Friday, May 31, 2013

Don't Be Lazy in the Kitchen: Intro

 Anyone who knows me has heard me say I despise cooking. People tend to say the best food has the most heart, soul and passion put into which is a great explanation for why mine tends to be terrible. However, anyone who knows me, also knows I love to eat. This can be a problem on a college student budget. Going out to eat or making sub-par TV dinners can become expensive, so this summer I'm enacting the "Don't be lazy in the kitchen" rule for myself. My fiancee has been haggling me to start meal planning for over a year now and something always prevents this. Likely, my own laziness. But because I adore him so very much (and having money in my bank account) I've started meal planning this summer. I bought a cookbook about a week ago because I currently only know how to make grilled cheese or pasta from a box. We took about an hour to go through it and pick out things we like (surprisingly a lot!) and then on Sunday we planned out our meals for the week. For two weeks we have managed to stick it out and the food actually tasted good. I dare say that I may be convinced.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Review: Anxious Hearts

I just finished reading Anxious Hearts by Tucker Shaw. I wanted to like this book. I really did. The first thing that stands out about this is that it is two stories in one so the chapters alternate between the two. The characters and story are based on a poem called “Evangeline.” Having not read it, I can’t say how closely this plot follows it. I can say; however, that this book really did nothing for me.

It is about two romances that take place two hundred years apart. Trying to connect two stories either works beautifully or, like in this case, it fails miserably. Yes, the stories were similar. The characters had loosely similar struggles, but I felt that the constant switching back and forth hindered the development of all of the characters. Had the author chosen to modernize the poem and focus solely on one of the stories, it could have been a great book. I can honestly say by the end, I didn’t care what happened to them.

 I rated this book a 2/ 5. I think the where the characters and plot lacked, the writing was quite lovely so I wouldn’t give it a 1. That said, this isn’t a book I’d recommend.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Music Makes (or Breaks) a Movie

Last Friday I went to see The Great Gatsby. As you probably know, it's based off of the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Being the English nerd that I am, I was very much looking forward to it. Though admittedly, I always have low expectations for books-turned-movies. Much to my surprise, this movie started off well. Then the first big party at Gatsby's place began. The movie, despite taking place in the 1920s, was playing rap music from the 2010s. Filmmakers are supposed to create an environment for the viewer to feel immersed in the setting in order to make a story believable, but it was not possible with modern music playing. The party-goers were dancing to rap music in flapper dresses and even relatively danced as they would have in the 1920s which only made the music feel more out of place. Bottom line: music can make or, in this case, break a movie.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Review: Requiem (Delirium #3) by Lauren Oliver

Summer’s here! That means I finally get to read books that I choose. Last summer I read the first two books in the Delirium series and have since been (impatiently) waiting for the release of the final installment, Requiem. 

Requiem is set up with the chapters alternating between Lena and Hana’s viewpoints. This causes the plot to go quite slow which I didn’t particularly enjoy. Most of the book consists of the Resistance planning a way to grow and eventually infiltrate. The Resistance has grown since the first two books and the government has started to recognize this. They must now avoid Regulators in the Wilds. The members of the Resistance don’t necessarily want to fight, but they know they must in order to gain their freedom. While Hana’s plot was somewhat tedious to read, I found her insights regarding her change after the surgery fascinating and her plot-line helped set up the ending wonderfully.

Lena’s story was much more fast-paced than Hana’s but most of the story still doesn’t pick up until the last few chapters. She is unsurprisingly caught in a love triangle between Alex and Julian. Usually I would roll my eyes at this “necessary” inclusion, but I think this book warrants it. It shows that there are both good and bad sides to love. I wouldn’t go as far as calling it a disease as the government in the book does; however, being stuck in that triangle suitably reflects the quote “And in the end, that is the point of escaping the cure: We are free to choose. We are even free to choose the wrong thing.” The resistance is not unaware to these downfalls as the government might assume. They merely want choice.

One of my favorite parts of the story was the reference to Solomon. It tied in well with the events of the book (I won’t give spoilers) and also made me think. The Book of Shh tells a revised version of the story while Lena later learns the real version. By having a story so famous told and enforced in a new way, I can’t help but wonder if this has ever been done to us. Need I say, I read to many dystopian novels?

After finishing the book, I could guess that many people would be unhappy with the ending, but I was content. I didn't get as much enjoyment reading most of the book as I did with the first two, but liked the way Hana and Lena’s stories were able to connect at the end and give the reader something to contemplate. I will warn that if you dislike vague endings, you may not think as highly as I did of Requiem's resolution.

I  give this book a 3.5/4 out of 5 star rating and I certainly recommend reading the series.

What did you think? Have you read any of this series?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


Hi, I’m Shaila. I’ve reached the ripe old age of twenty-two, meaning I’m ready to share my abundant knowledge. Ok, maybe I don’t have so much experience. I’m still getting to know myself and I’m hoping writing will help to further that process. I have plenty of interests and I’m ready to share. If anything I say helps someone in the process, well that’s awesome.