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review 2018-08-20 21:40
4.3 Out Of 5 STARS for The Scorpio Races
The Scorpio Races - Maggie Stiefvater

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~BOOK BLURB~

The Scorpio Races

Maggie Stiefvater

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Some race to win. Others race to survive.

 

It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. 

 

Some riders live.

Others die.

 

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them. 

 

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn't given her much of a choice. So she enters the competition - the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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For some reason, this book was never on my radar.  I can't really say why.  If it wasn't for a reading challenge where I needed a book with a race in it…I probably would have never read it.  I think this is why I'm so addicted to them because they force me to discover something I wouldn’t have otherwise. 

 

I really liked The Scorpio Races, with all of the broody, dark-ish, Irish folklore-ish, mythical atmosphere that it had going on.  This is a story about the Capaill Uisce or Water Horses…a version of them anyway and an island where they train these horses, as best as they can, to run in a race they have every year.  There are some lulls in the story leading up to the race, but the budding romance/friendship between Puck and Sean is so beautifully done, that I hardly noticed them.

 

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~MY RATING~

4.3STARS - GRADE=A-

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4.5/5

Main Characters~ 4.7/5

Secondary Characters~ 4/5

The Feels~ 4.2/5

Pacing~ 4/5

Addictiveness~ 4.5/5

Theme or Tone~ 4.5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4.2/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4/5

Originality~ 5/5

Ending~ 4.5/5  Cliffhanger~ Nope.

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Book Cover~ Striking, both covers actually.

Narration~ 4.5 for Steve West and Fiona Hardingham, I did like Fiona better than Steve, but they were both exceptional.

Setting~ Thisby Island

Source~ Audiobook (Scribd)

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text 2018-08-20 20:53
What a Wonderful Book
The Sun Is Also a Star - Nicola Yoon

I needed a palate cleaner after finishing "Leah and the Off-Beat." After reading this book and then watching "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" I maybe was in teen rom-com heaven all weekend. I also possibly wrapped things up by re-watching "Pretty in Pink." No I loathe "16 Candles" (come at me!) and "Pretty in Pink" always has me all in the feels.

 

"The Sun is Also A Star" starts off slow, but ends in a wonderful bang. Yoon does a fantastic job of weaving the two main leads stories (Natasha and Daniel) but also the many people who impact their choices, past, present, and future. I didn't think at first it would work, but does it work. Yoon will have you swooning over Natasha and Daniel and your heart will break when Yoon shows the practicalities behind two teens who are off to do separate things in their lives and be torn apart by a huge distance/culture.

 

"The Sun is Also A Star" has Natasha dealing with the fall out of her family being deported back to Jamaica. Natasha is desperate to stay in America and goes one more time to try to get anyone to help her. If no one does, she and her family have to fly out that night to Jamaica. 


Daniel is preparing for the most important interview of his life. His family has it's hopes set on him becoming a doctor. After his older brother who always seemed to have everything going for him messes up, even more of his parents focus is on Daniel.


When Daniel and Natasha meet, Daniel has love at first sight, and Natasha has you are so acting weird, and I have things to do sight. I love that Natasha is more logical and scientific and doesn't believe in love. Not after her ex cheated on her and what she has seen her mother have to put up with while her father follows his dreams. Daniel does believe in love though due to seeing how his parents are with one another. He decides to trail Natasha for a few hours to get her to see that they could be something. 

 

I loved that both of these characters are the children of immigrants. Daniel's family is Korean and Natasha's are Jamaican. They both feel differently about America though. For Natasha being in the states and getting to go to college is the most important thing. For Daniel, it's just something he is being forced to do.


Yoon is also able to weave a lot of history into this book. She explains African American women and their hair, and heck even why so many Koreans seem to own black hair stores in New York and other places. 

 

The other characters we meet manage to sing in the short time they are with you. I wanted to read all of their stories. Yoon gives you enough to figure out the future of Daniel's ass of an older brother, his parents, Natasha's parents, and her brother. We also hear about some people they meet (Natasha's immigration attorney, a security guard in a building, a Korean women taking their food order, etc.)

 

The writing was really good and the flow improves after the first dozen pages.

 

The setting of New York is shown differently here. Not a sparkly, happy, we can be whoever we want here New York. Instead we get an indifferent one at times though you get to see why both characters love it.

 

The ending hit me hard. So very good. 

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review 2018-08-20 18:04
4.7 Out Of 5 "all for a hidden egg" STARS
Ready Player One - Wil Wheaton,Ernest Cline

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~BOOK BLURB~

Ready Player One

Ernest Cline

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It's the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place. 

 

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets. 

 

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune--and remarkable power--to whoever can unlock them. 

 

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday's riddles are based in the pop culture he loved--that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday's icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes's oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig. 

 

And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle. 

 

Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt--among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life--and love--in the real world he's always been so desperate to escape. 

 

A world at stake. 

A quest for the ultimate prize. 

Are you ready?

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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Wow…while Ready Player One was not without its faults for me…it's ultimate message was amazing and amazingly well played.

 

The Not So Good:  The overly long, drawn out sub-stories and game descriptions left me nodding off at times, so thankful I listened to this rather than reading it.  I probably couldn't have gotten through it otherwise. 

 

The Good:  The nostalgic 80's references, everything from the movies, TV shows, music to the video games. I loved them all, well…all but Monty Python, because I'm never going to understand the appeal of that.  The dynamic between the characters was exceptionally done also. 

 

Overall, a book with a sincere message about the reality of life, despite being played out almost entirely in a virtual reality, and how perseverance can help you achieve almost anything, especially with help from your friends.

 

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~MY RATING~

4.7STARS - GRADE=A

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4.3/5

Main Characters~ 4.5/5

Secondary Characters~ 4.5/5

The Feels~ 5/5

Pacing~ 4/5

Addictiveness~ 4.5/5

Theme or Tone~ 5+/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4.3/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 5/5

Originality~ 5/5

Ending~ 5/5 Cliffhanger~ Nah…

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Book Cover~ It's kind of boring…it definitely hides the potential of the story.

Narration~ 5 for Wil Wheaton, he was amazing with this content…my only complaint is maybe he lacked volume.

Setting~ Inside the OASIS, mostly.

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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review 2018-08-20 12:52
Leia: Princess of Alderaan
Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi Leia, Princess of Alderaan (Star Wars: Journey to Star Wars: the Last Jedi) - Claudia Gray

Dear Powers That Be, this is my second or third petition entreating you to give Claudia Gray all the money and let her write all the Star Wars she wants to write, please and thank you.

 

I haven’t read any of Gray’s non-Star-Wars books yet. She writes YA when she’s not knocking Star Wars novels out of the park. I had trouble imagining that until I read this book. (Lost Stars is marketed as YA but didn’t feel very YA to me.)

 

This book feels very, very YA and it surprised the hell out of me.

 

In the beginning, Leia is a mopey, angsty sixteen-year-old politicking with the ease of long practice while her teenage hormones rage beneath her poised exterior. Basically, Gray took everyone’s favorite space princess and made her even more relatable, which I had no idea was even possible. (Surprise!) Leia feels neglected by her parents, she’s desperate to be noticed by them, she meets a boy she likes, and she struggles with her sense of self. It’s stock standard YA fare woven skillfully into an engaging tale of Leia learning to navigate the pitfalls of Imperial politics as she comes of age during the Rebellion’s tumultuous infancy.

 

Some of my favorite parts were the descriptions of Leia’s home life in the royal palace on Alderaan and her relationship with her adoptive parents, Bail and Breha. Bail gets most of the fanfare in the movies and novels, but let me tell you, Queen Breha is so badass she ought to eclipse him. Not to diminish Bail’s contributions to the galaxy far, far away, but they should be erecting statues of Breha too. Bigger, shinier statues.

 

Oh, and about Amilyn Holdo. We get to see her as a gangly, awkward teenager and she is basically Luna Lovegood. It explains SO. MUCH. I love her even more now.

 

I would have scored the book a solid 9 out of 10 until I got to the last line. Damn it, Claudia. That was a cheap shot. Minus one point. Feel free to earn it back with your next Star Wars novel, Master and Apprentice, a tale of Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan, now available for pre-order. Everybody go buy it so they keep giving Claudia Gray all the money to write all the Star Wars, please and thank you.

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review 2018-08-19 21:21
Quick Comment: To All The Boys I've Love Before
To All the Boys I've Loved Before - JennyHan

If it wasn't because my friend recommended me the book (or rather, forced me to read it) I probably wouldn't have picked it up myself. I'd just think "it's not my kind of book".
To All The Boys I've Loved Before surprised me. It has a kind, funny story that develops the characters beyond the main romance arc, and I found many aspects of Lara Jean's life (the protagonist) relatable. I guess I don't see it as a literary "masterpiece" or anything, but I really did enjoyed reading it. It was fun, and quite fast to read. I'd say that in general it's a light read, but I must confess some parts had me burying my face in the book, putting it down to breathe, or tempting me to turn to the end of the chapter to see how things turn out.
My friend's goal all along was for me to finish it before the movie came out (last Friday on Netflix) and I did, just in time. Of course, as always, I have to say it... The book was better! But the movie is still very good to watch if you are in a rom-com kind of mood. Books always have more space for character development and exploration, so that's probably why I prefer them.
Now, my friend lend me the second. Lets see how it goes!

 

 

Photo cred: http://www.whatsfilming.ca

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