Month: September 2014

Top Ten Books That Were Hard For Me To Read

Top Ten Books That Were Hard For Me To

Read

50ab0-toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday, participating book bloggers blog about their top ten lists.


The description said that “difficult to read” could be anything from the subject matter to gore so I’ll probably include all of that and everything in-between. Most will probably be books that bored me to death or caused me to become insanely enraged by the book’s plot and characters. And if I’m half-asleep or blinded with rage, it’s kind of hard to read a book amiright?

1. The Merciless by Danielle Vega

I haven’t even read this book in it’s entirety but I KNOW that I would be cringing and squinting at the pages out of sheer disgust. I flipped through this at Joseph Beth and ohmydearlord it was so disgusting. The page I happened to land on was one where the characters were cutting off someone’s fingers. Disgusting. Nasty. Just ewwwwww. I’m pretty sure my facial expressions scared people away.

(I’m probably still going to read it though)

2. The Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Anybody who has been following my blog knows that I was unable to finish this book. Tessa made reading the book difficult because every time she spoke, I wanted to throw the book across the room.

3. The Laura Ingalls Wilder Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder

3rd grade. Oh man, 3rd grade. My teacher recommended this series to me and I got through two books before giving up. I couldn’t stand reading another chapter about wheat and cabin houses.

4. The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

This book is, by far, my least favorite out of all of the PJO/HOO books. It took me a record 1-2 months to finish it and once I was done, I wasn’t gonna ever try to reread it. I remember wading through lots of whiny characters, characters that were completely different, and lots and lots of filler plot. THIS BOOK, is the reason that I hate Piper.

5. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of The Dawn Treader
by C.S. Lewis

It’s not even the series. I just genuinely had a difficult time reading this book in the series. I loved the first few books up until this one. This book was a snooze-fest. I’ve tried reading it at least five times afterwards before I finally just gave up. I never finished the series. I am ashamed to admit that I saw the movie before reading it.

6. Books where people cheat on each other

I hate reading anything with cheating in it. This is the reason that I stayed away from Anna and the French Kiss for years. The synopsis just sounds like Anna is going to make Etienne cheat on his girlfriend! It’s a personal thing because I don’t really like reading a book where the characters just lie to each other. Maybe it’s the reason I didn’t like We Were Liars.

7. The Maximum Ride Series by James Patterson

I think I read up until the book before Nevermore. I don’t remember. This entire series was a trainwreck. There is literally no plot so recalling important events is extremely difficult. You read the words “roundhouse kick” at least 12439783529480928 times before one book is over and then you get to hear about how Max is pining over her on-and-off again boyfriend. It’s hard to remember what’s going on and it’s even harder to stay engrossed in a book where a bunch of nothing happens.

8. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

I. HATED. THIS. BOOK. SO. MUCH. The book itself was a fairly easy read but what made it hard to read was the stupidity of Tally. She was a compulsive liar (I hate compulsive liars) and she never ever thought through anything she did. I wanted to throw this book across the room (much like I wanted to do with The Clockwork Angel) when I was reading it but I settled for telling everybody in my class to avoid reading it during a book report.

9. Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Insurgent is the reason that I never got to Allegiant. Divergent was okay, good enough to continue reading, but when Insurgent came out and I read it, I didn’t bother checking out Allegiant. One reason was that I had been spoiled already. The other reason was because Insurgent was so ridiculously boring. I don’t remember finishing Insurgent or anything that even happened in it.

10. Every Day by David Levithan

This book gave me a royal headache. I praised the book gods that I was finally done reading it. The plot is simply boring and A is out of his mind. What normal guy would throw away all of his rational though processes for a girl he literally just saw? It’s repetitive and boring and some of things that A did were really irrational.

The Monstrumologist – Symbolism

The Monstrumologist: Will Henry’s Hat

So here is the first post of my English project. It will discuss the symbolism of Will Henry’s hat within Rick Yancey’s book, The Monstrumologist. If you would like to avoid spoilers, skip this post.


I imagine that it would look something like this, but there was never a description of the hat. It did say that it was mud splattered and washable, so I inferred that it was something like a canvas bucket hat.

Early on within the novel, it is mentioned that Will Henry has a small cap, one that is too small for his head.

“He lifted my tattered little hat and squinted down at my face, a smile playing on his lips, and, despite myself, so comical was his expression of earnest study, I caught myself smiling back.

‘Ack! You’re right, not a child – a fine young man, then! D’ye know what I think it is that fooled me, William Henry? It’s this hat! It’s much too small for a strapping young man such as yourself. A fully grown man should have a man’s full grown hat!'” Page 53

Will Henry had been orphaned a mere year earlier, having witnessed his parent’s death in a fire. His hat is the only artifact he has left from his past life, having lost all of his possessions in the fire. He has a deep attachment to it, due to the fact that it’s the only connection left. The reader doesn’t know this though. Slowly, parts of his story are revealed to show that the only reason he still keeps the hat is because he hasn’t let go of his parent’s deaths. He feels panicky when he loses the hat. During the first expedition to the Anthropophagi’s lair, Will Henry loses the hat in the chaos of running for his life. When Dr. Warthrop returns to retrieve their lost cargo, he does not bring the hat back, must to the chagrin of Will Henry.

“‘No, sir. I mean, yes sir. I mean…I was wondering…That is, I’ve been meaning to ask if you found my hat.’

He stared at me uncomprehendingly, as if I were speaking an exotic foreign tongue.

‘Hat?’

‘Yes, sir. My hat. I think I lost it at the cemetery.’

‘I didn’t know you owned a hat.’

‘Yes, sir. I wore it to the cemetery that night, and it must have fallen off when they…when we left, sir. I was wondering if you might have found it when you returned to… to tidy things up there.’

‘I didn’t see any hats, except the one I gave you to destroy. Whenever did you acquire a hat, Will Henry?’

‘It was mine when I came, sir.’

‘When you came…where?’

“Here, sir. To live here. It was my hat, sir. My father gave it to me.’

‘I see. Was it his hat?’

‘No, sir. It was my hat.’

‘Oh. I thought perhaps it held some sentimental value.’

‘It did, sir. I mean, it does.’

‘Why? What is so special about a hat, Will Henry?’

‘My father gave it to me,’ I repeated.

‘Your father. Will Henry, may I give you a piece of advice?’

‘Yes, sir. Of course, sir.’

‘Don’t invest too much of yourself in material things.’

‘No, sir.’

‘Of course, that bit of wisdom is not original to me. Still, much more valuable than any hat. Have we satisfied your inquiry, Will Henry?’………..

‘I just wanted to know if you found my hat,’ I said.

‘Well, I did not.’

‘That’s all I wanted to know.’

‘If you’re looking for my permission to purchase a new one, get thee to a haberdasher, Will Henry, with the caveat that you do sometime today.’

‘I don’t want a new hat, sir. I want my old hat.’

Page 187-189

Will Henry still aches for his family, even if he doesn’t realize it. His concern for his old, tattered hat shows the first stage of his character development.

Also, throughout the book, Will Henry battles the confusion within, wondering why he listens to the eccentric Dr. Warthrop. He knows that the man is not capable of being a worthy guardian, attributed to his lack of concern for Will Henry’s basic needs. Food and sleep are the last things on his mind and in multiple scenes, he chastises Will Henry for wanting to eat. At one point, Will Henry came to the conclusion that the only reason he continued to work for Warthrop was because firstly, he was the only thing he had left, and secondly, he felt that it was his duty as the successor to Dr. Warthrop’s assistant. Will Henry’s father had been the doctor’s assistant. His reasons for working are connected to his little hat.

However, as the adventure unfolds, Will Henry learns what it means to let go and Dr. Warthrop learns what it means to care for others. In the end, Dr. Warthrop gifts Will Henry a hat, which he accepts. The old hat is burned along with the the remnants of the doctor’s past. This burning symbolizes the two of them letting go of the painful past, together and is a sweet moment where the two have come to understand each other.

“The doctor was sitting on the floor before the hearth, stoking the fire. Besides him sat his father’s old trunk. If he noticed my appearance, he gave no sign of it, as he threw open the lid and, one by one, began tossing the contents into the crackling conflagration…….

‘What have you got there, Will Henry?’ he inquired without taking his eyes from the purifying pyre.

I looked down at the two hats lying side by side in lap. I raised my head and studied his face, turned away from my own, turned toward the fire. Upon his angular profile shadow warred with light, the obscured visible, the hidden revealed. His father had named him Pellinore in honor of the mythical king who quested after a beast that could not be caught, an act of thoughtless cruelty, perhaps; at the least a fateful portent, the passing on of a hereditary malady, the familial curse.

‘My hat, sir,’ I answered.

‘Which one, Will Henry? That is the question.’

The fire popped and crackled, snapped and growled. That is it, thought I. A fire destroys, but it also purifies.

I tossed my old hat into the center of the flames. Warthrop gave merely the slightest of nods, and in silence we watched the fire consume it.

‘Who knows, Will Henry,’ he said after it had been reduced, like the effluvia of his father’s life, to ashes. ‘Perhaps this burden you bear will prove a blessing.’

Page 425-426

The journey of the hat shows the process it took for Will Henry to come to peace with his parent’s passing as well as the relationship he had with the doctor. In a way, the gifting of the hat also symbolizes the new level of respect and understanding that Will Henry had come to develop with the doctor.

Everything Leads to You – Nina LaCour

Everything Leads to You

Everything Leads to YouAuthor: Nina LaCour

Publish Date: May 15th, 2014

Number of Pages: 307

Genre: YA, Contemporary, LGBTQ, Romance

A love letter to the craft and romance of film and fate in front of—and behind—the camera from the award-winning author of Hold Still.

A wunderkind young set designer, Emi has already started to find her way in the competitive Hollywood film world.

Emi is a film buff and a true romantic, but her real-life relationships are a mess. She has desperately gone back to the same girl too many times to mention. But then a mysterious letter from a silver screen legend leads Emi to Ava. Ava is unlike anyone Emi has ever met. She has a tumultuous, not-so-glamorous past, and lives an unconventional life. She’s enigmatic…. She’s beautiful. And she is about to expand Emi’s understanding of family, acceptance, and true romance.


Review

This would have been posted much earlier if WordPress hadn’t erased my entire review when I went to save it. *shakes fist at computer*

Can I just say that I love the cover of this book? I love the font and the pale pink color. I love how summery it looks. Even though it’s such a girly color, I don’t feel like I’m going to read something that is insufferably shallow. One thing that I did find a little misleading is that for the majority of the book, I thought the girl on the cover was Emi. After all, Emi is the main character right? Imagine my surprise when I learn that Emi isn’t completely Caucasian, but instead, mixed. (Seriously, authors need to slip these details into the book earlier so I’m not making completely incorrect assumptions). I read on until I read a tidbit about how Ava’s hair comes out of her bun and grazes her neck. So now, I’m assuming that the girl on the cover is Ava.

Beautiful cover aside, Everything Leads to You was a book different from the bajillion other contemporaries I’ve read. It focused on Emi, a girl with a unique job as a set designer. At the beginning of the book, her brother leaves, giving her and her friend Charlotte his apartment until he returns. With the one requirement being that something truly epic has to happen within the apartment, the two girls embark on a journey to find the daughter of Clyde Jones. Now it sounds kind of boring, but it actually wasn’t too bad. I enjoyed reading about how she put together the sets and about the different things they did to find Clyde’s granddaughter. But I did think that the characterization was a little lacking. Charlotte still feels like a blank piece of paper. She’s organized and extremely loyal, but what other traits does she have? Charlotte read like a placeholder. She didn’t ever feel like she was an important aspect of the plot. There was the occasional moment where Emi would mention how Charlotte disapproved of her ex-girlfriend, Morgan, but Charlotte herself was a forgettable character.

To be quite honest, I’m not too sure what my final say on the plot should be. It’s extremely boring at times. I mean, the book feels like a daily narrative of Emi’s life over that particular summer and her summer wasn’t very interesting. It’s a story of how Emi fell in love and learned more about people. She goes through a number of realizations about her job, her friends, and her family and this change of character is really well developed.

Something I really enjoyed about this book was the fact that the homosexuality elements were treated as if they were a given. In some other LGBTQ books, a character’s sexuality is often repeated innumerable times, as if the character feels the need to tell you every few pages that they like a certain gender. In this case, it wasn’t reaffirmed so many times. She was lesbian. So what? It’s not as if it’s much different from a straight relationship. I liked that her sexuality didn’t take the attention off of the plot.

While I’m on the topic of relationships, the romance in this book was extremely believable. While I didn’t really like the way that Emi obsessed over Ava, the way that the two eventually got together was something that I liked. It was evident by the end of the novel that Emi had changed. She’d realized something about love and the right way to begin a relationship after her toxic one with Morgan.

All-in-all, Everything Leads to You, was not terrible, but it has the possibility of being quickly forgotten.

3/5 Stars

Panic – Lauren Oliver

Panic

Panic

Author: Lauren Oliver

Publish Date: March 4th, 2014

Number of pages: 408

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance

Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.

Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.

Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn’t know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.

For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.


Review

The premise of this book really caught my attention. While I was not expecting too much from the writing, I was pleasantly surprised by some of the aspects of the book.

Panic is technically the first Lauren Oliver book I’ve read in it’s entirety. I’ve read samples of Delirium but I never got around to actually getting the book.

Panic was not a bad book. It’s loads better than some of the other things I’ve read recently and I enjoyed reading it.

I loved the character relationships. The character interactions were realistic and drawn well. There are flaws in their relationship which shows how nothing can ever be perfect. The thing about best friends are that even if they fight, they will be able to sort past their differences and make up. This is showcased numerous times throughout the book, and I know I’m making it sound like they’re constantly fighting, but keep in mind that Panic takes place over an entire summer. Every relationship and flaw was beautifully shown. Heather and Natalie were so different from each other, yet they still had that degree of trust and care. Dodge, the newcomer to their trio (Heather, Natalie, and Bishop) had believable interactions with every character. He was the personification of what friendship can be if you try. Just because you haven’t had friends for years, doesn’t mean that you can’t make them on a whim. The relationships, romantic, friendly, enemies, etc, were all portrayed well.

The same cannot be said for the characters. While some of them are round, they feel two-dimensional. They feel distant and hard to relate to because of the way that they are written. While Dodge had revenge has his motivation and his tough personality as his outside shell, by the end of the novel, I still felt like I didn’t really understand him. I had to really think and go back and analyze all of his actions to come up with what I would say is his portrayal. Another character, Bishop, was even flatter. He is supposed to be Heather’s romantic interest but by the end, I barely even knew who he was. I didn’t understand his reasons for anything, his opinions or his personality and he was supposed to be one of the major characters.

Even if they may face hard circumstances, readers should still be able to relate or sympathize with them in some way, even if it’s really small. I didn’t get this with Panic.

The setting in Panic was fantastic. The monochromatic, dull tone personified the bleakness of the competition. I could see the danger of their actions and how desperate they were to escape their own respective situations.

I didn’t like the writing of Panic. I felt that it was too blunt and disjoint and that it often affected my enjoyment of the story. The plot itself was interesting, but due to the writing and characters, it was hard to feel anything for the characters when they were doing their challenges. By the time I was halfway through with the book, it had dulled to the point where I could care less if anybody died. Still, I read on until the last challenge, the climax of the book, that unfortunately, fell flat. The dramatic moment that Heather experienced felt ludicrous and did nothing to make me feel anything.

And then, the epilogue. I abhorred the epilogue. It felt like a vacation journal, a chapter of summarizing what had happened to everybody. The scene itself wasn’t bad at all, but the way it was written, as if years had passed and that they had all changed into completely different people, was something that I really detested because the book had completely skipped over showing the monumental character changes that they had experienced. Sure, Heather might have had a small bit of her’s shown, but it wasn’t enough to satisfy me and convince me of their emotional changes. Yes, Dodge got over his want for revenge, but how did he do it? How did Bishop and Heather reconcile? There were so many unanswered questions I had.

Panic was a fun read, enjoyable if you didn’t think too much about all of the technical things that were wrong (For instance, how did people get away with some of the things they did? Panic included some illegal actions that should have been penalized appropriately, but of course, justice was not served because y’know, it’s a fictional world).

3/5 Stars

The Clockwork Angel – Cassandra Clare (DNF)

Clockwork Angel

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1)

Author: Cassandra Clare

Series: The Infernal Devices #1

Publish Date: August 31st, 2010

Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal, YA

In a time when Shadowhunters are barely winning the fight against the forces of darkness, one battle will change the course of history forever. Welcome to the Infernal Devices trilogy, a stunning and dangerous prequel to the New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them….


Review

Yes I DNF-ed this book. After hearing that The Infernal Devices series was better than The Mortal Instruments series, I read Clockwork Angel expecting it to be great. I read the first two books in TMI series but I never finished the third book. City of Glass was just boring and in the end, I had to return it to the library before I was finished. Naturally, I thought that I’d read TID since there are less books in the series and because the majority of the people who’ve read both series have said that they prefer this one over TMI.

I might as well have gone back to TMI because I really really hated Clockwork Angel. It was okay when I first started it. The historical-y old-timey speak was really pretentious but it was bearable. But then, I began to see the character of Tessa. And I hated it. I hated it with a burning, fiery passion. I dreaded the moment when I’d open the book again, hoping that some type of change would hit Tessa. Clearly, nothing really happened to her personality or else I’d still be reading the book. I swear, every time she opened her mouth to say something or think about how girls shouldn’t do certain things I wanted to slap her. Oh you say that it’s unladylike to read novels, but then you go and fangirl over other books that are clearly novels. I looked up these titles just to make sure too! The Woman in White is a mystery novel. Tessa was hypocritical and this really annoyed me.

OH BUT THEN. THEN WE MET THE OTHER CHARACTERS. I wanted to wring the necks of every character I’d meet and to be able to do that every time I read about some stupid action they did.

I struggled through 200ish pages of the book, realized that I wasn’t even halfway through and after much consideration, decided that I wasn’t going to spend any more of my time on it. Obviously, I wasn’t going to begin to enjoy it anytime soon. Even though I had heard that it gets better, by that point, I was too done with the book to care. And thus, I decided to DNF Clockwork Angel.

I’m pretty positive that I’m not going to pick up another Cassandra Clare book after this. Malec is fabulous, but the books themselves aren’t as great.

Top Ten Books on My Fall TBR List

Top Ten Books on My Fall TBR List

50ab0-toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday, participating book bloggers blog about their top ten lists.


This is going to be, by far, the easiest Top Ten I’ve done so far. I’m sorry about missing last week. The truth is that it completely slipped my mind so shame on me. ;;

But I remembered this week! Which is an improvement from last week right?

(Let’s just make this Top-million Tuesday kay? Or not. I’ll restrict myself for your sake.)

1. Don’t Touch – Rachel M. Wilson

Ermahgerd. I AM SO FREAKING EXCITED TO READ THIS BOOK LIKE IT’S BEEN ON MY TBR SINCE LIKE SIX MONTHS AGO SINCE I STARTED USING GOODREADS AND I HAVE TO GET A COPY LIKE ASAP. WHICH WILL TURN INTO THREE MONTHS FROM NOW. BUT YEAH I WANT TO READ THIS BOOK REALLY REALLY BAD.

2. The Walled City – Ryan Graudin

I seeth in jealousy every time I see other bloggers that have ARCs of this book. This is one of my most anticipated fall releases and I will count down the days until it comes out. Which isn’t for another twoish months. *cries in a corner*

3. A Great and Terrible Beauty – Libba Bray

If you’ve read my other top-ten tuesdays, you already know that I have a love for Libba Bray’s books and I’m dreadfully behind on reading them. So yes, the Gemma Doyle series is on my fall TBR.

4. The Blood of Olympus – Rick Riordan

THE LAST BOOK. COME TO MEEEEEE. I WANT IT NOWWWW. Please Uncle Rick. Please have chapters from Nico’s POV in this one. And please don’t kill the cool characters like you did in The Last Olympian.

5. The Hit List – Nicki Urang

I don’t really know why I want to read this book. It might be the beautiful firebird position on the cover getting to my dance side or the really dramatic summary. I’m just interested to see how good this book is going to be.

6. Vampire Academy – Richelle Mead

This book has been recced to me many many times (granted I’m not sure if these people are reliable sources..) but I was interested anyways. I’m going to be reading this one soon so I can see the movie too.

7. More Than This – Patrick Ness

Fell in love with the cover at the bookstore, went home and moped about not buying it, and am now definitely going to read it this fall. I have it from the library and I’m super pumped about reading it.

8. The Knife of Never Letting Go – Patrick Ness

My friend and I are both reading this book this month! We’re going to discuss it and stuff (like the book nerds we are) and I love the cover of this book.

9. Lies We Tell Ourselves – Robin Talley

The summary of this book hit my weakness for historical fiction. And it comes out in 8 days. Excuse me while I go squeal and cry because the library probably isn’t going to get it until like December.

10. The Young Elites – Marie Lu

I don’t know if you guys knew this but I loved Legend. It was one of my favorite dystopian novels among the armies of them being released. And now Marie Lu is releasing another series. *fangirl squeals*


What books are on your fall TBR?

The Monstrumologist – Rick Yancey

The Monstrumologist

The Monstrumologist (The Monstrumologist, #1)

Author: Rick Yancey

Series: The Monstrumologist #1

Publish Date: September 22nd, 2009

Genre: Horror, YA, Paranormal, Historical Fiction

These are the secrets I have kept. This is the trust I never betrayed. But he is dead now and has been for more than forty years, the one who gave me his trust, the one for whom I kept these secrets. The one who saved me . . . and the one who cursed me.

So starts the diary of Will Henry, orphaned assistant to Dr. Pellinore Warthorpe, a man with a most unusual specialty: monstrumology, the study of monsters. In his time with the doctor, Will has met many a mysterious late-night visitor, and seen things he never imagined were real. But when a grave robber comes calling in the middle of the night with a gruesome find, he brings with him their most deadly case yet.

A gothic tour de force that explores the darkest heart of man and monster and asks the question: When does man become the very thing he hunts?


Review

Before I start this review, I have to say a few things regarding The Monstrumologist.

Firstly, I picked this book for a school book report and that I read it because every other girl in my English class was reading some sort of contemporary novel (and it was on my neverending to-be-read list). The next couple of posts on my blog will be related to this book because one of the options for the projects were to create a series of blog posts. They’ll cover a variety of topics from symbolism, theme, to other aspects of the novel. Needless to say, there will most definitely be spoilers. I’ll do my best to try to censor or warn but my teacher is going to read this so I’m sorry in advance if you get spoiled.

Maybe I’ll turn this into a sort of book feature. “Deconstructing a Novel” or something like that.

But yes, onto the review.

I was so so so excited to read The Monstrumologist. It had been on my to-be-read list for a while and omigod the premise sounds amazing. It mixes historical fiction (which I love) and monsters and it sounded really good. And I’m happy that I picked this one. I really enjoyed reading The Monstrumologist but there were a few problems here and there that I had with it.

Obviously it’s going to be completely fictional so any qualms I had about how realistic it would be flew out the window. Sure, I questioned the relationship between Will Henry and Dr. Warthrop (*cough child labor cough*) but in a world with monsters, why not?

It’s classified as a horror novel, yet never once did I ever feel scared. The Anthropophagi are depicted as fierce, man-eating beasts with long claws, huge jaws, and the ability to jump forty feet high. While the monsters and setting are fantastically described, the mood and suspense fell flat. The mood did feel historic (as the book is set in the 1800s) but there was a noticeable lack of suspense and fear. In my opinion, had Yancey had this aspect, the novel would have been even better than it was. While this book was missing this one emotion, it did have some pretty gory scenes in which I felt disgust (reading about worms come out of some nasty sores? ew.)

Additionally, the book started to really drag about halfway through. It had already been a slow book but it had really start to become boring at this point. The Monstrumologist chronicles the entire Anthropophagi case, from the moment Will Henry and Warthrop discover the first death to the aftermath of the case. As a result, the moments that are less suspenseful and exciting became extremely slow and were the reason that it took me so long to finish it. Would it surprise you if I said that entire 450ish-page book happens over the course of 2ish weeks? It feels like their expedition would have taken so much longer when you read it but it’s just how slow the plot progresses.

The characters are characterized very well. I have a love-hate relationship with Warthrop at the moment. I adore his eccentric personality but I hated some of the things he did and said to Will Henry. He was portrayed as a hard-working man that didn’t understand people emotionally. His backstory did explain why he was like that though. His change over the course of the book was simply great. He grew to learn how to understand people a little more, especially Will Henry, and I enjoyed reading about the progression and changes in his character over the course of the book.

He had a catch-phrase which some people might have found annoying. Contrary to this, it made me smile every time I read it.

“Will Henry!” floated his call through the open basement door. “Will Henry, where are you? Snap to, Will Henry!” Page 38

The main character, Will Henry, is a 12-year-old boy, orphaned a mere year earlier. He has been taken in as Dr. Warthrop’s apprentice and is the author of the journals. The book is entirely from his point-of-view. Will Henry was an interesting character. Although he isn’t forced to stay with Dr. Warthrop, in fact, he’s been asked many times during the book if he wants to live with a foster home instead, he stays with Dr. Warthrop for reasons unknown to the reader at the beginning of the novel. His reasons and desires for staying are complicated and also related to his back-story. While the writing and language is significantly more mature in terms of vocabulary and word choice than a 12-year-old would have, it can be attributed to the fact that these journals had been penned years after the incidents had happened. His character was also portrayed very well.

I wasn’t satisfied with the ending. The epilogue felt rushed and cheesy compared to the rest of the book. It flashed back to the future, the same setting as the prologue, right after the man (he’s unnamed in the book) has finished reading the journals. It was fine up until the last two pages. Then the events that transpire feel like a cop-out. Yancey ended it with a scene that felt unfinished and a quote! I would have been perfectly okay with it if there had been no prologue or epilogue. I felt that they didn’t contribute to the story of Dr. Warthrop and Will Henry. The ending of the last chapter before the prologue felt like a more appropriate ending.

About halfway through the book, I realized that this was the same author that wrote The 5th Wave. While I haven’t read that one yet, I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about it and after reading The Monstrumologist, my expectations have skyrocketed. I will be picking up the sequel, The Curse of the Wendigo as well.

4/5 Stars

We Were Liars – E. Lockhart

We Were Liars

We Were Liars

Author: E. Lockhart

Publish Date: May 13th, 2014

Length: 227 pages

Genre: Contemporary, YA, Mystery

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.
Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.


Review

Unimpressed. Again.

I’m sorry I haven’t been posting as much. I’ve been busy and I have been picking less than stellar books to read. This review is also going to be really short because of the circumstances of reading this book.

Anyways, I was really excited to pick up We Were Liars after hearing all about the twist in the end and how you had to go in not knowing anything. I did go in not knowing anything. I actually thought it was a murder mystery and that the characters were all lying to each other to cover it up or something like that. FYI, it was not that whatsoever.

I do agree that you should go in not knowing too much about the circumstances. It doesn’t really affect anything that much to be honest seeing as most of the book is pretty much your average rich-girl summer contemporary. If you want a summary though….

(Highlight to read)

Cadence is rich and a Sinclair. She vacations every summer with her cousins and one summer, something happens that results in a mystery that she must uncover herself.

Yeah that pretty much encompasses the story.

Overall I found We Were Liars to be really slow. Little hints are dropped here and there but nothing really happens until the end when it’s all kinda dumped on you in two chapters. The twist is pretty surprising but it wasn’t really something that affected me emotionally which was most likely due to the fact that I didn’t really relate with any of the characters. Cadence was a little hard to relate to seeing as she’s rich and is suffering from some ailment. I didn’t like the voice that Lockhart used to portray Cadence. I found it dry and a little pretentious. I wasn’t drawn in by it like I’ve heard happen to other readers.

Maybe it was just the characters I didn’t like.

I can’t say that I liked any of the four Liars or their story. They did lie and such but their characters weren’t really to my liking. I didn’t find any of them likable, not Gat, Johnny, Mirren, or Cadence. Least of all Cadence.

The entire story was kind of shallow up until the end. It felt as if the characters were all masquerading as deep people with a distaste of their parents and the lifestyle of their family.

Yeah I just didn’t enjoy this one. I expected the story to have more substance and plot than it did.

Review is short because again, I agree that you should go in knowing as little as possible because it makes the ending more uh surprising? On top of that, I really don’t have much to say about this book.

2/5 Stars

The Museum of Intangible Things – Wendy Wunder

The Museum of Intangible Things

The Museum of Intangible Things

Author: Wendy Wunder

Publish Date: April 10th, 2014

Genre: Contemporary, YA

Loyalty. Envy. Obligation. Dreams. Disappointment. Fear. Negligence. Coping. Elation. Lust. Nature. Freedom. Heartbreak. Insouciance. Audacity. Gluttony. Belief. God. Karma. Knowing what you want (there is probably a French word for it). Saying Yes. Destiny. Truth. Devotion. Forgiveness. Life. Happiness (ever after).

Hannah and Zoe haven’t had much in their lives, but they’ve always had each other. So when Zoe tells Hannah she needs to get out of their down-and-out New Jersey town, they pile into Hannah’s beat-up old Le Mans and head west, putting everything—their deadbeat parents, their disappointing love lives, their inevitable enrollment at community college—behind them.

As they chase storms and make new friends, Zoe tells Hannah she wants more for her. She wants her to live bigger, dream grander, aim higher. And so Zoe begins teaching Hannah all about life’s intangible things, concepts sadly missing from her existence—things like audacity, insouciance, karma, and even happiness.

An unforgettable read from the acclaimed author of The Probability of Miracles, The Museum of Intangible Things sparkles with the humor and heartbreak of true friendship and first love.


Review

WARNING: THIS ENTIRE REVIEW IS A GINORMOUS RANT AND I APOLOGIZE IN ADVANCE FOR THE LENGTH.

Bleh. This book was bleh. I’m so happy that it’s finally over after struggling through it for a few days.

The Museum of Intangible Things centers on two girls that are best friends, Zoe and Hannah. Now as teenagers, Zoe is itching to leave their small town and explore. What follows is a long road trip where Zoe hopes to bring Hannah out of her shell and learn to be more outgoing and big. Things like insouciance and audacity.

I hated the characters in this book so much. Zoe is so annoying. I don’t know if any of you guys have watched anime or more specifically, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, but Zoe reminds me of Haruhi from that. Both of them are obsessed with their friend’s breasts, believe in aliens, are bipolar (except in Zoe’s case, she’s actually diagnosed), and are extremely impulsive. The key difference is that Haruhi doesn’t appear nearly as annoying as Zoe and that in Haruhi’s case, these aliens actually exist. I hated Zoe. I don’t know who taught Zoe friendship or how to be a sister, but you don’t bring your little brother to high school parties and you most certainly do not make your friend drive you on a road trip and spend the money that you guys are sharing or peer pressure her into smoking. You don’t leave your brother because you want to go join a colony of aliens! On top of this, she doesn’t seem to care whatsoever about the fact that Hannah actually cares about her school grades. Zoe was a terrible friend and I don’t care if she was bipolar because she really needed a smack upside the head. Her behavior is immature and incredibly stupid.

Now let’s move on to Hannah. Hannah was spineless. Zoe walked all over her and when Hannah finally gets the guts to actually tell her friend to go back to town, Zoe decides to play the vanishing act (reason number 358 why I hate her). Hannah was manipulated so many times by Zoe that it wasn’t even funny. Zoe tells her to flash some random passerbys. She complies. Zoe tells her to sneak into an Ikea and sleep there for the night. She complies. Zoe tells her to do anything and she will do it. She has no mind of her own and she doesn’t seem  to care enough about her own future to maybe stand up to her supposed best friend. On top of this, the romance in The Museum of Intangible Things is over the top and absolutely ridiculous. She and Danny have talked a total of three or four times and somehow she has deluded herself into believing that she loves him. She is clearly incapable of recognizing the signs of a good boyfriend because even when he is cheating on his girlfriend, Rebecca, Hannah doesn’t seem to mind whatsoever. She’s more concerned with the fact that Danny seems to be dating Rebecca at the same time. Gurl, if your guy isn’t devoting all of his attention to you, but dividing between you and another girl, you need to kick him to the curb.

And later in the relationship, it’s even worse. They’ve been together less than a month and Danny is already pushing his sexual advances on her. They have a less than savory first time in his ice-cream truck where Hannah supposedly “finds God” at the same time she loses her virginity.

“We lie down together on our sides. He stares at me, moving his finger from my forehead, down my nose, over my chin, along my neck until it lands between my breasts.

‘Oh look,’ I joke, ‘I’m wearing buttons.’

‘I see that,’ he tells me, and he uses his nimble fingers to deftly, expertly savor each one before he pops it open slowly.

There, in a parked ice cream truck just outside of Buffalo, Wyoming, I say yes. I resign myself to finding God. And it’s true what they say. You can find God anywhere.

Page 227

Since when was ice-cream truck sex romantic? It sounds unhygienic and utterly unromantic. I don’t know what Hannah was thinking when she decided that she wanted to have sex after dating Danny for less than a month. Even saying that they’ve been dating is a stretch because it’s still unclear if he’s broken up with Rebecca. Obviously, even if she’s supposed to be smart, she’s not smart enough to make good choices in her sex life. Most guys wouldn’t even dream of trying to have sex with a girl that they’ve only dated twice. Although they kissed in 6th grade, Danny must have a lot of balls to try to make a move on her that soon. Oh wait. He doesn’t get turned down because Hannah is overly horny after that first experience. What happened to the innocent hand-holding? The sweet dates? Oh yeah. They’re nonexistent because there’s no substantial romantic development in this book at all.

Let us talk about Danny now shall we? Danny is one of the douchiest love interests I have ever met. All he ever has on mind is sex and girls. Apparently, in his world, it’s okay to cheat on his girlfriend of four years because he was dating her for “practice” anyways. He doesn’t care about her feelings at all. And he thinks that he “knows” Hannah even though he hasn’t even talked to her since the sixth grade.

“‘I know you.’

‘You do?’

‘I know that when you eat lunch, you’re the only one in the cafeteria who actually places her paper napkin on her lap.’

‘So?’

‘I know that you have a freckly underneath your left eye. I know that when you smile, your eyes close into adorable half-circles and all that’s visible are a little gleam of light and your thick black eyelashes. I know that you are really nice to that kid with Tourette’s and you sit patiently and help him with his math homework even though he’s uncontrollably barking ‘cocksucker’ at the top of his lungs ever five minutes. I know that you are trying to improve your life even though the odds are stacked up against you, and that you hide in the attic of the Cunty Day School to try to learn as much as you can. I know that you would give your left arm to help Zoe if she needed it, and that’s why we’re here. I think I know enough.'”

Page 234

If I were Hannah, I’d probably have some facial expression like this.

hongki stare gif

Like please explain how the heck you know that just from watching me!

Moving on to plot. The plot of the book was so so boring. It was hard to stay interested in it because the plot is pretty much Zoe doing something bold and encouraging Hannah to do it. And then they nearly get caught by law enforcement. Then they escape. Rinse and repeat. It’s repetitive, dull, and not worth struggling through. The only good part was the ending. I was satisfied with the way the book ended even if it meant that I had to struggle through the beginning.

Wunder’s writing was pretty good. It was understandable and I thought that although I didn’t enjoy this book, it fit well.

I also liked the concept of the museum of intangible things that Zoe made for her brother.

1.5/5 Stars

Stacking the Shelves [2]

Stacking the Shelves [2]

Stacking the Shelves is a meme created and hosted by Tynga’s Reviews highlighting the books that you have acquired or added to your shelves. These include books borrowed from the library, bought, gifted, e-books etc.


It really would have been smarter for me to do one last week but I’m a notorious procrastinator and apparently, at the time I thought it would be hard to take a picture of books….

Yeah I’m lazy.

I went to the library today to meet up with some friends and study (*cough talk for 3/4 of the time and work for 1/4 cough*). But yeah, taking me to a library to study isn’t a great idea because I end up staring at the book shelves creepily.

And I look at the pamphlets and judge all of the books on there. Then I graffiti-ed them with my personal opinions of the books. My friend confiscated them until the study group was over.

Obviously since I was at the library, I borrowed more books (because you can never have too many books) and decided that I’m going to do a Stacking the Shelves post today because otherwise, I’m never going to get it done. So onto the books. I’m sorry about the fuzzy looking picture but my camera isn’t all that great ;_;

These are going to be listed from the top to the bottom,  left to right.

STS 2

 Beastly – Alex Flinn (FINALLY GOT A COPY YAY!)

 The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August Claire North

 Don’t Look Back – Jennifer L. Armentrout

 The Darkest Minds – Alexandra Bracken

More Than This – Patrick Ness (I’m so excited to read this!)

Saving FrancescaMelissa Marchetta

Audrey, Wait! – Robin Benway

Angelfall – Susan Ee

The Friendship Doll – Kirby Larson (Yes this is that tiny red book. I’m sorry about the picture)

The Monstrumologist – Rick Yancey

Graduation Day – Joelle Charbonneau

Vicious – V. E. Schwab

Love and Other Foreign Words – Erin McCahan

Of Monsters and Madness – Jessica Verday

100 Sideways Miles – Andrew Smith

Maid of DeceptionJennifer McGowan (I think I have a problem with picking up the sequels by accident ;;)

Across the Universe – Beth Revis

Rebel Belle – Rachel Hawkins

These Stars Won’t Go Out – Esther Earl