looking, strong, straight black hair, olive skin, gray eyes, 18 years old, great hunter and handy with traps, persevering, headstrong

 

Jenson Ackles

 

HAYMITCH ABERNATHY

“paunchy, middle-aged man”, drunkard, sarcastic, forward, highly respected by Katniss and develops a bond with him for they share the same views and feelings about the Hunger Games, strategic

 

Russell Crowe

 

PRIMROSE EVERDEEN

fair skin, blond hair and blue eyes, small physique, a face “as fresh as a raindrop, as lovely as the primrose for which she was named”.

 

Elle Fanning

For your fantasizing pleasure ❤

 

Books on my desk.

On my desk, there is a pile of books. That pile consists of:

  1. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
  2. The Success Principles for Teens by Jack Canfield and Kent Healy
  3. Year Million edited by Damien Broderick
  4. Seventeen Magazine August 2010

Let me explain to you my connection with each one of these books.

  1. To tell you the truth, I am hopelessly confused on my summer reading book, Treasure Island. (refer to Summer Reading post) In an attempt to try and make the reading more understandable, I bought the audiobook from one of my iTouch apps, hoping to listen to the story rather than read it. Well, that proved to be a rather unaffective idea. This is why. Sometimes I would play the audiobook while I was reading along inside Treasure Island, which gave my mind something to concentrate on. By both reading and listening, I was able to really understand what was happening. Other times though, I would close my eyes and listen to the audiobook, hoping to imagine what was happening in the story  inside my head. Not such a good idea. The first few minutes would be fine, and I would be following along with the narrator just dandy. But then, my mind would start to wander off unintentionally. Here are the internal thoughts I am having in my head as I try to listen to my summer reading, but utterly fail: OK, so Jim Hawkins is suspecting Israel Hands to attack him….right……uhuh…..hmmm…(mind starts wandering right now) I wonder what I’m going to have for breakfast tomorrow? Maybe some oatmeal? What do I feel like…Ohh, this bed is so comfy, I had such a long day….(realizes that I’m not listening to the book) Wait, the story!! So now Jim and Mr. Hands are fighting…..Just stare at the ceiling so you don’t fall asleep…….wait, what is Jim talking about? Something about a dirk? What’s a dirk?…….(dozing off) won’t fall asleep…won’t.. fall…(sound asleep)  Finally, twenty minutes later, I awaken, only to find out that the narrator is 4 chapters ahead from where I started, and I have lost my place in the book. Because of this, I have to reread the whole chapter again, to get what’s going on. It seems that I’m more for the old-fashioned reading than listening! Either that, or audiobooks are meant for when you’re washing the dishes or sitting in the car, not tucked in in your warm bed, a little sleepy, at 10 pm, in your pajamas. I really believe that Treasure Island is a great classic, but I just wish that I had been able to understand it better!
  2. “You can achieve anything if you put your mind into it.” Everyone’s familiar with those kinds of inspiring quotes and statements that make you want to work for something in life. Well, The Success Principles:For Teens (they also have one for adults) are all those quotes and more wrapped up into one big hunk of a package! Basically, the 2 authors lay out the 20 Success Principles needed to, well, become successful. Trust me, after you’re done reading this, you’ll feel like you can become and succeed anything. It’s like an adrenaline rush FOR YOUR MIND!(isn’t that awesome?) Kent Healy and Jack Canfield’s book shows you just how to “get from where you are to where you want to be.”
  3. Even though I’ve only gotten the chance to read part of the introduction for this book, it is already extremely thought-provoking. It predicts how humanity will be doing in a couple hundred years, and how we would have evolved. It’s hard to wrap your mind around the whole idea, though, but imagination can only take us so far. And apparently, we might even end up looking like “The Gray” alien. Weird, right?
  4. 4. Seventeen Magazines are one of my favorite magazines. (The same goes to millions of other teenage girls!) They give you fashion, beauty, celebrities, advice, and health tips. What more could a typical teenage girl ask for? Every week, they give you a really helpful section which provides workout and eating plans to help you get and stay fit. But this week, I hit the jack pot. Instead of the usual fold-out 1 week workout plan, they made a fun and different 6 week workout plan complete with eating tips and success stories from three inspiring girls! It was a bonus mag, I think is what they called it. What they do is that they give you 6 very distinct and varied workouts, one for each week, and also some cardio and “17 tips”. The success stories I mentioned earlier really motivates you to get into your best shape, too. Some of the workouts include yoga, dancing, and piloxing (a cross between pilates and boxing=piloxing) The true purpose of this though is to whip you into shape without getting boring and monotonous. It’s very rewarding when you’ve finished!


Summer Reading: Is It Really Necessary??

Coming from a teenager, an annual event that we call summer vacation happens after every 10 months of a whole school year working our butts off. And to us, this means freedom, fun, and sun! And when someone asks “What time is it?” after the long-anticipated final ring of the school bell, we all ring out “SUMMER-TIME!” Not “SUMMER-READING!” No. That there is just a downer to our youthful ears.

It’s not like we teenagers absolutely despise the idea of getting down and quiet by reading, because some people like me actually love to read a good book. I think we just dislike the thought of how school is still managing to maintain a firm control on us even during our vacation.And they do just that by assigning us summer reading. What happens in summer reading is this: our school gives us a certain book to read over the summer depending on our level in literacy. Usually we have to accompany some kind of note-taking or essay along with our reading, but this year we didn’t (Thank God). But we do have a series of projects and tasks that welcomes us back into our new school year when we return.

Vacation:(n) an extended period of recreation.

Recreation:(n) activity done for enjoyment when no one is not working

Now look at those definitions. STUDY those terms. (like NOT WORKING-specifically on summer reading). In my opinion, I think that the school district should just give us a break. That’s what vacation is all about, isn’t it? I mean, can’t they handle not assigning any homework for just 2 months? That’s all we schoolers ask.

But then again, summer reading may also not be that bad. We just have to read one book within a 2 month time period. And that could be the only book we read in those two months, and off we go playing on the beach. It also makes sure our brains don’t completely shut down the moment school ends, because that would be pretty unfortunate if we all came back forgetting  10 months worth of education in just 1/5 of that time! Summer reading also introduces us to more difficult books as we get older, so that what we’re reading is mutual to our age and learning. It may even let us try out new book genres that we’ve never considered reading before!

So what do you think of summer reading? Do you think it is worthwhile? Or is it just another homework assignment?

To give you some examples, here are the 7th grade going into 8th summer reading list for our school this year.

Last Shot by John Feinstein

Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane

Shabanu by Suzanne Fisher Staples

Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry

Advanced Students

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side by Eric Schlosser

I’m in advanced, so I chose to read Treasure Island, because I’m absolutely in love with fantasy-adventurey books like that. Plus it’s a classic. Right now, I’m on page 109, Chapter XII. And I have 234 more pages to go, and only 8 more days to read them. Since this is a summer reading book, I can only borrow it for 2 weeks, as oppose to 1 month. So as I’m trying to read through this, I’m having a little hard time because of the, what I call, “old world language.”(But then again, I’m a teen, so everything is pretty much a haul right now) I guess you could say that I’m carefully picking up on the main ideas and getting along, with the help of my trusty dictionary beside me. But it’s not really helping that they’re talking in pirate speak, too. I stumbled across the word sittyated at the beginning of the book, and I was basically thrown off for awhile.

“This is a handy cove,”says he at length, “and a pleasant sittyated grogshop.” -Treasure Island

After googling, I finally realized that sittyated meant situated, but it was just spelled accordingly to how I pirate would apparently say it. I had a pretty amusing time with the word grogshop, too. (grogshop- a place where spirits (originally rum) are sold)

Reading can be such an adventure in itself. It’s already worn me out!