Monday, August 25, 2014

Night Film by Marisha Pessl

Night Film follows Scott McGrath, a once successful journalist that tarnished his career by chasing a story about the reclusive cult horror movie director, Stanislas Cordova. McGrath received an anonymous phone call telling him that Cordova 'does something to children' and when McGrath obsessively looked into this claim he was slapped with a slander lawsuit from Cordova. Due to his seedy history with the master of cult horror, McGrath obviously has to reopen his case when Cordova's 24 year old daughter Ashley jumps to her death in New York City. Flanked by two 20-something misfits he meets along the way, McGrath takes a terrifying leap into a dark and dangerous world. 

This book definitely kept me on the edge of my seat. It has been described as this years Gone Girl and because I LOVED that book, I had to check this one out. At first I was sucked in by the pages of actual research that are placed strategically throughout the book. The author gives you a lot of extra insight into this crazy world by reading through those articles and notes. One thing I particularly liked about this book is just how vast the world is. It takes place in present day New York City but all the characters are so rich and you are introduced to so much of their background that they honestly feel like real people. I also really enjoyed the character of Cordova himself. I've obviously read this entire book and I still feel like I don't quite know who exactly Cordova is. The mystery of him has kept me up at night, wondering what exactly was going on. At times the story became so unsettling that it felt almost as if someone was watching me. I just wish Cordova was real because I would love to see one of the banned cult films.

Although I gave this book a perfect rating, there were some things I disliked. Now I know that I have particularly awful grammar but Peshl's overuse of italics was annoying. I understand that she did it for emphasis but there is no way anyone talks with that much emphasis. It's just not realistic. Also, Where did McGrath get all his money from that he uses to bribe people with or pay his sidekicks?! If he's a disgraced journalist that isn't working, whom is also divorced and a father wouldn't you think he would have some money issues? I found it incredibly illogical that he had a seemingly endless supply of cash.

All in all I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend it to anyone who likes mystery, suspense, horror or who just wants to be scared. Check it out and let me know in the comments what you think about it. :)

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Titan's Curse

The Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan is the third book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians children's series. The third installment of this series starts out with main character Percy and his friends navigating two new half-bloods back to Camp Half-Blood. It doesn't go easy however and disaster strikes the group. Soon Percy's best friend Annabeth is missing and a female Goddess is chained up and in serious danger. Back at camp it is decided that a quest will be issued to save Annabeth and the Goddess, but only 5 Half-Blood campers are permitted to go. On top of that, The oracle says that not all of them will make it back alive...

I have to say, this is my favorite book so far in the series. It's darker, more mysterious and you learn so much more about the bigger problem that connects all the books. I really loved the new characters of Artemis' female hunters that were introduced. I think they brought a whole new flavor to the group and they DEFINITELY brought a whole lot of Greek mythology and character histories to the story. Annabeth was missing for almost the entire book and I honestly missed her. It really showed me how much I love her as a character and how attached I am to her. With all the new female characters introduced I figured I wouldn't even really notice her absence but I noticed it most of all. Some of the mythology that is introduced is more in-depth information about the Titan's and I found that absolutely fascinating. Like the last two books, this one definitely prompted me to research Greek mythology and learn as much as I could. 

Con: Once again, this book only has one con and it's the predictability. This one honestly wasn't as predictable as the last two but it was definitely a factor. 

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars!
Avg. Rating: 4.29 out of 5 stars!
One Word Summary: Adventure!
Recommended: Harry Potter Fans, reluctant young readers, Fans of Greek myths, anyone. a

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters

The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riodan is the second book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians children's series. This book starts out with main character Percy and his friends in all sort of trouble. First of all, Zeus turned his daughter Thalia into a tree that protects their beloved Camp Half-Blood and someone poisoned the tree so camp is dying! Secondly, Percy's best friend Grover is being held captive by a Cyclopes in the Bermuda Triangle. Thirdly, the quest to retrieve the magic item that can save camp (the Golden Fleece) is given to another hero, Clarisse, whom Percy does not get along with. Percy then has to decide to break all the rules and risk being expelled from camp for life to protect his friends.

(If you want to know about the first book in this series check out the review below this one.)

One thing I really loved about the second installment of this series was the added character Tyson. I can't say too much without ruining the story but he is amazing and he really developed the story for me! I love how fast-paced this series is and also how it makes you want to read and learn as much as possible about Greek Mythology. Even some of the most obscure Greek myths that I've never heard of (I had to do some research about them) were woven into this story and I thought that was SO cool. A lot of children/YA authors tackle Greek Mythology but they never do it like this. They always focus on the most common Greek myths and just reiterate what we already know. Riordan really did his research and he teaches the reader so much about mythology. I also really loved how this book seemed to focus more on family, and the bonds of family. I think that's a really good lesson for children, and the are the target readers.

Cons: The only con in this book is actually the exact same as it was for the first book; the predictability. I don't think the predictability affected how much I enjoyed the story at all and I don't think children (the target readers) would even pick up on it.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars!
Avg. Rating: 4.17 out of 5 stars!

One word summary: Family
Recommended: Fans of Harry Potter, reluctant young readers, anyone.

*I wanted to point out that this book has also been made into a movie, as was the first. I haven't seen them yet but once I do I will be doing a post comparing/contrasting them and given my opinions. Look for that in the future! :)*

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan is the first book in a children's series called Percy Jackson and The Olympians. The book tells the story of a 12 year-old boy named Percy Jackson. Percy has a lot of problems. First, has ADHD and Dyslexia, secondly he doesn't know who his dad is and Third, his mom is married to a horrible man he calls Smelly Gabe. Smelly Gabe is so horrible and so terrible that Percy goes to boarding school all year round to be away from him. The problem? Every single year something weird happens and Percy gets kicked out of the boarding school. During a field trip Percy finds out that one of his teachers is actually a monster and he has to fight her...then all of a sudden no one remembers who the teacher was. Percy knows something is up but isn't prepared for what it is. He finds out that all the Greek Gods and mythological creatures are real, and that he is in fact the son of a Greek God! If that isn't weird enough he finds out that there is a special camp for kids like him, kids who have Greek Gods for parents and are also ADHD and Dyslexic. He goes there with Grover and soon finds himself on a quest to return a magical item to Zeus before a war breaks out among the Gods. (I included the summary because I knew there was no way I could explain the details I wanted to and still describe this amazing read.)

Goodreads Summary: Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school... again. And that's the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy's Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he's angered a few of them. Zeus' master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect. 

Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus' stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.

I had the hardest time writing this book summary. I think the reason I had such a hard time is because I wanted to make it short enough so my reader's wouldn't feel overwhelmed while at the same time including as much detail as I could. This book is FILLED with detail, I can promise that I didn't do it justice. I initially read this book because a friend told me that it was similar to Harry Potter. Since Harry Potter is the book series that developed my love for reading I knew I just HAD to give it a try. I went into it with the mindset that I was going to be disappointed because let's face it, J.K. Rowling is goddamn queen and no one could ever come close to her. Let's just say I was very pleasantly surprised. This book had all the magic and wonder of the Harry Potter series without being anything like it. I honestly don't think the author was aiming for Harry Potter-ish and that it was just a happy accident. Subject matter wise, this book is not comparable to Harry Potter but entertainment wise it is definitely comparable to Harry Potter. I read this entire book in a day, which I haven't done in a LONG time, and immediately picked up the second. These books are written for children but anyone can enjoy them. I mean, I'm 23 and I enjoyed this book so, so much. I also want to point out that I think this book would be amazing for a child who doesn't like to read. They're so amazing and fun that I think even the most discouraged readers would enjoy them.

The Negatives: The only negatives I have found about this book is the predictability. You'll see what I mean if you decide to read it but at some parts of the book it becomes very apparent what is about to happen next. Don't let that sway you however, because the predictability of this book did nothing to ruin the magic for me. I still find it completely enjoyable. This small negative is so small that it didn't affect my scoring of the book whatsoever.

*This book has also been made into a movie, along with the second one, but I have not seen them yet. Once I do I will definitely do a movie to book review on both! :)*

One word Summary: Wondrous
Recommended for: Anyone who loves to read! Harry Potter fans!

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars!
Avg. Review: 4.17 out of 5 stars!

Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz

Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz is the first of the Odd series. The book centers around a a 21 year old man named Odd Thomas who has a very unique skill; he sees ghosts and uses them to help his local police department solve crimes. A mysterious man comes to town that piques Odd's interests. While searching the mans apartment Odd finds ominous clues that point to a catastrophe occurring on August 15th. Today is August 14th. Will Odd be able to solve the mystery and save the town in time? 

This is my first book by Koontz and I absolutely loved it. Growing up all my friends' mothers were big fans of him so I always thought, 'Oh, I wouldn't like that'. The age of the main character is honestly was convinced me to pick the book up and I am so glad I did. This story is innovative and unique and completely impossible to put down. The characters in this book are like nothing I have seen before. I can't event tell you how much I wish I could be friends with Stormy. She's the main character's girlfriend and she is amazing! The whole town is so unique and well-rounded, I never once got bored with this story. I loved it so much that at some point I will definitely be reading the rest of this series! The book was also made into a movie starring Anton Yelchin. I watched the movie and I must say, unless you've read the book and know what you're getting into, I wouldn't recommend it. 

My one-word novel description: Quirky.
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars!
Average Rating: 3.83 out of 5. 

Hiatus and Updates

Hi guys! It seems like it's been forever since I've talked to you (probably because it has been forever!) and I totally apologize for that! I took a really long hiatus from blogging for a lot of reasons and it brings me so much joy to say that I'm finally back and ready to start doing what I love again. I don't normally express a lot of details of my personal life on here but I lost 0 followers when I was gone and that shows me how much you guys do care about me, so I decided to update you. When I first started my blog I was in a long relationship. We ended up breaking up and I went through so many life changes that I really didn't have time. After my struggles with my depression and my anxiety were worse than they have ever been and I needed some time to myself. Throughout everything I've been through in the past year and a half I read maybe 12 books. You guys know me and you know I like to read at least 300 pages a day so for my love of books to suffer I knew something was very wrong. I'm happy to report that I now have everything under control and I'm back, better than ever! I even decided to add some new types of posts to the blog. For instance, I've never really been a big fan of reading series before and lately that changed so I was thinking about doing a post one Saturday of every month called 'Series Saturday' where I talk about the series' I either have been reading or would like to read. I would really appreciate it if you guys could hit the comments and tell me what you think of that idea! Also, his up the comments and tell me anything I can do to improve my blog. I really appreciate you guys and I take everything you say into consideration so don't be shy!

Happy Reading!,

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Book Discussion 1: Tv shows?

It is no secret that I am a huge fan of television. There's nothing I like more (besides Reading) that relaxing with some nice brain-melting entertainment. I recently finished the first season of the HBO hit Game of Thrones and decided hey, maybe I'd give the book a try. I'll admit, seeing the 880 pages was hugely intimidating but I jumped right in and I've barely come up for air since! Which (finally) brings me to the subject of this post; How do you feel about TV shows that are based on books? I found HBO really did a wonderful job adapting A Game of Thrones for TV.

Do you watch any shows that are based on books? Have you read any books because you fell in love with a show? I would love your input! :)