The Hunger Games Trilogy

May 4, 2013 @ 8:18 pm (Permalink)

I was stuck at the hospital for a long time on Thursday, so I decided to finally start reading something in my Kindle backlog. I started reading the first book of A Series of Unfortunate Events, but I actually found the author’s style of defining terms on a regular basis annoying. Thus, I decided to start on The Hunger Games trilogy instead.

Oh. Em. Gee.

I was hooked. So hooked, that I stayed up late on Thursday night and Friday morning finishing the first book and started on the second book. Then I stayed up until 7:30am on Saturday finishing the second and the third book. I just could not stop reading. I found myself really liking the first and the second book. The third book, while providing a good finale, was the weakest in the series, and I felt it was awfully rushed and kind of confusing.

Despite that, the book’s characters and plots really grabbed me. The dystopic setting, the totalitarian nation of Panem and her districts — all of them just gripped me like one of the Capitol’s citizens watching the game. Yet the harshness of the game, the cruel fates awaiting for the Tributes, and the whole political shebang of the trilogy have left me quite horrified at the same time. The philosophy of the books reminded me of Animorphs; both series made me question the world and how it’s not always black-and-white. Really, it has been a long time since I’ve read something so impacting. I am only sorry it took me this long to read it, but at the same time, I’m glad I waited for the whole trilogy to be completed instead of waiting around with a nasty cliffhanger living in my head.

1 Comment » | Filed Under Books

Mini-Reviews: Kindle Paperwhite & Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward

January 20, 2013 @ 4:47 pm (Permalink)

Within the last week and a half, I’ve been abducted by the thing known as work. Despite the abduction, I’ve become familiar with Hikaru the Kindle Paperwhite, and I beat Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward. Now I am here to present my thoughts on the two.

Kindle Paperwhite
I like it. I find it to be a tad bit slower than my Kindle Touch, but the fact that I can read in the dark makes up for it. The bottom part of the screen does emit the “glow/shadow”, but I was able to ignore it after a while. I’m just thrilled that I can read in the dark, and the lighted screen has served its purpose for me. Plus, I like the idea of having a device that I can carry 2910920 ebooks instead of carrying the said amount physically. Yes, I will always prefer real book, but ebooks are appealing in their own ways compared to real book.

Unfortunately, like my Kindle Touch, the readers are crap for manga reading. So while I love the Kindles for reading simple text-based ebooks, I won’t be using it to read graphic-based books like mangas. A pity, really, since I do like mangas. Nonetheless, I do like my new Kindle, and I am glad I upgraded for the lighted screen!

Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward
After falling madly in love with Hakuouki in December, a game full of samurais, wars, and pretty boys, VLR’s different genre threw me off for a loop. Yes, both games have murders and killings, but Hakuouki had a fairly straightforward plot. VLR ended up being a total mindfuck and all the twists and turns put me through one hell of a ride. Here’s another spoiler-free reaction post I wrote at NokoNoko. I really did enjoy the game, even if I did prefer 999 over it.

1 Comment » | Filed Under Books, Video Games

Hikaru the Kindle Paperwhite

January 14, 2013 @ 9:24 pm (Permalink)

Kindle Paperwhite

Guess what finally came to me? A Kindle Paperwhite! Whoo hoo! Now I can read in the dark! Hence why I named it “Hikaru” :D

A more thorough “review” will come after I survive the next two weeks of work fun.

4 Comments » | Filed Under Books, Materialism

Titanic: Echo of the Dying Confession

April 13, 2012 @ 3:04 am (Permalink)

Thanks to the 100th anniversary of RMS Titanic’s Sinking, I’ve been on a Titanic kick for the past few days. I’ve re-watched James Cameron’s 1997 film, I’ve read all I could on Wikipedia, and I discovered Titanic: Echo of the Dying Confession by Troy Veenstra.

That screenshot foreshadows my experience of this book. I know we all make mistakes with typos, but somehow “Pice resently” does not strike me as a typo. I also read one of the reviews that there were “misuse of words” and other errors that could have been done on purpose to give the journal entries a rushed feel due to it being written by someone who’s at the end of their life.

I usually do not rate stuff, but for this, I will rate this book a 2 out of 5. I have to admit, I really enjoyed the premise of the plot, which focuses on an “unnamed” man confessing to rigging the sinking of the Titanic. The unnamed man is supposed to be J. Bruce Ismay, the director of White Star Line. (Highlight to see.) He writes his confession as journal entries, and the entries show us why he decided to damn the ship. The story includes the historical events and facts quite well, but I think there are some parts that may not have been accurate.

Really, I think this story had excellent potential, but it falls short with its grammar and spelling errors and words misuse. I can accept mistakes adding realism to the entries, but I think it was overdone to the point where it greatly distracted the flow and it pulled me away from the story. The errors also made me question the author’s ability to write and his editors to edit. I cannot remember reading a story that had so much semicolon in one novel. I also hated how the author consistently did not use a comma to separate names or titles in the sentence (ie: How are you today, Captain Smith? would be “How are you today Captain Smith?”). Not using a comma to offset a person’s name or title . . . it made for a very confusing read.

Ergo, do I recommend this book? Only if you can ignore the bazillion mistakes.

4 Comments » | Filed Under Books

What’s Your Spark?

April 5, 2012 @ 3:22 am (Permalink)

I had to do a book review for one of my classes. My friend Catherine suggested this book to me — Sparks: How Parents Can Ignite the Hidden Strengths of Teenagers. It’s a great book I recommend to anyone, especially parents. It’s a really easy read, and it’s a motivating book.

According to the author, Dr Benson, a spark is:

Hidden passion that comes from the gut and that can be anything to help kids get on a positive path where they believe they have a sense of purpose in the world. Sparks can be artistic, sporty, or helping other people out. For some teenagers, people — like their family — can be their spark. Sparks are more than just hobbies; sparks are what drive an individual to be passionate, something they can turn to when things become difficult in their life.

Some people find their spark when they are young, others discover it when they are in their adulthood. As adults who have children or who work with children, it’s imperative that we be their “spark champion” and encourage them to explore their spark.

Reading this book has made me question my own spark, and I think one of my sparks is this: I like giving things to people I care about. I want people I care about to be happy. When I know what a loved one likes, I keep that fact in my mind and try to surprise them by getting something they like. That’s how I roll :)

I know I also have some passion for my hobbies, but I think reading and writing will be the two biggest sparks from my huge list of hobbies!

What is your spark? Remember, it’s not just a hobby or a like. It’s this thing that makes you want to live. It can be something concrete or it can be abstract. It is something that is you.

12 Comments » | Filed Under Books, Political/Philosophical