Diamond of Darkhold

30 05 2013

This is the first book I finished on my Kobo, so I wasn’t sure how to take a picture of it while also holding a camera. The brightness of the cover made it impossible to take a picture of it with myself, so I had to use the inside cover of the title instead, at the risk of putting myself in the dark (oh no… not really).

Anyway, The Diamond of Darkhold made for a moderately satisfying ending to the City of Ember series (although the bit about the aliens baffled me). People of Sparks will always be the best book of the series, in my opinion. It’s a book that, if we all lived and practiced by, there might not be a thing as war. Or so we can only hope.

2013-05-29 16.20.00

Prophet of Yonwood

27 05 2013

Not nearly as good and profound as People of Sparks, and disappointingly anti-climactic, but a decent read nonetheless.

I’m running out of typical mirror shots so I decided to be silly instead.

2013-05-26 13.00.09

People of Sparks

15 05 2013

So in my previous post, I said how I put City of Ember on the same level of sci-fi commentary and intelligence as a young adult novel as The Hunger Games.

I am going to take it a step further (and I know there are some crazy loyal fans of THG out there but whatever), and say that People of Sparks has more layers and is a deeper book than the books in THG trilogy.

There. I said it.

Don’t get me wrong. I love that THG is laden with layers of philosophy, like government corruption, commentary on violence and mass media, but there’s something about People of Sparks that isn’t as obvious, that is more nuanced in its message than THG, which I really appreciate.

Anyway, I highly recommend teens and adults alike to read People of Sparks. Then tell me if you agree or disagree with me.

2013-05-15 12.34.49

What They Always Tell Us

2 02 2013

Here’s my pudgy body.

Also, this book is fairly enjoyable and I really like the way the gay subplot was done.


What is it about the moment you fall in love?

15 11 2012

It’s been two-ish days and I’m more than halfway through Every Day (by David Levithan).  So far, it’s, to say the least, a pretty brilliant novel in its story and how it’s structured (every chapter is a new body).  There’s a paragraph in the novel that really struck me, and Mr. Levithan, as one of my favourite authors, writes them so well, so emotionally (not to mention it’s something I also believe in).

“What is it about the moment you fall in love?  How can such a small measure of time contain such enormity?… The moment you fall in love feels like it has centuries behind it, generations — all of them rearranging themselves so that this precise, remarkable intersection could happen.  In your heart, in your bones, no matter how silly you know it is, you feel that everything has been leading to this, all the secret arrows were pointing here, the universe and time itself crafted this long ago, and you are just now realizing it, you are just now arriving at the place you were always meant to be.”

Dead Kid Detective Agency — Ch. 7 audio score

30 06 2012

Here’s the second piece I wrote for Ch. 7 of The Dead Kid Detective Agency.

The Dead Kid Detective Agency — Ch. 1 audio score

29 06 2012

I’ve been meaning to post this for a long time (since I completed it last year), but haven’t gotten around to it until now.  I took a Children’s Lit class in college, and our final project was one we created ourselves.  It was left very open to what we wanted to do; I decided to write some music for one of the novels we had studied in class.  Here is the description of my project, and a link to the music on youtube.

All the text is from Evan Munday’s book, The Dead Kid Detective Agency, and obviously, I do not claim to own any of it, although I would certainly like to claim to be able to write so wittily.

“Think Like a Child” Independent Project

As a fan of movie soundtracks, I thought it would be fun to write some music for Evan Munday’s The Dead Kid Detective Agency.  I found that the book had a good mix of emotions and moods (ie. scary scenes were still humorous and light) as a book for young readers, which could be reflected in a diverse sound.  A movie soundtrack is, I find, largely underrated in the effects it has on the audience: it can enhance the atmosphere of scenes, making the film feel creepy or funny or whatever the desired mood.  Music can also manipulate audiences’ emotions; we cry when we hear a lamenting violin over a break-up scene, or feel scared at the sound of low murmuring instruments.  Music can even increase our adrenaline during a high-speed car chase with loud horns, like in Inception.  Since movies have the advantage of a soundtrack to enhance the film, and since readers imagine characters, settings, and actions while reading a novel, I thought having music playing while reading or being read to would also enhance the reading/storytelling experience.

Although I intended this project to be played in the background while someone would be reading to a child, I also realized that the readers of Dead Kid might be of an age where they may no longer be read to (ie. between nine and fourteen).  However, the music would still work even for those reading the book silently, as it would play in the background, and would, hopefully, enhance their reading experience.

I picked three scenes for which to write the music: the beginning, in the middle (when October meets the dead kids for the first time), and the end.  I thought the beginning and end of the novel would serve as good bookends musically, where I could use the musical theme in two different ways, to show how October changes throughout the novel.  Therefore, I had the opportunity to pick another chapter in the book on which to write, and ultimately picked a scene that I thought was supposed to be the spookiest, yet one of the most interesting and revealing chapters in the novel, which contrasts with the other two scenes I had picked.  As such, I tried to incorporate the spookiness and fear which October feels when she sees the ghosts by, first of all, writing the music in a minor key, and second, by accelerating the tempo of the music until it climaxes and slows down again, just as October realizes the dead kids are actually kind of cool and that there is no need to be scared of them.  The tone of both the chapter and the music changes when October wants to be friends with her new acquaintances, which I thought would also be a good contrast between the previous spooky scene.

Lastly, I decided to narrate some of the story as a guide to where the music was supposed to follow.  This incidentally made the project seem more like an audio book with music, which was an interesting revelation, and another possibility for the use of this music.

The Hunger Games so far…

26 01 2012

isn’t all that great.  Kind of disappointed, actually.  The first chapter, although I know it’s told from the point of view of a 16 year old, was quite mediocre– the writing was– but I suppose Collins is one of those authors who is known better for her storytelling than for her writing, much like Dan Brown.  I much prefer a young adult novel like The Dead Kid Detective Agency by Evan Munday.  Also, Evan is way cooler and his sense of humour is awesome.

Also, the endorsement by Stephanie Myer on the front of the book really didn’t raise my expectations.