Book 53: The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan (2006)

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Ack, seriously. What the hell is this?

I did like the first half of the first book, but halfway throughout this book I just couldn’t take it anymore. I’ve never managed to care for Percy – the main character. His narration was fresh and entertaining at first, but after a while even that couldn’t make up for everything else that is wrong with this book. As I’ve mentioned before (I think), the references to the Greek myth become really old, especially because I already know everything there is to know about the Greek myth. Everything becomes predictable. What’s worse, I find it hard to believe that Percy honestly couldn’t guess what’s in stock for him. He knows that something is a trap and yet he still falls for it.

I can see why Poseidon isn’t all that proud of him.

Book 52: Darwin’s Origin of Species by Janet Browne (2006)

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Another biography of Darwin. I don’t know how many more books about evolution should I read. I just felt really sorry for Alfred Russel Wallace. He rarely gets any credit, and all he did was letting Darwin to be the celebrity.

Book 51: Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea by Charles Seife (2000)

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I think I just learned more about zero than I’d ever care to know. The first part of the book is more about the history of zero, which is interesting. The second part of the book contains some math and physics mumbo jumbo, which I only skimmed through at best. Hey, I already took all the Calculus and Physics classes that I needed. I’d like to move on with life, please.

I never really thought about the concept of zero. It means null, void. It’s bizarre the way Aristotle and even Descartes refused to admit there’s a zero, a void. I find it hard to believe that the Western rejection of the concept and the Eastern acceptance made all the difference as far as their development of science went. I remember thinking in elementary school why 0 can’t be divided by 0 to get one, but that was as deep as I got. For the most part I didn’t care. Still don’t, actually.

Interesting book, though.

Book 50: Twelve by Lauren Myracle (2007)

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I was very impressed when I picked up the first book in the series: Eleven. After reading a lot of books for girls, I was expecting for the main character to be whining over the most trivial things. As it turned out, eleven-year-old Winnie was a smart girl who knew what she was doing. She could be naive at times, but overall she was smart and I admired her.

After reading Twelve, though, I feel like Winnie is turning into one of those valley girls. Her narrative is sprinkled with the word “like” and the phrase “Oh God.” And at the end she decides she likes malls because she’s becoming a teenager.

She’s still bearable in this book, but I must wonder how the next book is going to be like. Should I give up on Lauren Myracle like I gave up on Meg Cabot? Stay tuned for the answer.

Movie 23: Enchanted (2007)

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This is the movie that we watched on the night of Thanksgiving’s Day.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first saw the trailer. I did grew up with the Disney’s princesses. I used to have two copies of the Sleeping Beauty storybook because I thought I’d lost my first copy when it was actually behind the sofa. I don’t think I liked the story as much as my family made me believe I did though. They were the ones who dressed me up as a little princess; I was just living up to their expectations.

I do know that I came out of the theater half-disappointed. The movie is rated PG, but there are some scenes that I feel shouldn’t have been there. I guess I was under the impression that it was going to be another nice, harmless princess story, but my grown-up eye and mind caught all the inappropriate references and little things – inappropriate by my standards anyway. For example, I didn’t like how Giselle shows cleavages. Good girls aren’t supposed to show cleavages, and it’s just wrong that a princess is not being portrayed as a good girl.

Another thing that didn’t feel satisfying is the pairing of Robert and Giselle. I guess it’s the whole point, but it’s kind of sad if you see it from Nancy’s point of view. Here is the man you’ve been dating for five years that you know so well, and suddenly he’s falling for a bizarre girl within a, what, one-week time frame? That’s worse than Romeo and Juliet! It doesn’t help that Nancy instantly falls for Prince Edward. Both Robert and Nancy are supposed to be rational; they should have known better. Or was their relationship never solid to begin with? The whole thing just makes no sense. Of course, the WHOLE movie doesn’t make sense if you want to be technical about it.

Patrick Dempsey is nice to look at. I grew tired of him when I was on a Grey’s Anatomy marathon (or did I grow tired of his character?), but in small doses he’s really fine.

Book 49: Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton (1911)

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(Thoughts permanently on hold.)

Book 48: An Interrupted Life by Etty Hillesum (1941-43)

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(Thoughts permanently on hold.)

(Though I personally wouldn’t recommend it.)