Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (a book set someplace I want to visit)

After 700 pages of reading I have finally finish Outlander! I am using this book for a place I have always wanted to visit because who doesn't want to visit the beautiful rolling hills of Scotland. I have been hearing great things about this book and I was not disappointed at all. Going into the book I was expecting a stereotypical romance with a dashing Scottish man but little else. When I began reading I was surprised. The book did have romance but I came after several hundred pages of back story and the characters actually getting to know each other first. The story also was full of historical content that plays into the plot. There is a lot of political happenings that play into the main characters lives and I found it very interesting the time and effort Gabaldon put into making the book historically and culturally accurate. The story is accurate for the time period and because of that there is quite a bit about sexual assault. My enjoying this book in no way means that I support the idea of rape (people are accusing fans of this on Goodreads). Gabaldon was being accurate to the time and the struggles that women face. I like that she didn't sugar-coat it because it's a romance novel but instead was truthful won't the audience. I found some of the scenes gruesome but necessary in the overall plot and atmosphere. I can't wait to continue the series and see how Ckaire uses her knowledge of the future to help the people of the past.

MY RATING: *****

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Saga Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples (a book with non-human characters)

This is my second graphic novel ever and I have to say my outlook on graphic novels has changed. I absolutely loved this one! The art was fantastic and the plot, although short, drew me in immediately. I am using this book for my book with non-human characters because there re so many weird alien things in this book and I don't think there is even one human character. I highly recommend this to anyone, whether you have read a graphic novel before or not.

I loved the story line of the book and how it was executed. I really enjoy how the authors chose to tell the story in the present but also have the daughter Hazel narrating on the side. I think adding Hazel's perspective to the story makes it even more interesting because the reader know she survived but not who else survived with her. Also she gives little hints about the future of the series that drew me in even more.

I loved the dynamic between Marko and Alana because even thought I didn't get a lot of their backstory yet I could feel the love and devotion between the. The artwork also brought out the characters really well because I could actually read the facial expressions of them during certain scenes. I love the detail of the art because many graphic novels I have seen take a more cartoonish perspective but this art had awesome realistic sci-fi characters and settings. I have already started Vol. 2 and I am loving it so far!

MY RATING: *****

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Vicious by V.E. Schwab (a book written by someone under 30)

I'm writing this post about a week after I finished the book, so I'm going to make it short because I don't necessarily remember all of the details. I am using this book for a book written by someone under 30 because Victoria Schwab is 27. I was going to use it for a book with magic but since their powers are technically based on science I figured it didn't really count.

Going into this book I had incredibly high expectations because of the non-stop hype on booktube and Goodreads. Unfortunately, I didn't think it lived up to the hype or my expectations. I'm not saying the book was bad, I really did enjoy it, it just wasn't all that I expected it to be. That being said I am still very excited for V.E. Schwab's upcoming release, A Darker Shade of Magic, but I don't think that I am going to spend the $25 on it anymore. I'm hoping with the new release that I will be able to read it before it becomes hyped. I have found that I tend to REALLY enjoy books when I know little to nothing going into them. If I go in with a neutral mindset I am usually pleasantly surprised, like I was with Snow Like Ashes (a great book).

My faults with the book have to do with the lack of plot. Although the book spanned over 10 years it really on discussed a few days I detail and most of the plot centered around 3 days. The book is very character oriented which I tend not to enjoy as books that are more plot based. I loved the characters in the book, and I loved to hate them but I found that I wasn't all that invested in their story. I actually like the character of Sydney and her story, more than I did the main characters. I think I was disappointed mainly because of the hype surrounding the book. If I had read it when it first came out I might have  book more but as it was I found the book to be entertaining but not as engaging as I thought it would be. It took me about a week to read this book even though it is relatively short compared to other books I have read.

MY RATING: *** 1/2

I hope to be posting another book review soon because I am just about halfway through Outlander. (loving it so far & completely in love with Jamie)

Monday, February 9, 2015

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll (a graphic novel)

This book was my first ever graphic novel. I wasn't really sure what graphic novel I should start with, but I have seen Jesse from Jesse the Reader on YouTube talking about this book, so I decided to read this one. I'm not sure if this was the best boo to introduce me to the genre but it's too late now. The book consists of five creepy stories all centered around the woods. The whole thing only took me about a half hour to read, so I really enjoyed the fast-paced nature. I also really enjoyed the artwork; each story started out with regular color art but when they got to the creepier parts, the art changed to black, white, and red. I thought the stories were interesting but overall they were just okay. My favorite one was "His Face All Red". The main reason I didn't like the stories was because they didn't really have the plot that I am used to from reading full length fiction. Most of them didn't have a resolution, which is normal for short stories but not really my favorite thing. Overall the main thing I liked was that it was a really quick read. If I pick up another graphic novel in the future it will probably be one that has a full length story. If you have a favorite graphic novel that you think I should try, comment below because I am interested in reading more from this genre.


Thursday, February 5, 2015

All the Light We Cannot See (a book based on a true story)

Now I know looking at the title of this post may be a bit confusing; this book is fiction but it is historical fiction and thus I used it to complete this challenge. All the Light We Cannot See, is based on World War 2 and takes place throughout Europe. I am not exactly sure how true the events in this book are but I know that the bombing of Saint Malo was a real event towards the end of the war. Since this book is historical fiction I thought it would be pretty cool to incorporate some pictures of the actual bombing.

This image shows a B-4 plane flying over the burning city.
        This one shows prisoners (men ages 16-60) from the city being rounded up by the German's.

I just thought these pictures are really neat and were worth including because they are scenes from the book. Now moving on to the actual reviewing part! I absolutely loved this book and the writing. It did take me longer than normal to read this book; not because it was boring but because the writing style was so rich that at times I just had to set down it down and think about what I just read. The author using incredible imagery and metaphors. I found it very interesting to read from the perspective of a blind girl because even though she couldn't see to describe what was going on around her, most of the time I was still able to visualize what was happening. I also really enjoyed the change of both the perspectives and the time shifts. I think they helped build the suspense and make a more well rounded story. This book  told a story of immense courage on both sides of the front and the story was just absolutely beautiful. That being said I think this book needs to be made into a movie, like right now. There were scenes in the book where I could not only see it on the big screen but I could also hear the music that would go along with the scene. For those people who have read it you understand what I am talking about, especially the "music" chapters toward the end where all the characters in different parts of the city heard music. Those scenes were made for film and I am dying to see them acted out before my eyes. ANY DIRECTORS/PRODUCERS REAING THIS, MAKE THIS BOOK INTO A MOVIE, NOW!...PLEASE?

This book also had one of the greatest endings ever. I'm not saying that I loved everything that happened but the way he author tied up every single loose end was amazing. I loved it when characters from different story lines meet and that happened in the most beautiful ways in this book. I highly recommend this book to every person no matter what age, gender, or even if you hate reading. Just read it people!

My Rating: *****