The Book Thief

I finished this one during Hurricane Matthew, one of the few times I’ve found time to read nowadays, and was crying by the end. I will tell you now this book comes with some of my highest recommendations. I haven’t cried for a fictional character in a while, and I’m sorry this review is so late because I haven’t had the time to write it, but I finished another book while I’ve been trying to get around to writing this review so maybe I’ll have that review posted soon.

The premise, for those of you who don’t know, is Death is fascinated by humans. None more so than young Liesel, who has lost both her parents in different ways and witnessed at the start of the book the death of her brother. This is also the first time Death sees Liesel., it will not be the last. The death of her brother also leads Liesel to steal her first book, just before she finds herself on Himmel Street where she spends the majority of the remainder of the book. There she is raised by the Hubermann family, Hans who she comes to call Papa and Rosa who is Mama. They are an odd pair who seem to hate each other more than they love each other, but that is just their way. On Himmel street Liesel makes a friend in Rudy Steiner, who is her neighbor, obsessed with Jesse Owens and wants nothing more than to be kissed by Liesel. Later Hans Hubermann will bring into the Hubermann home, Max the Jewish fist fighter and if I neglected to mention now would be a good time to tell you this is during Nazi Germany. This gang of people form a family. Liesel learns to read on Himmel Street, defies Hitler, even in the smallest ways, and steals more than just books. It’s hard to describe the premise of these book because I fear giving too much away, but I will say I really loved this story.

What I loved about it was that it’s told from the perspective of a young, blonde, German girl who isn’t Jewish. So often books told during the Holocaust are told from the perspective of someone Jewish, and while that makes sense because their stories need to be told, so do the stories of the Germans who didn’t support Hitler’s war or cause. I love that this story, is being told by Death. It’s such an interesting turn of events and kept me wondering how and when Death would meet Liesel again. I love how Death speaks of humans, and the tone he/she/it is given. I really fell in love with the characters. Max, Hans and Rudy were my favorites but they’re all just incredibly well put together and fully realized. I even found myself wanting to know what was happening to the smallest side characters. This is a really gripping story about a young girl, growing up poor in one of the darkest times in history. It’s about her life, the people she meets and loves along the way and the truly haunting aspects of being human. It’s a beautiful story and I would honestly read it again, even though it hurts my heart.

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The Giver

Hey guys! Sorry I haven’t been around more often like I wanted to be. I got a big girl job and now I work all week and have less time for both reading and writing. I also just got back from vacation in California which was both nice and stressful thanks to unnecessary attitudes…I won’t bore you with the details, just know it was super dumb butt. Anyway, while on vacation i brought books with me (surprise, surprise), one of which was The Giver (Holy crap Lola, is it painfully obvious day?) and yes, I finished it.

So, we are gathered here today to hear my review for The Giver. This book is not new, to be sure. It came out the year after I was born and was another of those that apparently everyone but me was forced to read in school. The Eagle Scout and his brother both hate it, they find it preaching and the ending infuriates them. However Chow Mien, my sort of friend again (but definitely not best friend anymore, I tried it out and it didn’t feel right), says it’s one of her favorites. I received it as a present like two Christmases ago, if that let’s you know how huge my to read pile is, and I have finally gotten to it and I must say I’m rather disappointed.

The plot of the story is in this seemingly utopian society of sameness, no color, same clothes, same skin tone, same weather everyday, same routines, same vehicle (bikes), same everything, a boy named Jonas who loves the sameness is singled out to be different. He is chosen to be the Receiver of Memories, a job that is isolating, painful and believed to be the highest honor. Basically it turns out people in the community can’t see colors, have all their emotions dulled my these pills they take and don’t really have any choices and the Receiver of Memories deals with all the pain and joy of the past so everyone else doesn’t have to. After learning all this Jonas says to his predecessor, now the Giver of Memories (hence the title) the it isn’t fair and they should change things. The Giver tells him he’d been thinking so for years and together, towards the very end of the book they finally set a plan in motion to change the community.

The thing is, the book is short so there really shouldn’t be so much set up, but the majority of the book is just that. Also, and I can’t pin point why, but the characters did not touch me the way so many others had. I didn’t feel connected to them, I felt distanced. I was acutely aware that I was an outsider looking in and watching these things unfold, I never once felt right next to Jonas, the Giver, or any other characters in the story. There are these shocking revelations, but to be honest they weren’t shocking because I guessed them pretty early on. I found myself wondering if it would’ve been more shocking 23 years ago when dystopian futures weren’t such a big seller. Another part of the problem is it felt like a watered down, or safe version of a dystopian future. Like the author was too scared to push it further, or perhaps was so desperate to keep it in a certain age group she let go and brushed over some of the best and most horrifying moments. Perhaps part of the problem is when all the characters have a bland personality to prove a point you don’t care to know them. But for me the biggest problem is that the ending leaves much to be desired. I didn’t care enough about the characters to be desperate to know what had really happened to them, but being a curious person by nature I was left annoyed that I didn’t have clear answers. The possibilities were many and none of them seemed all that satisfying. I could’ve just picked a favorite, if I’d had a favorite possible ending, but they all left me with a feeling of time wasted, something I never want to feel reading a book.

I will say now, before I finish this off, that I know it’s a quartet and I have heard mixed reviews about those as well. Some say they help form a more clear answer for how the first book ends, and others say you never get the answers you want. I will probably break down and read the other three books, but for now, I’m not invested enough to bother. All in all I’m glad I finally read this book so many people have known and talked about, but being completely honest, I don’t get what the big deal is. It left very little impression on me and didn’t even manage to get the preachy aspect I heard about down with enough passion for me to be moved, even in a bad way, by it. If you still haven’t read it and find yourself curious, I would say go for it. It’s a small enough book that it won’t take up too much of your time, especially if you’re as fast a reader as I am. But this won’t be on the top of my recommend to a friend list any time soon.

Alright, that’s all for today. Have a great one, guys and as always thanks for reading.

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The Silkworm

Well, I’ve done it! I have finally finished it! Before I get any further, i would like to specify that I didn’t have trouble reading this because of the book itself. It just happens to be a large book, which is how I like them, but I haven’t had the time to read like I used to when I was a high school student with very few responsibilities and a bad habit of caring more about what I was reading than what my teacher was teaching….holy run on sentence. Okay, let’s not do that again. Anyway, this is a review of The Silkworm, and I’m very excited to give it.

So the story starts off after some time has past from the events of Cuckoo’s Calling. Once again, there is a reason it’s called The Silkworm and you find the reasoning out quite early. Strike has been receiving some unwanted publicity from the Landry case, and some much need business. Robin is still by his side, but now with aspirations of her own (wanting to be trained to be a detective herself). It’s then that Leonora Quine walks in, sits down on his sofa and refuses to leave. Mrs. Quine is like a breath of fresh air compared to the well-dressed and well to do clients that have lately been gracing him with their presence. Unlike the business men looking for a leg up on their competition, or the spoiled housewives of unfaithful husbands, Mrs. Quine doesn’t want revenge or proof for her lawyers. In fact, Mrs. Quine doesn’t have a lawyer, she looks down right dumpy in her worn out and too big coat. She just wants her husband, ever so slightly known writer Owen Quine to come home. See Owen’s just wrote a book called Bombyx Mori (means Silkworm) and it has started the shit storm to end all shit storms in the literary community. To make matters worse, Owen has run off after sending it out to be published. Leonora just wants him to come home to her and their daughter, Orlando and she needs Strike to find him.

Of course this seems simple enough and as a reader I was left wondering what could possibly go wrong there. Well not really, Owen turning up dead is not shocking at all. In fact, you should really expect it as the reader and you pretty much do. However, that doesn’t detract from the story at all. Nothing is helped by the laundry list of suspects a mile long, including everyone who was shamed and had their dirty little secrets aired in the book. Unfortunately, the book passed so many hands, you really have no idea who could’ve done it, but the grisly way in which Owen dies leaves images I would never want to see come to film. However, the descriptive prowess of one Mr. Robert Galbraith leaves little of the body to the imagination. It is a horrific sight in my mind and I never even saw it. It also helps narrow the list to people who read the book by a certain date, but that list isn’t so small either. I spent huge chucks of this book guessing at the killer. I spent more and more time narrowing it down person by person, right along with Strike. The tension that builds when the wrong person is arrested for the crime is palpable in a room full of screaming sports fans, I was tense and harried and had nothing to do for it except keep reading and hope for the best. Strike knows the killer long before the reader/this reader. I narrowed my list down to three people, and to make things even more embarrassing, it was none of the three I had picked. The true killer blindsided me completely, but as I finally got to hear the full explanation Strike gave for the how and why…it seemed painfully obvious and I love that in a mystery.

There is great satisfaction reading the resolution of this story and I can’t wait to get my hands on A Career of Evil because I really can’t get enough of Cormoran Strike and his partner Robin. The team is wonderfully realistic. They aren’t always smooth and they don’t always agree with each other. Robin, though less experienced than Strike, never blindly follows what he says or believes everything that comes out of his mouth. This story explores their dynamic more than Cuckoo’s and I love the growth between the pair.All I really have to say is that I would definitely recommend this book. Anyway, it’s late and I should get to bed…or more likely my next book (The Giver, finally). Goodnight, guys and as always, thanks for reading.

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The Best of Megacon Cosplay

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June 1, 2016 · 8:02 PM

Megacon Review

My feet still hurt and I’ve been back a full day now. But oh was it worth it! I had so much fun during the con…insanely stupid and unnecessary drama unfolded in the after hours part of the trip, but I won’t bore you guys with those details. Especially since I am trying to ignore them as best I can.

First and foremost for my excitable news…I met Tom Felton! Well, met is probably a strong word, we hardly had a conversation or anything, but me and some friends and the Eagle Scout did take a picture with him! A few weird fangirl tidbits: He smells great. I have no idea what he wears but it’s nice. His shirt (I got to put my arm around him) was very soft, couldn’t tell what the fabric was made of but I did wonder about it. Most importantly, I managed to not squee and mumble out a very excitable “it was nice meeting you” and he actually responded to that…can’t for the life of me remember what it he said, we were ushered from the picture area very quickly, but I heard a response. Is it weird I forgot how English he was going to be? Last thing I saw him in had him doing a very convincing American accent. Anyway, so that was fun and pretty crazy.

I also bought way too much stuff…or should I say the Eagle Scout bought way too much stuff for the both of us. I am now the proud owner of a Sword of Gryffindor because apparently I was in desperate need of a sword. I also have my very own Gryffindor robes, and a Spider Gwen hooded dress. We got quite a few really awesome pieces of art as well and an amazingly drawn deck of cards where the suits were changed to the four elements from ATLA. It also has really great pictures of lots of characters from the show. The Jokers are the foaming mouth guy and the cabbage man…which is just gold. We are most definitely broke now and I feel it was worth it.

The absolute best part though was all the awesome cosplayers we saw. If it weren’t for the epic swag and celebs you can meet at a con I would literally go, find a great place to sit and just watch people walk around. Actually, I spent a decent bit of Sunday just sitting and enjoying all the cosplayers that passed by me. In fact, I got so many pictures I’m going to upload all of them on my computer and just give you pictures from Megacon. But that probably won’t be up until tomorrow since I have lots of laundry and stuff to do tonight.

Sigh…after such a geektastic weekend it’s really hard to return to the regular world. I miss everyone getting my references already. Anyway, that’s all the gushing I’ll do today. Look for those pictures tomorrow. Happy Memorial Day guys and as always, thanks for reading.

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