Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Sword of Summer

Title: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Sword of Summer
Author: Rick Riordan 
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 491
Purchase this book here

Magnus Chase has been living on the streets ever since his mother was killed two years ago, until one day when he catches wind that somebody is looking for him. This time, though, it's not the police.  

When Magnus learns he's the son of a Norse god, and that the end of the world, according to the Norse, is to take place in less than a week if he doesn't prevent it, Magnus is sent off on a crazy journey through the nine worlds with a few of his friends. 

Wow, this was great! It was like stepping back into Rick Riordan's style before he wrote Heroes of Olympus.  Since I like PJO a lot more than HoO, this was very satisfying! 

So, common misconception here. 

This is not, I repeat, is not,  some epilogue-y type book for HoO. Annabeth and her father are the only HoO/PJO characters in the book. (Well, sort of, but I won't spoil any of that for you.) So yeah, this one girl started freaking out about Percabeth when she saw my book, but that's not really what it is. So, if your thinking that's what this is going to be, you are sadly mistaken.  However, there are some great moments between Magnus and Annabeth about PJO. 

Moving on...

Why I liked the book!

It was really funny and enjoyable to read, which is typical in Rick's style, so you should expect it.

The chapter titles!  Do you remember back during PJO when all the chapter titles were really long?  That's what they're like here!  So, yay!

The plot is really interesting and there are great characters. Rick Riordan even includes a deaf character, which I feel like they are so underrepresented, so that was fantastic! You can tell Riordan researched ASL, too, so he knew what he was doing when he described Hearth's signs.  

My only complaint is that is was a little harder to remember all the different terms, and which god/goddess was in charge of what. Percy Jackson did a better job of teaching you the mythology than this does. 

In the end, though, this was a great, suspenseful, and hilarious novel!
So get ready for another amazing adventure brought to you by Rick Riordan.  

Thursday, October 22, 2015


Title: Ashfall
Author: Mike Mullin
Genre: Science Fiction
Pages: 456
Purchase this book here

Alex lives a quiet, normal life.  He argues with his mother, he's annoyed with his sister, and he spends more time staring at his computer screen then he does at real people.  In other words, Alex is very unextraordinary.  That is, until Yellowstone erupts like no eruption ever before.  It plunges the entire U.S into an ashen winter; it's the volcanic apocalypse.  As Alex travels across the Mississippi to find his family, he's tested over and over again by different trials, and Alex knows that everyday could be his last.

I'm going to be completely honest here and say that I didn't like this book.  I truly wish I hadn't wasted my time with it.  The sad thing is, though, that it could've been an amazing book. Unfortunately, it's ruined by the romance.
Picture this:  I place my hold on this book, it comes in, and I start reading it.  My initial reaction was something like: Wow! This is really cool! An apocalypse that could really happen, a super volcano- a main character left to fend for himself; this is gonna be epic! 

And then, some 150 pages later- Darla.  

Firstly, I do not like Darla.  She's supposed to be this really strong, independent farm girl who's also super gorgeous and skinny.  Ok, sorry, but no.  Just no.  Give her some flaws.  Don't make her super skinny. Make her muscular like she should be, given the amount of strength she has.  Make her not pretty, because she isn't the type of girl that actually cares about her appearance.  

Secondly, I do not like Darla.  Every time I read her name, I just pictured: 

Thirdly, the author is just not good at writing romance.  You know when you pick up a book and the romance is slowly developed, and you actually want the characters to end up together, and their romance just feels natural and right?  Ok, now picture the opposite, and that's Alex and Darla.  The romance is not developed.  It's basically: 
  • They meet
  • They kiss
  • They confess their undying love
It just moves to quickly, and the author just isn't good at writing romance.  It completely ruined what could'vebeen an awesome, dystopian novel. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

What We Saw

Title:  What We Saw
Author:  Aaron Hartzler
Genre: Realistic Fiction/YA Romance
Pages: 321
Purchase this book here

Kate Weston lives in a small town in Iowa called Coral Sands. Kate's city is one that worships, idolizes, and treasures their basketball team, and each member of the Coral Sands varsity basketball team is a role model to all young, aspiring members of the community.  None of the team members would ever do anything wrong- right? And so the whole city can hardly believe it when on one normal afternoon during a high school lunch hour, four precious players are arrested for raping a girl at a party held earlier that week.  A party Kate had been at.  A party Kate's dreamy, fellow varsity player boyfriend had been at.  But when it comes to a choice between boyfriend and justice, Kate must choose what she feels is right.  Even at the cost of what people dread most: change.  

Let me just say, I loooooved this book.  What some people may not have picked up is that this novel is based off various, true events.  Oh and it's written by a guy.  So you get this awesome book filled with one little feminist trying to do what's right in a sea of people doing the wrong thing- written by a guy.  Is that not awesome? (Seriously, it gives me hope about the world.)

Ok, so let's talk about plot here.  I marked this down as YA Romance, but I feel like I should explain my reasoning for that before you write it off as a true romance novel.  Romance is not my genre, and typically, neither is Realistic Fiction, but occasionally, you get a real gem like this.   The romance in this book is not the main plot. It's more of a subplot.  The big conflict, the real problem, is the rape case.  That's what the book is centered on.  However, the romantic subplot is part of the conflict.  It's part of the emotion the reader feels. It's part of what stalls Kate's decision making process. 

So, why did I like the plot so much? Well, it really teaches an amazing, 21st century lesson: that sexual assault is never ok.  It has such a deeper meaning then what you see on the outside, which would be some cliché book about a girl and her perfect boyfriend getting caught up in some party trouble.

Anyway, this book was most certainly worth my time.  Though that's not saying much, as it only took me 24 hours to read. (It was that good.)  I definitely recommend this one, so do check it out!

Wrapping this up now....
"The closer you look, the more you see." 
It's a quote that comes up often in the book, and is seen on the front cover.  While it applies to many things within the book, it also applies to the book itself.  The closer you look at the book, the more meaning it has.  I truly loved how deep this book goes, and how much it captivated me- start to finish.