Friday, March 25, 2016

Friday Writing Prompt Post

                                              1. The Sugar Queen
                                              2. The Grace that Keeps the World
                                              3. Hello, Darkness
                                              4. Not Even for Love
                                              5. Cold Choices
                                              6. Breaking Point
                                              7. Blow Out
                                              8. Liars and Thieves
                                              9. City of Bones
                                            10. Everyone is Beautiful
                                            11. The Inheritance of Loss
                                            12. Dogwood
                                            13. Dare to Die
                                            14. The Sign
                                            15. Velocity
                                            16. The Plantation
                                            17. Cover the Butter
                                            18. Girl in the Mirror
                                            19. The Rest of her Life
                                            20. Vanishing Act
                                            21. The Lovely Bones
                                            22. Last Known Victim
                                            23. Saving Fish from Drowning
                                            24. The Rock Orchard
                                            25. The Loved Dog

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab Review

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
The idea of multiple of universes connected by four geographically same Londons and smuggling was what drew me to A Darker Shade of Magic, along with the awesome cover. Kell is one of the last Travelers, magicians that can travel to the other Londons, for the for the royals of Red London. He is also a smuggler in magical items which gets him in to some big trouble. Delilah Bard, among other things a swashbuckling thief, gets mixed up in that trouble with Kell. The characters and world are fleshed out but I would have liked a little more in getting to know them. They were a bit flat. The book's plot is a nice mix of predictable and surprising and moves the story along quickly.  A Darker Shade of Magic is a dark adventure full of magic and danger. 
Amazon Description:
Kell is one of the last Travelers-magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes, connected by one magical city.
There's Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, and with one mad king-George III. Red London, where life and magic are revered-and where Kell was raised alongside Rhys Maresh, the rougish heir to a flourishing empire. White London-a place where people fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London. But no one speaks of that now.
Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, ambassador of the Maresh empire, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they'll never see. It's a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.
Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.
Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they'll first need to stay alive.

This book is available for checkout through the  Lake County Library System.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Wig Making Video

I saw a two minute clip of this video on another website and I was had no idea how much time and effort go into making a wig.

Monday, March 14, 2016

After You by Jojo Moyes Review

After You by Jojo Moyes
While I loved Me Before You, I didn't feel as strongly about the sequel After You. It was enjoyable and nice to revisit old fictional friends but it didn't make me question to much of anything. It was fun to see Louisa deal with some of the things that get thrown at her. The funniest scene has to do with Thomas, her nephew and the Avatar movie. Reading the book is worth it just for that bit. It was not so fun reading about Louisa's love interest because the chemistry of the characters just wasn't there for me. The story moved along nicely and ended about how I thought it would. It could be a true end or there could be another book, either way works.

Amazon Description:
“You’re going to feel uncomfortable in your new world for a bit. But I hope you feel a bit exhilarated too. Live boldly. Push yourself. Don’t settle. Just live well. Just live. Love, Will.”
How do you move on after losing the person you loved? How do you build a life worth living?

Louisa Clark is no longer just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. After the transformative six months spent with Will Traynor, she is struggling without him. When an extraordinary accident forces Lou to return home to her family, she can’t help but feel she’s right back where she started.

Her body heals, but Lou herself knows that she needs to be kick-started back to life. Which is how she ends up in a church basement with the members of the Moving On support group, who share insights, laughter, frustrations, and terrible cookies. They will also lead her to the strong, capable Sam Fielding—the paramedic, whose business is life and death, and the one man who might be able to understand her. Then a figure from Will’s past appears and hijacks all her plans, propelling her into a very different future. . . .

For Lou Clark, life after Will Traynor means learning to fall in love again, with all the risks that brings. But here Jojo Moyes gives us two families, as real as our own, whose joys and sorrows will touch you deeply, and where both changes and surprises await.
This book is available for checkout through the Lake County Library System.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Friday Writing Prompt: The Non-Fiction Edition

A non-fiction edition! 

                                                               1. Manhunt
                                                               2. Women Who Kill
                                                               3. Small Sacrifices
                                                               4. A Bitter Harvest
                                                               5. A Beautiful Child
                                                               6. 100 Trains
                                                               7. Why Do We Say It?   
                                                               8. Bridal Bargains
                                                               9. Southern Jack Tails
                                                             10. All In
                                                             11. Biohazard
                                                             12. Every Dog Has a Gift
                                                             13. Drug Crazy
                                                             14. Blindsided
                                                             15. Culture of Corruption
                                                             16. Fire in the East
                                                             17. The Right to Vote
                                                             18. Resurrecting Sex
                                                             19. Imperfect Harmony
                                                             20. Natural Grace
                                                             21. Shattered Dreams
                                                             22. Leaving the Saints
                                                             23. Conversations with God
                                                             24. The Bell Curve
                                                             25. No Wrinkles on the Soul

Have fun and feel free to share some of your creations in the comments.

Monday, March 7, 2016

In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl's Journey to Freedom by Yeonmi Park Review

In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl's Journey to Freedom by Yeonmi Park

If it had been possible to In Order to Live would have been devoured in one sitting. I have read several books about life in North Korea like Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West by Blaine Harden and Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick (I recommend both). When Yeonmi Park is young she watches Titanic and it gives her a window into another world. Despite the harsh penalties for having foreign media, dvds of movies and South Korean soap operas are popular and expensive costing about the same as 4.4lbs of rice. Her father is a smuggler of many things, mainly metal, allowing his family to live pretty comfortably until he is arrested. This sets into motion a series of misfortune that tears the family apart.
It’s a harrowing account of her young life and the escape from North Korea and the new dangers beyond the border. While Yeonmi Park is only 22 she has been forced to learn and adapt to different lives, struggled through things that no one should ever have to face. Her capacity for survival is inspiring, going from one of the millions of faceless North Koreans to a full-time activist for human rights in North Korea. 

Amazon Description: 

Yeonmi Park has told the harrowing story of her escape from North Korea as a child many times, but never before has she revealed the most intimate and devastating details of the repressive society she was raised in and the enormous price she paid to escape.

Park’s family was loving and close-knit, but life in North Korea was brutal, practically medieval. Park would regularly go without food and was made to believe that, Kim Jong Il, the country’s dictator, could read her mind. After her father was imprisoned and tortured by the regime for trading on the black-market, a risk he took in order to provide for his wife and two young daughters, Yeonmi and her family were branded as criminals and forced to the cruel margins of North Korean society. With thirteen-year-old Park suffering from a botched appendectomy and weighing a mere sixty pounds, she and her mother were smuggled across the border into China.

I wasn’t dreaming of freedom when I escaped from North Korea. I didn’t even know what it meant to be free. All I knew was that if my family stayed behind, we would probably die—from starvation, from disease, from the inhuman conditions of a prison labor camp. The hunger had become unbearable; I was willing to risk my life for the promise of a bowl of rice. But there was more to our journey than our own survival. My mother and I were searching for my older sister, Eunmi, who had left for China a few days earlier and had not been heard from since.

Park knew the journey would be difficult, but could not have imagined the extent of the hardship to come. Those years in China cost Park her childhood, and nearly her life.  By the time she and her mother made their way to South Korea two years later, her father was dead and her sister was still missing. Before now, only her mother knew what really happened between the time they crossed the Yalu river into China and when they followed the stars through the frigid Gobi Desert to freedom. As she writes, “I convinced myself that a lot of what I had experienced never happened. I taught myself to forget the rest.”

In In Order to Live, Park shines a light not just into the darkest corners of life in North Korea, describing the deprivation and deception she endured and which millions of North Korean people continue to endure to this day, but also onto her own most painful and difficult memories. She tells with bravery and dignity for the first time the story of how she and her mother were betrayed and sold into sexual slavery in China and forced to suffer terrible psychological and physical hardship before they finally made their way to Seoul, South Korea—and to freedom.

Still in her early twenties, Yeonmi Park has lived through experiences that few people of any age will ever know—and most people would never recover from. Park confronts her past with a startling resilience, refusing to be defeated or defined by the circumstances of her former life in North Korea and China. In spite of everything, she has never stopped being proud of where she is from, and never stopped striving for a better life. Indeed, today she is a human rights activist working determinedly to bring attention to the oppression taking place in her home country.

Park’s testimony is rare, edifying, and terribly important, and the story she tells in In Order to Live is heartbreaking and unimaginable, but never without hope. Her voice is riveting and dignified. This is the human spirit at its most indomitable. 

In Order to Live is available for checkout through the Lake County Library System.