Paul Auster goes big in his new novel 4 3 2 1, an 880-page doorstopper following four different versions of the same character, leading four not-quite parallel lives. Check out Muchael Schaub’s review here.
Every so often, I think of this book and smile. It’s not that it’s a perfect book by any means. It has it’s pitfalls. But for what it is, Long May She Reign is a delightful, charming read. The biggest thing that charmed me was the protagonist. Fraya is refreshingly different from the YA fantasy heroine trope. She’s not kickass. She’s not girly. But she’s also not a damsel in distress. Instead, she’s smart and resourceful and fit to take important matters to task. And she’s not afraid to speak her mind and stand up for what is right.
I should, perhaps, preface this with the plot. Right from the first chapter, Thomas places her readers in this lavish, beautiful royal feast. Everyone’s gorgeously dressed in elaborate court outfits, acrobats and contortionists are performing between tables, and doves fly out of a pie. It’s big and bold and she’s making a flashy statement from the get go. What I love about this set up is that it perfectly reflects the greedy conspicuous consumption of this corrupt king and really creates the tone for the remainder of the novel.
Just when you think we’re getting this beautiful, over the top royal aesthetic for the rest of the narrative, the entire court dies of poisoning. And in one fell swoop, Fraya becomes next in line for the throne. What remains is a twisty, turny murder mystery on a large scale, paired with some admirable character development on Fraya’s part. There’s a certain quiet dose of classic Sherlock Holmes in this. Unlike many fantasy novels these days, Long May She Reign is far from action packed. Instead, Thomas brings the excitement back to a more cerebral level as we watch Fraya use her science smarts and cunning to unravel the whodunnit. Effectively, she’s Watson and Holmes all rolled into one and I love that in a female protagonist.
Although this novel is essentially set in a medieval fantasy plot, there’s something about it that feels very Victorian. Fraya’s scientific reasoning harkens back to the early days of forensic science, when doctors were still trying to discover how to detect arsenic in everyday matter. Rarely ever do I see female characters engaging in science in young adult novels and it brings me so much joy to see Fraya really excelling at it and revelling in her work. She’s not ashamed of being a scientist, nor does she bow to anyone’s will if ever they tell her it’s not her place to do such investigations. Her scientific curiosity makes her a very different kind of fantasy queen, and a much needed one at that.
Fraya is not a girl who ever expected to become queen. About a dozen down the line to inherit the throne, she was not meant to become queen. Yet it happens, and at first, she’s reluctant. She has grand plans to make the next great scientific discovery and invent something useful enough so she can gain notoriety and get out of her greedy town. She’s got aspirations beyond the kingdom. She wants to make something of herself.
And at first, becoming queen isn’t going to grant her that.
Of course, in time, she comes to realise how corrupt the court truly is and she starts to realise that she has a voice, and she’s in control. She calls the shots and no one else. People will try to pull her strings and manipulate her into doing what they want, but she wants none of it. The minute she has that epiphany, it’s her way or the highway. No more lavish spending, the poor are going to get their due, she really pulls it together despite the odds.
This is exactly what I need out of female characters! I need girls who get shit done! Because that’s exactly the type of role model young girls need right now more than ever! We need to be teaching them that they can do science. They can be effective leaders.
They have a voice!
I am beyond thrilled to see Rhiannon Thomas sharing such a message, and I’m excited to see what she does in the future because true, self-aware, feminist YA authors are few and far between. And they deserve all the attention we can give them.
book review- 4: I’ll Give You The Sun- Jandy Nelson
you know those books which make you feel warm and fuzzy inside but at the same time make you want to shut the book and cry out in rage? this. this is one of those books. the way jandy nelson writes is why i believe that gods can exist on earth. beautiful jesus fucking christ so beautiful.
jude and noah. noah and jude. inseparable twins. they would burn the world for the other. the language which they share is on a different frequency compared to the rest of the earth..like when she (jude) says “Don’t be sad. It came right through the wall last night.” noah loves to draw. jude likes to make dresses. (i personally have a soft spot for noah sorry jude.) this book isn’t only about them loving other people, it’s a book about them loving themselves, loving each other, forgiving and forgetting. it is also a series of misunderstandings and things done out of envy, out of rage, out of emotions, a few of them including their parents’ and a few including brian(noah’s boyfriend). reading it made my heart ache.
“Jude and me have one soul between us that we have to share: a tree with it’s leaves on fire.”
“Reality is crushing. The world is a wrong sized shoe.”
“When I open them a second later, it’s like he’s gotten hitched on a hook and I’m the hook.”
Pages: 544 Pages Genre: YA/Fantasy Date Started: May 6th, 2017 Date Finished: May 27th, 2017 Goodreads Rating: 4.47
The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.
What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?
The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?
Welcome to Weep.
I’m the type of person who frequently picks a book solely on the cover. If it’s beautiful or interesting, I’ll usually end up buying it long before I even look at the synopsis. Strange the Dreamer was one such choice. Even if it had a terrible premise, the cover alone made it worthy of a spot on my shelves. That being said, this novel by Laini Taylor did not disappoint for the most part.
Let me get to the complaining first and then I’ll start my raving about what I loved. First and foremost, the world-building was very lackluster for me. Overall, it just failed to really ensnare me into the world. The surroundings, particularly the citadel, were so vaguely described that I had a lot of trouble forming a picture in my mind.
Also, the pacing was very… uneven. If that’s a way to describe it. A lot of the prose was flowery and dream-like which fit within the theme, but at the same time, it felt like too much time was being spent actually building up the plot rather than moving forward with the story itself. The pace didn’t truly pick up until about three-quarters into the book and then it seemed that everything began happening all at once. It took three weeks for me to read this, solely because the beginning was just so slow moving.
Now, I would be remiss to not note that the characterizations were superb. Taylor crafted several characters that seemed to literally jump off the page. Lazlo and Sarai were so wonderfully written that they almost made up for the subpar world-building and slow-moving plot. At times, it seemed like the characters were the only thing that kept me interested.
Finally, I have to briefly (and spoiler-free) mention the ending. It was so spectacularly done. It was unexpected, overwhelming, and absolutely perfect.
Rogue one: A Star Wars Story (Star Wars Disney Canon Novel)
Author: Alexander Freed
Genre: Science Fiction / Adventure
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
As the shadows of the Empire loom ever larger across the galaxy, so do deeply troubling rumors. The Rebellion has learned of a sinister Imperial plot to bring entire worlds to their knees. Deep in Empire-dominated space, a machine of unimaginable destructive power is nearing completion. A weapon too terrifying to contemplate … and a threat that may be too great to overcome.
If the worlds at the Empire’s mercy stand any chance, it lies with an unlikely band of allies: Jyn Erso, a resourceful young woman seeking vengeance; Cassian Andor, a war-weary rebel commander; Bodhi Rook, a defector from the Empire’s military; Chirrut Imwe, a blind holy man and his crack-shot companion, Baze Malbus; and K-2SO, a deadly Imperial droid turned against its former masters. In their hands rests the new hope that could turn the tide toward a crucial Rebellion victory–if only they can capture the plans to the Empire’s new weapon.
But even as they race toward their dangerous goal, the specter of their ultimate enemy–a monstrous world unto itself–darkens the skies. Waiting to herald the Empire’s brutal reign with a burst of annihilation worthy of its dreaded name: Death Star.
Here goes my completely biased review of the Rogue One novelization.
I always review my books based on entertainment more than literary quality or stylistic beauty, and this one is no different.
I’m gonna start saying that I watched the movie before reading the book, but that doesn’t mean it is the only way of doing it. This book can be read before the movie and I don’t think it will in any way diminish your enjoyment of it. However, I absolutely think it must be read with some prior knowledge of the franchise (duh!).
I don’t think I am saying anything new if I tell you that the story (watch out, possible spoilers!) tells how the Alliance got the plans of the Death Star and why on earth there was such a blatant flaw in its design. Because this is not new I won’t focus on the plot.
I’d rather talk about the characters. I will not try to hide that I’m Rebel Captain (Jyn x Cassian) trash. I’m a semi professional shipper so this was not a surprise. And this book is just so perfect in that aspect!
I’ve got to know more about Jyn and Cassian, how their minds work, who they were before we first saw them in the film… When I first saw the movie, some of Jyn’s decisions didn’t really make sense (not many, but a couple), and reading about her thoughts and how she went from one state of mind to the other made me understand her better. On the other hand, Cassian looked like an anti-hero for me, he fought for the right reasons but not always did the right thing. In the book he resembles more the idea I have of a redeemable villain, he has done atrocious things but wants to find peace and works to get it. Together they fit perfectly. She wants a sense of belonging and he provides it, he wants a worthy cause and she gives him one.
There are other characters whose points of view give more depth to the story and the events that happen. We have Bodhi, an imperial pilot who wants to do the right thing for once but doesn’t feel brave enough to do it (of all the secondary characters this one was my favorite); Krennel, the bad guy who ended up being more complex than I expected; Baze and Chirrut…
The only flaw I find in this is that so many character’s thoughts made it a little slow at times, but that’s pretty much all.
I wouldn’t say that this book is essential to understanding the movie or the franchise, but if you really loved the movie and could use more insight into the events or the characters this book won’t disappoint you.
Welcome to the FBD Book Club! This is a place to gather writers within the football fandom and encourage review writing.
To join, just send us an ask. You will receive a reply indicating that we received your application. Next, Choose a writer from the participants’ list (don’t choose yourself!). Pick one of the works from the chosen writer and start reading. Write a review after reading it and you’re done! The 1st round will be JuneAugust but we are opening the sign up early for this round. That means you can sign up now!
2. Members do not have to participate every round. We have sign up sessions at the 1st week of (almost) every month.
3. Every participant has to read and review the work of another member within a span of 2 weeks.
4. We suggest the reading word count is 1500 - 5000. But this is just a suggestion. For chaptered fics, you only need to read and review 1 chapter. (But we won’t stop you from reading more, haha)
5. For drabbles (less than 200 words), we suggest to read and review 3-4 in a single round.
6. For single work more than 5000 words, we will credit that as 2 chapters.
7. Each member has to choose a different person’s work so that everyone in the book club can have their works reviewed. Choosing is based on 1st come 1st served basis.
8. Members are welcomed to do more than 1 assignment. (But this is subject to whether there are other members that wanted to do extra assignments as well)
9. The timeline for the activity will be as follow:
- Sign ups (1st - 7th of the month)
- Choosing the piece of work that you want to read (8-14th of the month)
- Reading and reviewing (15-31st of the month)
10. There are no limits of the word count in your review.
11. Chosen work do NOT have to be a fiction. It could be a nonfiction, essay about football. It could be about a specific player, a specific match, a specific competition or league, or just on football in general.
12. It must be your OWN work. Stealing others work is not cool and we don’t support that.
13. Chosen fics do NOT have to be a football fiction. We want to encourage new writers or people who are new to the fandom. Eg: If the writer writes both Football and Harry Potter fanfiction, the reader can choose a Harry Potter fic to review.
14. Members that did not finish their assignment will not be allowed to participate the next rounds until the previous assignment is completed.
A cipher for Grandpa Harley's WHAT NOW, i am gonna need some elaboration please because i am lost; necrophila since where??
Ahahaha yeah. Back at the end of Act 4 I read some reviews of Weekend at Bernie’s that mentioned the movie had a necrophilia joke and it kind of clicked. “Jake likes skulls” is an understatement. He didn’t just kiss Dirk to revive him, he made out with Dirk’s severed head.
The blue ladies work as a cipher for this partly because blue skin is a common element in rendering the undead, like Corpse Bride or Widowmaker.
Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair…
Fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily doesn’t believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland and immediately falls under his spell.
Peter is unlike anyone she’s ever known. Impetuous and brave, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland’s inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything—her family, her future—to be with him. When she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she’s always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter.
With enemies threatening to tear them apart, the lovers seem doomed. But it’s the arrival of Wendy Darling, an English girl who’s everything Tiger Lily is not, that leads Tiger Lily to discover that the most dangerous enemies can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart.
I am completely heartbroken over this story. This was not at all what I expected in all the best ways and I’m glad I picked this up.
First, this is not a novel to read if you are expecting something similar to Peter Pan because this is the opposite in so many ways. I think that’s why I was so surprised by this because I expected something lighthearted and happy and a bit of a cutesy romance. Instead, this was dark and sad in a beautiful way. And that’s just the storyline, the writing was even better.
What made this story really amazing for me was the writing and the way it was told. It was written from the point of view of Tinkerbell, but she was almost purely an observer, hardly ever interacting with the characters. It was as if we were sitting on the couch and she was telling me this story of people she saw and there was something so different about it that was perfect. Something that was also really different and paid off was that there wasn’t much dialogue between the characters. It worked and made me see the characters a bit differently than I think I would have had there been a lot more conversation.
The way Anderson writes was amazing as well. It was poetic and perhaps to some may seem a bit flowery, but I’m a sucker for that. There were a few times that the way a sentence was worded would throw me, so that was a bit of a downer, but it didn’t happen often. Clearly, it was still great.
My favorite thing is how… real the characters were. There was such different take on their personalities that still seemed to match the character I know and love from the original Peter Pan. And Tiger Lily? I loved the exploration into her character and her relationship with Peter.
I’ll never be able to watch Peter Pan the same way again, but I love that because I’ll see so much more now. This book broke my poor little heart and in the process became one of my favorites, one I’d recommend to nearly everyone.
1. Learn to read the descriptions thoroughly. Just because the picture looks good does not necessarily mean that the item is going to be all that you imagine it to be and vice versa.
2. Know your materials. For example, there’s a difference between PVC and PU leather. You’ll have a much better idea of what to expect when you have this knowledge.
3. Know your body size and measurements. Most sites have a size chart which makes it a lot easier to order your accurate size.
4. Always read the reviews. It seems like it’s either an extremely happy or super pissed off customer who writes the reviews, so keep that in mind. Reviews can help you find out if the sizes run a bit small, in which case you will want to order a size bigger than you usually would.
5. For sites like Amazon and Ebay, look at the amount of items sold and the number of stars a seller has. From my experience, when those numbers were high I always got what I expected from the seller.
6. The beautiful thing about shopping on the Internet is that you can compare prices and reviews for an item easily. There’s no harm in doing a little research to make sure you’re spending your money on what you really want.
7. Pay with Paypal.
8. Trust your gut. If a seller/transaction seems shady, move on. You’ll always be able to find what you’re looking for somewhere else.
9. Just go for it! If you’ve never purchased online then I must say that you are totally missing out on a life changing experience.
I hope my tips can be of some use to you when doing your online shopping! xx
The Note 4 is the first Samsung phone I’ve ever truly enjoyed using. It’s not just a huge curiosity, though it is certainly that; it’s not just powerful, though that’s true too. It’s an excellent phone inside and out, the first Note that combines design, power, and performance in one package. Samsung knows how to take advantage of a large screen — even more so than Apple — and with a pen and some software tweaks and a ridiculous number of pixels, it does just that. Note still stands for productivity, and Samsung still sets the standard: you can do so much with this 5.7-inch device.
Alright so this isn't exactly discourse related, but hey, you might be able to help. I'm looking for sci-fi/fantasy/historical/fiction/etc books with LGBT main characters. I've messed around on google and reading lists but I've read like 4 different reviews that start out with something like "strong male and female protagonist-pairing!!! [Male lead] is asexual." And this... isn't really what I'm looking for lmao. Do you know of anything a little more on the.... wlw tier? Thanks for reading!
there should be several lists in my /recs tag, but i cant vouch for the individual books
People are always talking about Taylor trying to “find her old self again” based on that line in All Too Well (I’d like to be my old self again, but I’m still trying to find it.) Some people think she still hasn’t, that whoever she was before Jake is lost and gone forever. Some people think she has, but only just, as it’s taken her a while to get back to that point. But what her “old self” really means seems to be the thing that most people disagree on - is it her clothes, her music style, the way she smiles in pictures…?
The thing is, Taylor had already found herself well before any of us even heard All Too Well. In all honesty, I believe Taylor found herself well over two years ago, on the day she decided to sit down and write Begin Again. I think the entire Red album is a from start to finish story of her losing herself, and then finding herself, again.
State of Grace opens the album with lines like “this love is brave and wild,” and “love is a ruthless game unless you play it good and right.” The song is about engaging in a love that is perhaps dangerous, but that Taylor thinks is brave instead of reckless - which is what she has always thought, and has always been proven wrong about. But, not this time, she thinks. This time I’ll be right.
Onto Treacherous where the theme of “dangerous but I kinda like it” continues on - “nothing safe is worth the drive, and I will follow you home.” Risking everything for a person because you truly believe they’ll be worth it in the end, no matter that your friends and family tell you he’s bad news, no matter that even you know he’s bad news…classic Taylor, again.
I Knew You Were Trouble, Treacherous’ evil twin, obviously represents the breakdown of what both State of Grace and Treacherous tried to peddle to us. SOG and Treacherous tried to get us thinking that this dangerous guy would be worth it, that he seemed like bad news, but he would prove himself in the end. IKYWT is the “fuck, was I stupid” of the album. “And the saddest fear comes creeping in, that you never loved me, or her, or anyone, or anything…” An underrated line, because I think it’s the start of Taylor losing herself on this album. Her saddest fear, the breakdown of everything she believed in, everything she’s always believed in, has just come true. That this love wasn’t brave, or wild, it was stupidly reckless and heartbreaking. Again. This line is so underrated because it’s the buildup to All Too Well, the very first glimpse at Taylor losing all the things she believed in.
I Almost Do, The Last Time, and We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together are like triplets that represent the different phases of post break up destruction.I Almost Do is the story of Taylor shutting someone out of her life simply because to let them back in, even for the tiniest of moments, would be much, much too painful. But she still dreams about them, in vivid heartbreaking detail, and every time it’s like she can feel herself falling back into it. Almost. Of course, she catches herself every time, because she’s not like she was anymore. She refuses to be naive, silly enough to think she could ever make things work again.
The Last Time, however, is Taylor giving into those naive temptations…maybe just a couple times. Trying to salvage whatever was so “good and right” about the relationship, desperately clinging on to those last remaining bits of happiness.
We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together sounds like the acceptance song. Happy and upbeat sounds like acceptance, right? But Taylor was still angry. Anger isn’t acceptance.
The real acceptance song is Sad Beautiful Tragic. SBT has no anger, no heightened emotions whatsoever. It’s dismally sad, to the point of just giving up, plain and simple. This was a love that Taylor had to give up, though, otherwise…that perfect, peppy forever love she wrote about in Stay Stay Stay was never going to be hers. That person she kept waiting for, the one who made her stop believing in the things that make her who she is, they weren’t ever going to come back. SBT is the final nail in the coffin, which is why it is appropriately the last sad song on the album.
Now, what three songs does Taylor choose to stack back to back to back as the ending songs?
1.) Everything Has Changed - a song about meeting someone who, in some way shape or form, is so amazing that it literally causes something in your life to change. What ‘everything’ is was left more or less to the imagination - but I think 'everything’ refers more to Taylor’s feelings about relationships and love, in a “Mine” kind of way. Taylor might have been wondering why anyone even bothers with love like she had been the last time she had gotten her heart truly broken, but then someone came into her life and had her start thinking that old familiar Fearless type of way again.
2.) Starlight - a song circa Mary’s Song that channels the energy of “forever love”, with magical stories about commonplace events, that don’t feel so commonplace when they’re about love, that thing that Taylor is so obsessed with. The line “don’t you dream impossible things?” always felt cryptic to me; the Ethel Kennedy story wasn’t a particularly enchanted or impossible one. But what I think Taylor was getting at with this was the idea that true love, forever love itself, is an impossible thing. But she dreams of it, finally, again, after I Knew You Were Trouble’s fatal let down.
3.) Begin Again - “I’ve been spending the last eight months, thinking all love ever does is break, and burn, and end. But on a Wednesday, in a Cafe’, I watched it begin again.” I think that not only did Taylor find love again, not only did she start believing in it again, but she also found herself again. Because believing in true love is so much of who Taylor is, that when it’s taken away, by that creeping fear from IKYWT, it’s like parts of herself go missing and she gets paralyzed. She needs to believe in forever love to truly be her old self.
With these things in mind, Red plays like a story about finding something so amazing that feels so real, and then losing it, and losing yourself along with it. Only to find it again, slowly, bit by bit, song by song, until…you watch it begin again.
Okay, I feel like I need to do a review of this book/trilogy by Ari Bach, aka @the-walrus-squad aka facts-i-just-made-up, because if you couldn’t tell from the fact I keep making fanart every time I re-read it, I really, really like Valhalla. I really, really do! So I’m gonna make a review basically saying why.