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"To read a book for the first time is to make an acquaintance with a new friend; to read it for a second time it to meet an old one." - Chinese Saying

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight


The best thing about long weekends: all of the time you can spend reading. I love to procrastinate my homework until the last possible minute so I can enjoy other past times like reading. I just finished a book called The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E Smith. It officially gets published in February of 2012, but because I am part of a special group at school, we get to read advanced reader copies or galleys. Back to the book.

Summary: Hadley Sullivan is a seventeen year old girl who is traveling to England to see her father get remarried. She misses her first flight by four minutes, and then meets a cute boy named Oliver who is on the next flight (the flight she will now be taking) to England. They chat and get to know each other a little, and over the course of a twenty four hour period fall in love.

I give this book a three, because while I enjoyed it, it is a fluffy girly book. If this was made into a movie, I would put it in the same category as 27 Dresses. I love that movie, but again, its fluffy and girly. The main character, Hadley, can sometimes be whiny and an irratating narrator, but I love the plot, and often during the father daughter moments, both past and present, I have teared up. New relationships form, old ones are repaired, this is a story of the heart, and how a girl finds her way home to her own heart. One of my favorite aspects to the whole book is obviously the guy. Oliver is sweet, funny and caring, and just wonderful. He is always looking out for Hadley, trying to distract her when she has her claustrophobic episodes, and makes her feel better. He says to her that she makes him feel better too.

Favorite Quote: "'Right,' he says. 'I feel incredibly safe. When I'm knocked unconscious by my tray table during some sort of emergency landing, I can't wait to see all five-foot-nothing of you carry me out of here.'"

Miss Liz

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Pale Assassin


I have just finished reading a book called The Pale Assassin by Patricia Elliot. I thought it was a fairly interesting plot with good characters, although I thought that at parts, I felt that the character reactions were unrealistic. However, I still really liked the main characters, and I think that it was a different view on historical fiction than I am used to. Usually, the main character is clearly on a side of whatever revolution is going on at the time. In this book, the French Revolution is occurring, and the main character, Eugenie de Boncoeur, does not know what side she is on, or if she is on a side at all.
The book has a main focus on the French Revolution, and while that gave me a very good understanding of the time during the book, I wish I had known Eugenie better and have experienced more of her life and her personal experience.

Summary: Eugenie is a fourteen year old, wealthy aristocrat, who has been orphaned. She and her brother are cared for by their guardian whom they don't know very well. This guardian makes a marriage contract for Eugenie with an extremely wealthy revolutionary who has a long term grudge against her family. Her brother, Armand, originally wants the revolution, so that everyone will be equal, however, he doesn't want the death of the royal family. Armand gets caught up in plans and instead of escaping the country with his sister, he sends someone else in his stead... Eugenie and her companion run for their lives, hoping that they will reach England, and that they will be safe when they get their. Can they outrun the Pale Assassin?

I give this book overall two point seven five stars. I liked the story a lot, and understood the plot, and was occasionally surprised by a twist in it, however I felt that some of their reactions were unrealistic and that some of the side characters that they met along the way were shallow and again, unrealistic. The story itself was a little shallow, I felt I only got to scratch the surface of what was underneath, I missed a lot of the emotional parts that could have made the story deeper. I would recommend this book to friends, although I would tell them my opinion before they read it to caution them.

Favorite Quote: "My intention is to remain at your side wherever you are."

Miss Liz

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Poem of the Day


Today, I went to a poetry seminar at my school and we chatted most of the time about other students poems, but we also got to share a poem from the book Good Poems selected and introduced by Garrison Keillor. My favorite poem so far in the book is called Young and Old by Charles Kingsley:

Young And Old

When all the world is young, lad,
And all the trees are green;
And every goose a swan, lad,
And every lass a queen;
Then hey for boot and horse, lad,
And round the world away;
Young blood must have its course, lad,
And every dog his day.

When all the world is old, lad,
And all the trees are brown;
And all the sport is stale, lad,
And all the wheels run down;
Creep home, and take your place there,
The s
pent and maimed among:
God grant you find one face there,
You loved when all was young.

I like this poem because of its rhythm, and the transition between being young and old. When you are young, you want to live and be young, and then when you are old you want to sit back with other old people, particularly someone you love and think of your life together. I also think that its interesting because it sounds like a paternal person is talking to a young person and giving them advice. I love the ending I just think that it is beautiful and it makes me happy every time I read it. I think its beautiful, and I love it.

Thats all for today.

Miss Liz

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Brides Farewell


I just reread a book that I hadn't read in a while. It's called The Bride's Farewell by Meg Rosoff.

Summary: Pell Ridley, living in rural England, has watched her family suffer in many ways, especially her mother. She wants no part in the life that everyone has planned for her, even when she would get to marry her childhood sweetheart. She runs away from home on her prized horse, Jack, and rides to a fair to see what life brings. She goes on a journey, meets many people and learns who she is and what is really important.

I would give this book a four stars, because it is so brief, and the characters seem very removed. However, I think that the story is fascinating and I love the book. I think that Dogman is wonderful, and quite frankly amusing, just because of his carefree survival attitude, despite the fact that he is barely in the book. I also love the way which Meg Rosoff writes. While the reader is removed from the characters emotions, the reader is still involved in a way that is indescribable. You care about the characters, not because you know and understand exactly what they are feeling, but because you invested some part of yourself in them, when you started reading. I was myself when I read the book. I didn't become the main character or get deep into what she was thinking, which I thought was cool. I also like how she doesn't include much dialogue, because that makes the dialogue that she does write become vastly more important. The speech shows something about the characters and the relationship of the character. Many things are left up to interpretation or are vague, which at first was irritating, but by the end, I enjoyed the way Rosoff let the reader decide what happened in a way. She woke up my own imagination when I was reading, which is something I don't often experience. When I read, I let the author do the imagining for me, so this was a completely different experience for me.
Something that also stuck me about this book, was its simplicity. The girl, Pell, left home and abandoned her fiancee, and went on a journey which ended in self discovery and some sort of happiness. This was a refreshing change after all of the modern day books, where so many things are going on all at once.
There are so many great and unique parts to the book, I can't even begin to describe them all. I had forgotten how much I loved this book.

My favorite quote: " 'Why will I have you?' He paused. 'Because you'll have me. It's the same for both of us, don't you see?' " (p.214)

I give this book as I said before, a four. I think that the book is short and a lot of things happen very quickly, but I like the plot, the characters, the writing style, and the feel that I got when reading it. I would definitely recommend this to my friends.

Miss Liz