Uglies: A Book Review

Uglies

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Tally Youngblood is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait for the operation that turns everyone from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to party. But new friend Shay would rather hoverboard to “the Smoke” and be free. Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world and it isn’t very pretty. The “Special Circumstances” authority Dr Cable offers Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever.

This book has been a pleasant surprise.

As soon as I read this book’s first line (the thing with the sky being the color of cat vomit), I decided to not take this book too seriously. This book felt too much like a satirical piece about how the insane actions of the people today will lead to eventual destruction of everything we know. Like putting down people, or hailing people as gods, just based on their physical appearance.

What I liked about this book:

  1. I really liked that this book, unlike other YA dystopian novels out today, didn’t try very hard. The writing was almost sarcastic, but it didn’t fail on getting its message across. It is a fun and easy read, unlike most books in the genre, which I said, tend to try really hard and bombard the reader with multiple (and often useless) events.
  2. I like how the world of Tally and the Uglies and the Pretties is constructed. Everyone normal (those who haven’t gone under the knife) is taught that they are ugly because of human imperfections. They are brainwashed from the moment they are born that life is not worth anything until you are a physically symmetrical Pretty.
  3. I even appreciate the way things are named in this book, it doesn’t try too hard and make up some ridiculous name for a simple gadget. Hoverboards are still hoverboards, water purifiers are still water purifiers, and dehydrated food in packets are labeled as amalgamations of their proper names (Spaghetti Bolognese is SpagBol).
  4. This book also answered the questions I had while I was reading it, like what happens to New Pretties if they grow older (they get another procedure), what happens to the children of the Middle Pretties (they stay with their parents until they turn 12 then they move into a dorm with other Ugly people).
  5. Basically, this book is just chill about everything.

What I didn’t like about this book:

  1. Lines like “The rocks felt reassuringly the-opposite-of-hovery under her shaky legs” are a little too chill and takes me out of the whole reading experience.
  2. Like other YA dystopian novels though, I felt the romance in this book is a bit unnecessary.

Rating: 8/10 Overall, Uglies is an easy read and doesn’t try too hard. The writing even pokes fun and points out the ludicrous fixation of human beings judging other human beings based on their face, and even touches on how important saving the environment is without getting too preachy.

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A No Poo Update

Hello everyone!

So, it has been almost a month since I started my No Poo adventure and it has been great! I have done four washes now and look at how my hair is after those washes:

four-washes

Wash 1 and wash 3 are taken after completely air drying and haven’t been tied up in buns or anything, while wash 2 was just after I undid the braids I wore for the day, and wash 4 was after I had my hair up in a bun the day before. So, I’m not sure if my hair has found some inherent waves because of the rinse.

I haven’t experienced the gross over-oily hair some have gotten during their breaking-in period, so that’s weird. My scalp was just very very itchy between my first and second wash.

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A Quick Birthday Card for a Coworker

quickbirthday_02

Can you tell that this has been rushed? HA HA HA shut up

So my boyfriend asked me to do a very quick birthday card for a coworker he was friends with who was having his birthday the next day. I quickly whipped this up, so this will be a very short blog post too.

quickbirthday_01

As always, I drafted out a layout in Photoshop. A stripy colorful background, a blue banner with “happy birthday” on it, a cupcake image, a blue background for that cupcake, and a white square for a white border for that blue background. Printed those out on textured white card stock, and cut out the individual pieces. Arranged the whole thing on a cream-colored cardstock and we’re done!

Yay!

 

Insurgent: A Book Review

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

What is it with dystopian novels and my desire to hate-read them? Anyway, here’s my (hate-)review, I guess.

One choice can transform you, or destroy you. Every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves, and herself, while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

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DIY Kindle Case from a Hollowed-Out Book

Yes, I own a Kindle, and I’m about to carve out a book to make a Kindle case out of it. No, I don’t hate books.

The Kindle is a very convenient device for someone like me who likes to read and travel a lot. It’s very slim, but nothing compares to the feel and weight of a real book made of paper, so why not make a Kindle case out of it and maybe I can still have that fragrant old book smell?

My first Kindle case when I got the device a year ago was also a DIY case made by my boyfriend, Niko. It was made of cold press illustration board and gumtape.

The old case. Niko’s pretty crafty.

It served me well but Niko and I decided it has gotten to old and ratty and we were both feeling a little crafty so a new case was made and here’s the how we made it.

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My “No Poo” Adventure

Taking care of my hair has always been a struggle (see this). I’ve tried a myriad of shampoos and conditioners that promise to tame my mess of hair in just a couple of months! But of course, they don’t. I still end up with dried ends, an itchy, flaky, dandruff-ridden scalp, and so much frizz. To combat the dandruff and the gross smell that comes with being in the humid Philippine weather, I shampooed my hair everyday. But nope, dandruff is still there and I never did feel like it was really clean. I also suffer from a lot of hair fall due to breakage, I swear I feel like a cat shedding mounds of fur everyday. But I guess that is expected when you get your hair wet every single day (wet hair tends to break more). To combat the dry, frizzy feel, I slap on tons of conditioner.

Then I come across this slew of articles stressing the negative effects of shampoo (most of its ingredients) on hair: that sulfates (the stuff that makes shampoo lather like a dream) dry out hair, that shampooing everyday strips the scalp and hair of natural oils which in turn freaks the scalp out and it churns out more oil than necessary which in turn causes gross, greasy hair (and I’m guessing also that weird smell my scalp gets with that buildup of grease).

Natural (sulfate-free) shampoos tend to make my hair feel stiff, and still doesn’t help with my hair fall or my dandruff issue (which I thought it would). And I found that washing with natural shampoos didn’t really thoroughly clean my scalp.

So after reading a buttload of blog posts online about the benefits (those links are just the ones I pinned) of No Poo-ing, I’m finally jumping in and trying it out.

I will update this post regularly on how my hair/scalp is doing as this adventure goes on. May include photos of my hair for comparison once I get someone to take a photo of the back of my head for me.

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Tresemme Smooth and Shine Shampoo and Conditioner Review

From the Tresemme India website:

This product with vitamin H and silk protein intensely moisturizes dry, rough hair. For hair that feels soft and smooth.

HOW IT WORKS

  • Delivers intense moisturisation, targeting the areas your hair needs it most – the key to salon silk moisture.
  • Contains silk protein and vitamin H.
  • For smoother, silkier hair.

I saw this at the supermarket in a trial-sized version, 90mL each for the shampoo and conditioner and cost about Php90 for the pack. I picked this up because I heard raves about the Tresemme heat protectant and for some reason I thought this shampoo and conditioner would work great. And it’s for dry and frizzy hair, and my hair is exactly that. And it was cheap and tiny, perfect for trying it out for my hair for a couple of weeks.

Sorry for the crappy photo.

Sorry for the crappy photo.

What I like about the two products: Smells great and it lasts for the whole day, so that’s good. I found myself sniffing my hair before I went to bed. The shampoo lathered up very easily, which is not an easy task on my hair. That’s about it.

What I don’t like about the two products: It didn’t help with my tangles, if anything, it made my hair tangle up more and adding to my hairfall. Not cool. And a very weird side effect, a pimple started growing on my scalp (what!) somewhere behind my left ear and a couple inches above my nape. I have never ever had pimples on my scalp. And I’d get this stabbing pain on that spot at random times when my hair moves. I swear to god, so weird.

I immediately stopped using this because, damn, I don’t want any stabbing pains anywhere in my body thank you very much.

Rating: 3/10 Well, it smells nice. And my hair kind of felt soft, but I didn’t feel like my hair was being hydrated enough. And a pimple on the scalp? FFS.