Monthly Archives: July 2014

I Read – Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

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Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)

This book was the IGGPPC bookclub main choice for July, and not something I would have normally picked for myself. However, I was pleasantly surprised by this book.

I have only seen Mindy in the TV show The Mindy Project, so I found out a lot more about her career througout the course of this book. The Office isn’t a show that I enjoyed, but everyone has to start somewhere.

I couldn’t help but read parts of this book in her voice, especially the bit towards the end about the photoshoot where she made them alter a dress to fit her. This part was my favourite from the whole book. Some might have seen it as a diva moment, but she stood her ground. How can anyone be expected to feel glamourous when forced to wear a dress that makes them look like they’re in a sack. You go girl!

Mindy comes across as very human… which may sound odd. Celebrity culture boggles my little mind, and so many people you see in the media seem a million miles away from anything I can relate to. It made it very easy to read, and the beginning parts of her life at least [not the becoming a writer for a tv show parts] were things that I could relate to. Her finding a flat with her girl friends, and especially her rules for friendship were things that made me smile, because I’ve been through those things too. Although, my finding a place to live with my friends wasn’t as traumatic as her tiny appartment with cockroaches.

Ultimately it was a quick and easy read, and most of the details are now lost in the depths of my brain. I’m really not sure if this is a book I would recommend to people, but if you’re a fan of Ms Kaling, then maybe you should give it a go.

-girlinthenerdshop

I Read – Extras by Scott Westerfield

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Extras by Scott Westerfield

Extras by Scott Westerfield

I am not normally one for reading books in sequence, as I tend to find I lose myself in the setting and then adjusting to a new book becomes more and more difficult the more invested I become. I read this series in a row more for convenience, as I borrowed them from the library all in one go. So it made sense to put the reviews out in order.

This is the fourth book in this trilogy. It’s set three years after the events in Specials, these events now known as the ‘mind rain’. To make up for the stagnation in technology, this book has made leaps and bounds in what the citizens call progress. It also helps to drive the plot that there is so much going on, and such a great need for expanding cities. For a third of the book we are following a new cast, in a different town, and the strangeness of that town was new and exciting enough to carry me for the most part. Then the other two-thirds happen.

There is no Ugly / Pretty distinction anymore. People can change their appearance in any way that they want to. The new system is based around fame. The higher your face rating, the more things you can buy, the better places you can live. Aya starts out as a nobody, until she finds a story that she thinks will help her break into the big time. Chasing the story is all she wants, no matter what the costs to herself or her friends. The story she is chasing leads her to find something much bigger. She pushes the story and her fame sky rockets. Making her nearly as famous as Tally [our favourite protagonist from the preceeding trilogy].

Tally comes to the rescue, as now Aya is in danger because of what she knows, and what she has revealed to the world. However, she did make some serious Goldblum leaps of logic to get from secret base built inside a mountain to world destroying missile launch base. She had no real proof of anything she posted.

The rest of the book is a large series of Tally being Tally and over reacting to a lot of things… and they do eventually get to the bottom of thing. Not without some drama though. We have some fire in this one… and also a whole bunch of weird surgical enhancements for better adaptation to zero-gravity.

I have to say I was disappointed that we had to bring Tally back to solve all of the problems. It was irritating, as she is a far weaker character than Aya and her brother are. I wanted to know more about the world now that they have found their freedom.

All that said, I did enjoy it more than the other books in the trilogy. And I feel a certain amount of acomplishment for having finished the series. Sometimes I wish that we could be given achievement points for things like this… I should be working towards a master level YA Fiction reader badge at the very least.

I shouldn’t be so critical, it was an easy read that I finished in a short amount of time. It had enough drama to keep me wanting to find a resolution. And the clever ‘extras’ play was good. Like… extras in a TV show are the nobodies that fill in the background, and extras like extraterrestrials. Very clever Mr Westerfield, I approve.

I couldn’t recommend reading it, I wouldn’t want to inflict that on anyone, but it satisfied me. And it helped me along the road to book challenge completion!

I wonder what I should read next. Do you have any suggestions?

-girlinthenerdshop

Updates

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Yes… I have been rather distracted for a while. I’ve told you about the plans I have. Well, I am actually making a fair bit of progress on getting through the backlog of things I want to write about.

So, currently in the works are several posts about the swaps I have taken part in through the IGGPPC, another update on my goals for the year and I’ve even been on a couple of trips that I might like to tell you about.

I have also gotten quite behind in uploading the daily photographs, so expect a post soon to get up to speed with that!

So many things swirling in my brain, that it makes it hard to catch up with the typing!

-girlinthenerdshop

Category: Storytime | Tags: ,

I Read – Specials by Scott Westerfield

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Specials by Scott Westerfield

Specials by Scott Westerfield

Yes, I did it. I finished the trilogy. I feel so accomplished.

We have more operations, Tally has now been chopped up and super reinforced… I think at this point that there is very little of her left. Anything that was actually Tally as she was born, has all be erased – made to be perfect. The operation to Special level, changed her skeleton entirely, so now she is made of Superman and Wolverine. Rock hard and self-healing. Which is pretty cool, apart from the fact that she has been super tampered with to get her to that stage.

The feelings of superiority have increased ten-fold. The divide between Uglies and Pretties is just a childish squabble in comparison to how the Specials feel about everybody else. The Pretties are vapid and weak, and the Uglies are worse than dirt on their shoes. At least Tally has emotions now right?

Nope… she still can’t think for herself. Instead of a boy being the one leading her through this book. Shay is boss, and does all the thinking for the entire group. It gives the impression that Shay has been altered slightly more, as she had more tricks up her sleeve and knew exactly how to manipulate the others to do what she wanted them to. Like destroying the armoury entirely whilst trying to make it look like a casual breaking and entering. This causes bad things, like a war to start. Even though War is a Rusty concept and the Bubble operation was meant to stamp that out of people. Apparently that only works on the stupid, inferior types and the head of Special Circumstances can do whatever the hell she likes.

The plot in this one is identical to the last one. Which was pretty disappointing really. Tally gets dragged along, tried to do her own thing but ultimately it doesn’t go her way. She injures herself badly, acts recklessly and still needs to be rescued by somebody.

The epic quest for this portion of the Uglies Saga takes us to ANOTHER CITY! Can you believe it? No, neither can I. We do a whole bunch of riding on hover boards and tracking the Crims and all kinds of slow moving stuff. Which is incredibly frustrating considering the special abilties that we could’ve had put into play. Mostly we had to wait for lover boy though, we needed to protect him [oh how the tables had turned!]

The Smokies have help from city, and they are in the process of taking over. This city seems so different to the one Tally originated in, the borders between each age group are much more relaxed. Even the committee in charge of how the Pretties look seems much more relaxed, as they let all kind of body modifications happen that wouldn’t have been allowed in Tally’s town. Blah blah, Tally is the only one who can fix things and save the day. Actually she has a little help from her first true love. Again.

The ending was the weird part for me. After all the time she spent in this trilogy fighting to escape the city, and the indoctrination that came alongside with that. Her decision to monitor the new cities after the all the trouble ends. So she wants to enforce boundaries now that they can all do whatever they hell they want. Seems legit, I thought she’d go and have her ‘special’ taken away so she could live happily in the woods, burning trees to her hearts content. However, she did have a change of heart and decide that David wasn’t actually as repulsive and ugly as she first thought, so she’ll stay with him in the wild if that’s all ok with you.

I don’t see why he forgave her, after she betrayed him multiple times, and said some really mean and low things to make him escape without her. It would take more than a grand gesture to turn my feelings around if someone had tried to ruin everything that you stood for. Again, it was convenient.

I’m told there is a fourth book in this trilogy. And I have it on reservation from the library. I don’t know why I do this to myself… although, this one is set in the same universe, it doesn’t have the same cast of characters. This idea intrigues me, and I hope that it works better for me than this book did.

– girlinthenerdshop

I Read – Pretties by Scott Westerfield

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Pretties by Scott Westerfield

Pretties by Scott Westerfield

I’ve done a fair bit of reading of late, and I finished off this trilogy this week.

This is the second book in this trilogy, and it starts shortly after the events of Uglies. Tally has had the operation and she now lives in New PrettyTown with all the other teenagers. She seems happy for the most part, but a little bit distant from her friends whilst they go about their decadent, party all night lifestyles. At a party she sees something that triggers a memory… this sets of a chain of events that lead to her trying to escape the city again.

The writing style keeps in character for the whole of the book, so you see how shallow the pretties are. All they care about is things being bubbly, not bogus and their biggest concerns are making sure that they aren’t fashion-missing and they’re keeping up with the latest trends, be that tattoos that flash with your heartbeat or clock gems that run backwards in your eyes. It really helps to build a stronger sense of what they think is important. Tally was always talking about being one in the previous book, so it’s quite curious to see how she integrates with the other Pretties. It was pretty jarring at times, as Tally thinks these words aswell between her speech, no matter how much it shows about her a person.

All the concerns that the Pretties have are very relatable, the majority of people will have had concerns about fitting in with other people and not wanting to look stupid because they didn’t keep up to date with fashion. It’s all part of being a teenager, trying to follow a crowd so you aren’t alone, but also trying to exert some kind of independance and indivituality.

Plotwise… not a lot happens. We spend most of the book trying to become alert enough to escape with our friends. After the escape Special Circumstances are right back in there, just like last time. They catch up quickly because the love interest didn’t know about the tracker he was carrying in his mouth. Tally has to make a decision, stay with the boy she loves now, or run away and stay in the New Smoke with love interest from the previous book. She stays with Pretty boy and gets dragged back to town by Shay.

I think Shay was the more interesting character here, and maybe we should have seen more of her in this book. She manages to achieve all the same things that Tally and Zane do – but without the medication, or the ‘strong guy’ to lead her there. She climbs up the tower like Tally did, and she said it didn’t have such a profound affect on her like it did Tally… so you can see that Shay is always thinking about this, and her jealously has much more depth than anything that Tally has written about her.

After finishing this book, I really wasn’t sure that I wanted to carry on reading, the world just seems to have the perfect technology to conveniently move the story along. Adrenaline helps the Crims to clear their heads and plot the escape… so lets have a floating ice rink as a convenient vehicle. It needed a little more depth for my liking.

We both know that I’m going to read the last book in the trilogy right? I’m a sucker for completing things like that.

-girlinthenerdshop