BEAUTIFUL DARKNESS by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Second book in the Caster Chronicles by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohil. It carries on from the last amazing book, Beautiful Creatures. Macon Ravenwood, Lena’s Incubus uncle, is dead- (so sad) he died while fighting Lena’s Dark mother, Sarafine. The night Macon died, on Lena’s sixteenth birthday, one of her eyes turned yellow, the other green. Usually when a Caster is claimed they turn Light or Dark- Light meaning green eyes and Dark meaning yellow- but Lena’s sort of half- and- half.

After Macon dies, Ethan is getting worried about Lena- she’s stopped writing in her journal and she’s become all distant. She’s even stopped Kelting with Ethan (like… talking through their minds.) and blocks him out instead. And Ethan’s started having these strange dreams which involve Macon and a woman called Jane, who Macon seems to be madly in love with.

On the last day of school, Ethan, Lena and Link are at the lake because of a school incident. After kissing Ethan, Lena runs into the forest and jumps onto the back of a Harley with a stranger. Ethan’s confused, duh.

So then, Ethan and Link meet Ridley, the Dark Caster Siren (power of persuasion). Ridley is with a guy- John Breed, who happensto be the guy Lena ran off with.

Ooh! And at his job at the library under Marian, Ethan meets Liv. Ethan and Liv are friends, and Lena sees them eating lunch together when she drives past and jumps to the wrong conclusion. At the County Fair, Ethan and Lena are talking. Lena’s wearing Ridley- style clothes. Liv turns up, causing Lena to go psycho. The three (Ridley, John and Lena) disappear.

For help, Link and Ethan go to the Lunae Libri, the Caster Library. Ethan hears a laugh and finds Liv, who explains that she’s a Keeper- in- training and knows about the Caster world. Determined to find Lena, Link, Ethan and Liv go through the Caster tunnels to find them. After a while, they figure out that Sarafine is trying to pull the seventeenth moon out of time so Lena has to claim herself early…

Amazing. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Not as great as Beautiful Creatures, but brilliant anyways. Age 12… I guess.

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BEAUTIFUL CREATURES by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Awesome first book in the awesome Beautiful Creatures series by (hold on, let me check… got it (Google rules)) Kami Garcia and (checks Google page again) Margaret Stohl.

The Beautiful Creatures book is pretty amazing. Can’t speak about the movie, because I have yet to rent the DVD from the library, but the book is brilliant. Basically, it’s about this boy, Ethan Wate, and the book starts off with a dream. In the dream there’s a girl, and falling, and I’m not getting any more specific than that.

It’s a love story. And the main characters are Ethan and LENA DUCHANNES, hint hint. She’s a Caster, which is basically another word for witch. And on her sixteenth birthday, Lena will be ‘claimed’ for either the ‘Light’ or the ‘Dark’. Light casters have green eyes and Dark casters have yellow.

Lena lives with her uncle, Macon, and her family are pretty much outcasts in their town, Gatlin. Lena moves in with Macon because her dad’s dead and her mom, Sarafine, is a Dark caster and wants to murder her.

On her first day of school, Ethan recognizes her from his dreams. And they’re connected. They fall in love, but the Book of Moons and Sarafine are complicating things.

I’m just touching on some stuff:
 
The song, Sixteen Moons- It’s quite creepy. Well, that’s an understatement. It gave me goose bumps. Ethan hears it in snatches as it keeps appearing in his head- well, the first part appears on his iPod.
The Book of Moons- what’s with all the moons in this? A Dark book.
People:
Lena’s cousin, Ridley- she’s a Dark caster, a Siren.
Lena’s uncle, Macon- not Ridley’s dad. An Incubus.
Lena- a Natural.
Ethan- a Mortal. His dad’s gone strange since his mom died. Amma looks after him.
Link- Ethan’s best friend. Mortal.
So, I’m being pretty vague about this book, because to be honest, I found some parts so confusing that I can’t explain them on… not paper… I can’t explain them on laptop? Also because it’s amazing, a must read, and there are three more in the series, the Caster Chronicles, which I’m trying to get you curious about…

Age… err… 12/13?

Also, this is the song Sixteen Moons, which Ethan keeps hearing:

sixteen moons,

sixteen years,

sixteen of your deepest fears,

sixteen times you dreamed my tears,

falling, falling through the years…

 

sixteen moons,

sixteen years,

sound of thunder in your ears,

sixteen miles before she nears,

sixteen seeks what sixteen fears…

 

sixteen moons,

sixteen years,

sixteen times you dreamed my fears,

sixteen will try to bind the spheres,

sixteen screams but just one hears…

 

sixteen moons,

sixteen years,

the claming moon,

the hour nears,

in these pages darkness clears,

powers bind what fire sears…

 

sixteenth moon,

sixteenth years,

now has come the day you fear,

claim or be claimed,

shed blood,

shed tear,

moon or sun destroy me here…

So lighthearted, right?

 

Beautiful Creatures WIKI page

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MOONWALKING WITH EINSTEIN by JOSHUA FOER

Moonwalking with EinsteinSo his is different from what I usually read…  very, very different… firstly because it’s not fiction… and I generally only read fiction. But… well… my dad told me to read this, and I rival Hermione Granger in terms of the amount I read, so… I read it. And I thought it would be really boring, because face it: that’s what all teenagers think when their parents tell them to read something, but, surprisingly, it’s not. It’s pretty interesting.

The book basically discusses memory. Human memory, and how even an average memory like mine can be used better- and this sounds like nonsense, but it works. I still remember a list I memorized 3 weeks ago… my friend tested me, and I still remembered everything, using a memory palace, which the book discusses. If you Google memory palaces, it also tells you what they are and how to make one; basically, it’s a place you know well enough, like your house or for a bigger memory palace, your school or even your town. You place the stuff you want to remember along a certain route, and it sticks. It’s explained better in Moonwalking with Einstein. And this is a technique apparently used by ‘mental athletes’ in the World Memory Championships. The book also tells you about how some people remembered everything, just by subconsciously placing everything in a memory palace- like, every single thing. Which is actually quite a lot. 

One of the points there which I found pretty interesting is the thing about chess; I found it interesting because I play chess as well, sometimes… anyway, so it talks about how chess players who have played more games are better, which I’m sure every chess player knows, but it also tells you how playing more makes you better. It explains that because people have played more chess games, they have games in their memory to relate this one to; they recall thousands of moves, and because they have so much stuff to relate games to, they can memorize entire chess boards, and they can also analyze a move much faster, because they will think back to a game where someone made a certain move and it turned out like this.

It’s different from every single other book I have talked about on this site; probably one of the only non fantasy books I’m gonna talk about here; but it’s still pretty good.

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Author Joshua Foer’s TED talk on the technique – “Memory Palace

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