Book Review: The Martian by Andy Weir

The MartianThe Martian by Andy Weir

Let me start off by saying that when I was typing the author’s name, my brain decided originally to type ‘Weird’ instead of ‘Weir’. I think it was a Freudian slip, because I feel the author of this novel is just that – weird, in the best way possible. You have to be weird to come up with a book like this one. Like most people, I completely adored this book. I listened to it as an audio book while on road trips and it certainly made time fly.

I think if I would have read it as a physical book I still would have really liked it but the audio book just made it oh so much better. The narrator was perfect. He put into his words the wry humor that permeated the book. He made recognizable voices for each character and for a guy with a deeper voice, he managed to voice all the women characters rather well, too.

But enough about the narrator, on to the book itself: The Martian is set on Mars. It follows Mark Watney, who through a set of circumstances becomes stranded on the orange planet. He has to survive until a rescue plan becomes available.

Now there are two things that particularly stuck out to me in this book, which made me love it.

First, it was sciencey. And I’m talking really sciencey. When Watney had to create a breathable atmosphere for himself, the author went into the chemistry of it. When Watney had to figure out how to grow food, the physics and chemistry of that was explained too. If you know anything about basic chemistry, you’ll feel really smart reading this book because you’ll recognize the principles. If you don’t know anything about chemistry, you’ll enjoy it all the same because all the hard science is presented in a way that is entertaining, easy to understand, and funny. Which brings me to the second thing I loved about this book:

The humor. This book. is. hilarious. I was laughing out loud so many times throughout this book I couldn’t even count it. Mark Watney is a wonderful character. He takes the situation of being stranded on Mars and makes it hysterical. He’s so dry, so sarcastic, so quick-witted. He’s a lot of fun to read. You shouldn’t be laughing when someone keeps putting themselves in life-or-death situations, but… you do. You can’t help it. No oxygen? Hahahahaaa. Miscalculated a super crucial measurement that will keep the water in your eyes from boiling away? Stop it, I can’t breathe!

This book is wonderful. Go read it. Want sci-fi? Comedy? Reaaaaaad iiiiiiit. Unfortunately this is gonna be a short review, because I don’t have anything critical to say on this book. I loved every aspect of it. It’s definitely made it onto my all-time favorites list. I’m gonna shove it down all your throats for a long time to come. :”D

Rating: 5/5 stars

Book Review: Rumble by Ellen Hopkins

RumbleRumble by Ellen Hopkins

This review is going to be spoilery. You’ve been warned. This was my first Ellen Hopkins book. This was my first book written in verse.

I’ll start out with the stuff I liked about this book:

  • I discovered I really like reading books in verse format

And now onto the stuff I disliked about this book:

  • The majority of it.

I debated turning my reading this book into a drinking game about half way through when I realized that this book wasn’t for me. The same stuff kept happening over and over, so I think it would have been a whole lot of fun. But at the same time, I’m a super light weight, so by page 20 I would have been wasted. And by the time I finished, I probably would have downed over 20 shots.

This book would have given me alcohol poisoning and killed me.

I’m not even sure why I didn’t just put down the thing. I didn’t like it. Not a single part. The only plausible reason I can think of is that the verse format had me flying through it. And I feel that once I realized I was hate-reading it, I had to finish it out of spite purely so I could write this review.

I think what first and foremost disappointed me about this book was that the rumble that this entire book was about, that the whole synopsis alluded to, happened in the last five pages of the book. The last five pages of the 546 page book. I kept waiting for this grand revelation or tremendous happening that never came until the very end and when it did, it was really quick and over with and left me with a sense of disappointment and frustration. I finished the book, said, “That was a stupid book” and then started typing this damn thing up while my thoughts were still fresh. I don’t know – maybe I missed the whole point of it. I looked for the point. I looked really really hard, but I didn’t find it.

So aside from the almighty rumble in this book being all of one page long, there were a slew of other things in this book that really rubbed me the wrong way. For one, the casual sexism. If I took a shot of alcohol for every time I read a sentence like ‘Maybe she’s really housewifey’ or ‘women are confusing’ or something like that, I’d be drunk. There is no way this book passed the Bechdel test either. And there were stuff said against men too, how they’re ‘so stubborn’ and ‘can’t help themselves’. It was disgusting.

And then there’s the main character. I hate the main character. And not in the ‘he’s purposely unlikable but I can see his reasoning so I kinda sympathize with him’ kind of way. It was in the ‘he’s an ass but I feel like the author wants you to like him anyways’ kind of way. There’s a difference there. The first type still can drive the story – that kind of character is still interesting and I’m still invested. The second type – what this main character was, is just annoying. He’s just so damn angry and whiny and selfish. He had outlets he could use to help him with his issues but he chose to avoid them. He fought with his girlfriend over the stupidest things (and she wasn’t exactly a likable character either). The two of them together just grated on my nerves. And then he goes and cheats on her (another thing that makes me dislike him) and then has the nerve to be angry when she breaks up with him (for reasons other than him cheating, but whatevs). I also don’t like how religion is portrayed in this book. There were super atheists and hardcore believers in this story – both of which definitely exist but nowhere did I see a moderate believer or non-believer. The two sides were portrayed as enemies throughout the book and while that does happen, nobody in the damn story thought about just saying “You believe this, I’ll believe this other thing and we’ll be on our way”. Everybody acted like children.

There were only two or three side-characters that I liked in this story. Surprisingly, one of those was the girl he cheated with. I actually liked her. She was the only level-headed character in my opinion. Anybody else even remotely close to the main character was kinda cruddy. It was hard to read through, I kept thinking ‘nobody would act like that, holy cow’ over and over again and it really took away from my experience reading the thing.

Overall, this book was a huge disappointment. I didn’t like how the topics covered were portrayed, I didn’t like the characters. The only thing that I like was that I was able to read it super fast.

If you know of any written-in-verse books that aren’t terrible, you tell me what they are so I can get this nasty taste out of my mouth.

Rating: 1/5 stars

Book Review: Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes, #1)Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch
Read July 30 – August 8 2015
YA Fantasy
416 pages

This book surprised me. I had seen a lot of people hauling it and saying things like “I’ve heard it’s so good” and “This sounds so great” but I only saw or heard reviews of people actually having read it a couple of times. Most of those reviews were positive and some were not, so I didn’t know what to expect coming into it.

Upon reading the first few chapters, I decided that I liked this book, that it was probably gonna get a three-star rating from me. The main reason for that rating instead of a higher one I think was the main character. I couldn’t stand her. She was immature and selfish and not at all relatable. From the beginning (and this is stated on the back of the book so it’s not a spoiler, promise) she was hung up over this Mather guy, but it really didn’t go into why she liked him. I know they’d been together since birth but from all her gooing over him, she didn’t say why she felt that way. So it felt a bit insta-lovey and it put me off. So at the beginning of the book, her character docked two stars off right away.

Though the world in which this book takes place made up for that. It was so interesting and I really liked the lore behind it as the story progressed. The different seasons and rhythms were really cool to read about – I like how each area had its own distinct feeling to it, more so than just saying “It’s always sunny here” or something like that. I feel the lands and their people embodied their seasons in more than just what the whether happened to be doing. It was really cool. So I kept reading despite Meira, the main character, making me groan in frustration every few pages. And then, one of the most amazing things ever happened:

Character development. Holy shit, it was amazing.

After finishing this book, I feel that Meira’s character went through one of the best character developments I’ve read. I’ve never had a character I didn’t like grow so quickly on me. By the end of the book, I didn’t just not dislike her any longer, but I really liked her. She realized what her character flaws were and actually made an effort to correct them. It. Was. Awesome. I became totally engrossed in her story and everything happening around her. The last 200 pages of this book flew by in a couple of hours.

And aside from the awesome character arc, the battle scenes in this book were written in a way that sucked me in. I really loved the detail that Raasch put into writing them and how she progressed the plot through instances of ‘What, no. WHAT, NOO’ that had me ending a chapter with the thought of ‘I’ll read one more’ over and over again. I couldn’t put this book down, man.

I know there’s a second book coming out soon, Ice like Fire, and I have a rough idea of what the plot is going to be, but I’m also afraid that a love triangle is gonna happen. It hasn’t been blatantly stated, but I feel it coming man and I’m afraid. Still totally gonna read the book, but afraid.

So over all, I quite enjoyed this book despite the iffy beginning, and I’m really excited to read the next one!

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

July Wrap-Up and August Currently Reading

Aaaand now the year is 2/3 over. I really wish my brain would quit normalizing things and allow me to perceive time moving more slowly like I did when I was little. Goodness. I’M GONNA BE 25 IN A WEEK MAN. I’M OLD.

Anyways, in July, I participated in a few readathons and I didn’t realize this until now, but holy cow did I read a lot of books. Well, 9 of them were books, 9 of them were graphic novels or manga. But regardless – I was going to go through each one and say a bit about it, but I feel like you’d be reading a novel, so I’m going to just list the stars for each one (and if you’d like to voice an opinion on one or two, go for it :D)

The 5 star books were:

A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, #2)Easy (Contours of the Heart, #1)The Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns, #2)V for VendettaNight (The Night Trilogy, #1)

4.5 stars:

The Bitter Kingdom (Fire and Thorns, #3)

4 stars:

The New World (Chaos Walking, #0.5)A Little PrincessIkigami: The Ultimate Limit, Volume 3 (Ikigami, #3)Saiyuki Reload, Volume 6Saiyuki Reload Volume 7 (v. 7)

3.5 stars:

Matched (Matched, #1)Promethea, Vol. 1The Arctic Incident: The Graphic Novel (Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novels, #2)City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)You and Me, Etc.

2.5 stars:

Anya's Ghost

1 star:

Flight Volume One (Flight, #1)

My favorite book of the month was Easy by Tammara Weber, and the least favorite was Flight volume 1. I will not be continuing that series. I felt it has such potential and it was such a let-down. 😦

So for August. As I mentioned above, I turn 25 this month (yay, my car insurance rate is being cut in half) and hopefully I’ll be able to get a lot of reading done as well. 😀

As of right now, I’m reading:

His Majesty's Dragon (Temeraire #1)Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes, #1)Life, the Universe and Everything (Hitchhiker's Guide, #3)A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, #3)The Martian

A few of these I’ve been reading for ages (namely the third and fifth book listed). I just haven’t been in the mood to finish them (even though I really really enjoy both of them so far). Both of them I’m reading with my SO. The Douglas Adams book we’re reading aloud and The Martian we’re listening to on audiobook. It’s difficult to find the time to commit to them when we’re both in the mood to read/listen. One of these days, they’ll get finished.

Also I went to the library for the first time in years a couple days ago and rented a couple books (Anya’s Ghost, The Bitter Kingdom, Flight vol 1 and Snow Like Ashes) There are so many books there that I want to read now that I know I won’t have to pay for them (namely…. Throne of Glass. xD I know I said I wasn’t gonna read it, but now that I don’t have to buy it to do so.. it’s more tempting. So if I read it, I’ll eat my hat and you all can call me goofy). As for what else I’m going to read this month, I have no idea. You know how I am with TBRs. I’ll read what I read.

EDIT: I totally forgot about my TBR Jar Challenge. This month’s slip is: “Read a book that is 500+ pages”. Guess how many pages A Storm of Swords is. ;”D That’s right, more than 500. Woop.

How was your reading month? Happy reading! 😀

Book Review: Matched by Allie Condie

Matched (Matched, #1)Matched by Ally Condie

Started July 5, 2015
Finished July 7, 2015
369 pages
Young Adult Dystopian Romance
Book 1 in the Matched Trilogy

This book was an interesting read for me. When I first picked it up, I was very hesitant. I had heard mixed reviews about it, and honestly, the blurb on the back of the book did absolutely nothing for me. It made this book sound like it would be a melodramatic love triangle with a dystopian in the background. But I’d say it’s more of a dystopian with a melodramatic love triangle in the background.

I will say right now that I enjoyed this book, much more than I predicted I would. It’s not a stellar book, but it was entertaining and Ally Condie’s writing was very easy to read through 100 pages at once.

This book’s major strength is the dystopian that’s set up within it. It was eerie, and it reminded me of 1984 among other novels. In this novel, everybody is rigidly set to a schedule, a lifestyle, a diet, a mate. At 17 years old, you’re matched to a person deemed the most genetically beneficial for offspring. Nobody knows enough about any one task to be self-sufficient. Those who know how to plant seeds don’t know how to grow it. Those who grow it don’t know how to harvest it. Those who harvest it don’t know how to cook it. Those who cook it don’t know how to do any of the previous steps. Each person is specifically trained in a small step of something. This ensures the person will never know enough to do anything themselves, and therefore depend on The Society in which they live to keep them alive and everyone organized so all the steps are completed. It’s ingenious really. Stamps out rebellion before it starts.

Diets are strictly enforced, at each person’s meal is nutritionally calculated for that specific person. There is no sharing of food, no unscheduled activity, no questioning about things to which a person is ignorant. Looking from the inside out, you’d feel like you just ‘fit’ in where you are, and would feel perfectly content with what you do. From the outside in, it feels like nobody has any soul, that everyone is just going through motions of life without living. And on top of that there are these Big Brother-like Officials floating all over the place, controlling every aspect of everything. Like I said, eerie.

So yes, the strengths of this are definitely strong, and they’re why I liked this book so much. The stuff that made me not love it though, are just as strong – the characters. I didn’t feel for them, I didn’t become attached to them. And honestly at the beginning I couldn’t stand the way the main character spoke about things. It was irritating, her uh.. verbage, I guess. I don’t know how to explain it. Her tone? Her attitude? I don’t know. She dropped it later which made her better, but even then, I couldn’t really feel for her. The romance in this book fell flat for me I think. I usually get all ‘ooooh, they gon’ kiiiissss’ when I feel a romantic scene coming on, but I got none of that from this book. Sure there was romance, but I wasn’t affected by it in the way the author probably hoped I would be.

So overall, I liked this book. Should I come across book 2, I’ll definitely continue it. As I said, the dystopian setting is rather interesting, and I definitely want to know how the story continues, but I’d be lying if I said that it’s on the top of my to-read list.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Romance, I crave it.

Book Review: Easy by Tammara Weber

Easy (Contours of the Heart, #1)Easy by Tammara Weber

Started July 1, 2015
Finished July 2, 2015
New Adult Romance, 321 pages

This was my first taste of the new adult genre and goodness was it delicious. I need to read more of it, me thinks.

This book centers around a woman named Jacqueline who at the beginning of the book is a victim of a sexual assault but saved at the last minute by Lucas, the other main character (who’s a total hunk, btw). This book deals a lot with sexual assult, rape, victim blaming and all that. And I feel like it handles it pretty well. I was anxious there for a bit towards the beginning, but by the end of it, I loved how everything was managed.

This book for me was a breath of fresh air. Aside from some frustrating actions by the main character at the beginning (which she realized she was doing and changed) I really liked how she thought and acted when confronted in different situations. It was such a nice change of pace from the typical lead who I’m yelling at the entire time, shouting “WHY are you doing THAT?” Jacqueline seemed to have a good head on her shoulders and I very much appreciated it.

Another big bonus about this book that I was not expecting was the strong bonded female friendship I found. Jacqueline and her roommate Erin were two peas in a pod, also a refreshing thing to see, especially in a romance novel. There was no cattiness, no competition between them.. they backed each other up through thick and thin, and it made me happy to see it. I feel there aren’t enough female friendships in books. There need to be more!

There was only a very minor thing that bugged me about this book, not enough to detract a star or anything, but enough to mention: In the beginning when the romance was first developing, Jacqueline and Erin kept talking about ‘let him chase you’ or ‘only text him so often’ or ‘blah de blah’. I mean really. After all this awesome female empowerment, friendship, so on and so forth, they’re gonna play a coy dating game? Buh, when has that ever worked? Most people on this planet are totally terrible at picking up subtle hints. This is not limited to gender, btw. People in general suck at it. Buuuut lucky for Jacqueline, she picked the one guy who knew exactly what she meant when she said ‘hi’ in a text message. For all the rest of us, her saying ‘hi’ translated to ‘bone me’. Who knew? No wonder everybody things dating is so damn hard.

Lucky for me (and for all of us) that awkward texting phase was over and done with pretty quickly, so I didn’t need to slam my head against the book as I was reading for too long.

Overall, I loved this book. I read it in two sittings, a record for me. Tammara Weber’s writing flows so well – I had read 160 pages in my first sitting before I knew it. It really flew by. For those looking to get into this genre and don’t know where to start, I highly suggest this novel. Though considering it is New Adult, keep in mind there is sexual content. If you’re okay with that, then go bananas. Happy reading! 😀

Rating: 5/5 stars
Lucas is lovely.

Book Review: A Clash of Kings by George RR Martin

A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, #2)A Clash of Kings by George RR Martin

My thoughts are swirling after reading this book. On the slim chance you don’t know already, this is the second book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, the first being A Game of Thrones. The first book, I rated 5 stars. This book, I feel I liked even more. Here is a synopsis from Goodreads, because I feel it gives the perfect amount of ‘oooh, ahhh’:

A comet the colour of blood and flame cuts across the sky. And from the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding shores of Winterfell, chaos reigns. Six factions struggle for control of a divided land and the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms, preparing to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war. It is a tale in which brother plots against brother and the dead rise to walk at night. Here a princess masquerades as an orphan boy; a knight of the mind prepares a poison for a treacherous sorceress; and wild men descend from the Mountains of the Moon to ravage the countryside. Against a backdrop of incest and fratricide, alchemy and murder, victory may go to the men and women possessed of the coldest steel…and the coldest hearts. For when kings clash, the whole land trembles.

The following may be accidentally spoilery. I won’t directly spoil without warning, but some of my phrasing of events might hint at things you might not wanna know ahead of time, so tread with caution.

A Clash of Kings is a spectacular continuation of A Game of Thrones. The character development for each character has furthered, the plot has thickened, the writing and imagery is wonderful as always. I think what I like the most about this installment is that more places were explored than just Winterfell, King’s Landing, The Wall and Vaes Dothrak. It gave me a larger picture in my head of who is where and what is happening when. The land this story takes place in I want to run around in. …with like fifty guards, but whatever.

Another thing that I really liked was that I began to hate characters I previously liked. Not because they’re bad characters, no, but because they’re developing so well that I know for a fact that if I ever met them in real life I’d hate their guts. The characters in this book to me feel like they’re real people, both the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’, but honestly, the lines between the two are starting to blur in this book and I love it. Some characters in the first book that I disliked I’m starting to feel sympathy for. Some I liked I know despise. Some I hated I still hate. *cough*Joffrey*cough*. Some I liked I now REALLY like.

The following in spoilery, I warn you! Skip to the next paragraph to get back to safe reading if you don’t wanna know! I wanted to mention these parts specifically, because they made me hate a particular character the most (and really like a couple others). Lemme start with this: Theon is a dickhole. Holy doody he’s an ass. I’m talking about two parts in particular: When he first meets his sister and when he ‘kills’ Bran and Rickon. The first, the fact that all he did was immediately see this woman as something to be gained made me sick. And when it turned out his sister was playing him, I laughed so hard and fell in love with his sister’s character. Asha is damn wonderful. At the end of the book, Theon’s fate is unknown, but I’m totally going to the store as soon as I’m done writing to get the third book, haha. So I’ll find out. I hope he’s alive so Asha can out-everything him more, haha. And for the second part… what a coward he is. I was in shock (I shouldn’t have been because of Martin’s rep, I know) but when it turns out he faked it, I was both happy and it made me dislike him all the more. If you’re gonna be evil, at least be good at it, goodness. That’s all for my spoilers.

And even if you didn’t read my spoiler, just know it actually made me like the book more. I loved hate-reading from that character’s perspective, it was fantastic. :”D

Overall, I loved this book. I want another book now. Lucky for me, it’s at the store and I can totally go get it.

Rating: 5/5 stars
There are so many punchable people.

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 😀 )

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?! 😀 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.

Book Review (Series Review) – Chaos Walking Trilogy

The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking, #1) The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking #2) Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking, #3).







The Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness

Let me start off by saying that this series has become one of my favorites series ever. Ever. I feel like this is a masterpiece and Patrick Ness is a genius. My only wish is to meet him so I can give him a hug for putting me on such an emotional roller coaster with such a beautiful piece of literature. I want leather-bound signed super nice copies and they will be the stars of my library. Wow.

I’ve written a review about the second book earlier in my blog, but after finishing the third book about twenty minutes ago, I couldn’t just do a review on it alone. The entire series as a whole is so extraordinary. The third book of course is fantastic and probably my favorite of the three, but even then it’s only by a string. No single book in this series would be nearly as good if the others were not there to support it. I wish I would have read them in a row with no other books in between. I feel like I would have loved them even more, but the breaks allowed me to break out of the universe a bit unfortunately (though lucky me, Patrick Ness’s writing is so intoxicating it only took me about a chapter in each book to get pulled right back in).

But anyways.

The Chaos Walking Trilogy is a young adult science fiction story, where when you come into the first book, you’re thrown into the world of a boy named Todd. He lives in a settlement on a new planet, all of the women are dead and nothing is kept secret. Every thought, every significant or insignificant picture, word, feeling that crosses your mind, is broadcast out for anything within the vicinity to hear. Even the animals’ thoughts can be heard. All of these thoughts culminate together in an endless wall of noise that is impossible to escape. If you run out of the settlement into the woods, you hear the bugs. Nowhere can you leave the noise behind. One day, Todd is out with his dog Manchee… and he comes across a patch of silence.

That is what drew me into the book. Patrick Ness’s writing and characters and imagery kept me there. The way he presents his words on the page have just as much of an effect as what the words actually say. I hope that makes sense. Once you open the book and see, you’ll understand what I’m talking about. Throughout the series, Ness’s characters go through such personal development, good and bad. After a while, the perspectives between the chapters start to alternate, allowing you to read for more than just Todd’s point of view. And none of these perspectives did I find boring or irritating. I was engrossed in every character while at the same time craving to hear the thoughts of the others.

As the series progressed, it became almost a common occurrence at the end of a chapter to yell some form of wordless despair or joy or whatever the author left me with. Each chapter was intense, especially getting into the last two books. I teared up more than once, I was humbled, I laughed. This book put me through such a range of emotions, man. I just couldn’t (can’t!) get enough. There are three short stories set in this universe that I have yet to read. I will do so as soon as I’m able (one’s in my second book, which I have lent out!).

Apologies if this review is nothing more than me vomiting words of love on a page, but that is the impression this series left me with. Nothing but adoration, joy, despair… anything and everything that comes with finding your new favorite book. Go read it.

Overall Rating: 5/5 stars

Book Review – The Girl of Fire and Thorns

The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns, #1)The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

When I first heard about this book, what really made me interested in it was how the main character was described. She has all of the typical characteristics of an unwilling hero – reluctancy, being thrown out of her element, so on. But she is also overweight. She has a food addiction. She thinks about eating (and eats) constantly. And she’s the heroine of a fantasy novel. I can’t say I’ve ever read about a character like that before. Usually if you’ve got a female lead, she’s a good fighter, or a good thinker… but always -always- she is described as slim or average. Never have I read of a heroine who was fat, especially in a fantasy setting (If you have, tell me the book, I wanna read it). Another thing that intrigued me about this book is the religion in it. Whenever the main character Elisa prays, her god seems to answer her, like immediately. It was refreshing reading about an omnipotent entity that actually seemed to interact with the world on a normal basis.

So anyways, the plot of this book. This book is about Elisa, who is marked as the chosen one by a Godstone in her navel. As described earlier, she’s not exactly the prime candidate to be chosen, and those around her know it. The land she lives in is surrounded by a few other countries, all with political and warlike stresses to them, and after being married off at the beginning of the book to the king of one of them, Elisa has to somehow survive as more and more people learn who she is, fulfill her duty as the chosen one and come to terms with the fact that’s she’s been married to someone she doesn’t know.

One of the things I really liked about this book were the characters. Each one seemed to evolve a good amount throughout the story. Elisa especially goes through a huge character development, and I love who she becomes. The characters around her too flesh out a good deal and some you liked you decide you don’t and some you didn’t like you decide you do. It’s all just so wonderful. The plot of this book is rather interesting I think. Even though if you read the synopsis on the back of the book, it’s clear that a certain event happens, but I was so engrossed with the writing that I kind of forgot about it and when it happened it still took me by surprise. This book is fast paced and might make you tear up a bit here and there, and it was exactly what I needed after almost two weeks of not reading anything. This book is good, I really liked it. I didn’t love it like I was hoping I would, but I feel like, with the way the characters had developed by the end of the book, I will probably love the next one, which makes me really excited.

The main character to me was uncomfortably relatable. I think that’s why I liked her so much. I used to be really bad when it came to food. (I’m not perfect yet. If you’ve ever seen me, I’m definitely wigglier than I should be), but I’ve gotten better when it comes to portion control and impulse eating and whatnot. Watching Elisa go through the same struggles really made me fall in love with her as a character, and I hope her personality at its core never changes.

There’s only one part in this book that I had a problem with, and if you haven’t read the book yet and plan to, don’t read the rest of this paragraph because it’s a major spoiler (just this one, the rest after it will be fine, I promise). The problem I had is how grief is handled in this book. I feel like the author didn’t want to cover it at all and just skimmed over it. So y’know after they show up at whatshisface’s place and he has Humberto’s throat slit – the one who Elisa loves and the one who is Cosme’s brother… and he dies… and NEITHER OF THEM cry for more than like five minutes. All of the sudden, they’re fine. They’re dandy. My brother is dead, or the boy I love is dead. I’m totally peachy. I’m fine. I understand not mourning immediately due to being in the middle of a tense situation, but later when everything has calmed down, not even in Elisa’s inner monologue did she seem to be mourning aside from occassionally being like ‘oh, I miss him’. No sadness. That is the part that disconnected me from the book. That character’s death had more of an effect on me than it did those two. I teared up, thinking about my own boyfriend. I would be a wreck for.. for.. I don’t even know how long, but it would definitely be more than five minutes, man. Come on, Rae Carson. THEY CAN CRY IT’S OKAY I PROMISE.

Spoilers over! So yes, I definitely plan on continuing this trilogy. I’m hoping that they get ever better (and that issue I mentioned in the spoiler is resolved or at least improved upon, buh). If you want a refreshingly different lead character, read this book. It’s a nice change in perspective.

Overall Rating: 4.25/5 stars
Cryyyy a little