So, I think this one was a little more character driven. And not that I don't like that, it's just there were points where I didn't really like ANY of...moreSo, I think this one was a little more character driven. And not that I don't like that, it's just there were points where I didn't really like ANY of the characters. Other than Edilio. Always love Edilio.
I did love the glimpse of the outside world. And whilst I don't know if it was a lie that at 15 you blip out to the real world again, I really hope it is true. Mary's story was so desperately tragic that I truly hope she is getting help in the real world.
It was an interesting one. It very much felt like a middle book of a series, setting things up to come, and it was difficult to distinguish between truth or lie. What I would like to see from the rest of this series is more from Pete. Seeing as he is the one who seems to be running this.(less)
Really liked it. Action packed with the potential for some excellent classroom discussions. Fingers crossed I get this one put on the book list at sch...moreReally liked it. Action packed with the potential for some excellent classroom discussions. Fingers crossed I get this one put on the book list at school.(less)
So there is a growing worrying trait in these books. And possibly it is because of what happened in Stubenville that I am extra aware of it, but I don...moreSo there is a growing worrying trait in these books. And possibly it is because of what happened in Stubenville that I am extra aware of it, but I don't think keg parties where girls are groped and routinely date raped are the imaginings of a good time.
The second novel dealt with this culture of frat boys gang banging for fun a little bit, and it is part of this third novel too. I think a discourse on rape culture and female objectification is vital; especially in light of Stubenville. But it doesn't feel like this is what is happening here.
Claire almost got raped in book two. The answer was for her to be rescued by a vampire.
A random unconscious girl was having her panties removed by a group of boys in this novel. The answer was for Shane to rescue her.
When they arrived at the party, the things that were described were given as examples of a great party, a party to be respected. A list of things: * A mob of drunken frat boys stumbled down the walk carrying a couch. * A girl ran by dressed in the top half of a bikini. * Drinking games. * People making out in full view of everyone.
Eve and Claire dressed up for this party, and were pleased when drunken frat boys wolf whistled at them. Claire only decided to get dressed in the outfit Eve provided for her because she wanted to see Shane's reaction. She dressed up specifically for someone else, not herself.
I don't know, you guys. What I'm saying is, this doesn't seem to be fodder for open, vital discussion on the dangers of rape culture. This seems to be Caine portraying stuff that she thinks just happens. There is not enough autonomy of female character for this to be a feminist depiction. If the biggest way in which your female characters are displaying control is to choose to wear clothes that are going to make boys gape - that is just not sitting well with me.
There's a troubling dynamic of the male characters either being bad or good. Either you can get stuck in a room with a rapist, or you can be rescued by a good man. Either you can be threatened by a creepy boy who has just been let out of jail, or you can rely on one of your two male housemates to protect you. You are either a bad cop who carries out vampire slayings, or you are a good cop that is available to give you a ride home at the drop of a hat.
The character of Myrnin here, is the physical portrayal of a man battling between his good and his bad side. He can't be both, he has to be one or the other. Unfortunately for him it is going to end up being bad, as that is the illness he has.
Add to this we are routinely told Claire is some child genius, but she consistently makes the most ridiculous and stupid decisions. She goes off to find a mentally ill vampire who has already tried to kill her twice without telling anyone. She acknowledges to the person who tried to kill Sam that she knew he was the one whilst she was in a moving vehicle that he was driving.
There is only one thing that I require in a female protagonist to make it bearable for me to read; common sense. Her complete lack of foresight or self protection is detracting from what isn't a bad idea for a world.
I am told these books get better, and I'll be reading on because it is one of my GCSE pupils providing them for me. But I'm just sayin'. They're not great.(less)
2012: Pretty much spent the best part of my summer re-reading Harry. As per usual. So that's 6 books towards my terrible book count for this year, rig...more2012: Pretty much spent the best part of my summer re-reading Harry. As per usual. So that's 6 books towards my terrible book count for this year, right? RIGHT?!(less)
I enjoyed it! I don't have much more to say. I like Armintrout's writing style, I think she creates great dialogue between her characters. Actually, I...moreI enjoyed it! I don't have much more to say. I like Armintrout's writing style, I think she creates great dialogue between her characters. Actually, I think she creates great characters in general! Is it a life changing read? Nah. But so what, not everything has to be. (less)
I direct you to my review of Book 1 & Book 2 . Just so you don't think I'm reading these novels with any real belief that they are good. It's mo...moreI direct you to my review of Book 1 & Book 2 . Just so you don't think I'm reading these novels with any real belief that they are good. It's more that I can't not read them. I AM NOT ASHAMED.(less)
What can I say that hasn’t already been fangirled said already?
It seems like there was a lot of hype about this novel that I had completely missed. I bought it because amazon recommended it to me, it’s really as exciting as that. I had no idea it was already a best seller, no idea it had amassed a fanbase the size of the OASIS, I just had no.idea about anything. And then I read it. And then I read it again. Because, hot shit, I couldn’t put this book down.
Let’s break it down into three easy categories on why this book is so awesome.
Because it’s relevant. It’s an exciting and poignant glimpse into the dehumanisation of people through technology/capitalism. The world has gone to shit, but those who have money don’t care. There is unheard of tech capable of dealing with some of their societal ills, but people want to sit in a virtual reality where they can be anything, do anything, say anything. Maybe the most chilling image in this novel for me was the glimpse of the outside world Parzival gets. The streets are littered with homeless people, it is freezing cold, they have no food or shelter and are huddled around fires. But they are huddled around fires with the virtual reality goggles strapped to their face so they don’t have to think about how they are homeless and freezing and standing around a fire. That image terrified me. They were hooked up to a virtual world in which they could do most anything, yet their IRL world was falling apart.
Because it’s clever. For the symmetry of Halliday sending a video to all OASIS users announcing the quest, to Parzival sending his call to arms email to all users. Clever. For the themes of nostalgia clearly depicted through the cultural obsession with the 80s, and no better recreated than in Middletown, Halliday’s home town made virtual. Clever. For some of the best world building I have read in a stand alone novel. Ever. Clever. For an epic quest that kept me entertained and on the edge of my seat throughout. Clever, clever, clever.
Finally, because it is an excellent piece of gender commentary. Cline has created a fictional world in which gender and race really can be stripped away. You can be anyone within the OASIS. As it is very clear from everything else going on in the world, this virtual reality really hasn’t made the planet better. Therefore it should be of no surprise to us that racism and sexism is still prevalent. (view spoiler)[I am not suggesting a black female character having to pretend to be a white male so she can get anywhere within the world is a good thing. I am saying it is an excellent portrayal of the insidious lack of progress the real world has actually made. It is another example of the dehumanisation this tech has encouraged/ignored. (hide spoiler)] But Cline does a clever deconstruction of this. Art3mis is better than Parzival at most things, she is smart and quick and funny. And she is a mere girl. (view spoiler)[ Aech is one of THE top ranking combatants. And she is a mere girl. (hide spoiler)] With the innumerable amount of mysogynistic and dangerous tropes purported by video games, comic books and society in general, this IS the most revolutionary point for me. We only need to look to feminist frequencies recent experience of harassment and silencing when she dared to criticize sexism in video games, to understand how real this issue is. (view spoiler)[So sure, it is a shame some of the characters have to pretend to be other people to be taken seriously. But that is the point. They are still some of most kick-ass video gamers out there, and they just so happen to be female. (hide spoiler)] This is about how little progress the world has made, and how ridiculous it is for having not made it.
My love for this books knows no bounds. Only increased with the recent announcement by Cline of a real life easter egg hunt. I’m just ready and waiting for July 1st for the second gate to open. You should be too.["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"]>(less)
Page 182 - Why is this book taking me so long to read? Why? WHY?!
Completed: Oh right. That's why.
Let's get down to it, you guys. This is self publish...morePage 182 - Why is this book taking me so long to read? Why? WHY?!
Completed: Oh right. That's why.
Let's get down to it, you guys. This is self published. I love the idea of self published, it calls to my grass roots, fight against the man ideals. But please, someone point me to a piece of good self published writing, because this certainly ain't it.
There seems to be a lot of complaints about the mundane concept; girl finds out she's not human and promptly goes on the adventure of her life, whilst falling in love along the way. Don't get me wrong, this was the concept. But, I think Hocking was clever in that this fantasy, dream world actually turned out to be pretty dire. I thought this was a nice take on the typical girl-gets-everything-she-has-ever-dreamed-of.
So my complaints with this story are rooted solely in the abysmal representation of women. Let's break it down, and here is where there may be some spoilers, for those of you that still want to chance reading this book.
Human mother/Kim: Is crazy. Here is your mad woman in the attic character, wild hair, crazy eyes, foaming at the mouth. Okay, not foaming at the mouth, but really now. I love a mad woman in the attic character. I think they are often the most complex and interesting. And I believe the same for Kim. But this poor woman was given a bad time! As it turns out she was completely justified in believing that Wendy wasn't her daughter! BECAUSE SHE WASN'T! Because of this, and because it is a woman's desire in life to have children and be all maternal and shit, Kim just couldn't take the strain and went insane. Yes I rhymed for you.
Troll mother/can't remember her name/whatever: The polar opposite to Kim. She is completely lacking in any mothering skills. She is cold, and hard, and harsh, and completely unlikeable. Because these are the two extremes we are allowed to see when it comes to mothers. Crazy with maternal love vs. lacking in maternal love. There is no inbetween here, you guys. Women, take note, you should either have children and do it right, or just not do it at all.
Which leads me to my biggest issue with this story, darling Wendy: On thinking back about the story, it soon became clear that Wendy did absolutely nothing. She got hit. She fell down. She didn't even bother to use/learn more about her powers. She got rescued continually by our man of the moment, Flinn. She bit her tongue so often and seemed so un-bothered by having no answers provided to her, I just wanted to be able to shake her up. She left her brother and aunt behind with barely a second thought. She was so inordinately selfish I'm unsure how anyone would warm to her as a protagonist!
I'm bowing out of this series here. I can see where it is heading already: Lot's of love triangles. My poor brain can't cope with it all. I can put up with much if I have an interesting, semi-independent female lead. But that is not Wendy, so I am not reading!(less)