[Book Review] Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone

Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone – J. K. Rowling 

Rating: 4/5

“Hogwarts, Hogwarts, Hoggy Warty Hogwarts,
Teach us something please,
Whether we be old and bald,
Or young with scabby knees,
Our heads could do with filling
With some interesting stuff,
For now they’re bare and full of air,
Dead flies and bits of fluff,
So teach us something worth knowing,
Bring us back what we’ve forgot,
Just do your best, we’ll do the rest,
And learn until our brains all rot…”

I find that because I’ve read this soo many times its actually quite hard to write a coherent and formulated review. I re read all of the books last year but never reviewed them and with the eighth book coming out I figured I would re-read them again.
This is the first book in the series and is one of my least favourites in the series – that’s not to say that it is in any way bad!

I loved that my mind jumped from the movie and text for some of the dialogue because quite a lot of the text was in the movie! I don’t know if it’s like this for everyone but I love being able to say the character’s lines with them during the movie (you should hear me during the howler scene in The Chamber of Secrets!).

I have a lot of trouble, these days understanding why Rowling thought it would be a good idea to make Ron and Hermione canon. As I re-read the series my opinion may change but honestly, all Ron does is make fun of her and tease her. I did like that throughout the book once Ron sort of got over himself a bit and started being nicer to her they made a great team, along with Harry of course! (but they did still fight a lot).

I really think that J.K. Rowling is amazing at foreshadowing. She mentioned Sirius Black (in the first chapter!), talks about Mrs Figg and Hagrid says that anyone would be mad to try and break into Gringotts! This book is comedy gold once you’ve already read the books.
I can’t deal with the characters in these books sometimes!

Fred & George

“You haven’t got a letter on yours,” George observed. “I suppose she thinks you don’t forget your name. But we’re not stupid-we know we’re called Gred and Forge.”

These two are great comedy relief but are also great at supporting their family and no matter what they say, they do love Percy.

Wood

This guy is an absolute beauty. Wood is an amazing character and I can’t help but admire his devotion to quidditch. Oliver Wood is by far one of my favourite characters in the entire series, one of the few things that disappoints me about this series is that we don’t see much of Wood. He’s only at Hogwarts until The Prisoner of Azkaban so we still get to read all of the hilarious schemes he comes up with to beat Slytherin at Quidditch until then. And he was in The Goblet of Fire at the start because of the Quidditch World Cup but, I’ll be honest I would read a grocery list if he wrote one.

Hermione

“So light a fire!” Harry choked. “Yes…of course…but there’s no wood!” …
“HAVE YOU GONE MAD!” Ron bellowed. “ARE YOU A WITCH OR NOT!”
I think it’s really interesting how Hermione has been living at a wizarding school for a good part of a year, is the top pf her grade and somehow forgot that she could use magic when she needed it most!

I really love Hermione’s character and appreciated that even though she does have a good relationship with her parents, she stayed at Hogwarts during the holidays to help Harry and Ron solve the mystery.

The Houses

This is probably the last thing I’ll talk about but what’s with everyone hating on the Hufflepuffs? I know that Justin Finch-Fletchley is a bit of a douche but we haven’t even met him yet! I just don’t understand why people think being a Hufflepuff is a bad thing. Being a Hufflepuff doesn’t mean you’re weak or stupid, it means you’re a good person and you’re loyal – this is by no means a bad thing.

Recommendation: Read the book and then watch the movie. It’s a great experience – being able to spot the difference between the movie and book is really fun and because the text is still fresh in your mind you can say some of the dialogue along with the characters!

Recommendation 2.0: The audiobooks are a a great way to experience the story again!

[Book Review] Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Rating: 2.5/5

“I’d never really been very close to other people. I was pretty much a loner. I’d played basketball and baseball and done the Cub Scout thing, tried the Boy Scout thing – but I always kept my distance from the other boys. I never felt like I was a part of their world.”
The hype, oh the hype. You should never meet your idols; you should never read books with lots of hype (I say wistfully as I stare at A Storm of Swords). Don’t get me wrong, some books deserve the hype but this one just didn’t click with me.
I borrowed this novel from my friend last December with every intention of reading it as soon as I got home, this never happened. I decided to wait a few weeks to get into the right mindset, this was one of the most popular YA LGBT novels everywhere, everyone loves it. I needed to be ready. Skip ahead seven months and I finally pick it up.

Unfortunately, this book and I just didn’t connect. I enjoyed the book, it read quickly and I finished it in one sitting but overall I just didn’t love it. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is a Printz Honor book scoring 5 star rating from everyone, so why didn’t I love it as much as everyone else?

“The problem with my life was that it was someone else’s idea.”
This book is about two boys: Aristotle and Dante. Aristotle (Ari is a tough guy who gets into fights every other day and doesn’t talk much). Dante is a quirky, fun optimistic boy who loves swimming and hates shoes. Naturally, the two of them form a beautiful friendship that turns into a messy and complicated relationship. Sounds amazing, right? I don’t know if I just wasn’t in the right mindset but from chapter one I knew that this wouldn’t be getting any higher than a 3 star rating, I mean it took me 80% of the way through for me to start enjoying it. That’s not good.
“Words were different when they lived inside of you.”
This book is written in Dante’s pov and he doesn’t talk much so naturally the inner workings of his mind are quite complex and everything he thinks is deep. Let me tell you something, teenagers are not deep. There was a lot of laughter and really too much repetition. It sounded like the author was trying too hard to make his characters different and unique, this made the book seem tedious and long.

“The summer sun was not meant for boys like me. Boys like me belonged to the rain.”

Ari and Dante, while having nothing in common somehow manage to find a common ground and become friends – Dante talks a lot and Ari listens but says nothing – friendship? There’s an accident, a rather large move, drugs, alcohol and a lot of finding one’s self.

“How could I have ever been ashamed of loving Dante Quintana?”

Speaking of finding one’s self. Aristotle didn’t, he didn’t find himself in this novel because his parents sat him down and fucking told him. Ari spent his whole life living in a place where homosexuality wasn’t accepted and people got beat up because of it so naturally he was in denial about his being gay. I feel like there were other ways to go about this whole scene, Ari’s parents told him he was gay, he denied it and then he went and snogged Dante. Happy ending, everything is amazing. No. This pissed me off to no measure, the whole book was about Ari finding himself but he didn’t even do it.
A boring story, a rushed ending and annoying writing.
For all the reasons people though this book was tragic and beautiful I thought it was boring and tedious. I’m glad I read this but it didn’t really do anything for me.

[Book Review] A Clash of Kings

A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin 

Rating: 4/5

A Game of Thrones Review

A Clash of Kings Goodreads Review (Spoilers Blanked Out)

“The unseen enemy is always the most fearsome.”

A little advice: Don’t start this series unless you are 100% committed to seeing it through until the end. If you don’t want too commit to the endless number of pages and povs then just watch the show, I’ve heard its quite good.

I read the first 650/80 pages of this in physical form but then changed to the audio book in order to finish it faster. I’ll admit that while the audiobook copy is a faster way to get through the book but although I was still really invested in the story and plot I did find myself missing some of the details. The narrator for this audio series on audible is Roy Dotrice and here’s the thing, some of his accents were ridiculous and made it increasingly difficult to understand what he was saying and he wasn’t saying some of the character’s names correctly. He is on book two of the series – that’s just not good enough.

I would rather read this series physically instead of listening to it but I really want to get up to date with it this year and I don’t know if I’ll have the time.

The books in this series are all really hard to review. There are soo many characters, each with their own subplot and there are soo many POVs. Also, these books are all roughly 800-1000 pages long – that’s a lot of words.

I’m just going to break this down into character discussions because that’s way easier.

Sansa

When I read AGOT I thought Sansa was the most annoying person in the world but over time I’ve come to realise that she’s actually one of the toughest characters in the series. Sansa is a teenager, she only gets her first period in this book, that’s how young she is! She’s being held against her will, is being forced to marry the boy king, Joffrey – the man who ordered the death of her father and she doesn’t know what’s happening in the rest of the world or where her family is.

Thankfully Sansa doesn’t have to marry Joffrey anymore but I absolutely died when it was pointed out that he could still rape her at any time.

Jon

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Along with the majority of people that read or watch Game of Thrones I am a big fan of Jon Snow and honestly I don’t even know why, I just do. He doesn’t really do that much in this novel but I’m sure he will do a bit more than walk around in the snow for 900 pages in the next book.

Tyrion

Tyrion, as per usual one the comedy relief in the book. He got a bit more of a role while also growing as a character which was nice to see.

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Bran

Bran didn’t do too much during the book but I feel like this was sort of a filler book for a lot of characters who will have bigger roles as the series progresses.

Arya

As much as I enjoy Arya’s pov if you asked me to tell you what she did in this book this is what I’d say:

  • Ran around with some men – pretended to be a boy
  • Decided that was lame and became a servant – still a boy
  • Beat up a tree with her sword and talked about being a cat? – Still a boy
  • Not much tbh

Honourable mentions

Ghost

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Perfect, as always. But, it nearly killed me when he got hurt and Jon had to hold him down so they could heal his wounds.

Although nothing happened until 80-85% of the way in – (that’s a lot of pages where nothing much happened) I did still really enjoy this instalment. Hopefully I can get to the A Storm of Swords next month.

[Book Review] Illuminae

Illuminae by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman

3.75/5

I’m honestly not sure how I feel about this book.

I feel weird saying this but my favourite character was the crazy AI who killed everyone and fell in love with the headstrong girl who unfortunately I wasn’t a massive fan of.

“Perhaps bravery is simply the face humanity wraps around its collective madness.”

Illuminae has all of the hype. Not only is it co-written by two amazing authors but it is told in a strange yet unique way. Illuminae is told through a series of documents: interviews, emails, diary entries, chats, conversations and radio communications. This is what I liked most about the book. I didn’t love the plot, it was a bit lacking but the way the story was told made it quicker and easier to read.

If, like me you found the plot a little bit dry or found it hard to get into the book you might want to try giving the audiobook a go, I’ve heard it’s quite good.

Something that may bother some people is how we don’t have a constant narrator. In a way we have a cast of narrators. Almost every page we are being told part of the story by a different person. We can never really get to know a character through the ‘normal way’ and we can only dorm an opinion on them through what they say and do.

“She is catalyst.
She is chaos.
I can see why he loves her.” 

Our main, I guess, protagonist is Kady. She’s ballsy, quick witted and will kick your ass. Kady is “good with computers”, so good in fact, that she goes from mainstream hacking to repairing a crazy complex computer and fighting in a war in a few months.

Kady and one of the other ‘main characters’, Ezra broke up before the book started and we get to know them through emails and short, seven minute conversations. After a few of these conversations the two were professing their undying love for each other. I found their romance to be too unbelievable and I just couldn’t get myself on board with it.

You deserve every star in the galaxy laid out at your feet and a thousand diamonds in your hair.

O H, P L E A S E

I’m sorry Ezra but could you please, for sake of everyone, just stop talking.

“Am I not merciful?”

I have to say, my favourite thing about this book is definitely AIDAN. The AI just thought, in some insane and twisted way that he was doing the right thing. Naturally he killed a ship full of people and sort of fell in love with Kady at the same time.

Even though I’m not in love with this book I do plan on reading its sequel because overall I did still enjoy it.

[Book Review] The Final Empire

The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

Rating: 5/5

“If there are prophecies, if there is a Hero of Ages, then my mind whispers that there must be something directing my path. Something is watching; something cares. These peaceful whispers tell me a truth I wish very much to believe.

If I fail, another shall come to finish my work.”

The Final Empire is the first book in the Mistborn series, this has A LOT of hype surrounding it. I’m happy to say that The Final Empire lived up to the hype, I loved it! I would definitely recommend going in blind with this series. Just known that the author has a great writing style, this is a high fantasy series and the books are quite large.

I would also recommend, if you’re worried about the book taking up too much of your time because of its size or you’re just freaking out because you don’t think you’ll be able to keep up the plot to listen to the audiobook. Also if you can, have a copy of the book at your disposal while you listen to it because there is reference chart at the end of the book that will help you with the magic system.

“I never wanted to be feared.

If I regret one thing, it is the fear I have caused. Fear is the tool of tyrants. Unfortunately, when the fate of the world is in question, you use whatever tools are available.”

Plot

Mistborn is about a group of thieves who are employed to overrule the Lord Ruler who is a super bad guy. Adventure and hijinks ensues.

“In the end, I worry that my arrogance shall destroy us all.”

The main two characters are Kelsier and Vin. These two have one of the best relationships I’ve ever read, if you’re looking for a book with A+ friendships you’ve come to the right place. This can also be said about Vin and pretty much the rest of the crew. Right from the get go the band of thieves accept Vin for who she is they don’t use her or abuse her like all of the people from her past did.

Kelsier is Vin’s mentor on all things magic and throughout the book slowly becomes a sort of father figure to her. Kelsier is a fun, forever smiling and all around odd guy, we learn through the book that he wasn’t always the best guy and he’s been through some pretty tough shit. He’s earned scar and lost people, but now he’s back and he’s ready to spill blood.

“There was always another secret.”

I enjoyed these two the most but I honestly loved all of Kelsier’s crew. Especially Ham and Breeze, their banter gave me life and never failed to bring a smile to my face. Each character is unique and plays a different part in Kelsier’s scheme to get rid of the Lord Ruler which is a refreshing thing to see in any novel.

If you were worried about not being able to keep up with the world and its magic system then stop worrying. There’s a reference chart at the back of the book if you need help with the magic and Kelsier and Vin usually explain what they’re doing with their magic anyway – I’m trying really hard not to give anything away about the magic system, can you tell?

What I struggle with, as a reader is being able to picture what a world looks like. This is probably why high fantasy is one of my favourite genres – the author has to take the time to explain everything. It’s like walking into a book store, I’m in literary heaven. Sanderson does a really great job of describing and explaining everything about the world. It’s especially interesting to see from the perspective of Vin, who has live her whole life one way and is used to her life and surroundings. Compared to Kelsier, who invites change and inspires it in others. He knows the world used to have many colours and that grass used to be green, not grey.

This book is brilliant and has been written by a literary god, ask anyone, he’s known as the king of fantasy. Amazing character development, awesome and unique world building and an astonishing plot. If you haven’t already, you should pick up The Final Empire.

[Comic Review] Limbo

[Comic Review] Limbo

June 2016 

Limbo by Dan Watters

1.5/5

I received a free copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This was… interesting.

A detective with no memory and a town with a secret.

Sounds good right?

The cover is awesome and honestly it’s the main reason why I requested the comic and I didn’t hate the artwork throughout the volume. But while the plot was really interesting,  in theory, it was a let down in the long haul. This comic had great potential but just didn’t reach the bar for me. The comic starts out pretty strong but gets weaker through the issues.

One of the main things I didn’t like in this volume was the senseless violence. I understand why we need action scenes but it felt like every second page people killing people or being murdered themselves.

I think this certainly has the potential to be a strange but unique new series but this volume was just way too everywhere.

 

2 Mini Reviews (June 2016)

The Grownup – Gillian Flynn 
2.5

I didn’t stop giving hand jobs because I wasn’t good at it. I stopped giving hand jobs because I was the best at it.

1/3 Wtf am I reading
2/3 I don’t know what I’m reading but I’m loving it
3/3 What a quick turnaround, I’m not loving it.

I would rather be a librarian, but I worry about the job security. Books may be temporary; dicks are forever.

What I loved most about this book is we went through this short story like any other, learning about our main character and the other characters. We had a plot (sort of) and we had a villain of sorts. But we never learned the name of the main character. How cool is that?
The first third of this book was exactly what I was expecting having already read Gone Girl (that was a shit-storm of plot twists).

The middle of the story was the best part. It’s creepy and keeps you on the edge of your seat. I’ll be honest I really wasn’t sure what kind of story this was once I got to the second third. Flynn had me guessing the whole time, is this an illusion or is it real?

The last third was my least favourite part of the story. This is where all of the plot twists were revealed and we were given our ending. An ending we got nothing out of, it was empty. I don’t always hate open endings but I would have rather had an answer to this story.

The Unmoving Sky – K. L. Hallam

2.75

The Unmoving Sky is a YA novella, so naturally it’s quite short. This novella is about two brothers; Jackson and Arthur (Artie) and their problems and adventures in the wilderness. Jackson and Artie are dealing with the loss of the mother, an emotionally shut off father and girlfriend problems. Though, this all seems like nothing when Jack and Artie get stranded in the woods miles from home in the middle of a downpour of rain. they are then found by a strange bushy man who leads them to his cave.

Let me tell you, he’s sketchy.

During the rainstorm Artie ends up injuring his ankle in a bear trap making it difficult to walk much. Luckily Jackson manages to get Artie out of the trap and find a tree for them to sleep under for the night. Unluckily they have to sleep through the rain so they both end up getting sick. This is how the strange man finds them. He then takes them back to his cave and tries to help heal Artie’s leg.

Once the boys get to his cave they learn about his crazy plans and are forced to figure out just how much danger they are in.

Because this novella was soo short it’s like not much happened but soo much happened all at once. I would recommend this because it’s short, it’s not light but it’s good if you’ve got a readathon coming up and you want something short that will still have impact.

This is good for mature middle graders and definitely suitable for people older.

I received a copy of this book for free through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

The Raven King Review

[Book Review] The Raven King

June 2016

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

4.8/5

NON SPOILER SECTION

Edit: Guys, this is a pretty long review so you might want to grab a snack.

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Alright, I have finally managed to persuade myself to sit down long enough to write this review. It’s not that I didn’t want to review, well, actually that’s probably it. Never mind. I’ve been dodging writing this because I know I will probably cry writing it because if I’m honest I probably cried 5 times reading this book (edit: and then I really did cry writing this review.)

This is the finale of the series so there isn’t much I can really say that won’t spoil the other books.

I’m lazy so I’m going to dot point this.

The Series:

  • There is a slow plot.
  • The series is very character driven – The series is about a group of teens searching for a welsh king but sometimes you don’t care so much about that because you just want to be there with the characters while Gansey builds his Henrietta town late at night and while Blue is on another of her famous feminist rants.
  • Maggie Stiefvater has amazing writing. I didn’t read her previous series (Shiver?) but I’ve heard that it’s different (writing and plot wise).
  • Each book has an individual plot but still contributes to the whole series arc. E.g. One book will focus more on one particular character (we still see all of the other characters it’s just more from their perspective than the others) and the plot of that book will contribute to the ongoing series plot.

SPOILERS BELOW

“It was just that there was something newly powerful about this assembled family in the car. They were all growing up and into each other like trees striving together for the sun.”

This book destroyed me. And I loved it.

If I had the time or the emotional willpower I would reread the series right now, unfortunately I have cried more in the past few days then I have ever cried in my life so a reread may need to wait.

The Characters:

I’m going to start with my main annoyance with this book:

Henry Cheng

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Okay, I know how that sounds, don’t get me wrong I thought he was hilarious but I’m sorry he was just too much, too late. I know why he was brought in and I’m not okay with it. This poor (not so much, this guy is loaded $$) boy has been brought into this group of teens that we have really grown to know and love over the years and not only do we have to rush to get to know him but he is here to replace a raven boy. Not cool. Noah Czerny is my favourite character so as you can imagine I was not okay with this.

The Gangsey is a wonderful and unique set of 5 kids on a crazy journey to find Glendower and suddenly there’s 6 of them? But there’s not really 6 of them because we see Noah like, 3 times (I don’t know how many times we actually saw him but it wasn’t much). The thing with this series is even if Noah wasn’t mentioned every time the group had an outing we still felt like he was there exploring with them. And then Henry came and it didn’t feel that way because he was replacing Noah.

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Noah was great and he shouldn’t have needed a replacement. “But he died!” Yes, he did die again. But that doesn’t mean we needed someone to fill the void or anything, it’s like they didn’t even mourn the loss of their friend, they just forgot about him.

Noah Czerny

Aka. let’s talk about Noah some more

  • Noah is my favourite
  • Noah was hardly in this book – throughout the whole series Noah has been a main character, a Raven Boy but in this one he was barely a side character.
  • Noah has some crazy mood issues
  • Raven Day – I really loved having that little insight to what Noah was like before he died.

Noah does some crazy shit in this book. One second he’ll be the shy, small boy we all know and love and the next second he’ll be a rage monster trying to rip Blue’s eye out. But that wasn’t Noah’s fault so I forgive him.

“Noah crouched over Gansey’s body. He said, for the last time, ‘You will live because of Glendower. Someone else on the ley line is dying when they should not, and so you will live when you should not.’

Gansey died.

‘Goodbye,’ Noah said. ‘Don’t throw it away.’ ”

The thing that really got me about the ending of this book was that Gansey was going to ask Glendower for Noah’s life back but instead Noah ended up dying again to save Gansey.

Gansey

Ah yes. Richard Campbell III. Literally, the third now.

“If Glendower had not saved Gansey’s life, he did not know who to thank, or who to be, or how to live.”

Going through all of these quotes is giving me emotions. I thought I was all out of tears, apparently not.

Ronan Lynch

Oh my god what a precious little farmer boy.

“Wake up, you bastard,” — he said. “You fucker. I can’t believe that you would …”

And he began to cry.”

Ronan Lynch is fucking fantastic. This tough guy who absolutely fucking breaks down when his best friend dies and refuses to fight back when Adam is literally killing him.

“No homework. I got suspended,” Blue replied.

“Get the fuck out,” Ronan said, but with admiration. “Sargent, you asshole.”

Who gets proud when his friend gets suspended? Fucking Ronan does. This guy is the best.

Ronan may be the tough gut but let’s be real if Gansey wasn’t such a mum Ronan would totally be the mum friend. I mean, he basically has a daughter now anyway.

Adam Parrish

Did I hear someone say character development? I never hated Adam but I never really liked him either. That is, until I read TRK. I actually said, out loud at one point “wow, he’s not being annoying”.

Adam almost killed Ronan. This whole scene where Adam had no control over his hands or eyes fucking broke me. I cried so hard. Soo much shit went down, I hate it when characters can’t control their own bodies and hurt the people they care about. That shit gets to me. And Ronan didn’t even fight back because that would mean hurting Adam. *dies*

“The choice was death or hurting Adam, which wasn’t much of a choice at all.”

I just have to talk about the ending with Adam. When I realised he was going to his parent’s home I freaked out. I was like “what Adam no Ronan’s not with you”. I think that, if I’m honest this whole scene was probably my favourite of any other scene in the entire series.

Adam really hits home with me because of his disability. Adam is half deaf. He can’t hear out of his left ear. I’m half deaf. I can’t hear out of my right ear.

I really loved Adam’s perspective and seeing him really rip it to his father.

“Every time I can’t tell where someone’s calling me from in a room and every time I accidentally start to put my earbuds in both ears I think about you.”

I was born deaf but let me tell you if someone had made me deaf you can be damn sure I would let them know how unhappy I was. Being deaf is really fucking hard, something a lot of people really don’t realise. I have vertigo every day and suck at sports because my balance is that bad. I have the same problems Adam has and it never gets easier.

Because I was born deaf my experiences have been a bit different to Adam’s. He’s had full hearing for most of his life so I can only imagine how much harder it is for him. Being deaf means that someone could be right next to you and you don’t know they’re talking to you. Being deaf means being constantly behind on what’s going on around you.

Adam has come a really long way in such a short amount of time and I’m really proud of that (yes I know he’s not real). I was so happy when he started telling his father what he had done to him.

Others:

Blue – I don’t really have much to say about Blue which is why she doesn’t get a massive paragraph section. She was awesome and kick ass as per usual. I feel sorry for her face though, having your eyes torn out that many times can’t be fun.

Okay, I lied I have a little to say. Her dad is a tree so does that make her half tree, what the fuck???

Piper – She’s J dead J what J a J shame J .

The Greyman – We saw this guy maybe three times? I love this guy and I was really looking forward to seeing more of him in this book. I guess Stiefvater had other ideas.

Family:

There was a lack of Blue’s family but there was some more of Ronan’s so it wasn’t so bad.

“On the outside, the three Lynch brothers appeared remarkably dissimilar: Declan, a butter-smooth politician; Ronan, a bull in a china-shop world; Matthew, a sunlit child. On the inside, the Lynch brothers were remarkably similar: They all loved cars, themselves, and each other.”

Ronan and Declan may act like they hate each other but let’s be real they love each other.

Glendower:

He’s dead. I know we were meant to feel disappointed and to be honest I didn’t really care all that much but holy crap my heart broke when Gansey found him and the guy was already dead. You never realise how much you love a character until all their life goal is torn from them.

Pynch:

“His feelings for Adam were an oil spill; he’d let them overflow and now there wasn’t a damn place in the ocean that wouldn’t catch fire if he dropped a match.”

I feel like there wasn’t that much development and then bam Pynch. That being said when I reread the series I’ll probably find a bunch stuff that I missed so don’t hurt me please.

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Also, these two are adorable and I have fallen into the deep void of fanfiction and don’t see myself leaving that place anytime soon.

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Did I cry?

Yes. I really did. Guys I was crying reading the prologue, it was ridiculous. You know that scene with Adam and his hands and his eyes and Blue’s stitches and Ronan’s neck? Yeah, I cried a lot.

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[Book Review] The Hidden Oracle

[Book Review] The Hidden Oracle

June 2016

The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan

Rating: 5/5

Goodreads Review: All spoilers are blanked out

SPOILER REVIEW BELOW

“Zeus needed someone to blame, so of course he’d picked the handsomest, most talented, most popular god in the pantheon: me.”

I can’t say for sure because it’s been a few years since I’ve read a Riordan book but this might be my favourite one yet.

Also, just a side note. This book is called The Hidden Oracle. The cover is so hard to navigate that I was calling it The Trials of Apollo the whole time. The series name is actually The Trials of Apollo. Go figure.

“Sally ruffled his hair. “There’s guacamole, sour cream, refried beans, salsa—”
Seven layers?” I looked up in wonder. “You knew seven is my sacred number? You invented this for me?”

I never fully appreciated or understood how much Percy Jackson and his friends meant to me until I read this book. When Apollo knocked on Percy’s door I actually squealed, this has never happened before. I was smiling soo hard when Leo got to camp, guys I think I broke my face.

Percy Jackson.

We met a few of the old characters but let’s be real we were the most excited about Percy and Annabeth. Annabeth is currently in Boston *wink wink* I see you Riordan. Percy is currently trying to study for his SATs and pass school without being killed.

Percy snorted. “I hate to study. I’ve been guaranteed admission with a full scholarship to New Rome University, but they’re still requiring me to pass all my high school courses and score well on the SAT. Can you believe that? Not to mention I have to pass the DSTOMP.”

“The what?” Meg asked.

“An exam for Roman demigods,” I told her. “The Demigod Standard Test of Mad Powers.”

I was soo glad when I found out he wasn’t really going to be involved with the quest. He helped out by getting meg and Apollo to camp and that was pretty much it and he said he would try and stop by to check on them on the weekend. I was soo happy when he turned up and helped save the camp, any chance to see Percy throughout this series will make me very happy, so long as he’s not directly involved with any of the plot.

Chiron.

Dude, demigods are going missing and you’re going to let the rest of the kids go on a three legged death race through the labyrinth? I get it, Harvey’s a cutie but bro you only have a handful of kids at camp at the moment and some of them are missing. What are you doing?

Chiron is typically known as the wise character, the one the campers go to when they need help with anything. I don’t know, I guess it kind of threw me off that he acted a bit different with Apollo in this book. Maybe it’s because Apollo was a god and the gods are supposed to be leaders and know what’s up but there was something weird about the way he treated Apollo. If it had been Percy in Apollo’s place you can guarantee that Chiron would have dropped everything if Percy so much as needed help tying his shoelaces. Chiron loves the kids, which is okay because I do too. I found that through this novel Apollo kept going to Chiron saying that he needed to talk to him and that look, I know you’re busy but this is kinda important! But, Chiron would pass him off and say they could talk later. I feel like Apollo needs to become worthy of the level of love and respect that Chiron has for Percy and then Chiron will listen to him. I hope that we see their relationship develop through the series.

Sexuality

Apollo is openly bisexual. This is a beautiful thing. A lot of kids today, and even adults don’t even know what bisexuality is so to have a bi character in a middle grade/ young adult novel makes me really happy. Rick is adding more and more diverse characters into his novels, like Apollo. Apollo wasn’t afraid to mention that some of the greatest loves of his life were male.

Will turned to me. “I apologize for my boyfriend.”

Nico rolled his eyes. “Could you not―”

“Would you prefer special guy?” Will asked. “Or significant other?”

“Significant annoyance, in your case,” Nico grumbled.

When Apollo found out that his (amazing) son, Will was dating Nico his only concern was that Will was dating a child of Hades. Which is, you know understandable because he’s the son of the God of death & loneliness and Nico (is adorable) a bit creepy if you don’t really know him.

I have minor problems with the way this ended but otherwise this book was brilliant.

Leo Valdez. This little shit. He’s back with sass and trouble in hand. I knew as soon as I was getting towards the end of chapter 38 that he was coming but I was not fully prepared for the last chapter. The campers were lining up to punch him, how rude (I would’ve punched him soo hard to be honest). And then Harvey, that cute little death obsessed boy punched him and started crying. I’m pretty sure in that moment we were all Harvey. And then Chiron bloody kicked him. I laughed soo hard when it happened, it was a glorious thing to read and then read again. This is one of the many reasons why we love Chiron.

The Prophecy:

“There once was a god named Apollo

Who plunged in a cave blue and hollow

Upon a three-seater

The bronze fire-eater

Was forced death and madness to swallow”

Guys, I really can’t wait for the next book. I hope Rick can live up to all the hype, no pressure.

Additional Thoughts:

Rick. My man.

I need a standalone about Percy’s sister. I need a contemporary or something non-myth related because dude I would buy the crap out of that book.

“Mum, why is Percy running outside with a pen and yelling die demon?”

“Mum, Percy’s been under the water for a while. Should we check on him?”

“Mum, what’s this camp Percy’s been talking about? Can I go?”

Also I really need Percy to teach her to swim. It just needs to be a thing.

While I really want to have the hilarity of knowing what she doesn’t I also want her to have a (sort of) normal life where she’s stressing about homework and her crush and ohmygod mum no you can’t hug me in front of everyone!

 

Career of Evil

Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith

SPOILER REVIEW

4/5  *I gave the first two in the series both 5/5. I don’t know why I rated this one a star below its predecessors. This book had all the gusto the others had there was just something missing.

The first book: Fame
The second book: Sadistic
The latest installment: Dark
I mean that in the best way possible.

It’s the time in the season for a maniac at night. – Blue Öyster Cult, “Madness to the Method”

The plot (non-spoiler):
– Robin gets a lovely present in the mail
– Strike is awesome and a grouch at the same time
– MURDER MURDER FUN FUN *sings* there’s a serial killer on the loose!
– Matthew sucks
– Oh my god Matthew please leave
– Jfc Matthew
– Murder investigationing
– Strike & Robin working with the police dude for justice
– Wedding preparations feat. Robin’s mum
– I don’t like matthew
– More murder probably
– Lol that one time when I was very happy
– WHOOP NOPE *the thing happens* JKR DOESN’T CARE ABOUT MY FEELINGS
– Murder murDER m u r d e r
– Happiness, we’ve caught the killer hurrah!
– Confusion. Seriously what was that ending?

“Psychology’s loss,” said Strike, “is private detection’s gain.

Career of Evil is pretty centered around Robin which was a lovely change. Because we had more Robin in this novel we got backstory, I live for backstory.

This story was quite different to the other two. In the first book we are being introduced to the characters, there are a shit tonne of interviews and there’s a lot of press. The second book was a missing persons case that turned into a murder case. The latest installment in this series is, in a word darker. The characters have grown and gotten stronger.

This book was different from the previous two in the sense that it was personal for both Strike and Robin. Strike has three main suspects from his past who are awful enough and certainly disturbing enough to be he murderer. In this installment we finally learn why Robin never finished university, something that some people may have trouble with. I didn’t have a problem with it unlike the characters like her family, friends and even Strike. My main problem with this novel, is something we’re supposed to have a problem with. His name is Matthew and I hate him.

“I do,” said Robin in a ringing voice, looking straight into the eyes, not of her stony-faced new husband, but of the battered and bloodied man who had just sent her flowers crashing to the floor.”

Robin was raped and left for dead by the man who attacked her, her rape left her with depression and agoraphobia. Because of what happened in her past her career was pushed onto the back burner. She then spends years recovering while, she takes self-defense classes and defensive driving lessons. She does all of this while Mathew stays at college and ‘hangs out’ with his bff. Robin finally got to a place in her life where she felt better about herself and was able to live her life.

When we meet Robin in the first book she is in a safe and easy place in her life, with Matthew. When Robin took the job with Strike, Matthew’s insecurities started playing up and he felt like he was losing Robin so he acted like even more of a dick then he already was. Matthew is absolutely awful. He just gets worse and worse throughout the book. When Robin broke it off with Matthew it was like a god send. I was so happy guys you don’t even know. And then she had to get back with him, guys I spat fire I was so mad. It makes me sad that she was with him for so long and that because she’s such compassionate and sympathetic woman that it will take her a long time to get to a place where she is completely okay with Matthew being out of her life completely.
Okay so Robin is married to Matthew now and obviously it’s going to take a while and a lot of shit’s going to go down before she fully comes to her senses and chucks him tf out. I think what one of the big things that really got to me about Matthew in this novel is that Matthew thought that he was well within his rights to delete the message from Strike onRobin’s phone. What a great way to earn someone’s respect back, delete messages off of their phone. What a dumbass. Robin is going to find out about what he did and I honestly can’t wait.

*Recommendation: listen to this series on audiobook. Apart from the Harry Potter audiobooks I don’t really have any favourites, but this is definitely a favourite of mine. I have a lot of trouble sitting don’t and actually reading this series but I love the audiobooks. The narrator gets the characters just right, all of the accents he does are ON POINT and he portrays the characters exactly how I would picture them. I cannot explain how well the narrator does Cormoran Strike, the accent just is Cormoran. If I had never given the audiobook of the first novel a try I probably wouldn’t have read any of the books.