Review Looking For Alaska

Looking for AlaskaLooking for Alaska by John Green

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I know I liked it. I know there were parts I liked a lot and parts I wasn’t too sure about. I know there were some subplots, specifically with the weekday warriors that felt shallow or felt more in place for a quick explanation than an actual deeper exploration and some of those resolutions were rushed, but all in all this was a good coming of age story.

A good journey of self-discovery with a religion teacher offering tidbits of philosophy for the readers to digest and juxtapose with Miles, Chip, Takumi, Alaska, and Lara.

I liked it. Okay. I liked it.

The characters had quirks. The characters had flaws. The one on one scenes were genuine and if they weren’t advancing the plot they were introducing us to deeper layers of the characters.

I liked it. Okay. I liked it.

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Review: Stalking Jack the Ripper

Stalking Jack the Ripper (Stalking Jack the Ripper, #1)Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I absolutely loved this book.

I’ll do my best to make this spoiler free.

Plot:
Sort of a Sherlock Holmes style YA mystery set in Victorian era London.
a 1st person POV from young Audrey Rose Wadsworth (who is the Watson) to Thomas’ Sherlock. Together, the two study forensic sciences under Audrey Rose’s uncle and investigate the mysterious and brutal murders in White Chapel.

Characters:
I’m only going to talk about the two main characters:

Audrey Rose is a strong female character who doesn’t surrender her feminity to be strong. She balances the life of a daughter to a wealthy lord with her fascination of forensic sciences while carrying an internal struggle of a difficult family relationship. She has to navigate proper London etiquette in the pursuit of her passion and keep her studies a secret from her overprotective father.

Thomas is an arrogant know it all who can back it up. He’s written in the style of Robert Downey Jr’s portrayal of Sherlock Holmes. He has his moments of being charming, annoying, suspicious, and brilliant. We learn his backstory all at once, but since it was through dialogue it didn’t come across as an info dump.

Writing style:
I found the occupations of the characters to be fascinating and well researched. The prose was direct, with some poetic language woven in (but never overwhelming). I loved that it was 1st person POV it was incredibly important to know what Audrey Rose was thinking at all times. Though the plot was about catching Jack the Ripper, the juicy conflicts were all internal and having access to her thoughts made this story riveting.

I am excited to continue reading this series.

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Review: Supermarket by Bobby Hall (Logic)

SupermarketSupermarket by Bobby Hall

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

This book was too busy trying to be great that it forgot to be good.

Forget purple prose, the lengthy exposition in this novel left me black and blue. Supermarket is the debut novel by the rapper Logic and before I go into my review I am going to say that if this is a genuine career interest for him he should continue his pursuit of writing. This book spent so much time trying to be Burroughs, Palahniuk, and Kesey that it almost became a parody of the three.

SPOILERS AHEAD

The basic plot of the story is Flynn, who can never finish anything, starts working at a supermarket for research when he lands a book deal with a new york publishing house. As if the fight club allusions couldn’t be obvious enough, the president of this publishing house is named Ed Norton.

While working at the supermarket he becomes fascinated by a coworker (who is shown to clearly not exist early on with over the top clues) and decides to base his novel on the life of Frank. Flynn, who considers himself a method writer, becomes Frank and robs the supermarket the way he wrote about in his book then goes to a psych ward and befriends another non-existent person.

Along the way there are more clues this person isn’t real. He convinces Flynn to literally kill his imaginary alter ego.

Flynn wins in the end and becomes a millionaire bestseller, in a relationship with the girl of his dreams and unable to fully escape the power of his mind.

The characters in this book were there as props for Flynn to interact with. Even the woman he loves only exists to love him and take care of him.

The two black characters in this book are stereotypes who don’t move the plot forward or develop other characters. They’re literally there only to be stereotypes and Flynn even comments in his internal dialogue that he’s happy Ronda is a stereotype because it doesn’t make him prejudice for thinking she’s a stereotype.

Anyway if you can’t tell, the writing style itself left a lot to be desired. The pacing was all over the place. Most of the emotions broke the cardinal “show don’t tell” rule and it was getting really annoying how after every clever line the narrator felt the need to explain why it’s so clever.

Also, every time it broke the 4th wall I cringed because it served no purpose outside of trying to be different and it removed all tension in the climax because Flynn is obviously still alive if he’s able to not only narrate his story but speak directly to the reader.

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Book Review: The Hero of Ages

The Hero of Ages (Mistborn, #3)The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So I am going to break this review down into three categories. Characters, plot, and writing style.

As usual my review will contain some spoilers. The only spoiler-free part of this review will be the short overall paragraph below this.

Overall I thought this was an enjoyable end to a unique trilogy. It tied all the loose ends and connected twists back to the original book making me at the very least feel everything I read was important.

Spoilers begin now

Characters:

There are way too many characters to dive into each one lol

I will start with the big 4:

In case you didn’t read the spoiler warning already here’s another one: SPOILERS

Vin
This was vin’s weakest book. She spent a large portion of it captured and she felt almost like a diet version of her former self. I mean Elend being able to defend himself eliminated about 40% of her purpose to exist in earlier books. However, she became an incredibly compelling character by the end of the book. Her best scenes came when she was trapped in her own head and I’m happy we finally got answers to why her brother’s voice was in her head the entire first book and why god was in Zane’s head in book 2. By the end of the book she was granted the power to move planets then sacrificed herself to protect the world. By tying her internal dialogue back to the voice of doubt in book one it really amplified her arc. She went from do anything to survive, to sacrificing herself.

Elend
Though Elend became a competent badass I felt like his changes were the most subtle. On the surface he changed the most. He went from spoiled rich brat to all powerful emperor and mistborn with abilities to conquer cities but those are just powers. What made his development so unique is that he didn’t change that much despite being given all the opportunity in the world to do so. He never risked the lives of innocent people and when the moment came for him to sacrifice himself he did so without hesitation.

Sazed
Sazed’s transformation in this book was my favorite. He went from all is lost in this world to being the architect of the world’s future. He had a major identity crisis and lost the woman he loved, yet still found a sense of duty to preserve history, even when his heart wasn’t in it. He went from reactive advisor to proactive celestial.

Tensoon
Tensoon hated humans and thought they would bring nothing but destruction. He truly believed his religion was right that all his kind had to do was wait for humans to destroy themself. His major change was then fighting to preserve humans over his kind.

Plot:
The first book had the most movement. Book 2 was mostly spent under siege and book 3 was mostly spent sieging another city. Like I said in the previous section the most compelling moments of the book came when Vin was trapped in her own head, talking to Ruin, and doubting her abilities.

Secondary characters sorta disappeared in this book. Spook was given substantial screen time to show how hemalurgy could impact someone. That was the big reveal this book. Book 1 showed two types of magic. Book 2 showed more details on how those magic types can be used (more metals and controlling other species). Book 3 introduced the all powerful beings, along with the introduction of more metals, and the explanation of how hemalurgy works.

While the villains were more powerful than they had been in previous books the fighting itself is at an all time low.

Basically most of the plot was a siege but the planning was light. Vin got captured because they literally had a plan as simple as go to a ball, cause a distraction, break into a vault. Like I’m not asking for oceans 11 but when the characters even acknowledge it’s a simple plan for something as serious as robbing a sieged city then maybe they need a few more tricks up their sleeves

Writing style:
So when I first started the series I was really impressed with sanderson’s writing style. These are massive texts that keep me engaged and handle large worlds. He brought in a complex government system and hundreds of religions (though only a couple were actively practiced over the course of the series). However my one knock was always large sections of exposition, and moments of unnecessary explanation. While it didn’t get any better or worse throughout the series it did bore me a little more by the end. Especially in this book since the plot was so static, like there was barely any movement at all. The POVs shifted but the characters, with the exception of Spook, mostly stayed where they were and talked—then in between the talking there was a wall of explanation.

I thoroughly enjoyed this series.
Book rating 4/5
Series rating 4.5/5

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Review: Hunger

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) BodyHunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I can’t remember the last time I read such a must read. Not just a book I loved or a book I recommend but a must read. A book that takes you so far into someone else’s mind it could reach even the most selfish individuals empathy.

This is brave writing. This is the kind of reflection piece that leaves me breathless.

I love this, and after reading it I can’t see how anyone can read Roxane Gay’s writing without falling in love with her.

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Book Review: Renegades

Renegades (Renegades, #1)Renegades by Marissa Meyer

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

EDIT
For those who prefer video I uploaded a youtube review https: here
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This book put me in a slump. The reason I’m giving it 2 instead of 1 (and honestly it’s more of a 1.5) is cause at least it’s still a well defined story it follows basic rules of structure and someone could probably find some enjoyment from it.

I was not so lucky. This review will contain some spoilers because I’ll be including some of my annotations.

My god I’m too tired of this book to even do a deep dive. Let’s just start with how incompetent the characters are like they make every situation worse I honestly felt like I was reading a non-comedic version of team America sometimes like there were no consequences for their actions the two main characters spent more time denying if the other person liked them or like liked them.

Like these huge events would happen, a library would be blown up, a carnival would be the site of a huge battle, ona parade would be destroyed and nothing in their every day life changes? Like people just shrug and go on with their day is if it were just a minor annoyance. I mean they treated a terrorist attack on a public building the way I treat a cold.

All these characters felt sooooooo flat only nova had some internal battle but it wasn’t much of a battle it was renegades are bad but this one is hot so I guess they’re alright but nah they’re bad and ya know what maybe the villains are bad too.

The tone was all over the place. There would be a serious fight scene or dramatic event then the descriptions would be over the top comedic and characters were more interested in who could give the best one line singer than actually fighting.

Also I usually reward books for rep but Adrian’s two gay dads had no identity beyond their sexuality. Like every time they were brought up it included a backstory of cute things they did together almost as if Meyer didn’t trust us to remember they were gay unless it was their only character identifier.

Speaking of backstories, why did she give some I consequential a solid 2 paragraphs of exposition backstory that has no impact on the plot just to make us feel some emotion for them before they go to jail or die? Like annoyed me cause it was so manipulative.

Ugh anyway here are my notes on this book if you want a bit of a play by play how I felt reading it.

Ch 4:

Why are all the descriptions comical? Aren’t they on a serious mission? There’s some tone whiplash going on

Ugh corny banter and weapons that just happen to be there

Ch 16
Rock Paper Scissors? Paper beats rock okay the dialogue is so corny

Ch 21
If she wasn’t supposed to know about the Bandit why did they take her there

Ch 23
This origin story scene is one info dump after another

Ch 25
On what a shock the girl who walks through reflections is named narcissa, a nod to mythology to create intrigue. Okay are names personality traits now?

Ch 27
How many times can you write tuck and roll on one page?

Ch 28
I love plot convenience. She better not trust Ingrid again

Ch 31
Adrian’s dads have no identity outside of their relationship. Whenever one of them is mentioned the rest of the scene talks about how they’re married and act cute together.

Ch 32
This flirty dialogue is giving me hives

Ch 33
Oscar threatened to take his tacos away? See this book tries so hard to be funny but all it does is snap my willful suspension of disbelief because Oscar isn’t coming across as funny here he’s immature and stupid in a serious scene- the tones in this book give me whiplash

Ch 36

Okay what’s happening that served no purpose to plot or character development just random descriptions

Okay again these characters’ motivation seems to be witty dialogue above all else

Ch 38
Unless these weapons are going to be used later I don’t need detailed descriptions and backstories of them

Ch 39
I love when the protagonist is too incompetent to see their love interest likes them to create fake tension in the plot and stir some emotion for two characters I have no feelings for

Ch 41
Really she’s just now learning that the villains also caused some damage? What gave that away? The lack of consequences in this book is ridiculous. Like they blew up a library and they talk about it like a minor inconvenience. If there is a terrorist attack on your public library that’s in the news cycle constantly the city reshapes people would revisit security laws—everyone just shrugged

They are such kids and it’s not cute since they’re also police officers like I get it teens care about romance more than anything else but maybe this society would’ve figured that out by now and not put teens in charge no matter how powerful they are

Ch 42
I rolled my eyes so hard at Adrian’s dialogue that I think I concusses myself

Ch 44
He really just discovered the villain named the detonator has the ability to detonate things? How stupid is this guy? Also why does Nova keep trusting Ingrid she’s done nothing but betray her.

Wow she really can’t figure out they’re planning on using the bandit to steal powers? They literally said it involves max and that soon they won’t have to deal with people’s powers anymore. How blatant can they get?

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Review: The Final Empire

The Final Empire (Mistborn, #1)The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I want to say 4.51 cause it’s closer to 5 than 4. Honestly my only knock on this book were the info dumps used to give people backstories. It was the only time the movie in my head stopped playing and I suddenly became aware of just how long it takes to read a book.

Other than that though this was just a phenomenal story bolstered by a unique magic system. The attention and details placed on everything it takes to build a world–the economy, the religion, the cultures–it was a world I didn’t want to leave. I’m excited to finish this trilogy ASAP!

A quick note I absolutely loved the mentor triangle (instead of a love triangle). How Vin had two solid role models responsible for her growth in Sazed and Kelsier. They all put each other in place and made Vin’s growth throughout the tale that much more rewarding.

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