Spotify

I used to use Pandora here and there for music. Of course, you cannot choose what specific song you want to listen to, and you have a limited number of skips. Not only that, but they have ads (If its the free one, which I have. Spotify has ads too if you get the free version (which I have) but Spotify’s other perks make up for it). I had heard some good things about Spotify. My sister downloaded the app, and I decided to download it awhile later. I must say, I am very impressed with it and probably will not go back to Pandora. Here is a post about how great Spotify is.

Please know that Pandora is not a bad website. It can be very helpful, and I have had an account on it for many years. Spotify suits me better, but that does not mean Pandora will not suit anyone ever. I would suggest trying both and seeing which one works for your personal needs.

 

 

1) You can choose what you want to listen to.

I like Spotify because you can choose the specific song you want to listen to. With Pandora, you make a station based on a song you like, and they play ‘similar’ songs to the song you like. You can like and dislike songs to help personalize each Pandora station, but it can be once in a long while that you actually hear the song you wanted to hear. With Spotify, you look up the song you want to listen to, and listen to it as many times as you want. You can save the song, put it in a playlist, and you have pretty much full control over what you listen to.

2) They have a ton of super cool songs.

Pandora has good songs too, but since I got Spotify two days ago I have found so many cool songs which I can listen to as many times as I want (for example, they have a Karaoke version of “A Whole New World,” which I love. They have a guy singing the guy parts, but no female, which means I can practice the song as a duet in privacy with a really good singer. They also have a version with the female’s part in, and the guy’s part out. They also have other karaoke and instrumental versions of songs).

3) They let me earn time without ads.

Today, something appeared about earning time without ads. If I watched a video (which was super brief) they let me have some time listening ad free. I do not think Pandora has that. I do not know if I am able to do that again or not, but it was still a very cool feature.

 


What do you think of this post? Feel free to let me know in the comments! Also, do you like Pandora or Spotify better? Let me know your reasons for your preference in the comments!

 

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Theodore Boone: The Fugitive by John Grisham (Book 5)

When I was in Middle School, my old co-op had a different genre each month with different (related) activities, and reading material. Each genre was given to a pair of moms who planned out the month. For the mystery month, my mom chose the book, “Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer by John Grisham for the High School book group (I did the High School content at the co-op most of that year). The book was very entertaining.

I went to the library and picked up the other books. I think I finished them in 2013, and John Grisham only recently published the most recent book, which is the book I am highlighting in this post.

 

SPOILERS WILL BE PRESENT (SPOILERS WILL NOT JUST BE FROM THE FUGITIVE. THERE MAY BE SPOILERS FROM OTHER, PREVIOUS, THEODORE BOONE NOVELS)

 

In book five of the Theodore Boone series, we finally meet Pete Duffy. Pete was first introduced in book one of the series, but had not been a prominent character in the other books from what I recall. This left the readers with a cliffhanger, because it took John Grisham years to actually let his fans know what finally happened to the criminal. If you want a full background to the other four books, I would suggest reading them, for this post is assuming that 1) you don’t care if you are confused, 2) you are very bored, 3) you have read the other books in the series.

The book opens with  the Strattenburg children heading on a much awaited bus trip to Washington, DC (I just went to DC for the first time almost a year ago, so it was cool to know where they were and have an idea of what they are talking about. It is also cool because I will be returning very soon). On the Metro (similar to a subway), Theo notices a man. He thinks it might be Pete Duffy, who had disappeared awhile ago. He gets video of him and calls his Uncle Ike later that evening. Ike comes to DC to try to catch a glimpse of Pete.

Eventually, the FBI get involved and enlist the help of Ike and Theo to try to help them catch Pete Duffy. He is finally caught and taken back to Strattenburg, where he awaits trial.

Pete Duffy’s attorney, and friends, are still on his side and tend to make things overly difficult for Pete to go to jail like he deserves.

The star witness, Bobby, will have to be called to testify against Pete, but Bobby is scared because he still is not in the US legally. Pete’s friends get involved and make Bobby run away, but Bobby finally returns, and Pete is put in jail.

The novel closes with Pete’s friends wanting revenge.

 


 

John Grisham wrote another very good novel. His writing is still pretty good. He gets a 10/10 for his writing.

John’s characters are still great. I’ve grown up quite a lot since I first read the first Theo Boone, and with the large gap it took, I noticed some things I do not think I noticed before. Theo is actually a pretty annoying character. Though it may be hard to notice depending on the age, I feel like he is pretty annoying. He takes matters into his own hands quite a lot, and it takes him forever to be okay with his disguise in the book. The book is also very Middle School like. The kids (at least the boys) are very obviously in Middle School. But, the fact that I felt annoyed by Theo could be a sign of good writing.

 

The plot was pretty good. 8-9/10.

 

Of course this kind of book only appeals to certain people, and no work is absolutely flawless. I still like these kind of stories, but I might like them less than I did as a kid. Either way, John Grisham did a pretty good job.

 


 

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, put it in the comments below, and let me know what I can improve on!

Red Coats and Rebels by Bruce T. Clark

My teacher assigned us a well over 500 page book for history class. I managed to get through it, but at times it was rough. The book is Red Coats and Rebels, written by Bruce T. Clark.

 

*THIS OVERVIEW WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS*

The story is centered around two twin brothers, Andrew (Andy) and Colin Quinn. The revolution has broken out, and the two brothers decide to take sides, opposite sides in a brutal and bloody war. Andy joins the Patriots, while Colin becomes a Redcoat.

Andy fights in many different battles, and stays loyal to his friends, Tim Murray and Dave Elerson. He is a part of the army for many years.

 

One of my favorite parts of Andy’s story is his romance with his love and future wife, Elise Struble. Elise is a beautiful and charming red haired girl that he meets while in the army. Elise takes to him immediately, but her father stays unconvinced for a long time. Herr Struble, Elise’s father, takes great measures to keep Andy away from his daughter, even beating him up. One day, Elise and her friend Kathleen are captured by the enemy, and that is when Herr Struble finally opens up to Andy. Elise is helped by Colin Quinn, and finally marries the man of her dreams.

Colin is involved in many different hardships of his own. At a battle, he is severely wounded by an enemy soldier and almost looses his life. His true love, Lydia, helps to nurse him back to health, and they finally get married. Lydia refused to marry Colin even though she loved him until she knew he was ready to settle down. The two of them have a daughter once they are married. Colin is called back to war after all of this, where he witnesses his friend’s death.

 

Colin and Andy both survive, but we do not see a heartfelt reunion between them, for the ending is just a letter from Colin to Andrew.

It was a fairly good book, but had some problems:

  1. The version I read was published by Seton Press, and copywrited in 2009. It had quite a few typos, my favorite being:

“How about the garrison at Cherry Valley?” asked Captain Reynolds? (End quote.) (pg. 364 of Seton Press version)

I find it humorous because they used a question mark, not a period, to end the sentence, thus showing uncertainty about if Captain Reynolds asked the question or not.

2) The first couple chapters dragged on…and on….and on. It involved some very unimportant characters talking about and recalling different historical events which had previously happened. To me, it’s summarized by pretty much this:

“Remember that event where those patriots threw tea into the Boston Harbor?” said unnecessary character #1.

“Yes, those patriots were crazy. (Goes into a ton of historical background).” said character you never see again.

“Oh, then there was that other event. Do you remember it?” said another unimportant character.

And etc. It is pretty dull and could be solved by a prologue or historical note. As an author, I believe it is important to draw your readers in, and I did not feel as drawn in as I would like to have in those first couple chapters. I’ve also learned that sometimes secondary characters are unnecessary, and those characters seem pretty unnecessary. After the historical background was over, overall it was an enjoyable book.

If you like historical fiction, long novels, and don’t care about typos, you might enjoy this book.

 

For the storyline/characters, overall I would give it a 9/10.

 

For the writing, I would give it a 7.5-8/10 (Points must be removed for the many typos involved. He did manage to put history in it while keeping his readers interested, but there were points when there was too much history and not enough plot line).

 

Overall, it was a good book. Bruce T. Clark did a pretty good job.