Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Positive Criticism

My post to Emalee Meyerhoff's blog.
When I came to view your page and saw that you were blogging about this book, I knew I had to comment. I saw this book on the list and I didn't think much about it, but then I started to hear more and more people saying how they really enjoyed the book. I think its interesting that it's written in different poems, it's something different than all of the other books on the list. Did you only choose this book because it looked easy or did you actually have an interest in reading the book? I think it's probably something you would have to go into with an open mind because of the poem style. If you're not use to that, I could see how it could be annoying. Have you been enjoying the book so far? I don't think this would be a necessarily easy read for blogging because you have to dig deep into what the poem actually means. I wish you would go into a little more detail about your experience blogging and what you really thought of it. Other wise I enjoyed reading your other posts. The only other advice I would add is to have them longer in length, but they are very enjoyable. Keep it up!

My post to Alicia Donoghue's blog.
Hey Alicia, I love the idea of writing letters to the different characters. Out of the four books we read this year, this one was my favorite. The author did a great job of telling the story in a way that made it very easy and fun to read. Since the story is told from several different point of views, I like the idea of writing the letter to different characters. You did a great job of expressing her feelings towards each character. While reading your letters it felt like it could have been taken right out of the book. I especially like the one you wrote to Vera's father. It was very true to what she was feeling through out the book. She wants to tell her father all these things but he doesn't listen. In the letter you were able to tell Vera's father exactly what she was thinking. Great post, keep it up!

My post to Macie Wheeler's blog.

Hey Macie, I really enjoyed the topic of this blog. I read this book last quarter, and I really found that I related to Mclean's character by how afraid she was to get close to people. I didn't like this book as well as others that I had read, but I liked the realness of Mclean's character. You did a good job of explaining her character's fear in this post. Did you like the book as well as the others you read? Did you relate to Mclean in anyway? I have never heard the song you mentioned by Vanessa Hudgens, but now I'll have to go look it up. From the lyrics that you wrote about, it connects to Mclean perfectly. I was happy in the end that Mclean was able to let go of her fear and fall for Dave. I was rooting for them the entire time, were you? I had a feeling they would be together. Great post, keep it up!

Do you like these types of blogs?

Movie Trailer

Any feed back for my animoto?

Link Up Time!
This is a link to a movie trailer for the book.
Here is a blog with a full review of the book, which will be helpful before or after reading.
In the book Carlos is part of a Mexican gang. This is a site explaining the danger of Mexican gangs and general information about them.
Carlos doesn't like to listen to rules and this site explains why kids often rebel against authority.
This is Simone Elkeles personal site. It gives information on her and other books, so if you like Rules of Attraction you can check out her other books.
Kiara enjoys repairing cars and this site gives information on what type of labor goes into repairing a car.
Carlos leaves his mother and brother in Mexico and moves to Colorado with his oldest brother. This site gives information on leaving Mexico and moving to America and what it's like.
Carlos and his brothers have been growing up without a father after he was shot. Here is information on the affect of growing up without a father figure has on boys.
Kiara likes to hike and if you didn't know much about hiking, this would be a good site to read.
In the book Kiara's best friend helps her to create a rules of attraction list. Here is a real list of what attracts us to other people.
This is a review and summary of the first book of the series, Perfect Chemistry. You do not have to read Perfect Chemistry before reading Rules of Attraction, but it might help give background information.
Carlos goes to several parties with alcohol and drugs. Here is a site to show the effects of partying as a teenager.
Kiara falls for the bad boy in the story. Here is a site to help understand why she fell for him even when she knew it was a bad idea.
Here is a site that has several videos to represent the book which could be helpful to watch before you begin reading.
Learning more about the author of the book you're reading helps to understand the story and where it came from much better.

Did you find these links to be helpful?

"Good Girl"

For my next blog I wanted to take a song and compare it to Carlos and Kiara's relationship. After much searching, I found the perfect song. The song I chose was "Good Girl" by Carrie Underwood. The song is about a girl who is so smitten by a boy that she doesn't realize he isn't right for her. He's a typical bad boy and the song is trying to warn her that the boy is only going to break her heart. It's a very common thing for girls to fall for the "bad boy". There is something very mysterious and dangerous about the bad boy, but in the end you always end up with a broken heart. Maybe that's why girls are so drawn to the rebellious type, but we''ll never really know why. This song is to warn girls of the bad boys.

If this song would have been around for Kiara to listen to, maybe Carlos and Kiara would never have beame what they did. Kiara might have realized that Carlos wasn't the kind of guy she was looking for and that she was wasting her time. Even though by the end of the story Carlos changes and becomes the man Kiara needs, it doesn't start out that way. Carlos is involved in a gang and starts out in Colorado hanging out with the wrong crowd. Carlos even knows of the type of guy he is and warns Kiara. Kiara is so rapped up in their attraction that she doesn't care. The song says: 
Hey, good girl
You got a heart of gold
You want a white wedding
And a hand you can hold
Just like you should, girl
Like every good girl does
Want a fairytale ending, somebody to love.

Kiara is the typical good girl. She doesn't get into trouble, she's sweet, loves her family, always does her studies, and doesn't hang out with the wrong crowd. Then here comes Carlos and once Kiara falls for him, she wants the full relationship. The only problem is, Carlos doesn't want the same thing. He wants a girl he can hook up and not have any strings. The song also says, "better back away honey, you don't know where he's been". Carlos points out that he once had a very serious relationship and isn't a virgin, but now he only does meaningless hook ups. It's clear that Destiny, his ex-girlfriend, really damaged Carlos. He really cared for her but now he feels he is unworthy for any girl, especially Kiara. He has past damage that has caused him to be this way and after his several hook ups, no telling what he has done with who. Its much more safe is Kiara stays far far away. But of course that is impossible, because like I said, good girls love bad boys. 

Heres the link to the song lyrics,

Do you think there is a better song to represent what Kiara and Carlos are going through?

Pictures! Pictures! Pictures!

Carlos. The bad boy.

Alex. Carlos' brother.

Kiara. The good girl.

Carlos left is mom is Mexico to live with Alex in Colorado.

Madison Stone helps Carlos get involved with the wrong group.

The principal finds drugs in Carlos' locker.

Carlos goes to live with Kiara's dad, the Professor.

At first Kiara and Carlos don't get along.

It isn't long though until they are strongly attracted to one another.

Carlos stops Kiara before things get out of hand.

Carlos feels he isn't the type of guy Kiara needs.

They still pretend to be in a relationship at school so Madison will leave Carlos alone.

Carlos gets involved with a dangerous group and they want him to deal.

The family Carlos is staying with helps him out of trouble.

Attraction can break through all differences.

Can you think of a better theme than the power of attraction?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Final Intro Blog

It's finally time for the final blog assignment. It's the fourth quarter, and let me just say I'm relieved. Even though I'll miss blogging on thursday, this has as been a time consuming project. But what project isn't? I felt very pleased with my third quarter blog grade as a whole. I will admit that I started a little late, but I was able to pull it out. Maybe I'm finally starting to get the hang of this blogging thing. My response length has improved and I might even say I'm getting more creative. I still need to improve my analyzing skills, but those will come with time. As a whole though, I enjoyed the blogging project. I liked how it was more laid back than writing a paper, but I still feel it helped my writing and anazlying this year. Now with only one more quarter left I'm ready to finish strong and end on a good note. I think my fourth quarter book will help me end with a "bang", as well.

 My final Read For A Lifetime book is Rules of Attraction. I read Perfect Chemistry when it first came out a couple years ago and loved it, so I thought I would enjoy Rules of Attraction just the same. My favorite genre to read for fun is teen romance novels. There is something very entertaining about a very unrealistic romantic story. What can I say, I'm a girl, I like to dream. the plot for Rules of Attraction is very similar to Perfect Chemistry. Or at least that's what I understood from reading the cover of the book. In Rules of Attraction, Carlos is the bad boy and Kiara is the good girl. Very similar to Perfect Chemistry with Alex, Carlos' order brother, bring the bad boy at first, and Brittany being the good girl. Alex changes into this sweet young man while Brittany and him fall madly in love. I have a feeling that Rules of Attraction will be very similar, but predictably makes it fun. I can't wait to share more with you guys about my feelings for the book.
 Until next time, Simone

Have you read this book? If so, what do you think?

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

My Final Thoughts

77c1c661fae2bb84.gif      As you probably already know, for the third quarter blog I read What Happened to Goodbye. The author is Sarah Dessen and i think she is a fantastic writer. I'm not sure if it's because third quarter is shorter or if I have just had a serious case of blog block, but third quarter blogs have been a bit of a challenge for me. I even struggled with finishing my book this quarter. Usually I have no problem, just an easy read and I'm done. This book was different, though. Which is my first problem with the book. Now I know that all books need an introduction and that the beginning is probably going to be boring, but this book started off very slow. It felt like it was just taking me through McLean's everyday life, but nothing was happening. I'm sorry but the book was dry. It just wasn't enough to really draw me in. Maybe another reason I had a time getting involved in the book is because McLean and I don't have a lot in common. Not that I completely have myself figured out all the way, but I don't find myself wanting to be several different people. I have never experienced what it is like to have your parents go through a divorce either. I've had experiences with cheating, so I understood why she was upset, but the only thing I know about divorce is what I've seen on TV. McLean doesn't let people get close to her and she doesn't get attached to people. That was the only way I found to relate to the character. I completely understood why she did what she did because I'm the same way. Another problem I had with the book was all of Sarah Dessen books start to have a similar theme. There is a girl with some kind of family issue that makes her act a certain way, but then she meets a boy. The boy changes her, but then they break up. And in the end, they always get back together. It just gets old after the third or fourth book you've read of her's. 
     I didn't create this blog post to express my dislike for the book, there were things I actually did like. As I said above, I have never experienced what it feels like for your parents to divorce, but I like the way Sarah Dessen writes it. She is able to portray the way a child would feel torn between each parent in a very real way. I do have friends with divorced parents and they will talk about how they feel guilty to hang out with the other parent. I know McLean feels this way when she goes to the Defriese basketball game with her mom. She is even tells her dad this, but he tells her she should be with her mother. He isn't mad at all. I also liked how real McLeans character is. Even though I'm not currently going through an identity crisis, high school students all over the country are. It's something that everyone must go through to find who they really are. Sarah Dessen expresses this in a very real way that wasn't exaggerated at all. McLean could be a real girl at Carbondale High School and no one would think anything of it. I really like McLean as a character, and sometimes it really does take someone else to come into your life for you to find yourself. If we were talking about this situation like it wasn't made up for a book, I would say that McLean and Dave were meant to find each other. They met for a reason to help each other. All in all, the book was very realistic just not what I was looking for.

Just because I didn't like doesn't mean you won't. If you have read What Happened to Goodbye, what do you think? 

Animoto Time!

How do you like using Animoto? Did you enjoy my Animoto? thanks!

Link Up!–-sarah-dessen/book-reviews/5087
This is a site with someone else's opinion on the book, What Happened to Goodbye.
This explains the effect that divorce can have on children.
This explains the stress of moving. McLean and her father are constantly moving from town to town and I would imagine this to be somewhat stressful.
McLean and her father know everything there is to know about basketball, and this site can help the reader have a better understanding as well.
Here is the official site of the book.
This is a fan site for Sarah Dessen fans. Fans talk about their feelings towards What Happened to Goodbye and other Sarah Dessen books.
In this video Sarah Dessen talks about her newest book, What Happened to Goodbye.
McLean is having a hard time finding who she really is and I think this site would be helpful to her.
There can be many psychological effects of divorce on children and I think that is why McLean doesn't let people get close.
Even though you can't always explain why people do certain things that hurt others, but I'm sure McLean wanted answers as to why her mother cheated. This site explains some of the reasons as to why.
This site explains what McLean's parents might be going through because of the divorce.
McLean's dad is a restaurant consultant and this website is for a consulting company (not the one her dad works for), and you can get an idea of exactly what he does.
This article describes why restaurants fail. When restaurants aren't doing well McLean's father helps them get back to where they need to be.
This is an excellent summary, review of the book. This was very helpful.
This is Sarah Dessen's personal blog and it gives a lot of insight into her personal life, so you can see where she gets her inspiration.

Did you find these websites helpful?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


This is McLean. 

Her Parents are divorced.

Her dad is a chef and a restaurant consultant.

Her mom remarried and had twin babies.

McLean moves around with her father.

McLean and her mom don't really get along.

With each new town McLean changes her personality.

McLean doesn't let people get close on an emotional level.

McLean isn't sure who she really is.

Dave and McLean simply get each other.

McLean is letting herself make friends in Lakeview.

Basketball was a huge part of McLean's life until the divorce.

McLean hates what her mother did to their family.

The theme is finding yourself.

McLean learns it's ok to let people get close to you. 

 Can you think of any other pictures to represent the theme of the book?

"Too Many People"


     When you're going through something in your life sometimes when you find the perfect song to match your mood it can make everything seem ok. McLean is having a little bit of an identity crisis in her life. With each new town she has a different variation of her name and a new personality. So when she arrives in Lakeview she decides to use her own actual name, but what is her actual personality? who is she? She has made sure with each new town to be someone completely different from who she actually is but she now doesn't know who she is. At some point every teenager has to experience this. The only problem for McLean is she has to do it in a new town with people she barely knows. Now she has found Dave, the boy next door, who she feels she can actually be herself around, even if she doesn't know who that is.

     The song I chose to represent what McLean is going through is, Too Many People by Pet Shop Boys. The song has an interesting beat and isn't the best song but the words can express exactly what McLean is experiencing. The first lyric is, "I sometimes think I'm too many people". McLean has been the dancer, the outcast, the involved girl, basically anyone but who she is. She also won't let herself get close to anyone in the current town she is in, and when she leaves a town she doesn't keep in touch with anyone either.
"Love is kind, and love hurts
rebellion or conformity
What is my identity?"
These lyrics  describe McLean's views towards her parents divorce. She has a lot of anger towards her mother's actions and for that she doesn't let others get close to her. I think this also contributes to her identity crisis and why she is having trouble finding who she really is. Another great lyric to describe McLean is, "whoever i decide to be depends on who is with me". The people McLean decided to surround herself with played a huge role with who she was in that town. Then in Lakeview when she finds Dave, the boy next door, she feels she can finally start to be herself. She just has to find herself first.

Do you ever feel like you don't know who you really are? Do you have a song that helps you through this?

Round Three!

       Well after a whole semester of blogging I feel like I'm finally starting to get a hang on this blogging thing. My grade immensely improved from the first quarter to the second. I think during the first quarter blogging was such a new concept to me that I wasn't sure what was expected of me. Now I am finally understanding what it takes to make a successful blog. First semester our teacher gave us strict guidelines for each individual blog. This was easy enough and didn't take much individual thinking. Second semester was definitely not as strict, but there were still certain blogs that were required. Now for the third semester there are basically no guidelines for what each blog must be about. As long as it is two paragraphs in length, includes a visual, and engages people you're fine. You would think this would be great, right? Well that would be incorrect because I'm nervous that I might get a serious case of 'blogging block'. I sometimes struggle with creative ideas when it comes to blogging. I feel it turns into the same thing over and over again, but I'm going to try my best.


     My third Read For a Lifetime book is, What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen. I have read several Sarah Dessen books and most of them have been quite enjoyable. This is most recent one that has been released. I'm actually really excited to see if this can top my favorite book by her which is, This Lullaby. The only problem with Sarah Dessen books is many of them have the same theme throughout the book and can be very predictable. I'm hoping this book is different from her previous books, because quite frankly the story line just gets old. This book is suppose to be about a girl, McLean, and her parents are divorced. She lives with her dad, who is a restaurant consultant, and they have to move a lot. McLean likes to 'recreate' herself with each new town. Meaning she creates a different personality for herself with each town. Now she has ended up in Lakeview and for the first time she is trying to figure out who she really is. The people she meets along the way have an interesting way of affecting her life. I can't wait to read the book to find out more.