Girl on Fire: Writing might be in the stars

[As seen in Creston News Advertiser, June 18, 2015]

One of my favorite things to do with my coworkers is talk about books and movies. We have such varying degrees of respect for different genres that sometimes it makes for interesting conversation hearing what two opposite-thinkers think about one bit of entertainment.

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Girl on Fire: Young is a subtle inspiration

[As seen in Creston News Advertiser, June 4, 2015]

Part of the job of a news reporter is to be unbiased: we tell the whole story, both sides, without including any personal thoughts into our stories because it’s up to our readers to form their own opinions.

However, sometimes you find that one thing that deserves being discussed in more than just a news story.

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Girl on Fire: Musical, races make for great weekend

[As seen in Creston News Advertiser, May 7, 2015]

Last weekend I had the opportunity to see a modern production of “The Lion King” Saturday at the Des Moines Civic Center.

That was probably one of the best productions I’ve ever seen.

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Girl on Fire: Comics, firefighting blurring gender lines

Creston Fire 6[As seen in Creston News Advertiser, April 16, 2015]

A few months ago, I sat on the couch of my friend Nicole Shope watching something on Netflix.

We were talking, and she mentioned she had started buying a comic book series focusing on the life of Kara Zor-El, or Supergirl. I flipped through the pages of one of the comic books, admiring the drawing of the characters, and decided I wanted to start my own comic book series.

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Book Review: Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring by JRR Tolkien

Fellowship of the RingTitle: The Fellowship of the Ring
Author: J.R.R. Tolkien
Series: Lord of the Rings #1 and #2
Published: 1954
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Pages:
From: Barnes and Noble
Rating: 8/10

I love the Lord of the Rings. I’m so much of a nerd that last month at a bar in Des Moines a guy said to me, “One does not simply enter Mordor,” and I responded, “Obviously, one simply does.” He told me he was going to marry me and then I never saw him again.

The Fellowship of the Ring is the first installment of the Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkien, a British author who died in 1973. It follows the story of Frodo, a hobbit from the Shire, who inherits a ring of immense power and must destroy it so Sauron does not take over Middle Earth.

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Book Review: Mother of Eden by Chris Beckett

Mother of EdenTitle: Mother of Eden
Author: Chris Beckett
Series: Dark Eden #2
Published: 2015
Publisher: Broadway Books
Pages: 480
From: Barnes and Noble
Rating: 9/10

Chris Beckett came out of left field. The British author, who does social work as well as writing novels, wrote a novel called Dark Eden, which takes a biblical approach to a group of astronauts stranded on a distant planet they named Eden.

Mother of Eden takes place two hundred years later. In those two hundred years, the inhabitants of Eden have made technological advances in mining and creating weapons and armor, but seem to have taken steps backwards in the ideas of society and equality.

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Book Review: Atlantia by Ally Condie

AtlantiaTitle: Atlantia
Author: Ally Condie
Series: None
Published: 2014
Publisher: Dutton Penguin
Pages: 298
From: Barnes and Noble
Rating: 7/10

I saw the cover of Atlantia by Ally Condie one day while I perused Barnes and Noble’s website, and immediately I was hooked.

Recently, I’ve been breaking into the young adult genre for unknown reasons, even to me. I think I enjoy them because they’re easy to read and don’t require very much individual thought.

Condie’s novel Atlantia is just that: easy to read and doesn’t require much individual thought.

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Book Review: The Heir by Kiera Cass

HeirTitle: The Heir
Author: Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection
Published: 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages:
From: Barnes and Noble
Rating: 6/10

I didn’t think it was possible, but The Heir made me want to be a princess even less than The Selection.

American author Kiera Cass continued her Selection series with The Heir, which focuses on the eldest child of America Singer and Maxon Schreave, Eadlyn. In order to quell unrest in the country, Eadlyn’s royal parents convince her to host her own Bachelorette-style Selection, and she gets a variety of suitors. Some look at her breasts, others are easy to get along with, and one even doesn’t speak fluent English. He’s probably my favorite. He’s adorable.

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Book Review: The One by Kiera Cass

OneTitle: The One
Author: Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection
Published: 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages:
From: Walmart
Rating: 7/10

The third of American author Kiera Cass’ Selection series has finally been finished, and I must say, I am at least a little bit excited for the fourth novel The Heir.

Cass’ novel The One focuses on America Singer still fighting for her spot at the top of the Elite, the final group of girls vying for the hand of the prince. This novel has all the aspects of her previous novels: mystery, romance, politics, drama. But, I actually liked this one so much better.

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Book Review: The Elite by Kiera Cass

EliteTitle: The Elite
Author: Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection
Published: 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages:
From: Walmart
Rating: 6/10

As I’m sure most of you who have read The Elite know, it is the second in a series of young adult dystopian romance novels by American author Kiera Cass.

The Elite, the second of The Selection series, focuses on the main character America Singer as she climbs her way to the top of the royal food chain.

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