This summer I’ve been reading a lot of books and watching a lot of movies. I’ve even been seeing some “films” (which I think just means an artsy movie but could possibly mean any movie that has not been Hollywoodized (that’s a real word. I looked it up just in case)) and “theatre” (I’m told this is when real people actually breathe and talk in front of you on a stage. I know. Revolutionary!). Anyway, I always have lots of thoughts, opinions, and ideas about these things after reading/watching/listening/sleeping through them(*COUGHthegreatgatsby*). Usually, I just keep my rambly bambly opinions to myself , or only share them with people who I know have open and accepting ears. However, I also have this blog that exists and I’m not terribly sure what to do with it. I don’t think I’ll know what to to do with it unless I just do stuff, which is what I’m deciding to do:
I’ve invented this thing that probably already exists so I won’t take full credit for it. It’s where I’m requiring myself to review all the things I read/see every week in exactly five sentences. One sentence will be a brief summary and the other four sentences will be my thoughts. I will then give that thing a rating from 1 to 5 (1 being “where’s the toilet? I need to puke!!!” and 5 being “NECTAR OF THE GODS”) and deliver it to you on this blog every Saturday night(or Sunday morning depending on what kind of Saturday night shenanigans I’m getting myself into)
I’m doing this mostly to just get myself writing. Practicing my reviewing skills will make be better! But also, it’s a good way to share and recommend things because I rarely set out to read or see something unless it looks appealing or interesting to me! Okay. I will see you at the end of the week with the reviews. I’ve already seen and read some incredible stuff so SIGN UP TO RECEIVE EMAIL UPDATES ON THE SIDEBAR if you’re interested or if anyone’s actually reading this!
10 things that I accomplished this month (with pictures! so it’s more fun!)
1. I finished my sophomore year of college!
I am pursuing a BFA in Theatre Studies at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. In my program sophomore year is called conservatory year because they stuff our schedules to the brim with classes, papers, and rehearsals and then say “good luck!”. This year has been a huge challenge for me, both academically and artistically, but I managed to scrape by with good grades and only had a few minor rough patches in my social life. Now, I’m a junior and halfway to a degree!
2. I flew from Dallas back home to Seattle, my favorite city!
Scenery? Seattle +1 Dallas +0
City life? Seattle +1 Dallas +0
Coffee? Seattle + 1 Dallas +.5 (I can still brew my own Seattle style at home)
Sweet Tea? Seattle +0 Dallas +1 (I do miss dat sweet tea)
3. I turned twenty!
For my 20th birthday I was reunited with these beautiful ladies who dressed up with me to go see the Great Gatsby. Even though it was the 2nd weekend the movie was out, the first theatre we went to was SOLD OUT. So, we had to go see a 9:40p.m. showing at a different theatre, which was bad news bears for Kaysy because I am infamous for falling asleep during the movies. I bought a giant bag of sour patch kids in hopes that the sugar high would keep me awake but alas, even though Leo stared dreamily at me from the screen, even though Baz Luhrmann was assaulting my eyeballs in grand 3D, and even though I was getting ill with the great number of sour patch kids reaching my stomach, I still managed to miss a good portion of the movie with my slumber.
4. I adopted a cat from the humane society!
Meet Rhea, the little black cat we hand chose from our local humane society. Just over a year old, Rhea stole my heart by being the cuddliest cat in the room. She had just had kittens before we adopted her which is why I named her Rhea, the “mother of the gods”. Now this divine feline sleeps by my feet in the night, purrs on my shoulder whenever I pick her up, and has become so obsessed with her food dish that she’ll leap at my ankles if I try to walk away without feeding her. I’ve never met a cat without a personality and Rhea is definitely a little charmer.
5. I spent a beautiful day with friends at the 2013 Seattle Folklife Festival!
Every Memorial Day weekend the Folklife Festival takes place in downtown Seattle. This is an entire weekend of free music, dancing, and happiness. I only went for one day, the Saturday, but it reinvigorated my love for the culture of Seattle. For $10 an artist painted a beautiful hummingbird on my cheek, I participated in a complicated square dance in which everyone that I danced with was at least 20 years older than me and had to point me around because I was so confused, I took a nice nap in the middle of a grassy field, and I got to enjoy the city with my best friends.
6. I played an epic game of laser tag!
We checked in at Mission Control where we had to choose a code name. I went with the classic “Conundrum”. Then we were all escorted into the briefing room where we put on our gear and had to recite the Players Code. After the countdown we ran through the 2 story maze attempting to get as many kills as possible. I was ruthlessly slaughtered by all the children and just barely slid into 15th place by the end of the game.
7. I successfully dip dyed my hair!
I felt that summertime need that I often feel to change my hair in some way. I also had the house to myself for an entire day so after looking at lots of pictures on pinterest I decided that dip dyeing my hair was a necessity. I did it all myself: the trip to the store, the bleaching, and the dyeing. Call it red! Call it magenta! I call it a success. This girl is on fire.
8. I read a grand total of 4 books!
Finally, I had time in my schedule for pleasure reading and I definitely took advantage of it. Here are my brief summaries:
Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury: LITTLE PIECE OF PERFECTION: 5/5 stars
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness: Fun dystopian premise, but the whole book was one long chase scene: 3/5 stars
‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King: Spooky classic vampire story with largely forgettable characters: 3/5 stars
The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury: A series of short stories all involving Mars and Bradbury’s genius writing: 4/5 stars
(you can read longer reviews on my Goodreads page! See my links! Should be on the right sidebar!)
9. I saw a grand total of 6 movies at Siff (the Seattle International Film Festival)!
Siff is always perfectly placed right around the time I return home from school. With my TeenTix card I can get into any Siff movie for $5! (Don’t tell them I just turned 20…please) Siff movies are always amazing and they really deserve to be in widespread movie theatres. Anyways, here are my brief summaries:
We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks: This documentary feels like a thriller with Julian Assange playing the charismatic and power hungry leading man. 4/5 stars
What Maisie Knew: Maisie breaks your heart not because she’s a 6 year old girl but because she’s a fully developed human in a 6 year old girl’s body. 5/5 stars
The Spectacular Now: The teen romance that gets it just right; I laughed, I cried, and I didn’t believe that any of it was scripted. 5/5 stars
C.O.G.: Based on a David Sedaris short story, this movie approaches the ideas of small town beliefs and homosexuality with sensitivity, sass, and wit. 3/5 stars
The Kings of Summer: I laughed so hard that I got a stomach ache and I also wished for eternal summer and eternal youth. 4/5 stars
Blackbird: A careful and thought-provoking approach to the story of a teen accused of planning a school massacre because of post-Columbine paranoia. 3.5/5 stars
10. I wrote and completed a few songs!
Most notably were the songs that I uploaded to youtube – “Only One” and “I am Selfish. I am Brave.” but I also wrote music for the musical I am co-writing and finished some songs that I set aside when the days got busy. Songwriting is so important to me but it is also easy for me to hit dry spells because I don’t like forcing inspiration. However, this month I turned out some really nice stuff and I’m really inspired to keep writing throughout my entire summer.
I’ve decided this will be a series. It requires me to do at least 10 cool things every month which is totally possible if I keep my eye out for adventure.
Thanks for reading!
This blog post is all about Divergent, by Veronica Roth.
I read this book in January and absolutely LOVED it. Enough to write a song about it in fact:
For those of you a little lost (how did you get here?) Divergent is a young adult dystopian novel.
SUMMARY TIME WOO: Our protagonist is Beatrice Prior and she lives in a society divided into five factions, each honoring and cultivating a particular virtue – Abnegation (the selfless), Amity, (the peaceful), Candor (the honest), Dauntless (the brave), and Erudite (the intelligent). One day each year every 16- year old must choose which faction they will belong to for the rest of their lives, either staying in the comfort of what they know or leaving their family behind to pursue who they really are.
Here comes the part of the blog where I am going to completely nerd out. There are no spoilers below (lucky you! just my ambiguous opinions! yay!).
1. Divergent thoughts
This book is often compared to Hunger Games for 3 main reasons.
1) Dystopian Society
2) Strong female protagonist.
3)Good YA reading.
And to this I say, THESE ARE 3 OF MY FAVORITE THINGS. LET’S COMBINE THEM ALWAYS.
The Hunger Games will always hold a special place in my heart because of the characters, I adore all of them, and the way the story struck me in the chest leaving me an emotional wreck. I didn’t have as strong of an emotional connection with the characters of Divergent, but that’s OKAY. Every book has a different impact. This one completely absorbed me in it’s imagined world. It made me think about the many facets of human personality – both good and bad – and what can happen when people unite together – to do good or do evil. It made me think about the definition of bravery and how it can appear in large and small ways. I was completely absorbed in this book for the day and a half it took me to read it. I could. not. put. this. book. down.
2. Insurgent thoughts
Insurgent did not receive the heavy Kaysy love that Divergent did. I liked the thrill, the adventure, and the cliffhanger of an ending. However, what the first book had that this book lacked was good pacing. In Insurgent, too much happens too quickly which means there is not much room for anticipation and build. The character development is also lacking in this book. Since Divergent already told us a lot about Tris and Four we don’t get to discover new things about them in each chapter, which was part of the fun of the first book. I also just loved Divergent because it introduced the concept. It was part action/adventure, part mystery/suspense. Insurgent focuses heavily on the action/adventure portion which means that although it is fun, it is less of a page turner. Having said that, I still enjoyed this read and it left me full of excitement for the third book. OCTOBER 22ND KIDS.
3. Allegiant thoughts
I don’t like making guesses about what happens next in books. I prefer to just wait and see and hope for the best. Having said that, what I hope for this book is that Veronica Roth takes in the feedback of her first two to make this the ending that we all want, with a few surprises thrown in for good measure. Near saves. Heroic actions. Unforgettable dialogue. Romantic gestures. Tragedy. Comedy. I want it all! And I honestly believe that we will get it all. I also just want the story to come to a beautiful close. Not too happy so that I leave with with a false sense of joy, but I do really want an ending that just feels right.
4. Movie thoughts
I’m one of those people that “liked” the Divergent trilogy on Facebook so I constantly get notifications and pictures in my newsfeed that just make me squeal with anticipation. As far as I’m concerned with this movie: SO FAR SO GOOD. I don’t know if I’m a rarity or a commodity (because I haven’t talked to very many people) but I happen to think that Shailene Woodley is talented and even though I’m jealous that she gets to play my favorite teen females of recent fiction, I’m also not angry with the decision. She’s a reader herself and, from everything I’ve seen her in, she takes her roles very seriously. She will need that to play Tris (as well as Hazel dear god but don’t let me get ahead of myself pleeeease).
As far as casting goes I don’t have problems yet. I usually don’t hate on casting of movies before I see them unless 1) they’re obviously casting movie stars just to sell the dang movie (Kate Winslet is the biggest name here and she’s just talented so they’re not just using her for her name thank god) or 2) the actor is obviously completely and absolutely the wrong choice for the role (again no one). There’s quite a few unknown names here and that actually excites me. Seeing fresh faces at the movies is a wonderful thing for me.
My biggest wishes for the movie are:
1)I hope they find the right balance between spectacle and heart.
2) I hope they stay as true as possible to the original story
3) I hope they concern themselves more with the quality of the product than with the selling of the product.
There are already fans. People will come out. They don’t need to play up the violence or the romance. The story is there. It just needs to be well told.
I think I’ve been sufficiently nerdy enough. I also think I got most of my opinions out into the world.
Thank you for your weird amount of patience, kind reader. Let me know if you’ve anything to add in the comments.