Tuesday, September 09, 2014

The Impossible Hope

The impossible hope.
No, this is not a book. This is not a film.  It is a feeling inside many girls in the Chicago area right now.  Chicago native Caelin had always wanted to do something to help change the world around her. Something to help make the future brighter. There was only one catch, she had no idea what it was she could do. 
When Caelin watched the kickstarter video for Keep It Safe ( a documentary film about people taking action to end climate change), she was so inspired by the video that she took action.
Caelin started sending out emails to friends and family asking them to watch the video and pass it on. But she felt that still wasn't enough. She knew she could do more.  Then a wonderful idea popped into her head.  So the next day she went to the school counselor and pitched the idea of a bake sale to raise money for the film. She was very worried that the counselor would not share her views on why it is so important to raise money for a film about climate action. Much to Caelin's surprise the counselor loved the idea. After that Caelin was off and running. Literally. 
She was telling everyone she could about the film and the bake sale.
To adults is might not seem like any big deal. But for a high school student it is. Emailing and texting everyone you know asking them for their support is not something easy for most adults much less so for teenagers who tend to fret about every word. In the world of high school sending the wrong text message could lose you most of your friends. And lets not forget going to the counselor.
Going to the school conniving them to hold a bake sale takes a great deal of determination.  Something that many even many crowdsourcing campaigners wouldn't do.
If that wasn't enough she now has the photography club on board to make signs and posters for the bake sale all inspired by what she saw in the video. I had the wonderful opportunity to interview Caelin via email.  
From left to right, Molly, Caelin, Matea,Taylor

The first thing I asked was for her to walk me through her day and a little about her fellow students who are helping her. 
"When I walked into the consular office, I was nervous and excited at the same time. I first mentioned the email that my mom had sent her a few days ago, then went right into the kickstarter video. When I saw her pause for a minute, I got nervous once again, but soon relieved when her face lit up with happiness and excitement too. She loved the idea! She said that I should talk to the Dean of Students. I did and he loved the idea as well. So I went around talking to kids and asking for their email addresses to send them the link. That's when I ran into a girl named Matea. We were messing around before english class when I brought up the subject. She was messing with me and saying that she would have done better, and before the bell rang, she then said that it was a big thing for me to be doing. She wanted to know more. She caught on and jumped in. We talk about ways to make this more out in the open. Molly, on the other hand, doesn't believe in climate change, but is still helping and backing me up. She helps with spreading the word and supports me through it all. She has always been one of my best friends. With Molly, I know that this will get out even farther. Taylor. She - the one that told me to go and talk to the consular -is great for support. I listen to her when there is something huge on the line like this video and project. She is also helping spread the word. These girls want to get on board to help me and support this cause even if Molly doesn't believe in it. They know its huge for me, and the environment is at risk. Who wants our oceans to rise 23 ft any way? Not me, or them."
US History teacher joining in

I asked Caelin why she is so passionate about this project. 

"This means a lot to me personally because I love nature and looking at what climate change is doing to this beautiful planet is devastating. I want to see something done about it. something to help make everything better and not have anything more extreme to worry about in the future. This film is helping people become away with what is happening around us and that we need to do something about it and do it now. This film is expressing how people feel about this and how our own stories take part in it. It helps people become aware for the dangers to come."

The Keep It Safe kickstarter has a much better chance for success with Caelin on board. When told that the filmmakers behind Keep It Safe can't believe the work she Caelin shrugs and says "Believe what? I will help for a good cause. I will at least try. I want the film to reach it's goal. $1 dollar could help the world take action now The team immediately asked her to become an associate producer.

I asked how she feels about her role in the project overall.
My mom say I will be let down in the end because the film won't get funding, but I know what I'm doing is a good thing.

Thanks to all of the work she and her friends are putting in to raise money, the filmmakers have decided that if the film gets funded they will go and interview the girls.


Noelle Cope the films  co-director ( who is only 17 herself) said, Some of the kids from the photography club are going to get stills and video of the bake sale and other parts of the fund raising process.  Which will not only be a great addition to the film but also make for wonderful behind the scenes.
It's wonderful because they are putting presser on me to do even more. Not only to get the film funded but to make it the final cut something they will be proud of.The thought of letting them down is terrifying. For me, the film is all about people doing what they can. It's about showing the world and it's leaders that we care about climate change. That we will join together. That's why kickstarter works so well for us. It's all about people coming together to make things happen. People coming together to make the film happen. Caelin and all of her friends are a fanatic way of showing the world that 'young' people won't back down.


And that is just what Caelin and her friends are showing the world.

You can help Caelin and her friends achieve their goal by pledging to film HERE. " Every dollar counts. We can do a lot. But we can't do it alone" Caelin says.
Funding for the film closes at 8:55 AM PDT Friday, September 19.




**I will continue to post updates and more information about the school fund raiser as things move along.


Friday, April 04, 2014

Book: Best Friends ( Until Someone Better Comes Along)

This book grabbed me right away with its title. It sounded like something I had not read in a while.
First off the book is fun but a little over the top which is the only real down fall of the book. The main character was so over the top and such a brat that I found myself losing interest in her at many points through out the book.  I myself have a hard time when it's the main character in books for younger readers that are so... well mean brats seems to be the only way to sum this up. So much so that I almost stopped reading the book twice because I could not take it.
But I do have to say once the karma started to kick in the book got really good.  Say whatever you like about me but i love it when the nasty people get what is coming to them.  I mean that there is some really nasty things that Izzy does in the book and she should get kicked in the pants. I really hope that people read this book and learn how to be good friends and that friends don't say mean things to each and are still honest. I did however really come to like the book by the end. It had a lot heart and a good message to it. It also did not play out way I would have thought. Which was really nice. Over the pretty good and I could see a lot of the young teens or tweens having a lot of fun reading it.

( Kids -11 and up )
Stars: * * * 3.4

Monday, March 31, 2014

Book: Her Dark Curiosity

After finishing The Madman's Daughter I could not wait to get my hands on this book.  Also with such a beautiful cover this book was kinda hard to say no to.
When I first started reading the book I was totally in love with how with it. I liked where the story picked up and what had happened. And as the murders started I got even more into it. 
Sadly as the story started to reach the turning point ( somewhere around the point when Juliet went to Lucy's party) the book lost me. 
Everything I had loved about the first book was gone.  I found that this book was pretty much just Juliet torn between two guys. yes it was like that a little in The Madman's Daughter, but that book had so much else going on and going for it. 
However I kept reading hoping that it would get better. It sadly did not.  What really has me let down about all of this is I know that the author has the power to do something wonderful. She can weave such great stories. Set up great characters, plant little clues and twist and turn it all about until you have a can't miss book. 
This book did none of that.  I found that were in the first book that I liked  Juliet, while in this book she rather got on my nerves at times. 
The two characters I liked most in this book was of course Elizabeth and Lucy. I felt that they made the most sense and did their part to balance the story while adding a little life to it all. 
 Over all the book was good but it was still a let down something I am still trying to get over. 
I'm praying as hard as I can that the next book will be more like The Madman's Daughter and therefore can not wait to get my hands on it. 

( YA- 15 and up)
Stars: * * * 3.4                                 LEVEL:HATBOX 




Saturday, March 29, 2014

Movie : Gravity

Sandra and George in outer space.  That right there was enough to get my interest.
When I first starting seeing trailers for the movie I was very unsure about it. First thing that worried me was the end. I was not sure if it was going to be yet another studio movie were they pull rabbits out of hats to make everything just right in the end or if it would be one of those movies were they throw the most unbelievable things at you just to get you invested in the story with cheep tricks ( Yes, James Cameron I'm talking about you).
This movie might have been like the later had it not been for Sandra. Her real, raw, and unquestionably human performance took this movie to new levels.  all by herself she kept us on the edge of our seats. We clung to every word that she spoke and hung onto her every movement. She held us spell bound.  Also it just goes to show all of us that woman can carry a movie - a blockbuster. That sex or gender has nothing to do with how well someone can tell a story or how much money a film will make.
None of this is to say that the crew did not do an unbelievable job. Because boy did everyone who worked on this film hit it out of the park. Sandra was only as good as she was because everyone raised her to that level. Every single name on the credits of this film should have high praise. They must have worked their butts off to get it to where it is today.
Someone else I would like to call out on the their fine work was the score. It was so prefect for this film. There is that now famous song that plays at the end of the film that just takes my breath away every time. If you have seen the film you know the one I am talking about.
One last thing that I love about this film is how it never once cuts down to nasa. It never breaks that feeling of being alone in space. It lets us feel and ride with Dr.Ryan Stone through all of this.
Over all it does have it's mistakes but to do what it did as well as it did was an impossible change. Sandra gave one of the greatest film performance that has ever graced the silver screen.


PG - 13
Stars: * * * * 4.5     LEVEL: RED SHOE

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Book: The Madman's Daughter

I'd like to start off this review by stating that i have not read many gothic novel's and therefore do not know to much about them.  And I would also like to state that before reading this review it's very important to understand that this book is meant for the older YA readers ( somewhere from 15 or 16 and up). 
That being said this book was beyond my wildest dreams. While I have not read The Island Of Doctor Moreau myself, I know the plot and story very well, along with many of the social topics that it has.  Still the book took me by surprise. First of all with its very dark tones and gruesome details. But than the pace,setting, and characters took me all by surprise. 
This was a book that I myself am shocked that I liked so much.  I read this book in less than 24 hours- I think this is the fastest I have ever read book that was a little over four hundred pages long (Now yes, I also got lucky and had the time to just sit and read it all)! This was the first book in a long time to have me curled up in bed reading way late into the night. And it was the first book to ever make me jump while reading. That's how drawn in I was. 
As for the characters they were pretty interesting and kept the story moving a long. Juliet was fairly standard but she did have little twists to her that made her memorable. 
And truth be told this was the first love triangle I have liked in a really long time.  Mostly because the two guys were more interesting than most. 
The only draw back to the book? Well clearly the story is very gruesome - it could have been worse and the author did a wonderful job, however it still turned my stomach at many points.
Over all if you can stomach the novel I say it's a must read. 


( YA 15 and up) 
Stars: * * * * 4.0              LEVEL: TWISTED


Monday, March 24, 2014

Book: Etiquette & Espionage

This is a book that has long been on my To Read list. So when I saw it at the library I knew I had to grab it. As soon as I opened the book I was drawn in by it. The steampunk setting, humor, and of course the vastly interesting Sophronia made the book a delightful read.
Was there flaws with it? Yes, of course. However I felt that the level of enjoyment I got out of the book was so high that I hardly saw them. 
The first flaw was of course the writing. It was very standard ( other than the humor and character crafting of course).  At other points in the story things as far as the setting didn't add up or make sense. While some of the steampunk elements felt a little off.  It felt like the author was having a hard time getting the image she saw in her minds eye on paper. It always felt like at the least one or two key details were missing. Maybe it was that she forget to fill the reader in on details that had already been stated in her other series ( which I have not had the pleasure of reading yet).  But as far as the rest of the writing I found it clever, charming and as stated before a joy to read. 
As for everything else I was very pleased with it all. The book was full of sass and spunk. 
The thing I loved most about the book was how creative the book was. Things like the vampire and werewolf details were fun and refreshing. 
The characters were a very nice mix and blend. Sophronia was great hero. She had so many things going for her, and she never once let me down in the book. 
The thing that younger readers will like best about this book is of course the pace of the book. I found that it moved quickly and before I knew what happened it was over. 
Over all I think that is a charming book that I would highly recommend for many of the younger readers or readers that want a nice change of pace. 

( YA 12 and up) 

Stars: * * * 3.8        LEVEL: FLYWAY MEN

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Book: Elusion

I wanted to read this book right as soon as I saw the cover. But when I heard that it had already been picked up by I believe Warner Brothers for a film adaptation; I knew I had to read it!
When I first started the book I was totally drawn in! One thing that I loved the most about this book was the pace. Before I knew it I was almost done with the book.
However there was a hand full of things that I displeased.  First was while I Regan alright I found her to  very 2D. And was quite let down by that.  The world around Regan was so well built and went much deeper than I thought it would, I was hoping for the same from Regan. I wanted to see the differences in her that were caused by the world around her and the events that took place within the book itself.
Now that's not to say that was wasn't a good character - she was just very standard- but I felt like the author played it very safe with her and all the other characters.  The character I liked best was Patrick or Regan's Mother. Something about the two characters even though they were small characters something about them was just so interesting, and makes them stand out.
However what I found the most interesting about the whole book was the world of course Elusion ( Elusion i the book is like a this virtual reality).  While it all really reminded me of Into The Still Blue.
So over all I found the book to be good it's biggest plus was the pacing but everything else seemed to be very standard and pretty much your normal  YA Sci-Fi.
I think that many of my readers will adore this book and find it to be a favorite. But I think that other will be sadly let down with it.
I can't wait to read the next book and am interested to see if/when things move forward with the film.

(YA-13 and up)
Stars: * * * 3.2                                   LEVEL: WAIT FOR PAPER BACK




I was given a copy of the book by the publisher for an honest review. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Book: Endless

Of course I like most people was drawn to this book based on the Romanov fact. I grew up thinking about them. Having seen the children's movie it was something that took over many of my childhood daydreams. 
And add this books beautiful cover and I was hooked. 
The story itself was rather bumpy at times. However on the whole I have to say I liked it.  I have to say that I pretty pleased with the build up of the story and the characters. Though it was pretty slow placed and the characters at first seemed pretty thin, I think that there is a lot hope for the next book in the series . One thing I must note that I loved how much of the story that was in Russia had to do with Maria. I feel she is often forgotten about when we talk about the Romanov story/legend. 
Also the writing was also much better than I had thought it would be. I thought that it might be lacking on  when it came to using adjectives, I was very pleased that this was not the case.
However I did feel at times that the author was unsure of where the book was going. There was lots of questions and details that didn't add up. Now having read many time travel books like this myself I'm hoping that the next book in the series will clear some of that up. But still just reading this book I found it all a little annoying and off putting at times. 

Over all I think that this book has a very interesting take on past lives and I cannot wait to read the next book. 
I would tell you readers that if you are on the fence about this book it might be best to see how good the next book is before diving into this series. 


( YA- 14 and up )

Stars: * * *  3.5                                 LEVEL:  PAST LIFE OR TIME TRAVEL 





I was given a copy of the book by the publisher for an honest review. 

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