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The Everything Box – Richard Kadrey – Review

25989974In 2000 B.C. an angel is set to end the world. He reaches into his pocket only to find the device is gone. The world won’t be ending on that day.

Fast forward to 2015 and we meet Coop. He is a pretty decent thief, except for he has been caught. He is facing jail or working with special client to retrieve a mysterious box. In the process of trying to find the box he becomes entangled with the Department of Peculiar Science. They tell him the box is not just a trinket container, it is a doomsday box. It will destroy the world. Coop is set on finding it, and meets just about everyone else who is out to get the box as well. No one is qualified for this search and things start falling apart more and more as time goes on. It becomes pretty plain that starting the apocalypse is not an easy task.

What I liked:
This book was just plain fun. The humor was great, the running around in circles was entertaining. I love a book that is just pure fun. It felt like a sitcom to me. One person would get the box and then lose it to someone else. Each time we were introduced a new cast of characters that were more ridiculous then the last group. I laughed over and over again as I read this story.

The characters were also so much fun. Coop’s sarcasm was on point. I love a good sarcastic character. Coop had an attitude and it fit well with the story. It wasn’t out of place. It helped extend the humor of the book.

I enjoyed the “cults” as well. I loved how they were introduced as these groups who were demon worshippers but then held bake sales. This juxtaposition between the two ideas was great. It fit right in with the ridiculous feeling of the story. They were all bumbling idiots and you would never picture them being able to summon a demon or end the world.

Sometimes you need a book that is just ridiculous. It doesn’t teach you any lessons or make you rethink the world. It is just fun. You just read it to laugh and feel relaxed from the rest of the world.

What I just was okay with:
While I highly enjoyed the back and forth pace of the book I do wish there had been just a bit more to the plot. The entire point of the plot was to run around trying to get this box, lose it and meet another group that was after it. I think by the middle if somehow the groups had banded together or there had been another revelation it would have elevated the plot a bit more. I like things a bit more complicated.

This story literally made use of every type of magic you could imagine. Not only were there demons and angels, but you had wizards, werewolves and vampires. Then there were ghosts and magic spells on top of all of that. While this was fun, I felt like it was a lot at one time. It was like throwing everything in and seeing what happened. The story might have benefitted from picking only a handful of magical elements and focusing on those.

What I wished was different:

I can’t think of anything that was outright annoying or that I disliked. This wasn’t a complicated, life altering tale but it was fun and that is exactly what I wanted from it.

I gave this four stars on Goodreads. It is not going to change your life. It is going to provide an escape from life. It is fun and has great humor. Life won’t change but it will lighten the mood for a bit.

Link on Goodreads and Amazon.

The Art of Racing in the Rain – Garth Stein – Review

51aqyzJkv1L._SX330_BO1,204,203,200_Denny’s dream has always been to be a champion racer. His dog Enzo has been by his side since he was a puppy. They have built a strong, unbreakable bond. A bond that is desperately needed as Denny’s life begins to unravel around him. Life is complicated but seems a bit more understandable and bearable when seen through the unique eyes of man’s best friend.

What I loved:
A book told from a dog’s POV; that had me hooked from the very start. This is actually a book I have been meaning to read for ages now. My aunt got it for Christmas from my cousin and I borrowed it from her.

I lovd Enzo. His insight into human behavior is interesting. He sees things we can’t see. He sense things we can’t sense and he understands the world around him much better than I initially imagined he would. I thought he would have a goofy sense of the world.

I always imagine a dog having a childish perspective of the world. Enzo had a much more mature voice. Enzo learned from his environment and he made observations based off what he learned. Enzo was smart.

I loved how we see the connection between man and dog from the dog. If you have had a pet you know the deep connection that can exist between a person and their furry friend. We have numerous stories about how a dog has helped someone make it through the toughest time in their lives. In this story we got to see how a dog manages to be that support system.

The look at the universe  and life was refreshing. Even with all the things that Denny had to go through, Enzo still held hope. He had Denny’s best interest at heart and he was not going to let anyone do anything to take that away from him. I loved some of the ways he had to help Denny see reason or make a decision. Seeing how he got his “voice” heard was great.

The end made me cry. I don’t cry easily and those last few pages hit home in a major way for me. It was uplifting and satisfying. It felt perfect. As someone who has a deep connection with a pet, I appreciated the sentiment at the end.

What I was just okay with:

While I loved Enzo and his voice I had a serious issue with the way the plot played out. It was just very aggravating to me. Everything that happened to Denny wasn’t his fault. He had no control, he was a victim of circumstance and crappy people.

Particularly the “Evil Twins,” made me want to hit someone. It wasn’t bad writing or anything it was just those circumstances and type of people infuriate me. I wanted the book to end because I just couldn’t read about their horrible way of behaving anymore. It was a sign of great writing that I emphasized with Denny so much and hated some of the other characters. I just get annoyed quick with that kind of storyline though.

What I wish was different:
There was one minor scene that really bugged me. When Enzo is taken to stay with Denny’s friend Mike, he introduced to Tony as well. When Enzo meets him he refers to Tony as Mike’s “wife.” From this description I understood as them being a couple.

This may just me being sensitive but I didn’t like Tony being referred to as a “wife.” Enzo is a smart dog. He understands racing in all its terms, he understands the legal system and can sense sickness. So I don’t understand why he would think of Tony as a “wife.” He could have easily observed him being close to Mike, think they are together, and say something like “He is acting like Eve does to Denny, as if he was his wife. But he is a man, so I guess that would make him his husband? Can a man be another man’s husband? I don’t know, I haven’t seen that before. But nevertheless this is where I find myself right now.”

Sometime simple like that. Observe that it is different than what he knows, apply language he already understands in a new sense and move on. It is only one scene but it still prickled me a bit. I have a brother who is gay and that may be why it annoyed me. I wouldn’t want him or his boyfriend be stereotyped that way. It wasn’t enough to make me stop reading but it did throw me off during that chapter.

 

All in all this was a sweet, heartwarming book. I enjoyed it. I liked seeing life from Enzo’s point of view. I had an issue with the harsh nature of the plot line but that did solidify the significance of Enzo and his role in Denny’s life. I gave it four stars on Goodreads and would definitely recommend it.

Quotes:

“Because memory is time folding back on itself. To remember is to disengage from the present.” (pg. 11)

“Be it through intention or ignorance, our success and our failures have been brought on by none other than ourselves.” (pg. 43)

“Learn to listen! I beg of you. Pretend you are a dog like me and listen to other people rather than steal their stories.” (pg. 102)

“The true test of a champion is not whether he can triumph, but whether he can overcome obstacles – preferable of his own makings – in order to triumph. (pg. 135)

 

Link to find it on:  GoodreadsAmazon

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe – Benjamin Alire Saenz- Review

51uZpbbhvmL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Aristotle (Ari) doesn’t have any idea of who he is or what he wants. He feels like he is drifting through his life. His parents keep him at a distance. His brother is in prison and no one will talk about it with him. He meets Dante at the pool one day and his life begins to change. He still struggle through life, trying to find his place and make sense of things but he has a companion now. His relationship with Dante expands and moves forward. In the end both boys grow, both find their place in the outer world and inside their own worlds.

What I loved:

I loved Dante and Ari’s characters. Both of them were very relatable. I felt a connection to both of them. Ari was our main protagonist and I understood him from the very beginning. He is angry, he is scared and he is lost. Ari is real. He isn’t written as overdramatic. He is written as someone who wants answers, who wants someone to trust him with information, as someone who wants to matter.

Dante is fun, he is smart. The way he talks with Ari feels beyond his age but I liked the introspective nature he brought to the story. I felt like he opened up not only Ari but me as a reader as well. He allowed the book to be brought to a higher level. Dante allowed himself and Ari to grow.

I liked the way that sexuality as handled in this book. Dante comes to terms with being gay quite quickly. He figures out who is attracted to and he accepts it. There is a hint of what he wants from Ari but he doesn’t force anything. One moment comes and goes but he doesn’t resent Ari for his choice or his apprehension. He lets Ari determine who he is and lets him have the time to do that, which is exactly what Ari needs. Dante knows Ari and that is made plain throughout the story.

I think that is what I liked best about this book was that this felt real and tangible. Nothing felt like it didn’t belong. This story was about two boys growing up and coming to terms with how they were as people. It was a true and strong journey. It was a journey we all can relate to. Sometimes these stories can take a turn that feels too neat and easy. Nothing for these two was neat and easy. I liked that aspect. Growing up is not easy and it was nice to see that portrayed in a true way.

What I was just okay with:

I didn’t have any real issues with this book. I did feel like the storyline with Ari’s brother could have been more solid at times. I felt like it was dragged out, revealed and kind of left hanging afterward. Then again this book was told over a short time period, we wouldn’t see the full effect of learning about his brother’s crime and its forever effect on Ari in this span of time.

What I wish was different:

I can’t think of anything that stood out as needing to be changed. The pacing was great, the character development was perfect and the story overall was engaging and made me want to read more about these two.

I gave this book a full five stars on Goodreads. I raced through it, wanting to learn more about these two boys. I wanted to see them grow and develop. It was one of those books I found anytime to read. If you enjoy coming of age stories this one is one of the best I have read.

Quotes:

“The problem with my life was that it was someone else’s idea.” (pg. 8)

“Words were different when they lived inside of you.” (pg. 31)

“He looked so happy and I wondered about that, his capacity for happiness. Where did that come from? Did I have that kind of happiness inside me? Was I just afraid of it?” (pg. 241)

“To be careful with people and with words was a rare and beautiful thing.” ( pg. 324)

A Conjuring of Light By V.E. Schwab Review (Minor Spoilers)

(This is a review for a third book in a series. There will be minor spoilers for the previous two books)

29939230The end to a series worries me, whether it be a TV show or book series. I am eager to reach the conclusion, to see how things work themselves out but I am also a bit terrified. The final book in a series is the one chance to wrap everything up in a way that makes sense and gives us an idea of what will become of the characters. I know that there is a lot of pressure to end a series just right. I have been severely disappointed before (*cough Hunger Games, Maze Runner cough*) and that scares me for other series. Then there are the times where things just fall right into place and things end perfectly. V.E. Schwab’s A Conjuring of Light is one that ends just the way it should have.

A Conjuring of Light picks up right where A Gathering of Shadows left off. Kell is a prisoner, Rhy is dying and Lila is determined to save them both. I am not going to reveal too much of what happens because it could ruin the story. But the plot primarily revolves around everyone trying to banish the shadow king from Black London. They all realize they have to work together to get their home back.

This book took off from the very first page. The tension and stakes are set high and they do not soften at all. Things began at a running pace and they only grow into a sprint as the book goes on. I was on the edge of my seat from the start, waiting to see what the next chapter was going to bring. Who would going to get hurt or die? What obstacles were going to fall into their way? What were they going to do to defeat this threat? The pace never let up and I loved that. For a final book I wanted things to keep moving and this book did just that.

All of the characters evolved well throughout this series but the one that struck me in this book was Holland. Holland was a character that sat in the background for the other two books for me. I didn’t feel anything strong for him one way or another. He was just kind of there. I understood him. He was being forced to act against his will and he loved his city but I didn’t connect to why. I didn’t get why I should care. This book changed all of that.

This was Holland’s book. We saw his past, and got an understanding of his connection to White London. His choices, what he wanted and what he was willing to do all made sense after this book. I became invested in his life and was eager to keep learning more about him and his past. He felt the most alive to me. I felt sympathy for him and wanted to help him, which was not something I thought I was going to feel for him when I started the book.

Another aspect I really liked of this book was the way the romantic aspects were wrapped up. Often romance has a tendency to take over a story. Even if the book is not romance, the romantic aspects start to dictate the choices made and where the story goes. I like romance but I have an issue when we lose the story inside that romance.

This series did not do that. The two romantic storylines were integrated into the larger story well. We got a wrap up to them, we got to ee the issues inside those relationships but they weren’t the only thing we focused on. We got the bigger story with the romance elements inside of it. I appreciated the way they were written and wrapped up.

This was the way to end a series in my opinion. The plot came to a final conclusion. The relationships were finalized and there was still room left open for another story with these characters. I like when there is a possibility for more while ending the story we were reading in a final and satisfactory way.

Beauty and the Beast – Movie Review – (Spoilers)

bntbtripI have never been a princess type girl. In Disney movies I tend to like the side characters more than the heroine. Most of the time I have difficult relating to the princess. I say most of the time because there is one princess that I adore and that is Belle.

I am Belle and Belle is me. If I was going to see myself in any movie, “Beauty and the Beast” is the movie. Not only are we both bookworms but we also both fall outside the norms set by society. Belle wants to see more outside her village and knows there is more to life. I would love to see more of the world and get to know more about the cultures throughout the world. Also like Belle I work hard to see past appearances and get to know people for who they are, not who they appear to be. I understand that much of the time a tough exterior may be a mask or facade to cover up something else underneath.

When I heard the next live action movie Disney was doing was going to be “Beauty and the Beast”, I was ecstatic. Not only is it one of my favorite stories but Emma Watson was going to be Belle and I could not see how this could go wrong. I was pleased to find out that this movie did everything I wanted it to do. It told a classic tale and also deepened the story and characters. It has to be one of my new favorite movies.

One of the reasons I enjoy these live action remakes is that they are extending the story. They answer some unanswered questions and also give us a better idea of who the characters are. In this version both Belle and the Beast get a deeper story. We get an idea of what their pasts were like which makes their choices and personalities’ makes sense. Beast is not just some spoiled brat and Belle is not naive. They both had rough childhoods but they took two separate paths which led to very different places. I liked the juxtaposition of their childhood showing how things can change with one relationship.

A few aspects of the story were changed from the original animation. One of the other major chances was that Belle’s father was not some overly crazy inventor. He was a softer man who just wanted to protect and make his daughter happy. I liked that he was more relatable.

Also I loved that they changed the fact that the Beast could not read. He not only could read but he was well read. Belle was able to relate to him on this level. This gave them a way to bond and find a connection. I think this made their relationship a bit more solid and I liked seeing them talk about books and poems. I felt like this made it easier for them to fall for each other and easier for us an audience to see their connection.

I wanted this version to push the story further and it did just that. The story became about not only their relationship but who they were and what led them to each other. I highly recommend this movie for anyone who enjoyed the animated version. You will get a whole new appreciation for this story.

Of Fire and Stars By Audrey Coulthurst – Review (Minor Spoilers)

ofas-coverI had not heard of Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst before it came in a subscription box. The theme of the box was Epic Journeys and I was curious how this story fit that theme. It turned out to be a fun romance. The characters were alive and exciting and it was a fun ride. The main plot did seem to get lost in the romance but in the end it was an enjoyable read.

Princess Dennaleia has been betrothed to the prince of Mynaria since she was a child. Her homeland needs the alliance and it is her duty to see that it happens. The princess is not a normal citizen though. She has a power or Affinity. Unfortunately for her, her power is something to be feared. She has to hide it from her new family and home.

Then a surprising assassination happens and her whole world is thrown into chaos. She not only has to continue to hide who she is but she has to find out what is happening to her new kingdom. She teams up with the prince’s sister Mare to find the killer. In their hunt for the truth they find themselves falling for one another, only complicating things further.

Primarily this was a romance story. I noticed right away that this society didn’t appear to frown upon same-sex relationships. It was a part of their world and they accepted that. They had issues with accepting magic and allowing women to have a major part in the government but the same-sex relationship was accepted.

I liked that Mare and Dennaleia’s romance didn’t center around them trying to make their relationship be “right.” They fell for each other and that was it. There was no discussion about it being morally wrong or anything like that. The wrench in their relationship came from the alliance and the implications associated with breaking that. It wasn’t about changing the minds of the people. I got the impression that Dennaleia could marry Mare without an issue.

I liked that idea. A lot of the times you get the story focusing around coming out and the tribulations with that. Which there is nothing wrong with that type of story but it was nice to just see two people fall for each other and find a way to make their different lives work. I liked that their story felt like any other romance I have read.

The main story started off pretty interesting. There were a lot of different pieces involved. I liked that the magic was part of it. I liked that there were multiple suspects and plans to find out who did it. But that part petered out as the romance got stronger. It felt like we couldn’t concentrate on both, and the main plot suffered.

I wanted the main story to have a lot of working pieces that come together into a strong resolution. I was expecting an epic ending with either a huge fight or big reveal. I didn’t get any of that. I actually knew who was behind it all at the very start. I hoped I was wrong but I wasn’t.

There was less tension throughout the story because I knew where it was going. I knew who did it and why. I felt like I didn’t need the answers and that was a bit disappointing. I was hoping for a bit more. I wish that the romance could have been integrated better into the larger story.

Ultimately this was a fun romance with a mystery/adventure tied into it. If you are looking for an easy going and fun story then you will enjoy this one.

History is All You Left Me – Adam Silvera – Review

1484327318034This book does not play fair. This was my mantra for most of the time I was reading History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera. It was one of those books that messes with your emotions in a way that makes your head spin. One minute I was laughing, then a sentence later it was like someone had let the air out of my balloon and I sank to the ground, head in my hands. I had no idea what I was getting into when I picked this book up.

Griffen is a young man dealing with something many hope to never have to deal with; the death of someone he cared about. His first love, Theo, passes way suddenly and Griffen is left to pick up the pieces of his life and heart.

Unfortunately for Griffen the only person who really knows what he is feeling is Jackson, the boy that Theo was dating before he died. Together they aid each other in dealing with their grief. But Griffen learns he has to find away to put Theo in his past, to live with their history but to not let that history rule him.

I read Adam Silvera’s other novel More Happy Than Not and that book nearly destroyed me. (Full review here). So I knew that Silvera knew how to ignite intense emotions in a reader. I knew he was a writer that could make you severely ache for the characters. I thought I was prepared for the rollercoaster that this book was going to be. I was wrong.

More Happy Than Not was a book that had a constant dark cloud hovering over it. It was rarely one where you smiled. Things started off dim and sad and you only continued to dig into that hole over the course of the story.

This book started off sad but didn’t stay that way. The way it is told is it switches between Theo and Griffen’s past, from the beginning of their relationship until their break up and Theo’s death and the present where Griffen is dealing with Theo’s death and his grief.

One minute you are reading about a cute date they had, laughing at their jokes about the “zombie-pirate apocalypse” and then something is mentioned about the future and it is like a wave has hit you. As a reader you know that, that future does not exist. You know those plans will never be fulfilled, all those promise are broken. You go from laughing to feeling hurt and sad. You keep going up and down almost afraid to turn the next page.

In Silvera’s last book it was the ending that spun the whole story into a different direction. That book smacked you over the head with a brick. This one didn’t hit that hard but it still changed the feel of the story. I am not sure if this is going to be a thing of Silvera’s but I like that there is a pull at the end that deepens the story.

Griffen has to learn to move on with his life. He learns that Theo will always be a part of his past. Their history will always mean something but it can’t consume him. History has to be just that history. You can reference it, learn from it and revel in it when you need that nostalgiaia but you can’t live in it. If you do you risk losing yourself.

Griffen finds a way to add this to who he is as a person and move into his future. It is a future without Theo but is one that he learns to live in. History is all they have now but Griffen learns that, that is okay.

Genius – The Game (Leopold Gout) – Review (Minor Spoilers)

51kdkbvkdyl-_sx329_bo1204203200_Rex, Painted Wolf and Tunde are considered geniuses. They are only teenagers but they are people who have skills that many will never have. Rex is an expert hacker. Tunde is a mechanical and technical wiz who uses what he has around him to make his creations. Painted Wolf knows how to get around obstacles to expose the truth.

Together the three of them have created an online group. They are best friends, helping each other when needed and relying on each other for understanding. Then they are all invited to join in The Game, a mysterious competition that it said to change their lives. They find out that there is much more to this game than they initially thought.

I picked up this book because I liked the sound of the story. I have read this premise before, the mystery game that will change lives. It is not a new concept but it is one that can be done a hundred different ways. Change the way the game is run and those competing and you have a whole new story. So, I was interested to see where this book would take that idea.

Genius The Game, had all the pieces but unfortunately they did not end up fitting together right. The characters were good. Rex, Painted Wolf and Tunde come from whole different worlds. They live in different countries, with vastly different families and life conditions. I liked that they built this strong friendship despite their differences. When they met face-to-face for the first time at the competition they melded together well. There was no tension, it was like they had always hung out. I liked that.

The biggest problem I had with the story was that the subplots didn’t feel like they fit in well enough with the main plot. The main plot is The Game. Everyone wants to win it, for some reward. (Though no one knows what that really is.) Then each of the characters has their own subplot.

Rex needs to find his brother, who disappeared mysteriously. Tunde has to build a Jammer for a war lord who is threatening his village and family. Painted Wolf wants to find out what her father has gotten himself tied up in.

The problem is that each of these stories feel like they were put in, in order to give the characters an excuse to go to this Game. The pretige and reward is not enough. Rex wants to use the quantum computer, Tunde needs the advanced technology available and Painted Wolf wants to follow the head guy in order to find out what her father is doing. I found it odd that they needed a further excuse to get to this Game. The Game wasn’t enough for them, which was strange.

The subplots would have been fine if they had been developed. The summary that I gave above was about all the amount of detail we got about them. I wanted more. I wanted to know if Tunde had a history with the war lord. Why choose Tunde? I wanted to know more about Painted Wolf’s father. Is he a shady character usually? Or someone who is gullible? What kind of relationship was there between Rex and his brother? How much did his disappearance really affect the family?

We got an idea that they all had other things to worry about but nothing too deep. I wanted these plots to develop the characters more, but they didn’t. They didn’t inform me of the characters or change them really at all.

I also had an issue with the believability of some of the plot points. First this Game is just something that pops up one day. The participants get the invitation and are told where to go. They have no other details.

These are teenagers, some who are as young as eleven. I do not see how all their parents just sent their kids on their way without one question. They just nod and say sure. They have no idea who will be there, what the place is like or who is in charge. My parents would have had like thousand questions about this. Few parents just let their kids run around the country or world without some questions or concerns.

Once at The Game Tunde has to not only win The Game but he also has to create a Jammer. I am not a tech person, so I am not sure how much time this stuff takes but I have a feeling it would be a while. In the story, they have two days to solve riddles and also to build this Jammer. He has to not only design it but build and test it. I feel like doing that plus solving the puzzles would take much more time. I just could not see how he could do both.

He builds the Jammer in a few hours without a problem. There is no urgency or sense that he would not do it in time. I wanted a tension between the two. I wanted him to almost to have to decide between the two, but never did. He completed it and moved on, no problem.

I did enjoy most of the story. It ended in a cliffhanger so I am curious how it will end. It just wish that there had been more depth included in the story. If the stories twined together better I think it would have been a much stronger story.

Fables By: Bill Willingham Review (Deluxe Edition Book One)

81g0bqdw4wlWhen I say Snow White what comes to mind? Do you envision a calm, easy-going, meek princess hiding in the woods with seven dwarves as company? How about when I ask you to think about The Big Bad Wolf? Do you envision either a human-like wolf or a man with wolf features hunting and devoting a little girl dressed in red? Or maybe you think of a wolf blowing down the homes for three pigs? These images are probably the most common for these characters. They come from he more popular versions of these stories.

I have nothing against these Disney-esque versions of the stories. I grew up with those stories. I was a Disney child, so that is how I was introduce to the fairytales. I love them. But these sterilized adaptations for the modern world. The originals are dark and gritty. They rarely end with a happy ending. Death and torture are normal in the original versions of theses classic fables and fairytales.

The Fable’s comics harken back to these original stories. The comic centers around a group of fables/fairytale characters who are living in our world as refugees. They have had to run from their home that was overtaken by someone called The Adversary. They had no choice but to leave in order to survive.

In our world they are only trying to survive. Our world is very different from their own. They lived their stories out and now they are trying to start new. This is a fresh start for many of them but leaving their pasts behind is not easy. They can’t entirely escape their stories.

I picked up the comic because I played The Wolf Among Us, a Telltale game. It is a decision based game and I enjoy those types of games. I liked that this one had a sort of retelling of the classic stories I have always known. I enjoyed the game and decided to see what the comics offered and see where the characters stores continued to go.

This first collections follows two story lines. The first is a detective, murder mystery. Rose Red, Snow White’s sister, has gone missing and the hunt is on to find her. The second follows the story of an attempted revolution on The Farm, the place where fables who can’t pass as human have to live.

The plot lines were pretty straightforward. They weren’t exactly revolutionary or overly exciting. It was the take on the characters that drew me. I loved the darker, grittier versions of these characters. Their voices were unique and felt very alive and real.

Snow White was our main protagonist and I feel like she may be for most of the series. She is not the meek, nature loving, hiding away, maiden that we know her as. She is tough. She does what she thinks is best no matter what anyone thinks. She speaks her mind. She fights when she has too.

Snow White is probably my least favorite princess; mostly because she seemed very flat and lifeless to me in the movie. I have grown to like her more over the years from the various versions of her I have read. She is made to be tougher and more independent and I like to see that twist. I am hoping her character stays strong and interesting.

The other main character we go to know pretty well was Bibgy, The Big Bad Wolf. He is the sheriff in Fabletown (the name of the town where the fables live in New York).  He is one of my favorite character types. He is the tough exterior, sweet interior person. He has a rough past, we all know that. But this world gives him a chance to start fresh and he is doing the best he can.

He can’t completely fight his nature, because is part of him. But he is not willing to go backwards.I like to see him try to stay on the right side, even when it is tough for him. I am hoping to see his character grow throughout the series.

There was also a very interesting point made in the latter half of this collection. I am hoping it is something that is used and explored more throughout the series. Rose Red makes a point to Snow that some of them are not as lucky as she is.

There are the fables we all know, such as Snow White. There are hundreds of versions of her story throughout the world. Whereas some like, Rose Red, are not as lucky. They aren’t complete forgotten but they are lesser known. In this world it seems that being known affords certain power. The more well known characters are more durable. They can survive things that the lesser known ones may not be able to survive. It seems that survival almost depends on the world knowing who you are and knowing your story.

This is an interesting take on the power of the story. These people’s lives sort of depend on someone knowing who they are. If we forget their story or twist them out of other’s stories we could be killing them. I am hoping the this idea is used more. I like the idea of the story having the power.

This was a fun collection and I am hoping to get to the second one sometime soon. The only issue is that the collections are kind of expensive so this isn’t one I can’t just read right through. I am going to have to continue when I get some extra cash.

If you like fairytale retellings and new takes on old stories you will enjoy this. It is a comic which makes it a faster read. It is a fun and nice set up. I am hoping it continues to be as good as the series develops .

 

 

 

we are the ants – Shaun David Hutchinson- Review

51yr8-30fdl-_sy344_bo1204203200_“If you knew the world was going to end but you could prevent it, would you?” This is the question that gets asked over and over again throughout we are the ants by Shaun David Hutchinson. If you had a chance to end life on our planet, would you? What would make you save the world? What would make you think that the world deserved to be destroyed? Do you get to make the decision based off your own life only? Should you take into account all the lives you would be affecting? This was an interesting read that didn’t seem like it would make you think, but ends up sitting in your head long after you finished the last sentence.

Henry is teenager, just trying to make it from one day to the next. His life is not one many would envy. His brother is constantly bullying him, his grandmother is falling further and further into dementia, his mother works as a waitress to barely keep them afloat, his father left them a long time ago and his boyfriend committed suicide about a year before the story starts. His life is a constant battle to find something worth living for.

For a while before the story stared Henry had been getting abducted by aliens. They never truly commincatue with him. They abduct him, do tests and then let him go. Everyone at school thinks him crazy, as does his family. The story starts right after he has been abducted and given a choice: he can either press the button they present him with and save the world or he can not press it and end the world. He is given until January 29th, 2016, 143 days, to make his choice.

We follow Henry as his strives to make his decision, to save the world or to let it burn. The part I liked most about this story was that as I read through I kept changing my mind whether I wanted him to push the button or not. At first I didn’t blame him for wanting to be done with this world, his life was not fun. He had little going for him, I understood why he wanted to give up.

As the story progressed and he rekindled an old friendship and found a new love interest I found myself wanting him to want to live. Though events kept changing that. Just as things started to work out, a wall came down and threw him backward. I liked that I didn’t know what I wanted him to do. I didn’t make a decision at the beginning and stick with it. I was like Henry, going back and forth between the options trying to determine what mattered and what didn’t.

One of the main themes of this book was the idea of finding a balance between the past, present and future. Henry is someone who is stuck in the past. He can’t get over his boyfriend’s suicide. He has no answer and that bothers him. He is also stuck on his fahter leaving and yet again having no reason for that event. He is someone who stays stuck in what happened and obsesses over what he can’t change. When he is given his option of the saving the world he can’t think of saving it at first because he can’t envision any future. The future is impossible for him.

On the other hand is Diego, someone who comes into Henry’s life. Diego is the opposite of Henry, he is obsessed with the future. Diego refuses to look at the past. It is over and done with and he can’t change it. He won’t acknowledge it, to either accept or deny it.

What everyone has to learn is that a balance is needed. You can’t forget the past. It teaches us things and reminds of what has happened before. We need the past in order to have a future. You also can’t fully live in the future because you then live in a kind of fantasy world. You are always waiting for something to happen. You have to live in the present, learn from the past and anticipate the future.

This was a book that was much more than I expected. I thought it was going to be a more fun book about someone dealing with aliens and what they wanted. What is was, was a deep story about finding a reason to live; and not just for Henry, but for everyone in his life. Every character was deep and could hold the story on their own. I enjoyed that the story was much deeper than I anticipated when I started it.

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