Month: October 2014

[Review] Across the Universe – Beth Revis

Across the Universe

Across the Universe (Across the Universe, #1)

  Author: Beth Revis

  Publish Date: January 11th, 2011

Series: Across the Universe #1

Number of Pages: 398

  Genre: Sci-fi, Romance

A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder.

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone – one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship – tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn’t do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed’s hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there’s only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.


Review

This book is all over booktube, which is the reason that I picked it up.

Across the Universe is a sci-fi romance novel and I enjoyed reading it. It details the journey of a ship, the Godspeed and the development of the people living on it. It was a relatively enjoyable read and it’s errors, while present, were not so bad that they majorly influenced the likableness of the story.

Plus it’s a nice change of pace from the usual post-apocalyptic dystopians.

Sci-fi is not usually my choice of genre. I hate the subject of astronomy. In sixth grade, we did moon journals and I hated it with a fiery passion.

Even so, I wish that Across the Universe had had more information about the science behind the Godspeed. We’re treated to loads of information about the citizens and history behind the ship, but what I want to know is the technology. How does the ship run? How do they manipulate and reuse resources? The book skimmed over a lot of the science behind the methods used on board. Revis does a fantastic job building up the setting details and while she did have some of this information, I still want more.

(But not as an info-dump, which thankfully, wasn’t a problem in this book)

The characters were alright. Amy can be unbearable at times, but some of it can be attributed to her high amount of panic when she realizes, “Oh shoot I’ve been woken up early”. I do think that she was too inconsiderate. She doesn’t understand that the Godspeed IS NOT LIKE Earth and that the ship has essentially been reduced to a homogeneous society. She doesn’t realize that her different appearance might cause the people on board the ship to rebel. She’s selfish and doesn’t know what she’s doing half the time.

On the other hand, I’m not really sure if I like Elder that much. :/ He’s naive and kind of dull. Half the time he was talking about how beautiful Amy was and it’s really obvious that he wants to get in her pants. I also felt like he was a doormat. Too meek. However, his creative friend, Harley, was really great.

The plot was pretty predictable what with the reader knowing who the enemy is within the first fourth of the book. There were a few plot twists that I didn’t expect, but looking back, I honestly probably could have predicted them had I been focusing more.

There were both good and bad things about the romance. Very insta-love-y on Elder’s part. Kind of annoying reading all about his obsession with Amy 24/7. But hey, at least there wasn’t any love triangle and the love isn’t forced on Amy.

 I liked this one a lot.

3.5/5 Stars

[Review] Saving Francesca – Melina Marchetta

Saving Francesca

Saving Francesca

Author: Melina Marchetta

Publish Date: May 9th, 2006

Number of Pages: 243

Genre: YA, Contemporary

A compelling story of romance, family, and friendship with humor and heart, perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Lauren Myracle.

Francesca is stuck at St. Sebastian’s, a boys’ school that pretends it’s coed by giving the girls their own bathroom. Her only female companions are an ultra-feminist, a rumored slut, and an impossibly dorky accordion player. The boys are no better, from Thomas, who specializes in musical burping, to Will, the perpetually frowning, smug moron that Francesca can’t seem to stop thinking about.

Then there’s Francesca’s mother, who always thinks she knows what’s best for Francesca—until she is suddenly stricken with acute depression, leaving Francesca lost, alone, and without an inkling of who she really is. Simultaneously humorous, poignant, and impossible to put down, this is the story of a girl who must summon the strength to save her family, her social life and—hardest of all—herself.


Review

I think I’m in the minority of this book. Lots and lots of people loved it, but I on the other hand, didn’t like nearly as much as I had been expecting it. I definitely enjoyed it but it in no way, measured up to Marchetta’s later book, Jellicoe Road. Friends, if you have been following me for a while, you’ll probably notice that I loved Jellicoe Road. It’s painfully obvious if you read my Top-Ten Tuesday posts. Saving Francesca, while fantastic, was slightly disappointing, to me. I feel like a better decision would have been to read this one before I read Jellicoe Road.

Nevertheless, Saving Francesca had some fantastic qualities.

Characters. I adored the characters in Saving Francesca. They were all just amazing. Francesca was great. She was kind of sarcastic but also confused and very contemplative. I loved Will Tromble, her love interest. Francesca’s crew was beautiful. The way that the girls banded together and how they befriended the few boys that weren’t as sexist was just amazing. I loved the way that Francesca learned what it meant to truly live as yourself, not as what others expect you to be. I loved how she learned to deal with problems, to take control and tell people what was the right way to do things. She learned how to take initiative and do what she believed was right. She grows a lot as a character.

In short, the relationships, development, everything related to the characters, was amazing.

The plot of the book was…. not what I was expecting at all.

A summary in two sentences……

Francesca is starting at a new school and is one of the first thirty girls to attend St. Sebastian’s. She’s lost and trying to find her place while also facing the effects of her mother’s depression.

It was a lot more simple and the plot itself focused more on learning how to find yourself than the other mentioned topics (depression and sexism). Sometimes it came off as mundane. I felt like the concept of depression was kind of skimmed over in order to better describe the other important ideas within the book, although honestly, it might just be me and how I’ve read a lot of books where the limelight is on the mental illness. In this case, while depression is a prominent subject of the book, Marchetta doesn’t really spend more time than necessary talking about Mia’s (her mother) depression.

I liked the portrayal of sexism. It’s a really realistic comparison of how oftentimes traditions can end up becoming the reason that girls are discriminated against. If thirty girls infiltrate a previously all-boys school, somehow, I doubt that they will be so easily accepted. While, female empowerment isn’t really mentioned, I feel that the book did realistically mention the repercussions of the attendance of the girls.

 The romance was both good and bad. The two characters had a lot of chemistry but I can’t help but feel like it didn’t have a lot of buildup. I can definitely understand why Marchetta chose to do this (I mean, they’re in a sexist private school where dating the girls in the school is a really bold move.) but I wish there had been some more non-awkward interaction y’know? It’s not exactly insta-love but it could have been really close. I do really like that Will Tromble was the class president though.

3.5/5 Stars

Top Ten Books/Movies I Want To Watch To Get Into The Halloween Spirit

Top Ten Books/Movies I Want To Watch To Get

Into the Halloween Spirit

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.


I’m a total wimp when it comes to horror movies.

I was scared of Coraline in 4th grade. The Conjuring, which honestly was not that scary, freaked me out so much. I can’t do jump scares. I can’t do creepy as eff faces. I hide even when I know there is a jump scare. But  I suppose, to “get into the Halloween spirit” I’ll have to list some of them.

Truth be told, I was never really a huge fan of Halloween anyways.

My thanks to my friend who gave me a list of some good horror movies.


1. Nightmare Before Christmas

This was her first suggestion and I actually do want to watch this. Our conversation went as follows:

Her: “You have to watch Nightmare Before Christmas!

Me: “Isn’t that a Christmas movie?”

Her: “You loser, it’s not just a Christmas movie! They literally have that “This is Halloween” song in the beginning.”

Me: “Okay then”.

So this is on here because apparently it’s a Halloween movie and I actually do want to watch it. *shrugs*

2. Halloweentown

Don’t judge me. I used to watch all of the Disney Channel Halloween movie specials back when I had cable. I’d love to watch this movie now just to figure out if it’s as good as I remember it being. Gotta love the witches right?

(And it’s one the only things on this list that isn’t remotely scary)

3. Vampire Academy

The book, not the movie. It has vampires and paranormal figures are associated with Halloween amiright? I’m 100 pages into this book and I can say that it’s definitely not what I expected from it. I’m not really sure if it’ll “get me into the Halloween spirit” but I guess it should qualify.

4. Blood of My Blood

It be the third I Hunt Killers book. I got it from the library this weekend. It has serial killers and blood and should qualify as a gruesome if not scary read. And I really want to read it.

5. Any and all Neil Gaiman books

I love Neil Gaiman’s books. Coraline was amazing and The Graveyard Book was even better. His books are always sort of creepy in some way and definitely good for Halloween. I’d be okay with rereading his old books or any other ones.

My Friend’s Lovely Suggestions (AKA stuff that’s going to seriously scare me)

6. The Silence of the Lambs

I kind of don’t want to ever see this but I have a feeling I’ll be forced to watch it in it’s entirety at least once before I’m out of highschool. Cannibals are ew and a horror movie like this one will likely give me nightmares about Hannibal Lector crawling through my window to eat me.

7. Black Swan

This one I am okay with because I actually do like ballet and dancing (If you haven’t noticed by the name of my blog). I think I’ve seen tidbits of it too. And I think this one probably isn’t as scary as the other ones. I hope not.

8. Stephen King books

I have never read a King novel although it is on my reading bucket list. My friend suggested The Tommyknockers, but after reading the synopsis I was kind of turned off by it. I’m not too big of a sci-fi fan. Maybe I’ll read one of his more popular novels like It or The Shining.

(I’ll probably get nightmares from reading his books)

I’m going to count the King and Gaiman one as two each because technically, they both encompass a large number of books.

Any suggestions for Halloween-themed novels or movies?

Blog Update

Blog Update

Hey guys! I’ve kind of abandoned the “blog about my life” part of this blog and I kind of want to revive it. My original want for this blog was for it to be a lifestyle/book/everything blog where I could pretty much talk about anything I wanted to. Obviously, it ended up deviating towards the book part which isn’t a bad thing, but I’m thinking about making my life-blogging more of a weekly thing.

Anyways, I know I’ve been kind of absent in the past few weeks. I know I post stuff every now and then, but having twoish posts a week is NOT okay in my book. I feel bad if I don’t post anything after three days (which has happened many times sorry!). What I feel especially bad about is that the lack of reviews isn’t because I haven’t had time to read. It’s because I finish them and then I don’t review them. I like to think about my opinion for at least a day before posting because sometimes I’m blinded by feels or hate and can’t make a really good review. I don’t think anybody wants to read a review where I’m keyboard smashing about how much I loved a book if said book has some errors that can affected the overall rating.

And I know that I did pretty good this week in terms of posts, but what I’m talking about is my bad habit of having some really good posts one week, but then having like one post the next. CONSISTENCY IS KEY.

Well because of that, I have a queue of like five books I need to review which is a problem because I should really return them to the library because book hoarding is not healthy. But then I don’t want to return them because well.. I need to review them. So yeah this is something that’s been gnawing at my conscience lately. If you’re interested, those books are Noggin, Don’t Look Back, Across the Universe, Saving Francesca, and The Blood of Olympus.

In other news, I’ve been meaning to make a Stacking the Shelves post buuuuuut well I’m too lazy to actually arrange and take a picture of the ginormous stack of books I checked out from the library. It’ll go up eventually. Expect a post with like thirty books in it.

Part of the reason that I’ve been kind of slacking off is because well…. I kind of started to marathon the episodes of a kdrama this weekend. I was originally going to make this weekend a catch-up for my blog so I could finish up all those reviews. Well I started watching episode 11 of “My Love From the Stars” and that goal went flying out the window. Maybe I’ll write a review for it. But I’m going to make sure that I write it after I write those book reviews. (I’m halfway through a review for Saving Francesca)

*Coughs I finished the drama this weekend*

If you haven’t noticed, I get distracted really easily.

It’s the reason I don’t finish homework really quickly.

[Review] On the Fence – Kasie West

On the Fence

On the Fence

Author: Kasie West

Publish Date: July 1st, 2014

Number of Pages: 296

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance

For sixteen-year-old Charlotte Reynolds, aka Charlie, being raised by a single dad and three older brothers has its perks. She can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows—including her longtime neighbor and honorary fourth brother, Braden. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn’t know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world of makeup, lacy skirts, and BeDazzlers. Even stranger, she’s spending time with a boy who has never seen her tear it up in a pickup game.

To cope with the stress of faking her way through this new reality, Charlie seeks late-night refuge in her backyard, talking out her problems with Braden by the fence that separates them. But their Fence Chats can’t solve Charlie’s biggest problem: she’s falling for Braden. Hard. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high.


Review

On the Fence was really really sweet. I liked the idea of a tomboy trying to learn how to portray her emotions. It was pretty entertaining and a really good read.

I’m not really sure if I like the plot or not. At times, I like how simplistic it is, but other times, I’m kind of just waiting for something to happen. It feels aimless, but I suppose that it might just be because of the fact that the book is literally a story about Charlie’s summer and how she learned to be confident about herself. It’s pretty much your standard “best-friends to boyfriend” type book. Even if it was really cute, I found it a little cliche. In addition to this, I had expected this book to be a cute romance-y book but then there was a huge reveal towards the end of the book that I didn’t expect at all. It was angsty and sad, a far cry from the rest of the mellow story.

Charlie is a total tomboy and doesn’t really understand how to portray her emotions. I really really wanted to like her character but I personally found her a little… er. shallow should I say? She’s not actually nearly as shallow as a lot of characters but I didn’t really like her voice (in the book) that much. I did find her awkward attempts at being girly kind of sweet.

I believe that every girl has a little bit of girlyness within them that they can tap into if they feel like it.

I really really liked some of the relationships in On the Fence. Charlie’s relationship with her brothers, specifically Gabe, were really great. And what made me really laugh was at the end when a bunch of guys were asked if they would have dated Charlie had her brothers not threatened them. Stuff like being overprotective, competitive, teasing her, bets, it was all what made these relationships enjoyable.

However, although this book focused on how Charlie tried to act more feminine (and eventually learns that she doesn’t have to pretend like someone she isn’t to get boys to like her), I felt like she never once made that connection with the girls. It’s written to be as such, but even so, I felt like Charlie was cut off from everything.

I loved the interactions between Charlie and her beau Braden. Their fence talks have to be some of the cutest things ever and the way they finally get together breaks all of the sexual tension that they have. (This isn’t a spoiler. Let’s be honest, the cover shows the two of them kissing.)

3/5 Stars

Liebster Award Nomination

~Liebster Award Nomination~

I wasn’t expecting this at all (I literally made this two months ago), but I was nominated by Danielle of Stories Unfolded for the Liebster award! Thank you for nominating my blog! 🙂

From what I’ve seen, it’s an award, taggy thing for blogs with less than 200 followers.

This tag also made me realize exactly how anti-social I am, even on the internet. I sort of feel more motivated to read other people’s book blogs now.


The Rules

Link and thank the blogger that nominated you

Answer the 11 questions your nominator gives you

Tag 11 other bloggers who have 200 or less followers

Ask the 11 nominated bloggers 11 questions and tell them you’ve nominated them


Danielle’s Questions

Q: If you were stranded on a desert island and only had one book, what would that book be?

This question is pure evil. Would it count if I duct tape a bunch of books together so that it’s technically “one” book? How about one of those huge bindups of a whole series?

In all seriousness, it would have to be something really long. At least 400 pages minimum (preferably longer) because if it were any shorter, I’d finish the book really fast and I’d get sick of rereading it so many times. Hm. Maybe The Diviners because that book is hella long. Or Harry Potter. Maybe Les Miserables? I haven’t read it and it’s really long.

Q: What’s your favorite part of going to a bookstore?

That moment when I get my mom to cave and buy me more than one book (I’m a broke teenager okay?). I’ll walk over to her with this 10-book tall stack of books and she’ll just look at me with this expression that’s like “are you serious?” And then she’ll just say, “No.” And I’ll pout and try to eliminate books.

Q: What are you currently reading?

I’m one of those people that simultaneously read like six books. When I’m in the mood to read a different genre, I’ll end up picking up another book when I’m not finished with the ones I’m reading. The problem with this is that I end up having a lot of books that I need to review because I end up finishing all of them at the same time. It’s a bad habit.

I’m currently reading….

Don’t Look Back – Jennifer L. Armentrout

Noggin – John Corey Whaley

Otherbound – Corrine Duyvis

The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Pandora Chronicles – Ryan Attard

I’m about to start To Kill a Mockingbird for school and I’m super psyched. I actually haven’t read it (shameful, I know) and the converging stories in the book are something I’m looking forward to.

Q: What book from your childhood has stuck with you the most?

Well seeing as I’m still in highschool…… I guess I’ll just name some books that I remember really clearly from Elementary school. Sharon Creech was one of my favorite authors and I absolutely loved Walk Two Moons but I can’t really say that it “stuck” with me. When You Reach Me was a book that I remembered really liking because trying to think through all of the plot aspects gave me a headache. Time travel hurts my head but it’s so cool at the same time.

Q: What book has had the largest impact on your life?

Well…. seeing that, after one question, I’m still in highschool…… I’m not too sure what has overall had the biggest impact. I haven’t really encountered a book that’s made me reflect on my life (I really hope I find that book soon though) but I have read books that make me flail and fangirl all over the place. The biggest changes that happen to me are often the result of some type of important event that makes me realize how I should begin to act rather than the books I read.

Q: What is a book from your childhood that you absolutely want to read to your children?

If we’re talking picture books….. ANYTHING BUT A BAD CASE OF THE STRIPES. That book scared me so much as a kid. It still scares me. Like a disease caused by not eating lima beans that makes you all stripy?

It’s terrifying

If we’re talking chapter books…… Definitely A Tale of Desperaux and Savvy. Ooooh and The Witch of Blackbird Pond because I loved that book.

Q: What is the most books you’ve read in a single week?

Oh shoot… I never count this type of stuff. Uh if I guesstimate…. I’d probably say around 6-7 books.

Q: What’s your favorite quote from a book?

Another thing that I never do. I have so many bad book habits it’s ridiculous. I’ll write down a quote I like and then I’ll never remember it because I’ll throw away the paper. Or I’ll write down the page number and then never go find it again. If it makes you feel any better, it’s not going to be some ridiculous cheesy jargon *cough John Green*. It’s definitely going to be some philosophical stuff or the really simple ones that are kind of heart-breaking.

Q: What literary character do you most identify with?

I probably would identify most with…… er….. the laidback best-friend cliche character to be honest. I find myself being one of the most laidback about most things out of all of my friends and sometimes, I end up being the unwilling psychiatrist for some of them. So yeah, the cliche vent-bag best friend. I guess, if I’m going to pick a specific character from a book like this, it would have to be Raffy from Jellicoe Road (I’m pretty sure you guys all saw that coming). She’s super chill, kind of shallow at times, but also a really good friend to Taylor.

Q: What’s your favorite movie adaptation of a book?

I haven’t watched one that I’ve liked enough to warrant as my “favorite”.

99% of movie adaptations suck.

(#1 example is the Percy Jackson adaptations. I just. No.)

Q: Who is your favorite author and why?

Hmmm….. I really like Libba Bray and Barry Lyga.

I liked Libba Bray a lot before but The Diviners cemented her as one of my faves. Barry Lyga is just fantastic. I really loved his characterization in I Hunt Killers.

(This question is kind of predictable too XD)


My Questions

1. What was the last book that made you cry?

2. What is a really underrated book that you would love to see on the big screen? Why?

3. What is something in a book that has to be well-done for you to like it? (For me, it’s characterization.) Is it plot, setting, characters, etc?

4. Is there a book that you consider your guilty pleasure? If so, why?

5. What is your favorite book setting? (Stuff like this -> Fantasy AU, Boarding School, Hollywood, New York, Foreign Countries, etc.)

6. What is a book that you want to read purely for the cover?

7. Is there a book that you’ve tried to read innumerable times but have never been able to finish? What is it?

8. What is your OTP (One True Pairing)?

9. Why and when did you start your book blog?

10. If you estimate, what is most books you’ve ever checked out from your library?

11. What is your favorite type of post to write for your blog?


I’m tagging these lovely people

(P.S.) If you’ve already done this tag, it’s fine! I’m not going to force you to do it again. And if you have more than 200 followers and haven’t done it…. well….. you should do it anyways 😉 Tags are fun!

The Bodacious Book Babe/Addicted to Ink

The Shores of the World

I Go Through Phases

So Many Words

Infinite Pages

The Daily Dosage

Time 2 Tome

Stranger to Gravity

The Penguin Cave

Pages and Pages Book Reviews

Bridget’s Bookish Blog

Top Ten New Series I Want To Start

Top Ten New Series I Want to Start

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 one will be easy as 1, 2, 3 and it’s on time.

There are so many book series I want to read that it’s ridiculous. School sucks because it means less time to read. :/

These are going to be a lot of books that are popular in book-verse because I didn’t even know that they existed prior to my foray into goodreads.


1. The Daughter of Smoke and Bone Series

Super popular book that is supposed to be really good. I finally checked it out and will probably not read it until it’s supposed to be returned. From what I gathered, I think it’s an angel book? Not sure.

2. The Young Elites Series

I love Marie Lu. That’s literally the only reason I want to read this series. Her Legend series was fab so yes, I want to read this.

3. The Murder Complex Series

I love the cover and I really liked I Hunt Killers so I was looking for something similar. I think this is similar but to be honest, I don’t really know. I just really want to read this series.

4. The Rephaim Series

This series is a complete wild card. I have no clue if it’s going to be good or if it’s going to be a complete disappointment. I just know that it’s about angels (I have read like no angel ya paranormal books) and that the library here doesn’t have it :/

5. The Lunar Chronicles

I’ve heard a bajillion and fifty good things about this book although I initially had my suspicions on if it was good. I found a cheap $3 copy of Cinder at Half-Price Books a few months ago and I still have yet to read it. If I’m realistic, I’ll end up reading this in December or later.

6. The Darkest Minds Series

Heard lotsa good things about this and I still have yet to read it. Super excited and I absolutely adore the cover. I think the third book came out recently.

7. The 5th Wave Series

Movie is coming out in two years (I think) and Chloe Grace-Moretz (is that her name?) is starring in it. I don’t know if it’s going to be good, but I want to read it before the hype makes getting a copy impossible.

8. Throne of Glass

This series is quite possibly one of the series I’m most excited about reading. Sure it’ll probably take me forever to actually get around to it… but I’m hoping I’ll read the first book by the time 2015 rolls around.

9. Rebel Belle Series

I actually have the first book at home, checked out from the library. I liked the cover of this book a lot and I actually haven’t really heard too many things about it. I’m hoping that it’s really good.

10. Maids of Honor Series

I think this is the only historical fiction novel I have on this list. But I really want to read this series even though I know absolutely nothing about it.

What are some series suggestions you have? Tell me below!

[Movie Review] The Mazerunner

So I went to see The Mazerunner….

This is going to be one of like ten book-to-movie adaptations that I actually see somewhat around the time it comes out…… if a month after it comes out counts.

So my friend and I decided that to go to the movies last Saturday. Originally we were going to watch a horror movie called (insert name that sounds something like Azabelle Soapstone because this name is most surely incorrect). Unfortunately for her, the movie was out of theaters already. So instead, we went to see The Mazerunner, because as she said, “Dylan O’Brien is hot”. I’m totally up to see hot guys and the movie adaptation itself so I’m like “sure why not!”

Saturday morning, we went to this super nice coffee shop downtown called 3rd Street Stuff to get brunch. It was fabulous because omigod the coffee was amazing and the sandwich was pretty good too. We talked and caught up a bunch on life because this year, we don’t have too many classes together.

About an hour later, we went to the movies and got in. After watching a few trailers the movie started and I was really excited because the trailer for it had looked really really good. The maze and glade was animated really well and yes, the guys were hot (Ki Honglee and Thomas Brodie-Sangster~~~~). The movie itself wasn’t as good as I expected it to be, especially after hearing about how it was supposed to be better than most movie adaptations and how it was really good.

The Good Stuff

  1. Hot guys
  2. Setting is really well
  3. General concept of the book is followed
  4. People that are supposed to die, do die
  5. There are no stupid characters added in and they made sure to keep the important ones
  6. The Grievers aren’t how I pictured them, but at least they weren’t turned into wolves or something
  7. Newt and Chuck are my favorite in the movie because they are super adorbs
  8. Sets it up well for the next movie.
  9. No stupid cliffhanger scene
  10. Yay diversity! Not all of the characters were white.

The Not-So-Amazing Stuff

  1. Minho’s witty lines are nonexistent. His entire personality was kind of washed out. Hopefully, this will be changed in the next movie.
  2. Characterization of the characters isn’t really addressed
  3. No telepathy
  4. No suspense
  5. The Griever’s home/Maze exit isn’t on a cliff like it’s described in the book
  6. Teresa isn’t how I pictured AT ALL (okay this isn’t really a bad thing, this is purely my opinion)
  7. Death scene of Chuck was very anti-climatic
  8. I don’t remember Thomas rising to becoming someone of power in the book that quickly.
  9. I remember there being a lot of planning before they went to the cliff to escape but that might just be from The Death Cure.
  10. Lot’s of really low moments that could have been traded in lieu of higher action ones
  11. The plot goes by really fast. Some parts feel airbrushed, but it’s a movie and it’s kind of expected.

Overall it really wasn’t too bad of a movie. It’s certainly better than the abomination that was the Percy Jackson movies but it wasn’t as good as the adaptation of The Hunger Games.

Audrey, Wait! – Robin Benway

Audrey, Wait!

Audrey, Wait!

Author: Robin Benway

Publish Date: April 10th, 2008

Number of Pages: 320

Genre: YA, Chick-lit, Contemporary

California high school student Audrey Cuttler dumps self-involved Evan, the lead singer of a little band called The Do-Gooders. Evan writes, “Audrey, Wait!” a break-up song that’s so good it rockets up the billboard charts. And Audrey is suddenly famous!

Now rabid fans are invading her school. People is running articles about her arm-warmers. The lead singer of the Lolitas wants her as his muse. (And the Internet is documenting her every move!) Audrey can’t hang out with her best friend or get with her new crush without being mobbed by fans and paparazzi.

Take a wild ride with Audrey as she makes headlines, has outrageous amounts of fun, confronts her ex on MTV, and gets the chance to show the world who she really is.


Review

What initially pulled made me want to read this book was the really eye-catching cover and the title of the book. Then I read the summary and I knew this had to go on my tbr.

Audrey, Wait! is a story about a girl that had simply broken up with her boyfriend, Evan, and thus, inspired him to write a song. It blows up into the next biggest American pop hit, and of course, Audrey ends up being hounded by the paparazzi.

I strongly disliked the characters of this book. Audrey was bearable (if a little stupid) but I really didn’t like her best friend Victoria. The entire time I was reading I just felt the need to punch Victoria. Audrey is having trouble adjusting to the life of a celebrity and all Victoria can think about is the free stuff and perks of being well-known. Every time I saw her name, she was either asking about free make-up or if someone had invited her to some social event. The first time Audrey is called by a reporter, Victoria pressures her into answering the questions even though Audrey was definitely not of a mind-state to be smartly answering. Victoria becomes Audrey’s “agent” without her even asking. She uses Audrey’s name to get free things without even asking her! I felt like Victoria wasn’t a true friend; Instead she was portrayed as a leeching, fake friend.

The romance in this book was painful. At first I thought that it would be cute for Audrey to end up dating her co-worker. That was, until the romance became the #1 example of terrible romantic development.

James, the love interest, is absent for much of the beginning of the book (probably because he’s a really boring character). What attempts there were to develop the romance were quickly forgotten as his appearances were followed by four chapters of absence. There are probably three meaningful interactions between James and Audrey before they end up beginning to date (and no, that is not a spoiler because we all know it was going to happen). I found that the book used a lot of time skips to avoid having to describe events. The lack of build-up was partly salvaged with some teensy, teensy bit of chemistry between the two characters.

Audrey’s character was annoying but her narration was pretty fun to read. The reckless, teenage voice was represented very well. I thought that it was believable how she handled the fame and breakup.

I really really liked the way this book ended. It’s about as realistic as a unicorn flying into my house but nothing about this book screams verisimilitude. I liked how it was dramatic and showcased Audrey’s change in attitude towards her whole situation. Although I didn’t really like the trigger for her change, I enjoyed her I-don’t-give-a-crap attitude and I loved the way that she kind of realized that her situation would be okay. It would all be okay.

This book has a disappointing romance but a really fun plot. The characters were okay. This is one of those books you read when you really don’t want to use too much brain on a book.

3/5 Stars

Reality Boy – A.S. King

Reality Boy

Reality Boy

Author: A.S. King

Publish Date: October 22nd, 2013

Number of Pages: 353

Genre: YA, Contemporary

Gerald Faust knows exactly when he started feeling angry: the day his mother invited a reality television crew into his five-year-old life. Twelve years later, he’s still haunted by his rage-filled youth—which the entire world got to watch from every imaginable angle—and his anger issues have resulted in violent outbursts, zero friends, and clueless adults dumping him in the special education room at school.

Nothing is ever going to change. No one cares that he’s tried to learn to control himself, and the girl he likes has no idea who he really is. Everyone’s just waiting for him to snap…and he’s starting to feel dangerously close to doing just that.

In this fearless portrayal of a boy on the edge, highly acclaimed Printz Honor author A.S. King explores the desperate reality of a former child “star” who finally breaks free of his anger by creating possibilities he never knew he deserved.


Review

Reality Boy had almost everything I was hoping for. Almost.

I knew it was going to be about a messed up teenager who’s life had been ripped apart by his family and Network Nanny. I wasn’t expecting anything about crap to show in the novel. I feel so bad for Gerald because “The Crapper” has to be one of the most humiliating nicknames ever. Gerald’s story was so unhappy. His growth and realization as he goes through school and learns to open up to other people is something that was rewarding to read about. He’s a misunderstood soul that’s been labelled as a criminal simply because of the fact that he was never taught how to portray his emotions. His character was raw and realistic, someone that was characterized very very well. I couldn’t help but sympathize with him. There were multiple scenes in this book that just made me want to give Gerald a hug. By the end of the book, I wanted to applaud him for finally stepping up and becoming a stronger character. He’s a really nice person but the outsiders have been deluded by the superficial image they have of his childhood persona.

I didn’t really like the love interest, Hannah. I found her kind of annoying at times but I can understand how Gerald would have liked her. The build-up for them was really cute. They are a good couple but I couldn’t feel the chemistry. Part of the reason I didn’t really like it was because of the fact that I didn’t like Hannah as a character.

I loved the setting of this story. The hockey arena, school, house, every crucial setting was described very well. I could imagine the format of the hockey arena and his house. I could vividly picture nearly every setting in the book.

Plot-wise, I felt like the book was lacking. It’s entirely about Gerald’s road to recovery and realization and it’s a heart-breaking one at that. It’s told in a combination of scenes from the show that Gerald’s family was on, Network Nanny, and the present. It’s a very effective form of storytelling. By doing this, King slowly reveals more and more snippets of Gerald’s past and links it to how it affected the future. While her storytelling skills were great, the plot was not good enough. The important moments were distinct (moments when he reflects on his family, key events in the book, etc.), but the connections between them sometimes dragged.

Recently I’ve been reading a lot of books where the main characters seem to suffer from some type of mental disorder. In this case, Gerald has anger-management issues and King handles the subject matter extremely well. She shows that there are multiple layers to a victim’s anger and that even if the victim says that he or she isn’t trying, some of them genuinely want to recover. She brings up the idea that family issues can be the reason that a someone is the way that they are. And most importantly, she addresses the amount of truth that lies in reality television. We all know that reality tv is completely fake through and through but in the process of creating these shows, the children and actors are negatively impacted.

I didn’t like the writing in Reality Boy. I thought that it matched Gerald’s tone and personality but personally, I didn’t enjoy reading it. It felt scattered and choppy, which I suppose, is what King might have been trying to accomplish in this novel (that is, the disorganized, highly-unstable mind of an angry teenager).

There were some plot aspects that I loved about the book. Gerald and Hannah’s list of demands (basically a list of stuff they wanted from their dysfunctional families/parents). The story about Gerald and his sister Lisi (Lisis worked her butt off to escape their house). The circus. Gerald’s class (He was placed in the special-needs class by his mother.). Although it was awful for Gerald, I really liked the parts of the story with Tasha (sex-fiend who does it loudly in the basement with no remorse). The boxing. The hockey fan that recognized Gerald.

All in all, a pretty good book that occasionally dragged.

3.5/5 Stars