Monday, March 29, 2010

Mini Review: Kick Ass

So I feel like trying something new. I spiked my hair yesterday, so today I'm going to attempt to review a graphic novel (or comic book as some like to call it).

I don't usually read graphic novels, let alone buy one. I purchased "Kick Ass" at our Books-A-Million only because I've seen the trailers for its upcoming film adaptation due out next month. It took me about a day to read it, so I thought a "mini review" would do just fine for it.

"Kick Ass" is the co-production of writer Mark Miller (Ultimate X-Men, Wanted, Civil War) and illustrator John Romita Jr (Amazing Spider-Man World War Hulk), both legends in their respective fields. It tells the tale of Dave Lizewski, a teenager living with his widowed father, who ponders about the lack of costumed crusaders in the real world. He decides to suit up and fight injustice as the masked hero Kick Ass. A simple You-Tube video away, he earns international fame and inspires many others, such as Red Mist and the father-daughter team Big Daddy and Hit Girl, to answer the call.

The storyline was first class, and the illustration was a pleasure to look at. My only grumble was its length, for I felt the story could have had more meat on its spine (Hehe- get it?). If I'm going to read a graphic novel, I'd prefer something more complex like "Watchmen".

But still, I found myself drawn in from the first page and loved all it had to offer- even the brief nudity (I'm a guy, remember?). I think you guys should pick this up and come see the movie with me when it hits theaters in a few weeks.

Until next time.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Review: "The Hunger Games"

Imagine a contest where twenty four children are chosen to compete in a fight to the death to claim a reward of a year's worth of food for themselves and their family. Welcome to the Hunger Games: a Gladiator-style Olympics publically watched on TV for entertainment.

Written by Suzann Collins, "The Hunger Games" takes place in Panem, a country in the ruins of North America made up of twelve districts. Enter Katniss Everdeen- a girl from District 12 whose impressive skills with a bow keep her impoverished mother and sister from starving. After her father was killed in a mining accident, she took responsibility into her own hands and began killing game illegally outside of her district, becoming an extremely skilled hunter in the process.

On Reaping Day, two tributes from each district are chose through a lottery, and Katniss's sister, Prim, is chosen. Fearing for her sister, she volunteers to take her place in the Games. The other tribute is Peeta, the son of the town baker who assisted Katniss once in the past.

Once the Games begin, she finds the battlegrounds a lethal environment, with mutant animals and geographical pitfalls used to weed out weak players in a spectacle fashion. If one manages to survive past that, deadly alliances between other contenders, the forces of nature in control of the viewer-conscious Game makers, and the simple dangers of dehydration and starvation. Supplies are limited, to ensure players fighting tooth and claw over them.

While I was reading this book, I found a few places where the grammar became a bit confusing, and I had to re-read a few times to grasp what the author was trying to say or describe (hey, maybe I’m just an idiot). Overall, the story moved slowly, but only because Collins took the time to thoroughly explain all that was happening. I’m glad she took the time to do that- instead of slapping a story arc on paper, shoving a handful of characters into it, and calling it a novel.

Don’t laugh. You know who you are.

Overall, I found the story unique and interesting. It’s rare to find a young adult post-apocalyptic novel that doesn’t involve some sort of nuclear fallout or zombies. The characters were well-developed and original, thus making them more believable. I enjoyed it, and I look forward to reading its sequel, “Catching Fire” in the near future.

Over and out.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Concise: Short and Sweet.

"This will only take a second."

I promise I'm not saying that just to keep you reading. Honest.

A couple of updates. The good news is that I'm in the third part of "The Hunger Games" and almost finished with it. The bad news is I did not get elected for the High School Summer Reading Advisory Board (HSSRAB). Oh well, better luck next year.

And I'm out. See? I told you it wouldn't take long.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Mr. Popularity

Keepin' you guys informed, one post at a time.

The nominees for the committee I mentioned a couple days ago were released to the class today, and yours truly happened to be one of the two guys. We voted, and now its a question of whether the result will be a popularity contest or if people will want to have someone who knows books choose a few for them.

I will be reading "Siddartha" by Hermann Hesse for my English class, and there is a slight possibility that I may end up finishing it before "The Hunger Games". If that does happen, I will still publish my review on "Games" and then possibly a review on "Siddartha".

The pictures of my "Yin+Yang" Xbox is now live on my Facebook page. Look for more of my custom art in the coming month (I'm on a roll with this Sharpie, man).

The blog hits a milestone today, with the amount of followers DOUBLING in a SINGLE DAY! Thanks to Krissy, my fellow librarian, for the support, and to my friend Caron, who was the very first to follow (I'm still working on getting you a trophy). On a serious note, I acknowledge that with more publicity comes more responsibility, and I promise not to neglect this obligation. I encourage you to send me requests on books you think I should read. This will further enrich this blogs purpose to benefit you, the reader, on the subject of good books.

EDIT: Leave suggestions in the comments for this post.

And that's everything. I'm out. Smell ya later.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Update on the Next Review

Hey guys, just wanted to give you a heads up concerning the new book and a few other announcements:

The next book on the totem pole shall be "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins. I have been told this book is very good, but its also very long. With all of my other obligations (what, suprised you're not the most important? Get used to it), I can't foresee when I'll be finished reading this specimen, but I can assure you I'll get it done as soon as possible.

On to other business. My school is assembling a committee to select books for this year's summer reading. I hope to be on this forum, and find new and exciting books I haven't read yet. The only thing now is to be nominated (which I'll probably do myself) and promote my cause (vote for me or I'll sic my rabid poodles on you).

I recently sent in my Xbox 360 to Microsoft to fix the E74 error I had on it, and now I have a new one. Yay! I have customized the new one using just a silver metallic Sharpie. Pro, huh? The theme is "Yin+Yang", and if my stupid computer will let me, I'll post some pictures on my Facebook. I also purchased a used DS Lite in preparation for the new Pokemon games, HeartGold and SoulSilver. For those of you who don't know me very well (alot of you), Pokemon Silver was my very first video game of all time. Of ALL TIME! And I plan on commemorating it with some of my buddies by buying the game and playing it all the time during school hours. I have also inscribed the symbol for "Heaven" on the top with the same Sharpie I mentioned earlier.

I'm getting very good with it.

So I'll be back soon, hopefully, with a review of "Hunger Games". So stay tuned! Things are about to get interesting...