Category Archives: Book Reviews

September / October / November Bookshelf Update

Luckily [for me during this catch up], the later we got in the year, the less time I had for reading, so there is less for me to write in the catch up posts. Not many more to go now!  

September

1. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

2. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

3. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

As I said in the last post, my HP round up will come in a separate post, this is probably something that will appear in January now… unless I somehow manage to get everything done before then. Who knows how efficient I can be eh.

5. Apocalyptigirl

6. The Magicians

Oh boy, the snark came out strong in this one. I picked it for a reading challenge for the bookclub, and I didn’t get on well with this one at all. I didn’t like the style of writing at all. There was very odd pacing at play here too, as the book plodded on for hundreds of pages, and then the last 25% of the book a million things happened. I saw that the second book in the trilogy got a higher rating, but I won’t be going anywhere near it.

October

1. Attachments

I have had mixed thoughts about this book – I just felt like everything that was supposed to be sweet actually had kid of creepy undertones and I just couldn’t get over that element of it. I mean, the romance is predictable and kind of adorable. Bleh, books are hard.

2. Through the Woods

Bookclub pick for graphic novel. I don’t normally read ‘horror’ as it just doesn’t appeal, I don’t like to be scared or creeped out, I’d much rather there was magic and dragons to contend with. Let’s just say that I’m glad I read this in the daylight so that I didn’t get the full creep-factor!

3. Fables 19: Snow White

4. Fables 20: Camelot

5. Fables 21: Happily Ever After

6. Fables 22: Farewell

This run here completed my run of Fables, it feels like the end of an era. I like that the last two books spent a lot of time catching up with smaller characters and tying off their stories and lives. It was a good way to end the series – a nice happy ending.

7. Nimona

Science. And villains. And sidekicks. And the battle between good and evil. What even is evil anyway!

8. Siege and Storm

The second installment in the Grisha trilogy. There is so much action in this book and there was a whole ton of events just within the first couple of chapters.

9. Fairest Vol. 2

This one was a bit grim if I remember rightly, Rapunzel was one of the Fables I was most interested in – and this was her back story. It was dark and scary and eerie and all sorts of things.

10. Gotham City Sirens Book 2

This second book of the Sirens completes the run, more antics completed by Catwoman, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn. As this is older DC stuff, there is some stuff that I miss as I haven’t read extensively in the area… but the artwork is good, and the stories work well enough on their own. It just makes me want to read more about them.

11. The Unwritten Vol 1.

The mystery is real, was Tommy the inspiration for the character his dad wrote stories about, or is he the book character come to life? This is the beginning of the journey of discovery. I love books about books and characters, its gonna get twisty I can tell!

November

1. Ruin and Rising

The final installment of the Grisha trilogy, I’m glad I read it so close to the second book as I couldn’t put this one down. The book sets off in a direction you expect, but then takes some twists and turns as the characters realise certain things about themselves and where they have to go to be able to defeat the Darkling.

2. Girl Online

This was a very easy read, and it worked as a palate cleanser between other reads. It was very predictable, and I could see what was happening as soon as we saw the boy with the guitar. Still, it was sweet and a fine first novel by the author.

3. Teen Titans Vol 2.

Now starts the stack of comic books that I read on our mini holiday this year. The second volume of this was so far removed from what the first volume was. It felt like the issues were all very disjointed and I needed to have read a different series to fill all of the gaps in. Which is very irritating, as there were some seriously big plot holes. Totally dropping this line of comics now.

4. Batgirl of Burnside

This book was recommended as a good jump in point for Batgirl, as it was a new team, and new story arc. And the story was fine, it was very enjoyable from a superhero point of view. The constant social media inserts, and on the page tweets or texts or whatever were a bit jarring, maybe I’m just a traditionalist.

5. Alex + Ada Vol. 3

The bittersweet ending to this wonderful comic book series. A lot of other reviews will tell you this comic book didn’t cover any new ground, and that the ending was predictable – but if a story is told well, it doesn’t matter if the material is groundbreaking as long as you care what happens. I may have shed a single tear and clutched this book to my chest when I finished reading it.

6. Saga Vol 5

The latest installment… more family drama and the trials and tribulations. Will they ever work it all out. I just don’t know!

7. Supergirl Vol 4

A lot of New 52 DC comic story lines have started to really bug me… they all feel so disconnected page after page. To fully keep up to date with the events of any series you need to read six others, and that annoys me! Still… Supergirl is kind of a badass.

8. Lady Killer

On the surface you see a housewife going about her daily business in 1950s America, wrong! She is so much more than that. Can she keep up with family life and with being a super spy assassin? Cor blimey! This is a cracker.

9. Chew Vol. 1

Let me just say that the idea behind this comic thoroughly repulses me, eating something and being able to tell you everything about it? And the first scene being a food hygiene nightmare nearly put me off food for a week. I’m so glad that I stuck with it though. This is such a fun comic, it’s so well written. No wonder it has so many volumes already published. I hate being so late to the party!

10. Legends of the Mouse Guard Vol 2

This is the second collection of mini tales told by the mice themselves, such a joy to read. I think this has to be one of the favourites that I’ve read this year.

11. Mouse Guard: The Black Axe

Mouse Guard is incredible. This is the expanded tales of one the legends that I had read about in the collected works. I just want to live in this world – it’s so rich in history and the characters are wonderful.

12. Catwoman Vol. 3

Meh. That is all.

13. Sex and The City

Also meh. All I can say is that the people who made this book into a TV show… they had vision. To be able to make a book of name drops and no real characters into a show that I loved from the first time I came across it in university – and the obsession began.

14. Jack of Fables Vol.1

Jack is a lovable rogue. I love that he got his own comic, even though he’s such a player – I really want to read more about the shenanigans that he has gotten up to during his absence from the main Fables comics.

That’s me now caught up for last year… sort of. I’ll try to keep on top of it better this year – because it was super hard trying to remember something about all of these.

Do you have any recommendations for this year?

– girlinthenerdshop

Category: Book Reviews | Tags: , ,

July / August Bookshelf Update

Seems like we are continuing with the bookshelf update. I really should have kept on top of this, as it’s getting tricky to remember all of the books that I read this year. There have been quite a large number as you will see in the wrap up post at the end of the year!

July

1. Fables 18: Cubs in Toyland

More Fables, getting close to the end now, don’t want it to end. I’ve really enjoyed these. Never end!

2. Jupiter’s Legacy Vol 1

A different take on superheroes, they all come out of the woodwork and they are in the public eye, with sponsorship deals and advertising rights and such. The troubles they have are big and small just like a normal person’s problems are.

3. Seconds

This is by the guy who wrote Scott Pilgrim, I wanted to give him another chance to impress me. This book was SO much better than the first I read by him. I liked how messing with time didn’t work out, as often messing with time stories never seem to show you how things can get so messed up. Essentially she got everything she ever dreamed of, but it didn’t make her happy like she thought it would. Cautionary tale.

4. Zoey Fools Around

5. Jake Finds Out

6. Nina Won’t Tell / Ben’s in Love

So, there’s a story behind why I picked this series of books to read – the first time I picked them up was when I was in secondary school. There was me and another friend that used to read them. I was reminiscing about them and decided I wanted to read them again to relive those memories. They were just as good / bad as I remember. And there is a lot about the stories that I don’t even remember, which is refreshing. I have the whole series sitting on a shelf waiting for me to read – all 24 of them!

7. Cemetery Girl

I started trawling through the comics shelf at my local library every visit, and I do seem to find some interesting looking books. This one was short, and I liked the idea of a girl living in the cemetery. She does this because she can’t remember who she is, and she stays where she wakes up. She hangs around with a variety of people that live in / near the graveyard and she becomes a bit of a badass and helps to stop a crime.

8. A Night of Cake and Puppets

I took a break from reading the main trilogy to wait for my friend to catch up, and I wanted a quick delve into this universe again, as it’s one I became rather fond of. This short story focuses on Karou’s human friends, and fills in the gaps in the story where they get together. I’m so glad that we got to see how the two finally got their acts together, as they are quite possibly the sweetest couple [even though Zuzanna would murder you if she heard you say that]. This story is magical, and such a necessary addition.

9. Harley Quinn Vol. 1: Hot in the City

I’d been trying to get into Harley Quinn comics for a while, and I was given the New 52 volume for my birthday. This one really kicked it off for me, shes kooky and strange like the original comics, but she doesn’t do so many of the painful one line jokes in this, well… maybe a couple, but she doesn’t do them in every single panel like she has done previously. This made me want to read more about her, and find out more of her back story or previous versions. [ As comic book history is well twisty and stuff]

10. Harley Quinn: Preludes and Knock Knock Jokes

So, my new found love for HQ made me not hate the silly jokes and puns – as I had found them quite irksome the first time I had tried to read this book.

11. The Bumper Book of Simon’s Cat

Come on, its about cats. I like cats. Cats are great.

12. Shadow and Bone

Another YA trilogy, don’t shoot. I have a favourite type of book to read. This trilogy has been so great, and I would say underrated as I hadn’t heard all that much about the series prior to picking it up.

13. Serenity 1: Those Left Behind

This was a quick foray into the ‘verse. Nice for a bit of nostalgia, but it didn’t grab me as much as the show did.

14. Gotham Academy Vol. 1: Welcome to Gotham Academy

I had heard nothing but great things about this book, so I scuttled out to buy it for my birthday. I loved it, I want Maps to be my bestfriend.

15. Teen Titans Vol 1

I picked this one up because we had been watching the cartoon show Teen Justice [or something like that, Justice League Kids Edition] and it did not disappoint. It felt very much like the show,  all the characters felt like friends coming home.

16. Rat Queens Vol 2

I was hesitant to pick up this volume after some drama with the creative team. However, they mixed things up and got a new guy in so I didn’t feel bad picking it up. My one problem was you could tell that the direction had changed, it felt like whoever was writing the new comics didn’t know the characters all that well so they felt like different people this time.

17. Princeless Vol 3

I love a good strong princess story and this one is excellent, the lead princess is all about saving herself and wearing armour that looks practical. No chainmail bikinis here.

 

August

1. Cat Person

A very cute comic, but  only a third of this was actually about her and her cat, so I felt a bit misled.

2. Hinges: Clockwork City

Such. Beauty. I loved looking at this comic. It was glorious, but there was very little dialogue so it made it a challenge to follow the actual story.

3. Unshelved

Library comic strip collection. I particularly loved the Book Beaver, and the sarcastic reference librarian.

4. Lost at Sea

Once again giving Bryan another try, I just don’t think I understand what he is saying in his comics.

5. Here

This one was a beauty. More a concept piece that an actual story, one corner of the world glimpsed throughout all of time.

6. Red Queen

Woah. Loads of people say this book is like a blender full of other dystopian novels, and I can see where they are coming from, but this was so good in it’s own right. I love the setting and the powers and the families and all the characters. Cannot wait for the next installment.

7. Recipe for Water 

I read this collection of poetry for a reading challenge I did this summer, I don’t think this poetry lark is for me. I much prefer a narrative to a collection of things like this.

8. The Town That Didn’t Exist

A weird graphic novel.

9. Mouse Guard: Fall 1152

If you haven’t read Mouse Guard I can wait for you to go and get a copy and read it now. Off you go… back yet? Excellent, I love this! There is something just super magical about the mouse nations that you see here and all the things that they go through. It’s so well thought out as to which species could be an enemy to the little mice. And the artwork is super adorable.

10. Lumberjanes Vol. 1

I had heard such great things about this book, and I wanted to really like it. It fell a little short for me, I think mainly because the summer camp side of the story isn’t something that I connect with – because they don’t exist here.

11. Princeless Short Stories

More princess bad ass. Perfect.

12. Welcome to Camp Nightmare

This one was read for my online bookclub, I remember watching the show back in the 90s, the suspense was well built up. I thought the ending was a little cheap, but it is in keeping with the way of Goosebumps.

13. Sword Art Online: Aincrad Omnibus [Manga]

This is the third manga that I have attempted to read, and I have decided that it is just a genre that I am not bothered with. I enjoyed reading it as I have seen the anime so everything that was happening was familiar – which made a nice change from the other mangas I’ve tried. Still, felt a bit redundant reading something when I already know what the story is.

14. Claire Gets Caught

More nostalgia catch up, Claire did a bad trying to get back with Jake.

15. Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone

16. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

17. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

I started a re-read of my favourite books – I’ll try to go into more detail in a separate post.

What are you reading at the moment?

– girlinthenerdshop

Category: Book Reviews | Tags: , ,

May / June Bookshelf Update

I haven’t done of of these updates in a long time, I wish I hadn’t gotten so sidetracked with other things. So, from now, I will be catching you up on all the books I have read this year – because it is an impressive number [of graphic novels / trade paperbacks at least].

May

1. Fables Vol. 11: War and Pieces 

2. Fables Vol 12: The Dark Ages

3. Fables Vol 13: The Great Fables Crossover

So… lots and lots of Fables have been read this lately… as the last ever issues of Fables came out in August – I wanted to try and catch up with everything so I could have it ticked off my to read list.

The crossover one sticks out in my mind as there was a whole new cast of characters from the Jack of Fables spin off series, it did its job, it made me go out and pick up Jack Vol 1.

4. A Court of Thorns and Roses

Now this, this is what I call a good book! I picked up this one because I was going to meet the author at a book signing. I read this book all the way down on the train, and boy was I glad I’d been introduced to this author. This is a retelling of the classic Beauty and the Beast, and there is magic and fae and such. I was so hooked all the way through, and to top it off – the author was absolutely lovely! I can’t wait for the next installment of this series to come out.

5. Suicide Squad Vol. 1: Kicked in the Teeth

This is a fairly solid team of bad guys going on missions to cover up when things go wrong for the bad guys. I enjoyed this at the time, but I have since read a lot more DC superhero comics and I am a lot less enamored with DC comics at the moment, as they rely so heavily on you reading all the other books they are bringing out so that it all makes sense.

6. Saga Vol. 3

This is a good continuation of the story line, I’m still not 100% sure that I like the artwork in this one, but I like the space fantasy elements of this. I like the narrator too, telling her story from the future!

7. The Vintage Teacup Club

This one was a nice simple read – a group of three women all wanted teacups at the same time for various reasons. It was a light and fluffy palette cleanser of a book.

8. Fashion Beast

I picked this one up many months before because the back made it sound like it was going to be quite fairy tale in a way – and I guess you can say that it was [sort of] but I didn’t really like the execution. The artwork was all sketchy messy which we all know is a style I didn’t like at all. I should stop it with the picking up of random graphic novels.

9. Mr Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore

A solid choice from the book club this month. I devoured this book in one sitting near enough – I love books about books and bookshops. And this one had a mystery running through it too. I wish that we had a bookshop like that one, that feels like it goes on forever and is full of all kinds of strange books and stories you’ve never even dreamed of.

10. Goth Girl and the Pirate Queen

Short story for world book day, I loved the illustrations, I love the author to absolute pieces. Goth Girl is one of my favourite children’s book characters at the moment, she is eccentric and she likes to do her own thing. I love her independent spirit and I actually think she makes a good role model for girls to read about. Much better than soppy wastrels in other stories.

11. The Vintage Summer Wedding

The snark came out strong in this one, I don’t know what it was about it – every single dilemma felt like it was checking off something on a list of things that women’s fiction needs. Mean mother in law? Check. Disinterested best friend? Check. Lost all their money? Check. However the romantic ending made me feel all mushy – which is why I  will always end up going back to this type of book. Even if I only use them as a way to blank my mind after a harder fantasy book.

June

1. Sex Criminals Vol 2: Two Worlds, One Cup

2. Saga, Vol. 4

3. Fables 14: Witches

4. Fables 15: Rose Red

More Fables – more drama. I just love these… not that I can remember what happened in each and every volume any more! haha.

5. Vivian’s Heavenly Ice Cream Shop

This one was adorable. Give up your real job? Check. Struggle to make ends meet trying to continue a sentimental business? Check. Hunky Italian? Check. Romance abounds in this one, and it was easy and fun, and a perfect summer read. And no snark! Go me.

6. Sloppy Firsts

I was gifted this book for a Secret Santa, but I felt like it was going to be a perfect summer read so I saved it. It’s very teen as a book, but I liked the main character, and I related to her struggles.

7. Fables 16: Super Team

8. Fables 17: Inherit the Wind

Boop boop Fables. She’s really churning through these.

9. Low Vol 1

This was a very grim comic, set in the future where we all live underground. The kids get kidnapped and they are brought up in a terrible fashion. The whole world is so eerie under the ocean, and they are trying to find a way to keep sustaining life – but it is getting harder and harder. And some of the other settlements have already fallen to chaos and decay. I really like the setting and the idea behind this book – but the pictures did not grab me at all. It was messy, but I suppose that really fits with the genre and such.

10. The Year of Taking Chances

I don’t even remember.

11. Ender’s Game Vol. 1 Battle School

I’ve wanted to read more stuff about Ender Wiggin since we saw the movie – this comic is a very brief overview of the plot of the book, and it’s only the first section. I loved it, I really need to pick up the books sometime. So make sure I do that!

12. The Assassin’s Blade

Celaena Sardothian is one of my favourite main characters of the moment, she’s such a bundle of opposites. Strong and deadly but she loves sweets and fancy furniture. This collection of short stories helps you see more of her background, what makes her tick and what led her to be the assassin that is feared all over the nation.

13. Mary Jane Vol 1: Circle of Friends

14. Mary Jane Vol 2: Homecoming

15. Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery

I didn’t enjoy this one as much as the first one, it felt strained. I missed the puffin, even though I know that he should be with his puffin friends instead of living in the lighthouse. But drama and resolution and blah.

16. Oz: Road to Oz

17. Oz: The Marvellous Land of Oz

18. Oz: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

19. Oz: Ozma of Oz

20. Oz: Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz

Many Oz comics this month too. These are drawn by Skottie Young, and I absolutely love his style, there’s something just so super cute about it. I love stories like these, and I had never read anything in the expanded Oz universe before so it was quite refreshing to cover so much new material with familiar characters. At first I was confused, but I worked out the order that I was supposed to be reading them in, and all fell into place in my brain.

21. Angelfall

I’m not sure why angels in fiction became such a thing, but there are a whole bunch of angel fiction these days. I won this one from a contest on GoodReads, and I was skeptical to say the least. The whole Earth being punished by angels / God thing is not something that I would ever pick to read about, but this one kept me interested. The events were paced quickly after the initial slow scene setting. I’m not sure if I’ll ever finish of the trilogy, but if they appear at the library then I will probably check them out.

22. The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line

I am so glad the Veronica Mars got a series of books. After I was introduced to the show I devoured it, and I have always wanted more. I was so excited to hear about the film and the books too. I love seeing Veronica as a little bit more of a grown up, with a real job. I love mystery books and the sassiness of Ms Mars.

Well… that’s two months of books, so I think I’ll leave it there. And ask you if you have any recommendations for fairy tale retellings?

-girlinthenerdshop

Category: Book Reviews | Tags: , ,

January Bookshelf

The first month of this year is up, and I’ve made some real progress with my reading goal for this year. In January I read 20 books! I can hardly believe it either, I’m a fifth of the way through my goal already.

1. Plumdog

This was a beautiful book to start the year off, the illustrations are absolutely gorgeous. The whole book is written from the perspective of the dog, Plum, who likes diving, walks on the beach and playing with her friends.

2. The Sleeper and The Spindle

This is another graphic novel, with pictures by my favourite illustrator of all time. A book with a twist and a really interesting retelling of some classic fairytales that we know and love, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty.

3. In Real Life

In Real Life was the January graphic novel pick for the IGGPPC Bookclub, to tie in with the retro gaming theme for this round. It’s a short book with a message, about economics or some such. It was heavy handed with it, but it was a sweet little story about personal growth too.

4. Batgirl Vol 1.

Collecting the first 6 issues of the New 52 version of Batgirl, it didn’t really grab me. It felt to me like Barbara Gordon was full of self pity, and was trying to do superhero things when she wasn’t fully recovered yet… there was a lot of that. Not my favourite.

5. Daughter of Smoke and Bone

I love this book, the setting was so dark in places, and it brought a whole new set of fairytale type things with it. I loved the main character, and zoomed through this book. I’ve picked up the second volume, and I can’t wait to get started on it [once I’m through with a few other books that is]

6. Morning Glories Vol 1.

This looked promising from all of the reviews I read, comparing it to Lost but with teenage characters. I found it jarring, too many things were introduced with no follow up… the characters were all flat and relied heavily on stereotypes – I don’t care what happens next. Which is unusual for me with a series.

7. Aquaman Vol 1.

After we got past the numerous references to Aquaman talking to fish and being lame on land, this really picked up. He’s a good guy, and he does a good job saving the world and stuff. Mera is a grumpy badass. She can stay!

8. Thief’s Magic

A really creative magical universe, although I found the switching between characters hard to deal with at first. Hopefully the two end up in the same place so we don’t have to deal with that anymore.

9. Fables Vol 3

I’m in love with this series, I can’t help myself. This volume brings some love and some heartbreak.

10. Ottoline Goes to School

Tiny book written by Chris Riddell, with stickers included in the back for all of the special talents. The extra bits to look out for whilst you’re reading add some extra fun, and really make you stop to look at the illustrations.

11. The Seafront Tea Rooms

I love books about cafes and such. This one is a gentle read, and the romance doesn’t feel forced, and the story is predominantly about the friendships forged between the three female characters.

12. The Kabul Beauty School

I’ve got real mixed feelings about this book. The subject matter reached me, a woman doing her best to help other women in a grief stricken and war torn country; but it just didn’t flow. The writing was disjointed, and often it took a while to work out why things came in a certain order.

13. Catwoman Vol 2

More feline shenannigans occur, and there’s a nice tie in with the Batman arc too. Some creepy villain action coming up.

14. Scott Pilgrim #1

Something about this book didn’t click with me. My favourite character was Stacey Pilgrim, and she’s only in the book for half a dozen panels. She seems like the voice of reason to me.

15. Project Black Sky: Secret Files

Alternate reality super hero antics. It was a curious read, with some cool art – not sure  that I could handle too much of the ‘is that, really?’ that the panels made me feel.

16. The Dark

Pretty picture book, and the little boy is very cute. At least he gets over his fear of the dark.

17. The Making Of

I didn’t really like this one, it was more than just the art style that didn’t work for me. It was pretentious, and that main character was an ass.

18. Fables Vol 4

The action is heating up in Fabletown, there is mystery and intrigue in this volume. And a lot of action and explosions and stuff. Ace.

19. Aquaman Vol 2

This is by far the prettiest book I have seen in a long time. I felt thrown in at the deep end with the team that was in this book, having no prior knowledge of Aquaman [or DC really]. It came together in the end. I can see myself reading more.

20. Black Widow Vol 1

Black Widow is trying to atone for her past, it’s nice to see her with a little heart. Although she is still cool as a cucumber and a badass.

So… that’s me all caught up for this month, I still have some books from last year that I want to talk about, and I might still do a bigger review of a couple of these books that I can’t help but go on about.

What are you reading at the moment? Do you have any recommendations?

– girlinthenerdshop

Category: Book Reviews | Tags: , ,

I Read: Landline by Rainbow Rowell

landline

I took a break from YA novels, it makes an interesting change, there are adults around for starters! So… first thing about this novel, I didn’t love it as much as I loved Fangirl or Eleanor and Park. I found the protaganist harder to relate to, mostly because she was a grown up with a family… I can only just about cope with having 2 cats – so I can’t imagine what kids are like to live with. Although, thinking about it now it could have been the best friend (who always loved her? puh-lease!) that grated on my nerves a little bit.

That said, I found this book very easy to read, and there was no point that I thought about putting the book down. I loved that the phone called the past, and that Georgie had the Marty McFly Back to the Future fix to make. It was hard for her to decide whether she had to fix it so they did get together, or whether she was supposed to not make that happen so that her life would be completely different.

It was also very refreshing that the first thing she did when she thought she might have been talking to her husband in the past was think that she had gone bonkers. I know that’s what I would be doing if I was talking to my childhood sweetheart however many years in the past.

I couldn’t help like feel that Georgie thought she’d married the wrong guy, the present day marriage just didn’t seem to get as much page space as her job / best friend / kids / parents got. Not that I’d let her pick the best friend to be husband material.

Overall I did enjoy this book, it was a fun and very quick read. I’m quite looking forward to reading Attachments, which is the last book I have to read by Rainbow Rowell [currently that is]. It’s another non-YA choice! I am spoiling you aren’t I.

– girlinthenerdshop

I Read: Maze Runner Trilogy

My original plan was to review these books as I went along, I wanted to have a distinct post written on each of the 3 books… however, I got rather behind with blogging about things, and if I only post one book review a week I’ll have them written until January… so it’s time to clump things together so I don’t get behind. This is a catching up exercise!

There are just too many things I want to talk about!

maze runner

Yet another YA book trilogy is to be made into a film, so in real Claire tradition I wanted to read the whole series before I went to see the film. I was pleasantly surprised by this trilogy… I’ve read a tonne of young adult novels lately, and some of them feel so similar. This one had some elements that made it very similar… i.e. teenagers, and there being some big bad that they had to deal with. What made this series feel different for me was the not knowing what was really happening, as the kids in the maze didn’t really have any clue why they were there in the first place.

I can see why people have compared these books to The Hunger Games, there is an element of kids against the world. The reasons they are in the maze is different to the games though, which makes it work a little better for me.

The reveals in the first book are quite slow, so it was frustrating at times, but the lack of knowledge amongst the characters made me want to read further to find out what on earth was going on in the maze.

maze runner2

The second book in the trilogy has far more twists and turns. I found it very hard to work out which characters I was supposed to be rooting for, and who I was meant to hate. Like Brenda… I just could not trust that girl, then just as I was starting to accept her, she disappears. The paranoia is palpable.

WICKED broke the rules in this one, which was interesting, as they had let so many other subjects die in various ways, but because there was a variable they weren’t planning for… they interefered. Which is odd, surely that could have been useful data for them, but I guess it’s bad form to kill of your main character!

We still don’t really know what is going on, the vague memories and flashbacks we see don’t explain anything. We don’t know what the variables are, and how they will use the patterns once they have found them.

As soon as I picked this one up from the library, I had the next one reserved so that I could continue straight on.

maze runner3

This is the last installment in the trilogy, so I went into this hoping that some more things were tied up, so we could get some closure.

Throughout the book I still wasn’t sure if the trials were over or not yet, there were certain things that happened that made me think that they were still being tested – like the presence of beetle blades in WICKED HQ, or the fact that getting to the arms locker and helipad felt just too damn easy and  then conveniently went wrong at a key time to make Thomas make a decision about whether to leave someone behind. After thinking about it at the end of the book, I think all of these events take place outside of the trials… maybe.

It was noticeable that Theresa didn’t feature as heavily in this book after she had been such an important part of the books previously. This wasn’t too jarring for me, as I was seriously still cross with her after what she has done.

The ‘happily ever after’ ending felt a little bit of a cop out, but at least we know that there is hope now, even if Brenda lied to Thomas… that was rude. They’re all safe now, which is good. They don’t deserve more drama after all that they have been through.

I’ve seen the movie to this too… and I’m still mulling over the rage at the differences… we’ll just have to watch this space to see if there is a movie review post!

– girlinthenerdshop

I Read: The Night Bookmobile

The Night Bookmobile by Audrey Niffenegger

The Night Bookmobile by Audrey Niffenegger

This is quite possibly the most perfect thing I have ever read.

That’s all.

Ok, I’ll tell you more.

I love the idea of this book, that somewhere out there, there is a personal librarian for each person out there. I wonder what books would be in my personal collection that I’ve forgotten about, what treasures would you find if you went back through your book collection? I also wonder  what my librarian would be like.

The ending left me speechless, it was sad. However, she did find a purpose and she got her firrst library patron. It was a sweet ending, even though it was in sad circumstances.

After I finished this book, I had a thought… that this was a perfect book. I could have never read another book and I wouldn’t have been sad about that. Obviously, I’ll never stop reading books! I’ve read nearly a dozen since I finished this one!

– girlinthenerdshop

I Read: Eleanor and Park

Eleanor and Park

Eleanor and Park

Wow. Just wow.

Before I read this book, I’d been feeling fairly troubled by teenage angst on a tv show I’d been watching. The show Awkward… made me feel sick inside. This book though, it restored my faith in the Young Adult genre. This book was something else, the characters, the story  – they made me feel. And not the churning knot in my stomach that I’d been having lately, but an honest pull to the characters, I ached for them.

I just couldn’t put this book down, as soon as I started I felt like I couldn’t stop. I’m a book worm, so I get this a lot. But I would have read this book in one entire sitting if I had been able to do so.

The two main characters, Eleanor and Park, are misfits. Their innocence shines from the page, and it was something so pure. Being the different one in high school is hard, and this book lets you see that, but they are true to themselves, and they don’t try to change themselves to get away from the name calling and such.

It made me sad that the angry stepfather was a part of the book. I don’t like violence in books, sometimes it puts me off reading them entirely. I soldiered on, I got to the end. I had feelings all the damn way through – which is fairly unusual for me. I’m getting soppy in my old age.

I liked the ending, the postcard made me feel pretty hopeful for the future. I know that the contents of the card are not part of the book, but there are plenty of 3 word combinations that are a happy ending. I miss you. I love you. I’m coming back. See? Plenty of choices for a happy ending.

– girlinthenerdshop

I Read: A Taste of Chlorine

Lots of book posts to update you on, I’ve been devouring books like it was going out of fashion. I have fallen fast and hard in love with graphic novels, there’s just something about the pictures and the story linked together that makes the whole experience wonderful… anyways. Recently I read A Taste of Chlorine by Bastien Vives… this book is a delight.

A Taste Of Chlorine by Bastien Vives

A Taste Of Chlorine by Bastien Vives

Firstly, look at that cover. Yes, I was drawn to it because of the cover… I’m always drawn to books about swimming and water… and there aren’t that many novels about swimming [challenge accepted!]

This is a very elegant book, as it is just so simple in design, the text barely encroaches on the pictures. This really allows you to focus on the images in front of you. It made me feel like I was swimming, you could follow the momentum through the panels. It was really something – almost gave me the sense of weightlessness like being in the water.

The girl mouths something under the water, and we never find out what it is that she said. This plagued me for days after I finished reading the book. I tried copying the mouth movements to see if I could work out what it was, but I had no luck. I guess it will always remain a mystery.

A beautiful book, that I highly recommend getting your hands on.

– girlinthenerdshop

I Read: Ready Player One

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

This book is the September novel pick for the IGGPPC book club, I got in on this book early, and I finished it really quickly. I found it difficult to put down for the most part, I just wanted to keep going and to find out what was going to happen.

I liked the the virtual reality setting in this book. The world is falling apart outside, but there is a place where people can escape that and live a life inside the software. The main character even goes to school inside the OASIS… the VR has been his world for all his life practically, as he was left to play there as a child whilst his mother was at work [at her job inside OASIS I might add.]

The contest is the main plot driver, and the obsession with the 80’s stems from that. It’s quite odd to have a book that is set in the future be so obsessed with the past, but it works for the majority of the story. At times I found this to be quite jarring, as there were tons of references to films I haven’t seen [sometimes heard of] as the 80s is not my decade. The book does still work even if you haven’t played every arcade and video game from that era obsessively, the things that you really need to know are explained enough… other things you could always go and research.

Wade really grows throughout the book, he develops friendships and begins to trust people which is something he has never done before. It’s an important part for him to do so, as the quest cannot be finished solo – and he is the first one to work that out. He does some serious self-sacrificing to help out his buddies, if it had backfired it would’ve turned out way worse!

Overall I loved that this story had so many nerdy references woven into the fabric of the book, even if most of them did go over my head. The whole book had me wanting to find out what was going to happen next the whole way through, I even found myself second guessing what could possibly happen next, or what that coin could possibly be!

Now… where is my virtual reality haven going to appear?

-girlinthenerdshop