February 13, 2018

Format: Hardcover
Pages: 221 pages
Published: March 3rd 2005
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 0525475060


3.5 out of 5 stars

Looking for Alaska is the story about Miles “Pudge” Halter, which leaves home to attend boarding school to search an “Great Perhaps” while being fascinated by the last words of people. During his time on boarding school, he meets Alaska Young, who Miles thinks is the love of his life. While spending time with self-destructive Alaska with their other friends the Colonel and Takumi, tragedy hits the group of friends and the entire school.

The plot of Looking For Alaska is one you’re able to divide in the “before” and “after”. In the “before” part the plot feels very shallow with the group of friend falling in love while talking, thinking and joking about drinking, smoking, and sex. in the “After” part of the book the plot suddenly becomes a lot deeper with the characters having to come to terms with the tragedy that befell them.

being out of college I couldn’t feel to help that all the characters felt the same, which when you think about it is very accurate to the situation they find themselves in. All characters behave like you’d expect boarding school students to behave. They mainly focus on breaking rules, pranking their fellow students, spend time getting drunk and hooking up with other students. The only thing that was really unique for each character were their hobbies, with every character having another one.

All in all was Looking for Alaska a good read, but it’s best enjoyed when you’re still in college or younger because when you get older you really start seeing how similar all characters are, and how superficial their actions and fears are.

 

February 1, 2018

Series: Hogwarts Library
Format: Hardcover

Pages: 59 pages
Published: June 1st 2001
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
ISBN: 0439321603

This review is for the textbook release under the name “Fantastic Beasts and where to find them”, not the movie script released under the same name.


3.5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic Beasts and Where to find them is one of the approved textbooks on Hogwarts School of Wizardry and Magic used by Harry Potter. It introduces the students to the magical beasts of the Wizarding world and features some beasts that are well known from the mainline Harry Potter books like the Hippogriff, the Basilisk, and the Hungarian Horntail.

There is no plot, or overarching story seeing it’s litterally one of Harry’s textbooks released for us to read and discover magical beasts we haven’t gotten to known through the mainline Harry Potter series. the book features a lot of information about the beasts which are fun to discover like their sleeping and eating habits, where they ife and how they’ve been discovered. The physical books also features notes from the trio Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermoine Granger that makes it for an more interesting read, and makes it fun to read about the beasts that were introduces and fleshed out in the mainseries because those are the beasts the notes are mainly found, giving also them more new content to discover.

All in all is Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them an interesting and enjoyable read if you’d like to jump futher into the magical world of Harry Potter and would like to read about the magical beasts that inhabit this world. Don’t pick it up as “another Harry Potter” book though, because of the nature of this book you’ll be left wanting an actual story.

January 25, 2018

Series: The Raven Cycle #1
Format: Hardcover

Pages: 409 pages
Published: September 18th 2012
Publisher: Scholastic Press
ISBN: 0545424925


3 out of 5 stars

Raven Boys is the first book in the Raven Cycle series and is the story of Blue Sargent, the daughter on a physic that holds the power to amplify the strength of nearby spirits, that gets herself involved in the quest to find and wake the dead welsh king Glendower with a group of boys from the rich high school nearby after seeing the premonition of one of them dying on St Mark’s day. In order to find Glendower, the group of friends throws themselves head-first in the word of physics to pinpoint the location with the use of ley-lines

I’m not gonna lie, the plot of the Raven boys is a weird one that at this point feels incomplete (but with 3 more books to go, I’m hoping for some explanations) and incredibly hard to explain in a way that covers the entire plot of the book and left me extremely confused and with a lot of questions in the end. The plot is unique, and I can’t recall a lot of books that deal with the paranormal in quite the same way, making it quite an enjoyable read if it wasn’t for the unclarity of it all. The book was also incredibly slow for the first 80%, and then suddenly starts picking up the action for the last 20%

One aspect I really liked about this book, and that really saved it, in my opinion, is the characters. If Maggie Stiefvater did one thing right in this book, it’s definitely the way she wrote this group of friends in a loveable and relatable way.

There’s Gansey that looks to be the extremely rich, posh guy that tries to buy everything with money at first but turns out to be an incredibly lovable character that cares a lot about his friends wishing he didn’t grow up with all the money.  There’s Adam who is the poor kid that’s trying to make his life into something he can be proud of while having to deal with domestic violence at home, but refusing to take the easy way out through the help of other people.  Ronan is the troublemaker that is about to be kicked out of school, the broken soul in the group that isn’t nice or soft but still cares a lot for his friends and does a lot to help them out. And then there’s Blue, the physic’s daughter that’s scared to fall in love because of a premotion her first love and kiss will die, that gets pulled into the group of friends because curious about Gansey after meeting his ghost while she normally can’t see them.

All in all was Raven Boys an interesting and enjoyable read, but its plot is incredibly confusing and not fully explained in just the first book of the series. Recommended if you like paranormal stories, but be ready to be hit with an incredibly confusing plot.

 

January 22, 2018

It’s finally time to do another book tag, the Pokemon tag! Pokemon is a franchise I’ve played and loved since my childhood and the start of the series, my favorite type is the Grass-type, and my favorite Pokemon is Leafeon! Books will be chosen based on my opinion, and choices are not meant to be offensive to anyone

Gotta tag ‘m all!

Starter – The book that started your love for reading
For my Starter pick, I have picked The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
While I definitely have read books before I started the Harry Potter series, this series is the first one I remember loving. I started reading the books as they released, starting with Philosopher’s stone in 1997!

Pikachu – An iconic classic that you’ll always love
For my Pikachu pick, I have picked Mathilda by Roald Dahl. A lot of Roald Dahl books have stuck with me since childhood, but that’s, even more, the case for Mathilda. Ever since childhood I’ve loved the book and the movie adaption that was made of it.

Zubat – A book that you lost interest in because it’s literally everywhere.
For my Zubat pick, I have picked The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I read The Fault in Our stars back when it just released and while I had some major issues with it, I liked it. Sadly the Nerdfighter community and John Green’s fanbase got overrun by young teens the moment the movie adaption was released, making me lose interest in The Fault in Our Stars and John Green as a writer.

Snorlax – A book or series you have not started because of its size
For my Snorlax pick, I have picked A song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin clocking in at over 5000 pages over 5 books high fantasy this series is a beast to pick up. I’ve tried multiple times but the size, the high fantasy, and the language used makes this a hard one to truly start.

Eevee – Series you’ll never get tired of seeing spin-offs for
For my Eevee pick, my shout out goes to Grishaverse series by Leigh Bardugo
With the Grisha trilogy, Leigh Bardugo has started a beautiful world she didn’t expand a lot upon. the Six of Crows duology already expanded much more of the world than it originally was, and I can’t wait for Leigh Bardugo to write more spinoffs of this series!

Margikarp – A book/series that was surprisingly awesome
For my Magikarp pick, my shout out goes to Kanin Chronicles by Amanda Hocking. Kanin Chronicle series is a series I picked up because of its gorgeous covers, and immediately fell in love with its world-building, characters, and the story

That’s it for the Pokemon tag! It’s fun to connect some beloved Pokemon to books we know and love, definitely check out the books I noticed, i’ve linked all the reviews in the titles!

January 21, 2018

Series: The Grishaverse #3
Format: Hardcover

Pages: 422 pages
Published: June 17th 2014
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
ISBN: 080509461X


4.5 out of 5 stars

Ruin and Rising is the third book and last from the original Grisha trilogy, which has been rebranded to the Grishaverse since, and is the story about Alina Starkov, who is revealed to be the Sun Summoner, a Grisha that can destroy the fold once and for all. Now the nation’s fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army. Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova’s amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling’s secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields.

The book picks up where Siege and Storm left off with Alina hiding underground with the Apparat and his cult convinced that Alina is a saint to recover from using merzost. However, Mal and the other Grisha form a plan that gets Alina back into contact with sunlight and restores her strength. She leaves the Apparat for the surface, in search of the Firebird to save Ravka.

Siege and Storm starts slowly in the White Cathedral under the Apparat with Alina recovering from using merzost at the end of Siege and Storm which feels like it goes on forever, causing a slow start for Siege and Storm. I’m going to be honest about the fact I had a tough time to get through the first 25% of the book because of this, but luckily the book picks itself back up once you’re trough Alina’s time in the White Cathedral and the search for the firebird starts.

The characters are still the same, Alina is still the powerful woman she became in Shadow and Bone, but shows that she’s starting to be affected by all the people she’s lost. Mal finally got some character development and the reason why he is such an important character finally got explained in the last 25% of the book. The world again wasn’t really expanded upon and was the same plot traveling from place to place, but thanks to the extremely slow start it doesn’t feel as dragging as Siege and Storm did.

Plotwise Ruin and Rising properly closed off the series, but did leave me wanting more from the end which I felt didn’t live up to all the building up that happened through the entire trilogy. The end left the impression on me that everything went a bit too smooth and easy, despite some loses Alina had to deal with.

All in all Ruin and Rising is a worthy end to the Grisha Trilogy but left me wanting more from the ending. The entire trilogy is one I’d definitely recommend to people searching for a good fantasy trilogy.

January 11, 2018

Volumes: 7
Format: Paperback Manga

Pages: 1392 pages total (average of 199 pages per volume)
Published: July 5th 2005 to October 3rd 2006
Publisher: VIZ Media LLC
ISBN: 1591169283 (Volume 1), 1421500361 (Volume 2), 1421500590 (Volume 3),
1421501252 (Volume 4), 1421502666 (Volume 5), 1421503972 (Volume 6), 1421504766 (Volume 7)


5 out of 5 stars

Full moon wo Sagashite is a 7 volume manga series about the 12-year old Mizuki Kouyama who dreams of becoming a singer. The things standing in her way from this dream is her diagnosis of Sarcoma, a cancer that can only be cured by removing her vocal cords, and her grandma which hates music, not letting Mizuki audition. Mizuki’s dream seems unachievable until she’s visited by a pair of Shinigami, telling her she has only one year left to live. Mizuki and the Shinigami strike a deal; if Mitsuki promises to go quietly when her year is up, they would help her become a singer, so she could leave the world with no regrets.

The story of Full Moon wo Sagashite is incredibly cute and inspiring which is conveyed through the amazing artwork of Arina Tanemura. Tanemura has her own very recognizable and unique drawing style, defined by the extremely big eyes (even for Manga standard), incredibly long hair on female characters and a lot of use of the halftone panels, which you either love or hate. The plot is well written, and slowly reveals more about its characters making you slowly get to know and fall in love with them. The only complaint I have about the plot is that everything seems to connect with a bit too much coincidence, but seeing the genre of the manga (Shoujo aimed at young girls) I’m looking past this.

Pretty much all characters are relatable, likable and inspirational, especially Mizuki who keeps appearing positive and happy through all the hardships, and yet it’s revealed that even someone like her feels bad about her experiences sometimes. The Shinigami are all fleshed out with their own backstories carrying some heavy messages I feel are important to teach the demographic the manga is aimed at.

All in all Full moon wo Sagashite is a really cute, relateable manga which carries quite some heavy messages. I’d definitely recommend picking the series up if you like Arina Tanemura’s drawing style.

 

January 4, 2018

Series: The Grishaverse #2
Format: Hardcover

Pages: 435 pages
Published: June 4th 2013
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
ISBN: 0805094598


4 out of 5 stars

Siege and Storm is the second book from the original Grisha trilogy, which has been rebranded to the Grishaverse since, and is the story about Alina Starkov, who is revealed to be the Sun Summoner, a Grisha that can destroy the fold once and for all. The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal.

The book picks up where Shadow and Bone left off with Alina and Mal in hiding from the Darkling and his forces until they come across him again with his new dangerous power, causing Alina and Mal to travel back to Ravka to save the country and its people from the new power of the Darkling with a new companion.

Alina is still the powerful woman she became, in Shadow and Bone and develops this traith even further. Mal again didn’t really develop his character again, causing him to only be the whiny love interest. The new companion, Nikolai, is the most important thing Siege and Storm added to the Grishaverse. He’s a funny, interesting character that proves himself important multiple times. Sadly the world wasn’t expanded upon compared to Shadow and Bone, as the story is mainly fixed on the little palace. sadly this also caused the book to start dragging about halfway through, but picked itself up again near the end.

All in all Siege and Storm is a worthy sequel to Shadow and Bone, but I do wish it expanded more on the established world instead of mainly fixing itself on one place of the majority of the book. still a highly recommended read for the entire series so far.

January 2, 2018

Series: The Grishaverse #1
Format: Hardcover

Pages: 358 pages
Published: June 5th 2012
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
ISBN: 0805094598


5 out of 5 stars

Shadow and Bone is the first book from the original Grisha trilogy, which has been rebranded to the Grishaverse since, and is the story about Alina Starkov, who is a cartographer’s assistant in the military. When crossing the Shadow Fold (which is an place of nearly  impenetrable darkness that grows every year and contains Volca and other unnamed horrors) Alina’s regiment gets attacked and she and her childhood friend Mal get almost killed, but before they get attacked, Alina suddenly lets out a burst of light, revealing her to be the Sun Summoner, a Grisha that can destroy the fold once and for all. However, not everyone wants the Shadow Fold destroyed, putting Alina at great risk.

in my opinion, Leigh Bardugo is one of the best authors out there in terms of world-building and it definitely shows through in Shadow and Bone. Its world feels alive with different environments Alina passes through on her journey. The book includes quite a bit of detail regarding its world but somehow isn’t slowed down by it in the slightest. The story might feel a bit generic “girl finds superpower and needs to save the world” at times, but gets saved by the world building and the characters.

The characters are unique and able to pull you in their character like no other through their character development and plot twists. The Darkling is a very interesting character you can’t help but starting to like and refuse to see anything else just like Alina, which herself goes through quite a transformation from being a frail and weak girl to a powerful woman that’ll fight for what she thinks is right, no matter what. the only character that didn’t really get their chance for character development yet due to is role is Mal, but hopefully he’ll get his time in the sequel.

All in all, I really liked Shadow and Bones because of its character and amazing worldbuilding. the story feels a bit generic at times, but is definitely saved by the other factors. definitely recommended to people that really enjoy good worldbuilding, a woman saving the day and books that include the use of magic.

January 1, 2018

Format: Hardcover
Pages: 336 pages
Published: January 2nd 2018
Publisher: HarperTeen
ISBN:0062653652

In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries.

No one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee in the dead of night. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him before she loses him forever.

But going back to Everless brings more danger—and temptation—than Jules could have ever imagined. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of violent secrets and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she’d never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself.

Reading Schedule:
January 5th to 12th – Chapters 1-16
January 13th to 20th – Chapters 17- Epilogue

Discussion:
Starting on January 13th, chapters 1-16 are open for discussion.
January 20th , the book in its entirety is open for discussion.
January 21th or later, thoughts will be posted on this blog.

Thoughts:
The story is very unique and really one of it’s kind, Sara Holland has put out an incredibly well written and engrossing debut with this book. Everless truly pulls you into its world with a quick moving plot that doesn’t give away it’s plot twists until when they’re happening. The book does leave you with some questions, but as it clearly builds up to its sequel (set to release in January 2019) this is something I’m looking past for now.

The world-building is very small, which makes sense for the setting of the book, as Jules’s living environment mainly exists of the castle, her hometown and a few cities she goes to drink something. The characters are very believable and relatable and go through some moments that will show you their emotions in a way that makes them feel real and loveable.

All in all, I really loved Everless and it’s uniqueness. It still has quite some open ends but seeing it’s building up to its sequel its forgivable. Definitely recommended and can’t wait to read the sequel.


5 out of 5 stars

 

December 31, 2017

It’s New years eve!! Only a few hours away from the moment this year is finally put to rest forever. 2017 was a weird and bad year, a lot of changes in love, both good and bad.  I finally graduated from college, and I started this blog. But my relationship also ended, my dad got a stroke.

In books, it was also quite a hectic year. From alleged New York Times bestsellers trying to cheat it’s way to the #1 spot with a not more than a mediocre book, to John Green finally releasing a new book 6 years after The Fault in our Stars!

On to 2018, Happy New year and let’s toast on reading a lot of good books in 2018 as well!