Thursday, August 29, 2013

My Epic Summer - Or, Why I Haven't Been Posting Much Recently

Remember how I told you that I'd be posting lots over the summer? Well, I lied. I'm sorry. I've been away from wifi quite a bit, and I've been so busy, doing all sorts of exciting things...
I haven't posted as much over the summer as I would have liked, and I'm sorry for that. I have reasons for being absent, I swear! I've been having all sorts of fun, and now, I'm going to write a totally non-book-related and self-absorbed post to show you just how cool and fun my summer has been.
I've already posted about my trip to the midwest, and a promised pictures, too!
(All picture credits go to me, my Mom, or my Dad - we took a lot of them, and I can't remember who took what)

Chicago! This photo was taken from the steps of the art institute. 

Penguins from the Saint Luis zoo. Cute, huh?

I always thought the Saint Luis Arch would just be some sort of tourist trap, but I was amazed when I saw it - it's incredibly beautiful and so BIG! We saw it at sunset, and when we got to the top, the lights of the city where just coming on...

...A baseball game was playing in the diamond below, and you could even see the players on the field if you looked closely. The sun was setting over the city, and you could see the city streaching out for miles and miles. 

 This is just a cute little shed we saw at a gas station.

After I came back, I went to writer's camp - which is choc full of incredibly fun and awesome people. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures on my camera, and my phone crashes whenever I try to upload pictures from it. 
Next, I spent a week at my friend's house in the mountains. Yet again, I don't have pictures - but it was all about board games, ice-cold creeks, expeditions into abandoned buildings, long discussions on Portal, and pranks. 
Next, of course, the fair. 
Every year, my Mom and I spend a week at a county fair my grandfather helped found over 60 years ago. I've gone to the fair every year of my life, and it's very important to me. I volunteer, I pet cute animals, and I ride all the rides at a discount. I stay for a full week, and it's one of the highlights of my year.

The ferris wheel. The sign to the left says "Fried Dough" - a frank and accurate description. Mmm... Fried Dough. Blocked arteries, here I come!

The merry-go-round.

This ride is so scary - and so fun! It takes you up in the air, and then lets you drop in a free fall.
Ok, I'm done. I'd like to write more, but time is limited. If possible, I'll post more pictures later. 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Where Things Come Back - John Cory Whaley

So, for the first time in quite a while, I'm actually writing a post about books! 
I apologise for keeping all you lovely folks waiting so long, summer has been busier than I expected! 
The book that I'm reviewing today is Where Things Come Back, by John Corey Whaley. I read it on my trip out West, and admittedly, it probably wasn't the best vacation read. Yes, it was a quick read, but it was pretty intense, and defiantly manipulated my emotions! 
Things are pretty dull in Lilly, Arkansas, seventeen-year-old Cullen Witter's hometown - until the supposedly extinct Lazarus Woodpecker is spotted nearby, and his younger brother mysteriously disappears. As Cullen and his family desperately search for his missing brother, the town is thrown into a woodpecker craze, infuriating Cullen, who feels the attention should be given to finding his brother.
The novel is skillfully written, incorporating multiple storylines into the plot. The characters are vivid, and the story is full of surprises - melancholy and hopeful at the same time. I occasionally found the writing style somewhat awkward, but it didn't ruin the book for me. This book is a tearjerker. It's dream-like and touching and powerful, and the world needs more books like this.