Book Review: Legend by Marie Lu

Book Review: Legend by Marie Lu

I remember reading this book years ago in highschool as the first book in the book club I had just joined.

We got to pick books out of a crate and I was one of the last ones to pick, and the cover of Legend looked interesting.

I started reading it on the bus ride home that afternoon and I was done by the end of the week.

I was hooked in an instant. It was an easy YA book to read, and it was the first book that I read that had a dystopian theme to it. I was putting my foot in the water with Legend, and quickly dove right in because I loved it so much.

One thing I really enjoyed about Legend was jumping between two different perspectives. Marie Lu wrote her entire trilogy about Day and June, two “perfect” characters, or so their tests and evaluations tell us, who have two different experiences in life.

June is hunting down Day, whom she believed killed her brother, and we get to see their interactions from both perspectives.

Usually having different perspectives in the same book isn’t much of a big deal because plenty of books do it.

That is true, but most of them have different character perspectives because they are focusing on different parts of the world, and having just one person’s perspective wouldn’t give readers a large enough scope of what is happening.

In Legend, and the other two books in the series, Day and June spend a lot of time together.

Day is from the poorer part of society, and we get to experience his life as a rebel, helping out the poor much like a Robin Hood sort of figure. He pulls off some pretty insane stunts and is a genius in his own regard, he just does things on his own.

June on the other hand, works for the “government”. She is top of her class, and like June, is able to perform some very remarkable physical stunts and is also a genius in her own regard. She is also fairly well off in life, and hasn’t known poverty.

The two different perspectives in the books is a nice change. It gives us the poor and the rich side to everything. When one character is living their everyday life, the other is exploring it for the first time, and as a reader, this style of reading was nice, because it’s different.

June knows her truth of certain events that happen in the book, and Day knows his truth. Jumping between perspectives gives us a look at the inner thoughts of both characters when the time is right, but also puts us outside of their mind and their thoughts when the stroy needs it to happen.

Marie Lu has done a wonderful job utilizing the different perspectives and making the two characters bounce off of eachother nicely.

Like I said, it is a fairly easy read, but it is good. If you like dystopian style books mixed with some spy and mystery novel aspects I recommend Legend.

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Book Review: The Book Thief

Book Review: The Book Thief

When I think back about this book, I can honestly say that there are no happy memories that come to mind. From how I recall The Book Thief, it’s similar to A Series of Unfortunate Events–it’s just miserable.

Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the book as a whole. I thought it was fantastic, but there weren’t any moments that I genuinely remember being happy about it.

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will be busier still.

By her brother’s graveside, Liesel’s life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Gravedigger’s Handbook, left behind there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery. So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordian-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor’s wife’s library, wherever there are books to be found.

But these are dangerous times. When Liesel’s foster family hides a Jew in their basement, Liesel’s world is both opened up, and closed down.

I hadn’t heard of this book before I started reading it, but I really enjoyed the suspense and the drama that came from it. 

If you’ve ever read the book, you’ll remember that there is a very interesting narrator–Death. Yes death is the narrator of the story, and because this is World War Two, you can imagine how busy he was collecting the dead. 

Death foreshadows constantly throughout the story, so we know a bit about which of the characters will die. I think Death’s perspective adds to the building suspense through the story. 

You might assume that Death being a narrator can be sort of intimidating. I mean he’s Death, why wouldn’t his POV be dark and greusome right? 

The truth is, Death was one of the brigher parts of the story. He was a ray of sunshine through some of the darker moments. 

I do not carry a sickle or a scythe.
I only wear a hooded black robe when it’s cold.
And I don’t have those skull-like
facial features you seem to enjoy
pinning on me from a distance. You
want to know what I truly look like?
I’ll help you out. Find yourself a mirror while I continue.


The Book Thief is also a bit of a different view of the Holocaust, because it focuses on a little German girl, Liesel, who is living in Hitler’s birthplace.

And the character growth, in my opinion, is remarkable. There are many characters that we hate throughout the story, only to love them by the end. I definitely recommend picking this one up if you haven’t read it yet. It’s technically considered a YA book, but I think it has more impact the older you are.

I will give you a fair warning though, if you want a fast read, this book isn’t for you. It’s a bit of a grind at times. You’ll feel like your clawing your way through mud, but that slow crawl adds something to the story. It adds a sense of accomplishment and connection to the entire story. 

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I’m not one for re-reading a book, but this one is on the short list for books I plan to re-read in the future. 

I have never met someone, or found a single review that has said anything against The Book Thief. Many people state it is a modern classic. It is truly a remarkable book, and I will firmly recommend that EVERYONE should read this book if they call themselves a book lover.  

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Author: J.K. Rowling

Before I even begin this review, I am letting everyone know that it wasn’t written by someone who is obsessed with Harry Potter. I am not the type of person that tells people the house I’ve been sorted into, if you want to know you can ask. If you don’t want to read a review by someone who just likes the books and isn’t talking about them every two minutes then it’s best if you leave now. 

Harry Potter’s life is miserable. His parents are dead and he’s stuck with his heartless relatives, who force him to live in a tiny closet under the stairs. But his fortune changes when he receives a letter that tells him the truth about himself: he’s a wizard. A mysterious visitor rescues him from his relatives and takes him to his new home, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Now I never said I hated Harry Potter, in fact I remember them being pretty good, but I don’t remember them being very special.

Yeah, I would get each of the books as soon as I could after they came out, and yeah I would read them as fast as I could, but I don’t remember anything really sticking with me when I read them.

I even gave them all a second read through a few years ago, and honestly liked them a little less, I think because of all the hype that has been put on them for years.

Rowling has done a marvelous job at creating a world that has kept millions of people around the world interested in and engaging with, but I am not one of those people.

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Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s/Sorcerer’s Stone was our first peek into the magical world, and honestly I wasn’t too disappointed. We got to explore the world as Harry did, learning most things for the first time just like Harry did too.

Being a boy right around the same age as Harry, I was amazed by all the magic, and I can remember having ‘Harry Potter’ fights with my cousin when we were kids.

There are two things about Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone that bother me though.

The first is that it seems sort of rushed. I know it’s a relatively short book, and Rowling’s writing style is a faster paced one, but it seems like a lot more could have been hashed out in order to have readers better understand and enjoy this new magical world they had discovered.

My second problem is that Harry is just a boy being introduced to the magical world for the first time. I get that he’s the protagonist and eventually we find out is the chosen one and all that, but he’s an 11-year-old boy who is going up against a freaking dark lord!

Yeah, sure, Voldemort isn’t at full power, and yeah Harry beats him with luck more than anything (which happens again and again and bothers me), but Dumbledore seems to have all the answers and should be able to help Harry out, or at least have someone else do it, but barely lifts a finger to do so until book six.

I get that the protagonist needs to be the one to save the day and all that crap, but I find there is a difference between the protagonist winning on luck/skill/allies/masters his powers and the protagonist winning just because he has too.

It annoys me that Harry isn’t an exceptional wizard at all. He’s not smart, he’s lazy, and doesn’t really show much promise as a great wizard like Dumbledore, but constantly gets lucky with beating Voldemort every school year.

And yeah don’t give me that friendship is true strength crap either because I wouldn’t call  the trio a friendship. More like one guy who constantly depends on the other two just to survive most days.

Rant aside, I did really like the house point system that was introduced in the book, which we don’t see as often as the books go on. I thought it was a cool little mechanism to learn about the do’s and don’ts of Hogwarts, and was a nice little victory for the main characters, even if Dumbledore cheated and gave them the win for free.

I did also enjoy that the book follows the school year. It seems kind of cliché that all of the books only take place during the school year, but it’s a nice little touch, and it makes sense if you think about it. I mean yeah, the school year takes up a majority of the year, but at the same time it’s when Harry adopts his magical life. When Harry is home for the summer he basically becomes a muggle again, living an especially miserable life.

I hope you guys made it this far, and I am sorry that I’m not more of a fan. I did enjoy the books, I’ll never deny that, I just don’t understand the hype that everyone holds the books up to.

I would like to take a quick poll of my readers to see what houses everyone has been sorted into. For some reason I feel like I have a lot of Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw, but we will see.

I don’t know what I’m going to be covering next week, not that I’ve been following it much lately anyways. I’ll have something for you I promise, I just can’t think more than a few hours ahead of me at the moment, but hopefully this will go away soon.

 

Channel Update

Alright so I originally started this blog as a school assignment but I really started to like it and spent some free time during the term figuring out whether or not I should take the blog full time, and how I would be able to do that.

Well good news is I figured out how I can do both of those. I’ve got new ideas for the blog and plan on updating it every day, but I’m not guarenteeing anything with school going on.

So here is the updated schedule of what the posts will look like:

Monday: Book Review

Tuesday: Type it Out Tuesdays (post different writing prompts for people     interested in writing themselves)

Wednesday: Book related news (books being adapted to movies/tv shows, new books coming out, etc.)

Thursday: Thursday Thoughts (different thoughts I have on book related things ex. My Top 10s, Book related life stories, seasonal book topics, writing challenges etc.)

Friday: Quote of the Day (from the book I reviewed that week)

Saturday/Sunday: Taking a break to relax

I also have some channel updates coming out too. I want to update the books I’ve read/want to read  and throw in alphabetical shortcuts so it’s easier to find the author.

I’m also gonna make a Facebook group book club so theres an easier platform for more people to chat about a book. The book club will be one book a month to start instead of every week.

I’m also going to update some pictures and minor pages on the blog itself.

I hope everyone is as excited as I am for this update.

Book Review: Where the Red Fern Grows

Book Review: Where the Red Fern Grows

Hey everybody! Back for another Book Review today. 

Today we are gonna take a look at a book called Where the Red Fern Grows.

It’s an older book, that I read when I was a kid probably 10 or so years ago, but it is FANTASTIC!

This also happens to be the first book that ever made me cry, ( Yes I admit it). 

I also remember this book being one of the first books that I stayed up all night to read.

I remember it was a school assignment to read this book, and we had to read a few chapters for every class. I followed that rule at first, up until the book got really good. 

After that I’m pretty sure I finished 3/4 of the book in one night. It’s not an overly long book, so finishing it wasn’t hard, and sitting in class doing nothing while our teacher gave us time to read it was pretty sweet at the time too.

It’s a great book for kids, and has a pretty good theme of hard work and determination in it.

It’s about a boy named Billy and his two dogs Old Dan and Little Ann. Billy works for two years today for Old Dan and Little Ann. The rest of the book is about their hard work to become the best racoon hunters they can. 

Where the Red Fern Grows isn’t just about Billy’s determination, but also a good look at the lifestyle of the 1920’s. 

I remember crying so much through this book, and even today I tear up thinking of Old Dan and Little Ann. I also loaned this to my [then] children’s librarian, because the library copy was always out. I even marked the pages, “Get out tissue here.”
— DeAnn Okamura

Now this all sounds pretty happy and cheery, so why did it make me cry?

Well…I really don’t want to give anything away because then you wouldn’t read the book, but what I can say is BRING TISSUES. You’ll cry. A lot. 

Whats one book you remember staying up late reading under the covers? Let me know in the comments or send me an email! I love hearing from you guys.

Verdict: Definitely worth a read. It’s short and sweet, and despite being a book meant for kids, it’s still a good story for any adult too. 

Next week I’m gonna take a look at a book series I have ongoing at the moment.

The Hint: It was recently picked up by Amazon to become a t.v. show. 

QOTD: Where the Red Fern Grows

“It’s strange indeed how memories can lie dormant in a man’s mind for so many years. Yet those memories can be awakened and brought forth fresh and new, just by something you’ve seen, or something you’ve heard, or the sight of an old familiar face.”
Wilson Rawls, Where the Red Fern Grows

Book Review: Divergent Trilogy

Book Review: Divergent Trilogy

YA Novels are written fairly simply, and even grown adults can enjoy them. I’ve read my fair share over the years, and probably will read more in the future.

It’s a nice break some times. YA Novels are usually pretty easy to read, and have a cool dystopian future that I find fascinating.

Divergent was one of the YA series that I really enjoyed…up until the end (I’ll get into that later).

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At the time there were a few other YA series that had come out. There was Hunger Games, Maze Runner, and the Legend series (at least these were the ones I had read).

Hunger Games kind of popularized the genre, but Divergent definitely helped it too.

It also had one of the more interesting concepts. People placed into ‘factions‘ based off of their defining attributes.

It’s fairly well written, and I felt a level of connection to the characters which makes the books that much better. Peter was definitely the best character throughout the whole series, but of course was the ‘bad guy‘.

The main problem I had about these books, which is what a lot of books suffer from, is the ending.

I find its a pretty common occurrence, especially in really popular book series, for the endings of the series to be rushed and not at all what the audience wants/expects.

I know it’s not necessarily for the audience, but for the author, but sometimes I really wonder if they’re happy with the ending, or if they’re making their publishers happy by just getting something in.

Overall, the series is good. I’d be interested to read more books in the series, maybe some where we can see the ‘faction’ world starting out and the first people who have to decide.

What do you guys think? Let me know in the comments below, and tell me your favourite book in the trilogy.

Verdict: Worth a read. Doesn’t take long and it has an interesting concept behind it.

Next week I’m gonna take a look at the first book that made me cry…yes I admit it.

The Hint: Two Dogs and their boy. It’s a tough one butI wanna hear your guesses.

 

 

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