Random Photos from May 2008

I believe this was the last time we visited the Royal Gorge.  A couple of years we tried to go but it was late and they were closed.  Plus, there had been a fire and burned down the carousel.

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Book Review: Divergent

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*Spoiler Alert*  Don’t recommend reading my review if you plan to read the book.

I first read, Divergent, by Veronica Roth in late 2013 and totally enjoyed it. I actually read the trilogy back to back and finished them all within three days (I did the same with the Game of Thrones series…read them back to back and now am awaiting the 6th book with crazy giddiness).  This is my second time reading Divergent and I still enjoyed it, but this time around a couple of things stood out more. There is a lot about bravery. Not that I didn’t notice it before but it stood out as a different kind of bravery, like a sacrificial kind.  Her mother tells her to be brave.  So does her father and Four, and so does Will with his quote. It’s almost like they are telling her to sacrifice herself for others, not to be strong or keep fighting, but to give her life. She learns that her mother is Divergent and then her mother goes and sacrifices herself to the serum-operated Dauntless soldiers, to save Tris of course, but still, to the eyes of a teenager, that is a very strange message about being brave, and in a way, that part is sort of like a foreshadow of Tris’s own demise down the road.

What really makes this book is the tension buildup.  Each chapter leaves me wondering when Tris will break.  It is done so well that when she finally breaks down, I do too.

Damaged Maple

The snowstorm last weekend really did a number on the trees in our neighborhood.  Some of the older trees in the surrounding areas were completely torn apart.  The snow was heavy and wet and came down very fast.  When it melted, it left a very sad sight.

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Gifts On Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day was nice.  Being a mom is one of the most amazing thing in the universe.  You get to bring new life into existence.  Nothing can be more magical than that…except maybe finding a unicorn.

I love all the gifts I got even though it’s not really the gifts that matter but the meaning behind it.  My favorite gift was from my 8-year-old.  She made a card with her drawings and wrote some really sweet words:

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Husband got me a perfume I’ve been eying for a year.  It’s called Si and it reminds me of a few perfumes I wore when I was younger that have been discontinued.

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Sister got me (plus our mom and our sister-in-law) flowers.

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…and mother nature gave snow.

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Book Review: Heir to the Sundered Crown (The Sundered Crown Saga Book 1)

I love reading.  My genre of interest is sci-fi and fantasy but I will also read other genres if they are interesting.  Last year, I did a marathon and read 101 books with most being sci-fi and fantasy.  This year, I’ve lowered my goal to 25 books.  I wanted to read without any pressure of deadlines but somehow I found myself just 5 books away from my goal.  I don’t tend to do thorough reviews unless they are just totally beyond my expectation or I’m asked by the author but I will always rate them.  I rate on Goodreads.com and sometimes on Amazon.  Here is the most recent book I finished.  This book was given to me to read and review by the author.  Thank you for allowing me the pleasure to read and review, Mr. Olney.

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After I read the book, I had to sit back and let it soak in. It was very fast pace with a lot going on. Lots of action and gore. Lots of characters and interactions. The storyline was great. The characters and the world they lived in were clearly thought out and well created. The dialogue moved the story forward and explained a lot of what was going on. A lot of the history of that world came out in the dialogue but the author also put the history in an appendix at the end of book, which was very helpful. Overall, I enjoyed it.

One thing I felt the story lacked was character buildup. There wasn’t enough substance in the main characters. They felt one-dimensional. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around why they want to rule so badly. What do they gain besides being a ruler and having all the power? There has to be something much deeper. Wanting power is usually driven by something very personal that one can’t seem to let go of that can manifest in the form of revenge. I did not sense that if that was meant to be part of character buildup. The characters had too much trust in everyone they came across. They seem to all be unintelligent and gullible.  Another thing was that I also found myself wondering why, after Luxon fainted a couple of times, he would continue to use his magic. I would think he would be afraid to even feel his magic knowing it would make him weak afterward.

I read this book on a Kindle and should mention that there were lots of grammatical errors and typos. Also, the word, “whilst” was overused (but this may be just a personal thing).  If these things don’t bother you too much and you simply love the pure enjoyment of reading, or if the fantasy genre is up your alley, I definitely recommend this book.

In the Yard

It’s been raining for a few days now, although, it seems the sun has come up today.  The forecast for the week should be more rain and maybe even sleet on Mother’s Day.  I actually love the rain and gray clouds.  It might feel gloomy and depressing but it makes the earth so rich and vibrant with colors.

I’ve been meaning to take photos of the plants in the yard but kept forgetting until this morning.  I’m really glad I got some nice shots.  I’m always in awe of how drew droplets randomly sit on the leaves and flowers in such a way that it takes my breath away.  I feel blessed to experience this small part of nature.  It’s something so unimportant, yet, it gives me happiness.

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