Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Hello, My Name is...

Hey world! So I've come to a very hard decision. Actually it wasn't that hard. I realized that I...have become bored with this blog. I mean, all my posts are the same! I always end up liking everything that I read - sometimes not until after page 200, but still. Maybe there's just nothing more I can give you.

Well, maybe there's a few things: The Hunger Games does not live up to the hype, but does live up to itself. Divergent is really worth it if you're willing to slog through the repetitive relationship drama. No one likes reactive protagonists - we want decisive character action in a clear direction, not just whiny people forced into things. Archetypes good, clich├ęs bad; true skill is finding the difference. Focal characters using phrases like "I saw" or "I heard" is distracting. Whatever is written, the narrator or POV character obviously saw or heard. There are no bad stories, only incompatible readers and writers...Just some stuff to help your reading and appreciation of "good" and "bad" books alike. 

So, to part ways, I've decided I'm finally going to tell you. I am going to reveal to you who I am - my name. The only reason this was ever anonymous to begin with was because I was paranoid about my name being on the Internet. But now, I'm actually a YouTuber, so it doesn't matter anymore.

My name is....

Unnecessary drum roll since this isn't news to most people...

Olivia Gordon
Juggler and Origami Extraordinaire.

It's been a blast. Thanks for the memories. Take care of the fish for me.

Keep in touch via:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCN3f1SCT8QZzh7u72_x2mqA

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Similarities Are Amazing.



Hey world! Me again! Wow, this is almost like a marathon, but in just one day. Since the blog became a Wednesday thing, we haven't had any marathons. Kind of sad. Oh well, no one reads this anyway, so it's not that big a deal. It's funny how we say "big a deal" when we mean "big of a deal." Poor of, always being ignored and omitted. 

Image result for under the never skySo, I can't remember when I finished Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi, whose name is so conveniently close to Veronica Roth. I'm sure she got a lot of accidental fans over that. So far, her library includes only books and novellas from this trilogy, also like Veronica Roth. I'm sure they're both on the road to branching out, though. I had heard of this book, which isn't saying much because I hear about every book - I'm signed up for, like, two or three different book enewsletter thingies. But yeah, I've heard of it without being interested, it looked like one of those romances with a Sci-fi subplot, but I found it and I got it anyway. 

Summaryish: After Aria is kicked out of her Pod, she is sent out into the wild world people call the Death Shop, which is full of savages and cannibals and dangerous Aether storms. There she is forced to team up with one of the Savages if she wants to live, and make it to Bliss, a different Pod where her mother may or may not be dead. Perry, the aforementioned Savage, has troubles of his own - namely his nephew being kidnapped and his brother wanting to kill him. Fun times, yes?

Review: At first, I wasn't impressed. I felt no connections to these characters, and I didn't care about them at all. But, that sentence was in past tense, because like a lot of the books I don't like at first, it starts getting good after page 200. The story is fast from start to finish, so nothing to worry about there - the story is intriguing and well plotted and paced, it's just that pesky character connection, perhaps the most important part of a reading experience! No connection, no emotions, no happiness. So that's my only complaint about this book - it must have an earlier connection.

Words to the Characters:

Aria: I can't think

Perry: of anything to say.

-Xxxxxx

The Word is Fun to Say, but Has Bad Connotations.



Hey world! I'm pretty sure I forgot all about you last week, but that means there's like, four posts today. I might not even get to them all because I'm so easily distracted, and I have an appointment. But now that I've checked my reading log to see which books I'm reviewing, I'm ready to begin. 

Image result for Xenocide enderSo, a little while ago (a week or so) I finished this book called Xenocide by Orson Scott Card. This is part of the Ender series - which has like, 8 books or something. I've been waiting so long to read this, but my library never seemed to have it! Finally it did, though, and I got it. I can't remember if I reviewed Ender's Game, the first one (which I read before it was even cool - ha), but I do remember beyond a shadow of a doubt that I reviewed the second one, which was actually a Wow. Just Wow. This one, obviously, is not. Anyways...

Summaryish: This is going to be hard to type, since I'm rocking out to Beatles' songs. But here we go - Ender has been living on Lusitania for quite a while now, while his new family attempt to cure the ravaging descolada disease, while keeping the pequininos who depend on it alive. Meanwhile, on a different planet called Path, a "godspoken" young girl named Gloriously Bright, but in a different language of course, is given the job of discovering where the Lusitania fleet, which was sent to destroy Ender's planet, has vanished too. She learns secrets that are best kept secrets, and the fate of two species rests in her hands.

Review: So, if you'll notice from the multi-paragraphs of this post, this is not a Wow. Just Wow like this book's siblings were. But that doesn't mean I didn't thoroughly enjoy this book, and in fact tear through the pages without actually tearing them. I was totally involved in the story, and the characters and themes and questions and answers were all beautiful, but it was just missing that special something that the others had the sticks with you, that thing that makes you stare at the cover for a few seconds after you've finished only able to think "wow" over and over again. But it was still great, I still love this series. And, hey, it's not surprising that by book three you've lost a little something. These  stories are worth reading, and I don't regret staying up until 1:30 AM to finish it. 

To the author:

First off, your website is disappointing. It's not pretty, and it's difficult to navigate. A little organization and a few graphics can go a long way. Second of all, my goodness, have you written a lot of books. The rest of my life is going to be very busy isn't it? Because, despite your website, I've officially decided to be a fan.

-Xxxxxx

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Well, Now I Know How To Survive That.



Hey world! Welcome to this week's only post! That's a little bit sad, only one post this whole week. But oh well, I can't review a book I haven't finished yet, now can I? Nope, that would be dishonest. But you probably wouldn't mind. You probably don't even exist...you're just some robot...maybe I'm the only real person in the universe. Maybe this is all a dream, and I'm sleeping. Or your sleeping, and when you wake up, I will cease to exist, but I won't mind because I never did in the first place, it's just your brain reflecting some arbitrary personality on me...but enough of that.

Quarantine Loners Cover.jpgSo, I recently read a book called Quarantine: The Loners by Lex Thomas, which is actually just the first names of two authors who like to work together. This is the first book in a who-knows-how-long series. Okay, I just spent an unjustifiable amount of time reading their blog. Anyways, there are at least two other books in the series, but I'm not sure if there's going to be more or not. I guess I'll find out (foreshadowing the review a little there, way to go me). 

Summaryish: A deadly plague that kills only adults, a quarantine on a high school. What could go wrong? Naturally, everything. Quickly after the quarantine is initiated, gangs form based on people's social cliques - with one exception. What about those people who didn't have a group of friends? The loners are the lowest of the low, the untouchables, who don't get to eat unless they fight for food. And those fights can get pretty nasty. All alone in a locked building until they graduate, the horrors they experience inside will no doubt scar them for life, but these teens have no choice but to fight for their survival. Oh my goodness, what a terrible disorganized summaryish. It was pretty much just back story. 

Review: I figured I would like this book when I picked it up - I mean, I picked it up, didn't I? So when I didn't, I was surprised. No, I didn't like this book...I loved it! It had just the exact right balance of suspense and action. There were no boring unnecessary bits of well-written but useless scenes. The characters and the world were wonderfully imagined, and I fell right into the middle of this story. It was kind of scary, but in a way that doesn't produce nightmares, which is the best kind of scary. It was very reminiscent of Michael Grant's Gone series, but without the superpowers. Instead, the kids have to depend on their own strengths and smarts, which make the series even better! I've already picked up the sequel, it's in my book pile now. So go get it, because it's great.  

Words to the Characters:

Everyone: Hair doesn't grow that fast. 

See you next week!

-Xxxxxx

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

I Cheated.

Hey world! Second and last post today! Wow, I have been sitting here for the past while, just trying to think of something else to say in this paragraph, but I can't. Welcome.

Double HelixSo, a little bit ago I finished this book called Double Helix by Nancy Werlin. She has many many books out, actually only nine or so, but they span genres, which is nice. I think she might even be an award winner. Anyways, I'm pretty sure this is a standalone since it had a closed ending, and there's no another one yet. I feel like I remember being surprised that this was written in 2004, but now I can't be sure. Oh well.


Summaryish: I copy/pasted this because I don't want to summarize:
Eighteen year old Eli Samuels has just graduated from high school and lucked into a job at Wyatt Transgenics — offered to him by Dr. Quincy Wyatt, the legendary molecular biologist. The salary is substantial, the work is interesting, and Dr. Wyatt seems to be paying special attention to Eli. It's almost too good to be true. Is there a catch?
Eli's smart girlfriend Viv doesn't think so, but his father is vehemently against his taking the job and won't explain why. Eli knows that there's some connection between Dr. Wyatt and his parents—something too painful for his father to discuss. Something to do with his mother, who is now debilitated by Huntington's disease. As Eli works at the lab, and spends time with Dr. Wyatt, he begins to uncover some disconcerting information—about himself.

Review: Okay, so I thought this was going to be - whoa, the copy/paste changed my font - science fiction, but it turned into realism. For realism, it was a fantastic book! For science fiction, there was much to be desired. Which is great news because it wasn't science fiction. My enjoyment was limited by the lack of explosions, but there was enough of an interesting plot line to keep me reading. It's a really quick book to read, and it would be great to pick it up if you have a few other really big books in your library bag. So, this is conditionally recommended. 

Words to the Characters:

Eli: Wow, I think you're one of the few characters who actually had real sense-making motivation. I applaud you for not being an over reactor, like some people. (I'm looking at you Celaena).

-Xxxxxx

Eh.



Hey world! It is time yet again to review books, and I have two of them today! There's a bird flying around me as I type. It's very distracting, but in a cute way. Hopefully he won't land on my fingers and cause more than the usual amount of typos. He's certainly going to make this take longer with his demands for attention every few seconds! Okay, it's me demanding attention from him. Semantics!

Image result for Illusive bookSo, a little while ago, almost a week but not quite, I finished this book called Illusive by someone with a hyphenated last name that I can't remember and now have to look up. Emily Lloyd-Jones is her name, and series books are her game. And by that I mean that this is book one in a series which I know has a sequel coming out in July, but I'm not sure about anything else. Maybe it's just a duology. Maybe I'll never know. 

Summaryish: Gosh, do I have to summarize? I really want to get to the review part. After a deadly virus kills a bunch of people (what is it with me and deadly viruses lately?), a cure is eventually found. But it has life-changing side-effects. A very small percentage of people with the cure develop talents no human should have, such as inescapable hypnotism and mind reading. The government, in an effort to both control these people and take advantage of them, gave them all a choice - go to a special prison, or work for them. But many people, including Ciere, took the third option - a life of crime and thievery. She and her crew are then hired to steal something people thought was gone for good - the formula to the recalled cure.

Review: I keep telling myself over and over again to have grace because it was a debut. But still, as far as debuts go, this was disappointing. First of all, there was the tense issue - maybe I've just never read something third person present tense before, but something about it felt wrong. I guess I'm just one of those people who thinks that if you're going to write in present tense, it needs to be first person. It's just logical. In addition, there was so much information dump - I like my back story effortlessly woven into the story in a way that doesn't disrupt the narrative and keeps things moving. I have no complaints about the characters, and the plot was fine, especially after that halfway mark. Last time I didn't like a book, especially that first two hundred pages, the second book was pretty good, so maybe I'll keep going. But at this point, I'm not exactly itching for the sequel.

About the Title:

I do like the play on the words...

Okay, see you in a few minutes.

-Xxxxxx