Saturday, May 28, 2011

Review: In the Arms of Stone Angels

Title: In the Arms of Stone Angels

Author: Jordan Dane

Date Published: 22 Mar. 2011

Publisher: Harlequin

Read for LibraryThing Early Reviewers

Brenna Nash has a secret, she can see dead people. She left Shawano, Oklahoma two year before when she found the boy, White Bird, who she was in love with, at a gruesome crime scene wielding the murder weapon. Now she is forced to return and finds that White Bird has been in a mental hospital trapped in his own head since she betrayed him to the authorities. Brenna is having problems with bullies and police officers now that she is back, and she also has doubts about White Bird being the murderer. Can she convince everyone that White Bird is innocent? And if she succeeds, can she bring him back after the trauma of that night two years ago?

Some of the events that happened and  pieces of information they attained during their attempt to help White Bird were far fetched. Sometimes that's not a bad thing, but the random details they noticed made it unrealistic. Not only was it unrealistic, but I could easily see how the ending would play out from in early point in the book. The ending was being set up from the beginning and I had hoped Jordan Dane was tricking me and that the obvious solution would not be flipped around somehow, but the story played out the way I imagined it would. It seemed as though the Jordan Dane was afraid the beginning and middle would not set up the ending well enough, so she then prepared for the climax too early in the book. I felt there should have been more of a build up at the end, the entire book felt like a build up and the climax felt no different from the rest of the book. There were horrible events and struggles, but it was predictable.

I did not feel as though I had a connection to the character, I didn't even particularly like them. Brenna was irritating and I did not fall in love with White Bird the way I usually love leading male characters. Even though the story provided background information on them I don't feel I know them very well after reading the entire book. Sometimes it's hard to explain why you don't like a character. The characters grew and changed into better people, they struggled and got through whatever was thrown at them, they even sounded realistic, but I still didn't like them.

I don't know much about native Americans, but it appeared as though Jordan Dane did a great job with her research. I'm very picky when it comes to dialogue. Some authors can't get the YA voice right. This story was on the verge of bad YA dialogue, but it was bearable to the point that I'm unable to point out specific problems I had with the dialogue. The book was written from several different views. It was mostly from Brenna, other teenagers and two police officers point of views. The story was created around that, but at first it annoyed me. The other teenagers were such angry people they felt one dimensional from it and the police officers left nothing to the imagination. If the reader was uncertain how the officers and other teenagers were feeling and thinking it might not have made such a predictable story.

I don't like giving bad reviews, but I didn't like this book!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Smithsonian National Zoo

Yesterday I met my friend Nicolette at the Smithsonian National Zoo! Ah, I love that place. I've been going there my entire life and it's still as exciting as ever to go there. My sister and her boyfriend skipped school to come with me, my other sister, and my mother. Although, Nicolette and I went off on our own; we were just
every one's excuse to come.

Anyway, there's an eagle statue I've taken a picture with every time I go there. So, of course, I had to get one yesterday! See!

I warned Nicolette about my fear of birds and butterflies, and I asked her if she would be okay with skipping them. I can't stand the bird house! Birds flying around in an enclosed space scares me... Along with being stuck in a room with butterflies. If any of them were to touch me I swear I'd have a meltdown.  Usually my family goes in and leaves me to sit outside... Thankfully I did not have to deal with them this time.

A little while after we arrived we decided to consult a map and see what animals we should check out next. A man came up and asked if we needed directions, and he then suggested we go see the lion cubs. So that's where we went! They were great! I got some great photos of them! Check it out!

My mom has this sweet camera with an incredible lens (Don't ask me details about it, though. I am clueless.) So I'm able to get close up photos. And those lions were happy to give me some nice photos.
The elephants had a great new enclosure! It's not even finished yet. It's huge, though! We saw enough animals that I will not be naming them all, but I'll show off some of the other pictures I particularly like and tell you about them.

The  pandas were chowing down on that bamboo. They were facing the glass and devouring their food, and giving me good photos! How sweet of them, right? They look so cozy. I want to hug one. And I am not an animal person. At all. I am afraid of most animals. They tend to freak me out. I seem to have a lot of fears.

Check out this gray back! I thought he was pretty cool. There was also a baby gorilla, but I was unable to get any decent photos of him. Last year a got plenty of him, so I decided it was okay that I didn't spend time attempting to get anything good of him.

I had a wonderful trip and I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I do! (admit it, they're really cool!)


Friday, May 13, 2011

School's Out for the First Time

My first semester of college is over! Yes, I only took one class, but it was all very new and stressful for me. I took English 101, and I loved it. I excessively stress over everything, so I am glad it's over. My big research argument paper was on the effects of Twitter on language, so then I joined Twitter and found authors and fellow book fanatics. It turns out that they all have blogs. o.o This new world of tweeting and blogging is wonderful! Now that class is over I intend to join this world! I had my last class about 3 hours ago and now I'm starting this blog. I'll quote, review, ramble. This is only the beginning! Ah, I'm looking forward to this summer. Here I go!

I'm considering having my friends and family take bets on how many books they think I'll read this year. Sadly, it will definitely be less than the past two years. 2009 was 131, 2010 132. I doubt I can make 133, I'm way behind and know I'll be very busy the rest of the year. I'm at 44 so far, and it's May! Wanna take a shot at it and guess how many you think I'll have read by Christmas? (I go by Christmas, not New Years, because I get new books and Christmas, so I make sure I'm not in the middle of a book on Christmas, unlike New Years.) I'll write down guesses and check them at the end of the year. This is probably too soon to announce my plans, because nobody knows about my blog. I'll just have to re-announce this later.

I really hope somebody reads this... Maybe comments... I shall continue with this blogging later. MY FIRST RAMBLING! WOOT!