Sunday, May 20, 2012

Love? Love!

Is it just me, or is love between a man and woman usually a large part or the main focus of young adult books nowadays? In The Hunger Games it plays a large role in the plot, love is the main focus, of course, in the Twilight series, it is in the Forest of Hands and Teeth series I just finished reading and will write a review over soon, and in the book, Matched. Don't get me wrong, these are great books and some of my favs, but I get tired of reading about people falling in love, and how awesome it is and all of that. (maybe this is because I am still single? :)

Do readers put love between teenagers in these books because that is what the readers are craving? I know love is a part of growing up and is important, but there are different kinds of love. What about brother and sister love? What about love between children and parents? These things are mentioned and sometimes are the core of  stories, but I haven't read any like that in a while. There are other things stories can be about as well. Does a futuristic or fantasy book like the ones mentioned above have to have love in them or be a large part to be good?

I truly hope books don't have to have people fall in love in order for them to be bestsellers, and I don't think so. The Harry Potter series, for example, has some romantic love, but it doesn't play a large role. The Dragon Slippers series by Jessica Day George has some as well, but not much, and neither does Eragon, although his desire for Arya is in each book and affects what he does. What are some other books with little or no romatic love between the characters? I know they're out there!

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Review: The Boy Who Dared

The Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
                 (Based on a True Story)

During the rise of Hitler and his reign of power, Helmuth Hubener is a normal German teenager. He is enthralled by the Nazi's shining uniforms and wants to make his country proud of him.

But as he gets older, Helmuth realizes that Hitler is lying to their country about the war in Europe. He decides to take a stand for the truth, but this could end up in his death and the pain of those he loves.

I heard Susan Bartoletti (what a mouthful of a last name) talk about this book at the Festival of Faith and Writing a few weeks ago and had to buy it so I could find out what happened to Helmuth. And it was definitely worth the purchase. The main story is told in flashbacks to the past, with enough focus on the present to keep the reader intrigued and not confused. Susan does an excellent job creating a fictional story based on facts while still keeping it truthful. There are even pictures at the back of the book of the real people mentioned in the story. It is an exciting way to learn about our history. This book is definitely a must read for any age!

Other books by Susan Campbell Bartoletti: Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler's Shadow
                                                                      They Called Themselves the K.K.K: The Birth of an American Terrorist Group
                                                                      Naamah and the Ark at Night (a beautiful picture book)
                                                                      No Man's Land

Friday, May 11, 2012

Written or Typed?

Finals are over and I am back home in Amarillo, Texas! I already miss the mountains, but it is so good to be back with my family. Now I can read and write as much as I want (or as much as possible with my brother's graduation and birthday happening).

I was thinking about this the other day; I like to write the first drafts of my stories/poems on paper first, then type them later. This way, I can write anywhere, and I love writing outside. If you write on a computer, you have much less freedom where you write. But I usually do write essays first on the computer after outlining them on handwritten papers. I guess I just need more inspiration from outside with my stories than with my essays.

I also think writing on paper is more personal. That probably sounds crazy, I know, but I like to doodle or write down ideas on the sides of paper while I'm thinking. And I don't need to be able to write fast on first drafts, because the ideas come slowly at first. I always to go back and type them up though. So which do you prefer? Writing or typing? And if you haven't written outside before, I hightly recommend it! Especially at a park or other beautiful place.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Review: The Oath

There is a monster hiding out in the small city of Hyde River. It is not as quiet and stealthy as it once was. It is killing more and more people, and when it kills Steve's brother, he is determined to find out just exactly what kind of creature it is and capture it. But the citizens of Hyde River do not take kindly to having their secrets exposed, and this monster is not merely a physical being. Will Steve be able to find his answers without being killed or succombing to the darkness in this town and in his heart?

I loved this book! It was the first book by Frank Peretti I have read besides the children's books,  Hangman's Curse and Nightmare Academy (great reads!) and House, co-authored with Ted Dekker. This story really made me think about sin and its deadliness. Peretti is able to talk about deep, spiritual things in an intriguing, thrilling, and suspenseful way. But be warned: this story is a thriller. It has twists and turns and a few graphic parts. It didn't give me nightmares or anything like that, but I would still suggest not to read it at mealtimes or bedtime. It wasn't dark, just suspensful. It was an awesome read, and I highly recommend it!