Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Book Recommendation: The Eye of Minds by James Dashner

I just finished reading this book last night, having read mostly the entire thing in one day. I had bought the book months (maybe a year) ago and I only had the chance to get a few chapters into it before I got busy with school and other things.

One of the reasons it took me so long to finish was because I didn’t think it was that good to start off with. The book starts off slow and not very interesting to it took me a while to actually get into reading it. After I had bought the book, one Youtuber I follow named Joey Graceffa said in a video that he had just finished reading the book and that it underwhelmed him and he didn’t enjoy it very much. This is another reason why I stopped reading the book.

However with all that said and done, once I got to a certain point, I could not put the book down. This was probably about one hundred to one hundred and fifty pages in, which is a good portion of the book considering it’s only three hundred pages long. However, the last portion of the book really hooked me in with all of the action and plot twists and it really made me appreciate the book more than I did before.

What I really loved about this book was the ending. I had a couple of guesses about what was going to happen and I was very close, but I didn’t guess it exactly. I don’t want to give away the ending on here for anyone who wants to read the book, but I will tell you that if you are going to read it, stick around to the end because the ending makes the book worth it. I love the point the book ends on and I would’ve been perfectly happy if it ended there, however knowing that a sequel is coming out fairly soon, I am excited to read it to see what happens next.

To summarize the story, a boy named Michael loves to spend his time inside something called The Sleep, a virtual reality world that feels as real as real life, only you don’t die. His two friends Sarah and Bryson and himself are excellent hackers and use their skills often to manipulate the game to benefit themselves. One day Michael witnesses a girl ripping out her programming from the game and jumping off a bridge, killing herself not only in the game, but in real life as well. He then finds out that a notorious hacker named Kaine is responsible for her death and is holding other people hostage within the game, causing devastating effects to them in their real lives. Michael, Bryson, and Sarah are then asked by the VNS, a sort of virtual police to find Kaine’s base of operations so the VNS can stop whatever he has planned. However, on The Path to find Kaine, the three friends face many challenges and Michael find out something about himself he never knew before.

I would very loosely compare this book to the anime Sword Art Online. The premises of the two are very different, and SAO is heavily based on a romance while The Eye of Minds honestly has not romance in it at all. However I compare the two just because of the fact that they both are set in virtual reality worlds where and evil figure tries to trap people inside.

I would overall give this book a four out of five rating, just because it took me so long to actually get into the plot.


Thursday, May 8, 2014

March/April Update! (Update #8)

I am stuck in the absolute worst editing loop in the world right now. I literally cannot stop myself from editing over and over and over again and it’s starting to get really irritating. I always set these goals for myself as to when I’m going to finish certain things and be productive, but I almost never meet them. First I was planning on getting The Unusual Isles published during Christmas break, then it was spring break, then it was before the end of the school year/before my graduation party, and now that fact that I might want to get beta readers for it had just hit me and that might push this back into a over the summer kind of project, which I really would prefer not to do.

I told myself that after I finish editing it right now it’s going to be the last time ever, I’m going to send it in for copyright and then I can finally move on and get it published, but I’m not sure how well I’m going to live up to that statement. I also really need to finish it so I can get on with writing the sequel which I can’t currently because I have a mental block in my head that won’t allow me to write any more of it until I get The Unusual Isles out there and published.

Honestly though, I love this book and I am so emotionally invested into it and I care about it a lot. I think that’s the reason why I’m so anal about publishing this one, because I want it to be perfect, and I want someone out there other than my friends and family to actually read it and enjoy it.

On a side note I also had another idea that along with monthly update here on my blog, I might also do monthly vlog updates about my writing on my Youtube channel. I thought it might be cool to combine the two things a little bit and give my audience two different outlet to catch up on my writing on.

On another side note I also re-applied for Season three of America’s Next Great Author on Figment again this year. This is my third year applying for it (I’ve applied every season) and I’m hoping I’ve improved enough to make it at least slightly farther than I did last season, considering I won’t be a week without wi-if this year.

That is all for now!


Monday, May 5, 2014

Ask the Author #4!

I thought I would do another ask the author, but this time answering questions that aren’t as much about writing, so you guys can get to know me as a person a little better.

These questions come from my friends Lauren and Zack, who I asked for questions about a year ago and never got around to answering on here until now. :)

Q: What if your favorite TV show?
A: I have a LOT of favorite TV shows, but some of my favorites are Once Upon a Time, King of the Nerds, Heroes, The Amazing Race, America’s Got Talent, and Survivor.

Q: What if your favorite book/author?
A: My favorite author is Khaled Hosseini. I have too many favorite books to even begin to list a few.

Q: What book can you not stand that everyone else likes?
A: THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS SERIES. This has got to be up there with the worst books I have ever read in my life, and I honestly don’t get why the fandom is so large. However, a lot of my close friends don’t like this book as well, so at least I’m not the only one.

Q: What is the worst book you have ever read and why?
A: The worst book I’ve ever read for school is The Sun also Rises by Ernest Hemmingway. I really hated this book and the entire thing was about sex and dinking and it was really boring and stupid. (For example: We went to a bar then crossed the street to go to another bar, then I came home and some people came over and we drank some more and when they left I cried about how I can’t have sex). This was what the entire book was like.
The worst book that I’ve read for fun that I can think of off the top of my head right now is The Girl in the Area. I got this book because it said that you would like it if you liked The Hunger Games, but this book was honestly so bad I couldn’t get past the first 40 pages no matter how hard I tried. The plot in general was really stupid, it was formatted in a weird way that really pissed me off, the main character was annoying, it lacked a lot of action (for being described as an action book) and character development, the main character’s decisions seemed random without any explanation, and the violence that was in it was random and out of place.

Q: If you were given a million dollars, what would you do with it?
A: I would first of all put some of it aside so I could pay for college (have to be the boring responsible one). I would also move out and buy or rent an apartment somewhere (assuming I would be in college by then). I would buy a new laptop, get a better camera, and some other stuff so I can make better quality Youtube videos. I would go and buy a huge wall sized bookshelf and buy a whole bunch of books and manga to fill it up with. I would probably just save whatever I had left, if I had anything left.

Q: TV show or movie that you like that no one would expect you to like?
A: The anime series Free. If I were just searching for things to watch, I would have never in a million years decided to watch it, but my friend recommended it, so I watched it and it is now one of my favorite animes.

Q: Favorite board game?
A: Probably Apples to Apples or if we’re talking like actual board games, Life Twists and Turns.

Q: Favorite video game?
A: Toss-up between My Sims Kingdom and Mario Kart 7. Alice the Madness returns is up there as well, although I never played through the whole thing.

Q: Favorite place to shop at?
A: Barnes and Nobel duh? But realistically in terms of clothing, like 90% of my wardrobe is from Aeropostale. I do also love Forever 21 and Hot Topic.

Q: Eye color?
A: dark brown

Q: Age you get mistaken for?
A: Pretty much whatever age I am, which is currently 17.

Q: Last time you cried?
A: Watching the Budweiser Super Bowl commercial with the puppy and the horse. Yes I know, it’s a really stupid thing to cry over, but that commercial was just too cute!

Q: Favorite songs at the moment?
A: Make it Up by Sam Tsui. He is a really awesome lesser known artist. He’s both pretty big on Youtube and I recommend you check him out! Also, Classic by MKTO.

So, this is ask the author for today! I hope you enjoyed reading my answers and now know me as a person better!