Aug 31, 2015

Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone

It's been a long time coming but I've finally read the first Harry Potter book and intend to keep reading until the very end of the series. A part of me wishes I had started this series sooner but I'm also kind of okay with the fact that I waited.


 Harry Potter thinks he is an ordinary boy. He lives with his Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia and cousin Dudley, who are mean to him and make him sleep in a cupboard under the stairs. (Dudley, however, has two bedrooms, one to sleep in and one for all his toys and games.) Then Harry starts receiving mysterious letters and his life is changed forever. He is whisked away by a beetle-eyed giant of a man and enrolled at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The reason: Harry Potter is a wizard! The first book in the "Harry Potter" series makes the perfect introduction to the world of Hogwarts.



Harry Potter is a well known book series. To have not read the books yet seems like a silly thing to say but since I've started reading them I've seen quiet a few posts from others who have yet to start the books. It makes me feel a little bit better about being so late in starting this series.

I grew up watching these movies and loving them but I never felt I could understand some of the events in the movies because I hadn't read the books. There would be these little moments in the movies that I just knew I needed to have read the books to fully understand said moments.

I really liked the way this book was written. The way J.K Rowling presented the story was done in a really crafty way. I have a harder time connecting with characters when it's not told from first person point of view but with Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone I had no issues. With each character there was either an instant liking or an instant dislike.

In a way because I've watched the movies so many times it made me enjoy this book more because while I was reading each character had a very distinct voice in my head because of the movies. But at the same time because I saw the movies the twists didn't have the same punch because I knew what was coming. So there are pros and cons to having watched the movies first.

There was a lot more Fred and George in this book compared to the movie and I absolutely loved that. They bring some of the funniest dialogue and wit. They are by far my favorite characters which is funny because as much I love Harry, Ron and Hermione it was Fred and George who I kept wanting to read more and more of.

All in all even though it took me a long time to read this book I did enjoy it. I have a feeling I will like the books more with each one I read because though I did enjoy this book it isn't a new favorite. Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone is getting 4.5 out of 5 birds. I would recommend if you haven't read this book yet that you do. There is truly something great about it and the way it's written. I'm curious to see which book in the series ends up being my favorite.






Aug 19, 2015

The Improbable Theory of Ana & Zak

I had no idea about this great book. I hadn't seen it anywhere until stumbling upon it at my local bookstore. It was the only copy there and I knew from the moment I saw the cover it was a book I was going to like.


 It all begins when Ana Watson's little brother, Clayton, secretly ditches the quiz bowl semifinals to go to the Washingcon sci-fi convention on what should have been a normal, résumé-building school trip.

If slacker Zak Duquette hadn't talked up the geek fan fest so much, maybe Clayton wouldn't have broken nearly every school rule or jeopardized Ana’s last shot at freedom from her uptight parents.

Now, teaming up with Duquette is the only way for Ana to chase down Clayton in the sea of orcs, zombies, bikini-clad princesses, Trekkies, and Smurfs. After all, one does not simply walk into Washingcon.

But in spite of Zak's devil-may-care attitude, he has his own reasons for being as lost as Ana-and Ana may have more in common with him than she thinks. Ana and Zak certainly don’t expect the long crazy night, which begins as a nerdfighter manhunt, to transform into so much more…


Captain of her high schools quiz bowl team Ana is not only intelligent but she's a rule follower terrified of screwing up and dealing with the consequences from her parents. Zak a total geektastic care free slacker. Combine them and a sci-fi convention you bet the night just took a turn for crazy.


Ana and Zak are two polar opposite people who are pulled together for one night. I loved these two characters. I loved the character development they went through over the course of this book. Ana does all and everything to impress her parents who never seem interested in her. She's so afraid of screwing up that she simply doesn't allow herself to. Ana comes off as stuck up sometimes but really she's so stressed out and afraid that she puts up these defenses that make her seem unapproachable. It takes a while but once readers see the real Ana there's a lot there to like.

Zak Duquette might be one of the wittiest dorks of all dorks. And by dork I mean a new favorite character. I'm a sucker for characters like Zak. He's kind of an idiot but an idiot with a big heart who's whole life is centered by knowing he'll get to go to Washingcon every year.  I loved Zak and always found myself happy when it went back to a chapter told from his point of view.

This book is an overload of awesome. I wish there were more books like this. I loved that this is set at a scifi convention and I love all the chaos that comes out of trying to find Ana's little brother. It was such a fun read, but it still had it's moments of realness amongst all the fun and crazy situations.

I haven't ever read anything from this author but I really enjoyed his style of writing. I definietly want to read more from him because this book was so good. The Improbable Theory of Ana & Zak is getting 5 out of 5 birds from me. Super fun book with awesome character development and crap load of geeky references that will have you smiling! I would recommend this book to everyone.




Aug 17, 2015

Gone

Gone by Lisa McMann is the final book in the trilogy. This one strayed a bit from the previous two books and though I enjoyed it I'm struggling to decide just how much I liked the conclusion.


Things should be great for Janie—she has graduated from high school and is spending her summer with Cabel, the guy she’s totally in love with. But deep down she’s panicking about how she’s going to survive her future when getting sucked into other people’s dreams is really starting to take its toll.

Things get even more complicated when she meets her father for the very first time—and he’s in a coma. As Janie uncovers his secret past, she begins to realize that the choice thought she had has more dire consequences than she ever imagined.


Gone is the final book in this trilogy. I didn't expect this book to play out the way that it did. It was good, but because it strayed from the detective gotta get the bad guy storyline it kind of felt like a completely different story. Don't get me wrong I liked this book but I felt like the straying from the original formula made the book a tad bit boring. With the first two books I had to keep reading but with this one I got bored toward the end, it kept losing my attention. It was to repetitive, Janie going back and forth about what she plans to do. Which of course I get because this is the last book but I wish we had had one last bust with Janie and Cabe running the show.

Janie is a great character who is seriously down in the dumps in this final book. She's always kind of been snarky about things but this time she is borderline depressed about it all. Which is totally understandable because of what she's dealing with but because it was constantly about deciding whether to stay or go into isolation her attitude got frustrating.

There was less Cabe in Gone than the previous two books. I really started to like Cabe in the second book and to have him not as present in this one made me sad because I felt like I had just started to understand him as a character.

I realize it sounds like I didn't really enjoy this book. I did like this one but considerably less than the first two. Lisa McMann did a good job of wrapping up Janie's story despite having a lot of repetitiveness within this book.

Gone is getting 3 out of 5 birds from me. I would recommend these books to anyone because it really is a good trilogy. I personally just felt a tad bit disappointed with the final book. I've heard many others who adored it so it's all on preference.





Aug 12, 2015

Fade

Fade steps it up in the sequel to Wake. The lack of connection I felt for the characters makes up for it with this book. Not only did I feel connected to them but I no longer felt so indifferent about what happens to them.


 For Janie and Cabel, real life is getting tougher than the dreams. They're just trying to carve out a little (secret) time together, but no such luck.

Disturbing things are happening at Fieldridge High, yet nobody's talking. When Janie taps into a classmate's violent nightmares, the case finally breaks open -- but nothing goes as planned. Not even close. Janie's in way over her head, and Cabe's shocking behavior has grave consequences for them both.

Worse yet, Janie learns the truth about herself and her ability -- and it's bleak. Seriously, brutally bleak. Not only is her fate as a dream catcher sealed, but what's to come is way darker than she'd feared....



If you think Janie's life has improved since the last time you read about her...well it hasn't and it has. She has Cabel in her life and that is a good thing, but the dreams are constant and she's sucked into someone's nightmare that causes a twisted secret to come out about some of the faculty working in the high school. 

Janie knows how to take care of herself. She's been doing it forever. I like that she doesn't depend on anyone but herself, but she allows herself to accept help from Cabel. She's learning to accept the help and I loved getting to read about two characters who are both so messed up learn to really love another person. 

I felt indifferent towards Cabel in Wake. This book I felt different. I really started to like him and the way he treated Janie. They support each other in ways neither is really used to. Cabel is really attentive to Janie, just really sweet all around. I'm really curious how he is going to grow in the final book in the series. 

We learn some new things about Janie's dream walking. Some of it is good but a lot of it is life altering for Janie. There are hints about how the dreams are affecting Janie but like Janie it's easy to brush it off until you realize it's really serious. 

Fade I read quicker than Wake and I read Wake pretty quick. This book moves fast and I really enjoyed the plot presented in Fade. It's twisted and sad but it keeps you on your toes. Fade is getting 5 out of 5 birds from me! I loved this book and can't wait to read Gone. I'm curious how it's all going to wrap up for Janie because the way this book ended wasn't very cherry. This is such a good series and I would recommend it to everyone. 



Aug 10, 2015

Wake

I can't remember when I first read Wake but I remember really enjoying it. The story stuck with me. It was the book that made me a fan of Lisa McMann and her lyrical way of writing. I'm glad I decided to reread Wake and finally finish the series.


 For seventeen-year-old Janie, getting sucked into other people's dreams is getting old. Especially the falling dreams, the naked-but-nobody-notices dreams, and the sex-crazed dreams. Janie's seen enough fantasy booty to last her a lifetime.
She can't tell anybody about what she does they'd never believe her, or worse, they'd think she's a freak. So Janie lives on the fringe, cursed with an ability she doesn't want and can’t control.
Then she falls into a gruesome nightmare, one that chills her to the bone. For the first time, Janie is more than a witness to someone else's twisted psyche. She is a participant.


Janie gets sucked into people's dreams. It's a real pain in the ass and nothing of all that much interest to Janie until she is sucked into someones nightmare.

Janie doesn't have the best life. Her mom drinks way to much. Aside from her best friend Carrie she pretty much keeps to herself. I didn't connect to Janie very much in this book but that didn't mean I didn't like her as a character. I really liked Janie. I think had this book not been written in a very distant perspective I totally would have connected with her. But the thing about this book was that distant narration is what makes this book so good. It gives the story the perfect feel for the story that is being told.

The way this book is written is an interesting way to tell Janie's story. I am not the biggest fan of third person because I never feel very connected to the characters when a story is told in third person. The way Lisa McMann writes it though draws you into the story so much that you can look past not feeling very connected with the main character. One big thing that I loved about this book was that Janie could be in another room and there would be insight into what another character was doing. There was something about that that really drew me in.

As far as guys go I felt pretty indifferent towards Cabel. I liked him but I didn't feel any attachment to him. It's weird because I didn't feel any attachment to any of the characters in this book, yet I loved the story. Typically when I feel indifferent to character or many in the story it just ruins it for me. But that isn't the case with this book. I read it quick because it's one of those stories that keeps moving along and makes you want to keep reading.

Wake is a good book that is getting 4 out of 5 birds from me. I really enjoyed this story and I love the dream aspect to this book and how it affects Janie. It's a really interesting take. Though there isn't much connection to the characters in this first book I still really enjoyed it and it left me wanting the next book right away. I would definitely recommend it to people.