Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Review Smash

             I have had a few reviews overdue. So I thought I'd just do mini reviews. Sounds good?

            I will warn though that I've kind of been in a book slump. I didn't like these books as much I as thought I would, or as much as I probably would've. And it's mostly because they're not Divergent. :( I know that is an unfair thing to hold against a book.

Splintered by A. G. Howard

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          Ever since Alyssa's great great grandmother (you know, the real Alice of Alice in Wonderland) went mad every one of her female ancestors has inherited the insanity. Visiting her mother in an asylum and now also hearing the bugs and plants talk, Alyssa wonders if she can run from this fate much longer. But then she finds out her family line has been cursed and she can save her mother and herself by journeying to Netherland. It sounds crazy enough to put her in asylum. But with all the other things she's heard and seen, and this being her last hope, she'll take the chance. Oh, and there's a love triangle.



           The story was very interesting. Though most of the time it seemed a little overwhelmed by the love triangle. I, honestly, had many disagreements with the characters. We were at odds through most of the book. But they felt so real, I was literally arguing with them. They're very well written, and I've heard that a lot of people love them.
           The world of Netherland (aka Wonderland)? Amazing! I loved the whole concept behind each place and all the different creatures (the Mustella, he was the best character! I wish he had a name). The world of book had me intrigued the whole way through (the concept behind the graveyard and the spider sisters- I loved it; though the feast with the duck was just revolting). Despite being on the morbid side, I really loved the world of the story.
            There is a lot of description, beautifully done. I got to learn all about Netherland to my heart's content. But there's also long descriptions of Alyssa's clothing (I'm going to assume "platforms" are very tall and clunky shoes, for obvious reasons), and long descriptions of each of the kisses she has (can we say goopy?). 
          It was a really good book. If I find the second one, I'll definitely pick it up. I want to know more about Netherland. Even though I initially disliked the characters, every time I think back on the book, I end up liking them more. . .


The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

            Hazel Grace has cancer and probably will for the rest of her life (and who knows how long that will last). The last thing she expects to experience is love. But when she meets Augustus Waters who has dodged the threat of cancer before and knows how to use words like existentially and fraught properly, her life doesn't seem to suck so much. But does she really want love? Does she really want more people's hearts to break when she doesn't live?


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           This book made me laugh. Out loud. I haven't laughed with a book in a while. I loved that. But my favorite part was that these kids used big words. In their everyday dialogue. Words that I needed a dictionary for. Yes! (They did tend to use this one bad word. I don't really understand why because they had this vast vocabulary available to them, why succumb to. . . whatever. I will never understand that.)
            The characters were amazing and hilarious. Together and as individuals. And being people who were/had been/were closer to death than others, they tended to talk about important things. Things that mattered. Some of the things you would never have realized mattered that much unless you saw it through their eyes. It was an interesting perspective.
            There was this one scene that I skipped. The sex scene. And I know it's a romance so it's "supposed" to be included. But I was hoping it wouldn't be. Why does the world think this scene is okay? That ithas to be a part of the genre? Especially since the people who are in this scene are so young. I know people who are that young still do these things in real life, but should we encourage that? I think not. (this I guess isn't necessarily a problem with the book so much as with the genre.)
             I found the plot a tad predictable. I hate saying that.
             I could tell by the way the book was written that the ending was going to be anti-climatic and leave a lot of loose ends. But it was sooo drawn out. I was just ready for the book to end.
           Hazel has such a unique viewpoint on things. And I loved how Augustus would try to give his friend, Isaac an outlet for his frustration. Okay, these outlets were a bit destructive, and though Augustus made jokes you know he cared because he made jokes. Those were the sweetest and funniest scenes in the book.

           You don't get to choose if you get hurt in this world, old man, but you do have some say in who hurts you. - The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
           
Eli the Good by Silas House

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            1976 summer in the country. Eli is ten year's old and the world is a wonder. But in his small hometown of Refuge, his family is shifting around him. Eli's sister questions what she believes and always seems at odds with their mother. Vietnam revisits his father and everyone tiptoes around him. Why has his aunt come to stay with them? And his mother struggles to hold them all together. Eli feels invisible as he has always been the observer on the sidelines. He tries to find the balance of when it's time to be the audience and when it's time be a part.

           I loved this book. The cover is beautiful. I know, it's just a tree. But I love trees and I like the small role trees played in the book.
           It has that wonderful nostalgic old time, small town feel. When all the kids in the neighborhood would ride bikes together and families would hang out on the back porch. I enjoyed that more than I expected.
           For a book this story had a lot of music to it. Just the way it's written, plus the fact that it named a lot of popular artists and songs of the time period. Eli's family was always singing along with the radio. Or the record player, got to love the record player.
           I loved the characters too. I related to Eli well, though I can't stand that part of him that revels in other people's drama. I love his family too. The way they connected with each other. Even when they fought and disagreed, they would come back together.
          The story was heavy on description though. There wasn't much dialogue. Usually when people said something, the conversation was paraphrased or just told to me instead of being in quotation marks and live on the page. That made me sad.
           There was no romance (yay!). His sister had a boyfriend, but even that wasn't much of a romance most of the time.
           It's not exactly a coming of age story. Eli did grow, but he learned more about his family than himself. He learned what his parents, his aunt, and his sister believed in and thought was important. He saw them grow and hold together. I loved how he was always so curious about his father.
           This one was my favorite out of all three of these.
          
           Years later I would realize that this was one of the world's great problems, that people often allow themselves not to think. They choose to not think, and that's how the whole world gets into trouble. My only excuse that day was that I was a child.  -Eli the Good by Silas House

6 comments:

  1. I've been intrigued about the Splintered series. But decided to wait until the series is finished before starting. (Well. So far I'm sticking to that. I may give in...I've been known to do that. ;) You've certainly intrigued me more!

    I think I am one of the few who actually didn't really enjoy The Fault in Our Stars. I can definitely say that John Green is an excellent writer, and I usually love stories dealing with diseases, so it seems like I should agree with the entire world that this is a great book. And I am glad you enjoyed it! But I had the same problem as you about that certain scene. I don't like how it basically encourages young teens that it's ok to do that, especially if you're sick and going to die anyway. *sigh* But that does seem to be the going trend in YA these days unfortunately. But anyway. Simply said, it just didn't click with me. And I know I am in a very, very small group of people who feel that way about it. But truly! I am glad you liked it. :)

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    1. John Green is an good writer. I love the humor in The Fault in Our Stars, and in the beginning I loved the story. It was a good book, but I'm not sure it was as good as everyone says.
      Splintered is very interesting. Though I haven't read the sequel yet. But the first one, very good. :)

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  2. I'm so glad you enjoyed these Ashley! :D

    The Fault in our Stars was AMAZING, wasn't it? <3 The characters were just so wonderful and well-developed, and I absolutely loved Hazel as a protagonist. Her romance with Gus was refreshing and enjoyable, and I'm glad you felt the same way! You don't usually expect a book about cancer like this to be so humorous, but this definitely was!

    I also really enjoyed Splintered, and I'm glad you found your way into Wonderland with Alyssa, Morpheus, and Jeb. :)

    Thanks for sharing! <3

    ~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

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    1. The Fault in our Stars was good. The best part was the characters. They're very charismatic. :) It did seem to drag a little from the middle to the end though. . . but I'm used to more action based books, so I guess romance is different.

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  3. I absolutely adore Splintered and TFIOS. Hehe, as you probably know. But ohhhh wasn't the Netherling descriptions amazing?! I was just blown away by the detail in that series! Although, to be honest, I'd get a bit confused about some of the finer plot details. I had to corner Mime and make her explain a few things to me. I loved Unhinged more. I'm completely in love with Alyssa and Morpheus (I ship them quite hard) so that wasn't a problem for me.
    I loved every single bit of TFIOS. It made me laugh AND cry. That's unfair on my emotions. ;)

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    1. I know. :)
      The Netherling descriptions were amazing! It was written beautifully and I could see. I love it when you can just see everything like a movie. Eh, Morpheus. I'm glad you liked him. :) I didn't much like how manipulative and. . . sensual he was. But at the end, when he didn't kiss her when he could've, I didn't expect that. That wasn't the Morpheus I had seen all throughout the book. Which makes me think, maybe I misjudged him. I could give him a second chance. But not Jeb. You don't say you love one person but go out with another. And I have to admire how well the characters were written. They felt sooo real.

      TFIOS had some amazing characters! They were really hilarious. I'm just kind of disappointed that nothing in the book ever surprised me. Except the characters' personalities. I never expected a voice like Hazel's when I opened that book. Or Augustus. Even Isaac. The characters are rather refreshing.

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