Book Review Tuesday (10/17/17/)-Scythe

I kept my promise, here’s an actual BOOK review. I hope you loved my MASSEDUCTION review (see my last post), but we’re back to normal for now, I promise…

…well, “normal” as a relative term.

But anyway, here’s a mind-blowing, creative, and creepy book, perfect for October!

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Scythe

In 2042, humanity eradicated death. But there was a problem-how do we keep our expanding population in check? The answer: Scythes. The Scythedom is an organization of people assigned to kill-or “glean”, as they refer to it-people in order to keep the population under control. Teenagers Citra and Rowan have reluctantly become apprentices to the Scythedom, but they have no idea what’s in store for them. A mysterious self-gleaning and corruption are now in the midst of the Scythedom, and now Citra’s and Rowan’s apprenticeships-and lives-hang in the balance. Can the Scythedom be restored to what it once was?

 

WHOA. THIS BOOK. Amazing in pretty much every way. Spectacular world-building, likeable characters, intricate, well-written…I could go on, but I don’t want to annoy you to death and oversell the book. But anyway, YOU GUYS HAVE TO READ IT. NOW. SERIOUSLY.

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Have a wonderful afternoon (or whatever time of day it is where you are), and I’ll be back with another BRT on Halloween!

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MASSEDUCTION (St. Vincent) Album Review

PLOT TWIST! This is NOT a book review!

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*BOOM*

Yep.

 

As I’ve told you on various occasions, St. Vincent has been my favorite singer for a while. And I’ve been waiting for new material from her for 3 years. And finally, last Friday, MASSEDUCTION was finally released! But, after listening to the album, my feelings were a bit mixed.

Just a note beforehand, I’m going to use the same method I use for rating books (1-WORST SONG EVER, 5-okay, I guess, 10-OMGOMGOMGOMG LOVE) Also, I’m not going to review “New York” because I already talked about it a bit in a previous post. So yeah, here goes!

 

TRACK 1: “Hang On Me” RATING: 7/10

A nice balance of melancholy and hope, a little reminiscent of St. Vincent’s earlier work. Kind of poignant and endearing in way. Not her best, but certainly not her worst. A lot better than some of her other stuff on this album…(prepare for more saltiness later in the review…)

 

TRACK 2: “Pills” RATING: 8/10

When I first heard about this song, my mom told me that she had read an article that said that Cara Delevigne* was going to sing a little bit in this song. I basically wanted to puke in my mouth, and thus, my expectations were pretty low for this song. But as you can assume from my rating, this is actually one of my favorite songs on the album! Very catchy. My favorite part is the ending, which sounds like a cross between something off her last album (St. Vincent), and something off David Bowie’s Blackstar. 

 

TRACK 3: “Masseduction” RATING: 4/10

This is really where it started going downhill.

Ugh. The guitar is kinda cool for a few brief seconds, but that’s pretty much all I like. Verging onto the horrendous, modern pop terrritory. It is just not St. Vincent. Nope. Nope. Nope.

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TRACK 4: “Sugarboy” RATING: 3/10

BLEARGH. This is literally the worst song on the entire  MASSEDUCTION album. I swear, if you took out all of the vocals, it would probably fit right in as the soundtrack to a MarioKart game or something and nobody would notice that it’s St. Vincent.

But I did notice that at one point, they snuck and sped up the baseline for “Los Ageless” in there. That was kinda funny.

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TRACK 5: “Los Ageless” RATING: 8/10

Luuuuuurve! Now THIS is more like her old stuff! The chorus is a little annoying and modern-pop-y, but still a wonderful song. Plus, there’s a crazy video to go with it. I liked it even better than the one for “New York”.

PLEASE DON’T EAT THAT ANEMONE THING, ANNIE…

 

TRACK 6: “Happy Birthday, Johnny” RATING: 6.5/10

This is where this album starts to get really depressing.

I’d say that it’s “short and sweet”, but it’s more like “short and makes me want to cry a little”. It makes me want to give Annie Clark a little hug. *lip quivers slightly”

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TRACK 7: “Savior” RATING: 4.5/10

Meh. It’s not as pop-y as “Masseduction” and “Sugarboy”, but still kind of fits that general pop mold. It just doesn’t really grab me, and eventually kind of melts into background noise. Tolerable, but not great.

 

TRACK 9: “Fear the Future” RATING: 7.5/10

YASS! Finally some relief after that bout of depression and pop! Like I said with “Hang On Me” earlier, it’s not her best, but it’s GREAT. The guitar is super cool. This sounds like something that would be really fun to see live.

 

TRACK 10: “Young Lover” RATING: 7/10

This song seems to be wearing an odd mask. The rhythm is happy and upbeat, but the lyrics are really sad. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful song, though. I’d probably give it a higher rating, but I hate the ending when St. Vincent’s voice goes up to a ridiculously high octave, bringing to mind the scene in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets when the Fat Lady is trying to sing opera and smashes the wine glass against the wall.

 

TRACK 11/12: “Dancing With a Ghost” and “Slow Disco” RATING: 4.5/10

“Dancing With A Ghost” is kind of cool, but doesn’t really have much substance. I’m not saying that because it’s instrumental, but there’s just not much to it. Now, “Slow Disco” is sad, but like “Savior”, it just doesn’t seem to grab me at all. Also, the probably-male-but-sort-of-androgynous voice at the end annoys the heck out of me.

 

TRACK 13: “Smoking Section” RATING: 7.5/10

OH.

MY.

GOD.

MY HEART.

Every time I hear this song, my heart feels as though somebody chucked it off the top of the Empire State Building, and then it splattered on the road. And then got run over by a car. No scratch that, a truck. Wait, no…a steam roller. Yeah. That’s more accurate. What I’m saying is that if you ever find me sobbing in the corner with headphones on, it’s because I’ve listened to this song too many times. It’s beautiful and cinematic, but MY GOD, THIS IS THE MOST DEPRESSING SONG I’VE HEARD IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. If “Happy Birthday, Johnny” made me want to give Annie Clark a hug, this one makes me want to give her a near-strangulation level bear hug.

 

 

Alright, I’ve averaged out the ratings for this album (I added “New York”, an 8), and the final number turned out to be about a 6. Sigh…

I waited three years, THREE YEARS, and I must say, I’m rather underwhelmed. Not St. Vincent’s best work. I don’t mean to say that there’s nothing good about this album. It’s just disappointing. Sigh…

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So anyway, I hope you enjoyed my semi-salty album review. I promise, there’s an actual BOOK review coming tomorrow. So, bye for now!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*GOD, I HATE THAT WOMAN…

 

 

 

I know you’re sick of my weird mermaid-like things by now, but…

Okay, so last month, I was feeling a little bored. I had no idea what to draw, but I started drawing anyway. Eventually, I came up with this vaguely feminine creature that had octopus tentacles instead of hair, blue, rectangular pupils, and blue, slightly large lips. Oh, and did I mention, she’s also dripping wet.

This was the process of drawing her.

 

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First pencil…

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…Then traced over with ink pen…

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…and finally, colored in with marker-pens.

 

Since then, this octopus girl has oddly captured my imagination. I then began to draw her everywhere-she’s found her way into my Spanish notebook, on the edges of data sheets for Science class, a few sticky notes, and most importantly, my sketchbook. I’ve drawn, inked, and colored her twice more since the first drawing. Both times, I’ve dressed her in a Car Seat Headrest shirt (with the album art of Twin Fantasy) and faded, ripped jeans for no apparent reason. I’ve also added some song lyrics to the drawings.Screen Shot 2017-10-14 at 9.21.40 AM.png

I did this one just last weekend. The lyrics are from what recently became my new favorite song, “Beautiful Freak” by Eels.

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I finished this one yesterday. This one’s got some lyrics from “Everything Now” by Arcade Fire.

 

I’ve yet to see where this octopus girl will take me next, but it should be interesting.

 

 

 

I can’t think of any other creative ways to say that I have a bunch more fan arts

So yeah…

My drawing amount has slowed slightly after my last fan arts post (See Fan arts, fan arts, everywhere), but I’ve still got a bunch that I’m super psyched to show you guys! Here you go!

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Annie Clark (a.k.a. St. Vincent, my favorite singer!)

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Dustin Henderson* (Stranger Things)

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Eleven (Stranger Things)

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Ms. Marvel (Ms. Marvel)

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Courtney Crumrin (Courtney Crumrin)

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Millie Bobby Brown

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I drew this while in Vail last weekend among the beatiful aspen trees. What I’ve sort of surmised is that this is some sort of tree-elf-fairy thing. I still really don’t know.

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Barb Holland (Stranger Things)

#JUSTICEFORBARB

 

Aaaaaaanyway, thanks so much for looking at my art! See you soon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*fingers crossed that I spelled his last name right…can’t remember how 🤦‍♀️

My creativity gets (slightly) out of hand…(Or “I’m a complete nerd”)

On Monday, it snowed about a foot, and was snowing for most of the day. (That’s Colorado weather for ya…snow in early October…) I was one of about a third of the class who remember their snow gear, and so I was allowed to roll around in the snow.

So, I took advantage of the moment and rolled around making snow angels. After a few minutes, I decided that regular snow angels are boring. And thus, Snow Maleficent was born. All I really did was draw little horns on its head. Looking back, I could easily have added her staff, but I had other plans.

The next snow angel I made was the Snow Angel of Death, based off of the Angel of Death from Hellboy II: The Golden Army. Here’s a picture of him if you haven’t seen it:

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Sweet dreams, kids…

All I achieved Monday was the head, the little wing-eye things, and little marks on the wings to make them look like feathers. I really couldn’t remember much else, and by that time, recess was over.

By Tuesday, I had looked up a picture of the Angel of Death, and there was still snow on the ground. So, I improved on the design, adding the crack in the head, and a too-big smile. Both times, I forgot the weird rib-pattern (or real ribs? who knows) on the robes, but hey-it sorta looked like the Angel of Death…

Sadly, I have no pictures of my snow-angel creations, but you can sorta guess what they looked like. Maybe. Not really.

 

Yeah, sorry about the random tangent there, I just figured it would be fun to write about.

Also, on the subject of Hellboy, I figured I’d also just put in this Hellboy II clip that always either a) makes me crack up or b) makes me hold in more laughter than is probably healthy…

 

I’ve been watching this clip for months on end…help…

Okay, I’ll spare you more geekiness…bye.

Book Review Tuesday (10/10/17)-Renegades

Hey everyone!

Okay, first of all, I’m really sorry that I couldn’t get to the first October BRT. I had loads of homework, and I had to get a lot of it done sooner due to a Shins concert at Red Rocks and a weekend trip to Vail (both of which were A-MAY-ZING!). And I’ll miss one more in about a week or so because I’m going on another school trip. So, you’re not in for as much BRTs this month, so sorry. 😦

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But anyway, I’ve got a GREAT review today of one of my personal most anticipated books of 2017…

Drumroll please…

…RENEGADES! YEP, THAT’S RIGHT, THE LAST BOOK IN THE RANDOMS SERIES!!! SQUEE!

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Renegades

After his last adventure in space, Zeke Reynolds has landed himself on Earth yet again (unintentionally), at a boarding school for “disobedient children”. The Phands have also begun their ultimate takeover, and are slowly brainwashing the entire human race. But a quick escape by Zeke and his friends put them back into space…and far from their original plan. Now it’s all a mess-Zeke’s stuck on an uninhabited planet with Villainic, Tamret’s kinda-sorta-maybe-former boyfriend, his remaining friends have been captured, and to top it all off…Tamret’s not really his girlfriend anymore (uncertain…). With the help of a misfit gang of rebels and some unexpected allies, will Zeke and his friends be able to stop the Earth from being taken over?

 

OH MY GOD. Words cannot describe how this book made me feel.

Okay, well…they kinda can, but it’s a rather…unarticulate choice of words. I just went on an emotional rollercoaster-laughing, anger, mind explosion, almost crying-the whole shebang. I was in emotional disarray for about a day afterward. I’m pretty sad that one of my favorite series has to end, but it ended with a bang, and I was satisfied.

 

Well then, have a great rest of your day, and enjoy October!