Review of To Catch A Pirate by Jade Parker

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To Catch a Pirate is a Young Adult romance novel written by Jade Parker (also known as Rachel Hawthorne). She used the pseudonym Jade Paker because the book  is not her typical  beach or winter novels  . Scholastic Inc published this book in 2007.

I originally read this book because my sister handed it to me one day to read while I waited in the car , and I was hooked by page one. “To Catch a Pirate” is set in colonial England. The main character Annalisa Townsend is on her way to the New World with her father who is supposed to set up a township for the king when pirates attack their ship. The story tells of her plan of revenge to restore her father’s reputation, and seek closure from the traumatic experience that happened the previous year. The book has a spilt point of view between the two main characters Annalisa Townsend and James Sterling.

I love the characterization in the story because in most young adult fiction novels. The female lead ends up falling for the jerk, instead of the nice guy that has been pathetically pining over her for years. I like how the female lead was strong, made her own decisions, and the character’s motives were not so easily defined. Here is a passage from the book as an example: “She’d looked so beautiful standing there, gazing out to sea. Crimson had once told him a tale about Sirens, magical creatures that lived on an island. Their songs lured mariners to their destruction – their ships were destroyed by the rocks surrounding the island. And even knowing that death awaited them, they couldn’t resist the lure of the Sirens’ song.”

The book is a very quick read, and one could probably finish it in a day. It is fast moving and the characters are very realistic. It leaves you with the lesson that not everyone is always what they seem.  I think fans of Pirates of the Caribbean will love this book.

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Aretha Franklin Made Me Think Today: Thoughts on Respect and how one earns it.

I’m writing about this because one of my best friends made me think about what it takes to earn someone’s respect.This of course lead to Aretha Franklin’s voice belting R-E-S-P-E-C-T in my head. I’ve come to the conclusion though that it depends on the situation and the person. The example I’m going to use from now on is the world of writers and readers.These may seem like two different worlds ,but without readers who would writers write for besides to get their thoughts out on paper? It’s a symbiotic relationship we need each other. So how does one gain respect in the literary community?

The answer I’m slowly finding out is by getting people to talk about what you are doing,and how you go about it.A good example I can think of right now in my lifetime is J.K. Rowling. She created a world for most people my age ,and even some adults.She has a phenomenal book series,but people talk about her books.They set the gold standard for every Young Adult fantasy series in my lifetime that’s why most YA fantasy writers have the mantra “J.K is my Queen” in their heads.

I guess my point is others will respect you if you are kind to them,and that’s what literary citizenship is about supporting others because when you are in their shoes with your first book coming out you’ll need someone to support you. Those are my thoughts and opinions ,but what does respect mean to you?

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Review of Doctor Who’s newest episode The Rings of Akhaten (May Contain Spoilers)

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The episode  (written by Neil Cross) begins with The Doctor (played by Matt Smith)  going back in his Tardis to see how his new companion Clara (played by Jenna Louise-Coleman) grew up.It was very well done and you get invested in her parents’ love story right away.Then the Doctor goes to pick up Clara and takes her to Akhaten during the Festival  of Offering.

During this festival all of the people in attendance offer something of sentimental value to feed the god called “Grandfather”.While they are feeding him their precious items, the young Queen Of Years, who holds the entire history of her people,   sings an ancient song called “The Long Song” in order to keep Grandfather asleep.

Well Clara meets the current Queen of The Years,Mary Gejelh in the marketplace when she is hiding from her attendants because she doesn’t want to disappoint Grandfather by messing up the song.Clara comforts Mary by telling her of a time when Clara herself was terrified of getting lost,and reassured her she would do a wonderful job at the ceremony.The Doctor and Clara attend the ceremony,and Grandfather wakes, and tries to take Mary as a sacrifice.Clara  feels personally responsible because she told Mary that everything would be fine so the Doctor and Clara come to the rescue.They end up offering their own most precious memories to satisfy Grandfather.

It was a heartwarming episode with love ,loss ,and the lesson that even the things you fear most you can survive.

You can purchase this episode and any of the other Modern Series episodes on ITunes or Amazon. You can also watch Seasons 1-6 with a subscription  to Netflix or Amazon Prime.
You can watch the current seasons episodes for free (if you register for a free account) here:http://doctorwhomedia.co.uk/

Hope you enjoy 🙂

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What Would Romeo and Juliet say? (Admiring from Afar in The Digital Age)

Image  Love is something most people are looking for in this world. It all starts when  you share glances with someone  in the hallway, or anywhere really. The only problem is how do you gather up the courage to tell that person about your feelings without seeming like a stalker?

Well Ball State, Indiana University, and Purdue University have solved that problem for you. There is a page called Ball State Secret Admirers where people can reveal their secret crushes ,and feelings about the people they like on campus. This has been the main source of procrastination for students who read the page looking for their own name, or the names of their friends.  Then can post the declaration of affection on their friends’ wall,or their own to let everyone know someone’s thinking of them.

I guess it just makes me wonder what happened to the days when people actually talked face to face with each other? It also begs the question, What would Romeo and Juliet do if their story took place today? Would they just post their declarations of love on a Facebook page, and see what happened?

Here’s the link to the Ball State Page:

http://www.facebook.com/BallStateSecretAdmirers?ref=ts&fref=ts

Indiana University (Bloomington) :

http://www.facebook.com/pages/IU-Secret-Admirers/127773980738056

Purdue:

http://www.facebook.com/boilercrush?ref=ts&fref=ts

I hope that these lovers from a far get their happy ending ,or at least learn to use proper grammar.

May you live happily ever after ,and all of your dreams come true. 🙂

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Lessons Learned from Organizing an Event

Image Organizing the graduate school panel was an interesting experience. Most of the people I told about it didn’t want to go to grad school yet or at all because they were sick of school and just want to be done when they graduate. I felt as a team our group did a pretty good job spreading the word.I just think a lot of people forgot or just clicked the  ” I’m going” button on the event page for something to do. It just taught me that people need constant reminders, and something in their face all of the time in order to actually attend an event.

Overall I think the event went well. I think everyone who did attend received a lot of valuable information that they can use when deciding their future.

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Wise Words from Pretty Awesome People

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I recently attended two events that gave me a lot of insight into my continuing life as a writer. These are biggest things I learned from just listening to the various different writers’ personal stories.

1.Write about what you know,and what you love.

2.Don’t go to grad school straight out of undergraduate. It’s good to gain experience before grad school. 

3. You should never pay for grad school.

4.Set time aside for writing in your schedule  (weekly, daily ,or during the summer, depends on how you work.)

5.Jobs as professors are extremely hard to get.

6.People you meet while you are getting your degree may help you get a job.

7.Contests are a good way to get your work published.

8. Establish a pattern in your writing ,and then break that pattern to try something different.

9 .It’s okay to revisit work after you trash it. 

10. Find people you trust with your work after you leave the safety of workshop in classes.

I’m very grateful for the opportunity to meet these lovely writers who aren’t just good at putting together sentences. I definitely would hang out with them if they lived here.

 

 

 

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The YA Sisterhood Blog

ImageThe YA Sisterhood blog talks about Young Adult books in a few fun and creative ways. They have  book reviewing,  and interviews with writers  like you would expect from any book blog. However, They also have contests like the YA Crush tournament   a few times a year where they put all of the crush worthy characters in an elimination tournament.   Two contenders are put against each other each week ,and the visitors of the blog vote for their favorite of the two. The winner moves on to the next round until there is only one winner. They have character bios for the two competitors about why you should vote for them. It’s a good way to find new books to read,and you get to see if your favorite YA crush wins. They also interview the winner of the tournament which is really funny to read. They also have posts about books they are excited for to be released. It’s a really entertaining ,  website with good information ,and they have new posts a few times a week at least.
Here’s the link to their blog :

http://ya-sisterhood.blogspot.com/

Enjoy 🙂

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