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Monthly Archives: May 2015

Book Review: Angels and Demons by Dan Brown

Angels & Demons  (Robert Langdon, #1)Angels and Demons by Dan Brown

I read this book as part of my TBR Jar Challenge. This book fulfilled the ‘read a book someone else picks for you’ challenge. I must tell you I never would have picked this up otherwise. It’s completely out of the range of what I normally read. Though, I’m glad I did read this – I rather enjoyed it.

If you’re not familiar with Dan Brown, he’s the author that wrote The Da Vinci Code and when I was recommended this book, I was surprised to see it was the first in the series that The Da Vinci Code was the second of (ignore how grammatically terrible that sentence is). Anybody who is a fan of Dan Brown or this genre is probably reading this like “Duh, you’re a ding dong”. But having never read or watched any of Dan Brown’s creations, I had no clue.

Angels and Demons is about a university professor of religious studies named Robert Langdon who gets swept up in a murder mystery involving anti-matter, the Illuminati, the Vatican and short shorts. Short shorts are relevant to my review, I promise.

This is the first ‘thriller’ book I’ve really read, and I gotta say, I devoured it. I’m thinking I want to try to get more into this genre as a result. (So if you know any good’uns, please leave a comment and say πŸ˜€ )

My thoughts on this book as I’ve mentioned above are mostly positive. Dan Brown’s writing style had me reading large chunks of the book in one sitting. He has a very good knack for causing the feeling of ‘just one more chapter’-itis. The chapters themselves are usually only a couple pages long, if that, so that helped. I could read fifteen pages and cover eight chapters. It made me feel like I was flying through the thing.

The plot I thought was pretty awesome. I mean, who doesn’t love reading about mysterious Satanic cults and advanced scientific technology?! πŸ˜€ I think one of my absolute favorite parts about the plot, Dan Brown’s writing, this entire book, was that I would guess about 50 pages before something happened that it was going to happen, and it kept seeming more and more likely my prediction was correct… and then Dan Brown would totally surprise me. It happened more than once, it was great! My SO, who is the one who picked the book for me, would just kinda smile at me when I was like “Ha HA, it’s YOU who’s doing the thing! I CALL IT NOW!” … “SEE SEE THE EVIDENCE IS BUILDING. I’m so good at thriller books” … “WAIT WHAT. HOW?! I’m so bad at thriller books! D:”. He’d just let me sit there and be proud of myself for being totally off in my guess and laugh at me when I found out I was wrong. Considering it’s a thriller, you know there are going to be twists and turns. I mean, it’s obvious.

I didn’t guess a single one of them correctly. I mean, I thought I did. I was certain I had. But no. I got none of them correct. I loved it.

So obviously this book was gonna be a 5/5 for me… but then I noticed something that I didn’t particularly find uh… good. The romance. Or… attempt at romance. It was just so damn awkward to read. It really took away from my immersion in the book. Hurry we only have so much time left! People are dying, anti-matter will destroy us all!… wait, her shorts are so short, I’m gonna be distracted by her legs for a bit and comment how her voice is magical while trying to outrun a killer. I’m gonna keep making awkward stops in what I’m doing, no matter how serious the business to admire this woman and her shorts and her voice. Gonna do it over and over – oop, a murder, oop stuck in a hole, gotta climb a latter to get out before it’s too late. Hey her legs are in view again, awesome.

It was just… really? xD I mean if you want to include romance in a thriller, by all means, go for it. BUT DON’T STICK IT IN THE MIDDLE OF A HIGH ANXIETY SCENE, GOODNESS. It totally ruined the ‘edge of my seat’ness more than once. Robert and those damn shorts.

So for me, this book I feel is a 4 out of 5 stars. Plot, writing, excitement… all 5/5 aspects. The romance, not so much. Overall, I say totally read it. It’s definitely worth it. But beware the shorts.

 
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Posted by on 05/29/2015 in Books, Review

 

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Top 5 Wednesday: Books I will never read. Ever.

This subject I feel could cause some ‘BUT BUT BUT’s. I’m excited :”D

Top 5 Wed was created by Lainey at gingerreadslainey and here is the list of full poster if you’d like to participate!

5. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

4. Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

3. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

2. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

1. Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

And before you start, no, I have nothing against Sarah J Maas. I’m sure those books I’ve listed are good (since a lot of people seem to like them). The reasons I’ve chosen these books is pretty much similar for all of them. Each one has either gotten a huge, huge rush or readers who absolutely love it and gush about it like it’s the second coming or they have gotten ripped apart by reviewers I find myself having similar tastes with (or what’s worse, sometimes it’s both – Falling Kingdoms for example. Gets a lot of love to the point where I feel like it wouldn’t meet my now super high expectations, and it was also ripped apart by Michael from Bitten by a Radioactive Book (whose reviews are awesome, btw. Check him out))

So essentially, if it gets too much of a rush, I feel disenchanted and feel like it could never meet my expectations. So I’d rather read a book I haven’t had as much of a set up about.

Or if it gets a really bad review from a reviewer I find similar to myself, it puts me off as well (though this one has a smaller effect than the first reason, honestly).

Occasionally I’ll read a super hyped book and find it decent, which is always nice. And if I do that, I tend to wait until ‘the fad’ of it has passed enough for me to forget what I’ve been set up to feel about it. (Though I will be more likely to read a really popular book if a friend recommends it or reviewer with similar tastes really likes it)

I’m not trying to be a book snob, I promise. xD Do you do similar things, or do you find the large hype for a book makes you love it more? I’d love to discuss! πŸ˜€

 
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Posted by on 05/27/2015 in Books, Top 5 Wednesday

 

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TBRTakedown Participation Announcement!

Guess what, another readathon :”D

This one is newly created (I think) by leaninglights on youtube. Here is her original announcement video if you’d like to participate too.

The point of this one is to read books that you already physically own. It takes place between June 1 and June 7th. And there are some challenges you can try to complete as well. They are:

1. A book that’s been on your TBR for over a year
2. An unread sequel sitting on your shelf
3. A first book in a series sitting on your shelf
4. An out of your comfort zone book on your TBR
5. A book from your most recent book haul.

My TBR for this is:

20150527_013618-1

The numbers on the books correlate with the challenge it fills. Wish me luck!

 
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Posted by on 05/27/2015 in Books, Readathon

 

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Bout of Books Wrap-up

Guess what, I did good. πŸ˜€ I kinda surprised myself with how much I read. Was not expecting it.

Remember my original TBR? It was Angels and Demons, A Clash of Kings and A Clockwork Orange. And then when I threw it up on instagram, I actually added a few more graphic novels as well. Well… I kinda stuck to that. If you want to see my completed progress post, that’s here. But as everyone on this planet knows, I’m terrible with sticking to tbrs (and I’m currently doing Rybsat, which is strictly sticking to one, so we’ll see how that goes) so I kinda flew off in a tangent on this one. I did get a lot of reading done though!

What I finished was the following:

Y: The Last Man volume 4 by Bryan K Vaughn
Y: The Last Man volume 5 by Bryan K Vaughn
Wolf’s Rain volume 1 by Bones
Wolf’s Rain volume 2 by Bones (series completed! :D)
Samurai Champloo: Complete Series (maybe?) by Masaru Gotsubo
Angels and Demons by Dan Brown

So really I read a whole bunch of comics and one book. Whatevs, I read. It totaled in 1417 pages, about 300 of those being from a non-graphic book. I’ll go over these more in my end of the month wrap up where I’ll delve more into my thoughts on them (and Angels and Demons will get a review as soon as I write it) I did so much better in this readathon than my first one. I’m so happy at me. :”D

 
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Posted by on 05/18/2015 in Books, Readathon, Wrap-up

 

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Bout of Books Day 4 Challenge: From Modern to Classic

I like this kind of challenge – there was one in Dewey’s 24hr Readathon along these lines too. Though for the sake of non-repetitiveness, I’m going to choose a book that wasn’t in my list of three books for that challenge (Harry Potter, The Book Thief and Go the F*** to Sleep)

For those not following the Bout of Books Challenges, this particular challenge is to choose a book published 2005 or later that you feel will become a classic, and then state why. And let me tell you, that 2005 publish mark is making this difficult. I’m staring at my shelves trying to find one and each time I do, the publish date is too old. So buh, off to my goodreads to look at all my read books instead of those with me currently. Huff.

Alright, here we go:

Ready Player OneI’m choosing Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I feel like this is going to end up how The Foundation Trilogy by Asimov is talked about. Classic in its own way, but not really taught in schools unless the class is focusing on scifis anyways. And the reason I choose this one is because: 1) Within the book it’s referring to classics itself by all the 80s pop culture references that have since become classics and 2) the fact that it’s a dystopian. I know, I know. Dystopian =/= automatic classic, but think about it… 1984, Brave New World, Fahrenheit 451.. seeing a trend? And it’s about a teenager dealing with his world and interpersonal relationships while not being a total scumbag about it, perfect stuff for adolescents in school to read about.

Also, it has this ‘futuristic technology’ in it, which may or may not turn out in real life how it is in the book, so that could be another thing to study while reading the book. Either ‘look how close he got it’ or ‘what a goofy idea this guy had’ (I’m guessing the latter, considering it’s 2015 and we still don’t have flying cars. Thanks Back to the Future for the huge let down. :P)

So yes, this is my choice. Would totally want my kid to read it should I ever have a kid.

 
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Posted by on 05/14/2015 in Books, Readathon

 

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Time of the Day Book Tag

I haven’t done a tag in a while, and I’m not a huge fan of today’s Bout of Books Challenge, so I’m gonna do this instead! This tag was created by ChrisToria2027.

I’m tagging Ace. ACE DO IT

1 – Time to wake up: A book that opened your eyes to a genre you didn’t previously read.
Dragon Ball Z, Vol. 1: A Never Before Seen Terror (Dragon Ball Z, #1)Dragonball Z volume 1 by Akira Toriyama. This was my first ever manga. I bought it back when I was 14 or so because I was (and am) a huge fan of the anime. At the time, I had heard it had originated from a manga, but didn’t know anything about them or what they looked like. When I saw this, I bought it super fast and have since bought probably over 300 volumes of manga. To say it was a gateway book is an understatement.

I think my favorite thing about this series is the nostalgia factor. I’d run home from the bus stop every day and flip on the tv as soon as I walked in the door – it aired at 4pm and it was always a challenge to catch the opening credits – a fun one. Goku will forever be part of my life.

2 – No time for breakfast: A book that has been sitting on your shelf for ages.
The War of the FlowersThere are a lot of books I bought a long time ago that I honestly have forgotten how long they’ve been on my shelf. They just never seem to jump to the top of the list when I’m choosing my ‘next book’ to read. I have my bookshelf organized now (it looks so much nicer than that picture from a couple posts ago) so all my unread books are in one place and the one that sticks out to me the most is The War of the Flowers by Tad Williams. Honestly can’t say when I bought this. I don’t know. I do know it came from Borders Books, which has been closed for years. Other than that, no clue. It’ll get read at some point.

3 – Time to travel to work: A book you read whilst traveling.
A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1)You know what a lot of people can do that I can’t do that I’m super jealous they can do? Read in a moving vehicle. Cars, I get sick. Trains, I get sick. Even planes are pushing it. Sometimes, I can manage to read in a plane. It’s disgusting, so much potential reading time down the drain. But lucky for me, I recently came into a large amount of audio books. I know in my original TBR Jar Challenge, I replaced the ‘Listen to an audio book’ challenge with something else. Well… that was before these audio books were in my grasp. So.. I guess I could put it back, but whatevs. So I listen to audio books while I travel. The one I finished most recently is A Game of Thrones by George RR Martin. Totally loved this one. I have the rest on audio too, but I think I’m going to go back and forth between listening and read for the rest of them.

4 – You’ve had a hard time at work: A book you struggled to get through.
Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1)That would be Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. Nothing against Maggie, I’ve heard her other series is pretty decent and I’m actually interested in that one, but ugh, this book man. This was a challenge. I almost had to resort to hate-reading to get through this one. First off, it strongly reminded me of Twilight. If you like Twilight, you’ll probably like this book. But me, I didn’t like it. So this book took me a while to get through and I will not be continuing the series.

Period.
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5 – Lunch time: A quick and easy read.
This question could be answered by a lot of graphic novels or manga, really. So I’m just gonna shout of a few of my favorites! Fullmetal Alchemist, Rurouni Kenshin, Death Note, Saga, Fruits Basket, Bitter Virgin, Immortal Rain.. yada yada
Rurouni Kenshin, Vol. 1 (Rurouni Kenshin, #1)Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 01 (Fullmetal Alchemist, #1)Saga, Vol. 1Fruits Basket, Vol. 1 (Fruits Basket, #1)Bitter Virgin 1 (Bitter Virgin #1)Immortal Rain, Vol. 1Death Note, Vol. 1: Boredom (Death Note, #1)

6 – Time for your performance review: A book you bought because of a review you read/watched.
Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1)Like many people after discovering internet book reviews, I was kinda sucked into buying books I probably wouldn’t normally buy. A lot of them turned out to be pretty great, and some of them were awful. One of the great ones that I would not have normally purchased was Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead. Totally out of my normal realm of reading, but I bought it because I heard it had a strong female friendship, and that turned out to be one of my favorite things about it. It was decent overall, but that part in particular made it shine. I own the rest of the box set too and plan on reading them eventually (found the box set at a discount store for ten bucks, whoo :”D)

7 – Time to travel home: A book that follows a character on some kind of journey.
The Hobbit (Middle-Earth Universe)I’m going to go with The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien, though I haven’t read it yet (don’t hate me! I own it, just haven’t gotten to it)

Before the movies came out – both The Hobbit ones and LoTR, my father had tried to get me to read this. And being the dumb child I was, I didn’t want to because it was a book that someone told me to read. Don’t I regret that, man. I’ve told him this too. He laughed, and still thinks I’m dumb, hahaha.

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8 – Dinner time and conversation: A book you don’t hear people talk about much, but you loved.
Memoirs of a GeishaMemoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden. Now, there is a chance I just came to the internet book community too late on this one and missed the hype, but I’ve seen this mentioned maybe once. It’s such a good story (and the movie is pretty good too!) Though I can’t say it’s exactly uh… historically completely accurate. There are definitely accurate bits, but from what I’ve read, the author took some artistic liberties. I’m always looking for historical books set in this time period, nonfiction or otherwise, so if you know of any, you let me know, would you? Many thank yous. ❀

9 – Time to zone out in front of the TV: Your favourite book that has been turned into a movie or TV show.
Ella EnchantedElla Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine. And I’m telling you now, do not watch the movie. It’s horrible. The book is awesome, the movie is shit. If you’re looking for a good book for your son or daughter of about 10 or 11 to read, it’s this one. It’s wonderful.

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10 – Bedtime: The book that is currently on your nightstand.
Angels & Demons  (Robert Langdon, #1)Angels and Demons by Dan Brown. This is the book I’m currently reading for the boutofbooks readathon, and this one while I’m loving it is kinda slow going. I’m definitely gonna write a full review on it as it’s definitely got some conversation points.

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11 – Night-time: A book you couldn’t put down so you stayed up way too late reading
Any and all of the Harry Potter books. If you haven’t read these, how do you understand pop culture, holy cow.

 
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Posted by on 05/13/2015 in Book Tag, Books

 

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Bout of Books Readathon – Progress Post

Hi! Just found out that daily updates would be a good thing for me to do. So I’m going to make one post and just update this post every day. So yay, here we go~

Day 1
Volume 4 (144 pages) and Volume 5Β  (192 pages) of Y: The Last Man by Bryan K Vaughn
Pages 212-277 of Angels and Demons by Dan Brown

401 pages total
So deciding to read graphic novels really boosted me up. I think I’ll keep that up, though I’ll need to switch to manga, as I’ve run out of unread graphic novels. Oop.

Day 2
Pages 277-294 of Angels and Demons

17 pages
418 pages total

Guess who totally didn’t read yesterday. Oop

Day 3
294-308 of Angels and Demons

14 pages
432 pages total
Hopefully Day 4 will be better @@ I keep getting distracted! (Though I’m still doing better than I did in Dewey’s Readathon, yay)

Day 4
308-348 of Angels and Demons

40 pages
472 pages total

I have no words :”D I think I’m just bad at readathons.

Day 5
348-351 of Angels and Demons
(184 pages)Volume 1 and (200 pages)Volume 2 of Wolf’s Rain
(340 pages) Samurai Champloo: Complete Series

727 pages
1199
pages total

Day 6
Nothing… :”D

0 pages
1199
pages total

Day 7
351-569 of Angels and Demons
I FINISHED IT YEAH.

218 pages
1417
pages total.

HOLY COW. TIME FOR A NAP

 
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Posted by on 05/12/2015 in Books, Readathon

 

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