Sunday, May 31, 2015

Reviewing: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

About three things I was absolutely positive.

First, Edward was a vampire.

Second, there was a part of him - and I didn't know how dominant that part might be - that thirsted for my blood.

And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.

In the first book of the Twlilight Saga, internationally bestselling author Stephenie Meyer introduces Bella Swan and Edward Cullen, a pair of star-crossed lovers whose forbidden relationship ripens against the backdrop of small-town suspicion and a mysterious coven of vampires. This is a love story with bite.

I cannot stress how much I was expecting to hate this book. Part of the reason was how much everyoneelse seemed to hate it, and the other was how much I hated the movie. (I didn't even make it past the first twenty minutes).

But I actually really enjoyed reading Twilight. It wasn't horribly boring, wasn't so stupid I could bang my head agains't a wall... It was fine. It was actually good.

And here's why:

Bella is (very) clumsy and socially awkward. She was terrified of starting at a new school in a small town (the people in small towns are super judgemental, and I speak from experience), terrified of not being accepted-- the list goes on. And I loved that she was protrayed this way. Because it's true! Bella isn't your typical "strong" heroine, but that was one of the main reasons I liked her.

However, she could be rather stupidly brave. In fact, I'm not really sure "brave" is the word I'm looking for. Maybe it's just "stupidly."

BECAUSE GIRL. The guy you're crushing on is a vampire . What part of that don't you understand??? HE. WANTS. TO. EAT. YOU. And you can't even trust yourself around him! He can't even trust himself.

She also lashed out at people she had no reason to. Okay, yes, I understand that certain circumstances were rather annoying, but the others were not. People were trying to look out for her, and she got snappy instead of grateful.

Edward was good, too. In fact, I liked him! The only part I didn't really like about him was how controlling he could be sometimes. Yes, it was mostly because he was worried about Bella, but still. If I'm not hungry, I'm not gonna eat. (Unless it's pizza)

I especially liked the banter between Edward and Bella. I loved how she didn't trust him at first (her only normal response to the things he did, like good God girl why are you not freaking out).

I did want to find out more about the vampires, what more they were capable of, but I suppose it all gets talked about further in the series.

There were other people who were definite secondary characters, meaning that you don't really get to know them, but they're personalities didn't blend and I had no problems keeping everyone mentally organized with who was who. Charlie, Bella's dad, was sweet. He's not greatly described, but you can tell he wants Bella to be happy, to stay, or at least come back to visit. He's clumsy with his words, but it shows in how he acts. 

I actually wouldn't have minded if this was a stand-alone. Yes, it had an open ending, but it was the good kind.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Reviewing: After Obsession by Carrie Jones and Steven E. Wedel

You know that time I said I would post waaay more often? Yeah, I lied.  I'M BACK TO KEEP MY PROMISE. YAY.

Recently, I forced myself to completely focus for the first time since summer began, and I managed to read a book in about an hour. Did I miss a few details? No. (Yes).

Aimee and Alan have secrets. Both teens have unusual pasts and abilities they prefer to keep hidden. But when they meet each other, in a cold Maine town, they can't stop their secrets from spilling out. Strange things have been happening lately, and they both feel that something-or someone—is haunting them. They're wrong. Despite their unusual history and powers, it's neither Aimee nor Alan who is truly haunted. It's Alan's cousin Courtney who, in a desperate plea to find her missing father, has invited a demon into her life—and into her body. Only together can Aimee and Alan exorcise the ghost. And they have to move quickly, before it devours not just Courtney but everything around her.

I was so pumped for this. I wanted mayhem and wreckage. I wanted powerful ghosts that draw it out and make it unbearable-- for the characters and for the reader. I wanted to feel terrified for everyone's fates. 

Spoiler: I wasn't.

Everything was much less...intense than I was hoping for. Plus, it's obvious from the second you read the blurb that Aimee and Alan are destined, so all of the drama centered on their relationship is kind of needless. They're that perfect couple-- the slender, supermodel material artist/cross-country runner and the six foot tall, dark, mysterious bad boy jock. (Yes, this was a case of insta-love, but their relationship was actually quite sweet, as they came to rely on each other so strongly). 

Also, I was really confused about their ages at first. Alan, is how old?? He felt like he was in his tweens at the beginning of the book, but he did get a lot better and more mature as the book went on. (Both him and Aimee are 17, by the way). 

Very off topic, but can I just ask-- since when is stupid a cuss word?? Whenever Alan gets legitimately angry, he drops all sorts of actual curses (and I wasn't bothered because, well, I'm used to it) and then Aimee gets ticked off and she's like I'm so angry I could curse but then she refuses to say stupid because it's a cuss word. I'm honestly wondering what else she considers to be a cuss word, because if she wants to pack a punch with her words, she might be better off not using any at all.

Which brings me to another thing: Aimee is so good. She's sweet, gentle, and caring. She's there for her best friend and tries super hard to be understanding to everyone. She doesn't hate her ex-boyfriend even though he was a jerk to her, doesn't hate everyone that calls her insane. She is so incredibly sweet, even though she'd been through a lot. She didn't have any faults that I could see, and while I do admire her, I also wonder how on earth she is so good while being treated so harshly by her father and friends. How could someone not become the slightest bit bitter?

(Also this is totally the cliche of missing parents. The dad is the one who is completely out of the loop in this one-- he sometimes even tried to avoid his children/house. The mom-- with all the answers-- is gone. The only somewhat parental figure is her grandfather [whom I loved and thought was hilarious]).

Alan... hm. Between him and Aimee, it was harder to understand what was going on with him. While he was more realistic than Aimee, (with, SHOCKER, no present dad and a workaholic mom) he was still a little... odd. He is half Navajo, and very intensely believes in the Great Spirit and having a guide. (His is called Onawa. I was a little confused about that at first). He frequently has visions and attempts to connect to the spirit world. My only question: what kind of 17 year old guy does that? What kind of 17 year old would not be freaked out by the thought that those things existed? Alan seems like nothing shocks him, even though later he'll be "rattled." Dude, you almost died. You should not be "rattled", you should be on the brink of heart failure.

I will say this: he takes care of those he loves. That gives him cookie points.

However, my biggest question is: Why is nothing ever explained??

The authors never answer the really important questions. The ones that the book runs on. I had so many questions-- from why Courtney was super secretive to Aimee, even when she knew things were going so horribly to why the heck no one in the town (not counting those who already know) thinks maybe there's something supernatural going on. URGH. No asks anything, meaning the readers don't get the information they're grasping for.

I felt bad for not liking the book because I really liked the Need series by Carrie Jones (Zara even wound up being one of my favorite characters), but I just can't get past the lack of answers and the way everyone jumped to conclusions.

Monday, May 25, 2015

My Current TBR

is massive.


Anyways, recently my family and I went to the bookstore, and I got a few books. (WOOT)

I got Red Glove (sequel to White Cat) by Holly Black, The Silence of Murder by Dandi Daley Mackall, and, for free, Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer and Runaway Devil by Robert Remington and Sherri Zickefoose.

I haven't even read Twilight, so I guess that's another book to add to my TBR. (In case you want to read it too, here is a pdf file of the book.)

I've also got a pile of books I already own that I need to read, those being:

  • Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
  • The Secret Circle: The Initiation and the Captive Part 1 by L.J. Smith
  • Partials by Dan Wells
  • Unwind by Neal Shusterman
  • The Poison Apples by Lily Archer
  • Take Back the Skies by Lucy Saxon
I've already started a few of these, only to put them back down because I was either annoyed or bored or both (as was the case with The Secret Circle, since I watched the show first and UGH THE DIFFERENCES WERE SO HUGE). 

So for the next week or so I'll be reading a lot and reviewing a lot. I know I said I'd be posting on here a ton more already a week ago, but obviously those plans fell flat. 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Reviewing: Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

She won't rest until she's sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever.

Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. But that's all it takes. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.

Her father was right. The monsters are real.

To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn't careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies.

In my opinion, everything about how the book is presented is a little deceiving. It made me think that this was a dark, twisted Alice in Wonderland retelling with zombies. It was not. 

Alice (or "Ali") is a teenage girl whose life gets completely turned around the night her family gets in a car crash and she sees something completely horrifying: monsters. Zombies.

I found Ali to be quite annoying. I kept thinking "NO DON'T DO THAT" and she did it. She constantly places herself in harms way without any second thoughts. I understand her fierce determination to an extent-- she's been through a lot-- but there were still moments where I didn't understand her at all. This was mostly in regards to how she dealt with the love interest-- Cole.

Cole is introduced as been a complete tool. He glares, he scowls, he pops his jaw, he has bruised knuckles and tattoos, and Ali thinks herself in love from the moment she lays her eyes on him. 

Let me just say this before I continue: As individuals, Cole and Ali are fine. Good, even. Together, I just didn't get it. It felt like their relationship was based on physical attraction, not any emotional connection. (It's also insta-love. From the moment Ali sees Cole, she wants him).

Cole actually does develop past all the glaring and anger issues he clearly has. (To an extent, anyways). He grows softer, more caring. And this made me care about him. But not enough that I didn't get irritated every time he popped up unwanted. (There is an extent to how much a guy should be around a girl before it reaches stalking and he crossed last line within the first few chapters). 

Kat is Ali's best friend, and she is my favorite character. Even though she could be a bit immature, she was hilarious and entirely lovable. I really loved reading about her and her interactions with Ali and Frosty (her ex-boyfriend that she has very intense feelings for, both positive and negative). 

(Side note: was anyone else completely thrown off by the nicknames? Especially Frosty.)

The zombies were interesting. One: they talked. (Sure, it was all "maim, kill, eat" but they still talked). Two: they were spiritual. Everything is all spiritual-- fighting and all. I did find this kind of confusing as the descriptions on why were never very thorough, so hopefully the author decides to go more in-depth on it in the other books in the series. 

Is this book emotional? Other than the first couple of chapters, no. 

Is it super sexual? Not really. There's the occasional shirtless bit and intense make-out sessions. And by intense I mean if someone was watching they'd probably think Ali and Cole were zombies from how they were eating each other's faces off. 

Is it dark? Eh. I've read much, much darker books. But, yes, it does feature a bit of gore. 

Is it action-packed? 25% of the book is actual action. The rest is Ali being terrified or Ali being in high school/going to parties. It is a page-turner, though. 

Friday, May 15, 2015

I'm Baaack!

And officially done with school.


(And by party time I mean nap time for the next thousand years. Anyone wanna join?)

This semester totally kicked my butt-- both physically and mentally-- and I am sooo not prepared for next semester (where I will have to have four classes, another online college course, and community service and just oh my gawd no).

But what will I be doing this summer???

  1. Watching (re-watching, that is) and crying over Angry Mom (a superb k-drama that deals with real issues involving teens which is such a nice change from the usual k-drama) with my sister, who I forced to watch with me this time around. 
  2. GOING TO A BTS (k-pop) CONCERT. BTS is my favorite group of all time so... yeah. I'm really pumped up. 
  3. Posting on here! Obviously. I'll get back into the swing of bookish things very soon. I got a couple books from the library a couple days ago so... *wink wink*
  4. Reading lots, hopefully. I barely read at all this semester so I'll have to make up for it this summer.
  5. Exiting the house at least once for exercise purposes. I really do not like exercising in very humid summer weather, but I need to get out. I've lived like 99% of my life in my room. (Which explains my crippling social anxiety).
  6. Getting my driver's permit. WHICH IS SO EXCITING TO ME. I CANNOT WAIT. 
For the first few weeks I will be completely focused on the blog and reading, so there will be a lot more posts, no worries. I'm also going to start posting more about my writing since I'm getting back into that as well (school takes over everything ugh). 

Until next time!