Thursday, July 31, 2014

BOOK REVIEW | The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima

Loved this book!

I rated it a 5 out of 5 on Goodreads!
Before getting into the blog, make sure to be on the look out on my channel for the July Wrap Up of books, and later my July Favorites because this book will be featured in both videos!

I thought it was a great beginning to a fantasy series, it did a wonderful job of setting up the world that hides within our world without a lot of exposition, instead you learn as the main character, Jack, learns about his new place in society. 
            A lot of people have complained about how slow going a lot of this book is since there’s so much you have to learn in order to set up the world, but I feel that in comparison to a lot of first in a series fantasy books, the learning curve and parts that describe the new world we are setting foot into, were fascinating, and made me want to learn more and therefore read faster.  They do a good job of giving you enough at that moment to know what’s going on but not bogging down on the details until you need them.  I think what made this easier was that we were learning as Jack learned about things that aren’t here in the real world.

I fell in love with Jack’s friends Will and Fitch.  They were great individuals; I thought they had so much “character” (don’t mind the pun) within each of them, that I could’ve been reading about each of their lives and I would have been just as happy as I was reading about Jack’s fantasy one.

I also really loved Beth, Jack’s mom.  The first time she’s described, I was just like HELL YEAH STRONG WOMEN!  I ended up being a little disappointed, because since Beth is “anaweir” or non-magic folk, she gets ignored and entranced and just completely forgotten about through out a lot of the book, even though Jack and Jack’s aunt really love Beth, she’s not a part of the action or anything having to do with the fantasy part of what they’re going through.  Even though Will and Fitch are, which I thought was weird… If they can be involved, why keep this awesome adult woman out of the loop?


… doo doo doo go away if you haven’t read the book yet! Doo doo doo…

I SAW IT COMING THAT ELLEN WAS GOING TO BE THE OTHER WARRIOR.  I was so proud of myself!  There’s a moment in the book where Jack says something to her and she suddenly mentions that she might not be coming back to school next year, after we already know that the tournament has been called for Jack to fight in.  In that moment I was like holy shit if there is another warrior and nobody is lying and there’s going to be a fight in this book, then it’s going to be her! HOW DOES HE NOT SEE IT!?

That’s what roamed through my head in that part of the book.  I just knew. 
What did you think about Ellen being the other warrior?  Did you see it coming?

Don’t forget to tune into the conversation about the book on Goodreads here! All the information about the live video about the book is listed in the same place!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

BOOK REVIEW | We Were Liars

I posted a new video on my channel yesterday about We Were Liars by E. Lockhart!

Check it out here

As you can tell, I was very excited to be talking about this book!  Don't worry if you haven't read the book yet; the first half of the video is spoiler free and I make it very clear when the spoilers are starting so you can click off if you don't want to hear them :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

MOVIE REVIEW | The Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

So I saw the movie Planet of the Apes. 

Overall I give this movie 3.5 out of 5 stars
Also, keep an eye out for a video review on my channel.  Subscribe to it here
Let me preface with this that I did enjoy the last one with James Franco.  I thought it was good; however, not so good to have any recollection of it as I watched this one.  And simply as a movie go-er, this movie was definitely entertaining.  It had plenty of action, you cared about the main characters, etc.

The movie starts off with watching the apes all hunting deer for food.  Including the gorillas… who are herbivores by the way, so that makes a lot of sense.  And then after they show some serious father-son bonding between chimps, the one (male) orangutan in the film is shown teaching young apes letters and words, etc.  Throughout the movie, all the apes sign to each other (ASL) as well as making natural ape sounds and eventually speaking English, which I thought was interesting.

But now for a moment I appreciated, being someone who knows a little about the anatomy of apes. 
When the apes come into contact with humans for the first time in years (within the same generation from the James Franco movie) the main ape, Caesar, yells at them “GO” which makes them run away.  And when the humans meet up with the leader scientist of the colony (Gary Oldman) in San Francisco, and tells him that Caesar spoke, he says “that’s impossible!” which I praised the writers for because they put in just a little bit of truth in this impossible story.  We know apes are capable of language, and understanding it. We also know that the anatomy of their voicebox doesn’t allow them to speak any of “our” human languages.

Now for the list of moments I wanted, and sometimes did, facepalm myself:

Caesar, his son, and his “wife” or “partner” were all light-faced.  There’s no such thing as a light faced chimp (as an adult). Chimps are born with light faces and when they reach maturity, their faces get as dark as their fur. So basically that family is a sub species of chimp that doesn’t exist.  That’s cool.

Caesar has a wife. Or assumed monogamous relationship with a female (who is sick for a lot of the movie).  Chimps, and most ape species, do not maintain male-female relationships.  The male chimp who is leading the community will mate with all females of the group who are mature.  The strongest bonds in a chimp community are mother-child.  Mothers will mourn for their children if they die unexpectantly, and children will do the same if/when their mothers die, whether or not they have reached maturity.  Sibling bonds are also strong.  But father-son bonds are non-existant.

The 3+ times Gary Oldman’s argument for warring with these apes was “THEY’RE JUST ANIMALS”
            We humans like to forget that we are animals.  We are part of the animal kingdom.  We are mammals.  And to make it even more exciting, we are 97% genetically identical to chimps (and bonobos).
            Not to mention that Gary Oldman’s character is supposed to be a scientist. So he should know these things, and that pisses me off even more.
            With all that being said, can we point out the fact that the apes in this movie aren’t “just animals” either… so why the actual fuck does this argument keep popping up.

That one random guy Carver being an asshole and bringing a gun with him when they go to fix the dam electricity and the baby finds it. Idiot.

Now for the few things I did like:

I really loved that every time the “bad” ape, Koba, disagreed with Caesar and eventually lost to Caesar’s dominance, Koba bent down with his hand raised waiting for Caesar’s touch. That was very realistic in what goes on in a group of chimps.

I also had a love/hate response to the scene with the humans, when they’re camping out waiting to start working on the dam they need to fix, and Carver, the man who is very afraid of these apes, and is very hostile towards them, starts blaming them for what’s happened to humanity and all the deaths that have occurred, and is basically calling for war and why don’t we just kill them, etc.  And Ellie, the love interest of the leader of the outing, reminds him that the genetic mutation that caused the deaths of billions of people were made by scientists… humans… and the apes didn’t really have a say in the matter of the beginning of this whole thing.  It was just a really good moment, even though Carver ends it by calling her a “hippie dippie animal lover” which is the negative part for me.  Right now, there’s this negative association to “hippies” and so calling her that might make people watching this movie not want to side with her, which is where you’re supposed to be (at least in my opinion).

Friday, July 4, 2014

This is What Happens When You’ve Never Rented an Apartment Before July 2014

            Matt and I have moved down into the LA area from Central California into an adorable studio apartment that we are certainly coming to love.  I am so glad to be back in what is essentially my home town where some of my friends still live, instead of moving away for college, and so I get to hang out with people I’ve missed for the last year.

And now I have a story to tell you:
The first two days in this apartment, we didn’t have gas. Which meant we didn’t have HOT WATER.  So we decided to borrow my mom’s shower at her house (where else would her shower be?) and let me tell you about the ridiculousness that happened there.  In her shower she had “men’s” shampoo and conditioner (probably my stepdad’s) and she had a good smelling shampoo and right next to it this little container that was basically smoothie cup sort of thing.  And in it is something that smells good and looks like possible homemade conditioner, so because there was no other conditioner that’s what I assumed it was, and used it.
So an hour later, Matt and I have left my mom’s and are on our way home.  As my hair was drying, it started to get CRUSTY! WHAT THE HELL.  So I tried to call my mom but of course she didn’t answer because she never does.  And I was combing my hands through my hair, and it started to get softer PHEW.  But wait there’s more!  Another hour passes and my hair is no longer wet, but it is oily as fuck.  And right about the same time I realized this fact, my mom finally calls me back.
“what the hell is in that little container next to the shampoo in the shower?!”
“oh that’s coconut oil. I use it to get my make up off at night.”
It was terrible.  I couldn’t easily wash it out because our water is freezing and it would’ve been the worst experience.  So I decided to wait to wash it out until the next day when our gas was scheduled to be turned on.

            In order to get all this nasty coconut oil out (to be honest I love coconut oil for the same reason my mom does, but not in my hair), I had to wash my hair twice. TWICE.  First I used my Lush “soak & float” that I love because it helps with dandruff.  Then I used a L’Oreal shampoo that I have I can’t remember the name of because it still felt SO oily.  But because I washed my hair twice, it felt like straw.  Luckily the corresponding L’Oreal conditioner is a pretty intense moisturizing one and it helped a heap.

This will forever be my memory for the beginning of Matt’s and my time in this wonderful apartment.