I am back state-side and (slowly) recovering from my jet lag from the 12-hour time difference.
My adventure in China was awesome.
I had wonderful students:
I was teaching conversational English to English teachers. Some of the highlights of working with them included visiting one of their schools and speaking to a class of high school students, watching students barter with sales clerks to help us clueless Americans get decent prices, teaching them idioms and slangs (I have videos of some of the skits I made them do for practice!), discussing pedagogy and customs in our different cultures.
I also got to tour around and see some beautiful sights:
Although there wasn't much in the way of down time, I did manage to do some reading:
I enjoyed the quality of the writing in The Cuckoo's Calling, but I did feel as though the book was too dialogue-based and that it included a lot of mystery-genre cliches without really twisting them or challenging them. I wanted some more action!
I did think the characterizations were very well done. I really liked the evolution of the relationship between Strike and Robin.
After taking on The Cuckoo's Calling, I returned to YA literature and read Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg.
I'd previously read The Lonely Hearts Club by Eulberg and had really enjoyed it, so I began Prom and Prejudice with some hope. Alas, my hopes were dashed and I found Eulberg's modernization of Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice to be very disappointing.
There were a lot of class tensions that I think Eulberg handled well, but the mentions of how Lizzie Bennet (who is a scholarship kid bullied by all of her rich classmates) was constantly being pranked wasn't very effective. I also found the actual writing to be mediocre--like worse than the average work of fan fictions. Characters were under-developed and I didn't really believe Lizzie's voice.
For a beautiful adaptation, just want The Lizzie Bennet Diaries on Youtube:
I can't wait for the DVDs of this series to finally arrive! Love!