Sadly, I'm going to have to give this more of a 3.5...and this is really sad because the first half of the book was amazing feels shivers-down-your-spSadly, I'm going to have to give this more of a 3.5...and this is really sad because the first half of the book was amazing feels shivers-down-your-spine omg I love all the characters perfect. I have to say I absolutely loved the character of Finch, and though I did not feel as much of a connection with Violet, she was superbly developed as well. These two were unique characters with unique stories, and the plot seemed to play perfectly with this fact. Until it didn't. Unfortunately I'm going to have to do much of this review under spoilers because I don't think I can complain about it without giving away what seems to be obvious from just reading the book jacket, but I don't want to ruin it for anyone. But to all of you who do indeed read this book, the first half will blow you away. Not necessarily with writing skills, though those are nice too, but more with the story and its potential. Oh, and for once, the progression of titles of chapters is fitting and beneficial to the story, so bonus points for that.
(view spoiler)[What made me really sad is the fact that once Finch began descending, his part of the story was over. It became the journey of Violet, and while that journey was nice, it became very Looking for Alaska-esque. Not that there's anything wrong with Looking for Alaska, it's just that it's already been published and read by thousands of people. My first problem with this is that I preferred Finch's story to Violet's. Of course, this is a personal preference, but here's why: We know Violet's story. It's a typical book plot-a girl trying to get over the death of her loved one. But then there's Finch, this complex character that I can't seem to figure out. He's this "freak," but he's also charismatic, fearless, emotional, wild, and bipolar. He's different, and I think many would agree that in order for a book to be exceptionally good, it has to be different. Some books pull this off with typical plots, but they wow with writing style, character building, anything, but honestly what Niven had going for her was Finch. And then she killed him off, literally and figuratively.
So my problem wasn't that Finch died-I was expecting that. It was that somewhere along the way his story only became a supplement to Violet's story. You don't really see a growth in his character. The book asks who saved whom, but it's not really a question. Finch saved Violet. Sure, maybe he would have jumped off the bell tower that day if he hadn't seen Violet, but we never really saw an improvement in his character. If anything, his time with Violet was just one of his high points, and then the depression hit just like it would have if Violet hadn't been there.
Going along with that, his narrations also stopped earlier than I had hoped. I'm not sure if this was Niven's intention, but maybe it was to display the fact that no one can actually understand the mind of someone with a mental illness like Finch's. So that by the time he had descended into this misery his story could no longer be told in first person because it simply wasn't meant to be understood. What's rough about that is that Finch never got the ending he deserved. He's the character I got attached to, and Niven never gave him that final farewell in his own thoughts to put his story to a close. Again, like I said before, this adds to the portrayal that this story was about Violet, and that Finch only contributed to it. (hide spoiler)]
I'm going to reiterate the fact that I loved loved loved the first half of this book. It was well-written, and gave Finch and Violet a realistic world in which I could immerse myself in. That said, her ultimate plot failed to capture what I had hoped to be a different, yet extremely touching book.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
OMG I JUST REALIZED THAT THE COVERS ALL HAVE PICTURES OF THE AMPLIFIERS SEARCHED FOR IN EACH BOOK. OMG SO CLEVER.
I LITERALLY CAN'T DEAL WITH THIS ENDIOMG I JUST REALIZED THAT THE COVERS ALL HAVE PICTURES OF THE AMPLIFIERS SEARCHED FOR IN EACH BOOK. OMG SO CLEVER.
I LITERALLY CAN'T DEAL WITH THIS ENDING. THIS IS NOT A HAPPY ENDING FOR ME. Ughhhhhhhh around page 380 I was so excited because what I predicted/hoped would happen almost happened but it didn't happen and I was just so upset omg whyyyyyyyyy. Funny enough, Alina literally got everything she wanted in life (minus the deaths of people she never imagined she'd ever meet). Naturally, the book was very well written and I just don't understand how you can so intricately weave all these facts together and still make everything make sense, but I guess I can never be an author. Just a really spazzy girl who can't deal with the perfection of Nikolai. (haha see how I just threw that in there?) But actually, I wish I could compile every conversation he's a part of and read them again and again because he's the definition of perfection. Anyways, about the book in general-I read it so quickly because I couldn't deal with not knowing the ending so I don't know if I got all the finer details. I feel like Bardugo did a great job balancing the heart-wrenching moments with the amount of happy ending that came. A lot of the time you see books were there were just so many sacrifices and the book ends with something like, "and (s)he could see the hope of a new dawn" and you're just like "wtf literally everyone is dead and the world is still so screwed up, so no there won't be a new dawn." So many books leave too much of the ending to imagination, and you feel like a new series could sprout up because there are so many unresolved points. However, here, Bardugo doesn't tell you exactly what happens, but you get the sense that everyone has their bittersweet happy ending. A criticism I do have is that the actual ending, like the last 10 words did not do justice to the rest of the book. It was at the very end of the page, and I flipped to the next one and all I got were acknowledgements. No matter how happy and peaceful the ending, you need to end it with a bang, because I sure won't remember it two years from now (heck, I just finished the book ten minutes ago, and I barely remember what it said). All in all, read this book, but, man, it's so frustrating....more
By far, my favorite character in this series is Nikolai. Maybe (most likely) I'm just fangirling (okay positively). Something about his cute banter anBy far, my favorite character in this series is Nikolai. Maybe (most likely) I'm just fangirling (okay positively). Something about his cute banter and adorable facade of composure makes me fangirl like there's no tomorrow. Aside from that, I kept reading because I just HAD to know what happened to Ravka and the Darkling/the struggle against him (for the record, I really like the Darkling too-oh my life struggle...). Anyways, I really suck at thinking at one straight path and writing a nice, coherent review, which probably everyone has noticed by now. I have to say that after reading Shadow and Bone, I wasn't exactly jumping out of my seat to read the next book. However, after reading this book, I have to say that I MUST read the next one immediately! Sidenote: I really can't stand Mal. (Sorry to anyone who fangirls over him, but he just needs to disappear like he keeps threatening to do)...more
I have to say this is one of the only books I really, truly wanted the protagonists to achieve their wishes and live happy lives full of flowers, unicI have to say this is one of the only books I really, truly wanted the protagonists to achieve their wishes and live happy lives full of flowers, unicorns, chalupas, and pineapples; not that I think any of the three would enjoy that, so I would actually be sentencing them to eternal unhappiness, but that's besides the point. I thoroughly hated characters working against them such as Starkey and Nelson, especially Starkey. I COULDN'T STAND HIM. Regardless, Shusterman did a fantastic job molding all these characters, annoying and awesome into a book. ...more
So this book was actually amazing. I loved it to death and it really touches you. Morton does a great job with making the story seem as realistic as pSo this book was actually amazing. I loved it to death and it really touches you. Morton does a great job with making the story seem as realistic as possible. The character development in this book was the best possible, as I really felt connected to the characters. I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH! So for the cutest-relationships label/tag/bookshelf thing, I at first liked one relationship, then liked another one more. (view spoiler)[JIMMY AND VIVIEN!!!!!!!!!! <3 (hide spoiler)] But yeah. This story had so many twists and turns that it required a lot of flipping back and being like, "Whattt?? How did I miss that? Ohhhh got it." Then, the huge twist that makes me need to read the story all over again just so I can see all the foreshadowing that I missed and bonk myself on the head for not seeing it. However, even though I'm kind of complaining about it, I LOVE how I could be like, "Oh well, this is going to happen, which is to cause this, and then this will happen, and then the book will be happily ever after." No, I didn't guess anything that was going to happen, except for one thing, but only because I have this bad habit of reading the last three pages of books before I finish. I need to stop doing that. But most of the times, the ends are the most beautiful parts. Especially this one. It wasn't necessarily satisfying in the way that I knew everything that happened and all my questions were answered, but because it was the perfect mix of mystery and closure. I would say more, but I'm feeling lazy but hopefully this can give you insight on how wonderful this book is. More...later?...more
I have to commend Sarah Maas on really improving her writing since Throne of Glass. I'm especially relieved to have not seen a single "took the bait"I have to commend Sarah Maas on really improving her writing since Throne of Glass. I'm especially relieved to have not seen a single "took the bait" in the entire book (if you don't know what I'm talking about, read Throne of Glass). In the first book, there were multiple plots that kind of but also didn't really tie together. There was the contest to be King's Champion, the problem of Wyrdmarks, the disappearing competitors, the love triangle, and a Celaena trying to figure out who she was after Endovier. This book tied it all together. I feel like in Throne of Glass, Maas hinted at a bigger plot, but any chance of coherency in the book was cut short by the challenges for the contestants. Without that distraction, Celaena only had one mission to follow while trying to understand Wyrdmarks, which played a much bigger role in this book. In addition, the mission Celaena was working towards also tied into Wyrdmarks and her ultimate goal (which technically I'm not sure what it is, even after reading this book). Overall, this book was much much better than the first. However, I still have to say that Maas seems to struggle with Celaena's image. This book, Maas leaned towards making Celaena more as a strong, very very powerful, dangerous, even evil figure rather than the super girly-girl we saw in the first book. Granted, we still had the unending amount of dresses and love for chocolate cake, but overall Celaena was more of a warrior. However, there were times where she was too all-powerful and never needed help. I'm all for women's empowerment and whatnot, but some things Celaena does makes me wonder why she doesn't just kill the king and disappear into the night, because, let's be honest here, she probably could. The thing that bothers me is that she always wins the battle, no matter how injured she is, and then arrives wherever she needs to be just in time for her to be healed. Even though she got that help, she still killed the enemy without needing any of it. As an overall view, I am really frustrated that I have to wait another year and a half or so before reading the next book. And I might love Chaol just a little bit too much. I think it's a problem. He's just too cool for all of you. Why must you make me such a shipper? Omg I just love you too much. I can't even....more
Ahhhhhh the ending is so upsetting!!! I feel like no character got a happy ending, like less of a happy ending then other characters in other books. IAhhhhhh the ending is so upsetting!!! I feel like no character got a happy ending, like less of a happy ending then other characters in other books. I guess each of them got part of what they wanted, but they all got what I least wanted them to get. Ugh I'm just so sad! I waited two years to read the ending to this series and it's SO SAD. Whyyyyyyyy....more
Sadly, I can't say I liked this one as much as the first (please don't be like The Hunger Games because if the last book sucks I'll be really sad). ThSadly, I can't say I liked this one as much as the first (please don't be like The Hunger Games because if the last book sucks I'll be really sad). That being said, it was still really good and kept me reading the majority of the book in less than two days, but that's not the point. Something about the plot just wasn't as interesting as the first. I felt like last book, I was constantly rooting for Bradwell and Pressia to get together and then this book made that little relationship seem anti-climatic even though so many climatic things happen between them. We do find out more secrets and are one step closer to overthrowing the Dome (I must say, even though I don't care for Partridge that much, his part of the story was more exciting and ended in a nice cliffhanger). The ending was sweet, but still somewhat disappointing in a way I can't really pinpoint. I wanted something to blow up (literally or figuratively, your choice) and that ending seemed like the end of a section of the book-something that leads into something bigger on the next page. Regardless, I am 100% sure that I will read the last book, though I wish it already came out. I did run into some struggles of forgetting what happened in the 1st book, since some of the details were blurry. When I read, I like connecting the puzzle along with the characters, but it's harder when I don't have the pieces on the edges to set a foundation. Anyways, that isn't Baggott's fault (though if she wrote faster I guess I wouldn't have had to wait so long-haha jk this book has been out for so long now). What is (somewhat) her fault is the minor typos. There was one that really stood out. Even though it didn't confuse the meaning of what was going on, it was an obvious typo that someone probably should have caught. Side note: I found it amusing near the beginning of the book when El Capitan was trying to be "nicer" and apologized for making a sarcastic comment because it was "too mean." Does that make me a super mean person?...more
OMG. I think, after about an hour of car rides and some more time at a Christmas party thinking, I've decided that this book may just be better than aOMG. I think, after about an hour of car rides and some more time at a Christmas party thinking, I've decided that this book may just be better than all the Harry Potter books and The Hunger Games. Wow. I said it. I love love love this book! The prologue, I have to say, wasn't written as well as humanly possible, but it definitely set the mood for the story. It's narrated by two characters: Sean Kendrick and Puck/Kate Connolly. But the one I rooted for/am rooting for the whole time in Sean, so yeah. Yes, I fell in love with him throughout the whole entire book. Ha. Take that Joyce. I do have a heart. This was probably the best book with the best developed characters. I could actually relate to them without knowing their ages, exact features, and history. Wow. So good!!!!!!
Again. Wow. This book was a total cliffhanger. Even the end left me with so many questions, I'm not sure I'm going to be able to live if there isn't a sequel. Which there probably won't be. So yeah, that sucks. I'm really wishining I was Puck Connolly so I could have Sean too (this really isn't a spoiler-it's kinda obvious or else I'm just really really good at predicting books). This story was also predictable in an unpredictable way. I was pretty sure I knew who was going to win the Scorpio Races. I was also sure that another certain character was not going to win. And I was right... Mostly. In the most unpredictable way. Wow.
And yes. I created the characters-I-look-up-to shelf just for this book. For Sean. Not Puck. But you know what I just noticed? I'm really really really like Puck. Which is really creepy. Okay, to do something actually useful, I'm going to give you a rundown of the huge spectrum of characters Maggie Stiefvater has in this book. It's amazing how she made them blend. This isn't actually a spoiler, because I'm only giving descriptions, not what the characters do in the story, but just in case, if you want all the characters to be a surprise, I'm going to put this in a little spoiler box-thing:
(view spoiler)[1) The silent, wise, non-expressive, somewhat-good-looking guy (ex. Sean- but in his case, he's REALLY REALLY good-looking) 2) The easily offended, outgoing loud-mouth who happens to also be a protagonist (ex. Puck... and me! But I might not be a protagonist) 3) The always-jealous, rude, usually dumb and untalented loud-mouth who happens to be an antagonist (ex. Mutt) 4) The cheerful, jolly, surprisingly smart guy who usually reminds me of a gumdrop... don't ask me why (ex. George Holly) 5) The other silent, strong, extremely wise, quite intimidating guy who can be an antagonist or just plain neutral (ex. Benjamin Malvern) 6) The strong, not-so-smart, usually large one who is quite defensive of a protagonist (ex. Dory Maud<-- that is how you spell it, right?) 7) The loyal animal that the protagonist(s) love (ex. Corr and Dove- who else?) (hide spoiler)]
Have you noticed my sporadic rants about this book? I have another one for you. And for the record, I wrote this all December 24, 2011. This is going to be the only bad thing I say about this book and it's not even really bad. I hate this book. You're probably like, "WHAT THE HECK?? WHY WOULD YOU SAY THAT?? I THOUGHT YOU LOVED IT AND JUST SAID THAT THE BAD THING YOU WERE GOING TO SAY ISN'T THAT BAD!!!!" Now let me explain myself. Well first of all, it probably messed up my heart because it's been beating like crazy since I finished reading the book. Maybe because I was playing an intense board game with my family, because I was. Anyways, I don't think that's actually the real reason, though. About a day before the Scorpio Races started (the races, not the book), my heart started pounding in my chest. By the time they actually started racing, I was turning the pages of the book so fast that I swear I didn't actually read a single word of it. It was great. The second reason I hate this book is because now, whenever I do something, I'm going to be like, "What Would Jesus Do?" No. I would be like, "What Would Sean Do? (haha... WWSD)" or like, "Awww... I'm being such a Puck." Which annoys me to no end because then every car ride, I'll have flashbacks about every single scene in the book, forever scarring myself. And yes, I did that on the whole car ride to the Christmas party. Probably because I finished the book about two or three hours ago, but probably not. I think I'll be doing that for the next 50 years of my life. You know why I hate this book the most? Stiefvater made this story seem so real, I want to meet the characters. Then, I'm like, "Oh hey. They aren't real. I can't go to Thisby and be like, 'Yay! Puck and Sean got together (remember, this really isn't a spoiler)." Which sucks. And like I said, I FREAKIN WISH THERE WAS A SEQUEL. There isn't going to be a sequel, is there, Maggie Stiefvater??? If you for some reason stumbled upon my crazy rant about this book, I want you to know that I tried sending you a message to ask if there was going to be a sequel, but you "aren't taking any messages." Yes, I'm talking to Maggie Stiefvater, not whatever random person is reading this.
That was a really long rant. But don't you understand what I mean about the bad thing being a good thing? Yeah. Good. You understand me now.
Oh, and I'm probably going to force my mom to buy this for me. If you were wondering or something.
My heart is officially broken. She's definitely (very very very most likely) not going to write a sequel. Which, like I already said, sucks. You see how much I'm obsessed with this book? I can see how a sequel wouldn't really work, but I really really want one. =( Oh. Did you know her last name is pronounced like Steve-Otter???
Haha. This would be an awesome movie trailer... like this:
The Scorpio Races: A story of determination, trust, courage, and the choice of what is safe and what you will risk to get what you want. With a pretty horse collage in the background.
Awesome, right? Maybe? Maybe not? Well you can't blame me too much because I'm not an official trailer writer. And I just read the reviews of some haters. =( Well, I can agree with the pacing and how the actual races were too short. But actually, I can't. I guess there were some parts where Stiefvater COULD have cut it down, but I was never like, "When the heck is something going to happen?". No, maybe it was always my excitement to read what Sean has to say, but I doubt that's the whole reason. It was just a really really well written book . And really, I couldn't imagine the races being more than five chapters- five SHORT chapters. Someone compared it to saying how The Hunger Games would be a totally different book if the Games were only 10 pages, but truly, it's totally different. Sean even said how the races only last for 5 minutes. Then there would be a problem if a 5 minute race was longer than the three weeks leading up to it. Yes, people, the Hunger Games actually last for almost three weeks. That was about 300 pages, right? Ha. In both stories, a three week period was about 300 pages, right? There you go. Perfect, logical sense.
12/28/2011- So. You probably thought I was just in a one-or-two-day spaz(z?) period about this book. Then, I would turn around and be like, "Oh hey. That was stupid of me. Harry Potter IS still better than this book." NOT. Ever since I finished this book, I've literally flipped through the whole book five times to read EVERY SINGLE PART with Sean narrating/being awesome. Obsessive, huh?
And you know what I just realized? I can literally think of ANYTHING and then immediately think of Sean. It's so weird... like this: "Oh hey, there's a butterfly- SEAN KENDRICK." And even when I'm just standing there, I think about him... like this: "........ SEAN KENDRICK!!!!!!!" Then I close my eyes and still can't get it out of my head. And did you ever wonder what Sean would look like in a school picture? Would he smile, or would he just be all Sean-like? And what about during the "silly picture"? I'm going with the Sean-like, no expression face...
"It matters, like this: I belong to Malvern. You don't." -Sean Kendrick (to George Holly) pg. 204 <-- the deepest quote I've ever read. Seriously. I couldn't get it out of my head, like the rest of the book. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Yay!!!!!!!!! Just as good as the first! I know it's usually like, "Just as good as the first, if not better," but I feel that the first may still haveYay!!!!!!!!! Just as good as the first! I know it's usually like, "Just as good as the first, if not better," but I feel that the first may still have been better. With the first, I sat there for hours, just so I could know the ending. In this one, it was like, "Alright, I can stop now if I have to." However, like I said, it was quite evenly matched as the first. More detailed review later....more
Sounds a lot like another book I read, though I don't remember the name of it... but it was about a guy who changed personalities everywhere he movedSounds a lot like another book I read, though I don't remember the name of it... but it was about a guy who changed personalities everywhere he moved to, until that one place. And the cover had a boy standing on his head... Anyways.... This was probably one of the best Sarah Dessen books I've read. Yes it's the stereotypical new girl who meets guy but it was more touching and sweet. Great new book. And yep, I added it to best-books-ever. Yay! ...more
OMG! I HAVE TO READ! I HATE YOU, ZACH! <-- okay... about that post... Zach didn't let us borrow the book. Then I had to get it from the library...OMG! I HAVE TO READ! I HATE YOU, ZACH! <-- okay... about that post... Zach didn't let us borrow the book. Then I had to get it from the library... not that I want Zach germs... and I'm gonna have to buy it... but my bookshelf is gonna explode... but it was still a good book. Okay! Now to the actual content of the book. Don't expect me to give a long review like Jenn... but I'm kinda gonna steal her format... kinda... NO! YOU MAY NOT SUE ME, JENN!!!!!!! Anyways...
Main Overview (before spoilers)- This was an amazing book, not that I expected anything else from Rick Riordan. He's a great writer and I can't wait to see how this story progresses. *ahem* I mean the SERIES. Duh. There were a lot of parts that surprised me, like- Oh. Right. No spoilers. Remind me to talk about that in the spoiler part. The plot was to save their dad, just like TLT, like Jenn said. She's right about how Rick Riordan likes the same plot. More detail on that in the spoiler part. Many times I was confused because they would always say, "Then I finally got it." And I would be like, "WELL. I DON'T GET IT!" Finally, they would tell me what they got- ten pages later. Overall, though, it was AWESOME. Oh right, one other problem with that book. The thing that totally ruined it for me. They liked the LAKERS. Boo.
SPOILER!!!!!!!! Okay. If you want me to ruin the book for you, read on! If you already read it, read on! If you, ummm.... whatever. If you get mad at me because I ruined the book for you, you may not sue me... or inflict any physical pain... or mental damage... And if you feel this way, you may have to sign this waiver....
I promise not to inflict any physical or mental damage to Tiffany Wang, or sue her in any amount, unless it is negative amounts: X__________________________
Okay! Enough with the silly stuff! Now to the review! And, when I said it wasn't going to be long, I lied. Too bad.
1) Carter- I don't imagine him the way Rick Riordan *ahem" Carter described himself. There wasn't really anything that stood out about him. I don't really have much to say on this subject. He was just kind of timid and not the kind of person that.. um... I am friends with... cause I'm kinda crazy...
2) Sadie- I personally really like Sadie. She's very outgoing and different. I also feel really bad for her like how she almost never gets to see her dad. And it's just beastly that she has a British accent.. You know how she had her combat boots the whole time?? Like, how did that happen??
3) Zia- The shabti thing was a really surprising twist. When she was dying and she was like, "I'm just a messenger.. she would really like to go to the mall." I was like "WHO WANTS TO GO TO THE MALL?? YOU WERE NOT JUST A MESSENGER!!!" Then Saide goes, "Yeah I get it... blah blah blah." Finally, I get it when the blue ball thing comes from her mouth. I know they kind of explained this in the book, but did the REAL Zia know what was happening the whole time? Was she transmitting thoughts for the shabti to say? Hopefully, this will be explained in the next book...
4) Bast/Julius/Mom (whatever her name is)- Bast is AWESOME! She's one of my favorite characters, but it was funny how she was a pet for six years. It's just really sad how she "died" twice. The first time, she didn't die-die. I knew she was going to come back to life because she seemed like a main character. The second time, I really thought she died, but then she came back alive! Yay! It was really sweet how the parents were reunited at the end of the story. It was a nice ending for their story, though I'm sure they're going to come back as important characters in the next book.
5) Set/Apophyis (or however you spell that)- This was another surprise to me. I kept hoping that Zia was wrong about Set controlling Amos. I don't really know what I thought, but it was still a surprise. After Sadie said, "Maybe things would have been different if I listened to Zia," I knew Amos was in some way bad. I didn't think that Set was controlling him, though. Apophyis, however was a total surprise. He's really smart in controlling Face of Horror (lol, I love that!). Also, how Bast and Apophyis were fighting. You know how Ra planned for them to rip each other up? What would happen then? Would they EVER come back to life? They were saying how they go into the Duat and come back after thousand of years? Does that apply?
6) Khufu/Amos/Phillip- Phillip was one of my favorite characters, just like Rainbow from the PJ series. He's just totally awesome and I love him! He was also very noble! Khufu was also pretty cool, except that he liked the Lakers. Or else, he's beastly. Is it just me, or is Amos a stereotypical uncle name? The second I saw the name Amos, I was convinced that he was an uncle. Uncle Amos just flows. It made me very sad that he was possessed by Set.. and then became all depressed.
7) Anubis- I can just imagine this guy in a movie. Sadie described him soooooo many times and kinda made me fall in love with him. *blushes* It's funny how Rick Riordan portrayed him. A lot of stories portray him as a creepy death god-dude. This book makes him seem really cute. *blushes again*
Okay... I really don't feel like posting about anything else, so yeah. ...more