The Book Geek

Archive for April 2008

So I finally finished the book after lots of surfing and eating in between(don’t blame me, blame my mom!)

Just thirty-seven chapters? I was expecting 39! OK, I’m getting too Dan Brown-ish on this, apologies. Thirteen is beginning to grow on me, you know those long words you have no idea what they mean because you just skimmed through the entire Oxford dictionary during sixth grade for the reading level test that you aced(my reading level last last year was 9.9 I believe and last year it was 11.. hoping for a thirteen this year…!). Ok, I’m going off topic, apologies once again.

That old midnighter was unexpected, seriously. When she was introduced I was like “Who is she?” and then it turned out that she was one of them. My gosh! I thought it was cleared up in the first book that all the midnighters prior to them(which means more or less 50 years prior..) vanished all at once? I salute Scott Westerfeld once again.

A halfling? Whoa. I never thought of that. I mean, half darkling half human? It kinda creeps me out but I’m wondering if they look like regular humans, since it was stated that they were the connection between the darklings and their human ‘servants’ or whatever you call them. I wanna know.. NOW! *does some research*

All that snooping around behind their parents’ backs is starting to make me really curious. Nah, I would never do that to my parents, they’re too nice for that. Seriously, but when my grades go down just a bit, they freak. On me.

Scott Westerfeld makes me want to be writer even more, even if I don’t really have any good ideas in my head right now(OK, maybe I can give it some time..) and I’m not really sure if I write well. When I read my own stuff, I think it’s crap and it’s rushed and you get the point. Which is why I never, ever re-read what I write, unless it’s for revisions sake.

I’ve never liked history, mainly because my mom loves it and my godfather’s the Japanese history expert here in the Philippines. Oh, and because of the fact that when I was in elementary school, my teachers condensed over 500 years of presidents, invaders, governor-generals, heroes, traitors, and events in one semester a year for five horrible years(the other semester was geography, which wasn’t as bad). I may start liking history because of this series, just wait until I’ve read ‘Blue Noon’.

Next step, BLUE NOON! I really, really NEED it. Seriously. 

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Seriously, I cannot get enough of this series, it’s addictive! Here’s what I think so far.

I love it when midnight comes along in this book, it’s like everything ‘comes to life’ perse, it’s great and I’ve loved this idea from the minute I read the plotline.

WHO is that guy who was taking pictures during that hour? It’s freaking me out so much that I might not be able to sleep tonight. I really, really wanna know who the hell he is, if he’s a midnighter and what the hell he’s doing.

The cover freaks me out, most Scott Westerfeld book covers freak me out(except So Yesterday, I love that book cover.), I might have bad dreams tonight but whatever, I love the book.

I like snooping around my dad’s music collection as much as Dess likes looking through her dad’s maps. Well, maybe more ‘coz I seriously find the coolest stuff in his CD collection but some of them are total crap.

This book is gonna be exciting, even more than the first and don’t make me start with the third, I’m starting to bug my mom already!

Yay!

Posted on: April 28, 2008

So I went to the mall today since our house was being re-painted and it smelled horrible and guess what I bought? The second book in the Midnighters series! I’ve read about nine pages in about five minutes so expect a review by tomorrow!

Moving on, today was quite boring actually, I just lazed around in my parents office, surfed when the internet was active(namely: before 10 am, 12-1 pm and 3 pm) and slept the rest of the time.

So I better get to reading that book now, time to gobble it up again!

Ok, for those who don’t know what UP is, it stands for the University of the Philippines and it was founded when the Americans invaded the Philippines (CENTENNIAL, PEOPLE!). OK? OK.

I was born into a family of teachers and doctors who are the occasional musicians(family thing, alright?) and I’ve got two sets of aunts and uncles. My uncle and my aunt(who are married to each other, DUH.) are doctors and my aunt is a professor at the UP college of Medicine while my Uncle is a practicing Orthopedic. My other Aunt is a professor at the Department of Arts and letters, and so are my parents. My other uncle is an executive for Mitsubish electric, but that’s a bit off topic. My cousins have all studied in UP from kinder all the way up to college and the eldest is coming home this May to start teaching molecular biology. So I guess we’re a dynasty here in UP, the Rivera-Mirano dynasty.

Why will I be in UP forever? Well, maybe not forever but until I graduate, at least. I got into the elementary/high school of UP, which gives me an 80% chance of getting into UP, not that I wouldn’t want to, I mean it is the best school in the country.

I practically live in the school. During summer, I’m always crashing at my parents’ office because it’s air conditioned and UP internet is not so bad(OK, I’m under reacting, IT’S HORRIBLE.).

My only complaint with UP is the crappy food. OK, you’ve got the college canteen and all and then you’ve got Casaa and Chocolate Kiss and those other home-cooked places, but after spending the first thirteen years of my life eating that for lunch about 75% of the time, I get sick of it, wouldn’t you?

People may think that UP is about academics and quality and expressing yourself and freedom but it’s the opposite. After a year of sitting in the back seat of my parents’ car listening to my mom ranting about her post as the curator of the Vargas Museum, I saw UP in a different light. Politics and power-hungry people are behind that impression that UP gives. My mom has had to deal with bosses and unsavory people who get on her last nerve, we haven’t been able to have a family dinner 100% of the time because she’s in front of the computer and/or on the phone fixing some big problem or shouting at someone. The UP I saw when I first saw it back when I was three was just a cover-up.

Even with that firmly implanted on my mind, UP is still the best in the country and I wouldn’t trade the opportunity I’ve been given, the opportunity to get the best education possible, for the world. Let’s just hope sophomore year in UP high school isn’t as traumatic as freshman year.

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The first book in the Midnighters series has not failed to impress, Scott Westerfeld has once again created a timeless masterpiece. The book is pretty much everything Scott Westerfeld is a writer, he fused fantasy with real life, he made this story believable yet still with that element that will keep you at the edge of your seat, waiting for the next thing to happen, and he does it in 297 pages.

I love how he puts in the tiniest of details, like thirteen-letter words and what those darklings actually look like, how he makes fantasy real, even if it’s just for the time you’re reading the book. He makes his readers imagine with those small details, it’s like you can see the place in your mind and yet you know he’s holding something back for the later parts. 

The amount of thought he put into this book must’ve been overwhelming. While I was reading the book, I was wondering how he thought of all those thirteen-letter words because there were some of them that I never even knew had thirteen letters, most probably because I don’t really count how many letters there are in a word or phrase.

The over-all concept of midnight freezing for an hour and letting all these darklings come out still amazes me. What if it was true? What if people who were born at the stroke of midnight were really able to see things other people can’t?

That’s another thing I love about Scott Westerfeld, it’s so realistic that it makes you wonder if it could be true, if the city in ‘Uglies’ could really exist and if in the future, you were really made pretty when you turned sixteen, if the vampires in ‘Peeps’ really do exist in the sewerage and if the things in ‘So Yesterday’ could actually happen.

The end of the book makes you want more, it makes you want more at that very moment. It keeps you on your toes, waiting until you can get your hands on the next book and I can’t wait myself. I’ll be getting the sequel within this week, if not, I’m gonna go crazy, seriously.

All in all, this book is a masterpiece, it’s every Scott Westerfeld fan’s dream and most of all, all three books are already out and available at my local bookstore, so there’s no more waiting for the next book, I just get it and read. Done deal.

 

My taste is very, well, strange. At least it is for my classmates, which is why they never, ever borrow my iPod or my music phone.

What makes it strange? Well have you ever heard of the song ‘Running Away’ by Jesse McCartney? Jesse McCartney you may have heard of, but unless you have his whole sophomore release, including all the bonus tracks, you wouldn’t know that song and it’s my current favorite track.

My classmates music players are filled with the hits, ‘Touch My Body’ which I absolutely hate, ‘Bleeding Love’ which is getting annoying now, ‘Low’ which just sucks big time and all those other hits and I hate them. I hate them, I hate them, I hate them. I don’t understand why they only listen to what’s given to them and don’t bother to look for tracks that aren’t hits but deserve attention.

Ever heard of a girl named Britt Nicole? How about a band called D-Side? Girls Aloud? LAX Girlz? I bet not. Those are the artists on my iPod that get listened to, too much. I’m sure you’ve heard of Mariah Carey, but have you heard of the song ‘Love Story’ from her new album? Nah, not unless you’re a fan or you bought her album.

Westlife. I absolutely adore their songs, but not their singles, I cannot stand ‘Flying Without Wings’ and I call myself a fan why? Because I love ‘Don’t Get Me Wrong’, ‘Get Away’, ‘Let’s Make Tonight Special’, ‘Written In The Stars’, ‘Somebody Needs You’, ‘Where We Belong’, ‘Still Here’ and a host of other underrated Westlife tracks. I like them for the songs they write, for their creations, for the b-sides which the general public neglect. Most of all, for the albums the critics shun, even if they’ve only heard the singles that really suck because believe it or not, there are quite a lot of gems hidden in a Westlife album.

I love Swing Out Sister, I grew up with that duo, I grew up listening to them in the car with my dad and every time I heard their songs, I remember my dad. Their songs are nostalgic for me and I’m sure that only one or two of my classmates know of them. I love their songs, the melodies are timeless and the arrangements are stuck in the 80’s, they balance each other out.

I love this girl band called ‘Play’. They’re Swedish and they had limited success for three studio albums, I love their songs and they can sing for sure. Of course, they’re history but they’re good, one of the best girl bands Sweden has churned out for a few years.

All in all, I hate the hits, I love the undiscovered songs, because I know only a few people have heard them, and only a few actually like them.

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So, let’s turn our attention onto music for now, while I finish Midnighters: The Secret Hour. This album is full of melodious, catchy Pop songs, leading the way for other similar artists and the new sound of pop music. 

I personally adore this album, it’s one of the very few that I’ll listen to from start to finish and not forward or rewind. Every song on this album is different, but they’re tied together perfectly. There are slow songs, up tempo ones and just plain nice songs.

Although the only complaint I have with this album is that it’s too short! I want more! I want fifteen-eighteen tracks of this, not twelve! Although maybe she’s saving those extra songs for her next album, to keep her fans at the edge of their seats, waiting for the next release which I know will be fantastic.

She’s touring with Mika right now, and although I’ve only heard her live on her iTunes EP, I want to see something on YouTube or whatever. Maybe I’ll go over there later after all my reading’s finished so let’s just hope I can stay away from the computer and not tend to my music blog.

Anyway, the album is a must-listen, it’s fresh, it’s nice and most of all, she wrote every single song on it. My dad always says that if an artist doesn’t write his/her own songs, he/she’s replaceable, put anyone else with a nice body and a so-so voice there and the song will still be a hit. When an artist writes his/her own songs and they become big hits, that’s what he’ll say, “Oh. This is someone who deserves it,” sort of like Wonder in ‘Pop Princess’. If my dad heard someone like her, he’d say, “She’s boring, replaceable,” then he’ll change the song.

When my dad first heard this album, he said “She’s good,” and to get my dad’s approval on an album I like doesn’t happen very often.


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