spotlight

**TEEN FICTION GIRL IS LIVE!**

Whew!  It took me a month longer than I said it would, but Teen Fiction Girl is here.  This will be the LAST POST I make on this blog, so if you enjoy reading my stuff, I suggest you go follow that blog instead.

You can find it at teenfictiongirl.wordpress.com.

Thanks for following me through this blog, everyone – all my followers mean so much to me!!

~ Summer ❤

Sky-Daughter (NaNoWriMo) – Support a Fellow Young Writer

Hey, guys, and thanks for reading Tween Fiction Girl! Today’s post is going to be a unique one, because I’ve never done a book review/human interest combo post. It’s going to be a book review, sort of, but you’ll also need a bit of backstory.

Remember last year, when I did NaNoWriMo? I wrote a book called The Juniper Tree that will never be published because I didn’t like it, but I also came across my fellow young writer Lily Sowell. I read the excerpt of her story on her NaNoWriMo account page, and we got to talking.
It turns out that her book went a lot further than mine. While mine remained an unfinished idea, she went on to publish hers on CreateSpace. I own a copy of it, and I have to say, for a twelve-year-old author, this was a stellar read.

And now for the review bit of the book review.

The book’s title, as you may have surmised from both the headline and URL of this page, is Sky-Daughter. (It sounds a bit ambiguous out of context, but it makes more sense once you read the story.) To give a simple summary, it’s a fantasy story, centered around three young women by the names of Ayanna, Gwynn, and Oriel, set in a place called Ajeda in a time during a long, hard war. (Actually, the e in Ajeda has an accent mark over it, but I can’t figure out how to make it on my computer.)

It’s not an adult book, but that’s understandable. It was written by a 12-year-old for a 12-year-old reading level. I’d recommend the story itself for an age group of about 8 to 14; it’s not too complex and not at all inappropriate, but it’s compelling enough to attract the attention of an older reader, too. I mean, even my mom enjoyed it, and, when it comes to books, she’s hard to interest.

The author’s writing style is brisk and dialogue-oriented, which leaves a lot about the details of the setting to the imagination. I like descriptions, frankly, but even more, I dislike lengthy and tedious descriptions, so I didn’t find this much of a setback. The writing flows, with understandable characters (which is definitely a plus, especially in stories written by younger individuals) and easy, casual dialogue. I made note of the fact that a good portion of the main characters are female. As it was written by a girl, it’s written for girls, even if that particular facet was unintentional; as I myself am an almost-teen girl, this didn’t bother me, but, despite the fact that this book is set in a war, I don’t recommend it for boys looking for a nitty-gritty action story.

A heads-up for anyone looking to purchase the book: it’s NOT flawless. No book is. It has as many flukes as anything I’ve ever written, I’ll admit, such as an accidental g tacked onto the word tightly in the last chapter in the book, or an extra “that night” in a sentence on the first page. As a whole, though, I’d recommend this to young readers who’d like to try out something a little different from the rest of the young adult fiction stories.

For a fun and fast-paced plot, memorable characters, and an interesting origin (how many 12-year-olds do you ever see publishing books?), but taking points off for a couple of grammatical errors and other small flukes, I give Sky-Daughter four stars out of five.

I don’t usually do this with my reviews, but since this book can currently only be bought in two places in the known world, here are the links to Sowell’s outlets.
Sky-Daughter at Amazon.com
Sky-Daughter at CreateSpace.com (by Amazon)

UPDATE:  Sowell released another edition of the book; she fixed the aforementioned typos.  (The webpage still says 1st Edition, but the interior of the book says 2nd).

Anyway, thanks for reading! I hope this was helpful to you.

~ Summer

Movie Reviews: Inside Out

I went to see this movie with Celestia, aka this nerd.  We nearly went to see the new Terminator movie instead, but we changed our minds last minute.  (I’m glad we did, because neither of us have ever seen any of the original Terminator movies.)  I sat myself down with a large bag of Lifesavers and an even larger bag of Skittles and got ready.

I don’t know what I was expecting; I hadn’t seen many trailers other than the teaser one that they started showing really early on. I didn’t know much about the story other than the general setting: five emotions – Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust – that existed inside the mind of a girl named Riley.

I have to say, I thought (for a Disney animated movie) this was a very mature and thought-provoking story. It was a very visually attracting movie, with excellent detail in animation and graphics; if you’re looking to see it in theater, definitely go with the 3D showing, because it’s well worth it. The story itself was good, too – Joy and Sadness almost lose Riley’s core memories, the memories that shape her personality, in the vast library of her long-term memory storage, and they go on a (very metaphorical) journey through her mind in order to take the memories back to headquarters. I won’t offer any more spoilers, although I’d like to.

This, as has become Disney’s custom, was, in my opinion, a great family movie, because while kids may be less inclined to get a lot out of the story and climax than, say, a fourteen-year-old, it was nice just to watch. (Especially with a large bag of Skittles and Lifesavers on hand.) If any Disney animator or someone who knows one stumbles across this post, I’d like to say thank you for spending your valuable time making a movie as graphically lovely as Inside Out. Animating isn’t easy (I’ve tried it and couldn’t make more than a very glossy sphere), and this movie looked like it took a whole lot more than a free Blender trial on a ca. 2010 home laptop.

I have to agree partially with a friend of mine that said she felt the story dragged on for too long. It’s true, maybe they could have condensed it a little further, but I didn’t find it difficult to watch at all, especially with a mouth full of candy. Even if portions of it seemed to take too long, it was interesting in and of itself to wonder how Disney would portray another section of Riley’s mind. It was such an abstract thing to put into pictures, and I just love the creativity involved in this.

For outstanding graphics and a really sweet plot, I give Disney’s Inside Out a total of four stars. (I decided to just quit with the decimals. They did nothing but confuse everyone.)

As always, feedback and ratings are appreciated, as well as your thoughts on the article or topic. Remember, if you want to see a post about a specific topic, feel free to suggest one at the Suggest A Post bar at the top of your page.

Thanks for reading – I hope this was helpful to you!

~ Summer

Rift: Exploring the Wardrobe Patch

Hey, guys! As you may have read in my earlier post, I’ve dropped Diablo 3 as my main RPG and started playing Rift instead. For the few of you reading my blog that may also play Rift, you’ve probably been keen on the new game patch: the wardrobe update.

When I first heard about this patch, it didn’t seem like much. Some new clothing looks, another menu for clothes. [I’ll admit, I didn’t go too far into the research.] Sure, I thought it would be cool, but I didn’t expect it would be anything big.

When the patch came out and I got to play it for the first time, I thought it was stupid. The dye merchants in Sanctum and Meridian were gone, replaced by an in-game dye menu. You had to pay credits to get the nice colors. I learned, slowly, that apothecary dyes still worked, and the colors in the menu were nice, anyway. It still seemed pretty pointless. Now you could have two sets of clothing. It didn’t make much sense to have two wardrobe options; why not just wear the best armor you owned at all times? I put all my normal clothes in my wardrobe slot. It felt pretty much the same, albeit with nicer colors.

Then I realized that wasn’t what the update was, and I started to like it more. Now, easy as pie, you could make your character look like he or she was wearing whatever you wanted him or her to. You could even wear something that your class couldn’t normally use – while still retaining the stats of the armor you were really wearing. This worked better than ever at the time, right after I’d picked up a piece of chest armor that had good stats but was ridiculously immodest. [Yeah, sorry, my rant about inappropriate/impractical womens’ RPG outfits will come later.]

In my opinion, this is especially useful for mages and warriors, whose clothing options aren’t exactly pleasing [to me, anyway.] Mages’ robes usually look like they’re wearing bathrobes, especially the lower-level ones; the warriors sometimes look like they’re wearing metal swimsuits. Not exactly advisable if you’re going into battle. Even the weapons are customizable – if you’re tired of your boring dagger or dull staff, exchange it for a swaggy sword that you’d never be able to use anyway!

The wardrobes can be accessed via the character page [press C]. Click on the wardrobe tab on the left side and tinker with your appearance to your heart’s content!

Maybe later I’ll post a picture of my character’s wardrobe, if anyone wants to see it.

Thanks for reading! I hope my review of the patch was useful to you!

– Summer 🙂

Back to Blogging!

Hey, guys!! Oh my goodness… it’s been SO LONG since I’ve posted anything on TFG!!! I have SO much to talk about, and I don’t know if you want to read it all, but here it is anyway.

I got back on Animal Jam for the first time in, like, a year. A whole lot has changed – too much for me. {2much4me.} My friend wanted his account back, but it still had most of my stuff on it, so I’m pretty bummed about that. I’m still a non-member, which I don’t really care about, but it irritates me that it’s such a pay-to-win game.

Speaking of pay-to-win games, I kind of dropped Diablo III. Actually, it got accidentally deleted when we were cleaning out the computer. Instead, I started playing another RPG instead, and this one’s free: RIFT. It’s not exactly new; I played it back in 2011 when it was fresh out of beta, but at $15 a month it was WAY too expensive to play for long. The good news is, it’s now free to play, except for a couple optional in-game purchases to get more currency, objects, etc. I’ve already played to level 38.

I owned a Minecraft server for about three months, but it got a bit boring, so it’s getting closed. It’s difficult to do anything other than vanilla, and I didn’t really know how to code, so I just played vanilla survival with Amber, Celestia, and a couple people on Planet Minecraft.

Speaking of Planet Minecraft, I got a name change, got to level 45, and rose quite a bit in the popularity scale. My skins have improved a TON.

Well, I guess that’s about it. Thanks for reading my long string of nothingness!

Summerrrrr