October, 2006

October 2nd, 2006, 8:30 p.m. - It works on more than one level!

"La Cage Aux Folles"

October 3rd, 2006, 10:02 p.m. - Gotta love the new fall season

"Why Megan is Not a Top Model"

New True Life on right now! I'm so addicted, I need my own episode.

October 7th, 2006, 6:14 p.m. - The best book about a killer vine...ever!

27. The Ruins (Scott Smith)
Jeff, Eric, Stacy, and Amy are four friends who have just graduated from college and head to Mexico for vacation before starting grad and med school or their first jobs. In Mexico, they meet and befriend a German man named Mathias and three Greek guys. Mathias tells them of his brother, who has gone to an archeological dig to be with a woman he just met, so the four friends, Mathias, and one of the Greeks (nicknamed Pablo) head off to the dig site to find him. It's the worst mistake of their lives.

The Ruins is creepy, macabre, and fast-paced. I wanted to speed through it and get to the end because I couldn't wait to see what happened yet. (I did happen to go into it knowing the ending, since I read an article about the book, but that didn't make the experience any less interesting.) This has to be one of the best books of the year. I was worried that I wouldn't like it, since I couldn't get into Smith's other book, A Simple Plan, but I liked The Ruins from the beginning.

The book brings up a lot of what-would-you-do questions: if your life were in danger, what would you do to save it? Would you do anything? If someone else's life were in danger, would you try to save him or her? Would you sacrifice things for yourself to make everything fair? Or would you try to take care of yourself? If you were stranded with a group of friends, who would be the leader? Who would fall apart? How would you handle everything? The ending is...not happy, but a happy ending wouldn't fit with the book. In a way, it's existential - every choice has a consequence, and when you get to a certain point, you can't change anything.

Up next: The Overachievers (Alexandra Robbins)

October 9th, 2006, 8:49 p.m. - Dump him, Sarah! Right now! Don't wait till you get home!

"Sit Down, You're Rocking the Boat"

10:05 p.m. - I wanted to just put "because she's crazy," but we have to write a certain number of words

"Why Monique is Not a Top Model"

Anyone else almost throw up after tonight's Heroes?

October 12th, 2006, 10:45 p.m. - The waiting is the hardest part...

God bless whoever put this on the Internet. I was so impatient, it's not even funny.

October 14th, 2006, 9:07 p.m. - A detour is a choice between two tasks, each with its own pros and cons...

28. The End (Lemony Snicket)
I've always thought that the books in A Series of Unfortunate Events should receive as much fanfare as the Harry Potter books - they're just as good, and I feel the same sense of anticipation when it's about time for one to come out. Of course, that's just me, and some critics had a few complaints about this last book that I didn't have. In fact, I thought it was great. True, not all of the series' questions are answered, but do you think all of the questions will be answered in the last Harry Potter book? Some people are focused on events in previous books that others don't consider as important (and "others" include both Lemony Snicket and J.K. Rowling). I think we should be lucky that any questions are answered at all, considering how bizarre Snicket is.

Anyway, in The End, the Baudelaire orphans wind up stranded on a colonized island full of people who have allowed themselves to have every movement regulated by a man named Ishmael. Though the island is peaceful and far from the troubles the Baudelaires are used to, they don't appreciate having to give up the things they love and having to do the same things over and over. They soon realize that not everything is as it appears, and in fact, everyone on the island has a secret. Of course, they start uncovering them, and this leads to trouble once again. Oh, and Count Olaf is lurking around.

As has been reported by Snicket himself, there are two deaths and a birth in the book. (You'll be happy to know the Baudelaires do NOT die.) I'll just say that one death is sad and one is both happy and pretty much inevitable, and if you've read The Penultimate Peril, it'll be easy to figure out who gives birth. The story moves quickly, and as usual, it's both entertaining and educational (a lot of the words Snicket defines turn up many times). Those who have complained about the ending (endings, actually) and the lack of answers need to lighten up - it's a children's book, and we should know by now that none of Snicket's stories have happy endings. Though in this case, the ending is happy enough, and quite satisfying.

Up next: finishing up The Overachievers (Alexandra Robbins)

October 16th, 2006, 6:22 p.m. - Once again, shut up, Peter

"Drive Me Crazy"

Also, I was on today's "Finish Line" and got to bash Peter with other people!

11:38 p.m. - Somewhere, Megg is saying, "That's so not rock and roll"

"Why Megg is Not a Top Model"

October 17th, 2006, 11:55 p.m. - Now I'm hungry

Top Chef 2 preview

October 20th, 2006, 8:11 p.m. - He's Mr. Heat Blister...

"Some Like it Hot"

October 21st, 2006, 4:34 p.m. - And I thought MY high school was competitive

29. The Overachievers (Alexandra Robbins)
I'm always drawn to stories about teenagers or high schools, for some reason. I also really liked Robbins' first book, Pledged, which was about sororities, so I figured I would like The Overachievers. For the most part, I wasn't disappointed. Robbins writes about a handful of high school juniors and seniors and a college freshman from Whitman High School in Maryland. These kids are at the top of their grades, earning mostly A's, playing sports, taking part in all sorts of extracurriculars, and basically working themselves to the point of exhaustion.

The most surprising part of The Overachievers is that no matter how stressed the students get, no matter how much their parents pressure them, no matter how much they can't do, they keep doing it. They keep piling on more and more, never realizing what they're missing out on (mainly, a break). They have to go to the best college, and they have to do whatever they have to to get in. I'm glad I never put that much pressure on myself in high school, or that no one put that much pressure on me.

My one complaint about the book is that there are too many students profiled. It gets to the point where it's hard to tell them apart. The real stand-outs (to me, at least) are Frank, Julie, Ryland, and Taylor. The others are just...there. Oh, and Audrey needs some therapy.

Up next: The Book of Fate (Brad Meltzer)

October 22nd, 2006, 11:23 p.m. - Once again, my apologies for the lame title

"Can't Hardly Kuwait"

October 24th, 2006, 7:59 p.m. - Next time, shut up about your hair

"Why A.J. is Not a Top Model"

October 26th, 2006, 11:34 p.m. - Man, I am such a dork

"The Tell-Tale Lychees"

October 30th, 2006, 6:08 p.m. - Shut it, Karlyn

"Perfectly Aligned"

11:30 p.m. - Actually...I don't know why

"Why Brooke is Not a Top Model"

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