Monday, December 29, 2014

Book Discussions #2

Hey, y'all! Back in June, I did a post where I did short discussions about some stand-alone books that I'd read recently and said that I might make it a series... and that's what I've decided to do! In these posts, I'm going to be doing discussions for every single book I read. This was going to be just for stand-alones, but I realized that (even though I wish I could) I can't marathon every series that I read. So single books within series will be included within these as well. If I read 2+ books of a series back-to-back, they'll get their own posts. I plan on including 6-7 books per post, so new discussion posts will be up after every 6-7 books I read, give or take a few.  These discussions will be entirely spoiler-free and fairly short.

Also, all but one of these were written within a day of finishing the book. so even though it's been a few months since I've read many of these, the discussions were completed when the book was still fresh in my mind. I was waiting for one more book before posting this, but I decided I'd rather get it up before the end of the year instead of waiting for one more book. So here we go!

Looking For Alaska 
by John Green

So, I actually read this all the way back at the beginning of March and forgot to add it in my first Stand-Alone Discussion's post. Oops! But I had a lot of opinions about this book, so I just had to talk about it. I'm probably going to get a lot of hate for this, but... I wasn't impressed. I didn't like it. First off, I didn't like the characters. I couldn't empathize with them because I didn't care about them. Maybe it's because I'm a boring adult, but I found their constant drinking/smoking/rule-breaking to just be stupid, immature high school students trying to be cool and just wasn't impressed. I kinda-ish ended up liking The Colonel, but don't even get me started on Pudge. If you want to know why, ask and I'll explain why I don't like Pudge, but it's a long explanation so I won't discuss it right now. I also felt like John Green wanted to make Alaska this very deep-thinking philosophical character, but she came off as someone trying too hard to pose as a philosophical person. Like she was trying to be the stereotype. Another problem that I had was that nothing about this book kept me guessing or surprised me. I saw the twists coming. All of them. To me, that's a sign of a plot that is way too predictable. Overall, I just didn't like it. Sorry, not sorry.

I gave it 2/5 stars on GoodReads, so I'll give it 4 stars out of 10. Please don't hurt me.

And Then There Were None 
by Agatha Christie

This was not a first-time read for me. If I'm being realistic, it's closer to the 10th-15th read. If you saw my Top 15 Stand-Alones post (Check it out here) then you'll know that this is my all-time favorite stand-alone novel. After all of those challenges and after that huge reading marathon, I just wanted to curl up with my favorite book. So that's exactly what I did. It was a great choice. I read it in just a few hours and really enjoyed reading it again. It was very comfortable and familiar. And great. Philip Lombard will forever be one of my favorite literary characters. It's just a very well concocted mystery and I just love it.

It's my favorite book! How could I give it anything but 10 stars out of 10?!

Ready Player One 
by Ernest Cline

I knew going into this that I was going to enjoy it. Although I didn't grow up in the 80s and I'm not an expert on the decade, I do have a pretty high interest in the decade. Most of my favorite movies are from that decade, and I really enjoy a lot of the rock music from the 80s. Even more importantly, I love dystopians, and I love video games. If you've read anything where I've talked about dystopian novels, you know that when I read a dystopian, I want world building out the wazoo. This book has all the world building I could ever hope for. It made my little curious heart sing. But it didn't suffer because of it. It was still extremely action-packed and really awesome. A lot of the video game references went over my head, since I'm not well-versed in older video games, but the book did a great job explaining things. Honestly, this book just had everything I could want from a book: action, adventure, magic, a fantastic world, a fantastic plot, mystery, etc. it was just all great. 

Overall, I had to give it 10 stars out of 10. 

Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore 
by Robin Sloan

I'm not quite sure what I expected going into this book, but it wasn't really... this. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the book! But it took a really weird turn that I totally wasn't expecting. I knew that there was something weird and mysterious going on with the bookstore based on the synopsis, but I was thinking that it would be something illegal or something like that. Either way, I didn't love this book, but I did like it. There were several things that I thought could have been explained better. There were a few parts where I found myself having to try a little too hard to understand what was going on, because something hadn't been explained enough. Aside from that though, this book was pretty enjoyable. Overall, it was likable but unimpressive.

I decided to give it 7 stars out of 10. 

by Rainbow Rowell

I went into this book not knowing a ton about the plot or characters... except the main character. When I heard that the main character was an introverted girl who wrote fanfiction and was going to college for the first time, I knew I had to read it because that was me 2 years ago. I feel like a large percentage of young adult readers will be able to relate to Cath. I know I definitely did. This book was completely adorable. I laughed out loud and said "Aww" more times than I could count. It was so cute. It was realistic and believable, and even had some deep moments. But overall, this is light contemporary at its finest, and I loved it.

I think I'm going to go with 9.75 stars out of 10. Almost perfect.

The Bone Season
by Samantha Shannon

Y'all. Y'ALL. So, I had high expectations for this book. It's the first in a new series, it's a fantasy and dystopian mix, it's got a main character who's close to my age, it's set in England... the list goes on and on. The point is, this book had absolutely everything I love in books... and it did not disappoint. The main gist is that our main character, Paige, is clairvoyant. In this dystopian future, being clairvoyant is a crime and clairvoyants are hunted down and killed. There are many many many different types of clairvoyants, and Paige is one of the rarest. She works for a voyant (slang for clairvoyant) gang in London. A lot of people weren't huge fans of this book because they didn't like the info-dumps and they found it hard to keep up with the different types of voyants. But I loved all of that. When I'm introduced to a new form of 'magic' or a new world or a dystopian version of my own world, I want to learn all of the information. And I definitely got that. And loved every second. 

Since it is the first book of a series, there is a lot of world-building and character development, and I really enjoyed it. Another of the key characters, Warden, is especially interesting. I won't go into detail to avoid spoilers, but if you've read the book, you know what I mean. I did find it a bit difficult to keep up with the characters, because nearly all of them have 2 names, and they're used interchangeably, and sometimes it's hard to keep up with which 2 names refer to the same person. But honestly, that's the only criticism that I have about the book. I loved all of it. It was incredible. The Mime Order comes out in late January and I really just don't want to wait two whole months for that book. NOW. NOW. Please, NOW. 

This is an easy 10 stars out of 10. This was amazing.

So that's it for the last Book Discussions post of the year! I hope you enjoyed this! Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? Let me know in the comments!

I've started doing Booktube a little as well, so if you want to check that out, you can click HEREI plan to post most of my videos to my blog, but just in case I miss one or decide not to post it on here, that will keep you up-to date. 

I've also created a Facebook page for my blog, so if you want to check that out and like it, you can click HERE. I'll try to keep that pretty up-to-date with new posts and such.

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