Friday, June 16, 2017

Before I Fall

Image result for before I fall book        This month I finished the book called Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. This book is about a girl named Sam who starts off living her life completely normal in the beginning of the book. She's a popular girl in high school with a boyfriend and a close group of friends. Her best friends she spends practically every second of every day with are Elody, Ally, and Linsday. The story begins with Sam waking up one day in her bedroom at 6 in the morning. She gets ready for Cupid Day at school. Cupid Day is a day in school where each kid can give and receive roses to each other and write little quirky notes with them. Sam and her friends always wear the same planned outfit which consists of a pink tank top and a short skirt. Lindsay picks her up from her house and drives her, Ally, and Elody all to school together. During school, an old friend of Sam's, Kent, invites her to a big party he is having after school that night. Sam and her friends all decide to go to the party that night, and when they get there something really bizarre happens.

Image result for before I fall           A girl named Juliet Skyes shows up only to say to Linsday, Sam, Elody, and Ally, "You're a bi***." Juliet Skyes is a girl that goes to the same school as Sam and her friends. She doesn't have many friends at all and Linsday, Elody, Ally, and Sam are always teasing her. Linsday and Juliet used to be very close when they were children, but now things are different and now Lindsay torments her with words and insults. Every Cupid Day, the girls give Juliet a rose with a note that says, "Maybe next year, but probably not.". When Juliet shows up to the party and confronts Sam and the other three girls, the whole party goes wild and throws drinks at Juliet and she runs out of the house. On the way back from the party, Sam and her friends scramble for the aux cord then all of a sudden-. Their car flips off of the road.

Image result for before I fall  movie                 Now you may be wondering why I've just explained all of Sam's day in such detail. Well, let me explain. Sam died that night, but she doesn't figure this out until she wakes up in her bed in her bedroom on the same day, Cupid Day. She goes through her whole day blinking double-time and having a constant "deja-vu".  She sees the same people doing the same things and saying the same things to her all at the same times. The next day the same thing happens until she realizes it is not a dream and she is reliving the same day over and over again. After she realizes that no matter what she does the past will be erased, she completely gives up her reputation and flirts with teachers, steals her mom's credit card, and skips school with her little sister.
Image result for before I fall
              By the end of the book, so much more is revealed, but you're going to have to read the rest to find out. When I was done reading the book, I started to watch the movie but stopped halfway through because I was so frustrated. The movie did not show many of the things that happened in the book and kind of ruined it for me. I hope that if you read this book, you enjoy the movie because I sure didn't. I really enjoyed this book and I recommend you read it for yourself.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Feedback Rewritten

Image result for feedback book
This month, I finished the book Feedback. Feedback, written by Robison Wells, is a sequel to the book Variant. The books are about a high school that is only run and monitored by the students. I wrote a previous blog post on Variant so if you would like to hear more about the details of the story, you can refer back to my blog. In the sequel, there is far more action than there is in the first book. But before I continue, let me address the major spoilers that I'm about to tell you, so read at your own risk.

Feedback is more about the fight and the battle against the real students, the principal or Iceman, and the robots that are planted in the school. The story ends with the last two living human students that eventually kill the adult robots that run the school. After all of the suffering, fighting, torturing, kidnapping, and blackmail, the two students live and make it out of the school alive and to end all possibility of it continuing in the future. Of course, you would assume that I was pleasantly satisfied with such a happy ending for the students but you would be wrong.

Image result for the endNow there are books that have happy endings and books with rather upsetting endings. In my opinion, there are certain books that fit having either a happy or sad ending. This is an example of one book that should have had a sad ending. This book was definitely frustrating at times because every time I started to feel like the plans the students were setting up was going to work, something was ruined. Every time I felt like there was hope for the kids, something was completely changed and totally hit the reset button on my hope. So I feel as if the ending were to bring you to a point where you thought everything was okay and ending happily, something is suddenly altered and should end with a total cliffhanger. I feel as though, that would fit the story's style a lot more and really leave you wondering as to what happens next.

Notice how I'm not using the phrases, "good ending" or "bad ending". More of "happy" and "sad" endings because a sad ending may be a good ending to a book. A happy ending may be a bad ending to a book. In this case, I feel as though a sad ending would be a good ending to such a dark and twisty series, Variant and Feedback.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Anne Frank Inspired Original Poetry

                For our Anne Frank Creative Projects, I chose to write 5 poems inspired by 5 different aspects of the diary. I wrote each one about home, hope, friendship, loss, and escape. Each of these topics was important qualities of the diary, so I decided to write each poem about each different topic. These 5 poems I wrote for my project.

1. Home:
The place where I am happy.
The place where I am sad.
The place where I laugh.
The place where I cry.
The place where my memories exist.
The place where the people I love stay.
The place where my thoughts sleep.
The place where I lose my mind.
The place where I find my mind.
The place where nothing is rehearsed.  
The place where I belong when I belong nowhere else.
The place where my heart longs to be when I’m underground.
The place that holds me in its arms when nobody else does.
The place where my mind points me to when I’m at my worst.
The place where sadness is okay.
The place where flaws are okay.
The place where regret is okay.
The place I run from.
The place I run to.
The place, and the only place, that is like a second skin.

2. Hope:

After the world became cold,

After the people surrounding were permanently grey,
After the skies spoke only tragedy,
She still had hope.

When the ground below their feet became too fragile,
When only broken trust was spread out in front of her,
When the air squeezes them until they are numb,
She still had hope.

When desperation became normal,
When not even the sun could melt away the disaster that was left behind,
She still held on to faith. . .
And she still had hope.

3. Friendship:
Another voice, Another mind.
To share the thoughts of the same kind.
To open up and spill out
Every worry and every doubt.

Laughing, smiling, love and joy.
What no single shade could ever destroy.
Trust, faith, compassion, and bond.
Give nowhere else to go but beyond.

To a person I know inside and out
To a person I would never be the same without.
A person that gives me the courage to leap.
And a person that is worth every second to keep.

So my heart, my lungs i give to you
To protect my tears from falling through.
So promise to keep my spirit high,

And I will promise to never say goodbye.

4. Loss:
I search for what is no longer there.
A stranded desert.
An abrupt ending to what was once so vivid.
A deserted island.

I stare into the washed out abyss.
A slot of nothing replaces a gem.
I stay stranded. Alone.
Looking to my left and right only to find exactly what I can’t.

Like a puzzle without its piece.
Like a lock without its key.
Impossibility unfolds.
I stay stranded.

Grabbing for the clear.
Reaching out for the blank.
What was once in my hands, in my heart, and in my mind.

I stay stranded.

5. Escape:
To inhale and to exhale.
I’m tired of blinking my eyes.
Opening them only to see the same walls around me.
Closing them to only see the same shadow.

My thoughts hold me captive.
My whispers become too loud.
My scream becomes to quiet.
Over and over and over...

Circling this incessant maze.
Above my head lies a steady cloud.
I will reach my limbs out to the moon.
The light will shine on a corner of the universe.

Everything behind me lays the same as yesterday.
Everything in front of me lays the same things as tomorrow.
I’m exhausted.

To inhale and to exhale.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

The Princess Bride: Inigo Montoya and Wesley

Image result for the princess brideMy blog posts for the month of March is inspired by The Princess Bride by William Goldman. In my class, we read the beginning of the book together but watched the film version of the rest. The film version of The Princess Bride is by Rob Reiner. The story is an ultimate fairy tale about a princess and her true love being torn apart by journeying with allies, enemies, and through dangerous settings. They eventually reunite with the help of their friends that somehow change their goal completely throughout the story. In the Princess Bride, there are two characters that convey their qualities tremendously in the film and the book and they are Inigo Montoya and Wesley, the prince. Both characters throughout the movie convey one quality each and make the story 10x better. Without Inigo's vengeance and Wesley's loyalty, the story would never be the same.

Image result for wesley the princess bride          Firstly, Wesley. Wesley changes his ideal character multiple times throughout the movie. In the beginning of the story, he was referred to as "Farm Boy", the princess' servant. The Princess, Buttercup, and Farm Boy then discover their love for each other and Buttercup then calls him by his true name, Wesley. After Wesley is thought to have been murdered while out to sea, he returns back as an anonymous character called, the "Man in Black" who journeys to defeat the villains who seek to kill Buttercup. Clearly, his image alters several times throughout the story which just makes the story even better. Now to talk about his qualities. In my opinion, Wesley is known to be the loyal character throughout the story. After Wesley was thought to have been murdered by pirates, he comes back to rescue his princess from three villains who are planning on murdering her. He must fight Inigo Montoya, a master fencer, Fezzik, a huge and strong giant, and Vizzini, a strategizing genius. After he defeats the three, he must journey through dangerous forests, fight vicious creatures and scare away mobs of angry men. If you really think about it, it could have been a lot easier for Wesley if he just gave up and found himself a new mistress, but instead, he stayed loyal to Buttercup and went through hell and back to make sure she was safe. Heck, he even died in the pit of despair because of Prince Humperdink and his jealousy of Wesley and Buttercup's romance, but thanks to Miracle Max, he was brought back to life. Even death wouldn't stop Wesley from saving Buttercup. His heroic self really tied the story altogether and gave Wesley a great character.

Image result for inigo montoyaLastly, Inigo Montoya. Inigo Montoya is a master fencer that was hired by Vizzini to kill the princess. Him, Fezzik, and Vizzini was assumed to be the most intimidating trio. With each of their skills including, sword fighting, powerful muscles, and clever ideas, it must take tons of effort to beat this group. When Wesley as the Man in Black kills Vizzini, Inigo and Fezzik are left with each other so they help the Man in Black retrieve teh princess. Throughout the entire film, Inigo references and mentions his father several times. He was very close and was taught a lot from his father so when Inigo found out he was murdered by another sword fighter called the "Man with Six Fingers", all he's ever wanted was to defeat the six fingered man himself. He has the deepest thirst for vengeance. By the end of the film, he ends up killing the six-fingered man and it gives the story one of the most satisfying endings. Watching Inigo defeat his enemy that he has been longing to defeat for the longest time, really gave the story so much character. Even a quote from the six-fingered man states, "You've got an over-developed sense of vengeance." I can definitely confirm the fact that Inigo Montoya has the greatest sense of revenge and will always be known for his quality.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

If Anne Survived

This month, I decided to write a blog post inspired by The Diary of Anne Frank. I thought it would be fun to write about what would have happened to Anne and the rest of the family if they were never arrested in the annex. I imagined how Anne would write in her diary as if it was after the holocaust and she survived with her family, the Van Daans, and Mr. Dussel. She would write... 

Image result for the secret annexDear Kitty, It is Thursday, May 23rd, 1945. Miep told us that we would be let out of the annex tomorrow. She said she wanted to wait at least a week until she let us back outside. I can't wait to see the outside world and feel the breeze on my neck again. Pim told us to pack our things so we were ready tomorrow. Mother wants to have a ceremony for Miep to thank her for everything she has done but I don't think any of us could ever possibly thank Miep enough for keeping my family and me safe for 3 years. It doesn't feel like it's been 3 years in hiding. I feel like I've been here my whole life. The first thing I am going to do when I get out of here is run to my neighbor's to look for my cat, Moortjee. Miep told us that she went to our house to check on her, but all she found was a note on the couch. It said my neighbor, Toosje, is taking care of her. I miss her so much. I can't wait to go back to school to see my friends again. Well, whichever ones are left... Anyway, I have to finish packing the rest of my things.

I imagine that Anne is excited about finally getting to be outside again. Since she is young, she is probably happy to go back to school and see her friends again, although she knows that one of her closest friends, Jopie, died. 

Dear Kitty, June 2nd, 1945. It has been almost 2 weeks since my family and I were let out of the annex. I have returned to school, but nothing is the same as it used to be. The teachers have hearts of stone. No emotion at all. I could only find 3 of my old friends from my classes. We all didn't talk to each other very much. There was nothing to really say after all that has happened. I didn't know that so many of my friends were Jewish. I wish I could just turn back time and make everything go back to the happy way it was. I'm sure all of Germany would... I'm just glad that we're all home safe again. Margot is applying for a college not far from home; University of Hagen. The Van Daans returned home too. Peter and I still keep in touch and meet together at each other's houses once in awhile. We talk on the telephone almost every night and sometimes he sends me postcards in the mail. Mr. Dussel however, does not keep in touch with us at all. Father tried to contact him a number of times but no reply. Our neighbors returned Moortje to us last night and she was healthier than ever. I'm very happy things are starting to go back to the way they were before. Imagine what would have happened if the Nazi's found us in the annex.

Image result for anne frank and her familyAnne and her family would all become happy in their home again. Anne would most likely grow too old to continue writing in a diary. Margot would eventually graduate college a the University of Hagen and Anne and Peter would get married and grow old together. When they were old enough, Margot would eventually move out of Germany and to America where she would get a proper job and pursuit a career in journalism. Anne and Peter would move out of their old homes and get a house together. Mr. and Mrs. Van Daan along would both die just a few years after they were let out of the annex. Mr. Frank would die of lung failure most likely from his addiction to cigarettes and Mrs. Van Daan would pass away from a heart attack. Mr. Dussel fled Germany to go to America to continue working as a dentist without contacting any of the Franks or Van Daans. Mr. and Mrs. Frank would both die of old age in a hospital close to Anne and Peter's home. This whole theory is not based on facts. This is what I think would happen to the Franks and Van Daans

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Groups and Cliques in Middle School

             In a typical school, for example, in a movie or tv show, there is always sort of cliques. The jocks, nerds, girly girls and what not. All of these school stereotypes seem to come to life after you put a lot of thought into your own social situation. As I think about my own school and friends, these movie scenarios can come very close to reality.  This month, I started reading a book called Variant. As far as I read so far, I know that the book is about a boy, Benson, who switches schools. He is around 17 and moves to this strange school in the middle of nowhere that is run by students and students only. The whole school is surrounded by a fence and the kids are not allowed to escape. There are no adults in the building, the kids must wear a tracking chip in a piece of jewelry, and there are cameras watching everything. It was indeed a very strange school. On his first day of school, he was brought to his dorm room where he met new kids. Benson is used to moving schools, so new kids and teachers do not intimidate him very much at all. Before he could even begin to find his room, student boys start interrogating him to join their group. The school has different groups or "gangs" they like to call them. Think of them like cliques. One group called the Society, one called the Havoc, and last called the V's which stands for Variants.

                 Reading this part of the story inspired me to write a blog post about the groups and cliques at this school. This type of subject is very hard to talk or write about and many people think differently. If you don't agree with anything I say, that's okay. It's just my opinion and what my perspective is like. Although many people would like to think that this school is clique free, in my opinion, that isn't true. I believe it is close to impossible that a school that contains so many kids, can be clique-free. Groups like this are formed because certain people share common interests and get along with other people, which end up becoming a group.
Not everybody gets along with each other and not everybody can be friends, therefore, it is segregated. I believe you give yourself your own label depending on who you hang out with, what you say, and what you do.  They way you present yourself determines how people will think of you. So, it's not a social misconception of somebody, it's just simply a judgment based off of observation. You may say that you have never stuck a label on everybody before you meet them, but I don't believe that's possible. When you look at someone, you automatically have a bad or a good opinion on them. I'm not trying to say that groups and cliques are necessarily a bad thing. At least in our school, these sort of segregated friends do not cause harm and we all get along well. In other cases, some kids may cause trouble with others and it can lead to a lot of hatred, but I feel as though in our school, although we all may be closer with others, we all seem to get along and treat each other well.   In my opinion, as much as somebody may want to, you cannot avoid the fact that there are different groups and cliques. It is just how the world works in middle school. It is a natural thing that just happens as you become closer and more distant to other people.

Friday, December 2, 2016

What does it really mean to be a hero?

Image result for supermanYou don’t have to have super strength and a cape to be a hero. Superman doesn’t define what a hero truly is. A hero, in my book, is someone who puts others’ needs before theirs. People risk so much to help other people. Firefighters, policemen, and soldiers are all great examples of heroes. They risk their lives every day to save people’s lives. Plus, the don’t even know the people they save! They do it out of the kindness of their hearts, which makes them the heroes they are.

Spencer Stone, a United States Airman, became a hero one day when he was fighting off a gunman with two of his friends. The gunman was heading towards France. His friends and he snuck to the gunman and Spender put him in a choke hold. The gunman pulled out weapons left and right, including a box cutter then he stabbed Stone with multiple times. His friends and him made it out alive, and the gunman was taken care of.

Image result for soldierSpencer and his friends risked their lives to save the people in France. They didn’t have to. They chose to put their lives in danger for others. Spencer was stabbed multiple times. He was injured for the sake of other people. This is just one example of the many dangerous acts heroes make to help others.