Book Reviews, Uncategorized

Fablehaven: Rise of the Evening Star by Brandon Mull

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Everything with a beginning has an ending. Any magic that can be done, can be undone. Anything you make, can be unmade.

The Rise of the Evening Star is the second book in the Fablehaven series. It follows Kendra and Seth, siblings that are set to inherit a secret magical preserve that their grandparents run. The problem is another secret society is set on demolishing them to get ancient artifacts. 

I gave the first book an average of three stars, and left it with the doubt that I would ever come back to the rest of the books. Over the passed year I’ve gotten more into middle grade books. When I’m in a book slump or life slump, there’s something about them that brings me a certain comfort. As I figured this out, I found my mind drifting back to Fablehaven and its characters. I wondered how they were doing, if the books got better as many others claim. So I picked it up, and I’m glad I did.

At the end of the first book, everything seemed pretty tied up. I thought the reader and Seth and Kendra finally knew everything the grandparents did. I was wrong. Things that appeared tied up were not, or they were more than it was appeared in the first book. This really brought the book into an interesting place. Also last book a lot of it had them not knowing anything about magic. This time they knew about the magic, but also the grandparents told them more secrets in the beginning. Which also helped the book a lot. I hate plot hooked on secrets. It’s mostly frustrating, and simply makes me uninterested in reading it.

Kendra and Seth continued to grow in this book. I like how they are growing while still being kept their age. Seth acts just like my boyfriend’s nephew which yeah can be annoying, but also lovable. There are also new characters introduced in this book which only serves to flesh everyone out better.

The stakes are getting higher and more intense, and so did my enjoyment of the story. The ending caught me completely by surprise, and I find myself eagerly waiting for my next trip to the library so I can pick up the third book.

4 stars

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Lists, Uncategorized

Unpopular Books We Love

BooksandLala posted this video about a week ago, and we decided it was a great idea. So we went onto our goodreads accounts and looked at what was the lowest rated books there, and looked at our own ratings to see if they were any higher. This is the first five that stuck out for both of us.

Nicole:

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Confessions of a Sociopath: A Life Spent Hiding in Plain Sight by M.E. Thomas

GR Rating: 3.12 stars

My Rating: 4 stars

M.E. Thomas is a diagnosed sociopath and she wrote this book in part to tell her own story, and in part to debunk the myths surrounding being a sociopath. And she succeeded with that, at least with me. This book changed the way I thought, and I can’t recommend it enough. I do agree with some people that it can drag and get a little repetitive, however, I do think it’s worth it. Others dislike it because they found Thomas unlikable which, well, I won’t share my opinion about that.

 

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The Outliers by Kimberly McCreight

GR rating: 3.28 stars

My rating: 4 stars

I loved this thriller. It was one of my favorite books of last year. I see a lot of people say it is full of tropes, and really weird. I’m not sure if it’s because I don’t read thrillers a lot, but I was simply fascinated by this book even when I got confused. I didn’t think anything was overdone simply because I haven’t read this plot before. Also, people find the MC’s anxiety unrealistic. That’s a problem I find with some rep. They found this unrealistic while I related a lot to it.

 

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Serpentine by Cindy Pon

GR rating: 3.52 stars

My rating: 5 stars

People said this was mostly about the writing and they thought it was slow. I think it’s more of a personal thing because I flew through this book, and thought the pace was good. 

 

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One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by B.J. Novak

GR rating: 3.66 stars

My rating: 5 stars

This is a funny little short story collection. I think it’s mainly if you don’t like his jokes then you won’t like the book. Plain and simple.

 

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The Curse of the Ancient Mask and Other Case Files by Simon Cheshire and R.W. Alley

GR rating: 3.68 stars

My rating: 5 stars

This is a children’s mystery book with not a lot of reviews which I think it is main reason for the rating. The few people who did rate it low didn’t leave a review at all so I’m not even sure why they didn’t like it.

 

Isis:

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Holy Cow by David Duchovny 

GR rating: 3.32 stars

My rating: 4 stars

I had a lot of fun reading this book. It made me get back into reading after a really bad reading slump.

 

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How I Stole Johnny Depp’s Alien Girlfriend by Gary Gishlain

GR rating: 3.45 stars

My rating: 4 stars

This one was a wild trip from start to finish. I read it back when I didn’t know Johnny Depp was an asshole. But I think this book is pretty fun, regardless of the title.

 

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The Blind Contessa’s New Machine by Carey Wallace

GR rating: 3.48 stars

My rating: 4 stars

I loved this book. It’s such a sweet romance, full of angst and a bittersweet ending. I loved it so much. I don’t know why people don’t agree with me on this.

 

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A Separate Peace by John Knowles

GR rating: 3.56 stars

My rating: 5 stars

This is one of the first books I fell in love with. It was a required read for high school, and I thought it was incredible. I cried over it. It’s a book I’ve never forgotten.

 

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Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

GR rating: 3.58 stars

My rating: 4 stars

This book rocked my world. It was absolutely hilarious, but sad nonetheless. I really liked the originality in this book. It played with various themes and formats, and I liked that.

Film Reviews, Uncategorized

The Big Sick-Movie Review

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The Big Sick is a romantic comedy based on a true story. It’s about Kumail, an aspiring comedian, and Emily, an aspiring therapist, as they go through their relationship. They deal with commitment issues, Kumail’s parents wanting to arrange a marriage for him, lying, trust issues, and a medical coma.

The Kumail in the movie is actually Kumail in real life. He and his wife actually wrote the script too. I think that really added something special to this movie. I’m not a big fan of romantic comedies. I usually think they are boring and typical. This movie was a breath of fresh air. The two love interests had actual chemistry together. It was actually funny and heartbreaking and well acted out. I also loved that both of their parents were featured heavily.

This is a small film. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January where  it was picked up by Amazon Studios. It was a limited release last weekend which is when I saw it, but it’s a wider one this weekend. I strongly recommend going out and watching this movie. Kamail Nanjiani is definitely somebody to watch and support as he grows bigger. 

 

Categories, Lists, Personal, Uncategorized

Favorite Childhood Reads

Isis:

I never read much as a child. I do remember reading Clifford obsessively and these Maisy books because they had little pop ups. They were my favorites as a kid.

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Nicole:

I read a lot more than Isis. Not like now, but I’ve read a lot of different books. I remember rereading a lot of the same book over and over again. Unlike now when I rarely ever reread books.

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I’m pretty sure that I read all the Dr. Seuss books, and a lot of The Berenstain Bears seriesI would finish one book in one sitting and start on the next one right away.

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I was obsessed with Winnie-the-Pooh when I was little. I vaguely remember the book, but I watched the movies over and over again. My room for years only had Winnie-the-Pooh decorations.

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I had a lot of these Little Golden Books. I read a lot of them but Aladdin and 101 Dalmatians were a couple of my favorites. I would read these and then watch the movie and then read these again.

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My kindergarten teacher used to read to us everyday. I don’t remember any of the books she read except with the Junie B. Jones series. I loved these. I loved Junie, and all of her mishaps. I found this through my teacher, but I loved it so much that I would go to the library to get the ones she didn’t read.

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I remember always picking this series up though I don’t remember what actually happened during it. I do want to find these in thrift shops or the library and reread them when I can. 

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I’m so glad I decided to do this post, because I’ve been trying to figure out the name of this book for ages and I could never find it. I tried one more time so I could add it to this list, and I finally figured it out. In elementary school sometimes if you got there early they would take you to the library and the librarian would read to everyone until it was time to go to class. This was one of the books she read though I never got the full story since sometimes I would miss school or come later so then I missed out on parts of the story. But I always wondered what happened at the end. Now that I remember the title, I’m going to look it up and read it again.

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We had to read these books in fifth grade, but I never minded the work involved because I loved these stories. With Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry especially. I went to the library and got all the other books in the series. When I finished them all, I was so upset that it ended that I wrote my own fanfiction of it. Not that I knew the term then.

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These aren’t so much children’s books, but I felt the need to add them here. I didn’t read as much as I got to middle school, but these books were my everything. I would get in trouble all the time for reading the Maximum Ride series in class. I never liked getting in trouble, but I just had to know what was going to happen. Though by the time I think the third or the fourth book came out I was over them. I think I read all the books that Lois Duncan had out. I would read them in one or two sittings because I was so captivated, and then I would immediately go to the library to get another one. This was also the time I picked up Harry Potter, and became obsessed with that. Then, for years Harry Potter books or fanfiction was the only thing I read.

TV Show Spotlight, Uncategorized

TV Show Spotlight: Shadowhunters

Name: Shadowhunters

Seasons: 1

What It’s About: A young Shadowhunter named Clary learns to cope with a whole new world that was kept hidden from her her entire life. Shadowhunters are half angel, half humans who protect the world from demons. In this world there are all sorts of paranormal creatures, including vampires, werewolves, and zombies. There are your typical evil villains and all the great twists you can think of.

My Thoughts: Although I have not read the Mortal Instruments series, nor do I plan to, I found this world to be completely captivating. I loved the characters and their interactions. There were strong female friendships from the start without any boring rivalries. Most of the main cast is POC, which just warms the cockles of my heart. I loved that there are so many mythical creatures without creating complete chaos. I must admit the special effects can be cheesy, along with some of the romantic storylines *cough, cough, Clary and Jace* but there was still so much to love. I think my love for the show is rooted in the wonderful existence of Magnus, but it evolved into more when I fell for Izzy and Alec and Simon. I think people should see this show as an entirely separate entity from the books. I think this is such a great show, and I cannot wait for the next season.

Rating: 7.5/10