Saturday, 3 November 2012

Heather's Book Review #3 - Maximum Ride


Maximum Ride Book Review
A Novel By: James Patterson
Book Review By: Heather Ngo

They are running. Running away from the fear and the past that has been cruelly fabricated in the hands of others. Maximum Rider and her “family” have escaped from The School, a place where scientists are testing and forming a new species of human kind; pushing the limits of the human body and evolving it into something far beyond belief. Crafted to fly, Maximum is far from a normal girl, facing many decisions that determine their lives, she and her “family” embark on a journey that will determine where they come from, who and where their true families are, and who is their real friends and most importantly, their enemies.
James Patterson is an amazing author, who is superb at fabricating mysterious and thrilling novels. Patterson constantly keeps the reader thrilled and curious about what will happen next by using new and innovative ideas. In the story, Maximum Ride, Patterson focuses on the challenges that Max and her “family” must overcome to survive and figure out their roots. Max struggles through many difficulties and challenges that confront her. She faces Jem, a close father like figure who should be dead, a voice that only she can hear, and the constant reminder that death is approaching and can easy occur if she makes the wrong choices. On top of that, Max is burdened by the responsibility that she has towards her “family” and the fear of falling in to the clutches of the Erasers and the scientists once again. James Patterson clearly demonstrates a great use of words and a variety of vocabulary that sucks the reader in and keeps them engaged in the story and plot. Overall I thought that James Patterson crafted an exquisite novel, which focused deeply on the challenges that Max must overcome to survive and find her family. I would definitely recommend this book to intermediate to advance readers, who love marvelous action-packed stories with an innovative plot line.

Heather's Book Review #2 - Mark of Athena

The Mark of Athena Book Review
By: Rick Riordan
Book Review By: Heather Ngo

Wandering through Rome, Annabeth shoulders the heavy burden of searching for the one thing that can avenge her mother. Although this is a quest that only she can complete, this does not stop Percy and their five friends from helping her. Together, the group begins their exhilarating journey and set sail on the Argo 7. Along the way, they are faced with many challenges, from resolving feuds between 2 camps, fighting with the deadly god Gaea, and facing vicious mythological creatures that stand in their way. When you're a demigod, even the chances of visiting the deepest and most dangerous depths of the underworld are possible. 

Rick Riordan is an exceptional writer, who is fabulous at fabricating adventurous tales that revolve around mythology.  He frequently catches the reader's attention, and keeps them engaged in the story through his word choice and ideas. By allowing readers to view the thoughts and opinions of characters, Riordan has strengthened the reader-character connection. There are a wide variety of personalities that each character possesses and drastic differences in their behaviour, which contributes a vast range of perspectives in one scenario. Furthermore, it also allows Riordan to deeply connect with a variety of people. For example, Percy's a free spirited and selfless person, who is brave and courageous. Although the gods take advantage of him, he continues to stay strong and complete the challenges that come his way, while saving his friends and the world itself. On the other hand, Annabeth is intellectual and brave. Because she is a daughter of Athena, schoolwork and intellectuality comes naturally to her. The main themes that Riordan focuses on are the challenges that Percy and Annabeth have to overcome to be together and the constant reminder of death approaching. The couple comes face-to-face with many challenges throughout their quest, which determines whether or not they can stay together and complete them without dying. Overall I thought Riordan crafted an excellent novel and I would recommend it, and the series, to anyone who loves mythology and adventure books.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Litspiration Challenge #1 - Percy Jackson Quote

Percy Jackson: The Sea of Monsters Litspiration Challenge


For my litsperation challenge, I decided to choose a quote from a book that I liked. In my word art above, I have included a quote that I personally sensed a means of importance that Percy Jackson had thought in the book, The Sea of Monsters. Although the piece of work that I have crafted for the litsperation challenge does not seem like an actual "challenge", I found that it was lot more difficult to make this piece than I had originally thought. Since I made this in Photoshop, I was not exactly familiar with software and I constantly experimented with the tools. I also had to think deeply and critiquely about the colours, the font, and the symbols that I included in to my word art. Overall I feel pretty impressed and proud with what I achieved considering the knowledge that I had about Photoshop beforehand.

Background Information:
The quote listed above is a thought by Percy Jackson in the book, The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan. In the particular scene we are introduced to a couple of characters like Matt Sloan (a minor character who is the school bully), Tyson (and orphan, and Percy's only friend, in the human world), and Percy himself.

Tyson is a very unique and delicate person because he is 6 foot 3, has a huge build, and has massive strength. Although these may be physical characteristics that make up Tyson, internally he is emotional, shy, and just about frightened at everything; making him a very easy and likely target for school bullies. As well, Tyson is also an orphan who is poor and lives on the streets of New York City. At this moment, Matt Sloan and his "gang" are bullying and calling Tyson names when Percy cuts in and defends him. Once the scene is over, Percy thinks, "I was pretty much his only friend, which meant that he was my only friend."Throughout the story Percy continues to stick up for Tyson with out concerns of what others thought and continued to be a great and supportive friend.

Some of the things that I considered before I crafted this piece:

1.) Why:
The reason why I chose this quote out of many in the book, is because of the meanings behind it. Percy himself, is a very dynamic, brave, selfless, and courageous hero in the book, resulting in the becoming of a leader and a role model. When Percy thought this ("I was pretty much his only friend, which meant that he was my only friend."), we can not only sense the type of character that Riordan is building up, but we can also see a surge of kindness from Percy. I really liked this quote because it is telling us that despite the way that someone may look, we should not act and treat them unfairly without getting to know them and truly understanding them on the inside. It also shows us that we should be open to new and different people, while having an open mind about it. Although Tyson is different from the other students, Percy continues to stick by him and remain loyal to their friendship. The quote also shows us that despite what happens or what people may say, we must always stand up for what is right and to never resort in peer pressure and bullying. Overall I think that Percy sets a great example for his fans and the readers.

2.) Colours Used:
The reason why I chose to make my background colour blend from a white to a nice sky blue, is because I wanted to represent a beautiful and clear day. In the top left hand corner, it is supposed to represent the sun. When I added the appearance of the sun in to the corner, I wanted it to represent the light of hope and friendship that has shone upon Tyson. Ever since meeting Percy and having him as Tyson's friend, his life has changed. He is now able to have a feeling of friendship, security, and supportiveness.  I also wanted it to be taken as a "New Day" aspect. What I mean by this, is how we should act whenever something bad happens. Because there is always another day in the future, we should not dwell in the past and think negatively.  Instead we should look towards the future and think about the positive things that can occur. This is definitely something that Tyson needs, he is an orphan and he has been attacked by mythological creatures once before. With the help and push of Percy's friendship, he is able to get on with his life and enjoy it while he can. As for the text I made it yellow to represent the sun, this is once again chosen because of the situation on hand and the thoughts of lighting up Tyson's miserable life. As an additional side note, the blue can also be read as a sign of the ocean because Percy is the son of the sea god (Poseidon).

3.) Trident and Water:
Although the trident and water puddle in my word art does not necessarily tie in with my quote, I placed it there for readers to recognize that Percy is a son of the greek sea god (Poseidon). I added those 2 elements because I believe they make up a huge part of Percy's identity.

4.) Percy Jackson Signing:
Although it may look like Percy Jackson's signing was chosen randomly, I did put quite a lot of thought in to the font that was chosen. The font above is supposed to be representative of Percy's attitude, behaviour, and personality. Since Percy is dyslexic and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) I wanted to consider a font that is a little messy, while still being classic. I presume that Percy's normal writing is scrawled, I think this is so because he has never cared a lot about school and has always valued his friends and family the most.

5.) Benefits from Percy's Actions:
Because Percy is a great and loyal friend, it has lead to the alliances and connections in the future. With his easy going attitude, he is easily likeable and has plentiful friends who are loyal and trustworthy. From the beginning of the series to the end, we can see that this quote has carried on and has stuck with Percy for his entire life. In future books, Percy makes many new connections with the people who are usually branded the losers or the "freaks". This shows us that his character is very open and willing to accept new people. Overall Percy has been a source of light and hope to any one who crosses his path. Riordan created an excellent and dynamic character who readers can easily fall in love with.

*Special Notes:*
-Software Used: Photoshop
-The trident is not mine and completely belongs to: http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1129529
-The font for Percy's signing is not mine. I was able to retrieve it at www.dafont.com and the creator is El Stinger, to access more of his fonts please click this website: http://www.dafont.com/el-stinger.d1467?text=Percy+Jackson.





Monday, 17 September 2012

Heather's Book Review #1: Shiver

Shiver Book Review:
A Novel By: Maggie Stiefvater 
By: Heather Ngo

Sam and Grace have been quietly watching each other for 8 years. Sam has always been in the forest watching Grace, but when an accident in town occurs involving the wolves, their lives intertwine in a way they’d never imagine before. Sam and Grace’s lives change course and head into a dangerous and love-filled world. Sam now needs to confront his frightening and haunting past to fight for the girl he loves and Grace must be strong and brave to keep the one and only thing she really cares about. The two embark on a difficult journey that takes them to the deepest corners of their hearts, where they find that staying together is worth everything even if it that means competing against deadly obstacles like time and the shiver.

Overall, Maggie Stiefvater crafted an invigorating book that focuses on the theme love conquers all. This theme is between the 2 main characters in this book. Grace is a sweet, selfless, and quiet person who must be brave to fight for the only person she really cares about and Sam is a young, wild, and complex werewolf that must fight for the chances to stay as a human. In the story Grace and Sam must overcome plentiful challenges that come in their way, such as facing a savage werewolf and confronting both of their pasts. Sam and Grace are destined to be together ever since Grace's frightening past, their lives has been filled with memories of each other, and the thought of each other’s absence is unbearable. Stiefvater clearly paints a photo in to the readers mind and allows the audience to fall in love with the simplicity and the sweetness of the characters and their actions. Stiefvater clearly represents and transitions her thoughts in an understandable and simple way, making the book accessible to all readers. She crafted an amazing book, which really indulged and captivated the reader while focusing deeply on the theme love conquers all. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a good story about werewolves and love.