This is Where it Ends REVIEW

this-is-where-it-endsThis is Where it Ends
By: Marieke Nijkamp

10:00 a.m.
The principal of Opportunity, Alabama’s high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m.
The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

10:03
The auditorium doors won’t open.

10:05
Someone starts shooting.
Told over the span of 54 harrowing minutes from four different perspectives, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

My Review:

I won a copy of this book for free from The Reading Room (thank you so much).
This was an overall good book. It was emotional and will always have a special place in my heart. BUT….. There are minor problems I found. They were personal opinions, so I won’t mention them in my overall review, but don’t worry, I’ll list them below where I will divide my thoughts into clearer paragraphs. The idea was a great one, as well as heart-wrenching. The subject itself makes a person shiver in discomfort, but it is a subject that needs to be addressed.
Now, for my individual, more in-depth thoughts on This is Where it Ends.

World Development:

Since this book takes place in the real world, the author didn’t create her own world, but when you’re writing a book, you create your own book version of the world that is already familiar to the common person. Every author has their own creative spin on the web that is already formed around us. I felt like the world building in This is Where it Ends was okay. Alright, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I would have liked.

I feel like if this book wasn’t about a school shooting, the world building would have been different. For example: The school would be in walking distance (or at least running distance for ROTC members) to at least a gas station or public park of some sort. The description of the school and roads and everything surrounding (and not surrounding) the characters and events wasn’t clear like I think a book’s world should be. I want to feel like I am looking through a new, fresh out of the box window, not a musty old coca cola bottle. But unfortunately, I found myself re-reading paragraphs, trying my best to understand what is where. This leads me to my next topic.

Character Development:

I didn’t have as large of a problem with the character development as I did with the world building. I do, however, still have a few critical thoughts that keep me from loving and caring for every character that died, suffered, or survived. I teared up during character deaths when I should have been bawling my eyes out. I do have to admit, though, that I don’t cry often whilst reading books. I also found some of the characters motives (ie: the shooter, mainly) unrealistic and they were thrown way out of the ballpark.

Overall, I looked forward to reading this book whenever I picked it up. I found it predicable at times, along with intensely frustrating.

Plot:

Overall, I enjoyed the plot, but it did seem a bit rushed. There didn’t seem to be an obvious climax, since the entire book is about the boy with the gun pointed at the students in the gym. The plot could’ve used some work, because it is difficult to find.


Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

3stars

lots-of-love


T5W: Favorite Villains

Hello wonderful bookworms! Today is Wednesday, which means its time for Top 5 Wednesday! If you don’t already know, T5W is a weekly meme created by Lainey from Gingerreadslainey and is not hosted by Sam at Thoughtsontomes. If you’re interested in joining, visit the Goodreads group here.

This week’s topic is my Top 5 Favorite Villains. The catch is, nobody can use Harry Potter villains. No Voldemort, no Umbridge, no Dementors. This is actually a really good idea because I have so many favorite villains from literature that aren’t Harry Potter, and I know that a lot of you guys do as well, so this is going to be a fun topic to explore! And it’s also the last T5W for November. Let’s get started!


5. Sophia Ironwood- Passenger

passenger

Although Sophia isn’t the main villain, she isn’t exactly on the protagonist’s side. She spends her time hunting after Etta and Nicholas and following them throughout time and space. She’s a strong character and has her own motive and agenda. Not only that, but she puts Etta in her place when she needs to be taught a lesson, which is why I love her so much.

 

 

 

4. Teren Santoro- The Young Elites

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Teren is my new favorite antagonist. He is powerful and a real challenging opponent for our protagonist, Adelina. He has one of the most scariest powers of all – healing – and that makes him even more dangerous. Not only that, but he knows how to hold leverage over somebody like a pro.

 

 

 

3. Sebastian Morgenstern- The Mortal Instruments

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Sebastian is everything I could ever ask for in a villain. He’s manipulative, strong, powerful, and is just plain bad to the core. He’s Clary’s villainous brother and I can’t help but root for Sebastian 50% of the time just because I can’t stand Clary.

 

 

 

 

2. Joffrey Baratheon- A Song of Ice and Fire

agameofthrones

I don’t think this needs much of an explaination. Joffrey is the Umbridge of the Game of Thrones world. I haven’t seen the TV show, but from what I’ve heard, he’s just as evil – if not more – in the TV series than he is in the books. And let me just say that that is evil. I’m not going to mention anything in particular because… spoilers… but you all know what I mean. His evillness is no doubt an effect of having Cersei as a mother.  That woman is the embodiment of evil.

 

 

1. Queen Levana- The Lunar Chronicles

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Queen Levana from The Lunar Chronicles is basically just a more powerful and scary Evil Queen. She has tried to kill her (niece? I think niece) because she found her prettier than her…. yup…. I’ll end this here.

 

 

 

 


What are some of your favorite villains? Do you agree with my list? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

lots-of-love


Splintered (Splintered #1) REVIEW

splinteredSplintered
By: A.G. Howard

This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence.

Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality.

The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

My Review:

Other than the obvious love triangle (I have a profound dislike for love triangles), this book checked off everything I love in a book; the perfect dose of romance, adventure on every other page, a fantastically imagined world, 3-dimensional characters, and amazing writing. This is the perfect debut novel. A.G Howard was able to use every inch of her writing talent, and she showcased it all phenomenally in this book. There is a limited amount of things that I didn’t like.

World Development:

I have never read Alice in Wonderland, nor have I seen the full movie(s). I’ve seen bits and pieces of the one with Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter, but not much. I know some of the main characters enough to have a mental image in my head, and what wonderland sort of looks like (thanks to Once Upon a Time), and the cover helps a lot with showing me what the color scheme Wonderland is. Wonderland is certainly wondrous and has you pondering nearly everything that you see (or in this case, read). I found myself rereading sentences or paragraphs just so that I’m 100% sure I read it correctly, because it’s just so much different to what I’m used to.

Character Development:

I’ve had a bad past with young adult female heroines. They oftentimes annoy me to the point where most of the book is ruined for me (The Selection, Divergent…), but I fell in love with this protagonist from the first chapter! That is very rare, and once I realized the protagonist was not doing anything to annoy me (aside from having an obvious crush on someone I didn’t like very much, but I will get into that later when I talk about the love triangle), I was ecstatic to continue reading, because I knew that if anything was to get on my nerves, it wouldn’t be the main character in the story whose head your inside for 300+ pages.

Now onto the love triangle. I don’t find this spoiler material since in the synopsis, it hints at a love triangle, so I will mention it here. I don’t like the character Jeb very much (it started with the name), and then Morpheus came along (who is an even bigger jerk than most young adult bad-boy love interests, which surprised me, because that’s difficult to do), whose name and wings (yes, wings!) saved this love triangle from being completely ridiculous. I won’t say why I’m okay with this love triangle, but it just makes more sense to me since both of the love interests have been acquainted with the protagonist for nearly her whole life.

Throughout the book, Alyssa (protagonist), has become independent and spread her wings, and learned how to fly (or fend for her own). She learned more about her family history and had a drive to save her mother that made me love her as a female protagonist even more than I already did.

Plot:

I’ll be honest. Going into this book, I didn’t have very high expectations, mainly because I had close to no interest in Alice in Wonderland at all. My cousin actually gave me her copy to borrow and read because it is one of her favorite series and she is obsessed with Alice in Wonderland at the moment. The plot is very fascinating, and the back of the book (different from the synopsis at the top, that I found on Goodreads) didn’t give away much plot-wise. What intrigued me was the fact that Alyssa could hear the thoughts of bugs and plants. Plus her mother is in an asylum, which brings that ludicrous factor to this book that makes it so interesting and unique.


Comment below and let me know your thoughts!

silver-star4-5

lots-of-love

 


The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) REVIEW

the_raven_boysThe Raven Boys
By: Maggie Stiefvater

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them–until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her. His name is Gansey, a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school.

Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble. But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She doesn’t believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

Read More


Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life Tag

gilmore-girls

Hello lovely book readers. Yesterday was Thanksgiving, and I hope that you spent the day with family and loved ones stuffing your faces. And I hope you remembered to get a good night’s sleep or post-Thanksgiving dinner nap for the Black Friday shopping today. I’m not sure if I’m going Black Friday shopping this year or not, but me and my sister did last year for the first time and got some wickedly awesome deals.

Now for today’s post, you can probably tell by the title that this will be a tag. Not any tag, though, but a tag created by me! Again, I know, but I felt like if I’m going to be doing a tag that celebrates one of my favorite TV shows coming back to my screen in a new, amazing way, I might as well make it original and different than things I’ve already seen. I know there are Gilmore Girls tags out there, but I don’t think there are any Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life tags… if so, I’m not trying to copy anybody! I’m thankful for Netflix’s choice to bring back Gilmore Girls for four 1-hour-and-a-half episodes and I’m even more thankful that it’s been released today. I am so excited I can barely even type. This is the first time ever where I couldn’t wait until Thanksgiving is over (well I’m excited to see family and all that, but GILMORE GIRLS!) Now before I lose my way, let’s get this tag started!


Rules:

Mention the creator of the tag

Answer all of the questions

Tag 5 other bloggers

Have fun!


Lorelai and Rory: Name a mother-daughter pair who are the best of friends

gilmoregirlsMolly and Ginny Weasley from Harry Potter are the best Mother/Daughter friends in literature that I’ve read. Molly tried so desperately for a girl, but ended up having 6 boys before Ginny came along. She would do anything for her children, especially Ginny.

Luke Danes: A character who has a tough exterior but is soft on the inside and would do anything for those he loves

lukegilmoregirls

Elias Veturius from An Ember in the Ashes is a Mask, a soldier who is taught to fight for what the Commandment deems is right. Instead, his loyalties lie with the people he sees as friends – Helene – and those he starts to love – Laia – and he would sacrifice himself in a heartbeat for them.

Sookie St. James: The protagonist’s best friend who always has their back and provides comfort to them when needed

sookie-bff

Iko from The Lunar Chronicles is the best friend of Cinder. She’s also an android, but that doesn’t stop her from giving great advice and fighting the bad guys alongside Cinder.

Lane Kim: A character who has a sour relationship with her strict parent(s)

lanekimdrums

In YA (my main genre if you hadn’t noticed by now) parents are either dead or non-present in the protagonist’s life, so I could really choose any character from a YA who’s parents are still alive. For this one, I’m going to choose Kestrel from The Winner’s Curse. Her father wants her to become a soldier and fight or get married to a man she doesn’t love, but instead she wants to be independent and play her piano until she finds the man she loves.

Emily and Richard Gilmore: A couple who would grow old and die together

emilygilmore

This question was very hard to answer because I have so many ships that have sailed that I could choose for this, but I’m going to have to go with America and Maxon from The Selection series. They are like the Emily and Richard Gilmore of the YA literature world.

Jess Mariano: A bad boy who the protagonist falls for

jessandrory

The first person who came to mind when I typed down ‘bad boy’ is Patch from Hush, Hush. He is the definition of bad boy, plus he is a fallen angel… literally, so… extra awesome (and cheesy).

Dean Forester: The perfect first boyfriend

deanforester

For this one, I would have to say Park from Eleanor & Park. He was the perfect first boyfriend for Eleanor. He made her feel like her insecurities and differences made her special and better than everybody else who blended in with the crowd. I’m still not over the ending, and I really want Rowell to write some sort of short story collection or something to give us readers closure of some sort.

Paris Geller: The villain who over time becomes an ally with the protagonist

parisgeller

Celeste and America’s relationship in The Selection series is actually very similar to Paris and Rory’s relationship in Gilmore Girls. They start off as competitors and then they start to depend on each other in order to get through whatever they’re facing and end up working together. And they both form a sort of alliance with each other that is neither friendship nor is it rivalry, it’s a sort of medium that they’re both comfortable with.

Logan Huntzberger: The rich kid who turns out to not care about the money he has

loganhuntzberger

I know exactly who to pick for this. Gansey from The Raven Cycle! Gansey and Logan are so similar it’s almost scary. They’re both rich, of course, and they both annoy the protagonist at first but then the girl slowly starts to develop feelings for him. Now I’m just seeing Logan as Gansey and Rory as Blue….

Michel Gerard: A character who’s sarcasm is their first and only language

michelgerard

The first character who popped into my mind was Jace Wayland from The Mortal Instruments series. Although I’m not as big of a fan of Jace as other people seem to be, I can’t deny that he has some of the best comebacks in the series. To be honest, a lot of the characters in this series take sarcasm and sass to an entirely new level, but Jace has the most memorable lines.


I Tag:

Jessreadsbooks

Wonderfilled Reads

Flavia the Bibliophile

Bookfandom1001

Debbie’s Library


You guys don’t have to do this tag if you don’t watch Gilmore Girls or just don’t feel like doing it. But if you do do it, just link back to my post and I’ll check out yours! And if you want to do this tag, but I didn’t tag you, feel free to do it anyways!

lots-of-love


The Goodreads Book Tag

So it’s time for another tag! I was tagged in the Goodreads Book Tag by Debbie over at Debbie’s Library. She’s one of my book blog friends so you should check out her blog, it’s awesome! I don’t want to have a super long opening like last time so let’s get on with the tag, shall we? We shall. 😂 I don’t even know why I’m laughing right now. Maybe cause I don’t come from 19th century England yet I’m using the word ‘shall’ in my 2016 blog. Okay, let’s move on before I get side tracked. Onto the tag we go!


What is the last book you marked as read?missperegrinecover

What are you currently reading?

What was the last book you marked as to-read?

labryinth_lost

Do you use the star rating system?

I think you guys know that I use the 5-star rating system whenever I write a review for a book. The same rules apply for when I rate a book on Goodreads. But, since you can only rate books whole stars on Goodreads, and if I rate a book 4.5 stars, for example, then on Goodreads the book will have 5 stars as it’s rating.

What book do you plan on reading next?

Er… well I already have a list of books to read by the end of the year here, but I’ll choose the three books from that list that I would like to read first.

Are you doing the 2016 reading challenge?

DUH! I think anybody who’s active on Goodreads is doing the reading challenge. I discovered Goodreads last year and I did the 2015 reading challenge last year (my goal was 30 books and I read 31). My goal for this year is 40 books and I’ve read 31 (yes, I’m behind, I know).

What book do you plan on buying next?

Er… I don’t really plan out my book buying. It all sort of just… happens. But if I could choose the next three books to purchase it would be…

Do you have a wish list?

*Laughs* Do I have a wish wish list, you may ask? Well… *scrolls through Goodreads* my to-be-bought pile on Goodreads contains 135 books. B&N.com, though, oddly doesn’t have anything in the wish list. To be fair, I don’t order books from online too often and for some reason I don’t have any books in the wish list.

What is your favorite quote?

Wow this is even harder than picking my favorite book. I’ll just put some of my favorite quotes that have stuck with me. (BTW: All following graphics designed by me)

Who are your favorite authors?

My favorite authors would probably have to be J.K. Rowling, Rick Riordon, Sabaa Tahir, and Cassandra Clare.

Have you joined any groups?

Yup! I’m a part of Perustopia Book Club, Top 5 Wednesday, Hype or Like Friday, Polls for Our Souls, and The BookMarvel Book Club.


So that’s the end of the tag! Thanks again, Debbie, for tagging me in this tag. It was fun to do. If you’d like to do this tag, feel free to do it and leave a link to your post if you’d like me to check it out.

lots-of-love


The Winter Wonderland Tag

Hello wonderful readers! The holidays are up and coming quickly, which means it’s time for some holiday-themed tags and book posts! The other day I purchased My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories. I saw this book in Kroger for 25% off and I didn’t own it yet, and I never really read holiday-themed books around the holidays (weird, right?) so I bought it, and I am in the holiday mood. When I bought that book, I also noticed that Starbucks now has their seasonal holiday mugs/cups! I had bought a drink from Starbucks a few days prior and they didn’t have the cups yet, but then when I decided not to get a drink, the cups were out and looking beautiful! I’ve never gotten to hold one of those beautiful holiday cups before, so I cannot wait until the next time I get a Starbucks drink this holiday season. Not only that, but I’ve been drinking hot chocolate every day now. I’m not even joking, I have been doing this ever since I bought that book. I think that book has some sort of power, like a ‘spread holiday cheer’ power. That aside, I have a tag to do! Now let’s get on with it before I verge off topic.

I was tagged in this Winter Wonderland Tag by Debbie from Debbie’s Library. She just reached 50 followers and has a wonderful blog you should definitely check out! Now without farther ado, let’s get sledding! *Shakes head in embarrassment from my bad joke*


1. Do you like the cold?

I actually do like the cold. It seems like I’m the only person in my family who enjoys the wintertime. I don’t like cold winds blowing in my face though, because then I can’t breathe, but aside from that and not being able to get up in the morning for the fear that I’m going to freeze, I love the wintertime. Winter and the cold is such a good vacation from the regular hotness that is Texas.

2. Favorite part about winter?

My favorite part about winter would probably have to be Christmas! I mean who doesn’t love Christmas? Even the Grinch can’t help but sing a Christmas carol every once in a while. Also, the winter season is when all of my family gather and enjoy each other’s presence. A lot of my family lives in Kansas or Oklahoma so I don’t get to see them aside from the holiday season, and we just started having Christmas-time gatherings last year. It feels good to just sit and enjoy being with family.

3. Does it snow where you live?

I live in Texas. Hopefully that’ll answer the question for you. It’s not like we don’t have snow, but it doesn’t happen every year. And when it does happen, it doesn’t last very long and is wet and runny. I’ve never built a decent snowman in my life because of the sucky Texas snow. The picture below is the snowman that me and my sister built last year…. To be fair the snow was all under a thin layer of ice (that my small dog kept on falling through and slipping on) so me and my sister had to get the snow from under the ice and then bring it to the pile we had (the snowman). I bet if we were given some decent snow that actually stuck together, we could built a great snowman to make Frosty proud, but sadly that didn’t happen.

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4. Favorite clothing item in winter?

SWEATERS! I only own one sweater that could be considered a ‘Christmas’ sweater (it’s a polar bear with a hat on) but I love it. I love sweaters so much and the only time I am able to wear them is in the winter. I also love warm beanies and hats, which I have an abundance in number, but haven’t had the chance to wear them because my head would literally start melting if I did.

5. Your favorite winter memory?

This is really hard, especially since I have the worst memory ever (when it comes to my own past, that is). This isn’t a specific one memory, but I love picking out presents for people and then wrapping them and putting them under the Christmas tree. I spend 2x more money on buying presents for other people during the wintertime and birthdays then I do on myself the entire year (books excluded obviously). I also love when I see the receiver of the gift genuinely like the thing  I bought them, because seeing them happy with what I got them makes me all warm inside. It’s just the best feeling in the world when you make somebody filled with joy because of something you did.

6. Favorite hot drink?

I love hot chocolate, but about a week ago I tried the Pumpkin Spiced Latte from Starbucks for the first time ever and fell in love (and being the clumsy person I am, I spilled the Latte on the kale me and my sister had just bought on the way to the car -_-). Next time I get a Starbucks drink, it’ll be the Peppermint Mocha Latte (or hot version, since I got the Frappacino and Iced version already). Coffee is always a win as well.

7.Best winter book to read curled up in a blanket?

Well, like I said earlier, I oddly don’t read winter-themed books during the wintertime. It’s strange, but true. Harry Potter is always a safe bet, though. I bet the new illustrated editions are even better to read during the winter, since you have visuals that make you feel like a kid reading a picture book. And also, even though I’ve never read it, The Polar Express is a beautiful book. I’ve seen this book at B&N during the holiday season every year and I love watching the movie, and the pictures and story just get you into the winter-holiday mood.

8. Best winter movie to watch?

I love the Home Alone movies. I never fail to watch them every year. I also notice something new every year, a result of me being a year older than the last time I’ve seen it. And also like I mentioned above, The Polar Express is always a good one, though there are a few moments that creep me out to the core (that man on the top of the train, the puppets, and Santa himself). Another blogger mentioned Love Actually in one of her holiday tags and I think it’s on Netflix so I’ll probably watch that for the first time this year since there are so many great actors and actresses in it.

9. Do you do any winter sports? (Skiing, snowboarding, ice-skating)

Well me and my family used to always go to this large mall in Dallas every time during the winter to get our Christmas shopping done (me and my sister would form a group and go off into our own stores while our parents went in a different direction) and there’s this huge ice skating rink in the middle of the mall and me and my sister would ice skate every time we went. It was so much fun and I would love to do that again some time since we haven’t gone in a good 5 years or so.

10. Favorite Christmas/Holiday/New Year tradition?

My family isn’t a traditional family who has any traditions like other families out there do, but like I mentioned earlier, we started just last year, inviting all of our family to our house a week or two before Christmas to have our own celebration. Each person brings a gift and then there are numbers in a hat, and everybody picks a number. Whoever got number one goes first and picks a gift from the pile of gifts and opens it. Then it keeps on going by whatever number people have. The thing is, somebody can choose to steal another person’s gift if they don’t like the one they have, so people end up with gifts that they either didn’t want or the best gift from the stack. We also did this at my aunt’s house two years ago, I believe, and we’re doing it again this year at my house.


Thank you so much for tagging me in this, Debbie, I really enjoyed answering these questions. I am in an even bigger holiday mood than I was before. Now I’ll just tag five bloggers below. If you’re tagged but don’t feel like doing it, that’s fine, you don’t have to.

I Tag:

Jill @ Rant and Rave About Books

Drew @ Tattooed Book Geek

Lena @ Bookfandom1001 (Please tell me I got your real name right)

Aimal @ Bookshelves & Paperbacks

Romana @ A Book Nerd

I hope y’all end up doing the tag and can’t wait to see your posts! Also, if you want to do this tag yourself and I didn’t tag you, feel free to do it and leave a comment linking to your post so I can check it out.

lots-of-love


The Martian REVIEW

themartianThe Martian
By: Andy Weir

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate the planet while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded on Mars’ surface, completely alone, with no way to signal Earth that he’s alive — and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone years before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark’s not ready to quit. Armed with nothing but his ingenuity and his engineering skills — and a gallows sense of humor that proves to be his greatest source of strength – he embarks on a dogged quest to stay alive, using his botany expertise to grow food and even hatching a mad plan to contact NASA back on Earth. As he overcomes one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next, Mark begins to let himself believe he might make it off the planet alive – but Mars has plenty of surprises in store for him yet.

My Review:

I don’t even know where to start with this book. It’s fantastic, humorous, enthralling, and the pages practically turn themselves. I did not expect to like this book as much as I did. It seemed cool, but it seemed difficult to pull off. The science aspect must have taken so much time to research, even though it was my least favorite part of the book. The only problem I had with the science aspect of the novel is that I was not able to understand why he was doing this or that because I am not a rocket scientist myself. Because there is literal rocket science in this book, you have to be a freaking genius to understand everything that’s going on. I am obviously not one of those people, so I skim the science parts sometimes, mainly because if I tried to understand what Mark was doing and why (from a scientific POV), I’d go insane and put the book down on page 5. I like to read a page and be able to explain what happened without a second thought. I’m basically a know-it-all who has a fit whenever she doesn’t understand something, so you could only imagine what it was like reading a book like this. But seriously, I could never hate a book because of my own bad habits, c’mon that’s not fair.

World Development:

This is difficult because the protagonist is, well, on mars. Only like 12 people have set foot on mars, so in order to write a book that takes place on mars is something that you need to spend a lot of time on. Andy Weir did a surprisingly great job at that, considering the fact this is his first novel. Yes. First. Novel. Weir basically describes (using Watney’s hilarious voice) Mars as being a desert, with rocks and sand, which is probably true, but just rocks and sand. Nothing else. That’s basically all there is to describe, that’s basically the only world development you need. Oh yeah. And if you go outside with no suit on, you’ll blow up.

Character Development:

Well the very first page, Mark is already trapped on mars all alone, but he explains his situation to us in a brief few pages. The author doesn’t tell us anything about his past, which makes you wonder, but I’m happy he left out flashbacks and all that crap cause that gets extremely boring in books. Throughout this novel, Mark really grows as a character. He never completely breaks down, because he is smart and knows that if he loses all hope, nothing will get done, so he stays optimistic and finds a scientific way to approach things. He also has humor that, I think, helped him stay sane throughout his time on mars alone. Imagine being all alone on a planet that nobody else is on for over a year. Just try and imagine that. You can’t, right? Well sometimes laughing your way through hell is the only thing you can do in order to keep yourself from sinking to an all-time low.

Plot:

So many things happened in this book. Mark and NASA talked and schemed up ideas, which either failed or worked like a charm. Mark flipped over in a rover, nearly got blown to bits, and almost suffocated from too much air whenever his suit had a hole in it. Ironic, I know. This was masterful storytelling by a debut author that, I hope, writes more realistic science fiction in the future. I know I will read it if he does. There was suspense and at the very end, you are left breathless and relieved and freaking scared out of your mind until the very last paragraph or two. This is one of the best books I have read in a long time. That is something I don’t say very often. Nice job, Andy Weir. Nice job.


What are some of your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!

fivestars

lots-of-love


T5W: Characters You Used to Love But Don’t Anymore

Today is Wednesday which means it’s time for Top 5 Wednesday! If you don’t already know, T5W is a weekly meme created by Lainey from Gingerreadslainey but is now hosted by Sam from Thoughtsontomes. If you’re interesting in joining the T5W family, you can join the group by clicking here.

Without farther ado, this week’s topic is top 5 characters you used to love but don’t anymore. This includes characters that I used to love, but for some reason I either hate or just don’t care for anymore.


5. Ethan Wate- Beautiful Creatures

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At one point I actually did care about Ethan Wate – the protagonist from The Caster Chronicles – but around books 2 and 3  I just didn’t really care about what happened to him (or anybody in this series to be honest). Ethan was really the only character I ever cared about in this series. I never cared about Lena, I never cared about Link… I’ve just been a bit ‘eh’ towards them all. I think ‘eh’ is a  good word to describe this series as a whole, really.

 

 

4. Jace Wayland- The Mortal Instruments 

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And now you learn my deepest, darkest secret: I don’t care about Jace Wayland from The Mortal Instruments Series. I’ll give you guys a second to gasp and curse my name and perform an exorcising ritual. I can’t justify myself with this one, but I can say that I was never impressed by Jace in any shape or form. I don’t know why, maybe it’s the way Clary describes him as a god whose footsteps should be worshiped upon, or the way Clare makes him out to be the perfect romance-novel guy. Either way, I’d kill Jace in a heartbeat if that would mean saving the Shadowhunter world. Does that make me the equivalent of Sebastian? Maybe so, but I honestly don’t care.

 

3. Quentin Jacobsen- Paper Towns

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I started this novel liking Quentin enough, but the more the book went on, the more I disliked him. He was so obsessed with Margot, a character I hate by the way, and just fell flat to me as a character. Overall, this entire novel fell flat… it just missed something I can’t quite put my finger on.

 

 

 

 

2. Teresa- The Maze Runner

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I don’t know what I have against Teresa, but I just don’t like her. I didn’t really have much of an opinion on her at first aside from confusion as to who she was and what her intentions were, and then she could talk to Thomas in her mind and I though ‘Oh, that’s cool!’ but then she just got annoying to me. And how Thomas would drop everything for her, even if she wasn’t being trustworthy in any sense of the word. And the unnecessary romance between Teresa and Thomas was a no-no (especially since I ship Newtmas with all my heart and soul).

 

 

1. Cath- Fangirl

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I loved this book (aside from the god-awful fan-fiction excerpts) and I started the book off loving Cath. She was like another version of me, after all! But then she got annoying and I could barely even stand her about 3/4 of the way through the book. I hate to say it, but it’s true. And most of the time she seemed to completely brush off Levi… a hot guy who seems to be interested in you. She also got annoyed at her English professor for not accepting fan-fiction as an assignment…. I’m sorry Cath, but fan-fiction does not count as English homework. As much as I love it and thinks it deserves its own genre, it doesn’t count. Period.

 


What did y’all think of my answers? Do you have any of the same answers as me, or are yours different? Let me know in the comments! And leave a link to your T5W post if you did it as well!

lots-of-love

 

 


Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Harry Potter #8) REVIEW

harry_potter_and_the_cursed_child_special_rehearsal_edition_book_coverHarry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts I and II
By: J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.
It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.
While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

NOTE: THIS REVIEW IS NOT STRUCTURED LIKE MY OTHER REVIEWS. I HAVE TOO MANY THOUGHTS TO ORGANIZE INTO THEIR SUBJECTED CATEGORIES, BUT I WILL ADD A SPOILER SECTION APART FROM THE NON-SPOILER SECTION. I AM NOT TRYING TO BASH ANYBODY IN THIS REVIEW, I AM JUST SAYING MY HONEST OPINIONS. READ ON.

My Review:

When I first heard about this book I was freaking out, but then I became wary once I heard that it was going to be a play. Once I got my hands on the book, I was over-the-moon excited and started it almost immediately. Harry Potter is my favorite book series of all time, after all. I started the book and I enjoyed it at first – and I started shipping Albus and Scorpius almost immediately – but then it went a bit downhill. The characters all talked strangely and I knew Rowling didn’t write this book, or it would’ve been a masterpiece from the get-go. But it wasn’t, and that’s when I read the cover a bit more closely, uncovering the truth: THIS IS NOT WRITTEN BY ROWLING. I was shocked and disappointed to say the very least. And now I know why everybody is saying you should read it as a fanfiction. But let me say something: I’ve honestly read fanfictions better than this book. It pains me to say it, but I have. I am being completely honest here and it pains me to even criticize this book, but I started this blog to write my honest opinions on the books I read, so that’s what I’m doing.

Jack Thorne is one lucky duck. He gets to write a story within the world of Harry Potter, with a story already developed by Rowling herself, and then he gets his play in London that must’ve sold out in seconds, and then the most pre-ordered book in the history of pre-ordered books. But the only problem is, The Cursed Child made me feel like it was written by a rubber duck, causing me to ask the question that Arthur Weasley so brilliantly asked in The Chamber of Secrets – what exactly is the function of a rubber duck? I know, this probably doesn’t make any sense to you, but I will try and explain my insanity to you guys for easier comprehension. The world that Jack Thorne developed in this book-play thingy was not the real Wizarding World that we have all grown to love and think of as our second home. His version of Rowling’s brilliance is a fake version created to look like the real version, but I am able to see through it clearly like glass. The world and characters in The Cursed Child are not the ones we have grown to love or hate, they’re just replicas, knock-offs, if I may say, of the real thing. They’re the rubber ducks, and so I ask the question again, hoping you’ll be able to understand the metaphor I am trying to convey: What exactly is the function of a rubber duck? They don’t live and breath like the original, and they are not even close to their real counterparts, but they try to be, floating above the water like nothing is different between them.

I thought this book was a bit rushed at times, but at other times it seemed a bit slow. It was all over the place, really, but the plot was good and the characters seemed to have a good-enough motive. But let’s face it, Albus is one stupid child. Cursed with stupidity, you may say. But also, Harry was not a good father to him by any means. I think Draco might’ve actually been a better father to Scorpius than Harry was to Albus. On the topic of Scorpius, he is my new favorite character in the Harry Potter world (or at least my favorite character that isn’t deceased). He is just a little smart, cute cinnamon roll that needs to be protected at all costs. And Albus would be a good friend for him, if he wasn’t so arrogant towards him (I honestly think he gets that from his father). This is something I hated about the book: the way Jack Thorne wrote the characters. I don’t have anything against his writing, at times it was quite good and had me laughing and almost in tears, but when it was bad, I was cringing.

Harry Potter is not my favorite character in the series by any means, but that doesn’t mean I dislike him, but in this book, I grew to favor Draco over him. I mean, I know a lot of people prefer Draco over Harry, but that’s mainly due to Tom Felton *swoon*, so favoring Draco over Harry in this book means that the author did something both wrong and right. How is that possible, you may ask? Very possible, actually. Draco was considered the bad guy, the bully, in the entirety of the Harry Potter series, until the end where he is redeemed slightly, and is shown to be a tortured soul. Harry is the hero and quarrels with Draco nearly every time they look at each other (which Jack Thorne did pretty well), but Harry comes across as a total and complete git, while Draco is the level-headed one. Harry was written so badly in this, I think, that I had to remove a star just for that. It may seem unfair to you, but Harry is a brave, courageous, selfless hero, and despite his many flaws, he always comes through and never makes me angry to the point where I want to shout Avada Kadavra at him, until I read The Cursed Child. You know something is wrong with the book your reading if the main hero is making you so angry you want to use a killing curse on them multiple times throughout the book.

Now the actual plot and storyline of the book was interesting enough and I was curious about how it was going to end. I was a bit angry and frustrated at times due to the stupid choices made by certain characters I’m not going to name *cough* Albus *cough* Potter. The characters and how they were written was the main downfall of this book for me. I think that’s the same with a lot of people who read this book as well.

I rate this book 3 stars despite my many problems with it because, after all, it is Harry Potter, so I can’t bring myself to rate it any lower.

SPOILERS!
This is the spoiler section of the review, you have been warned.

I thought it was so weird having Voldemort conceive a child. It was also kind of a dumb idea… Not completely, but I didn’t like the twist much at all. And Delphi didn’t seem to have much motivation for what she did aside from ‘wanting to know her father’. But when your father is Lord Voldemort, I think it’s best you don’t meet him. It would have been nice to see a villain that is not involved with Voldemort in any way whatsoever. Voldemort was a great villain, yes, one of the best ever actually, but I wanted something fresh and new and different. This story does take place 20 or so years after Voldemort’s death, after all, so it only makes sense for somebody else to take the reins as the baddest bad guy of them all.

It would’ve been great just to read about Albus and Scorpius navigating through Hogwarts together. If the book was about that, I don’t think a villain would’ve even been necessary, honestly. Albus and Scorpius and their relationship (platonic or not) are interesting enough to fill a book or two on it’s own. What The Cursed Child missed was Albus and Scorpius actually in Hogwarts going to classes, Quidditch games, and Hogsmeade. That’s what I wanted to see, not the Ministry and the older versions of beloved characters who don’t even act like the characters we know and love.

Another big problem I had with this book (I know, the bad is currently outweighing the good, just stick with me here) was the lack of big characters such as Neville or Luna or even George were mentioned. Ron is apparently running the Joke Shop, so where does that make George? Is he dead or did he not want a constant reminder of his twin every day he went to work? I didn’t need them in this story, but it would’ve been nice of them to at least mention them. Arthur and Molly Weasley weren’t mentioned either, it’s as if they dropped off of the face of the earth or something.

In a short summary, this book is read as a fanfiction taken place in some sort of Alternate Universe 20 years after The Deathly Hallows, with a lot of missed opportunity. On the good side, there was a plot that was interesting enough and the friendship between Albus and Scorpius is worth the time itself.

Enjoy this review? Have different opinions and thoughts?
Let me know what you think of my review and the book itself in the comments below!

3stars

lots-of-love