Book Recommendations, Book Reviews, Uncategorized

Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan

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Deadlines just aren’t real to me until I’m staring one in the face.

I’ve been debating whether or not to review this series when I had finished it. On one hand, everyone had heard about this series. On the other hand, it’s taking me a long time to finish and multiple weeks have missed posts because I was reading of the these books. Obviously, I’ve decided to review.

The Lightning Thief is the first in this five book series following Percy Jackson. He starts off as a regular twelve-year-old who struggles in school because he has dyslexia and ADHD. He soon discovers the dad he has never known is a Greek god, and that his whole life will constantly be in danger because monsters will always be after him.

5 stars

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 You can’t give up on your family, no matter how tempting they make it.

The overarching plot is this Great Prophecy that the characters aren’t sure who it is about. Percy is obviously a good candidate.  So he has a lot of expectations and enemies before even knowing that the myths are real.

As Percy goes on his various quests, he gets more and more proficient at navigating his new world. However, his world is steadily getting more and more dangerous. He has to rise up to these new challenges every time. 

One common theme in these books is the short time frame Percy has to finish these quests. Somehow, Riordan makes these action packed books work without skimping on character development or world building. 

3 stars

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In a way, it’s nice to know that there are Greek gods out there, because you have somebody to blame when things go wrong.

The characters are definitely the shining stars of the series. Percy, Annabeth, Grover, Chiron, Sally, and so many others. They are all fully formed and complex. Even the smallest side characters. Everyone has flaws and makes mistakes, and every betrayal and redemption made me just as emotional as the one before it. 

I loved how Riordan made the gods into people. They were so annoying yet helpful yet detrimental. Like a real family.

5 stars

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Don’t feel bad, I’m usually about to die.

The writing is so easy and nice to sink into. I never had any complaints about it. The humor never skipped a beat. Even now, a couple hours after finishing the last book, I want to pick up the next series to keep the feeling of peace these books give me.

5 stars

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With great power… comes great need to take a nap. Wake me up later.

This first series was perfectly wrapped up for me. Everything ended so well, and I love knowing this isn’t the last time we see Percy or Annabeth even if they aren’t as prominent.

There are still so many books that I can read after this that I know get better and more diverse. I can’t wait to finally pick them up.

5 stars 

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Lists, Uncategorized

Movie Adaptions We Want to See

With the recent amazing adaptions of Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han, we thought it would be nice to think of other books that we would love to see. What other books that you don’t see here that you would like to see on screen?

Nicole:

The Clocktaur Wars duology by T. Kingfisher

With the right CGI for the Clockwork boys, the Rune, and the gnoles I think this would be a lovely movie. I would love to see Slate and Brenner and the whole gang on screen. It could be very fantastical but heartwarming and heartbreaking as the book is.

Spirit Hunters by Ellen Oh

This ghost story with a Korean main character could be like To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. It’s not necessarily that original, but it’s a fresh perspective that is lovely to see.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan 

The movie of this was horrible, but I would love to see another chance taken on this series. I think a TV series would be ideal with spin offs like the books. It would be really great.

  Iron Cast by Destiny Soria

This is one of my favorite books and I would love to see these characters come to life on screen. The magic could be easily done I think, and the characters would be beautiful.

The Gauntlet by Karuna Riazi

This story is similar to Jumanji and I think the board game could translate beautifully on screen. And the food! It would be great to see. I think it would look very beautiful.

Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper

I think this is the only one on my list that isn’t fantasy in some way. But I think this could be a powerful movie if done right. I would love it if an actual disabled person was hired unlike with what happened to Wonder.

Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead

I think this one could have another chance. A TV show could really be better for it I think.

 

Isis:

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
I know there’s already a screenplay and they’re currently working to get the movie going, but nothing seems sure at the moment. I would love to see my favorite book of all time adapted. And I really want it to be an indie film. I don’t want extra drama added. I trust that Saenz will make sure the movie is done as artistically as possible. He said so himself during a panel I saw with him.  Anyway, I just want all the actors to be Mexican and not whitewashed.

We are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson
I loved this book so much. I’d love to see my sweet Diego on screen. I would also LOVE to see the aliens portrayed. And the abductions!! That would be awesome. This could be a kickass movie.

In Perfect Light by Benjamin Alire Saenz
This is my second favorite book by Saenz. It’s very tragic, but so hopeful too. I think it would be a very sad movie, but it could be done so well. It should also be indie. Those are the best.

Angelfall by Susan Ee
This book felt like a movie, so it would be perfect on the big screen. And this one needs to be a big budget film. I want all the special effects. I want the amazing CGI angel wings. I want that creepy ending done well. I want all of the angel fights to blow my mind. I would see this movie a hundred times. It would be the first action film I’d watch willingly.

Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat
So I still have my issues with this book, but I think it would be an interesting movie. I’d love to see the costumes. And I’d loved to see a Damen on screen. He’d have to be real buff. Also, who could possibly play Laurent? And would his hair be long or short? The fandom believes his hair is long but the text says it’s short. What is the truth? Anyway, this movie would be good. I’d so watch it.

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Listen, Shatter Me has the potential to be the next Hunger Games. We need to make these movies so everyone can know about Warner. I love these books so much. They’d make amazing movies. We can start Team Warner and Team Adam like we did with Twilight. Shatter Me has so much potential to blow up. We need a new young adult franchise!

At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson
This is my favorite Hutchinson book and it absolutely needs a movie. It’s very trippy. It could be done so well in a movie. The entire book messed with my head but I loved every moment of it. I’d like to see the universe shrinking on screen. How would they even show that? I’d love to see a world without the sun or the moon. That’d be the real challenge.

The Long Walk by Stephen King
I know this is already being turned into a movie but until I see a trailer I won’t believe it. I need this movie so baddd. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this book. It’s my favorite book right now. I love it so much it hurts. The movie would need to show the boys before the long walk, of course. All of Ray’s childhood memories, all of McVries’s memories as well. It could be so beautiful. I need this movie.

Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
I didn’t like the adaptation of The Shining, but I think Doctor Sleep could be done much better. There’s no creepy redrum, but my sweet Dan is in it. I love Dan Torrance. This book is a wild ride and it would make such a cool movie. I’m not sure who sound play Dan. No one is good enough for that role.

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
This is the least talked about John Green book. I get it. There’s math in it. People don’t find it interesting. But it’s my favorite John Green book. The MC was super smart and I loved him right away. It deserves a movie and it deserves to be loved. That book made me so happy. The movie would be great.

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Listen, I gave this book 3 stars but I still need the movie. I feel like it would be much better as a movie than as a book. I really liked Simon and his friends and I wanna see a dragon. Also, if Baz is played by Ezra Miller I would be his #1 fan. So yeah, of all the Rainbow Rowell books, this is the one I’d like to see on the big screen.

Autoboyography by Christina Lauren
So I was obsessed with this book, and I would be obsessed with the movie. This could be such a great film. An indie film, that it. Again, I don’t need any special effects for this one. It can be quiet. It can be sweet. It can be powerful. I really think the world deserves this story in every version. It’s so so good.

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
This would be the best summer rom com ever. I would love to see this as a movie. The coffee scene would be hilarious. I can already see it. Honestly, movie producers are missing out big time by not picking this one up. I would be at the theater for the midnight showing.

Book Recommendations, Book Reviews, Film Reviews, Uncategorized

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

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“Remember, every treasure comes with a price.”

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan is an adult contemporary novel following Rachel as she meets her boyfriend, Nick’s, family. What she doesn’t know is that they are super crazy rich, and that money has gone to their heads. So the book follows her as she deals with all of their judging and backstabbing ways a long with a couple other POVs like Nick’s mom Eleanor and his cousin, Astrid.

This is such a light, funny book. A nice break from my usual books that can be a little dark. It doesn’t have the best writing in the world, but it doesn’t subtract from the book at all which I think is the important thing.

At the start it can be confusing. There is all these names of family members and it takes time to really understand who is who and who all is related, but it does get easier. I did feel like there is a lot of filler in the beginning, but it does help you understand to whole world later.

I really liked to characters and even when I didn’t, I liked disliking them. They shocked me with their antics, and made me fall in love with their love. They are complex and real even when it is still hard to wrap my head around how rich they all are.

I also saw the movie adaption and it is just as wonderful. The changes were there, but I felt they were good changes. It was a sweet, funny movie just as the book was. I would recommend reading the book and seeing the movie.

There has been talk about the anti-black sentiments in this. Most of the help had darker skin. There is classism and  sexism as well. I would link an article talking about this but I can’t find a good one. 

4 stars

Book Recommendations, Book Reviews, Uncategorized

The Spiderwick Chronicles Series Review

The Spiderwick Chronicles is written by Holly Black and illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi. In total, there are five books each around a hundred pages long. The premise is that the Grace children (Jared, Simon, and Mallory) have contacted DiTerlizzi and Black because they believe in fairies and they want to have their story told as a warning to others. Black and DiTerlizzi obliged.

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Just as he paused, something inside the wall rustled.

The Field Guide is simply an introduction to the series. Anyone who picks up the series will know from the beginning letters that it is about fairies, but it isn’t until the end of the book that the Grace children know. 

3 stars

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“What’s wrong?”

“Could be trouble, could be nought. Whatever it is, it’s what you wrought.”

The Seeing Stone introduces the Grace children and the reader to the troubles that knowing about fairies can cause. More creatures are introduced, and the children (mainly Mallory and Simon) start wondering if keeping the book around is even worth it. Jared thinks so, mainly because he feels as if he finally has something of his own.

I really like how that is incorporated into the series. Jared is having the toughest time out of his siblings with their parents divorce, and life in general. His character development is one of my favorite things that kept me turning pages throughout these books.

3 stars

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“Weird things started happening when we found that book, and they’re not going to stop until we get rid of it.”

Lucinda’s Secret continues the children’s struggle. Do they keep the book or not? More creatures keep being introduced all wanting the book. The children aren’t sure who to trust, and it’s starting to rip the siblings apart.

3 stars

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The creature’s grin widened into something that still wasn’t really a smile. Then suddenly it shrank back as though frightened. Jared watched in amazement as the Not-Jared’s body shrank, its dark hair paled into a sandy brown, and its now blue eyes went wide with terror.

The Ironwood Tree is where the series turns darker, and that’s where my enjoyment of it really picked up. The big boss of the series is shown, and everything set up from the first three books really comes together. 

4 stars

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They were at the gate of the Spiderwick estate. To Jared’s horror, trash, papers, feathers, and broken furniture littered the lawn.

The Wrath of Mulgarath is a great ending to this lovely little series. Everything wrapped up in nice and interesting ways. The illustrations were great as always, and the characters stronger than ever.

4 stars

Overall, I find this to be a cute little series that I think would get reluctant younger readers more into novels. And if this isn’t enough, there are four companion novels all about expanding the world, and a spin off trilogy with all new characters. I’m not sure if I’m going to check those out myself, but I am glad I got to these books even if it is years later than most people have read them.

 

Book Reviews, Uncategorized

The Neighbors by Hannah Mary McKinnon Book Review

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“Can you believe we’ve only been here a day and we’ve already got such amazing neighbors?”

The Neighbors by Hannah Mary McKinnon is an adult, domestic thriller about two families living next to each other. Wording it that way makes it sound so bland and boring, but these families are the most messed up families ever. Abby and Liam had a relationship years ago, but when Abby’s brother died, they broke up. It’s years, and many secrets, later, they are both married to other people and each had a kid. When they meet again, they pretend they’ve never met, but find it hard to stay away from each other.

I think this is my first ever domestic thriller, so I don’t think I know what I was getting into. I think it’s probably a good one to introduce me to the genre though I don’t think that it will ever be one I automatically reach for.

The writing is really smooth and easy to read which I really appreciated. There was four perspectives, Abby, her husband, Nate, Liam’s wife, Nancy, and Abby and Nate’s daughter Sarah. Sarah’s was my favorite because it was solely in journal entries and she was my favorite character out of all of them.

My main problem with this book was it’s characters. Now, I do think most of them were fleshed out expect for Liam and his son, Zach. None of them were likable which isn’t something I need to like a character. I just didn’t care what happened to them. They were making all these messed up decisions and I was laying there like okay, next page. And I don’t like reading like that.

I can’t say I didn’t enjoy myself at the end with all the twists. I do think that’s it’s strongest point. Otherwise, it’s an average three stars from me.

3 stars

Book Recommendations, Book Reviews, Uncategorized

Dragonbreath #10-11 by Ursula Vernon Review

So I have written about Dragonbreath quite a bit on this blog. It’s a children’s graphic novel series that follows Danny Dragonbreath the only dragon in his reptile school who has trouble breathing fire and always gets into crazy adventures with his best friend Wendell the iguana.

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“A good scientist shouldn’t make assumptions until she has all the facts.”

In the tenth novel of Dragonbreath, Danny gets a letter from his cousin Spencer that he has been kidnapped by knights and needs help. Danny, while still not liking Spencer, decides he has to save him since he is family and all. Along with Wendell and Christiana, Danny goes on a rescue mission, but not everything is as it seems.

I liked Spencer making a comeback. He forces Danny to be a little bit more responsible which is a nice side to see sometimes. Christiana and Danny had a lot of focus on their friendship in this one which I loved to see. I also liked the acknowledgment of the whole knight vs dragon thing that happens so often in stories and how Vernon paralleled it with outdated racist/sexist ideals the older generation often holds onto.

5 stars

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The air hitting the back of his throat was like frost.

Danny’s sick. His fire has gone out. As you can imagine, for a dragon this is a serious illness. Danny needs help from his Granddad, Wendell, and Christiana in order to get better. 

I love when Danny’s Granddad is in the books. He is funny and I always like how odd his solutions to crisis are. This was a bit more serious I found than the rest of the books, but this didn’t tame my enjoyment at all. If anything how different some of the books can be keep the series interesting.

5 stars

I am not sure, but I do think this is the last books in the Dragonbreath series. The last book came out two years ago, and the ending to The Frozen Menace was a lot more final than the other ones. I’m sad about it, but I’ve enjoyed reading it and Ursula Vernon has other series to continue onto.