Thursday, May 2, 2013

The A to Z Reflections

I survived the A to Z Challenge! It has been a very interesting month (April, 2013). The challenge involved writing blog posts regarding a subject that begins with a letter of the alphabet every day except Sundays. 

Before I joined the challenge, I was lucky to have had more than one blog post a week. I found it difficult to find something to blog about and felt that readers would find my random thoughts boring. The moment I found out that there was such a thing as an A to Z Challenge, I just threw caution to the winds and joined. I figured it was the best way to force myself to post every day. 

The first few days before the start of April (the challenge was to start on April 1st), I was browsing through the different pages of A-to-ZChallenge.com and found a comment made by someone regarding how to effectively create blog posts. The gentleman commented that he had already had all his posts scheduled for publishing on his blog. That gave me an idea.

You see, it is not easy for me to be online everyday. There are times when responsibilities at home eat up most of my time. There are also days when power cuts make me want to throw my laptop against the wall (in our village, powercuts can last as long as 10 hours or more). So I decided to write as many posts as I could well in advance and simply schedule the publishing of those posts. That helped me a lot. 

During the challenge, I learned that there are letters of the alphabet that are not so easy to find topics for. For example, the letter "X" left me sooooo desperate that I had to beg my Facebook friends to offer suggestions (they took pity on me and made wonderful suggestions). One of the most interesting suggestions was from my friend Chona who suggested I write about "X-men" and she meant those people who used to be men. Her suggestion was genius! But I thought it might be controversial (that or I might get in trouble for using "X-men" in the post). So I went for a tamer topic -- xylophone. 

Being part of the A to Z Challenge also allowed me to find some wonderful blogs. It was great to find such interesting bloggers out there like Maui Jungalow, Peanut Butter and Whine, Scribbler's Sojourn, and many, many more. 

It has been a really enjoyable month. And I hope to join the challenge again next year (if they will have me... hehehe).





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Book Review: City of Bones (Mortal Instruments #1)

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Reviews for the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare have been mixed. To be honest, there were more negative ones than anything else. I was not too keen to read the City of Bones but I decided to give it a chance.

The writing is pretty good. The story revolves around a young girl named Clary who had gone out with her best friend Simon to a club where she discovers that she can see people no one else can see. She meets a group of Nephilim (human demon hunters who have angel blood running in their veins) called "shadowhunters."

The problem with the book is that Clary's character is not as strong or as solid as the other characters. If you decide to read the book, you will notice that most of the other characters drown Clary out. Her love interest, Jace, is more evolved than she is. His character is oozing sex appeal, too. However, their relationship is facing challenges. Clary's best friend Simon is a boy I can't help but feel sorry for because he loves Clary so much but she does not feel the same way about him.

Clary's mom, Jocelyn disappears and she wants to look for her. The shadowhunters help her along with Simon and her mom's long time friend, Luke (though Luke initially appears to be one of the bad guys). They encounter a lot of bad beings along the way.

Jace's siblings are pretty cool characters too. And, truth be told, I find myself drawn to Isabel. She reminds me of Kate Beckinsale's character in the movie Underworld. And their warlock friend Magnus is quite a guy. The villain, Valentine, is suitably mean and evil. There are vampires, werewolves, and many other supernatural beings.

It is my curiosity as to what happens to Jace's siblings, Magnus, and Luke that drives me to read the next book in the series. I can honestly say that I did like the book but it could have been written much, much better.

View all my reviews




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