Saturday, June 30, 2018

Sunday Synopsis

The Forgetting (The Forgetting, #1)The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was a page-turner. Let me start by saying I was a little skeptical at first. So many dystopian novels have cookie-cutter plots and characters. This one was somewhat different.

The main character is Nadia. It never says exactly how old she is, but I would guess about 15 or 16. She has a mother and two sisters. They live in Canaan, a very structured city surrounded by stone walls where everyone, except the Lost, has their place, their job, in sustaining the community. The city is run by a council who oversee the well-being of the citizens and make sure the rules are being followed.

Their motto is, "What isn't written, isn't remembered." Every day, they must write their memories in their book. The book stays tethered to them. If you have no book, you are Lost. You don't exist. Because every twelve years, the Forgetting comes, and all memories are lost. If your memories are not written in your book, you will wake up from the Forgetting and have no idea who you are, where you should go, what you should do. Except... Nadia remembers. And Nadia has also gone over the wall, an offense punishable by flogging. Nadia makes a discovery in the jungle outside the wall that may be the key to the Forgetting.

As I was reading, there were several instances where I was reminded of other works such as The Giver. Nadia, as well as the community of Canaan, reminded me of Jonas and his society. The part of the novel where Nadia makes a discovery in the jungle reminded me so much of the TV show Lost. I was actually quite disappointed in that part because it was unoriginal. The descriptions and a few other details reminded me of the story "All Summer in a Day" by Ray Bradbury. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that story inspired the novel.

On first starting this book, I was confused. It was difficult to sort things out and put the pieces together, so I feel like a young adult who is not a strong reader would get discouraged. The relationships among characters are unclear at first. However, once I was about a fourth of the way into the book, it was difficult to put down. Once you reach what you think is the climax, you realize it wasn't, and there's another, and another. It almost went on a little too long.

Overall, this was a clever take on a dystopian world. Well done, Ms Cameron!

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Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Photo Day!

Young Life Camp, Colorado
 Abilene Christian University Leadership Summit, January, 2017
This would be nice right about now!  It's hot where we are!
copyright DLA
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Link up for some great photos at image-in-ing and Wordless Wednesday.

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Saturday, June 23, 2018

Sunday Synopsis

Reconstructing AmeliaReconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow! I was not expecting this! I came across this book from an ad that said, "If you liked Gone Girl..." I could not put this book down!

Single mother and attorney Kate lives with her daughter Amelia in Brooklyn. Kate is a junior partner at a law firm and works countless hours leaving Amelia with a nanny, until this year, 10th grade, when Amelia says she is too old for a nanny. Amelia attends a pricey private school called Grace Hall. She is an academic wonder and an awesome field hockey player who isn't part of the "popular" group but seems to be okay with that.

One afternoon, Kate is interrupted during an important client meeting with a phone call from Grace Hall. Amelia has been caught cheating and is being suspended from school. Kate must go to the school immediately to pick her up. Late, as usual, when she finally arrives, she is shocked to see police and an ambulance at the school. One of the co-eds has jumped to her death.

Only, a few weeks later, Kate receives a message that says, "She didn't jump." Kate delves into a maze of emails, text message, secret websites, secret clubs, hazing, first crushes, and old friendships that go farther back than Kate first realizes. She couldn't save Amelia, but she is determined to vindicate her memory.

This psychological thriller kept me on the edge of my seat. With well-developed, believable characters, a compelling plot, and mysterious revelations, you won't be able to put it down, either!

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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Thursday Thirteen

My twins will be turning 22 in five days.  They share a birthday with the following people:

Derek Jeter- American Baseball Player

Jennette McCurdy - American Actress (iCarly, et. al.)

Jason Schwartzman - American Actor

Abner Doubelday - American Military Officer

Ariana Grande - American Singer

Nick Offerman - American Actor (Parks and Rec)

Pearl S. Buck - American Author (The Pearl)

Paul Castellano - American Gangster

Babe Didrickson Zaharias - American Athlete

Francisco Pizarro - Spanish Conquistador

Rudy Gobert - French Basketball Player (currently in NBA)

Chris Isaak - American Singer/Songwriter

American Actor

June 26 falls under the zodiac sign of Cancer.  These people are usually creative, and they're good at math and science.  They are serious until you get to know them, but when they let their guard down, they have a terrific sense of humor.  (From The Famous People, if you buy into the horoscope stuff.)

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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Random Day!

I'm linking up with Stacy.

Can I vent?

I have a FB friend who used to be a co-worker and she refers to her kids as "the littles."   Here's an example:
"Happy Father’s Day to the best daddy my littles could ever ask for! He works tirelessly for our littles and never complains."  Sweet sentiment, yes, but the littles?  Why not children, kids, etc.?
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See, The Littles was a series of books I used to read as a kid (and it was my favorite for a long time). It later became a cartoon.  The Littles had mouse-like features including a tail.  They were also mouse-sized.  I don't know why it bothers me so much, but it does.  Maybe because she's a one-upper.  Do you know someone who is a one-upper?

Another friend doesn't want to use her kid's real names on the Internet, so her first son, who is almost 4, has been called man cub since day one.  Here's what it makes me think of, when Ka refers to Mowgli as Man Cub in The Jungle Book.

 Her other son, who is 1 1/2,  is called wild thing.  I don't mind man cub, but wild thing?  Giving him that nickname when he's a newborn?  It makes me think of Max from Where the Wild Things Are, another childhood favorite of mine.  But I wouldn't really want my boy to be like Max.
Maurice Sendak
Okay.  Moving on now... I got it all out of my system!

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I've started watching CSI.  Watching might not be the correct word. It's more like bingeing. How have I never seen this show before?  I guess I was too caught up in Law and Order, L&O SVU, L&O Criminal Intent, and Criminal Minds.  I love shows with crimes, detectives, criminalists, and so on. And I love mysteries.  I never really got into NCIS, but I don't think I've ever watched CSI before until this summer, and I'm loving it!  So far, my favorite character is Warrick.  And... I just saw Dwight Shrute (Rainn Wilson) from The Office in an episode (playing a pick-pocket) and Hollis Doyle (Gregg Henry) from Scandal playing an FBI agent.

Gary Dourdan

And now for some cuteness!

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Saturday, June 16, 2018

Sunday Syopsis

The Last Book in the UniverseThe Last Book in the Universe by Rodman Philbrick
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was hard to get started. There was so much jargon: latches, zooming, cancel, proov, stacks, geez, red, and so on. If the jargon really bothered me at first, I can imagine a young adult having a difficult time realizing what is going on enough to keep moving forward.

But move forward, I did. The setting is in the cyber-punk slums of the post-apocalyptic future. The world has almost been destroyed. The main character is Spaz, named for his behavior when he experiences epileptic seizures. Spaz meets an old man named Ryter who once was a writer, but all books, except for the one Ryter still has possession of, have been destroyed. Ryter attempts to explain to Spaz what life was like pre-apocalypse.

Spaz's former foster sister is sick and may die. Ryter agrees to help Spaz get to the latch and see her one last time. Little Face joins them. The result is a fast-paced adventure that has the reader rooting for the threesome. Once Spaz sees "Bean," he decides he has to find a way to heal her, and the adventure continues.

I liked this story. I can't say I loved it for a few reasons, one being, of course, the jargon. Another is how much we must suspend belief to understand some of the things in the book. True, it is science fiction, but some of the events just didn't make sense. Last, I wasn't satisfied with the ending. I'm glad I read it, but it doesn't make it onto my favorite books list.

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Thursday, June 14, 2018

Thursday Thirteen

As a teacher of 11-13 year olds, I hear my fair share of slang words.
 Here are 13 words I wish would just go away!

1. Bae (short for baby) 

2. Yaaasss! (Yes plus excitement) 

3. Wifey (married woman) 
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4. Lit (cool or high on drugs or alcohol)

5. Woke (culturally or politically aware)
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 6. GOAT (Greatest of all time) 

7. Extra (over the top) 

8. Keep it 100 (keeping it real)

 9. Savage (someone who doesn’t care) 

10. Bruh (means bro, often pronounced bra) 
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11. Squad (friend group) 

12. Cray-Cray (crazy) 
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13. Snatched (you look great)

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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Random Tuesday

Tuesday seems to be coming around faster than it usually does!  Oh, I know it happens once every 7 days, but life seems to be going by too fast!  I'm linking up with Stacy to share some random nonsense.

I need a new TV show to watch.  I like a good drama.  I've seen all the Law & Order Shows, Criminal Minds, OITNB, Lost, Prison Break, Breaking Bad,  Handmaid's Tale, and a dozen other shows.  I tried going back to rewatch Criminal Minds thinking I would have forgotten most of it by now, but I didn't forget. Forgetfulone, right?  Maybe not so much!  So, any ideas?
I am on a very wacky sleep schedule already.  Summer started a week ago, and I'm staying up till 2 or 3 in the morning and/or taking naps during the day.  I kinda like it, but it doesn't lend itself to getting a whole lot done, so it's going to have to change.  Maybe.

My husband and I are going to go camping at Blanco State Park in a few weeks.  I'm looking forward to it.  We can fish, swim, cook out, picnic, and go geocaching.  I've never done that before, and I'm really looking forward to it!  Have you ever done that?

Can you believe this grocery store (Publix) was unfamiliar with the term "summa cum laude?"
They used dashes to replace "cum" thinking it was a naughty word.  It actually means "with" in Latin!

The real-life Grumpy Cat won a $700,000 lawsuit.
Grumpy's owner sued Grenade (beverage company) who used Grumpy Cat's likeness in ads beyond the scope of what was contracted.  I also learned that the reason Grumpy Cat looks the way she does it because she suffers from dwarfism and an underbite.  That makes me sad.

Can anyone be this stupid?
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Can these girls really be this dumb?
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And last, but not least...
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Have a great week!

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