Thursday, July 28, 2011

Book Review: The Great Good Thing by Roderick Townley

Thursday, July 28, 2011
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Scholastic
Website: N/A
Source: Gift from my aunt (:
Rating: 5 stars

"Sylvie had an amazing life, but she didn't get to live it very often." This is because she's the protagonist of one of the last remaining copies of an out-of-print book, The Great Good Thing. Without Readers, the characters never get to act out their story, making their days long and monotonous. That is, until Claire comes along. Suddenly, Sylvie has the chance to go where no protagonist has ever gone before... and it's up to her to save her story.

Roderick Townley's novel manages to flawlessly intertwine magic, wit, quests, and love, creating a web of words that kept the reader trapped in its pages until the very end. It's one of those books that you can read over and over again without ever tiring of it, which is just how the characters in the book would like it.

You'll like this if you liked: Inkheart (Cornelia Funke), Redwall (Brian Jacques)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Fiction is Fact?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011
"Of course you're real- like any thought or story. It's real when you're in it." ~Markus Zusak (I Am the Messenger)

To all the writers out there:

Do you ever feel that the characters in your novels or stories existed long before you ever penned them? I may just be crazy, but I do. Sometimes it's like they're guiding me to that "Aha!" moment after a bout of writer's block. I've heard other (AKA real) authors say similar things. In one writer's autobiography, she said how she had been stuck while working on her latest mystery novel. She couldn't figure out what was wrong until she had a dream where her characters informed her that she had pegged the wrong person as the murderer. They went on to tell her who had actually committed the crime. When she tackled her book again, she realized that her characters were right! Likewise, Neal Shusterman (author of Everlost, Full Tilt, etc.), posted a conversation he had with one of his characters on his blog. The chat had helped him worked out some issues he was having with the plot. (The conversation is also pretty funny- I recommend you read it.) Of course, this doesn't prove that these characters are real, but it's still kind of incredible, isn't it? And maybe our protagonists are only in our heads, but as Dumbledore wisely said," Of course this is happening in your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean it is not real?"

What about you? Have your characters ever "spoken" to you?

(The link to the hilarious Neal Shusterman's blog:

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Do Something Good

Saturday, July 16, 2011
You may or may not have heard of this amazing site,, which empowers teens to (you guessed it) Do Something in their communities. Their latest campaign is Staples for Students (partnered by Staples, but you probably guessed that, too) where teens are supposed to run school supply drives for underprivileged students. I've started one and I want to encourage you to do the same. It doesn't matter whether you're fourteen, twenty-four, or forty- there's no age that's too young or too old to do good. This cause is so important because everyone deserves a proper education, and you can't do that without the proper tools. I can't imagine life without paper and pens, and why should anyone have to?

Here's the page with all the details: Best of luck with your drives!