Friday, September 30, 2016

Follow Friday # 6



This is a weekly blog meme hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read

The Rules:

The goal is to increase blog followers, make friends and have something to post.
You create your own post using the post prompt.
You leave your link and thumbnail in the linky list that links back to your post prompt.
Once you have your post up and linked, visit other posts and tell them hi. The point is to FOLLOW them not just comment.
If you see a post that just hit it to the moon, or just want to show appreciation to a fellow blogger friend, like their name on the linky list to show some appreciation.
The person with the most likes gets chosen as the next Feature (you can be chosen every 90 days unless we are in need of features)
It is required that if you participate that you have to follow the FEATURE. It is a big no-no to participate and ignore the feature. They are the special snowflake in this little blizzard.
As a participant it is up to your discretion on how you want people to follow. Please post RSS, GFC etc if you have a follow of choice.

Specific RULES:

Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing. You can also grab the code if you would like to insert it into your posts.
Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say “hi” in your comments and that they are now following you.
If you are using WordPress or another CMS that doesn’t have GFC (Google Friends Connect) state in your posts how you would like to be followed FOLLOW as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don’t just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don’t say “HI”
Follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don’t just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don’t say “HI”
If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love…and the followers
  

This week's prompt is: 

  • Is there a book/series that everybody seems to love, but you can’t stand? Why? via Heather Fowler @ Blood Thirsty Muses


My Answer:

The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff. I tried to enjoy the series because of the hype surrounding it but the format ruined the experience for me. The plot and the characters were great but I would have liked a whole lot more if there was not instant messaging with typos, I dislike that format so much. I still gave it around 3 stars and I'm thinking about checking out the novel in audiobook form to see if that makes it better.

Here is my review of the first book in the series.

Friday Meme: Books/Movies/Games Coming Out This Month That I Want To Read/See/Play # 37

Books:

Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven. I might cave and get myself this as a gift! :)












DVD:

X-Men: Apocalypse - Oct. 4














Theater:

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children - September 30th














Netflix:

IZombie Season 2

Review: The Library At Mount Char by Scott Hawkins

Summary from Goodreads:

A missing God.
A library with the secrets to the universe. 
A woman too busy to notice her heart slipping away.

Carolyn's not so different from the other people around her. She likes guacamole and cigarettes and steak. She knows how to use a phone. Clothes are a bit tricky, but everyone says nice things about her outfit with the Christmas sweater over the gold bicycle shorts.  

After all, she was a normal American herself once.   

That was a long time ago, of course. Before her parents died. Before she and the others were taken in by the man they called Father. 

In the years since then, Carolyn hasn't had a chance to get out much. Instead, she and her adopted siblings have been raised according to Father's ancient customs. They've studied the books in his Library and learned some of the secrets of his power. And sometimes, they've wondered if their cruel tutor might secretly be God.  

Now, Father is missing—perhaps even dead—and the Library that holds his secrets stands unguarded. And with it, control over all of creation. 

As Carolyn gathers the tools she needs for the battle to come, fierce competitors for this prize align against her, all of them with powers that far exceed her own. 

But Carolyn has accounted for this. 

And Carolyn has a plan. 

The only trouble is that in the war to make a new God, she's forgotten to protect the things that make her human.

Populated by an unforgettable cast of characters and propelled by a plot that will shock you again and again, The Library at Mount Char is at once horrifying and hilarious, mind-blowingly alien and heartbreakingly human, sweepingly visionary and nail-bitingly thrilling—and signals the arrival of a major new voice in fantasy.

My Review:

I gave the novel a solid 3 stars because of the quality of the writing but took off two stars because of the formatting and the all over the place plot.

I wanted to love this book but the fact that the reader is thrown into the strange story without explanation hurt my reading experience. The reader does not get explanations until half way, which is way too long to wait.

In my opinion the book got better at the half way part, when I was able to figure stuff out, and up until the ending. The plot was unique and a great undertaking, the library lover inside me loved the talk about the Library vs our library. :)

I had a hard time connecting with the characters because of the violence and touchy subject matter. Steve turned out to be the only one I liked (and maybe Erwin).

Besides the all over the place plot (and things not being explained) the main problem I had with it was the graphic violence and gory images (severed heads, men cut in half), it was completely unneeded and made me cringe.

I recommend checking it out if you enjoy challenging or weird stories. I would not recommend for those who cannot handle violence.

My Rating: 

3 Stars Out of 5

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Film Review: Zootopia (2016)

Summary from IMDB:

In a city of anthropomorphic animals, a rookie bunny cop and a cynical con artist fox must work together to uncover a conspiracy.


My Review:

I avoided the hype back when this animated film came out in March but since Netflix had this I decided to give it a watch (plus I have no one that likes to go to animated films in the theater :P).

It was a cute film that actually deals with important elements, I'm a film minor so I could not help but see the metaphor for race relations and diversity beneath the cuteness.

The voice acting was great, and it helped that I love Jason Bateman and Ginnifer Goodwin.

The main reason why I took off a star was the plot, it kind of feel flat for me and I had a hard time paying attention to the film. However, the concept was unique and that kept me watching (plus bunnies).

I recommend checking out this cute and imaginative look at a city run by animals.

My Rating:

4 Stars Out of 5

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Film Review: Hush (2016)

Summary from IMDB:

A deaf writer who retreated into the woods to live a solitary life must fight for her life in silence when a masked killer appears at her window.

My Review:

I started off the spooky autumn with a well crafted horror film.

I finally decided to check out Hush on Netflix, it took me a while because I tend to stay away from horror films at night and I'm so busy I never have free time during the day to watch the scary flicks. :)

Thankfully I just went ahead and watched Hush on Sunday night because I'd heard good things about it and now I understand why.

I was expecting a B horror film with the same cliches but was pleasantly surprised by how well done and acted Hush was.

The film only has one setting a remote house in the woods, where a killer is terrorizing a deaf and mute women. The film only has four actors in it and the one who plays the deaf/mute women was by far the best.

The best aspect of the film was the sound, it places the viewer in the point of view of Maddie when it strips the sound away. It was a great way to get the viewer to identify with Maddie and stick with her throughout her battle.

The lack of jump scares was refreshing but there was still some gross/bloody images as expected with a horror film. I'd recommend this people who dislike horror films because it was more on the thriller side, it was eerie but did not make me jump or scream.

I recommend checking this out, it is a creepy film but it is not full of jump scares overly gory imagery.

My Rating:

5 Stars Out of 5

Wishlist Wednesday # 114



Wishlist Wednesday is where you show a book that has been on your wishlist/TBR list for a while, the meme is hosted by Pen to Paper.

28171973Summary from Goodreads:

Mattie Carver’s engagement party should have marked the start of her own personal fairy tale. But when her fiancé, Ben, is violently abducted the next morning, her desperate quest to find him rips her away from small-town life and reveals a shattering truth: magic is real—and Ben is hooked. It’s not the stuff of storybooks. It’s wildly addictive, capable of producing everything from hellish anguish to sensual ecstasy almost beyond human endurance.
Determined to find out who took Ben and why, Mattie immerses herself in a shadowy underworld and comes face-to-face with the darkly alluring Asa Ward, a rogue magic dealer, infamous hustler…and her missing fiancé’s estranged brother. Asa has the power to sense magic, and he realizes Mattie is a reliquary, someone with the rare ability to carry magic within her own body, undetected. Asa agrees to help find Ben on one condition: Mattie must use her uncommon talent to assist his smuggling operations. Now, from magic-laced Vegas casinos to the netherworld clubs of Bangkok, Mattie is on a rescue mission. With Asa by her side, she’ll face not only the supernatural forces arrayed against her but the all-too-human temptation that she fears she can’t resist.

My Notes:

I read her Phantom of the Opera retelling two book series and enjoyed it. I want to read more by her and this one sounds interesting. 

Waiting on Wednesday # 115



"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, where you pick a book that is coming out soon that you want to read.

26258306Summary from Goodreads:

New York Times bestselling authors Rachel Cohn and David Levithan are back with a life-affirming Christmas romance starring Dash and Lily.

Dash and Lily have had a tough year since readers first watched the couple fall in love. Lily’s beloved grandfather suffered a heart attack, and his difficult road to recovery has taken a major toll on her typically sunny disposition.

With only twelve days left until Christmas—Lily’s favorite time of the year—Dash, Lily’s brother Langston, and their closest friends take Manhattan by storm to help Lily recapture the holiday magic of New York City in December.

Told in alternating chapters, The Twelve Days of Dash & Lilyreunites two beloved characters and is bound to be a Christmas favorite, season after season.
 

My Notes:

It's been a while since I read the first novel but I can't wait until this one comes out. But I might have to save this one for December.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Review: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Summary from Goodreads:

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER 
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night. 

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway: a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them both, this is a game in which only one can be left standing. Despite the high stakes, Celia and Marco soon tumble headfirst into love, setting off a domino effect of dangerous consequences, and leaving the lives of everyone, from the performers to the patrons, hanging in the balance.

My Review:

I can't believe I passed up this novel for so many years!! It was a random buy for .50 cents from my library based on the beautiful paperback cover. I'd been hearing nothing but good things about this and finally decided to read it.

It will be hard to review the mystic novel The Night Circus because I adored it and it has such a depth. I have two words to describe this novel: Beautiful and Magical.

I do not have any cons when it comes to the novel (which is a strange thing) I loved every aspect of this contemporary fairy tale!

The characters were amazing, the novel switches between past and present in a coherant way and focuses on a whole mess of relatable characters. The book's main focus is on the characters but the plot was magical and unique that it kept me enthralled.

The pace was slow but I enjoyed savoring the magical writing and staying with the characters for two weeks (which never happens, I tend to devour books in two days or less).

My favorites: Poppet, Celia, Bailey, and pretty much all of them!!!!

I'd like to say the genre was more on the fantasy side but I can also see the magical realism aspect with the historical elements.

I recommend checking out this sprawling tale of magic and love that will leave you with a desire to go to The Night Circus. :) It is now my favorite novel of 2016.

My Rating:

5 Stars Out of 5

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Fall TBR List #105


The Broke and Bookish. 


I'm going to leave out my required reading for class, it is a pretty long list, so only fun reading! :)

1. The Outlander Series by , Voyager book 3 and Drums of Autumn book 4. I'm planning listening to the audiobooks while walking around campus and while working on papers. :) I'll keep going in the series if I finish these two.
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2. The last two novels in The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare, City of Lost Souls and City of Heavenly Fire. I bought a copy of the 5th novel (I had a gift card, which is usually the only time I buy a book for more then $3 or less) and I'm planning on getting the 6th one at the local library.
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3. The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins. I'm starting this one soon, I won it from a goodreads giveaway a while ago and it sounds pretty interesting.
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4. Open Road Summer by Emery Lord. I'm in a fluffy contemporary mood
(even in October, lol) and this one has been on my list for a while.
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5. The Season by Jonah Lisa Dyer, Stephen Dyer. Another book I won from Goodreads and really want to read soon. It seems like it will be funny.
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6. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. I bought this all the way back in December and still need read it. 
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7. I have various ARCs I want to read.
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8. Morning Star (Red Rising #3) by Pierce Brown. I want to finally finish this series. :) It is the year of finishing series, if only I could do the same with TV, lol.
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9. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut. I have a copy of this and want to read it soon because it is banned book week.
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10. Like a River Glorious (The Gold Seer Trilogy #2) by Rae Carson. The first novel was an okay read but since I won the second one from Goodreads I decided to give it chance.
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Monday, September 26, 2016

Review: No-No Boy by John Okada



Summary from Goodreads:

John Okada was born in Seattle, Washington in 1923. He attended the University of Washington and Columbia University. He served in the US Army in World War II, wrote one novel and died of a heart attack at the age of 47. John Okada died in obscurity believing that Asian America had rejected his work.

In this work, Okada gives the perspective of a no-no boy, a Japanese-American man who would neither denounce his Japanese heritage nor fight for the U.S. Army during WWII. This novel takes place after the main character spent two years in a Japanese internment camp, and two years in prison after saying no when asked to join the U.S. Army. Okada's novel No-No Boy shows the internal and external struggles fought by Japanese-Americans in that time period, be they no-no boys or not.
 

My Review:

All the books I have to read for my ethnicity in literature class are ones I've never heard of before, and No-No Boy is a pretty unknown book about WW2 and Japanese-Americans.

The writing style is very much like Virginia Woolf, it has a lot of stream consciousness paragraphs that were deep and striking (a lot of people did not care for the style).

The POV was the hardest element to get used to you, it switches from first person to third person on the same page and it was pretty confusing.

The authors views about the American Dream and racism in the country during WW2 was eye opening. I would recommend reading this if you want to read from the POV of someone struggling with the divide of American and another culture.

The characters were relatable, I was invested in Ichiro's journey as he struggles to come to terms with his choices and what culture he truly belongs.

I had a hard time with the ending, I can understand the metaphor but wanted more from it.

I recommend checking this out if you can find a copy, I got mine from Amazon for around $6 and it is a pretty old copy.

My Rating:

4 Stars Out of 5

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #122

badgeThe Meme Comes From The Book Dare.

Books I Read Last Week: 

Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica (3.5 Stars)
No-No Boy by John Okada (4 Stars)
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (5 Stars)


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Number of Pages: 1,153

Films/TV Watched: 

Films:

Father of the Bride (1950)
Rumor Has It (2006)
Zootopia (2016)
Hush (2016)

TV:

This Is Us (NBC) - Milo Ventimiglia!!! The show had me in tears, can't wait for more episodes.
Modern Family 
Gotham 
The Good Place (NBC) - Kristen Bell!!!!!!!

Pretty Little Liars Season 1 - I will be reviewing this! :)

Currently Reading:
Cover of The Crown's Game30818830

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Film Review: Father of the Bride (1950)

Summary from IMDB:

The father of a young woman deals with the emotional pain of her getting married, along with the financial and organizational trouble of arranging the wedding.

My Review:

I'm in a comedy film class and get to watch classic films like Father of the Bride.

I was only aware of the Steve Martin one from the 1990s but that one is nothing compared to the original directed by Vincente Minelli.

I love films that mix drama and comedy, most of all when it is centered on the family, and this one pulls it off.

The humor was the subtle kind, from the reactions of characters, the sarcastic wit of the father (Spencer Tracy), and the realistic problems of weddings and families.

The acting, most of all by Spencer Tracy, did a great job of bringing a realistic aspect to the film.

I recommend watching this, it had my class laughing all the way through.

My Rating:

5 Stars Out of 5

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Review: Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica

Summary from Goodreads:


A chance encounter sparks an unrelenting web of lies in this stunning new psychological thriller from the New York Timesbestselling author of The Good Girl, Mary Kubica  
She sees the teenage girl on the train platform, standing in the pouring rain, clutching an infant in her arms. She boards a train and is whisked away. But she can't get the girl out of her head… 
Heidi Wood has always been a charitable woman: she works for a nonprofit, takes in stray cats. Still, her husband and daughter are horrified when Heidi returns home one day with a young woman named Willow and her four-month-old baby in tow. Disheveled and apparently homeless, this girl could be a criminal—or worse. But despite her family's objections, Heidi invites Willow and the baby to take refuge in their home. 
Heidi spends the next few days helping Willow get back on her feet, but as clues into Willow's past begin to surface, Heidi is forced to decide how far she's willing to go to help a stranger. What starts as an act of kindness quickly spirals into a story far more twisted than anyone could have anticipated.
Don't miss this thrilling follow-up to The Good Girl by master of suspense, Mary Kubica.

My Review:

I adore Kubica's writing style and ability to come with great plots that compel the reader to make it to the end in one sitting (and that was what happened to me, 1 am :p).

I enjoyed her first novel, The Good Girl, but I believe this follow up is ten times better with the detailed beautiful writing and the interesting characters.

I've noticed a trend in my recent mystery reads of using the formatting style of switching from the past to the present. I understand that it is being used to build suspense but I'm just not a huge fan of it. I'd rather read everything linear and try to guess the twist by the end.

One of the characters POVS was hard to follow/read because she completely changes and I'm not sure if I buy that drastic of a change.

However, I enjoyed the twists, I guessed one of them correctly but the other was shocking.

I recommend mystery fans and people who love beautiful writing to check out her novels!

My Rating: 

3.5 Stars Out of 5

Stacking the Shelves/Weekly Update #114

Stacking The Shelves

Reviews:

Film Review: Tallulah (2016)
Review: The Merchant of Venice by Shakespeare
Review: The Finest Hours (2016)
Review: City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments #4) by Cassandra Clare

For Review:



Won: 

I really need to stop entering these things, lol. But it is my favorite thing to do in the morning, I might be able to turn all of these into Christmas presents. :) I won three on one day but at least one of them was a kindle book, my parents are getting annoyed by all the packages, lol :P
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Library:
28587957Cover of The Crown's GameCover of Night of Cake & Puppets