Posts Tagged ‘pjo’

Top Ten Series (Weishi)

I’ve seen a lot of tags like this (mainly on youtube) and it looked fun.

Disclaimer: I have not read every series in existence, so this list is literally my favourite series of this exact moment. It is very subject to change in the future. But it’s late and I feel like procrastinating so this is going to happen.

A few ground rules before we go onwards:
1. No Harry Potter, because that’s too easy.
2. I must have read multiple books from the series for it to appear on this list. So stuff like Ender’s Game or The 5th Wave where I can’t be bothered to read the sequels/they haven’t been released yet aren’t going to be here.
3. Only ten can appear – no more; no less.

This is sort of in order, though in reality it varies greatly depending on my feelings on individual books/series not being finished/genres that are hard to compare.

1. Chaos Walking – Patrick Ness
Also known as my favourite dystopian/science-fiction series ever. Possibly my favourite series ever (if you don’t count the serious nostalgic appeal of the HP series) and I can’t thank Yanni enough for shoving it into my hands.

2. Anna – Kendare Blake
Best Paranormal/Horror Romance that I have ever read. Mainly because the humour was perfect and the characters were fun and likeable and believable and Cas Lowood. Seriously, just read it for Cas. You will not be disappointed.

3. Skulduggery Pleasant – Derek Landy
Favourite Middle-Grade series that I ironically read once I was no longer middle-grade. And honestly, I’m thankful that I did, because my gore tolerance is not high and there is some throat-slitting/eye-gouging/body-slicing that goes on. Well, I suppose it is 11+. And yes, I do love PJO, but it’s the darkness and humour and overall characterisation that pushes SP to another level for me (not to mention the seriously brillant planning in the plot. A++).

4. Raven Cycle – Maggie Stiefvater
The writing and the characters and the dialogue and the world and just everything. Most realistic fantasy series that I can think of, and the only one where I am utterly convinced that it should be shelved as contemporary, not paranormal, because it is so believable.

5. Legend – Marie Lu
You will fall in love with the characters, and then Lu will tear your heart out. Repeatedly. And just when the first book can’t get worse, there’s the second. And when you think you’ve finally been through your utmost capacity of pain, Champion piles you in feels. I honestly recommend this book to anyone I know who likes dystopians or action or interesting worlds.

6. Unwind – Neal Shusterman
Which not only has a great use of third-person present that I’ve never seen done so well, but is interesting and full of very relevant questions and also likes to stomp on your heart.
And I haven’t read Unsouled. I’m sorry! I’ve been busy! I will, I promise, just let me get through House of Hades and Allegiant and all those other books that have been staring at me for months.

7. Skinjacker – Neal Shusterman
I wanted to not include the same author twice on this list, but I couldn’t. I wouldn’t know which series to bump down because I absolutely love both. Everlost and all its sequels are just so clever. Shusterman explores every single aspect of his world and asks the right questions to keep you thinking.

8. Percy Jackson – Rick Riordan
This is only referring to the first five books of the original series, and not the spin-offs. While I do like Heroes of Olympus, I haven’t exactly made my mind up yet on particular aspects, whereas I have some serious love for the Olympians arc. Percy and all his humour was what really made the series for me.

9. Underdogs – Markus Zusak
This one is a weird place for me, because the books vary a lot. While all are brilliant (as to be expected from one of my favourite authors), the first and third are weaker than the completely spectacular and heart-breaking middle book. However, I also know that Fighting Ruben Wolfe would not be as strong if it was not bookended by great character development and relationship arcs from the other two books.
In summary, this order idea isn’t really working out but I’m sticking to my choices because we’re nearly finished anyway.

10. Leviathan – Scott Westerfeld
The fact that this had illustrations (and absolutely gorgeous ones) bumped up my entire rating of this series. I love the steampunk setting and the world, and Deryn and Alek are awesome and endearing characters.

Do I have honourable mentions?
Nah, I don’t think so.
A lot of series I could put on here but 1. Haven’t read the second book or 2. the ending sucked. Endings are important, and if a series has a promising start but then goes swiftly downhill, I can’t do it. I can’t include it. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth no matter how good the first few books were. I won’t name any names here, but I’m sure you guys have a few (almost certainly accurate) guesses.

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Random Book Reviews #1

Sometimes I am too lazy to write full reviews.

This is what happens.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson – John Green & David Levithan

Two boys, one name. Also romance and friendship and extraordinary musicals.

I enjoyed it – of course I enjoyed it, I love John Green and David Levithan is amazing. However, I didn’t come away from it thinking anything other than that was fun. The writing was gorgeous. The characters were solid (if not a little predictable). Not life-changing, but definitely not bad.

4 shuriken stars.

Paper Towns – John Green

Boy likes girl. Girl disappears. Boy searches for girl. Road trip = fun times.

Loved this one. It grew on me as I thought about it, and I learnt a lot from it. Fun characters, fun times. However do I love it as much as TFIOS? That’s hard.

5 shuriken stars.

Out of the Easy – Ruta Sepetys

Girl’s mum is a prostitute. Also it’s set in the 50’s which makes it extra fun to read.

Loved the setting, loved Josie, loved loved loved the writing. Especially loved Willie. However, some of the characters were a little under-developed with such a short book and I didn’t feel like it came to much conclusion by the end (also, the twists were kind of predictable, though not bad twists at all).

4 1/2 shuriken stars.

Beautiful Creatures – Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Boy meets girl. Girl has supernatural powers. They fall in love.

Expectations were way too high going in.

Forgot that I was reading a high school paranormal romance until it got to the book and then I went “Oh. Right. This again.” The characters were fun (though the emphasis on Lena being such a special snowflake because she wasn’t a ‘slut’ or ‘fake’ grated on my nerves, and – though I wouldn’t know from any personal experience – there seemed to be a lot of negative southern stereotyping), plot was a little dense and hard to follow, and I admit that I wasn’t paying much attention while reading, but the book held my attention.

3 1/2 shuriken stars.

Mark of Athena – Rick Riordan

The demigods meet, but unfortunately, it’s not like the Avengers.

Kind of disappointing, to be honest. The initial interactions were very mild and friendly, which was a little boring. I was looking forward to some complex characterisation and relationships, but everyone was pretty content with each other. (Except Leo and Frank, whose tension was more annoying than interesting. The love triangle amongst all the other love triangles was just one too many, I’m afraid.) Also, there wasn’t much character development, but I always enjoy seeing my favourite characters, and the plot is beginning to gain pace.

4 shuriken stars.

Random Unrelated Reviews: Book-to-Movie Adaptations

I have a lot of opinions on things that aren’t just books. However, I don’t feel even slightly competent enough to do full reviews on them, so I’m going to use this as a massive dumping ground for my thoughts.

Book-to-Movie Adaptations

The Great Gatsby:

Wasn’t so great. The music was awesome, the actors were great, and the tone of the movie was what I had in mind, it just felt very superficial. Maybe that was the point, but it definitely felt like a movie told from Gatsby’s perspective rather than that of Nick’s. The entire thing felt very over-romanticised and Daisy was held up as this perfect, lovable character, whereas when I read the book, I absolutely despised her. And the entire lurking corruption through this broken façade of the American Dream never really came through to me, though maybe that was the director’s intention.

Also, the visuals really weren’t my type of movie. They were pretty, but far too loud and in-your-face, that after a while, it actually got tiring. I found myself checking the time halfway through.

On the plus side, I have found that I could quote most of the movie. They stayed quite true in terms of dialogue, usually having it word-for-word, and you can’t dismiss the poetry of F Scott Fitzgerald’s writing.

I don’t think I can really give these ratings, because I have no idea what I’m doing right now. I’ll say, watch it if you want, because it’s fun and bright and colourful and the soundtrack is awesome, but just remember it might feel slightly off as an interpretation.

Beautiful Creatures:

Surprisingly good. I liked the book, but was not a huge fan, and I didn’t remember most of it, which might be why I didn’t mind all the changes they made. In the book, I never felt that I could connect with any of the characters (though that might be my fault, as I had WAY too high expectations, going in), whereas Alice Englert and Alden Ehrenreich really brought these characters to life. They made them loveable and I actually rooted for their relationship, which is quite a new thing for me. I usually hate the relationship in every book-to-movie adaptation, no matter how much I love the movie. (Yes, this includes Harry Potter. I did not care one bit about Harry and Ginny.)

The script was a lot better than I expected it to be, the acting was very good, and I really enjoyed it.

If you liked Beautiful Creatures, you will love this, so you should watch it. And if you aren’t, you should watch it anyway because it’s a really enjoyable film.

The Host

And this is where YA Fiction goes to die.

Saoirse Ronan is a good actress. I have not seen much with her in it, but what I have seen, I’ve liked. I know she can act. I’m sure everyone in this cast can act. The problem is, the script is abysmal. And her role, in particular, is hard as all hell.

The reason I really liked The Host by Stephenie Meyer is not because I swooned at the romance. It’s not because I fell in love with all the characters and I wanted to marry all the guys and just wished that I could have a Jared for myself.  In the book it questioned morality, the violence of humanity, survival of the fittest, loyalty to your  own kind, and above all: the importance of family and friends. My favourite relationship was the friendship of Melanie and Wanda.

But the movie took out all the parts I liked about The Host, and left all the Cons that I would have been happy without. They took out all the backstories of the different planets, including the people gradually becoming closer and closer to Wanda through their curiosity. They got rid of Wanda becoming more sarcastic and cynical due to spending too much time with Melanie. No Walter. No football match. Nothing but the overbearing love triangle, which might have pleased other fans, but made me groan in despair.

Also, separate point: when showcasing Melanie and Jared’s relationship, they never had a conversation that didn’t lead to making out. That’s fine watching it the first time, but after that it becomes tiresome and makes their relationship seem oh so very empty.

And oh the characterisation was bland. And the dialogue was awkward. And the internal conversations were not done well.

Sea of Monsters

I enjoyed it most of the time. Though I’m not sure whether I was just forcing myself to like it or not. Or maybe it’s because I’ve forgotten most of what happens in the book, and the more I remember, the more I realise they left out.

The acting was a lot more awkward than I expected it to be, though I think that may be the fault of the extremely cheesy script. The visuals were pretty, and the humour was pretty fun, but they did forget a lot. And if you’ve seen it, you’ll know. The characters had very little personality, they cut out a lot of interactions with minor characters at the camp, and the voice overs felt unnecessary.

Also, the battle at the end. With Kronos.

I do not remember that happening. Ever.

All of this would be fine if I didn’t know there were 3 more books, and that these scenes and interactions would be very important later. It means they might have to cut the whole Silena & Beckendorf arc in the Last Olympian, because she was on the ship and they saw her. Plus Beckendorf doesn’t actually exist yet. The romance between Annabeth and Luke has no weight, because all that was cut, and the Percabeth romance is kind of pathetic at the moment.

Ok, good points: Nathan Fillion (Hermes)  & Stanley Tucci (Dionysus).

So watch it if you like Percy Jackson, and if you can stand a lot of major plot changes.

Well, that was fun! There are so many book-to-movie adaptations coming out soon, that this may just be the first of many. But who knows. We’ll see.

 

The House of Hades (UK Cover) – Rick Riordan

(For the American Cover)

The second HoH news of the day!

Quite honestly, I prefer the american cover. This one, while cool, looks very… cheap. I don’t know how else to put it. The other was this lovely artwork with awesome depth and tone to the colour and equally creepy and it just looked really awesome.

However, this cover looks, quite honestly, like someone just photoshopped some random people onto a really cool picture. If it had just been the massive dude with the helmet, and then maybe made the cover a lot darker, a lot creeper, I would have liked it. Still not as much as the American cover, but I still would have liked it.

But the two people underneath with tiny swords and perfect hair and clean clothes look very out of place, and very very fake. I’m very excited, obviously, for what all this means, but I wish they’d gone more of the arty route like the American covers did. The American cover has so much more emotion and depth and fear, whereas this one looks quite posed.

So there is your HoH second piece of fun today!

The House of Hades (Cover) – Rick Riordan

After waiting half an hour for the cover to be revealed on NPR Backseat Bookclub’s Twitter, I finally find the cover. On tumblr, no less. Not an official tumblr, or a book famous tumblr, just a random tumblr with some clever guy/girl who found it.

Which means I really hope this is the official cover, otherwise this is going to be kind of embarrassing.

Well, It’s Percy and Annabeth running through hell. How fun. It’s awesome and epic and everything you’d expect from a Percy Jackson cover!

So, voila!

Sea of Monsters – Trailer

The only link so far that I can find to this in good quality is on tumblr, so here. Let’s hope it doesn’t get taken down and we don’t have to watch the terrible quality ones instead.

Can you get copyright claim on tumblr? I have no idea.

[EDIT: Haha! There’s now a youtube one!]

For some reason, this trailer looks… accurate…

Then again the lightning thief trailer looked accurate, and we all saw how that turned out.

But Annabeth is blonde! And Thalia and Tyson both look great! And Hippocampi! So I can keeping that hope that it will be good.

I don’t know what else to say about it. My brain is kind of dead right now; I really should leave this review to a time when I can think coherently, but you know what, I’m going to publish it anyway, because I’m a rebel and I publish two blog posts within a few minutes of each other, even if the Sea of Monsters trailer has been out for a while, I just completely forgot to review it.

And this isn’t really a review, more like a GO WATCH THE TRAILER, type of thing, so yeah, you should go watch the trailer, and raising awareness that it exists because if you haven’t got a tumblr, there is a high chance that you don’t know about it.

I’ll come back and edit this with some coherent thoughts later, when I can actually think straight.