Posts Tagged ‘adult’

Blankets – Craig Thompson

To be honest, I don’t really want to tell you much about Blankets. I want you to go in and discover for yourself how great it is.

However, this is a review. So I can’t just go and send you off on blind faith.

So.

Here we go.

Plot Summary

It’s an autobiographical (or at least semi-autobiographical) account of Craig, and his relationship with romance and God and his family. It’s about obsession; and duty; and the loss of innocence. It’s about self-discovery and self-destruction. It’s about Craig growing up learning what type of person he wants to become.

Cons

I did not realise this was adult fiction.

I went into this thinking it was a light, happy read with a bit of angst thrown in.

Oops.

(The lesson here is check the age rating before you start reading, because I did not mentally prepare myself for some of the scenes. I guess it’s better that way. More of the intended effect. But it definitely taught me not to read Blankets in crowded public spaces.)

Pros

I don’t want to give too much away, and I don’t exactly know where to begin, so these will be short.

The artwork was completely beautiful. I loved how expressionistic it was, portraying Craig’s feelings through a sort of visual metaphor (there’s probably an actual term for that, but I don’t read a lot of graphic novels so I have no clue).

The way the bible verses or teachings were interposed with Craig’s life, for example in the first chapter with the cubby hole. That was like super cool. Everything about the way the story was structured and the drawings were positioned was mega cool. I don’t know how it compares to other graphic novels because I don’t read very many, but I’m sure it’s good.

I don’t feel like I can exactly comment on the plot or the characters, since it’s (semi?) autobiographical, but I will say that it kept me reading and engaged and putting off work that I really should have been doing.

The theme of the dangers of obsession was extremely interesting, but I won’t get too far into that, because I won’t be able to explore it half as well as Blankets did, so you should just read it. I know, the book is massive, but it won’t take that long.

Because the book isn’t really a comment on religion. Sure, we see how Craig deals with it, but it never preaches to you. It shows you one example of Craig’s intense relationships, and lets you do whatever you want with that information. And that’s the beautiful subtlety of the book. It lets you decide what you take from it.

Basically, everything was beautiful and evocative and made you think without shoving opinions down your throat. It was gorgeous and you should read it.

Overall

You should read it.

It might make you cry.

It might make you sit back and re-evaluate your life.

Yeah, I think so.

5 shuriken stars.

(though yes it has some adult content and if graphic nudity/all kinds of violence/naughty words/sex isn’t your kind of thing, then maybe take a second before you pick it up. But the rest of you. Go out and read it. Go.)

Fed- Mira Grant

Fed(an alternate ending to Feed)
NOTE. Do NOT read this review unless you have read or know what happens in Feed.
I both love and hate this ending at the same time. It makes me want to beat up the book for being so sad, except the part that it’s a e-book (I’ll put the link below). And at the same it satisfies me as an ending.
Note. If you read this book, like me, hoping for a happy ending, where everyone survives, the zombie issue is cured and Tate is put in a imaginary prison, etc. You’ll be disappointed. This is even more heart- wrenching than Feed.

Summary
It’s pretty much the same ending, except the roles are different; not reversed, but different. (Hint/ Spoiler, if you haven’t got it already; Shaun dies instead of Georgia)

This is another way the end of Feed could have gone: it picks up with the events of what would originally have been chapter twenty-five. It is not what happened.

But it could have.

We came very close.

(As Mira Grant puts it)

Since this is a shortish story, in fact ending, I’m just going to ramble my thoughts.

The main thing that is sticking to my mind about this book right now, is the difference between Georgia and Shaun.
“He’ll die first, we both know it, but I don’t know… I really don’t know how long I’ll stay alive without him. That’s the part Shaun doesn’t know. I don’t intend to be an only child for long.” (from Feed)
and since I told you Shaun dies, you can put together the puzzle.
What puzzles me is that Georgia can’t live in a world without Shaun, but Shaun can live in a world without Georgia. But don’t get me wrong, he only dies in Fed, without knowing, to save Georgia. ;(
Their relationship is just so sweet… for example, if my brother died, I would NOT commit suicide. Sure I’ll be sad, and feeling as if something were missing in my life, but it wouldn’t go to the extent of committing suicide.

It’s also amusing to see how differently Georgia and Shaun handle the situation of Tate. I mean, they are both vengeful, but just different… I’m not quite sure how to phrase it… Just different, I guess.

A few details could change anything… That’s what my teachers and parents always say about exams… And yet, reading this book, I can kinda see that. A few little details could be the difference between Life and Death. I’ll remember that in my next exam…

Unlike other books that I have read, it doesn’t show saving the world in a good light. In the thoughts of Shaun and Georgia Mason; was it worth? Nobody should have died for this.

A few favourite quotes

  • “The sound of my gun going off was almost drowned out by the screams of the crowd. Governer Tate stopped laughing, and for an instant almost comically surprised before he slumped onto the table. I kept the gun trained on him, waiting for signs of movement. After several moments had passed without any, I shot him three more times anyway, just to be sure. It never hurts to be sure.”
  • “Let them shout. I was done listening. I don’t need to listen anymore.”
  • “… wishing there was some mercy in the world. That getting the bad guys meant you got your loved ones back; that there had been another way.
    That I could cry.”
  • ‘”And how are you?’
    He meant ‘Are you sober’, and since I was driving I couldn’t fault him for asking the question.”
  • “Even if this wasn’t over, someone else was going to have to save the world next time.
    We were done.
    Rise up while you can.”

5 Shuriken Stars.

Link:
https://www.facebook.com/newsflesh/app_374030709322056

Feed- Mira Grant

I love zombies.

If you also love zombies, read this book

If you have never read a zombie book, read this book.

If you hate zombies, read this book.

I think my message is clear.

This is one of the best zombie books I have ever read. (After Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry)

Feed (Newsflesh, #1)Summary
ZOMBIES. Oh, and there are some other people… called Gerogia and Shaun who are the main characters.
Georgia and Shaun run a blogging website, and they, along with their friend Buffy, and they all get chosen to follow this guy on his president campaign. (and when I mean follow, I don’t mean follow on twitter or facebook or something I mean follow, as in stalk, or walk, or any other very you want). BUT there are conspiracies, and evil people, who do some stuff, like try to kill them.

Cons
Politicalness
At some times it got a little too political for me… maybe because it seemed more prominent in the adult part of the young adult, or because I just hate politics… or that I’m too stupid to understand it.
Also, since I mentioned the subject of young adult and adult. I feel compelled to tell you that it was more of the adult side of the YA book scale. It just was a little more slow than most YA books, it was harder to get though, and the characters were all slightly older from the typical YA, and there was less romance. And I don’t mean to put off people who only read young-adult books, or people who only read adult books, this book can be for anyone!! Just read my review of Percy Jackson, or Weishi’s review of Skulduggery Pleasant!

Pros
ZOMBIES
Zombies are awesome. This book has zombies. Therefore this book is awesome.

It taught me what to do in a zombie apocalypse
1. When there’s only one bullet left, save it for yourself
2. It’s not a good idea to poke a zombie with a stick (like that’s going to stop me…)
3. Hills are a bad place, because zombies can surround you and kill you (happy thought)
4. Don’t get shot by evil people, because it will most likely be zombie poison
5. Before going into a stable with hay, check the hay for needles
6. Beware of animals

The opening sentence
It is rare that I get gripped by the opening sentence of a story. Just to let you know, this is not one of the rare cases, I just liked the first few sentences and thought it was funny, so I carried on reading 😉
“Our story opens where countless stories have ended in the last twenty-six years: with an idiot — in this case, my brother, Shaun — deciding it would be a good idea to go out and poke a zombie with a stick to see what happens.”
It just reminds me of in a way, what I would probably do in a zombie apocalypse; poke a zombie with a stick to see what happens, then getting yelled at by my brother.

The lack of romance in this book.
FINALLY a book without any main romance!!! It’s such a relief to be honest, with all the love triangles, without all the “Team Peeta, or Team Gale”.  It was just so nice!!! The only part of the book that was even vaguely romantic was Buffy and her boyfriend and it wasn’t even described much, we just knew he existed.

Favourite Quotes

  • “The difference between the truth and a lie is that both of them can hurt, but only one will take the time to heal you afterwards”
  • “You can’t kill the truth
    Nothing is impossible to kill. It’s just that sometimes after you kill something you have to keep shooting it until it stops moving”
  • “My father has always had just one piece of advice about zombies and ammunition, one he’s drilled into my head enough times that it’s managed to stick: When you have one bullet left and there’s no visible way out of the shit you’re standing in, save it for yourself. It’s better than the alternative”
  • “Every life has a watershed moment, an instant when you realize you’re about to make a choice that will define everything else you ever do, and that if you choose wrong, there may not be that many things left to choose. Sometimes the wrong choice is the only one that lets you face the end with dignity, grace, and the awareness that you’re doing the right thing.
    I’m not sure we can recognize those moments until they’ve passed us”
  • “Me, I say those are all great things to live for, if they’re what happens to float your boat, but at the end of the day, there’s got to be somebody you’re doing it for. Just one person you’re thinking of everytime you make a decision, everytime you tell the truth, or tell a lie, or anything.
    I’ve got mine. Do you?”
  • “Are you ever not a pessimist?
    Sometimes. But then I wake up.”
  • “Failure to die is always appreciated”
  • “I’m also fascinated by the difference between terror and fear. Fear says, “Do not actually put your hand in the alligator,” while terror says, “Avoid Florida entirely because alligators exist”

Summary
So if you still haven’t decided that you are going to read this book, after all the quotes that I wrote, or the paragraphs about zombies and other good stuff about how awesome this book is, then just go and become a zombie or something, to appreciate their awesomeness. 🙂 5 shuriken stars.

Speaker for the Dead- Orson Scott Card

Speaker for the Dead (Ender's Saga, #2)Wow, just wow.
This book is one of the best books ever written. However, I wouldn’t say that it was better than Ender’s Game (oh, just in case you didn’t know, this is the second in the Ender’s Game Saga, by Orson Scott Card (but for the purposive of this review, lets just abbreviate this down to OSC) :D, and there are four books since it is a saga! :D). Maybe it’s equal to?, but definitly not better, because Ender’s Game was AMAZING! Anyway, back to Speaker for the Dead.

So, if you haven’t read this book, please don’t judge it on the cover, or on the title, or anything, just trust me and read it! At first I was a little reluctant to read it, because I didn’t want anything to spoil Ender’s Game, and I was worried that this sequel would be a huge let down, partly because on Goodreads (note. the best book site ever), it had a slightly lower rating: Ender’s Game, 4.23 and Speaker for the Dead, 3.94. And usually the second book in a series has a higher rating, because most of the people who decide to read it, mostly likely had a high opinion on the first book… And so before I read this book, I was so worried…. 😦 But rest assured, that worry has been replaced by anticipation!

(I know this doesn’t have much to do with the book review, but: THERE IS GOING TO BE A ENDER’S GAME MOVIE IN 2013!!! This is why the world can’t end this year…:( I can’t wait. And just to clarify, the thing I can’t wait for is the movie, not the 2012 end of the world thing…, I don’t think I’m that crazy…)

Summary
This book takes place about 30 years after the first book, and originally it was meant as a stand alone book, so I guess, if you can’t be bothered to read the first it would still make sense… But I’m not advising that, because I felt that if I hadn’t read the first book, it would have been so much harder to connect with some of the characters, such as Ender (btw, I’m going to refer to him as Ender, instead of his other name, in case I release a spoiler to people who haven’t read either book). It is still about him finding a home planet for the hive queen. At the start of the book, we get introduced to a whole new range of character, and then, SUDDENLY. They are replaced by Ender. As he is a speaker for the dead, he decides to travel to the home planet of Pipo, Novinha and Libo, to speak for someone who died. However, when he is travelling to get there (it takes about 20 year, but he only feels it for about 1 week), he hears some news; Novinha wanted to cancel his appointment, and that there were more people wanting appointments… And so his trouble starts… The rest of the story is about him helping, and almost healing all of the people and piggies on the planet, as well as trying to heal himself, by getting rid of his guilt (which, although it doesn’t sound like much, is a major part of the story) 😀

Cons
Too many characters
I just felt that it was really hard to get to know all of the characters… because there are so many… And although we got to know a few of them…, it just made the ones that we didn’t get to know, in a way worse… Does that make sense???
Also, since I have no where else to put this I’ll put it here :D: I HATE OUANDA… she just frustrates me so much…. and I felt so sorry for  Miro at the end… How could she do that???? It just means that she is full of LIES… EVERYTHING ABOUT THEIR PAST TOGETHER… Miro… ;(

Individuality
Imagine a balloon being blown up. That’s Ender’s Game. Then Imagine the balloon deflating. That’s Speaker for the Dead, in comparison to Ender’s Game. Ender’s Game was just so unique, and there was nothing quite like it. And kinda the same with Speaker for the Dead, but just less… After reading it, and looking back at it, I realised that it is just like any science fiction book… about aliens…

Pros
Marcao’s Speaking scene
I just loved this moment. Without trying to sound cliché; it was magical.  I loved how Ender was able to make us see him in a new light every time, and how it wasn’t just the people in the book that saw him like that, but how we did too. It has almost completely changed the way that I think; how we, as the human race, can’t judge a person when we don’t know them (because although it is considered morally wrong, and if someone was questioned, they would most likely say that they didn’t, but it really made me think, and it made me sad, because I realised that sometimes, I actually did this), such as with Quara, how she was so quiet; if there was someone in the world today (as of course there are), wouldn’t that person be made fun of, maybe some sniggering comments behind her back, maybe some even said to her face?, but those people don’t know the truth about her, how she could have had an abusive father, who shocked her into being physically unable to speak, like in the story?
It just worries me, because little bits like that, could so easily be true.

Manipulation
Usually I really hate being manipulated… but this time was different… especially after I have finished reading this book, I just looked back and saw how well the author wrote this book. He could manipulate our feelings towards different characters so easily, such as the Marcao speaking scene, and how we felt towards each character in the end…

Humanity
There’s a quote by I can’t remember who that’s: “The only thing we learn from history, is nothing”. After reading this book, I totally agree. It’s almost sad… This book has made me realise even more, how cruel humanity is, and I can think of examples of how this book relates to real life. I would say, what I am referring to in the book, but being perfectly honest, I don’t think I can do the book justice…, if I try to explain.

Emotions
It has everything a book could offer; sadness, happiness, humour, action, loss, gain, doing what’s right, and what someone want, etc. I can’t imagine what else someone could want in a book…

Favourite Quotes

  • “This is how humans are: We question all our beliefs, except for the ones that we really believe in, and those we never think to question.”
  • “It’s the most charming thing about humans. You are all so sure that the lesser animals are bleeding with envy because they didn’t have the good fortune to be born Homo sapiens”
  • “Quim,” she said, “don’t ever try to teach me about good and evil. I’ve been there, and you’ve seen nothing but a map”
  • “Order and disorder’, said the speaker, ‘they each have their beauty”
  • “Dona Crista laughed a bit. “Oh, Pip, I’d be glad for you to try. But do believe me, my dear friend, touching her heart is like bathing in ice.”
    I imagine. I imagine it feels like bathing in ice to the person touching her. But how does it feel to her? Cold as she is, it must surely burn like fire.”
  • “Darkness bound them closer than light”
  • “As long as you keep being born its ok to die every now and then”
  • “What type of man of you is there, when his son asks for bread, and will give him a stone?”
  • “If you believed that someone was perfect in the heart, Bishop, so righteous that to live another day could only cause them to be less perfect, then wouldn’t it be a good thing for them if they were killed and taken directly to heaven?”

Overall
This is going to be quite blunt, as I think I have rambled a lot through this review… , oh, I’m rambling again… :D, so, as I said to be blunt: Read this book. Read Ender’s Game. They are amazing! You won’t regret it. 5 shuriken stars. One of my all time favourites.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larsson

So I usually read YA fiction, but this time I read an adult book. I heard that Stieg Larsson wrote this amazing series, critically aclaimed as the best thriller in forever and so on. Now I understand why it was classified as adult fiction.

It really isn’t a children’s kind of book.

Warning: Don’t read this book if you can’t stand rape scenes or hearing about very disgusting deaths (or these deaths being implied). I understand why the film got an 18+ rating. Because I really would not like to see those rape scenes or murder scenes on screen. Sometimes I had to shut my brain off (I have quite an over-active imagination) just so I didn’t have to picture the disgusting murders of all these girls. The descriptions weren’t very long and descriptive or anything, they were quite to the point and informative, almost like a newspaper article. Just the way they were murdered made me have to take a deep breath and try to carry on.

Summary

Mikael Blomkavist is a journalist with a keen eye, but something goes wrong with one of his stories, and he’s sent to prison, completely humiliated in the public eye. So he gets an offer from Henrik Vanger, to find out who murdered his granddaughter, Harriet. Soon, it seems that there is more to this murder than first meets the eye. And his research assistant is Lisbeth Salander, the girl with the dragon tattoo, who is really damaged and unfortunate. Like, really damaged.

Now, as usual, let’s start with the Cons.

Nothing really happens in the book. The entire pace of it is very slow for what is supposed to be a thriller. I expect thrillers to be fast paced with constant action. This book moved extremely slowly compared to my expectations (it wasn’t a slow book, just slower than I thought it would be).

Characters
Mikael Blomkavist is quite a likeable character. Apart from his love of women, and his very undramatic and (in my opinion) unrealistic love encounters which apparently mean nothing to him and he has barely any or no emotional attachment to them, he is great. Then, of course, there is Lisbeth. Poor, poor Lisbeth. She is just so damaged. Let’s put it this way. There are two rape scenes in this book, and both involve her as the victim. And from what I’ve heard, there are more to come in the following books “The Girl who Played with Fire” and “The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” which will involve her. However, for some reason, I felt very detached from both the characters. I really didn’t care what happened to them as much as I should have (well, I really didn’t want more rape scenes, especially for Lisbeth who has definitely had more than enough traumatic experiences involving sexual abuse). I did care when they were about to die, or get tortured or raped, but that was only because they were human, not because I’d fallen in love with their characters. No one wants to see a defenceless young girl being taken advantage of by some creepy, sadistic psycho, or see a man get tortured. It’s just against human nature.
(Also, the ending? Random as hell? It was just so… convenient and weird. And so out of character.)

Pros
So, it was a good plot, good solid structure, and really interesting. There really is no other way to put it. Though I thought the murderer was kind of obvious. But yeah, it was really good plot and characters and so on.

Quotes

  • “Normally seven minutes of another person’s company was enough to give her a headache so she set things up to live as a recluse. She was perfectly content as long as people left her in peace. Unfortunately society was not very smart or understanding.”
  • “Friendship – my definition – is built on two things,’ he said. ‘Respect and trust. Both elements have to be there. And it has to be mutual. You can have respect for someone, but if you don’t have trust, friendship will crumble.”

Overall

So, 3 1/2 shuriken stars? I’d recommend you reading it, but not really really badly. And if you can get through that type of stuff. So not if you’re like 8 years old or something,  I don’t want you to become too jaded about the world at that age. And creeped out. And go running around telling your mum that it’s my fault for recommending it to you. I do not like dealing with scary mums on the internet.