Friday, May 31, 2013

Book Review: Uncommon Criminals (Heist Society #2) by Ally Carter

Title: Uncommon Criminals (Heist Society #2)
Author: Ally Carter
Pages: 298
Publication: June 21, 2011
Publisher: Lothian
Summary taken from goodreads:
Kat Bishop: Friend. Niece. Daughter. Thief. Or simply, the girl who robbed the greatest museum in the world... 
Now she's been asked to steal the infamous Cleopatra Emerald so it can be returned to its rightful owners. 
Trouble is, not only is the gem elusive - it's cursed. 
Kat might be in way over her head but help is at hand. She enlists the gorgeous Hale and the rest of the crew from Heist Society on a heart-stopping round-the-world search. 
But this time, Kat - who knows every trick and con in the book - is making up her own rules.


When I first read HEIST SOCIETY, I was kind of put off by its dramatic writing style. However, after reading UNCOMMON CRIMINALS, I've grown used to it and realized that it fits the story well. The dramatic tone ups the anticipation and suspense of the cons, and as I keep forgetting, fifteen year-old girls can be quite dramatic, even if they are genius thieves. So yeah, I think that the writing style actually made the book even better.

In addition to the characters, of course. Kat is complicated. She doesn't want to be a thief, but she keeps on reclaiming stolen objects back to their rightful owners. And she's smart, but she doesn't realize that she's hurting everyone around her by doing cons by herself. But like in any book, she goes through some character growth that made her see her mistakes, and it's all good.

Hale is trickier to understand. I mean, it's obvious that he likes Kat and is willing to do anything for her, but it is so hard to picture him as a fifteen year-old with the way that he acts. He's mysterious and hot and knows how to play the wealthy charmer when he needs to, and that is so hard to imagine for a for someone who could be a high school freshmen.

The plot was even trickier than the first book, with many cons taking place around the world, which took the suspense and amped it up even further, thus making the book a quick page-turner. Seriously, I ended up finishing the book in a couple of hours instead of doing homework since I was glued to the story. I kept on telling myself that I would stop reading after a couple of chapters, and before I knew it, two hours had passed.

I definitely liked UNCOMMON CRIMINALS, if not more than I liked HEIST SOCIETY, so if you liked the first book enough, I recommend you read its sequel.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Summer Classes

Yesterday was my first day of classes. I had Accounting first, and it wasn't that bad. My professor is old, so he had a lot of anecdotes to tell us and get off topic, which is cool, and he's really passionate about teaching us accounting principles and helping us do well, which I really liked. However, once he actually started going over and talking about stuff from the outline...I started zoning out, which always seem to happen when I have lecture classes. I can never focus for long unless I'm actively doing something in class.

My other professor is also really passionate about teaching the class. She's Chinese, I think, and she has an accent, but it's not hard to understand her, which is pretty good, and she speaks pretty loudly, so it sounds kind of like she's yelling at us, but I don't really mind because at least I won't ever not catch what she's saying, lol. She also sped through the class within an hour, so I think I'll be getting out of class pretty early every week. :D However, I'm definitely going to need to read and look over the chapters after class to make sure I caught everything that she taught in class if she's going that quickly.

So yeah, I think I'll be able to handle these two classes plus work pretty well this summer. And I'm finally starting to work out like I promised myself. I meant to do it sooner, but I was busy or tired or forgot. Last night, Shelle texted me that we were going on an 11 mile hike in California later this summer, so I better start working out, which was the perfect motivation, lol. 

We might not be going to California though because of this stupid plane ticket problem, but we're gonna see in the next few weeks if the price of tickets go down or not. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Manga Series

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by the Broke and Bookish.

I've been reading manga ever since elementary school when one of my best friends introduced me to Shonen Jump. Been a fan ever since. :3 Most of my picks are romantic comedies/guilty pleasures because what can I say? I love reading shoujo manga because of the pretty art and emotions and watching shonen anime because of the awesome action scenes. XD

Top Ten Favorite Manga Series:

Monday, May 27, 2013

Cool Stuff: Pepper Spray Cop

Another thing my art professor showed us was this meme since it used appropriation. I thought that it was pretty funny even though his real reasoning for using pepper spray was awful. :\

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Cover Lover 32

What to do? Don't wanna read, don't wanna watch anything, don't wanna socialize... I'm gonna go eat. :P I just remembered that I haven't eaten lunch yet, lol.

Friday, May 24, 2013

that feeling you have once you finish something amazing

I finished watching School 2013 last night (or technically early this morning, I guess), and I am a ball of emotions. Ugh, I loved all of the characters so much that I didn't want the series to end.

I know that I said that God of Study was my favorite drama, but School 2013 takes the cake. What makes it so awesome is the characters. Some of the scenes were a little predictable, but it was because of the characters that they owned the scenes and still managed to make me tear up with their heartbreaking backstories and problems.

And the plot itself. It's gritty and real and so so genuine. The characters fuck up and they can't just go back to how it was before; they can only push forward and repent. It's not like most dramas where everything ends up with a happily ever after; rather, it gives you hope for a better ending and it's open-ended so that you can imagine their futures however you want, and it just kills me because after everything that they've been through, I want them all to live well and happily because they deserve it.

Also something that I absolutely loved about this drama: there were no cringe-inducing moments! Most dramas that I've watched have at least a couple of those horribly awkward/cheesey moments that made me do a facepalm, but this drama didn't, and I am so grateful for that.

If I can't convince you to watch this drama, read this essay instead, because she does a really good job articulating exactly everything that I loved about it.

I just realized that I have a tendency of watching high school dramas for some reason. -__- School 2013, God of Study, To the Beautiful You, and Dream High all take place in high school. But I watched most of these in high school, so it's understandable since they resonated well with me. God of Study really did make me want to study better and do my best for college for a month or two, lol.

Now I just wish that I could find some dramas about college kids because it's hard enough trying to find that genre in America too without it being like Greek or Gossip Girl. But it's not like I'm really trying that hard to find these dramas...I have enough stuff to watch as it is. 

But now I'm feeling this indescribable feeling that I always have after watching an awesome drama, similar to  this restless emptiness leftover from feeling so many emotions induced by watching School 2013. Like I don't know what to do or think now that it's over, and it's worse because this drama evoked so many emotions out of me that I'm still left reeling from everything.

Ugh, this drama. So many feels. So many emotions. So many tears. When am I going to find another super amazing drama like this? Do I even want to? :P

Anyway, I should go and do something productive before spending the rest of my night on youtube and catching up on my mail because I practically ignored everything but work while watching this drama. XD

Thursday, May 23, 2013

What I Watched, Am Watching, & Will Watch

So last week was the season finale of Elementary, and I finished watching it earlier this week, and it was suspenseful and shocking and so so good.

Afterwards, I was like, what now?

What do I do now that it's over? Elementary was the only show I kept up with during the year.

Then the next day, I went and started watching Defiance, this new tv series that was heavily promoted for the past few months and finally premiered last month. It's pretty good! I finished watching all six episodes out on their website a few days ago. I'm definitely gonna try to keep up with it, especially since it's the summer and I don't have much to do besides work and summer classes starting next week.

Since I'm all caught up on that show, I started watching School 2013, this drama that all of tumblr has promised to bring me so much pain and heartache because of the two main characters in it. I wanted to watch it last semester, but I knew that it would be a mistake trying to balance classes, projects, tests, and exams with trying to not spend all of my time watching the drama after seeing its consequences on tumblr, lol. AND I WAS RIGHT!

Ugh, you don't even know how much pain I feel for Go Nam Soon. What he did was bad, but he's suffering and paying for it every single day, and it's just so heartbreaking. I thought that I was prepared for all of the feels this drama evoked because of tumbr and its endless gifs and commentary that basically spoiled what happened, but I WAS NOT PREPARED. D: I WAS NO WHERE NEAR PREPARED. ;__; SO MANY TEARS HAVE BEEN SHED, AND THAT WAS BEFORE I FINISHED HALF OF THE EPISODES.

Anyway, after I get done with School 2013 (and deal with all of the emotional trauma because of it :P), I'll probably catch up on a lot of movies on my instant queue on Netflix, and I think I'll start watching Game of Thrones since Shanice keeps on telling me to do so, lol. :1

So much to watch, and I don't feel like reading anymore! Go figure. -__-"

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Manga Review: The Secret Notes of Lady Kanoko vol. 3 by Ririko Tsujita

Title: The Secret Notes of Lady Kanoko vol. 3
Author: Ririko Tsujita
Pages: 192
Publication: August 9, 2011
Publisher: TokyoPop
Summary taken from goodreads:
Although she doesn't get along with people very well, Lady Kanoko considers herself a perfect "observer." Just wait till you read what she writes in her secret notes, in this next charming manga volume.



What I really liked about this trilogy is the fact that it is almost completely different from most shojo manga. The heroine, the plot, the love interest, the side characters... they're diverse and different and very interesting to think about.

Kanoko is an awesome protagonist. She does not mind being a loner--in fact, she prefers it--because she takes pride in the fact that she is an observer. She watches the drama the takes place in her classes and around the school because she thinks that it's the most entertaining thing ever. She takes notes and guesses how people act or their motives because she's seen so many different types of personalities since she's a transfer student who never stays in one place for more than one month. That is why her sense of what is normal is different from most people. This also explains why she does not take the effort in making friends. However, in one school, she does make a couple of good friends, and she slowly learns about what friendship really means and how her friends noticed things about her, which surprised her since she always thought that she was the only observer around.

She realizes this throughout many different events since it's an episodic trilogy where every chapter was taken place at a different school that Kanoko transferred to. Kanoko observes the events of the school that she is in, and when given a situation where she is curious about the outcome or is indignant of what is occurring, she will interfere for the sake of her curiosity or her own sense of justice. And her sense of right and wrong is not your typical shojo heroine where they are selfless and willing to do anything to help others; Kanoko does things with her own motive (being able to see how everything plays out), which ends up helping the characters, but she doesn't hesitate to break the rules and tell the characters that they're idiots to get what she wants.

The second-best part of the trilogy is the fact that there really isn't any romance between Kanoko and anyone else. Sure, there's a love interest, Tsubaki, but nothing ever happens because they both always claim that they're just friends because Kanoko really thinks so. She still doesn't understand what's considered normal friend behavior and such to realize that Tsubaki likes her, and she's so realistic and thinks that she knows how people are from all of her observations that she totally thinks that no guy would ever fall for her because she knows that she's short and unsexy and generally weird. And even better, she's okay with that.

Even though I just said that I liked the trilogy for the fact that it didn't involve romance, I'm really glad that there's a sequel, because I'm really hoping that the two get together there because Kanoko isn't going to be transferring schools anymore, so it'll be interesting--not to mention entertaining--to watch her finally experience high school life like a normal teenager instead of being just an observer from moving around every month.