Uta Hagen--

"We must overcome the notion that we must be regular...it robs you of the chance to be extraordinary and leads you to the mediocre."

Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 Recap

I've been debating for about a week now whether or not I wanted to do a year-end recap this year.  I did one last year and loved it because it showed everything that I had accomplished in a year's time, everything I'd gotten to experience, and I was able to leave out the bad things.  But the difference between this year and last is that last year was a pretty good year for me.  I didn't lose many people or go through things in any degree what I've gone through this year.

However, I feel I owe it to myself to look at everything I've been through this year and see how much of what's happened this year has made me who I am - which means things both good and bad.  So here we go.

The year started off on an okay note.  Not much was going on, exams and switching classes, the normal.  At the end of January, my cousin, Jimmy, had his last weekend home before deploying to Afghanistan.  In February, I attended my cousin, Pauline's, visitation.  February the 6th, at 10:00PM, to be exact - Jimmy deployed to Afghanistan.  Also on the 6th of February I was scheduled to have my district Power of the Pen meet, which was moved to February 26, which I didn't place in, but I did make Regionals.  In March, my favorite movie, Remember Me, was released and I went to see it on the 13th.  Also on the 13th of March, I had my Regional Power of the Pen meet, which I didn't place in, nor did I qualify for State.  On March 20th, I went to Wal-Mart at midnight to get New Moon on DVD.  At the end of March, I went on Spring Break to Tennessee with my family and grandparents.  I went back to school and Jimmy came home on mid-tour leave in April.  On April 15th, I saw him at my grandparents' house and he put me on his shoulders.  Two days later, April 17th, we celebrated Jimmy being home with a dinner at my grandparents' house.  He put me on his shoulders and we had a really good time.  That was the last time I saw him.  On Friday, April 23rd, Jimmy went back to Afghanistan.

On April 24th, I attended the Ohio State spring game and one of my favorite teachers became the father to twins.  On April 26th, Leanna Renee Hieber came to my school.  On April 27th, Leanna Renee Hieber's second book in the Strangely Beautiful Saga was released, The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker. And I went to the release party.  That same week, I took my state tests. 

In the beginning of May, I gave a speech in hopes to get onto the Freshman Student Council and made it.  On May 9th, I went to Columbus to my cousin's cookout and saw him for the first time since 2007.  On May 13th, Robert Pattinson turned 24 and was on Oprah.  On May 18th, the fifth Vampire Academy novel was released, Spirit Bound.  On May 24th, my cousin Jimmy celebrated his 27th birthday in Afghanistan.  On May 27th, I read the poem I wrote for Jim to my class as part of our "Coffee House".  On May 28th, final exams for my eighth grade year started.

On May 31, Memorial Day, my beloved Uncle Chris took me on my first Motorcycle ride and got me hooked.  I soon fell in love with the nickname "Biker Chick" :D.  On Wednesday, June 2nd, we had our 8th grade awards where I received several awards for my academics as well as for Power of the Pen.  I made it into the Jr High's Academic Hall of Fame.  I finished my exams and then finished my eighth grade year.

Over summer vacation, my family and I went to the zoo, and then to Myrtle Beach.  I got a package from Jackson Pearce, and read Sisters Red.  July flew by, but it was summer and warm, so things were good. 

The month of August started off on a bad note.  My great-grandma (Granny) died on August 3rd at the age of 97.  Losing her was very unnerving because I thought she'd be the one thing that would always be in my life.  We'd come close to losing her many times before, so much that I was convinced that she was immortal.  I miss my Angel, but she's a real Angel now. 

As the month went on, I prepared to start high school.  As a last vacation of the summer, my brother and my grandparents and I went to the lake.  We came home on August 20th, and my amazing back pack had come in.  Also, on August 20th, I talked to Jimmy for the last time.  We also went to a Bengal's pre-season game that night.

I started high school, and only one week into it, my life changed.  The month of August, ended on a bad note as well, when we were informed of the worst possible news.  My Hero, SGT James C. Robinson fell to indirect fire in Afghanistan on August 28th, 2010 as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.  I can't even tell you how horrible I felt, and still feel.  I pray to God nobody ever knows this pain, though I know others will.  In September, we brought Jimmy home for good and said "goodbye".  Also in September, Jim's youngest daughter turned 3.

My cousins Amber and Corey found out they were having a boy and I met Jackson Pearce.

In October, I attended my first homecoming dance and dressed as Jimmy for Halloween.  In November, we had a baby shower for my cousins and we celebrated the hardest Thanksgiving ever.

In December, I got the Eclipse DVD and did a lot of Christmas shopping.  My cousin had a son, my new second cousin.  Christmas break finally came and my family celebrated the hardest Christmas ever.

This Christmas, I got a biker vest with the Patriot Guard Riders' emblem on the back and a "Biker Chick" patch on the front.  Along with a Mission Accomplished pin from bringing my Hero home.

So to sum it up, this year has been an odd one.  I've become a different person in the course of this year - and I'm not sure yet if that's a good thing or a bad thing, but I can't go back to who I was.  I'm hoping the New Year is much better, though I'm sure it couldn't be much worse.  However, I'm almost not wanting New Years to come, and I'm not quite sure why.

I'd like to take a moment and say Thank You to everyone who has been there for me the past four months.  It's been tough, but having you people has really helped.  I love you guys - if you're reading.

I'd also like to take a moment to say Thank You to our amazing troops overseas for everything you do.  And to Jim's unit - 187th, 3rd BCT, 101st Airborne - come home safely in February!

Happy New Year.

Officially Inspired

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

I cannot believe it has taken me this long to review the 14th book I read this year, Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce.  As you may recall, I read this book back in June or July.  I have it written down when I finished it, but it's in my book, and my friend is currently borrowing my copy of SR. 

Anyway, with that said that it's been quite some time since I read SR, this review may suck. But let's give it a go.

The novel starts out with two sisters, Rosie and Scarlet, as young girls at their grandmother's house.  Their grandmother is attacked and killed by a Fenris (which is like a werewolf).  The Fenris comes into the room to attack the girls, but Scarlet (the older sister) fights him off.  But not before the beast scars her up pretty good and takes her eye.

The years pass and Scarlet has dedicated her life to fighting Fenris.  She's determined that no others shall suffer because of them and that if she can kill them, that she will.  Rosie, however, wants to hunt too.  Scarlet isn't too keen on the idea.  Rosie is her little sister, she doesn't want to put her in danger.  But she promises to let her try.  Scarlet's friend, and old hunting buddy, Silas is back in town and is hunting with them again.  The number of Fenris in their area is increasing, and they all want to know why.

They discover that this year is the year of the Potential - a human that has the potential to become a Fenris if another Fenris gets hold of them.  The trio wants to find this potential to save him from the life of a Fenris and also in hopes of luring a considerable amount of Fenris to their death.  Rosie's a team player, but ever since she was little, their life has always been about the hunt.  Rosie doesn't like hunting as much as Scarlet does, and she wants to do other things.  She wants to be normal.  She wants to paint, or dance, or do whatever appeals to her.  She doesn't want to hunt - but she doesn't want to let her sister down either.

This novel is about the struggle of staying loyal to the sister that saved your life, being a good friend to the man who wants to let you live your life, and staying true to yourself.  Balancing sisterly love and the love - or is it love? - of a man has never been harder.

I rate this book 5/5 stars.

Monday, December 13, 2010


 Today is my first snow day of the season.  The snow is absolutely beautiful outside, and if I'm even near a window I can feel just how cold it is outside.  I've also realized just how close Christmas is.  12 days. 

This year, understandably, I'm really finding it hard to get into the Christmas mood.  I'm not going to share my exact feelings with you, because honestly it's hard to put them to words.  There are very few people I can talk to about how I'm really feeling, but even then I can't really put it to words.  But the more I've thought about Christmas this year, the more I keep thinking about a short piece I wrote two years ago.  I think I shared it on this blog before, but I'll post it again.
"The First Snow"

The snow started falling in blissful patterns. Lightly then harshly. Flakes then puffs. As I walked outside I could feel the chill of the morning creep upon me. I could see the puffs of my breath. Winter was here and along with it came the first snow fall of the season. I bundled my coat tighter and rubbed my hands together forcing more circulation into them. I got into my car and turned the heat on high. As I drove off to work the sun's bashful beams came timidly from behind a cloud that looked as though it was made up from thousands upon thousands of the purest snowflakes.

By the time that I had reached my office the snow was glistening with the sun upon it. I was awestruck by
this. All I could do was stare out my office window.

That was when I realized it. The snow was so peaceful compared to this chaotic world. In a world where wars rage and people fight, where people die at the hands of their peers, where we lose dears ones to diseases with no cure, where children's parents neglect them so much they must beg for food, where people, good people, lose their jobs because the company can't afford to pay them anymore. And then there's snow.

The snow comes and goes as it pleases. It doesn't need worry about the little things the we humans do everyday. It's blissfully happy as it is. There was a time, I'm sure of it, when we were, too, like the snow. Maybe centuries ago, but what changed? What happened to make us like we are now? Blood thirsty, power seeking, money greedy, people? Not that all of us are that way, of course.

So what does the snow represent to me? It represents hope that one day we will return to being like the snow and all wars will end along with all fights. Maybe one day we need not fret over the little things and rejoice over the important things.

Why do I feel this way?

Because snow brightens our world.

Maybe one day we will be snow.

Now, more than ever the snow makes me think.  I can't tell you exactly why, but it does.  It makes me think about those I've lost and those I still have.  It makes me think about how quickly life goes by - and how unfair that sometimes is. 

I wrote something the other day.  Lately I haven't been sharing things that I write because a lot of it is really personal and doesn't really make much sense to the outside world.  However, I would like to share this one.

I wrote this Thursday and Friday.  This poem isn't really about Jimmy, because Jim wasn't due home for Christmas this year.  However, a lot of the feelings and things are based off of how I felt about Jim and his job before, and how I dealt with it after and also how I see things, a bit.

"I'll Be Home for Christmas"

I’ll be home for Christmas,

He tells them,
But he knows he might not make it
Until then.
Cause where he’s at.
Every breath is a gift,
But the worry they’ll never fully know
Is a weight he can lift.

So he tells them he’s safe,
And they’ve got nothing to worry about.
But he knows what goes through their minds,
That he’s the one thing they can’t live without.
They believe him,
It’s better than the reality
And the possibilities they’ll never let be real
‘Cause everyday he sees fatality.

He does his job,
Tries to ignore the uncertainty.
Does what he’s told
He does it so determinedly.
But one day his family’s
Worst fears come true.
Never again will they see his smile or
His eyes so blue.

A soldier,
Always true to his word,
Was home for Christmas, a half-mast flag
Flying free like a bird –
Because of his sacrifice
And the so many before him.
It sucks that it happens,
But it makes the future less dim.

He came home for Christmas,
Just not the way they prayed.
A flag drapes his coffin, a community cries,
As to rest he is laid.
They know he believed in what he did,
But that doesn’t heal the pain of a broken heart.
They watch as he is honored and saluted and
Each three shots stab them in the heart just like a dart.

The news talks about a hometown hero
And they know that’s exactly what he is.
They feel their pride for him, warm, deep inside them,
But they know the true honor was all his.
He didn’t see it that way,
And they could only see him as the boy they always knew.
Not as a veteran, but someone who is always honest and so
This Christmas, like always, they know to his word he stayed true.

They feel him near everyday,
Although he’s nowhere to be found,
But they know he’s still here,
They hear and feel him all around.
They know he’ll never leave them,
Nor will he abandon the fight.
He’s not one to ever give up
No matter how ugly the sight.

They know too well the cost of freedom because of
The soldier they will always hold dear.
They know he served to protect them, and
In the whisper of the wind they hear:
“I came home for Christmas,
Just like I promised to.”
And with each American Flag that waves, they hear him say,
“I’m still defending you.”

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

New Baby Cousin!

I just had to post to tell you guys that I have a new baby cousin!  Meet my baby cousin, Nikolas JCR, or as I call him Nikkie. Ain't he just the cutest?  He looks so much like his Daddy, it's not even funny.  But somehow Nikkie's cute. :)

Welcome to the world Nikkie!!  I love you!
(he was born on Monday, December 6th, 2010)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Season Change

I woke up to snow, and first thing on the computer I checked my package's shipping status.  Yep, it's Christmastime.

Hope you all enjoy the snow, if there's any where you're at.
~Officially Inspired~

p.s. this picture was taken Wednesday when it snowed as well.  Sadly, you cannot see the snowflakes flying into the flag. :(

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Because we're arguing...

Because at the present moment, I hear my family in the other room arguing about how to say 'crayon' I decided it was a good excuse to post my thoughts.

You see, I have a three year old sister and my mom has ruined her chances of ever saying 'crayon' the correct way. They both say it 'crown', which is wrong in so many ways. A CRAY-ON is not by an means a crown.  They are completely different things.  You do not wear a CRAY-ON on your head, and the Queen of England not given a CRAY-ON to mark her royalty. Now, I'm very well aware that in the English language not a whole lot of our words make sense as to how they sound if you look at how they're spelled.  However, crayon is a word that makes perfectly good sense.  Two syllables that sound exactly as they should. CRAY-ON. 

It's CRAY-ON people, not crown. CRAY-ON.

(this reminds me a lot of the "Ban the Banana" post I did a while back...)

With eternal love and blessings,
Officially Inspired

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I remember my Thanksgiving post from last year very clearly.  I remember mentioning my family, Jimmy, our service men and women, my Faith, my friends, things of this nature.  Although I've understood how much I have to be thankful for in the past, I feel that this year I have more to be thankful for than ever.  That might sound a little backwards taking into consideration how many close loved ones I've lost in a year's time and how many other hardships I've faced, but I guess what they say is true; That you never know what you have until it's gone.  No matter how much I may have realized it before, I have so many great things in my life, even if they're no longer physically here with me.   

First and foremost, I have to say that I am thankful for my cousin Jimmy (SGT James C Robinson) for being my loving cousin and for being stronger than I will ever be.  I never realized just how much he taught me.  I'm thankful that he was brave enough to serve in the US Army and for loving his family enough to fight for our freedom and, unfortunately, lay down his life for our country, our freedoms, his family and friends, and even myself.  I truly know no greater Hero than my cousin, and that's why I'm thankful for having him ever been in my life.  Jim, I love you so much.  I'd give anything to have you steal dumplins off my plate this year.

Secondly, I have to say that I am thankful for our service men and women who, like Jimmy, serve our country and keep us free and safe.  Although I know that I can never thank each individual one, I would like to think that somehow, some way I can let them know how much I appreciate them.  For those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, I thank you and your families for doing the unthinkable.  Although I do not know the majority of you, I feel as though all of you are family through my cousin, and through my various other cousins in the military.  To Staff Sergeant Corey Henderson, Lance Corpral Tyler McNabb, Staff Sergeant Drew Robinson, and to Brette and Matt Karas, I thank you for your service to our country.

Thirdly (and not any less importantly), I am thankful for my Faith in God.  With everything that's happened this year, especially in the past three months or so, having God in my heart and life has kept me somewhat sane, though I suspect I never fully was to begin with.  If I've learned one thing it's that having one thing certain in life is extremely important.  Although I might have questioned my Father's Plan the past couple of months and might've even questioned His existence, I know that He will be with me always, even when I might stray or whatever the case may be.  Why?  Because He loves me, unconditionally and eternally.  After seeing how much of her life my Granny devoted to praising and spreading the Word of God, I know He has to be real.  And besides, I'd rather live my life as if there is a God to find out there's not, than to live my life as if there isn't and find out there is.

Fourth, I am thankful for my Granny for, even if I didn't realize it until the day she died, she taught me to trust God and to trust his plan.  In any relationship, trust is never just given, it is earned.  With this said, she, maybe without even knowing it, showed me where I needed God and that built trust - not only between me and my Heavenly Father, but also between me and my great-grandma. Granny, keep being my angel and I hope I do you proud when I say the Blessing in your place at the table this Thanksgiving. 

Fifth, I am thankful, so incredibly thankful, for my family.  I have a huge family, but I never knew how much some of my family members really love me.  It's amazing that no matter how long I might go without talking to someone or seeing them, they can still just come up to me and hug me and say, "I love you".  Love, no matter what the circumstance, never goes away.  No length of time nor spectre of departure can extinguish the light of love.  And my family has shown me that a hundred times over.  Guys, thanks for all your support and love.  I can't tell you how much I love each and every one of you.  God has blessed me in so many ways, and for those of you who haven't found out that God loves you, you're missing out. =D

Sixth, I am so thankful for all of the "nets" I have in my life.  It continues to amaze me just how many people I have around me that will catch me when I fall.  Some of them I've only talked to for less than three months, some of them I've known for a lifetime, and some of them I've only reconnected with recently.  But without these people I have no clue where I'd be.  So thank you guys for catching me.  I hope someday I can repay you or return the favor.

Seventh, I am thankful for my friends who will stand beside me in good times and bad.  For always being there for me and for loving me no matter how different I may seem at times.  Guys, I love you so much and God couldn't have let better people come into my life.  I will not let you walk out. 

Eighth, I am thankful that I am able to write.  Sometimes I feel like I could explode and writing is a wonderful outlet.  Even if, at times, it might not make any sense or runs in circles or doesn't come out right, the fact that I'm letting things out sometimes can make me feel a lot better. Hopefully I can start writing something again soon.  Poems are the only thing I've been able to muster.

Finally, I am thankful for all of my freedoms and for being in the best country in the world.  I'm free to post and share my feelings with all of you because brave men and women fight for my right to do so.  No matter how much I'll feel I don't deserve any of it, I'm thankful for it. 

Please don't forget what you're thankful for.  And please, take a moment, just a moment, of your day and remember those who gave all for you and those who continue to protect you - even though they might not know you.

Tell me what you're thankful for in the comments or post a link to your blog where you blogged about it!

Happy Thanksgiving.

With eternal love and blessings,


Friday, November 19, 2010

My Firework

Because I epically fail as a blogger and as a person, I somehow forgot in my last post to add this video I made.  It was, indeed, uploaded to YouTube at the time of my last posting, but I forgot to post it with everything else I talked about. So, without any more delay, here is the video I made as an entry for Katy Perry's "Firework" Contest. This video, however, will not count as an entry because if you're talking about another person, that person must be able to give written consent and they must still be living (and not deceased).  Which is totally screwed up, but whatever.  Rules are rules.  I still wanted to share with everyone the video because it took me a while to make, and I'm hoping it gives people a better perspective of how I saw SGT James C Robinson.  Because to me and the rest of my family, he wasn't SGT James C Robinson, he's...Jimmy.

With eternal love and blessings,
Officially Inspired


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Sounds Like Life to Me.

^he's excited because I'm posting again?
Unfortunately, I will not be tying in Darryl Worely's amazing song in any other way than the title. 

I deeply apologize for the lack of posting - again.  There hasn't been a whole lot going on in my life - or at least anything that people in general would be interested in and/or that I felt like writing about.  But I do have some updates and some good news, which, yes, surprises me too.

Update nombre une) I finally finished THINK OF A NUMB3R by John Verdon.  Which makes me very happy - although it is the first book since I finished SISTERS RED by Jackson Pearce back in - what? - July?  Anyway, I look forward to reviewing this book, however I'm really nervous I'll give some of the plot line away.  I guess that's okay, though, because majority of my audience (if you guys are still out there?) is my age and most 14 year olds probably should not read this book...

Update nombre deux) I finally started reading MOCKINGJAY by Suzanne Collins, the third and final book in THE HUNGER GAMES trilogy.  It picks up almost directly where CATCHING FIRE left off.  But it's kind of bitter-sweet to be reading it.  I love these books so much and to be reading the final one, knowing after this there will be no more?  It truly makes me sad.  But I must read it because I already know it will be amazing.

Update nombre trois) Just wanted to give a shout-out to my wonderful uncle who has put in a lot of hard work these past two years to try to make our country a better place.  Hopefully, with the midterm election results, this will be the case.  Uncle, I'm so proud of you and thank you for what you do for our country!

Update nombre quatre) It snowed last night.  It all melted before it hit the ground and none of it stuck.  But it snowed.  November 5th, 2010, it snowed.  Can I get out my pea coat yet?? 

Good news - for once) I started writing again, this past Tuesday.  Granted, it was a poem about Jim that a certain SSG told me wasn't done and needed to be finished.  So I finally finished it - over two months later.  I won't post it here, nor anywhere, because it is VERY personal and probably goes a little more in depth into my emotions than it should.  However, this is a good thing, that I've started writing.  Even if it's nothing major yet, it's a start.  I don't count the letters I write to Jim as writing, though, because that's not creative writing, really.  I'm hoping this is the beginning of getting myself to be me again.  Let's keep our fingers crossed. 

Hope you all have a blessed weekend.

Au revoir,
Officially Inspired

Friday, October 22, 2010


So this weekend is a pretty packed weekend - so packed that I literally sat for about a half hour trying to figure out how to fit everything in.  I'm finally going to get some community service in this weekend, I'm going shopping with my lovely grandmother, going on a Spyder (motorcycle thing) ride with my beloved uncle, and possibly going to see a movie.

Before I talk about this amazing movie I want to go see, I want to talk a little bit about the don't ask don't tell policy and the revoking/re-instating of it.  First of all, I've come to the conclusion that soldiers and the military itself weren't ready for this huge change.  Secondly, why on earth should it matter if a soldier is gay?  I'm sorry, but if you're fighting in Afghanistan, I really don't think you'll be wondering who you think is cute or that you're interested in in your unit.  And vise versa, I don't think you'll be worrying about who's gay in your unit.  There are a million other things that should be, and very well are, on their minds over there.  Homophobia isn't one of them.  Thirdly, I want to know who decided to listen to that judge?  My cousin told me that the judge didn't even have power of the army, because the army has their own 'court system' and are not under federal law, therefore the judge had no authority to make that jurisdiction over the army.  Now, as for putting it back in effect, it's better that it's in effect than if it's not.  If it's not in effect, no homosexual may serve in the military.  If it is in effect, homosexuals can serve, but not openly.  I do think it's a dumb of the army to say that someone has to hide who they are to be in the services, considering that these people choose to be in the military, and are not forced.  However, I do understand where they are coming from, but hopefully one day anybody can serve in the military and be themselves.  Just because they have different feelings doesn't mean that they fight any differently nor do they care less about the mission they're on.  If they're fighting for their freedom and for ours, what difference does it make?

So this movie I want to see - "Hereafter" - looks incredibly amazing and actually makes me want to start writing the story project I have in my head and I kind of want to start writing.  I'm pretty sure that made absolutely no sense.  I don't really want to talk about this project, but I will say it's totally different than SOLACE (which is on hold until further notice, if I haven't told you guys already) and that it's a lot more personal than SOLACE, which is kind of hard to imagine.  Anyways, here's the trailer for "Hereafter"

I hope you all have a good weekend.

With eternal love and blessings,
Officially Inspired

Saturday, October 16, 2010


So I'm a bit mad at school.  It makes it very hard to read anything.  With homework and student council and after school activities, it's a lot to handle when last year I had a lot of free time.  Granted, I don't have all that much homework, but getting everything done and making sure it's done the way my teachers want it and everything like that, it's a bit tiring.  So needless to say, by the time I get a minute to read I really don't want to because I've been sitting around doing school work for a while.  

Hence why I've been reading John Verdon's AMAZING Think of a Number for...you know, a few months.  It's a really, really, really good book and I feel so bad that I'm taking so long to get through it!  It's a bit adult, so I'm in no way saying that everybody my age should read it.  It's got some gruesome details in it in relation to the murders and the language is very true to the cop stereotype.

Anyway, I really don't have anything to talk about.  Nothing's really going on.  Oh!  I could post a few pictures from homecoming!

Me sitting down

Me and my "date"
(no, I didn't take him to the dance...I thought about it)

Me and my cousin "chocking" my brother

Me and my Papaw

Me with the flag

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer

A short second life for Bree Tanner, indeed, but not such a short title. 

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer was the thirteenth book I read this year. 

I was so excited when I heard that Stephenie Meyer was having a new Twilight book coming out!  I'm a die-hard twi-hard, so how could I not be jumping up and down in anticipation?  I told a lot of my friends about it, but a lot of them didn't remember who Bree was in Eclipse.  Now, you must keep in mind that a lot of my friends, including myself, read the books before they were popular and everybody wanted Edward to bite them.  With that said, the last time any of us had read Eclipse was a while back.  Except for the friends that read books over and over, which I can't do, no matter how much I love the book.  Long story short, it took them a while to remember Bree.

I was interested in this story - it was a different side to the vampires that I've grown to love in Meyer's world.  I bought the book a few days after it came out.  Before I actually begin to review the book, I'd like to point out a few things.  A few months ago I got this comment on YouTube saying that Stephenie Meyer doesn't care about her fans and she doesn't do anything to help the community or anything like that.  I can prove both of these statements false by only using this book as an example (although there are many more).  When this book first came out, it was available online to fans - FOR FREE -  for a limited amount of time.  I mean, Stephenie had to make some revenue some way, so they couldn't keep it on there forever, but she wanted it to be free to her fans at all times.  It was her way of saying thank you to her devoted readers who have made her story a success and have continued to support her and love her characters.  Also, this book was a contributor to the Red Cross.  One dollar from every book sold went to the Red Cross to help with the earthquake relief efforts in Haiti and Chile.  I know one dollar doesn't sound like a whole lot, but in only the first two weeks of its release, an estimated 700,000 copies were sold - that's $700,00 right there - in only TWO WEEKS.  Seven-hundred-thousand dollars.

Now, onto the review:

This novel was very different from the rest of the Twilight Saga, because you're not dealing with the perspective of a human, nor the life style of the 'vegitarian' vampires.  These vampires kill without mercy and whenever they're hungry.  They believe that the sun will turn them to ashes and that they must stay indoors at all times when the sun is up.  It's a surprisingly dark side to the teen series that girls (and guys - whom rock by the way) have fallen completely and irrevocably in love with.

With that said, I think the fact that it was so different made me take so long to get through it.  Also, knowing how the story ends, it made it a lot harder.  Not only do I have difficulty finishing a book if I figure out how it ends or if someone ruins the ending for me ahead of time, but also I fell in love with Bree and knowing her ending made me not want to finish it. 

The book was still great, don't get me wrong.  It was humorous and aggravating that Bree and her fellow "newborns" don't know the Volturi and other vampire rules, but that made me realize just how much the Cullens do know and how important it is that they know it.  With Riley (the ring-leader of the newborn army) keeping them in the dark - both figuratively and literally - it creates a lot more problems than it spares them.

Another thing about this book that somewhat bothered me - no Edward.  Well, until the end.  But his name is never mentioned.  But it at the end it explains a lot as to what was going on with Bree in Eclipse that we couldn't really understand before this book.

If you want to read this book, read Eclipse first - it will kind of ruin Eclipse for you if you don't.

With eternal love and blessings,
Officially Inspired

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead

The twelfth book I read this year was SPIRIT BOUND by Richelle Mead.  This is the fifth book in the Vampire Academy series, so it's going to be tricky to review this book without giving away what happens in other books.  Therefore, this review is really going to suck.  But here we go.

This book picks up a short time after where the fourth book leaves off.  Rose is taking her trials to become an official guardian.  After completing her trials, she sets off of the journey she promised herself would be the last one that would end everything that she'd left unfinished.  Rose takes her best friend, Lissa, who, she can tell, doesn't really want to go with her, but Lissa already promised her that she would stick with her on this.  Throughout the journey, Rose and Lissa gather up a few more people to help them out and they were fervently on trying to accomplish the one thing that will complete Rose's mission - although it may be a lost cause.  All they can do is hope it works.

When the time comes to use said one thing, something happens and people don't believe it.  They keep someone locked up because they are still scared of said person.  Then some stuff happens and people try to figure things out and at the end...well, nothing works out like it was supposed to. 

I really can't say any more than I already have and I'm aware that this review really sucks, but I refuse to ruin a series for someone because this is the 5th out of 6 books.  But you should read the series!

With eternal love and blessings,
Officially Inspired

Friday, September 24, 2010

Jackson Pearce SIGNING!

Last night my friend, my dad, and myself attended a book signing as the 10th stop of the "Smart Chicks Kick It" tour.  There were six authors in attendance, but I went for one in particular.  The lovely Jackson Pearce of course!  I was so excited when I saw that Jackson Pearce was coming to Ohio - not that far away from me either - because that meant I could possibly talk my parents into taking me.  It's far easier to do this than to try to convince them to take me to Georgia to go to a book signing/ book release for said author.  Trust me, I've tried.

I already had a copy of As You Wish and Sisters Red signed by Jackson from when I won the May Contest prize.  However, I also had a first printing of As You Wish that didn't have Jackson's lovely John Hancock.  So I took this book with me to the signing and also bought a book by another author that was there. 

The book signing started out with swag being given away and Q&A and things like that.  They also did a raffle which you could win a big thing of swag...but I didn't have a ticket.  I thought that was the only thing the ticket was for.  Turns out, no, you needed a ticket to get in line to get your book(s) signed.  So my dad had to go buy one.  We arrived at the book store around 6pm, the signing started at 7pm.  I was there an hour early and we ended up with ticket #70 out of 70.  That was great.  It was like 9-9:30 by the time I finally got to have Jackson sign my book and talk to her.  It was kinda cool because as she was talking to me, she just goes "Oh, are you Hanna *******?"  which made me feel all special.  I made a shirt for the event (not posting pictures because I messed the back up because I forgot the 'c' in protect.) the front said:  "Special enough to make a Jinn fall in love."  and the back said: "Scarlett's Motto: Act like a dragonfly, Hunt like me, and always protect Silas and Rosie" (a Muhammad Alli parody.)  Oh, Jackson posted a picture of the front of my shirt HERE...you know, after taking a video of it.  ;)

It was so worth it standing in that line and waiting to meet Jackson Pearce.  I've always been a fan of hers - since before her first book came out when I found her on YouTube.  You know, I always say that Twilight is my favorite book because it changed me in a way that only one book can, it made me want to read and write.  And I always say that Stephenie Meyer is my favorite author because she unintentionally made that change in me.  However, I'd really have to say that Jackson Pearce and Leanna Renee Hieber are more my favorite than Stephenie Meyer because after meeting them, they're just how I expected them.  So down to earth and very interacting with fans.  I mean, some authors can't transition out of their world that they've created, and sometimes that can make some authors kinda scary.  But Jackson Pearce is so her own person and no amount of fame or compliments or anything like that could change her.  It's just really good to see that good people who have good ideas and good personalities actually do get published, which is very inspiring.  The fact that Jackson can stay level-headed and not get a big head from writing such AMAZING books, it just really goes to show you what kind of people actually write the books you love.  It's like my friend and I realized last night; When I fall in love with a book, I don't just fall in love with the characters.  I fall in love with the story, the back-story, the characters, the plot, everything that went into it, and the author.  I guess I've really realized in the past that not many people take time to research the author of the book they're reading.  They might read the author bio or check out their website, but never really take the time to appreciate the author for writing a book that they so enjoyed.  So, Jackson:

If you ever have the chance to read Jackson's book, definitely do.  And if you ever have the chance to go to a book signing for her, most definitely go.  You will not regret it.  You will have a great time, I promise!

With eternal love and blessings,
Officially Inspired aka Hanna

Oh!  P.S. My cousin and her husband are having a baby boy!  Because you all totally care: