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The Disney Book Tag

disney-book-tag1I was tagged for this from Michelle over at Michelle, Books and Movies Addict. Thanks for the tag, I am a Disney lover and this was fun to do; though it did take some thinking.

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1. Little Mermaid: A character who out of their element, a “fish out of water.”

This was a difficult one to come up with. I ended up choosing Jonas from The Giver by Lois Lowry. Jonas has always lived a life that was very much about being the same as everyone else and never going out of that box. Then he becomes the Receiver of Memory and his whole world is flipped on its head. He goes from being a very comfortable fish in a large school to being a fish flopping around on the shore, trying to figure out some way to survive.
2Cinderella: A character that goes through a major transformation.

This was difficult because there are so many character I love that change in a number of A1bCf-Xhe4Lways. I chose Wade from Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Wade started off the book as a kid who was just existing, he finds the first key and his world gains purpose. He learns the importance of reality, love, friendships and standing for what you believe in.

 

51gBHSuI1jL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_3. Snow White: A book with an eclectic cast of characters

This one was easy to come up with. I just finished The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, one of my all time favorite books. This cast of characters is wide ranging and includes a literal “watch dog,” a curious child with too much time on his hands, a cranky Humbug, and princesses who are Rhyme and Reason. There are so many different characters, all playing an important role and bringing fun and intriguing elements to the story. The cast is what makes this book so much fun to read

 

4. Sleeping Beauty- A book that put you to sleep

I have never been a fan of what are considered classic novels, many of them put me to sleep. But the one I have never been able to get passed chapter 3 or 4 is Little Women by Louise May Alcott. I have tried so many times to read this and have never succeeded, I just cannot relate to any part of the story and I get bored very quick every time.

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5. The Lion King: A character who had something traumatic happen
them in childhood.

details_GraveyardMy first instinct here was to go with Harry Potter, but I am using that for two other ones so I chose The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaimen instead. Bod’s life starts off with the murder of his parents and sister, which he barely escapes. He then finds his way to a Graveyard where he learns a number of lessons from the inhabitants. He can’t really remember his traumatic beginnings but it leads him to a place where he can learn how to see the world a bit differently, something that is always necessary.

Beauty_and_Beast6. Beauty and the Beast: A beast of a book (a big book) that you were intimidated by; but found the story to be beautiful.

This one was the most difficult to come up with because big books are my favorite. The more pages the better. I am not intimidated by the size of a book. So I chose the Game of Thrones series by GRRM  for this one. Mostly because I did not quite know what I was getting into when reading it. I didn’t know what to expect and after reading five of the books I still have no idea what to expect. I am eager for the series to finish (if it ever does) and would not care if they were thousands of pages long, as long as I get an end, I will be happy.

7. Aladdin: A character who gets their wish granted for better or for worseHorns_cover

I chose Ig Perrish from Horns by Joe Hill for this one. He wanted to find out what happened to his girlfriend and clear his name. He got his wish, but also found the darker side of himself as well.

 

8. Mulan: A character who pretends to be someone or 1581572842_060ff50eb5something they are not.

This one was difficult, I ended up choosing a Harry Potter character, though I am going to use the series again. Peter Pettigrew spend almost three books pretending to be a rat. But most importantly he pretends to be a tough person, while in reality he is a sniveling mess who is weak and stays around those who can save him. He pretends to care but in reality he is all about protecting himself.

9. Toy Story: A book with characters you wish would come to life

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Look, Harry Potter again! I would love for all those characters to come to life and be able to hang out with them. They are so interesting and different that I don’t think you could ever get bored spending time with any of them.

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10. Disney Descendants: Your favorite villain or morally ambiguous character

This was a tie for me. I have written extensive posts on both of these characters so I will keep it short here. I chose Jamie from Game of Thrones and Seichan from The Sigma Force series by James Rollins. They both have made some poor decisions in their lives but they begin to change when they meet new people in their stories. Watching them step away from being that “villain,” and become something in the middle is one of my favorite storylines to read.

 Time to tag! As always if you have no interest in this or have done it already, feel free to opt out.

  1. Trisha over at Yellow, Green and Read All Over
  2. BrittneySahin at Brittneysahin

Ready Player One- Ernest Cline- Review (minor spoilers)

A1bCf-Xhe4LThere is nothing I love more than a book that pulls you in and doesn’t let you go until the very last word on the very last page. A book that you contemplate when you aren’t reading it and are constantly wondering what is going to happen next, is the best. A book that makes you think, is even better. I haven’t found a book in a while that holds me captive, but with Ready Player One I found that magic once again. This book reminded me of why I love to read, it has a very intriguing storyline, a great protagonist and it leaves you thinking at the end.

In 2044 OASIS is a virtual world that is an escape for everyone around the country. The real world is a complete disaster. The energy crisis has destroyed the economy along with the planet. People are desperately trying to scrape by and make it one day to the next. Life just seems absolutely miserable. OASIS is where everyone goes to escape and hide from the deteriorating world around them.

James Donovan Halliday, an avid gamer, is the creator of OASIS. He dies and leaves the most epic of treasure hunts in his will. He sets up a contest where everyone who uses OASIS can hunt down three keys and pass through three gates to ultimately find the “Easter Egg,” and win his fortunate; which is billions of dollars.

Wade is an orphan who is forced to live with his despicable aunt. He is determined to find the “Easter Egg,” and escape from the horrible reality that surrounds him. Wade ends up in a race to find the egg, where he learns what is means to have friends and learns what about the value of reality.

Halliday was a huge fan of the games, music and movies that he grew up with as a kid in the 1980s. I was born at the very end of the ’80’s, so much of things referenced in this story I only know about from my parents or from specials on TV. I imagine that if you grew up in the ’80’s with all of these things this would be a fun trip down memory lane for you. He references movies such as “Wargames,” and games like “Pacman.” If you know these games, movies or songs I assume it would be even more fun to find the clues and puzzles alongside Wade. Even if you are not from that generation, like me, it is still fun to go along on the journey. You can follow along and keep track of what is going on just fine.

I love these type of stories that have puzzles built in. I even like them more when I recognize the references and can make connections to what is going on. While this aspect of the story is fun and keeps the plot moving really well (except for one small portion in the middle), the development of Wade’s character is what really made me love this novel. The process of watching Wade change throughout this journey was very well done and was paced very well.

Wade, at the beginning, is a kid who has nothing left to him in the world. His parents are dead, he has no real life friends and no one to help or support him. OASIS is where he escapes to. It is the one place where he can feel like he belongs. He goes to school there and meets his one friend, Aech there. He is out to find the “Easter Egg,” initially so he can take the money and run away. He wants to be able to escape this world that he sees as dying and pointless.

Wade is the one who finds the first key, after five years of no one making any progress, and sets off this great race that becomes extremely dangerous for everyone involved. He spends the first half of his hunt driven by the desire to win so that he can get out of the life he is stuck in. Soon the tables turn and it is no longer just about him trying to escape. It becomes about him trying to save OASIS for everyone, as well as learning what reality really can mean.

There are a few points that are turning points for his character. One of the main ones is when he meets with Sorrento, the leader of the corporate bad guys Sixers. The Sixers are only out to win to be able to fully control OASIS and exploit it for their own purposes. They want to take it from being a sanctuary for people and turn it into a corporate controlled land. Wade refuses every offer they throw at him, even ones that will set him up with money for life.

I loved his interaction with Sorrento because we saw Wade stand his ground and refuse to give in. Even when he is given a chance to have what he always wanted; the ability to escape his miserable life. Here we see that he is out to win for other reasons. Even though he wants to the money he isn’t willing to sell out to get it. He still has morals and values and he isn’t willing to let those go just for money. I loved watching him stand up and fight back. I knew right away that he was going to be someone I could understand and stand behind throughout the whole book.

The other point where we see him changing is when he falls in love with Art3mis. She is another avatar that is out to find the egg, and is matched in skills with Wade. He almost stops hunting the keys and trying to puzzle out the clues because he spends more and more time with this girl. He wants to get close to her, even if it isn’t in the real world. For a brief time he seems almost willing to walk away from the hunt to have her. Though that falls apart when she rebuffs him stating that he doesn’t really know who she is. He then becomes determined to win, not only for the money but to be able to meet Art3mis in real life. Finally he has a reason to want to live in the real world, even if it is just to meet this girl face to face.

At the end of the novel there is a quote that I feel really sums up the story and what it is trying to tell us. “I created OASIS because I never felt at home in the real world… I was afraid, for all my life… That’s when I realized as terrifying and painful as reality can be, it is the only place where you can find true happiness. Because reality is real.” (Cline, p. 364). Wade learns by the end of the novel that reality isn’t the desolate land he always assumed that it was. Being able to escape, whether it is into a book or a video game, is great. We all need that escape and place to hide sometime but you can’t live in that place forever. Reality is where life happens and where life thrives.

This idea echoes so well for our day. We all can escape so easily into the Internet through our phones or computers. We hide online where it seems safe, which is again fine for a time but life is always waiting. The open air with real solid Earth beneath your feet and real people with all their emotions, good and bad, are waiting. Waiting to be experienced, understood and appreciated. Throughout the novel Wade learns, that yes, the world has its problems and can really suck sometimes, but it isn’t completely destroyed and hopeless. Reality is still valuable and irreplaceable and always will be.

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