Oh! The places you’ll go…

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I thought it would be appropriate to begin with a Dr. Seuss quote that described all the options one had for their future and all the places they could travel because TODAY is the day I’m allowed to officially obtain my driver’s license. I’ve now had my permit for a whole nine months. WOO! The freedom of growing up and all that teenage jazz!

… Yeah, but I’m not actually getting it today. On top of not getting out to drive as much as I should have, I keep forgetting to write down the hours that I do drive. Ughdoodles. I gots me some drivin’ to do.

Next week my mom, Alisha, my cousin Steve, Steve’s mom Aunt Addie, and I are going on a road trip to visit my cousins Richard, Mary, Samantha, and Jimmy who live far, far, faaaarrrr away (like six hours). (Gee willikers, that was a ton of names I just stuffed down your throat! Sorry.) I was kind of hoping that I would be able to drive part of the way there, but my mom is too worried. She gets really nervous whenever I’m behind the wheel (I’m not that bad of a driver, I promise!).

Despite that, I’m still looking forward to the actual drive. Six straight hours with my cousin Steve!!! And that’s before we even get to my other cousins’ house and spend 120 more hours with all of them!!!!! Together!!! I’m pretty darn psyched.

When we get there, I’m dying to go to this bookshop that Mary keeps telling me about. It’s down the street from their house! How lucky is it that they live right next to a bookshop??? So jelly of them ALL. I mean, like, if I lived walking distance away from a bookshop like they do, you wouldn’t be able to get me to come home. Hm… I wonder if I got to know the owner, would they let me sleep there? I could tell them I had to study late for school…

Dear goodness. I’ve been rambling on for a while now. What I’ve been trying to lead up to is the fact that I had a dream where I traveled far, far, FAAAARRRRRR away.  This far is bigger because it’s about my friend Anya. You see, I’ve never actually seen her IN THE FLESH. She lives in a different country, so I’ve literally dreamed about going over to meet her. What a trip that would be!

This is how I imagined it in my dream:

The beginning of the dream is a bit fuzzy, but it’s definitely possible that I was magically transported to Anya’s house. Don’t ask me how. Once there, I can see that her house is extremely busy, packed with family members. Anya naturally just accepted the fact that I’d appeared out of nowhere and we went together to a room in her house that had rows of seats where people were taking turns giving speeches to each other. I don’t know why they were giving speeches. It was some kind of motivational thing.

We began talking to different people that we knew in the assembly room (no one was surprised to see this weird American girl hanging out with Anya??). Jon, Anya’s cousin (well okay, I’ve talked to him before), walked over and began conversing with the two of us. For some misguided reason, he asked us to go and sit in a chair in the back of a fast-moving vehicle and have a parachute lift us up into the air. It was almost like he was daring us to do it. The parachute ride was one of the activities at the giant gathering Anya’s family was having.

At first, I said no because I’m afraid of heights. He roped me into it anyway, and at that point in the dream I remember being very mad at myself for saying yes. We went outside and Jon hooked Anya up into the chair. The truck slowly began pulling Anya. But suddenly, just as Anya began to lift off the truck and float in the air, her rope broke. Frantically, I scrambled to run and grab the broken rope. Thanks to my fabulous athletic skills (I have none whatsoever in real life), I prevented Anya from plummeting to the ground. Woo! Go me!

Needless to say, I didn’t go on the truck after Anya.We safely made back inside Anya’s house without any more mishaps. The next thing I remember is that we were back in the room where a bunch of people sat and some talked to us. Jon came back inside and began to get ready to make a speech of his own in that room. As he was getting ready, I fell asleep in my chair (haha I fell asleep while I was asleep) and I had a dream (while I was having a dream). Within my dream dream (heh) I knew there was a bad guy. As I began to wake up I confused the bad guy with Jon. Thinking that I had to stop him, I leaped up out of my chair and tackled Jon, right in the middle of his speech. Strangely, I wasn’t embarrassed as everyone stared at me, but I immediately felt bad that I had interrupted his speech. He was furious at me (he had thought I was cool before?? why???) and wouldn’t talk to me because I had embarrassed him, even though I told him I hadn’t meant to. Anya stuck up for me, confirming that it was an accident, but to no avail.

After that epic fail, Anya and I leave and go to a local (possibly family owned) store. Some of the party members must have strayed into the store because once again, the place we were in was crowded. In a corner of the general store, there was a little brown dog under a shelf of items. One of Anya’s family members owned the dog and brought it every year to the family to stay with her for summer. Having the dog arrive was a signal that summer was coming soon. Knowing that, I remembered that I had school the next day and that I had no idea how to go back home. I didn’t want to go because it was so cool to actually be able to physically see Anya and talk to her.

THEN (randomly!) my best friend Tasha showed up and started talking to some people there. I got super excited and went up to her, wanting her to meet Annie, but she held her hand out, signaling for me to wait. Apparently she already knew some people there. When she was finished her conversation I had her meet Anya. It was super cool awesome sauciness. Anya and I went back outside just in time to see the party activity of dog racing begin. But, you see, it wasn’t any dog race. In this race, everyone dressed their dogs in tutus. Anya’s brown dog from before had been entered and was flying down the race track in a giant pink fluffy tutu. While we were watching the dog race, Jon caught up to us and I was able to explain why I had tackled him. That’s about all I remember. My alarm went off and I had to get up to go to school. I was not looking forward to it, as shown in my dream by my wanting to stay in Anya’s country and skip it entirely.

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An Ode to my English Teacher Who does not Read

Oh, this ode is for you, dear Mr. K.

Your lack of initiative leaves me saying, “Hey!”

An English teacher who has not read,

is one who has been sorely mislead.

Where have you been???

Oh, the things that you have missed

have now got you shrouded in mist.

Shame, shame, shame-

this is now associated with your name.

Why haven’t you read Harry Potter yet???

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A list of books that Mr. K should read, of which I also recommend to others who would like to further their literary repertoire and/or stay “hip” in this age of popular kids’ books:

  • “Hip” books
    1. Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling (duh!)
      1. A young boy finds his way in the world and battles dark forces along with help from his wizard friends.
    2. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (see here for book order clarification)
      1. Clary Fray, a normal girl living in New York, finds herself thrust into the shadowhunter world, a special human race destined to battle demons in order to keep humanity safe.
    3. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
      1. Strong heroine Celaena Sardothien is chosen to compete in a contest to become the king’s personal assassin in this richly imagined fantasy.
    4. You better have already read Percy Jackson
      1. I’m not kidding, Mr. K
  • Hamlet adaptations
    1. Ophelia by Lisa M. Klein
      1. A new twist on Hamlet from the first person perspective of Ophelia.
    2. A Wounded Name by Dot Hutchison
      1. A modern day Hamlet from Ophelia’s point of view.
  • Macbeth adaptations
    1. Lady Macbeth’s Daughter by Lisa M. Klein
      1. Rejected by her own father Macbeth, Albia is raised by the three witches. This is her role behind the scenes.
  • Romeo and Juliet adaptations
    1. Still Star-Crossed by Melinda Taub
      1. After Romeo and Juliet die, Rosaline and Benvolio are left to pick up the pieces.
    2. Prince of Shadows by Rachel Caine
      1. A different twist on the play from Benvolio’s point of view as he watches everything unfold and becomes entangled within the mess himself.
    3. Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay
      1. Everything is not as it seems. Romeo murdered Juliet, and now they are destined to be reborn over and over again into different lovers, each fighting to gain the upper hand in the ongoing struggle of good vs evil.

Disclaimer: My English teacher Mr. K actually does read. He just doesn’t read kids books (even though he teaches kids). Besides that, he’s a pretty chill teacher. He’s in charge of our school newspaper, actually (of which I am a part of).

The Shadowhunter Chronicles Correct Order

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My second favorite series ever is the Shadowhunter Chronicles by Cassandra Clare. Pure works of awesomeness, they can be a bit daunting at first when trying to figure out the right way to read them. Since I was already in the mood to list series in the correct order (I just put Rick Riordan’s books in order) I thought I’d do this series too. 😀

The Mortal Instruments, The Infernal Devices, The Dark Artifices, The Last Hours, The Wicked Powers, and extra books that are associated with the Shadowhunter Chronicles are all listed in order here:

  1. City of Bones (TMI)
  2. City of Ashes (TMI)
  3. City of Glass (TMI)
  4. Clockwork Angel (TID)
  5. City of Fallen Angels (TMI)
  6. Clockwork Prince (TID)
  7. City of Lost Souls (TMI)
  8. The Shadowhunter Codex
  9. Clockwork Princess (TID)
  10. The Bane Chronicles
  11. City of Heavenly Fire (TMI)
  12. Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy
  13. Lady Midnight (TDA)
  14. Chain of Gold (TLH)
  15. Prince of Shadows (TDA)
  16. Chain of Iron (TLH)
  17. The Queen of Air and Darkness (TDA)
  18. Chain of Thorns (TLH)
  19. The Wicked Powers series

P.S. It really is best to read these books in publication order because as more come out they tend to spoil the ones that came before. One series spoils another and so on and so forth.

***NOTE*** Books that aren’t pictured above have not been published yet, and therefore I do not own them and cannot include them within the picture.

Correct Order of Rick Riordan Books

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Okay, so as I mentioned in my Fishy Doppelgänger post before, I wanted to lay out the correct way in which to read Rick Riordan’s books. Now, I mean, my word isn’t law, but if you want to get the best experience out of these when you read them, I recommend that you read them this way. Here is the publication order of Percy Jackson and the Olympians, The Kane Chronicles, Camp Half-Blood/Kane Chronicles crossovers, The Heroes of Olympus, Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, and all of Rick Riordan’s other children’s books.

  1. The Lightning Thief (PJO)
  2. The Sea of Monsters (PJO)
  3. The Titan’s Curse (PJO)
  4. The Battle of the Labyrinth (PJO)
  5. The Demigod Files (PJO)
  6. The Last Olympian (PJO)
  7. The Ultimate Guide (PJO)
  8. The Red Pyramid (KC)
  9. The Lost Hero (HOO)
  10. The Throne of Fire (KC)
  11. The Son of Neptune (HOO)
  12. The Serpent’s Shadow (KC)
  13. Survival Guide (KC)
  14. The Demigod Diaries (HOO)
  15. The Mark of Athena (HOO)
  16. The Son of Sobek (PJO/KC)
  17. The House of Hades (HOO)
  18. The Staff of Serapis (PJO/KC)
  19. The Blood of Olympus (HOO)
  20. The Crown of Prolemy (PJO/KC)
  21. Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods
  22. Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes
  23. The Sword of Summer (MCGA)
  24. The Hidden Oracle (TOA)
  25. The Hammer of Thor (MCGA)
  26. Camp Half-Blood Confidential
  27. The Dark Prophecy (TOA)

Really, you don’t have to stress about the order too much as long as you make sure you read Percy Jackson and the Olympians (yes, even The Demigod Files) FIRST, before you read any of the other series.

***NOTE*** Books that aren’t pictured above have not been published yet, and therefore I do not own them and cannot include them within the picture.

Fishy Doppelgängers

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WARNING: This post has a book summary, review, and my dream that connects to the book mentioned. It may contain SPOILERS for The Lightning Thief book. Nothing major is mentioned, but readers should take caution when I review the book. The summary before and the dream afterward should be okay. If not, don’t be afraid to tell me so I can change this spoiler warning accordingly.

And okay, while we’re doing warnings, I guess I better also warn you: this is my most favorite book series EVER. Rick Riordan rocks, and he is my hero. Whenever Percy Jackson is mentioned, I get super excited and fangirl the heck out without pausing to breathe. That being said, I nearly died of joy when I had a dream about my favorite characters. I thought this would be an appropriate start to my blog since Percy Jackson is such a big part of my life. (Just ask my sister Alisha who has no qualms complaining about how often I annoy her with my fangirling.)

Book summary

Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan is a five book series beginning with The Lightning Thief. Percy Jackson and the Olympians can be followed by its companion series, The Heroes of Olympus. If one still wishes for more Percy Jackson, Rick Riordan has written a crossover mini series with The Kane Chronicles. It can get a bit confusing if you haven’t been following the books as they come out. Hmm… Maybe I should make another post explaining the correct order to read certain series. Hehe. I just love educating people about books. Anyway, sorry. Got a bit off track there. Right now I believe I’ll just review The Lightning Thief, the first book (hence the one you should read first) out of all of these books.

Look, I didn’t want to be a half-blood.

And with a bang, you’re thrust into Percy Jackson’s weird life. The twelve-year-old begins his story while on a field trip with his 6th grade class. A strange occurrence on the trip leaves Percy seriously shaken, especially when no one but him can remember anything– except for perhaps his best friend Grover. As Grover continues to lie to him, Percy determines that something fishy is going on. At the end of the school year he returns to his home in New York City to be back with his mom and nasty stepfather.

Everything comes to a point when Percy is attacked by the Minotaur. Barely escaping with his life, he finds himself at Camp Half-Blood, which is no ordinary camp. It is meant for demigods, people who are half mortal, half god– Greek gods, to be exact. With his life changed beyond reason, it stands to chance that things can only get better, right? Nah. Percy is accused of stealing none other than Zeus’s lightning bolt. Zeus is the head honcho god and as temperamental as heck, basically the last person on earth you want to anger. In order to clear his name, Percy sets out on a quest. Joined by Grover and fellow demigod Annabeth, Percy and his friends fight and con their way across the country in order to reach the Underworld where they believe the real thief is.

Book review

Percy Jackson is a hilarious narrator, telling his adventures in a distinctive voice. It’s impossible to get bored with Percy narrating! His voice helps to move the plot along, keeping it fast paced and filled with jokes.

Riordan is a genius at incorporating Greek mythology within modern day America, weaving the two together seamlessly. It’s quite entertaining to see how the Greek gods supposedly influenced the events that happen today. When I first picked up The Lightning Thief (I was a tiny 8-year-old, dear sweet goodness) I had already been studying Greek mythology by myself for a while, so I loved seeing how Rick Riordan retold the Greek myths. Unlike other authors who might morph Greek myths into their own creations, Riordan acknowledges the original myths, having Percy learn them as demigod history lessons. I definitely appreciated this, knowing that it was an accurate representation of the myths.

Throughout Percy’s experiences he is introduced to new figures, both good and bad. Riordan’s characters are multilayered (like an onion), with flawed good characters and bad characters who aren’t so very evil. The characters add flavor to the story, creating an interesting and humorous world for readers to navigate through along with Percy.

But Percy’s world, because it’s complex, also comes with its fair share of complications that can’t be solved by hacking at somebody with a sword (but, don’t get me wrong, there’s lots of that too). Riordan doesn’t shy away from sticky situations. He deftly describes problems such as Percy’s abusive step father or the many shenanigans of the Greek gods. Expertly discussing the situations in ways that are not explicit, he is still gives good portrayals of the various dilemmas. This is important for a children’s author to do. Not everything in real life is going to be made of lollipops and rainbows, and kids do face conflicts in their lives. They shouldn’t have to deal with them, but they’re there none the less. Not only is Riordan giving them a good story, but he’s allowing kids to see that they aren’t alone, that other kids have issues too.

With all the positive elements incorporated within The Lightning Thief, it can be read, not just by grade school kids, but people of all ages. With a solid 10 out of 5 stars, this is an adventure that no one should miss out on! (Translation: if you haven’t read Percy Jackson yet, what are you doing?) It shall continue to be my all time favorite, no matter how old I get.

My dream

I was so excited when I first had this dream about Percy Jackson that this is literally how I labelled it in my notes: PRECY JACKSON DREAM ASDFGHJKL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I typed it out so fast I couldn’t even spell Percy correctly.

At the beginning of my dream I was in this large Greek architecturally styled building. Within the building I played this game show with my friend Jack. (Often, people I know in real life pop up in my dreams.) The game was kind of like Jeopardy. In it, the players were given random topics and then had to come up with where they came from. It could have been anything and I had a really hard time playing. I couldn’t think of the answer to the question I was given, so I ran away from the contest (running away from your problems is always the answer) and followed a lady to the top of the building. It was wobbly at the top and I thought to myself “A Greek structure wouldn’t be wobbly! Greeks were great mathematicians.”

After I escaped the horrible game show for good, I decided to travel to Europe on my own. I went there to learn how to be independent and do things by myself. I went to this weird train station where there were a bunch of different shops centered around it. My mom gave me money and I had to exchange it for euros. In the European market there was an old Percy Jackson who was sitting alone and depressed in a room filled with cool knickknacks, resembling an antique store. Within my dream I knew –don’t ask me how I knew this, sometimes in my dreams I just KNOW things– that he had a hard choice and was deliberating whether or not to take action.

This old Percy was actually from the future. In his time Annabeth had died. At risk of ruining the world by messing up past events, old Percy made the decision to go back in time and attempt to save Annabeth from her untimely death. Percy picks up a particular object within the room and it instantly transports him back in time. Fast forward to the fateful event. Old Percy goes onto the boat that past Percy and Annabeth were on when Annabeth died. I’ve been calling it a boat, but it was more of a large floating wooden platform that carried its passengers (and was surprisingly stable). Other people were on the raft, but the two Percys and Annabeth were the main focus of my dream.

Attempting to prevent Annabeth’s death, old Percy tells both past Percy and Annabeth that a storm is brewing on the seas, warning them that if they do nothing Annabeth will die in the ship wreck. Having been warned ahead of time, past Percy and Annabeth are prepared and Annabeth does not meet a salty end. The old Percy goes poof poof because his future is no longer a reality.

BUT THEN, as Percy and Annabeth are swimming away, Annabeth sees another Percy going in the opposite direction from them. There’s a third Percy! *gasp* This doppelgänger was definitely nefarious in nature, and unfortunately slipped away. Annabeth, after seeing another Percy swim away, knew that something wasn’t right and suspected old Percy of double-crossing them. Tsk tsk. Percy’s evil doppelgänger, in fact, was not in league with old Percy, but Annabeth is unaware of this.

At this point in my dream I was beginning to wake up, so Percy’s evil doppelgänger just kind of doesn’t come back. Dun dun dunnnn… Percy, Annabeth and another survivor from the boat arrive at the European market safely. In the end, Percy and Annabeth arrive at a house that’s been recently remodeled. At first Percy doesn’t recognize it but when he does it’s very emotional because the house was of great value to him and Annabeth. He hugs Annabeth and they end up kneeling on the floor in each other’s arms crying out of sheer happiness at their survival and the fact that they are together. Happy ending, hallelujah!

Aaaaaaaand…

That’s pretty much it. It’s actually pretty amazing you’ve given me this much time. Like, wow, you have stamina. *high five!* Thanks for reading!

Salut!

hello

Hi! *waves enthusiastically* Thanks for visiting! My name is Ariel. Yes… like the little mermaid. I have made the leap and decided to create my own blog. Woo! I’m super de duper new at this, so bear with me as I blog my first post. (Do you blog a post? Is that what you call it? Oi.) I guess since this is my first post, I’ll give you a little introductory information. (Are you supposed to give introduction information on your first post?)

What to expect: I love books. I will be blogging about books. Boooooooks. My life revolves around books, so that’s what my blog will revolve around. My goal is to blog at least once a week about what book(s) I’m reading and how it/they influenced me or reminded me of something during my week. Maybe I’ll include an event that happened to me. Maybe I’ll talk about a dream I had. I have amazingly vivid dreams and a lot of times they stem from something that I read. My friends always find them quite interesting, so I thought I might write about them on here. In every post I make, I will give you a review and summary about that book, along with how it connects to what was going on in my life that week or a dream that I had. Or both. 😀

About me: I am 16 years old. Hehe. I remember waiting for my birthday, knowing that when I turned 16, I would be the average age of my book characters. Now that I am, I have fun comparing myself to them. Most of the books I read are YA (young adult), but I’m not very strict about what I do read. What I read all depends on my mood and what catches my attention at the time. Too often I have trouble choosing between options. Along with reading, I also enjoy writing. In fact, that’s one of the reasons I started this blog; I want to become a better writer. I know it’s not realistic to imagine that as soon as I write a book it will be magically published and read by everyone on the planet, so I’m hoping to become a book editor first. This is one of the steps toward that goal. I live at home with my mom, dad, 13-year-old sister, and a german shepherd named Beauty. My mom is actually the person who told me that I should start a blog, after hearing from someone else that it was good practice for writers. I really look forward to improving. (Thanks mom!)

Thank you for your time, and I hope to see you for future posts! Au revoir!