Source: library

Review: Ready Player One by Earnest Cline

Posted July 25, 2016 by Emily in Review / 2 Comments

Review: Ready Player One by Earnest ClineReady Player One by Ernest Cline
Published by Crown Publishers on August 16th 2011
Genres: Action & Adventure, Sci Fi
Pages: 374
Format: Audio
Source: library
Buy on Amazon
four-stars

In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the  OASIS. Wade's devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade's going to survive, he'll have to win—and confront the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.

Reading Ready Player One wasn’t 100% my choice. I had heard about Ready Player One, specifically from Penny Arcade (an online webcomic for you non nerds). The review seems to be long gone now (it was in a news post) but I remember it wasn’t all that good. I didn’t pick it up then and I forgot about it for a long time. Some friends were reading it for their book club podcast, The Blind Spot Book Club, and I wanted to be ready for the next show. In a side note, The Blind Spots haven’t posted a new podcast in over a year and I miss them! Maybe mentioning them here on my blog will help get them up and running again.

Any negative feelings or impressions I got about this book were way off. I thought it was hilarious from start to finish. It was a like a love letter to my childhood and reading it was like a stroll down memory lane. It was both familiar and surprising. I listened to the audio book, narrated by Wil Wheaton. I think that there is no better way to read this book. Hearing the story in Wil Wheaton’s quiet, confident cadence is like stepping back to the 80s and wandering in a forest of nostalgia.

Therein lies the only issue with this book. This book is a no holds barred and unapologetic love letter to the 80s. It’s also a beautiful celebration of nerd culture. If you aren’t an 80s child or a nerd, some things may be confusing to you. This book also relies heavily on nostalgia. If arcade video games, John Hughes movies and Rick Astley don’t hold a special place in your heart you may not understand what all the fuss is about. Even if you understand the jokes and revel in the references you may feel pandered to. Parts of this book seem specifically designed to tug the heart strings and there are only so many references an author can make before they feel forced.

All in all, I loved this book. Ready Player One is a quick, fun, hilarious read. However, start this book with a clear picture. It is about video games and all things 80s. If that’s not your thing, steer clear.

four-stars

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Graphic Novel Round up 2

Posted July 6, 2016 by Emily in Review / 0 Comments

More graphic novels! I’ve really been in a kick lately. I love graphic novels because they usually short, quick reads that tell a complex and deep story. Plus they are like popcorn, you can’t read just one! If you are behind on your reading list, graphic novels area a great way to catch up!

 

 

This was a total dud for me. I just didn’t care. I gave up before the end of the first chapter. I was really excited about this one because Hawkeye is one of my favorite Avengers. I love the dichotomy of being a superhero and a family man. However, that’s apparently just the movies. Oh well.

 

 

Of the three Superhero comics I checked out, this was definitely my favorite. First, its about a girl, Kamala Khan. She’s a typical teenage girl. She wants to go out and have fun but she has to deal with her strict parents as well as the rules and traditions that her religion add to the equation. She’s Muslim. I loved the depth and interest it added to the character. I hope that it was fairly accurate. It definitely complicated her life as a superhero. Second, I enjoyed the writing. I’m not sure where it’s going  but I stayed interested the whole time. This one I’m continuing for sure.

 

Graphic Novel Round up 2The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 1:The Faust Act by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Matt Wilson, Clayton Cowles
Series: The Wicked + The Divine #1
Published by Image Comics on November 12th 2014
Genres: Comics & Graphic Novels
Pages: 144
Format: Paperback
Source: library
Buy on Amazon
five-stars

Every ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as humans. They are loved. They are hated. In two years, they are dead. The team behind critical tongue-attractors like Young Avengers and PHONOGRAM reunite to create a world where gods are the ultimate pop stars and pop stars are the ultimate gods. But remember: just because youÂ’re immortal, doesnÂ’t mean youÂ’re going to live forever. Collects THE WICKED + THE DIVINE #1-5

I loved this book and I can’t wait for the follow ups! I had never heard of it before and threw it in my library cart when I was picking up the others. The premise is that every ninety years 12 Gods walk among us, young and beautiful, and worshiped by all. Then after 2 years of fame they die only to return after another 90 years.

All the Gods are from a variety of pantheons. This first book was a great first peek and introduction to the story. I can tell that there is so much to come. It reminded me almost of a Punk Rock version of the Sandman. There’s tons of mythology woven throughout the story.

 

five-stars

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Graphic Novel Roundup

Graphic Novel Roundup

I’ve been reading a lot of graphic novel’s lately! I love how they are short and easy to read but often tackle important or complicated issues. For the first time, I tried out a few Marvel superhero comics. Until now, all I’ve read is some X-Men. I also got a few non-superhero related comics. Check them out.     This was by far my favorite of all the graphic novels I’ve read lately. I didn’t know what to expect but I knew that I would like it just based on the description and the art style. It’s a fantastic adventure story about a young boy. There’s a historic component to it as well, It reminded me a lot of Joe the Barbarian, which I also loved. Sometimes I feel like I enjoy short graphic fiction more than complex series just because the entire story is there. No waiting.     This was a cute story about fate. We all know how Laika ended up (or maybe you don’t) but this is how she got there. It seamlessly weaves together nonfiction and fiction to create a plausible backstory. It also explores how fate and destiny affect our lives. Is everything predecided?     Spiderman was just OK for me. It’s a different Spiderman, Miles Morales instead of Peter Parker. Having a teenaged superhero is kind of interesting but the story […]

Posted June 27, 2016 by Emily in Review / 2 Comments
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Review: The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie

Review: The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie

The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie Series: The Abyss Surrounds Us #1 Published by Flux on February 8th 2016 Genres: LGBT, Fantasy, Dystopian Pages: 273 Source: library Buy on Amazon For Cassandra Leung, bossing around sea monsters is just the family business. SheÂ’s been a Reckoner trainer-in-training ever since she could walk, raising the genetically-engineered beasts to defend ships as they cross the pirate-infested NeoPacific. But when the pirate queen Santa Elena swoops in on CasÂ’s first solo mission and snatches her from the bloodstained decks, CasÂ’s dream of being a full-time trainer seems dead in the water. ThereÂ’s no time to mourn. Waiting for her on the pirate ship is an unhatched Reckoner pup. Santa Elena wants to take back the seas with a monster of her own, and she needs a proper trainer to do it. She orders Cas to raise the pup, make sure he imprints on her ship, and, when the time comes, teach him to fight for the pirates. If Cas fails, her blood will be the next to paint the sea. But Cas has fought pirates her entire life. And she’s not about to stop. IÂ’ve posted numerous times about how this was one of my most anticipated books of 2015. The description hooked me immediately. I was so excited about this book that I actually became cautious because I was afraid […]

Posted June 20, 2016 by Emily in Review / 1 Comment
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Review: You by Caroline

Review: You by Caroline

You by Caroline Kepnes Series: You #1 Published by Atria/Emily Bestler Books on September 30th 2014 Genres: Thriller, suspense Pages: 422 Format: ebook Source: library Buy on Amazon When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card. There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and sheÂ’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight—the perfect place for a “chance” meeting. As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of BeckÂ’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into BeckÂ’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way—even if it means murder. I try not to swear too much on this blog. You never know who might be reading this. However, thereÂ’s only one phrase I can think of that adequately describes this book. This book, is a total mind fuck. I mean that in the nicest way possible. I loved this book. It was surprising and chilling. IÂ’m still reeling from the reality […]

Posted May 10, 2016 by Emily in Review / 1 Comment
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Review: Accident Season

Review: Accident Season

The Accident Season by Moïra Fowley-Doyle Published by Corgi Childrens on August 18th 2015 Genres: Fiction, Magical Realism, Young Adult Pages: 280 Format: hardcover Source: library Buy on Amazon It’s the accident season, the same time every year. Bones break, skin tears, bruises bloom. The accident season has been part of seventeen-year-old Cara’s life for as long as she can remember. Towards the end of October, foreshadowed by the deaths of many relatives before them, Cara’s family becomes inexplicably accident-prone. They banish knives to locked drawers, cover sharp table edges with padding, switch off electrical items – but injuries follow wherever they go, and the accident season becomes an ever-growing obsession and fear. But why are they so cursed? And how can they break free? I had high hopes for this book. The synopsis really drew me in. I love everything about it and I couldn’t wait to find out why this family was more accident prone during a certain month of year. Just the concept is intriguing and interesting and makes me want to know more. The book on the other hand fell a little flat for me. I didn’t feel like it lived up to the awesome description. Yes, it was about accident season but not in the way I wanted it to be. I can’t tell you what I was hoping for, I guess more overt […]

Posted March 9, 2016 by Emily in Review / 1 Comment
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Review: Lost at Sea by Bryan O’Malley

Review: Lost at Sea by Bryan O’Malley

Lost at Sea by Bryan Lee O’Malley Published by Oni Press on July 24th 2012 Pages: 160 Format: hardcover Source: library Goodreads Raleigh doesn’t have a soul. A cat stole it or at least that’s what she tells people or at least that’s what she would tell people if she told people anything. But that would mean talking to people, and the mere thought of social interaction is terrifying. How did such a shy teenage girl end up in a car with three of her hooligan classmates on a cross-country road trip? Being forced to interact with kids her own age is a new and alarming proposition for Raleigh, but maybe it’s just what she needs or maybe it can help her find what she needs or maybe it can help her to realize that what she needs has been with her all along.” When I really love an author, I find myself searching out their other books. The first book series I ever read by Bryan O’Malley was Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, which is probably his most famous book. However, it didn’t make me go looking for more. Then twitter recommended me Seconds earlier this year. That was the book that hooked me on Bryan O’Malley and I started looking for more. Lost at Sea is his first graphic novel, so I’m late to the party. I don’t […]

Posted January 6, 2016 by Emily in Review / 2 Comments
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Review: Isla and the Happily Ever After

Review: Isla and the Happily Ever After

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins Series: Anna and the French Kiss #3 Published by Dutton on August 14th 2014 Genres: Young Adult Pages: 339 Source: library Buy on Amazon Love ignites in the City That Never Sleeps, but can it last? Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart. Featuring cameos from fan-favorites Anna, Étienne, Lola, and Cricket, this sweet and sexy story of true love—set against the stunning backdrops of New York City, Paris, and Barcelona—is a swoonworthy conclusion to Stephanie PerkinsÂ’s beloved series. These books just keep getting better. This is the first series I’ve read one at a time and then reviewed each one. Honestly, I’m glad I picked up this series because it was such a great way to start this. I read Anna and the French Kiss and I liked it but I didn’t love it. Then I finished Lola and the Boy Next Door and I was hooked. I was […]

Posted December 30, 2015 by Emily in Review / 0 Comments
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Review: Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

Review: Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on July 15th 2014 Genres: Comics & Graphic Novels, horror Format: hardcover Source: library Discover a terrifying world in the woods in this collection of five hauntingly beautiful graphic stories that includes the online webcomic sensation “His Face All Red,” in print for the first time. Journey through the woods in this sinister, compellingly spooky collection that features four brand-new stories and one phenomenally popular tale in print for the first time. These are fairy tales gone seriously wrong, where you can travel to “Our NeighborÂ’s House”—though coming back might be a problem. Or find yourself a young bride in a house that holds a terrible secret in “A LadyÂ’s Hands Are Cold.” You might try to figure out what is haunting “My Friend Janna,” or discover that your brotherÂ’s fiancée may not be what she seems in “The Nesting Place.” And of course you must revisit the horror of “His Face All Red,” the breakout webcomic hit that has been gorgeously translated to the printed page. Already revered for her work online, award-winning comic creator Emily CarrollÂ’s stunning visual style and impeccable pacing is on grand display in this entrancing anthology, her print debut. This is the book I’ve been looking for! I love horror and I’ve been looking for something legitimately creepy for a while. […]

Posted December 23, 2015 by Emily in Review / 0 Comments
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Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door

Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins Series: Anna and the French Kiss #2 Published by Speak on July 9th 2013 Genres: Love & Romance Source: library Buy on Amazon Lola Nolan is a budding costume designer, and for her, the more outrageous, sparkly, and fun the outfit, the better. And everything is pretty perfect in her life (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood. When Cricket, a gifted inventor, steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door. Wow. Just wow. I thought I hated Anna and the French Kiss until I wrote a review and realized that I had a lot to say about it. I actually liked it quite a bit, despite all my frustrations with it. After I finished my review, I knew I had to read the next one in the series. I had a completely different experience with Lola and the Boy Next Door. This book, I loved it right from the beginning. I inhaled this book and never wanted it to end. If I didn’t like Anna because she was too much like me. I loved Lola because she’s everything I’m not. Lola is bold, colorful and expressive. She never wants to wear […]

Posted December 22, 2015 by Emily in Review / 0 Comments
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