Seeing as I haven't posted an article here yet I thought I'd type up a little something. This'll be a list of books that I read and some mini reviews of them; seeing as there are a lot, I will be utilizing my reviews from 'Goodreads'. Some reviews will be cut short to keep the length down.
Some reviews will have spoilers.
First and foremost, I love Lex. She's sassy, funny, and sarcastic. She also was all head over heals for Driggs. You can tell she likes him, but it doesn't turn the story into some silly stupid romance novel, basically it didn't obstruct the plot. I really really loved, above all else, the interaction between Poe and Teddy and how Dr. Seuss had to cheer up Emily Dickinson. I also enjoyed the plot as a whole--the concept of teenage boys and girls having the ability to reap souls.
Chosen At Nightfall
While I really liked the other books in the series I just fell like this one was really weak which sucks because it was the last book and the last boom should be the best! One if the only good bits about it was Kylie's newest ghost (and the ghost's connection to Mario, great plot twist) and Holiday's little surprise. Kylie herself though just got on my last nerve; she turned into such a Sue. Not only does she have Lucas and Derek fawning over her but an assortment of random dudes. Also since when was she food with relationship advice? Really by the end of the book (unrealistically) everyone likes her. And suddenly she's not just an already unique chameleon, but also a protector, but not just any protector...but a very special kind of protector!!! On top of that she masted everything so easily and early. Like most chameleons couldn't be invisible until their 20's and then there's Kylie freaking Glenn. And suddenly she's a naturally good sword fighter too-- okay so that took a bit more training, but still, Lucas kept talking about what a brutal she was and how fast a learner she was. Speaking of Lucas; while he didn't annoy me out right I hated how everything in the novel started to revolve around him! Legit, most of the plot was taken over by Kylie pouting over him! The focus was more on that than actually facing Mario. Want proof? The final battle was (no exaggeration) squished into like the last 15...20 pages. And only half of those were actually fighting. That sword was pretty much a cop out that did all the fighting for her. The mighty plot sword!!! On top of that Kylie's constant 'my life sucks' run got really old really fast. Also where was Miranda? The cute little witch (my favorite character) hardly got any spotlight in this book, not compared to the prior ones... One last thing that annoyed the heck out of me; all the ADULTS behaved and talked like teenagers. Burnett would always yell "oh hell" like Della. Kylie's mom would giggle about sex jokes and do her share of cussing. Hayden also swore a lot for a teacher. And those are only one example for each.
Now for some positives. As I said, I did like Kylie's new ghost a lot and the plot twists that came with her. Holiday's wedding was cute. When the battle and Mario were actually focused on it was really awesome and intense. Reading Kylie's ghost's back story was also really intriguing. I'm also glad Derek found someone nice.
Overall I was kind if disappointed. This was the last book in the series and it was the weakest. It was just missing something.
Flower Fairies of the Trees
This is another wonderful addition to Barker's Flower Fairies series. I feel like this one has some of the most beautiful artwork and the most enchanting poems. It was a really really quick read but I loved it no less.
Flower Fairies of the Winter
This is probably my (second) favorite of the Flower Fairies books. I think it has the best illustrations and the most marvelous and enticing poems. Barker successfully entwines the beauty of winter flowers and the enchantment and magic of fairies into each and every page. The language and structure of each poem is lovely and sweet...I had to go back and read it a second time.
This was a nice and quick read for me. It was very beautiful and poetic and had stunning imagery. Each little tale was enthralling and wonderful. Though I did have to keep google open so I could look up some of the allusions and such. Overall I love the charming fairy/fantasy elements.
Coldest Girl In Cold Town
Above all else in The Coldest Girl in Coldtown I loved the imagery and the descriptions of the characters. Even the minor characters had these unique traits. I loved that punk/goth feel it had. I also think that Holly Black created a very unique perspective on vampires. You have the people who didn't want to change and the people who sought it out. My biggest issue was that all the characters that I thought were the most interesting died. Not going to say who though for spoiler reasons. Tana was a pretty good lead character; I mean she wasn't whiney and helpless as a lot of YA leads but she wasn't exactly the most fascinating either. But I applaud Holly Black for not making Tana's ever motive be about Gavriel, I mean she liked the dude but he was not her main focus. Which is awesome considering most YA books are infested with said plot line.
The Story of King Arthur
I probably would have liked this book more if it wasn't written like a 100+ page summary. I've read quite a few King Arthur/Merlin books and this one just didn't really get me as intrigued as other tellings of it.
I love bats so much. Like bats are the best animals, I remembered that I read this when I was really really little and I had to read it again. For one thing I loved the art style, super cute and realistic. Overall the story was just really adorable and funny. I loved Stellaluna as a character. I really liked the idea of a bat getting raised by a bird; it kind of teaches young kids about birds and bats all at once. And then after the story the book there was this little bat facts page which would is awesome for a child interested in bats and learning about them further.
Out of the Past (Once Upon a Time)
As an avid Once fan I definitely had to pick up this book. Like the first, the art was wonderful. There were four different stories centered around the five on the title (Rumple & Belle, Hook, The Mad Hatter, and The (wonderful) Evil Queen). With each story came a different art style all of which were captivating. And I did very much love each story especially (obviously) Regina's. I always had this headcanon that Daniel had a twin brother. This turned out to be true (minus the twin part) so I was pretty satisfied.
The Celtic Dragon Myth
Giving the book two stars because it was simply okay. There were parts that stood out to me that I really liked (namely any scenery description) but then there were other parts that really didn't interest me much.
The Exiled Queen
I really really did love this book, I think it was even better than the first one. I also must say I read the first one well over two-years ago, this book did a good job filling in the pieces that I forgot after such a long while. Han is a kickass main character, which is saying something as I usually don't like the mains, but he's my third favorite to Fiona and Abelard. All of the characters were actually pretty neat and well-developed.
I almost forgot how much I enjoyed the format as well. I like how one chapter would be told from Han's point of view and then next Raisa's.
Another aspect I enjoyed very much was just the plot in general. The whole princess in hiding concept is always fun. Han getting lessons from Crow. The magical warfare and politics. You can tell Chima put a lot of time into world building as all of the locations are perfectly mapped, the politics, cultures, and languages are believable and well-thought- out.I really loved the descriptions of the Southern Islanders for example with their exotic looks; dark skinned, curly hair, many piercings. If she wrote an entire spin-off on them I'd read it for sure.
Most of all though I loved the imagery. "The highest peaks poked into the clouds,coldstone, unclothed by vegetation." "The mist ebbed and swirled about them forming monstrous shapes in the firelight" And those are just two of my many favorite landscape descriptions from this book. If you want a novel that will really transport you to the land within it, a book that will evoke senses, and paint an image in your head...The Exiled Queen is a great choice.
A Little Bit of Dreams: An Introduction to Dream Interpretation
This was a nice quick read. It was very informative too. As someone who has a dream journal and is interested in analyzing them, I had to pick it up. Michaels explains what a dream is, some theories as to how and why they happen. She also presents tips on how to manage a dream journal. She puts a lot of her own voice into it as well. Overall it was a pretty good read.
I gotta give this one five stars because It was so interesting that I was able (through my busy schedule) read it in under a week. It was exciting and action-packed right from the very beginning. If you want a book that just jumps right into it, then Autumn is the perfect book from you. Within the first 10 pages everyone is dead.I really did like the 3 characters they decided to foucus on. The only thing I didn't care for was some of the repetitiveness; I have nothing against Christ, but every other page someone exclaims "Christ!" or "Jesus Christ!" The word cadaver is also overused. Other than that I really did like this book. Perhaps what I loved the most about Autumn is that Moody did portray ever single character as some badass survivor who isn't afraid of anything! In fact Moody took a more realistic take; pretty much every character was very afraid and confused and had no clear cut plan. There really was not a 'badass action hero', just your average people who were afraid and jumped at their own shadows but fought to work through it and preserve their own lives. I mean let's be honest most real people wouldn't daringly jump into a horde of zombies with a chainsaw. The characters are realistic.
'm usually not into coming of age novels, but this one really grabbed my attention. I was initially attracted by the cover and the setting. I've been wanting to read a story that took place in Hawaii. And I was not disappointed. First and foremost, for me Moloka'i really drew emotion. It was one of the saddest (but also sweetest and joyful) novels I've read thus far. I loved all the characters and grew attached to each. They had so much personality. So when a few passed away I was pretty upset. The way Brennert depicted the struggles of Rachel when she was only six years old was heart-wrenching.
I also do like Brennert's portrayal of religion, (both Christian and Pagan) he didn't seem to be bitter or biased about either. He showed how the characters felt about both religions and showed both the positives and negatives of both and not just the negatives. And that's something I can appreciate.
I also think he did really well with culture. Both 1940's Hawaii and 1890's Hawaii. I love how he used the Hawaiian language as well as English. It really helped create the setting and made the novel feel more real.
Overall I loved reading about Rachel's journey from birth to death. I thought it was neat and well thought out. A wonderful way to end the novel.
To be honest I picked this book up not expecting to like it, I just wanted to see what the hype was. And honestly it was a very wonderful book. It was fast paced and exciting. Dashner didn't beat around the bush he got straight to the point and places you right in the middle of the world of Maze Runner. In the beginning you are pretty much just as confused as and know as little as our man character Thomas. Usually I don't care for that but it worked really well for the novel; the more Thomas learned the more you did.
So Thomas as a character; he's actually I pretty cool main, I liked him well enough. I'll admit, his hero complex got a little annoying but he was a well-rounded character; he wasn't whimpering in a corner the whole time nor was he all badass all the time. He did both and it made his character more realistic. I loved Minho very much. He was probably one of my favorites. Not gonna lie, I liked him because there's this kpop star from the band SHINee with the same name so I kept thinking of SHINee's Minho running around in a maze and it made the story that much funner. I also really liked Chuck he was the comic relief and I always love comic reliefs, he was also a very human character; timid and afraid. But he definitely had his moments of courage. Newt and Alby...I was pretty indifferent to these two. They were great characters but they just weren't my taste in characters. Gally, Gally,Gally...I hated him. I mean he was so well written but I hated him. If an author can make me hate a character like Gally then the author is doing his or her job right.
Another thing I liked about the book was the language. Usually I don't care for censorship. But I think Dashner was pretty creative about it. He kind of made up his own swears and I thought they were pretty funny. Needless to say I won't be taking anymore klunks without thinking of the word klunk lol.
Plot-wise I think Maze Runner was really strong. And I think the plot was executed really well too. The world was rather elaborate, complex, and well-built. Dashner set the rules of his world and followed them closely. Maze Runner got a bit repetitive at times but the story was strong enough for me to look past that.
It took me a long while to finally read this one; bought it back in like 2005, kept reading it and putting it down over and over. And I finally finished it. And I don't regret it, I really love this book. It's rather different from a lot of what I read. A lot of fantasy books I've read had more action than imagery where this one had the reverse. And I liked that. The imagery was wonderfully stunning. And the word choice was amazing. It really kind of took you to the world of The Naming. Which makes sense considering Croggon is also a poet. The language and imagery just made this book so intriguing. And the more action packed scenes were astounding as well. Basically Maerad's journey was all around great and I felt like I was taking it with her due to such vivid descriptions. Also probably helped that I decided to read it outdoors rather than indoors lol. I liked reading about the creatures such as the hulls and the wrights. I really did enjoy the characters as well; Cadvan and Maerad and Silvia. All of them were great and intriguing characters.
Witch Season Summer and Fall
Alright then, so I found this book in the basement next to the second two-parter in its series. Think it was my sister's. I thought the cover looked nifty so I gave it a go; two lessons learned 1. karma is a bitch (this is what I get for borrowing the book without my sister's permission) and 2. seriously, do not judge a book by its cover. Seeing as this book was titled 'Summer & Fall' I thought it'd be the perfect summer read. I was bitterly disappointed; I hardly ever rate a book two stars, much less one star. But I really just didn't care for this book. I got through Summer and started Fall hoping maybe it'd get better. Not the case, I'm not one to not finish a book but this one bored me so much I had to--and making me put a book down is really hard to achieve (I'm a 'once I start it I must finish it' kind of person). There were maybe two parts that held my interest in Summer. I liked the plot didn't really care for the way it was written. I hated Kerry as a character and a narrator. I don't really know how to describe the writing aside from way too teeny and kind of mediocre. The language was just way to simplistic and I found that Kerry's journal annoyed me loads--the language was worse and pretty much anything in parenthesis was irritating to read and unnecessary. Maybe my distaste for the language and general writing style is because I just so happened to pick this one up after reading Alison Croggon's wonderful and imagery-powerful The Nameing? Croggon herself being a wonderful poet and language-crafter. That didn't really help Mariotte's case any.
So let's talk about Kerry for a second. I found her to be a kind of snobby narrator. Kerry's first impression of Josh, for example, was kind of rude if you ask me. She's like 'oh he's gay, he's goth, and he's vegan' and for it she wrote him off. Basically she seemed to hate all three traits. And the general treatment of Mace. Mace was one of the only cool characters (view spoiler) And she barely shed a tear. She also gave (me at least) the impression of thinking she's more important than her friends. She something alright (and it's not a good thing) I just don't know the word for it. Basically hearing the book from her point of view was taxing and painful to get through.
Speaking of, let's talk about her friends for a second. I don't have much to say about Mace aside from that he was really the only cool and realistic character--the only one that I actually gave a crap about. So then you have Scott and Rebecca...they were so insignificant in my opinion that (even after just reading the book) I'm thinking 'Scott and Rebecca who?'So then there was Brandy. She was another one that never failed to annoy me. She was probably just about as shallow (that's the word I was looking for!) as Kerry. She had them all vote Daniel out of the house for one and then there was her psychology craze. That could have been cool if executed right...but it wasn't (more on that to come). Josh was another character I found alright at best. He didn't irk me in any way but he wasn't super fascinating either. I guess I liked him. Daniel, like Josh, while I didn't hate him, I didn't like him any either. He was kind of lack-luster; you would think for a guy 300+ years old he'd be more alluring. But no, Jeff wrote him in the most cliche 'I'm a really really old young looking mystery man' kind of way. Season was an alright character as well (probably the only good female character in the series), problem is Jeff didn't give me a chance to like her. She appeared maybe three times and only one of those three she had a speaking part. Her backstory was pretty cool (view spoiler) but it wasn't fleshed out enough for me.
Which brings me to my next issue.The rivalry between Dan and Season itself just failed to pull me in. And it was the main plot of the story. If the main plot of the story isn't grabbing then something is wrong. The worst part is, it very well could have been enduring for me...it just wasn't. The writing was just so boring and failed to immerse me into the world of Witch Season--granted it took place in 'our world'. But the imagery wasn't strong nor powerful (aside from maybe Dan's journal) enough to do it's job. I like to be whisked away to another world when reading and Witch Season did no whisking; it did the opposite really--making me want to go back to reality so I could get upstairs and find me a new and better summer read. What helps me get to that other world when reading would be the imagery I was talking about--a good description of the smells, sights, and sounds. This is why I've been complaining so much about imagery, it wasn't just to be nitpicky. I guess what I'm trying to say is that the writing of Witch Season didn't get me invested in the plot.
In general the book bored me to death. With each turn of the page I was begging for it to get better...thinking 'this can't be it, there's got to be more.' By page 180 the book still didn't pick up and I attained this 'let's get this over with' mentality that resulted in me skipping pages and (as mentioned above) putting it down after two chapters of Fall.
The romantic sub-plot didn't help Witch Season's case. Like why oh why can't I just have one YA novel that doesn't have the main fall for either the bad boy or the mysterious male protag? (view spoiler) Really, Witch Season could have done without.
As promised, another thing that I found off putting was Brandy's psychology. It was poorly executed. There wasn't enough detail to make me believe she was a psychology major; in fact Kerry almost made it seem like Brandy's psychological observations were invalid and unwanted. This only made me think that Mariotte added this trait to Brandy so she could stand out. In reality it only made it apparent that Mariotte has no experience with psychology. The whole thing just seemed sort of stuck in there.
And finally, there were bits of Witch Season that almost sounded like a soapbox; Mariotte venting about things he doesn't like. For example, that random bit where Dan and Kerry were talking about cars vs carriages. Perhaps that was put in for comic relief (and if it was, I wasn't laughing). But he goes on this whole thing about Dan complaining about holes in the O-zone layer and global warming and stuff. Like where did that come from?! And even worse was the Josh issue. Through Kerry Mariotte made it pretty clear that he doesn't care for gays, vegans, and goths. He was practically making mockery of them and stereotyping them all. As someone who can occasional fall under the goth label I 101% disprove.
The only thing I could appreciate about this book was being able to relate to a crappy summer job and being 100% done with it. As well as Mace's general thoughts on driving and his car. And there were some funny bits like "qouth the magic 8 ball". But other than that I wouldn't recommend this at all. Needless to say, I am super shocked by all the positive views this waste of time and paper has received. Perhaps this review will save someone a couple hours of their life! Next to Twilight and the House of Night series, this is one of the worst books I ever read.
Flower Fairies of the Summer
Gosh I love all of the Flower Fairy books. Barker is an awesome poet. When I was little these books had me out in my grandmother's garden trying to find the flower fairies. Reading these books again as an adult I realized just how wonderful they are. The imagery is stunning, the language enchanting and the artwork is so lovely. Each fairy is beautifully drawn and has a sort of personality to go with him or her.
Flower Fairies of the Spring
Much like the Flower Fairies of the Summer that I reviewed, this book was a wonderful part of my childhood. Like the others in the series the poems were beautiful. A child may not fully understand the language but that is made up for by the awe-striking illustrations. As a child I loved just looking at the pictures of the fairies and making up my own stories for them. As an adult I can fully appreciate the enchantment of the poems. Basically this book is a stellar read for readers young and old.
I really enjoyed Eon from the very first page. I think Goodman created something very unique. I really loved her imagery and word choice. Eona herself was a very interesting character; a girl pretending to be a boy and a cripple. Lady Dela was awesome too. Overall, this is a book I'd read again.
Okay what can I say here. I have so many mixed feelings on this book, I really do. I loved the story line it was really cool and the imagery (especially of the ice, the fey, and the feelings the fey evoke) was rather wonderful. It wasn't a page turner, but I wasn't bored to death either. So what was my problem with Wicked Lovely then? Well, my problem just so happens to have a name, and that name is Aislinn.
The fact that I don't like the main character isn't really surprising to me, as I usually don't the mains. But...usually mains don't ruin the story for me entirely. Even if the book is form their point of view (take Harry Potter for example; I don't care for Harry but the books are amazing). Aislinn did, she's the reason I gave this book a 2 instead of a 3. Honestly she was just so so annoying. Right down to her name. Frankly for a while I didn't know how to pronounce it so I took the Beira route and just started calling her Alison lol. Honestly, she's a mortal. (Rather she started that way). I wouldn't have minded her name so much if she was a fairy from the beginning. What I'm trying to say is the name (rather the spelling of it) was my first red flag that Aislinn is a Sue. Granted she isn't on Bella Swan or Zoe's (from House of Night) level. But she's a Sue no less; she's got the 'sexy' Seth fawning over her and the 'also sexy' Keenan. And apparently (according to Seth) she's sexy herself and also really smart! Her friends think she's so cool. She's the all powerful Summer Queen, not only that but everything worked out for her too! Like of course she can be Summer Queen/fey and still be with Seth and have her fey-loathing grandmother's approval. I hate that kind of ending, it's unrealistic. Like where's the suspicion. Kay so Grams is her grandma, they're family...but come on why couldn't Seth had added a little drama and question her now that she's fey? Nah he just pulled the perfect man (that all Sues have) thing and accepted the change without question. And I don't understand how she could magically discard her the king to her queen so she could be with a mortal...and so easily at that. That said, she's got like everything and all of this support yet she's complaining the whole time and is completely unappreciative of Grams. Her friends are trying to get her to go out and have a good time and she's just moping around, muttering about how unfair life is. And how she can't go to the party because she has the sight and Grams wouldn't like it. Which is funny because she goes out and does whatever the hell she wants to anyways. This includes lying to Grams about just how serious her situation is, despite how much Grams has done for her. And of course she gets herself mixed up in shit and goes crying to Grams, as if she has a right to bitch. Frankly if I was Grams I would have shot her a big I told you so and waved her off.
But above all what killed me the most was her denial and her indecision. Like seriously she constantly sought out this third option that simply didn't exist. At first it was either run, try to figure out how to get rid of the sight, or take Keenan's hand. So she had an excuse there. However, she turns fey. Her options then became either help the good guys or run away and let everyone/thing die. You'd think by then she'd just choose to help the good side since the decision was practically made for her; but no, she kept seeking out this non-existent 'un-fey me' option. The choice was so obvious yet she denied and still couldn't decide. And in doing this Aislinn pretty much chose 'Imma let everyone die' until Keenan pretty much forced her to take responsibility...Like shit, just make the decision already and get it over with.
It's no wonder the 'big battle' was such a let down. She dragged out making this decision so long that by the time she made it there were like 20 pages left in the book. And legit Marr only used like 5 of them for said battle. Up until that I was actually appreciative of the plot-line. But that battle was just so rushed and anti-climatic...so disappointing. The worst part is, it had so much potential to be a really neat battle, but it just wasn't. It was pretty much Keenan, Aislinn, Donia, and Beira trying to kiss each other or something...I don't even know.
Speaking of not knowing things; that's another thing I didn't care for. While I do like a fast paced book that gets right into it, for a good while I didn't even know what was going on. The game? The rules? What's the difference between the Winter Girl and the Winter Queen? This would be alright if it was clearly meant to be ambiguous in the beginning--clearly being the key word. But I really couldn't tell if Marr was trying to explain the rules and just not doing a good job or if she was trying to be ambiguous, if that makes sense. Apparently it was supposed to be a 'learn as Aislinn learns' thing, but when it was explained for real there was no back story? I still didn't get why Beira's husband and she made those rules or what happened between them. Really Marr had all of these neat plot-lines like who Donia was prior to taking on being the Winter Girl or Keenan's relationship with his dad (or Beria's relationship with her husband) or Keenan's relationship to his mom prior to the game, etc. And yet we only scratch the surface on all of those, instead we get a pointless school scene or two and a cheese romantic sub-plot with Seth.
Which is another thing; that 'sex' scene was just so awkward and weirdly written. Like whenever Marr bought up sex I got a bout of second-hand embarrassment and I was the only one in the room. I just didn't like Seth/Aislinn in general it was too...perfect.
I also didn't care for Seth. I mean I didn't hate him nor even dislike him. He was just meh...
I think Marr tried way too hard to try to make him edgy/punk with his piercings (piercings are cool on a character but only modestly, she mentioned them on like every Seth-related page) and his snake and what I've come to call his 'hipster van'with its hipster music. But other than that he just wasn't memorable. Like Aislinn, he's just like every cookie cutter YA boyfriend.
So what about Keenan? I didn't like him either. I guess he and Aislinn are the perfect king-queen pair. Because he's pretty whiney too. Like poor Donia, she has to deal with that. Lordy, lordy, no wonder Beira is so evil, I'd be in constant state of butthurt too if I had to deal with Keenan. He's the Stu to Aislinn's Sue; Godly sexy, powerful, a king, a fairy...
Gag me. He's like the fairy version of Edward Cullen...implying that Ed isn't a fairy...
I don't hate him as much as 'Ash' but I still hate him. He followed Aislinn like a puppy but he also loved Don? He says he dreams of Ash but then he gets with Don??? Man this story is all over the place.
Anyhoo, point is, he's pretty pathetic.
So just wtf is saving this book for me; Grams, Donia, and Beira are. It's a shame Grams wasn't present more because I feel like she could have been a really badass grandma. But nah, poor Grams had to deal with Ash. Donia was also pretty neat, if she was the main character I probably would have enjoyed this book more; she seemed to have her mind made (unlike Ash) and she's got stronger character traits in general. Not to mention she's more complex and not as flat.
And finally Beira...she gets her own paragraph because she's what kept me reading the book. She alone is what has me giving it a 2 instead of a 1...what almost had me giving the book a 3. I liked her, I thought she was a really interesting character with her fake motherly attitude and her pseudo kindness. But then she's got her icy underlying true-self. Not to mention she was pretty funny with her inability to remember/pronounce the ridiculous names like Aislinn and Donia (finally a character I can relate to). Can we just get rid of Ash and write spin-off about her taking place prior to Ash? I was actually ready to pick up book 2 to see how Beira would fair in the next book it's a shame she freaking died! One cool character and they kill her off.
To sum up, I very well could have liked this book (the writing and the vocab was great so was the story line) but the assortment of hateable/meh characters just over-powered the 3 good characters and killed any/all potential. So 2 stars (one is owed completely to Beira).
Literally the only good thing to come out of that God forsaken movie. I think it was cool to see pre-series Zuko, Azula, Ozai, and Iroh. For the most part it seemed to make sense with the cartoon canon. I just wish they would have been drawn more like they were in the cartoons and less like they looked in the movies.
A Game of Thrones
I enjoyed Game of Thrones more than I had expected to. Really the main reason I picked it up in the first place was because I wanted to see what the hype was about. Needless to say I understand the hype; GoT is amazing. Unless you can't stomach a little gore. Like the crowning of Viserys, that was so grotesquely fun to read. I absolutely enjoyed the vivid imagery and description of the landscapes, the way clothing was intricately described. Actually, the clothing descriptions a quite helpful in helping me figure out the names of different clothing articles for my own story. All of the characters are super well-written you hate who you're supposed to hate (like Joff and Viserys, both were dreadful but in a great way). And you loved the lovable characters (like Bran and Ayra). The only thing I didn't care for was the amount of sex. Especially surrounding Daenerys. To be quite honest I didn't care for the treatment of the women in this book in general but I think that was thrown in for realistic's sake seeing as way back when women weren't treated great. And then there's the fact that the main assholes who treated the women like shit were portrayed very negatively--those two being (surprised, surprise) Joff and Viserys, I was under the impression that you're not supposed to like them
The Barcode Tattoo
I had such mixed feelings on the Bar Code Tattoo. I think my main beef with this one was that I had higher expectations that it didn't really meet. Frankly I've been in this patter lately of reading one good book followed by one bad or not so pleasing book. I'm hoping to break this streak; needless to say this was the not so pleasing one. Perhaps I'm growing out of YA books? So far all of the 'bad' ones I've read have been less than pleasing--Wicked Lovely and Witch Season being the worst of them.
Anyhow I think the main thing that got me was how unrealistic bits were. I know this sounds silly but what ground my gears the most was that all of the teens in the school were bullying and outcasting Kayla and the others for not wanting a tattoo. Like no one I knew in high school was THAT invested in politics; they outed people for other reasons. Perhaps this was Weyn's way of hinting at a brainwashed society? I don't know, it just didn't feel like a realistic reason for teens to bully other teens.
I also wasn't too fond of 'final/first level' and 'banged out'. To be honest I don't care for fictional slang in general. The slang in Uglies is probably the only exception.
I also didn't care for Kayla. She seemed kind of whiney to me. But at least she wasn't a complete damsel and at least she wasn't ridiculously flawless. Amber was an airhead, she kind of annoyed me too--like even after the bar code screwed her family she still approved of it. Basically the characters were just 'meh', none of them really stood out to me in any way. Though I didn't hate/dislike any of them really, I wasn't really attached to any either. And this is super important for me; in order for me to like a book/show a lot there has to be at least one remarkable character for me to latch onto. But all the characters in Bar Code Tattoo seemed so flat.
The imagery is another thing I care a lot about. And the imagery and descriptions just weren't cutting it for me, they were kind of blah. Perhaps this is because I'm fresh out of the Game of Thrones world were the imagery was strikingly vivid, and the word choice on point. The imagery in Bar Code Tattoo isn't great, and comparing it to the last book I read does not help.
I also was repealed by the way Weyn wrote and portrayed schizophrenia and people who have it. That's dark stuff right there and Kayla was pretty much 'omg I'm a crazy' and the like. There was just something about it that rubbed me the wrong way. Also it was really unclear to me; does she even have schizophrenia or were those visions of the psychic nature? Or was it a mix of both? If it wasn't the psychic one; Weyn...that's not how schizophrenia works! That's now how the hallucinations work! I mean I guess in some cases it is...but still. If it is the psychic thing, just ignore that last bit lol.
I'm not just gonna bash on this book though. The thing saving it was a pretty unique concept and an interesting plot. I just wish it were executed better. Like if it wasn't from Kayla's teeny point of view... This book simply could have been so much more than it is.
I picked this one up because I remember reading it (and loving it, at that) back in 6th grade. I really don't know why I did. Again, maybe I'm just growing away from YA in general.
I remember my mother buying this book for me the first year it came out. Tried to read it a few times back in elementary school but never actually finished it. Allured once again by the cover I tried to pick it read it again. I guess little me just didn't have the attention span to read 500+ pages, because I enjoyed reading Inkheart this time around. I thought it was a rather cute story.
Above all it had such an appeal to bookworms like myself and many others here. "The book she had been reading was under her pillow pressing its cover to her ear as if to lure her back into it's pages." That sentence alone had me going 'yup, me too Meggie, me too.' There were just so many memorable quotes in this one; "why do grown up s think its easier for children to bare secrets than truths, don't they know about the horror stories we imagine to explain the secrets?" Like Christ, that's deep--and this is a book my mom found in the children's secret. It holds true no less. But above all my favorite quote from Inkheart is "If you take a book with you on a journey and odd thing happens: the book begins collecting your memories and forever you have only to open the book to be back where you first read it." I adore this one because it's true; I still remember bringing Game of Thrones to an amusement park with me and I remember exactly what parts I read in which lines and I remember the smell of the food court (pizza and cotton candy) as I read the bit in which (view spoiler) But that's besides the point; point is Inkheart is just such a relatable book. That said, I really adored Elinor. Even though at first we saw her through Meggie's eyes as this cranky old lady. There was just something I liked about her; perhaps it was another relatability thing--I'd much prefer a house full of books than one full of noisy people.
Honestly I liked all the characters. The good guys had their flaws; but they had plenty of strengths to make up for them. Basically they're well-rounded/written characters. Meggie didn't annoy me like many YA/Children's Lit narrators do. In fact Meggie is a far better narrator than Bella Swan (Twilight) or Aislinn (Wicked Lovely) or Zoe (House of Night). In fact I'd rather insert little 12 year old Maggie into all of these series and read 'em again, because I'm sure the stories would be way better through her eyes. Basta's another character I love with his wicked paranoia and his crazy superstitions. Again, I find him relatable. I myself believe in ghosts and curse and good luck charms and what not. He's a dreadful man really lol, but I like him almost as much as Elinor. I also really appreciate Fenoglio and his take on literary villains, "yes I let him get away with it, he's one of my best villains, how could I kill him off? It's the same in real life..." I am totally a sucker for villains and I'm glad Funke offered two sides of it instead of the typical 'bad guy bad, bad guy lose...good guy good, good guy win' thing.
I also really liked the descriptions and imagery Funke uses throughout Inkheart. She very clearly knows how to work her words, how to craft and weave them together to paint beautiful and elaborate scenes. Inkheart is practically as alive as it is in the story.
As always with Gordon Smith, Death Sentence was an amazing read. You can always count on him to give you a grotesquely fun read. Like it's preceding novels, Death Sentence was just one of those books I could not put down. If I hadn't had classes to attend I'd have finished the book with in a day lol. Alex, Zee, Simon, even the Warden, all continued to be wonderful characters...characters I enjoyed following. Alex isn't whiney or wimpy; the dude may complain about his situation but he doesn't sit around and wait, he gets off his ass and does something about his situation.
I haven't read Wolf Brother since elementary school. Picking it up again was wonderful; Wolf Brother was even better then I remembered it. I loved the imagery and I adored the story line. The wording and vivid descriptions really bought life to the story. More than that I found reading about the lore/legends/spirituality to be as alluring as the main plot line. Torak and Renn are very lovable characters. Wolf is even more so, he's just a cutie. I enjoyed reading the story through Torak's eyes he was confused/afraid when he needed to be but not to the point he was helpless. He dwelled a lot on the death of Fa, but not to the point it was whiny or obstructive. It just seemed natural.
Basically Wolf Brother is a wonderful read. Great to read as a child and (in my opinion) even better to read as an adult who can grasp the deeper context.
Witch Hunt: Mysteries of the Salem Witch Trials
To be honest, not the most exciting read ever. I mean it wasn't bad or boring but it wasn't exciting either. I think Aronson did a good job explaining the trials and offering different ideas on it. Also gave me some new knowledge on Salem. Overall it was a pretty good book.
Smoke & Shadow Part 1
Not enough Azula. But still good, anything Avatar is awesome really. I enjoyed seeing more Mai and Ty-Lee, they totally need love. I really do love the plot-line for this 3-parter. The Kemurikage seem really, really awesome. Basically I can't wait for the next two parts.
Also, Kiyi calling Zuko, Zuzu; heck yes. :'D
Ruins of Gorlan
Ruins of Gorlan was a very quick red for me, mostly because it was so good I couldn't put it down. Will and Horace are awesome as is Halt. I honestly didn't think I'd like Horace at all, but character development does wonders. I loved the concept of craft masters and the whole war thing. And that big reveal in the epilogue was really cool too.
Merchant of Death
I read this for the fist time back in middle school. I thought it was alright then and I think it's alright now. While I didn't hate any of the characters, none particularly stood out to me either. Which is a key factor in how much/little I enjoy the book. If I'm indifferent to the characters I'm indifferent to the book. The imagery wasn't amazing either which is something else I really look for in a book.
However the concept was fresh, the world building was pretty amazing (all the rules of the world were established and none were broken, the landscape and creatures were described sufficiently etc.), and the plot was fun to follow.
So all and all I give it a three. Though it isn't really my taste in reading material it had it's moments and it was well-written so my vote is on three stars.
Also don't be decieved by the title; this has nothing to do with Arthurian legend.
13 Reasons Why
I thought this book was truly amazing. I read it in 3 days, I really just couldn't put it down. I loved the way it was read and set up; italics when Hannah was speaking through the tapes and regular text when you were reading through Clay's eyes. Each of the characters seen through Hannah's eyes were perfectly despicable; the author clearly did his job. The story was paced very well and the writing was absolutely ace; how everything sort of just tied together.
Mammoth Book of Ghost Stories by Women
Story 1; I liked the descriptive language. The way she described the ghosts and the pipe. Loved the setting.
Story 2; I loved how in the end both turned out to be ghosts and that the theme of the story was to contact an already dead loved one who would take the narrator to the other side. Loved the Midwest setting and tone/language.
Story 3; this one didn’t interest me as much as the first two but it was still good no less. The idea of him trying to harm himself to get the attention of his wife. I particularly enjoyed the part about how the ghosts avoided him beause he wanted something fromthem just as much as they from him.
Story 4; What I liked the most about this story was the maid. I thought she was a cute character. Even so I still liked the rather tragic ending and how it worked into the story that had been set up. The setting was also really cool with the mentions of the ocean.
Story 5; I enjoyed this one as well, though I found it to be a bit confusing at the end. Even so I lied the seamstress’ instersts in the grave stones. I like how she it was pointed out that she wan’t superstitious but not skeptical either. How she was kind of just indifferent. And the bit about how she wasn’t afraid of the ghosts…they just were.
Story 6; what stood out to me here was the fact that the entire story was told by the woman herself in quotations. I loved that crafty point of view.
Story 7; this one was one of my favorites of the 25. It was very morbid at times (espically with the fate of the 4th daughter. But that’s why I liked it. The author was very descriptive and crafted an interesting story.
Story 8; This one was also pretty cool. The descriptions of the desert were beautiful. The twist (view spoiler) was also quite intriguing. (view spoiler)
Story 9; This one doesn’t really hold as much appeal to me as the last few did. It was a neat short story and the setting was pretty cool. But it just wasn’t as interesting as the others for me. I felt bad for Chloe, but I didn’t really care for her as a narrator.
Story 10; This one also wasn’t as appealing to me as the others. I thought it was kind of a cute story seeing it through the eyes of a child who had to move. And it had a very realistic feeling in that she was trying to make new friends and these new friends showing her the creepy forest. I liked the setting too. But it just wasn’t my cup of tea.
This really isn't what I expected when picking up this book. Here I was thinking I was going to read a cute little winter tale; this book was actually pretty sad and heavy for a children's book. It's about a girl who was dealing with bullying and she was adopted by a mother whose skin color was different than her own and for that she felt like she'd never fit in. Furthermore there were mentions of depression and childhood mental illness. And as I interpreted it; the magical woods and what not was a giant fantastical metaphor for the mental illness and Hazel helping Jack recover from his--all the while helping her own.
Overall I really enjoyed it. It lacked originality at times but it was still worth the read.
Prophecy of the Sisters
This was a pretty cool book. I tried reading it in middle school but kept losing interest. I'm glad I picked it up again. I love the theme of the story with its religious undertones. I am also fond of the characters. I think Alice is particularly well written; though she's the 'bad' one she's got this sort of internal conflict I like.
I thought that this was a pretty neat addition to the Avatar world. Lots of really cool illustrations and what not. I just wish there was more Azula in it. xP
Smoke & Shadow Part 2
I really enjoyed this one. I just adore the Kemurikage story line and the insight it gave us on the formation of the Fire Nation and the first Fire Lord. I also really love the idea of Kemurikage Azula, because that's completely badass.
Breakers of the Code
Finished this one just on time for the new year. I ended on a very sexy note. That said this isn't the type of book I usually pick out. I'm not big on sex/erotica at all. However I was lured in by 'where can an elf get a pair of pants around here' and I was not disappointed. I actually really enjoyed this one. It was actually really funny; I especially enjoyed Roodge. I also liked how the little text boxes were set up--I never really read a book formatted like this one. Another thing I really enjoyed about this one is that both the protagonists and the antagonists won, so kudos for that lol. But(t) as mentioned before this has got a lot of witty humor and was ridiculous (in a brilliant way) to the point where it was just simply amazing. Ander's ass of holding was great. Roodge constantly saying bOOBS ARE RAD! was pretty great too lol. But my favorite part was probably Roodge talking to that C-word avatar; classical poor grammar/spelling vs scholarly grammar/spelling. This was just a great book to end the year with.