July... Where did you go?

Ah! I can't believe it's already the last day of July! It feels like this month flew by. Tonight, at midnight, Dancing Through will be a Top Pick and get it's gold star on InkPop! I'm so excited! When I first joined, I saw the top five as a distant dream that will probably never happen. So I'm so glad (and mostly surprised!) that it's gotten this far. I'm very partial to this months Top 5, if I do say so myself. General fiction sweep! I don't think that's ever happened before. And they're all fabulous books that deserved to be up there.

I have to give a special thanks to a few Inkpoppers. To Sharon, who's been one of my supporters from the beginning, when DTL was sitting in the hundreds. Thank you for the promotion threads and all the support! To Evie, one of the greatest InkPopper's I know, who was willing to swap for me if I needed it, even though she has her own fabulous book Rosewood that she had just put up and should've been focusing on. Even though I ended up not needed the help, the offer was so appreciated. To Andrea/Nella, my shameless thread bumper and twin when it comes to tastes. And to Morgan and Laura who have been so supportive, this past month especially. I don't know what I'd do without all my InkPop friends! Who I talk to WAY to much. I think facebook hates us... lol.

So July was a pretty good month. Now comes the anxious wait. I'm going to try to keep myself busy throughout August to distract myself.

Goals for August:
1. Focus on my new projects. I have one that I just started, but looks promising. It's called 'Perfection Is My Enemy.' I started it the other day, and wrote 5K in 24 hours! That's a new record. I also want to get further in the sequel I have planned for DTL, 'Learning To Dance in the Rain.'

2. Shamelessly promote Evie's 'Rosewood' and Laura's 'The Assassin' and help in whatever way I can get them into August Top 5!

3. Get outside more. I was such a hermit in July, editing DTL like crazy. I'm going to try to be more social this month and enjoy the rest of my summer.

That's my plan.
Oh, and I'm still freaking out that July's basically over. Ah!

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MAX: A Maximum Ride Novel by James Patterson

MAX by James Patterson

In Los Angeles, Max and her friends take over the skies with a hair-raising air show... while below, a deadly assassin watches. Then the flock learns that fish are dying off Hawaii in a strange, frightening ecololgical catastrophe - and only they can stop it. But even as Max and her team comb the ocean's deapths to uncover the truth, a powerful enemy tracks their every move. Can the flock protect itself from the approaching storm and save the world from utter destruction?

Page Count: 271
First Thoughts: Well, this is the fifth instalment in the Maximum Ride Series. I had read the first four by borrowing them through a friend, so when I saw I 50% James Pattersons's books email from my Borders Rewards, I knew I had to get it. This series has intrigued me from the start, and I wanted to know what happened next.
Characters: While I love Max and her snarky sarcastic attitude, sometimes I feel like it's a little bit too much sarcasm. But overall she's an excellent MC, she's a strong female leader. Fang is so mysterious, I always want to know what he's thinking. Iggy and Gazzy are awesome. And frankly, Angel scares me. I still am not sure what her deal is. In my opinion though, the best character of the whole series is Total the talking dog. He makes the books. I've found myself laughing out loud at points. But what was with him growing wings in book four? I thought that was odd.

Setting: Well, since the gang is always traveling, a lot of different states and countries are mentioned in this series. And though we know where they are, I feel like the author could do a bit better job describing the setting more specifically. But that's just my opinion.
Plot: It felt a little rushed to me. First we're one place then we're another. We're underwater, then we're in the air. I wish that the author would slow it down a bit. Though I do like how the romance storyline between Max and Fang is continuing to unfold. Finally!
Writing Style: The writing style in this series is so unique and different from the average book. That's one of the main reasons I like this series. It's mainly told in first person, with Max as the narrator. Sometimes it switches to second person, where it's like Max is talking to you. Other times it switches to third person to show scenes Max isn't there to witness. It's a very different style that few authors could pull off.
Cover: It's nice. It's not as eye catching as some of the other covers in the series, but it has a cool feel to it and it works.
Final Thoughts: In general I really enjoyed this book, it was a nice quick read with well developed characters. There's a lot of action scenes that are written very well, and I can't wait to read the next book in the series!

Rating
Characters: ☻☻☻☻☺
Setting: ☻☻☻☺☺
Plot: ☻☻☻☺☺☺
Writing: ☻☻☻☻☻
Cover: ☻☻☻☻☺
Overall: ☻☻☻☻☺

This is a series definitely worth checking out. It's intense at some points, and then there are other points where you're laughing out loud. I'd recommend starting from book one, Maximum Ride.

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The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

The Book of Lost Things
John Connolly



High in the attic bedroom, twelve-year-old David mourns the death of his mother, with only the books on his shelf for company. But those books have begun to whisper to him in the darkness. Angry and alone, he takes refuge in his imagination and soon finds that reality and fantasy have begun to meld. While his family falls apart around him, David is violentlyy propelled into a world that is a strange reflection of his own -- populated by heroes and monsters and ruled by a faded king who keeps his secrets in a mysterious book, The Book of Lost Things.

Page Count: 339 for just the book. 470 including a Q&A with the author and the original fairytales.
First Impression: Well, in all honesty, I would have never picked up this book on my own. I had to choose a book on a list for summer reading, and this book seemed like the most interesting one. Although I'm not the biggest fan of fantasy, so I was a tad skeptical. When I read the back, my thoughts were that this could either be really good, or really bizzare.
My thoughts: Well, this was a lot better than I thought it would be. The imaginary world that David was thrown into, despite it being nameless, was very vivid. Mr. Connolly sure has a knack for sensory imagery. There were so many scenes that I could picture perfectly in my head.
David was a dynamic main character. In the beginning, he was just a child with silly routines he did to deal with his mother dying. Throughout the book he overcomes extreme obstacles, he we see the wisdom he holds despite his young age.
The way the classic fairytales were twisted in this story was ingenious. The antagonist in this story, The Crooked Man, was a creative playoff of Rumpelstilskin. The "Loups"- a half man half wolf breed- came to being when the story of Little Red Riding Hood was twisted and said that she fell in love with the wolf.
My favorite twisted story was Snow White's. I was literally laughing out loud at points. According to the story, the dwarves trying to posion Snow White and frame the wicked step-mother... but she had an alibi. So now the dwarves are working in the coal mines on probation. Apparently Snow White isn't very nice...
The Writing: The writing itself was pretty good. It was written in third person, and I'm more a fan of first person narration. But I could see why this story had to be written in third person. I liked how at the end of the book, all the classic fairytales that were involved in the book were given in their original form.
The Cover: Is okay. It's kind of cool, but not something I'd pick up on my own.
Final Thoughts: I was thoroughly surprised by The Book of Lost Things. Though it wasn't a book that by any mean would normally be my cup of tea, I found myself enjoying it. Sure some parts dragged, but for the most part it's a decent read.
Overall:☻☻☻☻☺

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It's My Life

So I think I'm starting to get the hang of blogspot.
I've been working on this layout for HOURS. And it's still not finished yet.
A big thanks to
Evie and Laura! Without them I would've been SO lost.

Tonight I'm going to go see BON JOVI in concert! I can't wait! My parents love him so I've grown up on that music. They're taking me and my younger sister to go see him.

This'll be my first real concert. Sure, I saw the Cheetah Girls live in third grade and I saw Hilary Duff when my aunt scored us some free tickets, but this one is different. I'm going to get the rock concert experience.

Normally, if you'd ask me, I'd MUCH rather go see a musical than go to a concert.
But I'm really excited for this. You can bet I'll be singing along.
"IT'S MY LIIIIFEE, IT'S NOW OR NEVVVVEERR"
"WHOAAA WE'RE HALFWAY THERE. WHOAAAA LIVING ON A PRAYER."

Haha, yeah. I'm pumped.



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All The Cool Kids Where Doing It...

So I figured I'd join the blogging world.
Hey everyone!
My name is Marisa, and I'm an upcoming freshman in high school from Massachusetts.

My two loves are dancing and writing.

In the fall I will be going into my twelveth year of dance, and it will be my fifth year competing. I take jazz, tap, ballet, lyrical, and hip hop. I'm on a jazz and hip hop competition team. I started dance classes since I was three, but I've basically been dancing since I could walk.

Writing is a fairly new passion of mine. I started writing totally on a whim actually. I found a website last July where people were posting their books, and thought "hmm... I can do this..." I've always enjoyed creative writing assignments in English class, but I never actually thought to write something on my own. Now, a year later, I have completed my first book.

I suppose I should talk about my book. It's called
Dancing Through Life. I currently have it uploaded on InkPop, a website for aspiring teen fiction writers. It's currently ranked #5 out of over 28,000 projects. If it stays in that #5 position for the rest of July, a HarperCollins editor will be reviewing it for publication! It's very exciting and nerve racking!

On another note, here's what you can be expecting from my blog.
- Updates about Dancing Through Life and any of my other writing projects
- Book Reviews! I read A LOT, so I will now be reviewing every book I read.
- Some dance talk here and there.
-And the occasional story about what's going on in my life.

Well, I hope I didn't just bore you to death!
If I did, I'm sorry.
As you can tell, I'm pretty new to this.
I'll get better. :)


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