Monday, September 28, 2009

Glitter is the herpes of craft supplies

I am totally gonna make something like this (from Because Studio):


Isn't it just awesome? The saying is actually part of a Demitri Martin stand up routine:
"The thing about glitter is: If you get it on you, be prepared to have it on you forever, because glitter doesn’t go away. Glitter is the herpes of craft supplies."

I'll probably use glitter paper to keep down the mess, but I'm adding this one to me to-do list for sure.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Devouring

Title: The Devouring
Author: Simon Holt
Genre: YA Horror



Publisher: Little, Brown Young Readers
Publishing Date: June 1, 2009
Paperback: 256 pages

Stand Alone or series: First book in a planned series.

Summary: (from Goodreads)
When dark creeps in and eats the light,
Bury your fears on Sorry Night.
For in the winter's blackest hours,
Comes the feasting of the Vours,
No one can see it, the life they stole,
Your body's here but not your soul..."


THE VOURS: Evil, demonic beings that inhabit human bodies on Sorry Night, the darkest hours of the winter solstice.

When Reggie reads about the Vours in a mysterious old journal, she assumes they are just the musings of an anonymous lunatic. But when her little brother, Henry, begins to act strangely, it's clear that these creatures exist beyond a madwoman's imagination, and Reggie finds out what happens when fears come to life.

To save the people she loves, Reggie must learn to survive in a world of nightmares. Can she devour her own fears before they devour her?

The Devouring is an engrossing tale of terror that will have you wondering: what if your worst fears became your living nightmare?

Review:

This book is all about horror.

The main character, Reggie, loves it. Her and her best friend, Aaron, have read and seen almost every horror book and movie there is and Reggie even works at a book store that specialize in all things “gothic, gruesome, and grisly.” Reggie figures if she “practices” being scared then she will be better prepared for the real thing. (I don’t think I need to point out that it doesn’t work that way.)

Then one day Reggie comes across an interesting old book. Styled like a journal, the book is about a new type of creature called the Vours that take over human bodies. At first she dismisses the story of as a work of fiction, but then her brother Henry starts acting strange. And when I say strange, I mean like that creepy little boy in Pet Cemetery strange.

And here is where the story really begins.

Reggie and Aaron must then try to figure out exactly what the Vours are and how to defeat them with only a mad woman’s journal to guide their way. Will they be able to overcome their own fears in order to save Henry? Only time will tell.

Notable Quotes/ Parts:

From page 188:

“Ever smell a rose, Aaron? Really smell it? Put your nose to the petals and breathed it in? The aroma is intoxicating. Do you know why?”

The Vour limped forward again. The ice crunched beneath its feet.

Because if you bury your nose deep and breathe through the life of a rose, through the flesh and the earth and the beauty, you smell the death inside.” The Vour breathed deeply. “It doesn’t think, not like humans, but it feel. It feels the end of its life looming almost as soon as it blossoms. And it fears. A rose’s perfume is the terror of its own approaching death. I smell that on you tonight. Thick as blood.”

Verdict:

Loved it. The strongest aspect of this story is the fast plot pacing. The story moves along so quickly that the frightening aspects of the story never have time to really wear off.

The pacing also does a lot to hide the fact there is not too much characterization going on. I mean, the character with the most dimension is Reggie’s mother and she’s not even actually in the book (she abandoned the family and Reggie and her brother are still dealing with that loss in the story). I didn’t really mind the one dimensional characters too much though cause the Vours were written so well but I will be disappointed if there’s no growth in the next book.

I also thought the ending was a bit unsatisfying, but that’s not too surprising since the author left the door open for the next book. There were just a few major threads I would have like to see tied up a little better before the end.

That being said, I thought the horror aspects of the book were great. It was scary without trying too hard. And even though a psycho carnival is pretty unoriginal, it definitely suited the fears of a young boy.

Side note: look at the cover difference. The one of the left is the new GORGEOUS cover, but the one on the right is the one I checked out from the library. Goes to show a cover can make all the difference.

Rating: 8

Friday, September 18, 2009

Spell with Flickr

I've been a bad blog mistress I know. I've just been a lot busier with school than I thought (even my other blog has suffered) and this area of my life is always the first to suffer.

Well, besides housework.

I also wasn't able to get to the library till today so I've been book free all week. It was the first time in a long time I didn't have anything new on hand to read and I did not enjoy it one bit.

And by "not enjoy" I mean barely survived without tearing all my hair out.

I will have so more posts up soon, but until then I wanted to share this Spell with Flickr website I stumbled across today.




Not bad right?

The site is pretty self explanatory. You just type in anything you like and the website will spell it out using letters from Flickr. If you don't like any of the letters you got, you can click on it till you find one you like.

I'm thinking this might be perfect for an ABC project for Holden's room. :)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

"Tree of Time"

I finally finished my latest picture and I thought I'd share it (cause that's what I do...mostly).

I posted a work in progress a few weeks ago, but just in case the world doesn't hang on every word I type, I should point out that this picture from an Anthropolie catalogue was my main inspiration:

IMG_0137

I got to say I'm liking it. As usual it looks better in person, but I like how it's kind of eerie. The words are, "In certain lights we all look the same," which I got from the song "Shame" by Matchbox Twenty.

My only problem is I feel like something is missing. I can't really explain it, but it's driving me a little crazy.

...Anyhoo, there you have it.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Blood Promise

I just finished reading Blood Promise and I’m both happy and a bit disappointed. There are already tons of book reviews on this book so I’m really just gonna cover the issues I had with this book. I do want to say upfront that I did enjoy the book, even if this post may sound otherwise.

If you haven’t read Blood Promise yet, or don’t want any spoilers, you might not want to keep reading.



My main problem with Blood Promise is with the overall story. I know that sounds a bit harsh, but at the end of the book we’re in the exact same position we were in when we started. Only now, we’ve spent a few hundred pages grieving and saying goodbye to a loved character only to have it thrown back in our face.

Does that sound a bit bitter? Maybe it’s because I realized that when I closed the book at the end of Blood Promise all I felt was a bit emotionally exploited. I mean, this entire book was about saying goodbye to Dimitri. That’s the plot. The story. And in the end, all those tears and all those tough decisions were pointless.

It ultimately felt like Mead was pandering to her YA Dimitri/Rose base with this book and I thought it really hurt the overall story (though the next book could prove me wrong of course).

I did love the way Mead showed Dimitri was a completely different person now that he’s Strigoi, but I just don’t see what the point in bringing his character back is. We grieved for him at the end of the last book, we grieved for him all through this book, and then we had to grieve while we watched Rose finally get the strength to do the right thing and kill him. Then we find out it was all for nothing.

Again, I feel emotionally exploited.

I also don’t understand why people are so quick to assume that Dimitri will be back to his old self if Rose and Lissa do somehow find a way to bring him back. I mean, if he’s his old self won’t it be hard to live with the fact he’s killed innocent people for the sake of his appetite? I’d like to think the old Dimitri would actually be bothered by that. I also find the idea that somehow two teenagers are supposed to accomplish what many many people must have of tried to do before is a bit of a stretch (but I’m sure it will somehow happen).

Really, the only character who grows at all in this book is Adrian. I have to say that I’m for Adrian and Rose all the way, but Mead’s effort to make him a more endearing character makes me worried for future books. This has the unpleasant flavor of a love triangle. And if there’s something I hate, it’s definitely doomed love triangles. (Getting a little Twilighty for my taste in this department.) I think it’s obvious to everyone, besides die hard Dimitri fans, that Rose has some unexplored feelings towards Adrian, but I don’t see how Mead can give them any room for growth with Dimitri always hanging over everyone’s head.

I also thought Lissa once again got the short end in the story when really her minor plotline was much more exciting than the monotony Rose was participating in. I thought the issues with Avery and Rose’s feelings of jealousy regarding Adrian could have been better explored (maybe we could have one less Dimitri and Rose flashback and more Avery time). The issue with Christian and Lissa was a bit over-inflated for the sake of drama for the story in my opinion. If they don’t quickly get back together then I’m sure it will only be because it’s a better way to torture readers and not because the characters can’t really get their shit together.

And does anyone else have a hard time accepting Rose just waltzing right back into her old life? I just don’t see why Rose would be allowed to be Lissa’s guardian when it’s obvious Rose will not be able to put Lissa first. I’m not necessarily saying that’s a bad thing. I just think this is an issue that needs some serious consideration (though now that I think about it I’m sure the queen will say just that).

Even though this book was definitely the weakest out of all the Vampire Academy’s, I will still keep reading this series. I would be lying though if I didn’t admit to worrying about it turning into too much of a fan-driven story like Twilight did. Let’s just hope that’s not the case.

Contact Me

This is still a work in progress

Email: alanagkelly@yahoo.com

Where to Find Me:

Facebook
Goodreads
Flickr
Twitter (though I just joined to follow other people, so I don’t update)