Sunday, September 28, 2014

Weekend Review #8 {The New Normal}

This week contained the same things as many past weeks. I had classes at the community college three days a week. My yoga class started, so now I have two classes I'm going to. I had my final two drives for driver's ed. I had dance classes, and Dracula rehearsals.

I've been trying to find time to blog a little more, but it's a bit of a challenge at times. I have a book review that just needs a few final touches (and I promise it'll be out very soon), and a few ideas for slightly more interesting posts, but I haven't really had the time to sit down and write.

I finished one ARC I had to review. I am still reading Paradise Lost (not a favorite of mine), and Dracula. I got stalled out with A Feast for Crows in April, and have been hoping to pick it back up again, but I haven't had the chance yet. I am hoping to make a little progress on it though, even if it is slow. I really do enjoy those books, but I just haven't had the time to devote to them.

I have to go now, but I promise that book review ASAP.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Weekend Review #7 {School, Driving, and Ballet}

It's been kind of a busy week.

Monday, I volunteered at the library, and had Irish Dance class.

Tuesday, I went to my last Driver's Ed class (though not really, since I need to make up some I missed), and passed my written test for my license.

Wednesday was my first day of school! I just had one class (study skills), then I went to park day. It was the last park day for one of our most integral members. He'll be missed here, but I know he'll have a great time in college!

Thursday was actually a pretty quiet day.

Friday I had class again, hung out with my friend on campus for a few hours, and then came home. I also had ballet in the evening.

Saturday I helped my mom decorate her new office at work, and had a Dracula rehearsal. I also drove on the freeway with my mom and sister in the car for the first time, and I think it was probably more scary for them then it was for me. :)

Today, I just had a rehearsal.

I finished Freedom, and I wrote a review that I'll publish tomorrow. I've also been reading an ARC I have from my local independent bookstore to review for them. I'll write a review of it for the blog, but I might not be able to publish it until the book actually comes out.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Weekend Review #6 {Busy, Busy, Busy}

It's been kind of a crazy, weird week.

Monday, I volunteered at the library, went to my new student orientation at the community college, and went to the first Irish dance class of the year.

Tuesday was all about driving. I had a drive with the instructor in the morning, and tried parallel parking for the first time. Then there was the driver's ed class in the afternoon. I also had a ballet class in the evening.

Wednesday there was dinner and golf class (the topic of the day was golf etiquette) with friends.

Thursday I had another drive, and went on the freeway for the first time! It went pretty well, though I had a hard time going fast enough. The afternoon was driver's ed class again. We got into teams and played Jeopardy to prepare for the written test, and my team won.

Friday wasn't to exciting.

Saturday, I had a Dracula rehearsal, and then a homeschool movie night at a friend's house. We
watched Stardust, which I hadn't seen before, but really liked.

Today I had another Dracula rehearsal, and we are having dinner with friends tonight.

We started school this week. I started reading Paradise Lost, and started Geometry.

I'm still reading Freedom by Daniel Suarez and Dracula by Bram Stoker.

Not a long update today. I'll review Freedom as soon as I'm done with it, and I might have a post about ballet up this week too.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Daemon by Daniel Suarez {Book Review}

*This post may contain affiliate links, and if you make a purchase after clicking them, I will receive compensation.*

Today I am reviewing a book called Deamon by Daniel Suarez. I read this book on the recommendation of a friend, and I loved it. Daemon, and it's sequel Freedom are really what I would call a two part novel. While they are separate books, and each have a clear plot arc, Deamon is only half the story. I thought about waiting until I'd finished Freedom (I'm still reading it), and doing a joint review, but I decided to do two separate posts. Daemon is hard to classify. At first, I thought it was a murder mystery. Then I thought it was a techno-thriller, with good guys and bad guys. But the farther along the story got, the harder it was for me to decide who was good, who was bad, and what the real problem was.

My Review
 As you probably know if you've been reading my blog for a while, I am a character person. The books I love have well developed characters, who act like real people, and who drive the story with their choices. Daemon has a lot of great characters. Pete Sebeck, the police detective who has no idea what he'd getting in to. Natalie Phillips, the NSA agent who never stops fighting the Daemon. Jon Ross, the mysterious freelance analyst without a past. Loki, the hacker with high aspirations, and not too many morals. The Major, the man without a name who is always there when something big happens. Roy Merritt, the hero. And Matthew Sobol, who I think might be the most interesting character, but who dies before the book even begins.

These characters all get trapped in a world they didn't know existed. The Daemon, which is a computer program, is threatening to destroy the world as they know it, and they must stop it. The world is becoming a video game, and those who don't know how to play are getting left behind.

This book is so hard to talk about without giving away the plot. It is very well written, and even though it is a technology book, it's written in a way that would make it very accessible to people who aren't familiar with how that world works. The story can be hard to follow at times, because it often makes leaps forward in time, and it switches often between narrators. If any of this sounds interesting, I highly recommend this book.

Who Should Read This Book

Basically, if you were intrigued by the description, and enjoy a good thriller sometimes, you would probably like this book. But, a obligatory disclaimer: This is not a kid's book, and you shouldn't expect it to be. There is a lot of very graphic violence in this book. A lot of people die or are tortured in very creative ways, and very little is left to the imagination in many of those scenes. While this in no ways lessens my recommendation of this book, it is something to be aware of. If those things bother you, this might not be a book for you. It didn't bother me that much, though there were some time where I started just skimming for a few pages (not only are those parts graphic, they are long. They get a little boring sometimes). There is also sex, and some swearing (though no more than any YA book, and actually probably less than most), so as usual, take those things into consideration when deciding whether to read this book.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Weekend Review #5 (Drives, Graduation, and School)

It's been a big week. Before I start, I should say that I have multiple book reviews in the works, and I expect at least one, maybe two to be out this week (yay!), along with a back-to-school update.

Monday was pretty quiet. It was Labor Day, so my mom was off of work.

Tuesday and Wednesday were quiet too. I had Driver's Ed on Tuesday.

Thursday, I had my first drive with my driving teacher! I was really nervous, but I think it went pretty well. I am too cautious most of the time, and my main issue is that I am usually going too slowly, but other than that, I think I'm doing pretty well.

Friday was the graduation ceremony for some people in our homeschool group. It was the first time we've had one of these, but it turned out really well. Some of the parents got up to talk, the grads walked through to get their diplomas, and we had cake. It was a great time, and it was both really exciting, and sad, since this means that they are getting ready to leave and do their own thing.

Saturday, I had a meeting at a local book store. I am now part of their YA Review Committee, which means I get ARCs to review for them. They will use the reviews in their magazine, on their website and Facebook page, and in the store. I also had a Dracula rehearsal.

Today was our first day of school! I'm going to talk more about this in another post, hopefully tomorrow.

Sorry it's a short one today. That's all I've got for now.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

11th Grade Goals

*This post may contain affiliate links, and if you make a purchase after clicking them, I will receive compensation.*

With a new school year soon beginning, I think it's time to make some goals for how I want the year to look. This year is bringing a lot of changes, both in my personal life, and in my social group that are going to make things pretty different. Several friends of mine are leaving for college (or have already left), and while that doesn't really change how I do things, it changes my experiences. I'm now doing Running Start as well, which is completely changing my school structure, and I'm doing a lot more dancing that I've ever done in the past.


1. Be as healthy as possible, both physically and mentally. While this isn't entirely under my control, I do want to do whatever I can to stay healthy, whether that's making sure I eat well and exercise, or in some cases taking medication and going to the doctor to figure out that some of my problems are. Last year, I was sick nearly all year, and I would really rather that not happen again.

2. Accept that I'm not always in control. This goes with #1. Sometimes, I just can't do as much work as I would like, because of illness, or just life circumstances. While I can make an effort to deal with my anxiety, a lot of that is just accepting that I can't always change things. My goal is to learn to go with the flow.

3. Finish the Latin book I'm on. One thing I'm really sad about is that I probably won't be able to keep doing Latin. But, I am 3/4 of the way through the book I'm working on, and I really want to finish it, even if it takes me all year.

4. Manage my time better. I have a lot of different things going this year: dance, college classes, school at home, volunteering, blogging, reading (I have some exciting things on that front to talk about soon), and more. I have never been particularly good at managing all the things I have to do on a daily basis, but to keep up with all these different things, I'm going to need to get better at it.

5. Start thinking about college. I have a year left until I need to start applying to colleges, and that means that it's time to start thinking a little more seriously about where I might want to go, what is important to me in a college, and what schools I want to visit and eventually apply to.

These are some of my goals for my junior year of high school. I will try to check in every few months, and talk a little about what I've been doing to help achieve these goals, and how it's going.