Saturday, September 16, 2006

Review: The Last Days by Scott Westerfeld

The Last Days by Scott Westerfeld
YA/Science Fiction

In Peeps we were first introduced to the parasite that turns people into modern day vampires, and we know a lot about the world in which they live from the main character, Cal. The Last Days is a different story. These five don't know much about the parasite, except for their singer who has experienced the effects, but doesn't know the cause. They just want to start up a band, but will they be able to do that in this world with more and more people contracting the parasite everyday and the apocalypse waiting just around the corner?

The characters in this book were great, all very original and interesting. And their slang made them sound like any other teenager. The book is set up so that each chapter is told from one of the band member's point of view, which constantly changes, making it a fun and different read. This is also the first band book I've ever read that I didn't hate, in fact, I loved it. I admit that I liked Peeps better, but this book was loved in a much different way, and is, like most of Westerfeld's books, one of my favorites. Although I also have to admit that I think it could have used a better ending, something with slightly more closure on the characters themselves, though it did bring things full circle.

Overall, a great read that teens will love, especially those teens who like vampire or band stories.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

For those in the Chicago area

Shine.FM has relaunched their book club. The book this month is Anonymous by Alicia Britt Chole. The book will be discussed at 8:10 every Friday morning throughout the month on Shine.FM (89.7) during the Rise and Shine morning show. There will also be give-a-ways during the discussion.

Coming up at the Homer Township Public Library:
September 26, 7pm: Teen techies
October 2, 7pm: Teen book club: The Red Cayak by Pricilla Cummings
October 17, 7pm: Local Author Fair
October 18, 7:30 pm: Adult book club: The Cave by Jose Saramago
October 22-28: Teen Read Week
November 15th, 7:30 pm: The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler
For more info, try these links: Homer Library Homepage, Teen Events, Teen Reviews, and The Homer Teens webpage.

Coming up at the Des Plaines Public Library:
October 10, 10:30 am: book discussion: Standing in the Rainbow by Fannie Flagg
October 12, 6:30 pm: book discussion: The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana by Umberto Eco

And don't forget the Online Library Book Discussion.

Monday, September 04, 2006


Yes, I heard that Steve Irwin died. It's really sad, because he wasn't just entertainment, he was educational. I do know that a lot of people watched him just for his crazy antics, funny dialouge, and to see when he'd get bit. But while we watched The Crocodile Hunter we learned more about the animals in the world. And he made it interesting, I wouldn't care half as much about that stuff if it were taught to me in school.

My mum had predicted for years that he'd die slipping on some soap in the shower. If you ask me, I think he'd much rather die this way than death by soap.

She told me and at first I was like "Crikey! No way!" and then after a minute or two I looked up at her and said, " wasn't soap then?" and we both smiled and laughed. Then I started quoting Steve Irwin.

But it's still really sad, I loved watching him and his crazy antics.

(for those who don't know: he was stabbed in the heart by a stingray)

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Why Sci-Fi?

Someone asked me recently "why scifi?"

Why do I write in the sci-fi/fantasy genre?
Science Fiction/Fantasy is interesting, and more fun to write. With things like mutants, parallel worlds, and space travel acceptable, there's a million possible stories that can be written.

Why not some realistic fiction?
Well, there's two reasons for that. The first is that the majority of real life is boring, dull, and monotonously mundane. The second is that my real life is pretty rough and I'm afraid I'll end up having an emo fest in a book. The reason I started writing was because I wanted to imagine things differently, not write about how they are with my life.

You've always wanted to write some historical fiction, why don't you do that?
This is simple: research. In sci-fi you can get away with pretending that engines can run on butter or something in the future, the facts don't all have to be, well, factual. I definately love looking up some things (like say, spiders or dictators), but I don't like looking up everything to make it work in with history. Why do you think The Conqueror takes place on a fictional island?

Besides, I love reading Sci-Fi/Fantasy and I know I say this all the time, but "the true key to being a good writer is being a good reader."

Saturday, September 02, 2006

July/August 2006 Reading List

July 2006
House of M volume 1 (comic trade)
Spider-Man: House of M (comic trade)
Peter Parker Spider-Man: A Day in the Life (comic trade)
Exiles: Earn Your Wings (comic trade)
New Mutants Volume 1: Back to School (comic trade)
Spider-Man: Wild Blue Yonder (comic trade)
Spider-Man: Blue (comic trade)

August 2006
Wetware by Mike Haydu (unpublished, I was editing it)
Ultra Maniac Vol 1 by Wataru Yoshizumi (manga)
Ultra Maniac Vol 2 by Wataru Yoshizumi (manga)
Ultra Maniac Vol 3 by Wataru Yoshizumi (manga)
Ultra Maniac Vol 4 by Wataru Yoshizumi (manga)
Ultra Maniac Vol 5 by Wataru Yoshizumi (manga)
Fruits Basket Vol 14 by Natsuki Takaya (manga)

As always, this list does not include individual comics (although I recommend the X-Factor series for YA/Adult) or books/short stories I had to read for school. As you can see, I haven't finished any (new) books lately. I'm still working on reading Predator's Gold by Philip Reeve (and I highly recommend it) and Specials by Scott Westerfeld (conclusion of the Uglies series).

August Wrap-Up

Wow, August sure went by fast! And I've been very busy with school starting, applying/visiting colleges, and more, so sorry for not posting. I've been meaning to post a bunch of this stuff, so I'll just roll it all into one big post.

"Personally I think we’ll never decide what a planet is. They’ll pass a definition, but for eternity people will challenge it and it’ll get revised until it’s a paper 3000 pages long and anything, everything, and nothing will all simultaneously be named “planets.”"-me commenting on Westerfeld's blog.

Pluto is no longer a planet, that was the final decision.

My english paper. The prompt was "Why is Paris Hilton important to American society?"

Another English paper, the prompt for this was "if you were a food, which would you be?" and was to be written like a college application essay.

And be sure to check out John Scalzi's blog. I read it when Scott Westerfeld was linking him on the Pluto thing and I got hooked.

Lastly, don't forget about Homer Teen Reviews. Get some good book recommendations and post some yourself.


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