I really hate doing negative reviews. Hate it. This book, I swear, was the book version of a tease. One of the leads reminds me so much of Kara Thrace from BSG that my mind just couldn't wrap around her description in the book. Let's do this, shall we.
I'm so tired I'm going to do partial sentences here. Giant hand found by little girl. Little girl grows up and becomes a doctor that just happens to be selected to work on the project. They discover that the hand belongs to a giant robot. They search for all of the pieces around the world. Amazing pilots are found to try and see if they can work the thing. They can work the thing, sorta. They blow a bunch of people up by accident, blah blah blah. An evil doctor gets involved, then kicked out of the project, then involved again. Nameless man that has been doing the interviews the whole time saves the day at the end of the book with a master plan after finding out the ancient history of said giant robot.
-All of the characters are pretty tropey. Defiant airplane pilot, army bro, prideful linguist, too smart for you scientist. You know the usual.
-This is literally another version of Pacific Rim. You have to have two pilots to run the thing, and you have to kind of be in sync with one another.
-The only cool twist to this was that the giant was where the Titan mythos came from. All of the history that was passed to the nameless narrator by a descendant of the aliens that brought the thing to earth is thoroughly engrossing. I wish there had been more of it.
-This book is narrative format only. It would have been okay, except there is a lot of maid and butler going on, and there is only telling from a descriptive point of view. This gets kinda weird and a little creepy when the characters are discussing their romantic relationships. Almost oddly voyeuristic. I cringed a little.
-Overall, I really wanted to like it but the storyline just didn't do what I was expecting, or maybe it was doing exactly what I was expecting it to do. Either way, I would give the author another shot, this book just wasn't for me.
I almost cried when I started to look through Women in Science. I wish someone had told me that it was okay to think that math was hard, but that I would get through it. That science was difficult at times, but since I loved it, I would be able to make it. It's hard not to get upset when so few women have pushed their way through a man's field. In this day and age, when girls have more access to tools that will help them get the help they need to go into a STEM profession, these women did it all on their own.
The book is tight, sturdy, and chalk full of heroines of the STEM field. From current geniuses, to historical science mavericks, this book covers fifty female scientists that have shaped our world today. Women in Science is written and illustrated by the talented Rachel Ignotofsky. The colors are bright, the art is fantastic, and the information is inspiring for any geek girl looking to go into the science field. I couldn't recommend it enough.
***I received a review copy from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review***
You may, or may not, know who the ladies below are. If you don't - Dear GOD. If you do, I'm sure you've read some of their books.
Susan Dennard and Sarah J Maas have an ongoing space opera story online. You heard me. I just discovered it. If it weren't for all these books I have to catch up on I would already be reading this amaaaazing thing. Just wanted to make you aware ;)
This is actually my old boss, Erick Forsyth. He's a philosopher, artist, and eloquent debater. This is a short film on the work he does at his shop, The Three Graces Studio. If you're local go check him out. It's gorgeous and it deserves the recognition it's getting:
I had massively mixed feelings on this one. The friendships and goals of the main characters actually seem typical of any high schooler desiring power or wanting a place to fit in. The ending is such a twist that I had to appreciate all of the fine storytelling that happened throughout every interaction each character had. I just wasn't sure how to feel about the ACTUAL characters themselves.
River is a new girl who's moved into a coastal town for reasons unbeknownst to everyone but herself and her mother. After struggling to fit in she finds that the Graces, a family of three siblings rumored to be witches, may be her way into a social hierarchy that can protect and nurture her. The aura of witchcraft and the secrecy of the family only add to her desire to be accepted by the sibling clique. Little does she expect how far their family power and manipulation go.
-Some people complained that River came off as too creepy and needy at times, I agree. But if we're honest, a lot of high schoolers have these fears and hopes mixed in with a healthy dose of dread. It's not until the end that we look at everyone's actions a little differently.
-EVERYONE has their own unique voice here. I loved the Graces and their tight knit family group. I also loved to see the struggle between the siblings and how their emotions play against one another. More clarification on the ambiguity of some things would have been nice though.
-The social wars and nastiness were super authentic. I really think this is as close to realistic bullying in YA fiction I've seen in a while.
-We hear everything pretty much through River's voice, so it's hard to get a little bit of the emotional agenda of some of the secondary characters, Fenrin and Wolf especially.
-With the way the story ends, you might need to read it again to pick up on certain things. There are twists and turns that aren't expected and people's actions come to be understood with a brilliant ending plot twist. With a mix of The Craft and Mean Girls this book is definitely worth reading.
*I received a free ARC copy from the Abrams Kids through NetGalley for an honest review*
*****This Book releases September 1st 2016*****
Visit Laure Eve's or Abram Kids' websites below for more info!
I had the weirdest conversation today. It was so odd, and the person was so rude, I just dipped out. I had stated that I had unfollowed a writer (who is older than me-that will matter in a minute) because she had gotten angry about the Perks of Being a Wallflower and its hipsters. First of all, I was in high school in the nineties: there were no hipsters, being gay wasn't as accepted, and you were just a dork if you didn't fit in. You HAVE to frame your reading in the time it was written, otherwise no one would read Huck Finn, right? It's super racist by today's standards (just period, really).
This girl proceeds to tell me that she would have liked to figure out the hipsters and the gay kids on her own and that I pretty much used spoilers for the book (It was implied).
OKAY. This girl was probably born in the nineties. I wasn't about to get into a fight with her over it (she has like 3,500 followers on IG and I wasn't going there). I let her know I was sorry if I had ruined it and that a lot of what I had said was summarized in ads for the book and movie (I had already stated there were no hipsters in the book). She proceeds to tell me it wasn't ruined, she just doesn't like to go into the books with any knowledge of them, and then proceeds to tell me that she avoids watching the trailers for movies or ads for the books if she can help it (If she intends to read them). OOOKKKAAAY. If you're in media you can't really do that.
~I didn't do this to her~
IG Girl:"Hey everybody! I started watching Game of Thrones! What is your favorite tv show right now?
Me: OMG just wait! Did you read:
Granted a lot of those Gifs haven't been written into the series yet, but you get what I'm saying. I understand not ruining GOT or The Walking Dead a couple of days after. THIS BOOK IS SEVENTEEN YEARS OLD THOUGH. It's like telling someone Holden Caulfield had issues and them getting angry. I have noticed millennials have major entitlement issues (I'm one, don't get mad). I had seen it in action I just hadn't experienced it first hand yet. Her attitude was the reason why I try not to get involved and say things on social media. Lets put the breaks on that, shall we? If you're dealing with entertainment and you're in media you can't play that card ;) . Sorry, not sorry. READ THE TITLE AGAIN. It's kind of explanatory, but you know, you would have to use context (which is apparently out of vogue now). Has anyone else had issues like this?
After a little bit of persuading, James Campbell takes his fifteen year old daughter Aidan to help build a new cabin up in the Alaskan wilds for a friend. Little does she know it will require more grit and resolve than someone her age may be able to muster. Braving It covers all of their adventures in fine detail. The juicy taste of blackberries that ripened in the Alaskan sun, the feeling of finishing a cabin with your bare hands, the ache in your legs as you make your way through a river pass. These things are why you will continue to read this book.
Braving It goes over three separate trips: A visit to help an old friend build a cabin, a winter adventure visiting said cabin, and a long trek and paddle down the HulaHula River. Within these three tales, both learn the strength of their bond, and the real purpose of family when dealing with the callous wild.
- Campbell's descriptions really put you there. The weather, the greenery, the animals, everything that is apart of the experience, is detailed to the point that you feel present in the wilderness of the last frontier.
-I wish we had gotten a little bit of insight from his daughter Aidan. You can learn more about her own experiences and thoughts at her blog (I have included a link in the button below).
- Campbell occasionally comes off as arrogant and headstrong- but he often admits in reflection he knew he was wrong. To be honest, if you're going to be an explorer and a journalist you have to be resilient and have that sort of personality, or you probably won't last long.
-The bond and understanding between father and daughter sometimes strains during narration. It's obvious that both of them love and respect each other, but seeing the stress that nature adds to their relationship brings reality and the harshness of nature crashing down into reality in the book, and it makes it all the more introspective.
-The real theme of Braving It is how indifferent nature is. Through a heartbreaking tale from longtime friend Heimo about loosing his daughter on the river, to Aidan and James coming across polar bears or almost capsizing their canoe on a swiftly running river, this reminder pops up often.
-Their multiple journeys are fascinating. Even though some lingo and nicknames for camping and exploring are used, they are framed so that you know exactly what is going on in the moment.
-If you love the idea of Alaska, but don't think you'll ever get to go (or you know you wouldn't be able to hack it), this book will fulfill your wanderlust.
*There was an instance of a derogatory old name being referenced for a plant that was really unneeded. It took away from my concentration while I was reading because it was so superfluous. There was only one instance I could think of this happening though.
~I received a free copy from the publisher for an honest review~
~Check out my Instagram~
It's been a down summer for me, and I'm not really sure why. I think it started out with my manuscript taking so long to get reviewed that I just kind of gave up on revising it once I got it back. I guess not really giving up on it, but more or less being mentally exhausted about it. If you ever have to get beta readers make sure they are people that you trust. I had two people promise me they were on it and then disappeared into the wind. I needed it back within a month and a half so I could try and do as many revisions possible before one of the Twitter pitch wars (It's an event on twitter where you can show your book to potential agents). Yeah, that didn't happen. I did have about three people do it for me though, and that was very helpful. Some people came through last minute that I wasn't even expecting (you know who you are ;)), but other than that it was a bust.
I finally left a writing group that was helpful, and I learned a lot from, but ultimately wasn't helping me grow. There were a lot of unprofessional actions from younger writers that frustrated me more than helped me, and I decided it was time to leave. The mediators for the group were very gracious to open it up to all of us, and for that I will be forever grateful. I just had to detach. I still make sure to follow some from the group that were helpful and pretty much great (there were a bunch that provided inspiration and education that helped in more ways than one). They are awesome.
Soooooo I just kind of meandered through summer, unwilling to look at a project I had worked so hard on because of lack of motivation. What did I do? I binged some of the best tv I've seen in a while.
Let me preface this by saying I have really odd taste. These shows are both excellent but usually don't appeal to the same audience- I'm weird.
Ugh. I LOVED THIS SHOW. I know it's a Stephen King/Steven Spielberg mash-up. I don't care. It's filmed, lighted, and dressed like a kid from the mid eighties, and it's awesome. It may bring back some kind of nostalgia, wistfulness for childhood, or fill some deep gap in my tv retro desires, but it couldn't be better. An equal mix of Horror and Goonie-like friendship, it's a trip that you'll finish faster than you want to.
I will never read this book. I'm not very fond of Russian lit, it always ends badly and it's super existential. This mini series was beautiful though. I couldn't stop myself from binging it within two days. The only thing that kind of bothered me were the costumes and the accents. Everyone had a British accent. Paul Dano, I think, had an American accent during the whole event. Other than that, it was gorgeous and fully realized, even though I could kind of guess where everything was going to go because, you know, Russian lit. If you miss Downton Abbey this is for you.
I feel like there should be a third show on here, but there weren't any that just blew my mind this summer. I'm still watching OITNB, Killjoys, and Unreal but the two above helped my summer doldrums :) !
~Depending on where you started this blog, it was always about The Raven Cycle~
I finished the Raven King this week. I'm not really sure how I felt about it, other than it wrapped things up pretty well.
There were a few things I was conflicted about, and they probably aren't the ones you're thinking about if you've already finished it. Some things seemed added in as an afterthought and it felt a little pieced together compared to the other books. No worries, her voice is still lyrical, the story amazing, and the themes beautiful. It only took me a day and a half to read.
After everything went down, we find out Piper is still kicking it and has brought back a demon in the form of a giant pitch black wasp (nice, right?). The boys are still trying to figure out how best to handle everything not falling in on their heads since there is no one keeping all the treasure hunters out of Henrietta (since the Greenmantles are no longer holding it). To top it all off, they still have Gwenllian and Artemus wreaking their own kind of havoc at 300 Fox way (I still miss you Persephone).
-Okay-the first thing that bothered me- Piper is finally explained. I guess it makes sense to do it this way, but I felt some foreshadowing on her lineage would have made her whole plot line a little more satisfying. She got what she deserved though, and I really enjoyed the careless callousness that finally did her in at the end.
-I really liked that Ronan and Adam ended up together. But again, no foreshadowing. I can appreciate all the glimpses and dreams from Ronan's side (which pretty much told us he was in love with Adam since the second book) but Adam's feelings are always mercurial. I liked where it went though, and I think it fit.
- Trees are a huge part of this story but I never thought Blue would be half tree. It's a little left field after everything we've discovered about the Welsh group, and being trees wasn't really where I saw it going. Why would they leave to come across the pond? Why was her father dead in the cave? Some of it needed more clarification than we got considering this was the mystery Gansey had been chasing the whole time.
- Gansey's death has been a huge thing through the whole series. From his coming back, to hiding that Blue might have something to do with it, it was supposed to be a big production. When it finally happened it felt like a small whimper, and then a cop-out.
-The one thing that brought it full circle for me was when we realize Noah is the one that tells Gansey that phrase when he's dying: "You will live because of Glendower. Someone else on the ley line is dying when they should not, and so you will live when you should not". He's been living their current timeline over and over again. I think it's one of them main reasons he won't move on. A lot of things came full circle with that knowledge.
-Henry Cheng and Seondeok were huge highlights for me. Their personalities were a nice addition to voices we've heard for four books. I just wish she had gone into Seondeok's journey more, it was super interesting.
-I really liked Laumonier. It was a nice little touch for one of them to be Piper's dad. I just wish we could have seen more of them.
-Thanks for finally bringing Orphan Girl into the real world. I've been waiting for that to happen.
-Ronan having created Gabeswater wasn't a huge shocker for me. Everything was sort of pointing that way anyways. For me, Ronan is really the King of Cabeswater. He's pretty much created their whole narrative by dreaming.
-We should have had Robobee from the beginning. Just sayin.
Overall, it pretty much ended the way I thought it would. There were just some holes here and there that could have been tied in a little more, at least for me. It was a good ride and I'm sad to see it go.