Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Lily's review of Avatar the Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra



Avatar the Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra

So basically this is a review about my childhood right? Well I first got hooked on these series when I was much younger and was all like hey there's this remote thing that has buttons on it... Let's try it out! Eventually I found the glorious channel of Nickelodeon, home to shows like iCarly and fairly Odd Parents. 

So as great as these shows were, they paled in comparison to the epic Avatar the Last Airbender. Like even the title sounds cool! So this is the time in my life where Hannah Montana was just starting out, like way before scary Miley Cyrus went all crazy, unlike Hannah Montana who as much as I loved her all she really did was sing and say sweet nibblets, Avatar actually had an AMAZING story line, a bunch super awesome strong and smart female roles (who were literally my idols), and probably like THE BEST art in an animated series that I have ever  seen! (And I watch a lot of cartoons people, like a lot) 

So if you don't know about Avatar you have probably be living under a rock, but anyone if you haven't seen it WATCH IT! AND KORRA! If you don't want spoilers STOP HERE! LIKE HALT RIGHT NOW! GO NO FURTHER. 

But anyway time for the actual review. So Avatar got so deep and made me think as a kid, the bad guys were actually not all that bad when you thought about it, then they became the good guys too! The good guys weren't invincible as much as others wanted them to be. And the good guys got beat up, like A LOT. But that's ok because they fail so spectacularly that you are on the edge of your seat WAITING for it to work out!

And bending, don't even get me started on how AMAZING SPECTACULARLY AWESOME THAT IS! I don't know any kid who didn't want to be a bender when they grew up like I still think wouldn't it be nice to just throw a giant boulder at that guy? And I was totally convinced I was a fire bender one time, I was staring at a candle and it like flickered, and I literally spent the next hour staring at it trying to make it move by thought! Anyway the art of how it was animated! Like it still blows me away! Like the artists made it so that they used different styles of martial arts for each bending style and each bender! HOW COOL IS THAT!!!!! I could probably rant for hours about how beautiful the background and characters were made, but I think that would bore you guys so let's move onto some of my favorite characters, shall we?

So Aang was like soooo cool! He was really young and had tattoos! But unlike the youngsters that I know who have tattoos he totally was all peaceful and innocent! Like a kid should be! You really watch Aang grow up throughout this series which is really a great thing! He's so funny and takes nothing seriously at first, but even as he grows up he never loses his goofyness! That's a word right? Goofyness? Oh well, it is now! 

Now onto my favorite...DRUMROLL PLEASE!!!!

KATARA *thunderous applause*

She was my IDOL she had long brown hair (like this gal) and had an older brother who she yelled at a lot (like this gal) and had amazing powers of WATER BENDING (ok maybe not EXACTLY like this gal but I sure hoped I'd get it!) So of course, I thought I was basically Katara and became obsessed with her in everyway! She was very girly but still beat everyone up! That's something I really appreciated because girly girls can be seen as weak, but I've always been girly and very in people's face and bossy (in a good way... I hope). She traveled around the world with her best friends and beat up bad guys learning valuable life lessons! What more could I ask for in a role model?

Sokka, what can I say other than that you and your boomerang is such a better love story than twilight. Like on so many levels! And your sword, I almost cried during the finally dude, I almost cried! That was worse than like the fault in our stars dude! Anyway Solka is amazing and every time I see a guy who shaves the sides of his head and pulls the rest into a manbun I think of Sokka and smile. 

Toph was so incredibly strong and independent, but she had a lot to learn from her friends still, like the fact that she needed to depend on them, she couldn't just be alone her whole life and not be really happy. I loved Toph so much, and the choice of the creators to make her blind was a great call, I loved how she depended on her Earthbending to "see" and her disability really made her stronger. It was nice to see a children's show acknowledging such a touchy subject.  

And Zuko, Sifu Hotman, what can I say, I totally hated you as a child! You had that creepy ponytail and sad backstory, but I never got how Katara and Sokka with their sad backstory were good, and you were bad with yours. But then you went from ROAR FIRE GRR to LESS RAWR STILL FIRE LESS GRR. And I was cool with you! Mainly because Iroh. And let's face it when Katara forgave you so did I!

And there are SOOO MANY AMAZING PEOPLE IN THIS SHOW  I could rant for days about cabbage guy! But I won't b/c as amazing as Avatar was, it ended, I cried, and then, Korra came. 

At first I was all no way Jose that is not for me! Because not only was this show telling me Aang was dead, but that a hot headed and sorta selfish girl is his reincarnated self! I had a few issues to say the least. But I came to terms with myself and was SOOO glad that I did! 

So it was only like a year ago I got really into Korra, I found all the episodes on nick.com but then they took them off, but luckily the library came to the rescue and had them all!!! Woot woot! So I watched them and fell in love! This show was so incredibly funny, well written, beautiful to watch, made you think, got really dark, and related to current events!!! What more could anybody ask for?

Like I really loved how the seasons progressed, unlike Avatar, Korra had a completely different enemy every season, Aang had the fire lord the whole time, but lots of enemies scattered around, so I never knew if Korra would be renewed for another season! Which was a serious factor for stress! I love how in the first season she traveled to a new place, got new friends, and then there were terrorists! Like really terrifying terrorists! It really seemed to relate to current events with all the craziness in our world! Than the second series had levels of deep thinking and spiritual stuff that Avatar was never able to delve into! All of a sudden the whole Avatar universe made perfect sense! Season three was heart wrenching and I finally saw Korra growing up to be more level headed and mature! It was a relief because even though I loved her, I worried she would never be as intelligent as she could be. And I loved seeing the air nation being rebuilt so much! And then season four, how do I begin?!?! Korra has to face all of her demons, big and small, and everyone got so much older! And the ending was so perfect to me! Only I misinterpreted it...big time. 

So apparently Asami and Korra were dating? I really didn't catch that, mainly because they were acting just like I do with all of my friends. Don't get me wrong, I think it is great for a show that means so much to kids really emphasis that being gay or bysexual is great! I have actually been wanting for more shows to do so! But I always liked the ending I first understood, I thought that the fabulous team avatar: Korra, Asami, Mako, and Bolin ended this story as best friends! I really don't care for romance in any form so I was so excited to finally watch a show that had a happy ending with everyone as FRIENDS! I mean I still think that the intended ending was great, it's just not what I got at first. 

Anyway, I love all the characters so much and feel no need to describe them any more because I love them all SOOO MUCH!!! Just know that they are all so so so great!!! Plus there are like too many and I would forget to write about one and feel awful! But a special highlight on Ikki! She seriously talks just like I do and I love her for it! 

I feel like this review was very long, so if you've read the whole thing thanks! I hope you enjoyed it because this is a show that is really close to my heart! And I hope you've enjoyed these series as much as I have! 

Oh and there is an AMAZING comic series about the adventures of The Gaang that you should also check out! The first is called The Promise and it's really good so check it out! It is really fun to read about them!

Monday, October 26, 2015

GadgetJax Reviews: The Lord Of The Flies by William William Golding

   I love old things. A lot. Okay, maybe not the stuff that's really old, like dinosaur bones and 8-tracks, but I still love to look back at all the media of last century. Some of my favorite video games of all time were released during the 1980's, and many of Disney's best animated features debuted during the 1950's as well. But what about books? 
    Truth be told, I rarely read old books, which is odd, isn't it? I like reading, and I like old media, so you would think that stuff would make me explode with happiness, but it doesn't. Even titles like 'The Hobbit' have failed to spark my interest. Still, there are many times where I'll have to read an old title for one reason or another, such as a book discussion.
    This leads me to the book for today: Lord Of The Flies. It's obviously not the oldest book in on Earth, but when you consider how it debuted in 1957, you really start to realize how old that is. Anyway, going off the title of the book, you would expect some kind of epic tale about a king among insects, but considering how misleading old book titles were, you can ignore that notion.

    Our tale begins with 2 young boys named 'Ralph' and 'Piggy'(No, that's not his real name) waking up on an island in the middle of nowhere. They believe they are alone at first, but discover that they were on an airplane with several other boys, but it crashed, with only the children surviving. They eventually meet other boys on that island; some who are their age, and some who are smaller. They then come to terms and try to start a makeshift society where different boys are assigned to different roles, such as hunting and the like. It's nothing too out of the ordinary for a survival story, except for the MacGuffin of the island; The Conch.
    The Conch is a crucial part of the story and should be recognized as such. Prior to meeting the other boys on the island, Ralph and Piggy discover a conch on the island. As the story progresses, the significance of the conch rises to a point of royal power among the surviving boys; whoever is holding the conch has the right to speech among the group of boys. It may seem like a little touch at first to the story, but if you look deeper into it, it represents much more than meets the eye. The rest of the story contains very few objects that would hold any significance or lasting impression, so the conch feels like almost like a holy relic in a desolate wasteland.
    Speaking of things that stand out, I guess you could apply this definition to many of the other aspects of the book; insignificant at first, but surreal and astonishing upon inspection. I was bored the entire time during my first read of this book, but after re-reading it and searching up more about it online, I discovered just how narrow my opinions on this title were. Every boy in this book is given an underlying trait that represents some kind of struggle that the group faces on the island, and it almost makes you feel bad for the characters and their struggles.

    Of course, with any book that takes the path of using underlying meanings, you will notice many flaws riddled in the tale. I found many parts where characters would almost seem to repeat the same sentences over and over again, and it makes the plot feel like it's not going anywhere at certain points. Also, while we're on the subject of 'not going anywhere', I should remind you that I didn't get much of a good impression from this book the first time through. Because of this, I can only recommend this book to someone who wants to decipher the deep meaning behind the story. If you're looking for raw entertainment, Lord Of The Flies won't fit your taste, but if you want to read about a truly serious struggle between several children and their wits, then Lord Of The Flies will spark your interest for sure.

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...wait a second! A GadgetJax review with little-to-no comedy? What is this garglemesh?!? Don't worry, valiant readers! I'll be back next time with something that's sure to knock your socks off! Can you guess what it is? I'll give you guys a hint: it'll push everybody to the limit.

HIGHLAND WON!

We WON the TEEN READ WEEK CHALLENGE! 

You all read 5,232 pages!

Doge is so proud of Highland (and so am I).

-Mrs. B



Thursday, October 22, 2015

Highland must WIN

Are you participating in the 2015 Teen Read Week Challenge?

Here is a video of the Highland teens throwing down the gauntlet to the other branches with their own take on the quintessential inspiration song during a reading marathon.


Come in and fill out raffle tickets so our branch can WIN!

Did you know that Jim Peterik (founding member of Survivor and co-writer of "Eye of the Tiger") will be visiting the Merrillville Branch Nov 6th, 2015!?