THE UNDERTAKING OF LILY CHEN by Danica Novgorodoff | Review

TULC

Goodreads

Graphic Novel

Deshi Li’s brother is dead—and unmarried. Which means that Deshi must find him an eligible body before the week is up.

Lily Chen, sweet as a snakebite, needs money and a fast ride out of town.

Haunted by the gods of their ancestors and the expectations of the new world, Deshi and Lily embark on a journey with two very different destinations in mind.

They travel through a land where the ground is hard and the graves are shallow, where marriage can be murder and where Lily Chen is wanted—dead and alive.


I was walking through my library when I happened to see this and was taken by the cover.

This is a common example of the never judge a book by its cover rule.

I haven’t read a graphic novel in a long time, and I have yet to find one that I have liked. The artwork in here is nice.

Other than that, it was pretty bad.

The story is just not good. It’s an interesting concept, but the way that it was done was just…not good. Many things happened that I did not like. I also felt the language for the area this was supposed to be set in was just not accurate.

A couple of things I didn’t like (possible spoilers):

  • The main character sleeps with the person he’s supposed to kill and falls in love with her.
  • A random scene with drunk monks
  • The language . . . I’m okay with curse words, but it just felt forced and “icky” to me in this.

Overall, the artwork was nice, which gives it an extra star. And even though this didn’t take me very long to read, I just can not recommend this one.

Rating:

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Do you like reading graphic novels?Have any good recommendations for me? Let’s talk in the comments!

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RED RISING by Pierce Brown | Review

RRAmazon | TBD | Goodreads

382 Pages

Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. Yet he toils willingly, trusting that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and lush wilds spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power.  He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies . . . even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.


I don’t really know what compelled me to read this book now, now that the hype has pretty much died down. And, am I glad I did? Well…

First , let’s get into the things that I liked, as usual.

  1. I felt that this was definitely a page turner and easy to get through. It wasn’t necessarily so “on the edge of your seat” that I sped through it, more that it was just really easy to read.
  2. I think the concept was very interesting in the fist 150 pages of the book. Did I feel it moved a bit fast? Sure. But, overall, I was interested.
  3. I felt the relationships formed after Darrow became a gold were pretty authentic feeling. I felt the relationships he made after he joined the world, where he was just “pretending”, were actually more authentic than the relationships he was supposed to have with the people he really loved in the beginning of the novel.

Things I didn’t like so much:

  1. I wasn’t really digging the competition idea in a sense that it just felt like a rich person’s Hunger Games. Let’s face it, this concept is nothing new, like at all. But, when done well, can turn out really amazing (i.e. Nevernight). In this case, it was “meh” for me.
  2. There was a cliche that I hate that occurred on page 368 of the paperback at the section break that didn’t even really matter to the plot in the end, but felt more like was just being thrown in there for shock value. (I’m not explicitly going to out the cliche so as not to spoil anything, but I’m sure you could think of a list, and it’d be on there.)
  3. The writing, overall, is…not very good. Example:

I flex the knifeRing’s blade out and punch him in the face, jamming the blade through his visor into his eye socket four times, jerking upward so that he dies.

I just felt like this was written very poorly. “So that he dies”…I mean, really?

I guess, overall, I enjoyed this book. I had a good time. Do I think it’s prime literature? No. Do I think it’s ground breaking? Defiantly not. But I may give the sequel a chance. I just wasn’t head-over-heels for this one.

Rating:

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KINGDOM OF ASH by Sarah J. Maas (Review)

KOA*SPOLER WARNING: While this review is going to be spoiler free of Book 7, it is written with the understanding that the reader has read the previous books.*

Amazon | TBD | Goodreads

992 Pages

Aelin has risked everything to save her people-but at a tremendous cost. Locked within an iron coffin by the Queen of the Fae, Aelin must draw upon her fiery will as she endures months of torture. Aware that yielding to Maeve will doom those she loves keeps her from breaking, though her resolve begins to unravel with each passing day…

With Aelin captured, Aedion and Lysandra remain the last line of defense to protect Terrasen from utter destruction. Yet they soon realize that the many allies they’ve gathered to battle Erawan’s hordes might not be enough to save them. Scattered across the continent and racing against time, Chaol, Manon, and Dorian are forced to forge their own paths to meet their fates. Hanging in the balance is any hope of salvation-and a better world.

And across the sea, his companions unwavering beside him, Rowan hunts to find his captured wife and queen-before she is lost to him forever.

As the threads of fate weave together at last, all must fight, if they are to have a chance at a future. Some bonds will grow even deeper, while others will be severed forever in the explosive final chapter of the Throne of Glass series.


This book was easily my most anticipated of 2018.

Having been following this series since the third book was released, I was beyond excited and a little sad that it was finally coming to a close. How would it be handled?

This review will remain relatively short, so as to avoid spoilers. But here were a couple things I was expecting from this book:

  • Tragedy
  • Romance
  • Major heroism

Now these terms basically describe every book in the series, but I feel this book covers all of them wonderfully. There were times I was swooning, on the verge of tears, and rooting for the protagonists big time.

Towards the end, I will admit, I was scared Maas was going to take the easy way out. But a completion of the final 100 pages quickly made me fall in love with the ending.

All in all, this was a beautiful close to the series that had me rolling through all of the emotions.

Considering that this was nearly a 1,000 page novel, I could make this review way longer than it is. But, I think my rating will speak for itself.

Rating:

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Have you read any of the Throne of Glass series? Let’s talk in the comments!

October 2018 | In Review

FullertonBotanicGarden

This month has been wild! My most anticipated book released, and new, great things in my life are happening! What a great month!


Books Read

Hangsaman by Shirley Jackson: (218 Pages) I love Shirley Jackson, and while I found this to have some likable quotes in it, I was very disappointed to find that I didn’t particularly like this work as a whole. 3 out of 5

Red Rising by Pierce Brown: (416 Pages)

The Adventure’s of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain: (224 Pages) I had to read this for a class, and let’s just say I didn’t enjoy it too much.

wiiu

What if It’s Us by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera: (448 Pages) While I had a couple issues with this one, overall, it was a good time. 4 out of 5

Currently Reading

KOA

All I’m saying is that this book is a a monster, and I’m enjoying every second of it.

Notes:

I feel like I’ve been particularly absent this past week or two, as I’ve been trying to avoid ANYTHING to do with Kingdom of Ash, but I will try to be more adamant on your blogs soon.


What was your favorite read this month? Let’s talk in the comments below!

Disney Channel Halloween Movies Tag

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If I’m doing a tag, about 90% of the time Sara tags me in it (she’s amazing, blah blah blah, you know the drill by now).


Halloweentown: Where is your favorite place to go for Halloween or a place you want to go?

Oh man! There’s actually a haunted house called Netherworld that’s about 2 hours from me that I really want to go to. But, I don’t think that’s going to happen this year.

Under Wraps: What’s something that used to be scary to you and then you realized it wasn’t just the mummy in this movie?

I used to be TERRIFIED of doors that had alarms on them, like fire escapes, and I would refuse to sit by them when I was, like, 4. I’m not sure when that phase ended, honestly.

Tower of Terror: What is the scariest place you’ve ever been?

high school

Twitches: If you could be any supernatural creature, what would you be?

Oooo, a werewolf.

Don’t Look Under the Bed: Were you scared of monsters when you were a kid? When did it stop?

Not really. I think it was just the dark in general.

Phantom of the Megaplex: Do you watch scary movies? If so, what is your favorite or the one you got most afraid of?

I watch scary movies a lot, but the first scary movie to give me a nightmare was Children of the Corn. I was, maybe, ten. I don’t know what did it for me on that one, but it was traumatizing.

The Scream Team: Who would be on your dream team if you went on a ghost/supernatural creature hunt?

  • Aelin and Rowan from Throne of Glass
  • Holden Caulfield from The Cather in the Rye
  • Kvothe from the Kingskiller Chronicle

Honestly, who wouldn’t want to go somewhere spooky with them? Aelin and Rowan would kick ass, Holden would just be amazing, and Kvothe would equally kick ass.

Mom’s Got a Date with a Vampire: Have you ever witnessed something/someone that could only be explained by the paranormal? If yes, what/who?

So at my house, in my hometown, there is a closet with a crawl space in it that has a covering on it. And I would joke all the time about how a homeless man lived up there, because I would see things moving in the corners of my eye when the closet door was cracked.

So, one night, I was sitting in my room and hear a loud BOOM and it scared the hell out of me. When I went to look, the panel had been pushed from the wall, revealing the crawl space, so I ran downstairs.

The next day, the board was nailed into the wall.

Whoever is in a spooky mood, please feel free to do this one!


HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

HANGSAMAN by Shirley Jackson (Review)

HangsamanAmazon | TBD | Goodreads

218 Pages

Seventeen-year-old Natalie Waite longs to escape home for college. Her father is a domineering and egotistical writer who keeps a tight rein on Natalie and her long-suffering mother. When Natalie finally does get away, however, college life doesn’t bring the happiness she expected. Little by little, Natalie is no longer certain of anything—even where reality ends and her dark imaginings begin. Chilling and suspenseful, Hangsaman is loosely based on the real-life disappearance of a Bennington College sophomore in 1946.


You have no idea how much it pains me to write this review, and to say, in short that I really didn’t enjoy this one as much as I anticipated.

Shirley Jackson is one of my favorite authors, and We Have Always Lived in the Castle placed her there. But, throughout reading Hangsaman, I was just bored. This book is barely 200 pages, and it took me way longer than it should have. Things like two-page paragraphs, and lengthy descriptions of things that really didn’t seem to matter made this book feel more like an essay.

In the end, I’m glad I read it. You can’t love them all. And, there were parts I enjoyed, as I will include a few of my favorite parts below, but overall, I felt this was a snooze fest.

However, on the bright side, there were often moments where I just felt totally enamored by Jackson’s way with words, and that’s ultimately what kept me from DNF’ing it.

Well written. Interesting characters (in the beginning). Snooze fest.

Favorite Quotes:

  • “Adolescence is a time when . . . one is too untaught for literature and too young for drink.”
  • “Everyone only knows one ‘I’, and that’s the ‘I’ they call themselves, and there’s no one else can be ‘I’ to anyone except that one person, and they’re all stuck with themselves and once they find out they’ve been tricked, then they’ve been tricked and maybe the worst of it is that it isn’t like anything else . . . “
  • Anything which begins new and fresh will finally become old and silly.
  • I feel so much at home here that I don’t really remember what it was like to live anywhere else, and I sometimes think that first day is all you know of the place, and you still see it like that, and I can’t remember.
  • Never wish for anything until it’s ready for you. Never try to make something happen until it’s on its way.

Hangsaman

Shirley Jackson

Rating:

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Have you ever been disappointed by an author you really like? If so, who was it and what book? Let’s talk in the comments!

The Logophile Book Tag

Bijou Media-4

I was tagged by Jenna @ Bookmark Your Thoughts. Please check out her beautiful page here.


The Rules

  1. Thank the person who tagged you (you can skip me ha-ha)
  2. Pingback Bookmark Your Thoughts’ original post so I can see your lovely answers!
  3. Pingback the person who tagged you so they can see the post.
  4. Bonus: If you wish to, tag at least three people to do this tag.

Effulgent | Brilliantly radiant

A BOOK WITH A BEAUTIFUL COVER

rumble

This is probably my favorite Ellen Hopkins cover to date. And this also happens to be one of my favorite books by her.

Metanoia | The journey of changing one’s mind, heart, self, or way of life

A CHARACTER WHO GOES THROUGH A MAJOR TRANSFORMATION

kvothe

I feel like in every single tag, I manage to put something about the Kingskiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfus. But, I feel Kvothe goes through many, many changes over the course of the first two novels. Please, please, please, if you haven’t read them, read them to see for yourself.

Sockdolager | Decisive retort; mic drop

A CHARACTER WHO ALWAYS HAS A GOOD COMEBACK

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Okay, but Ben’s friend, Dylan, always has the best responses to everything. They may not be well thought out, but they’re always amusing.

Sesquipedalian | Containing many syllables; long winded

THE LONGEST BOOK YOU’VE READ

The Wise Man's Fear

I actually did a whole TTT for this, but The Wise Man’s Fear comes in at 993 pages.

Ephemeral | Lasting for a very short time

THE SHORTEST BOOK YOU’VE READ

One of the Boys

I’m going to keep this one strictly to books on my shelf, and I think that would have to be One of the Boys, which is 176 pages. I remember when I ordered this, I didn’t check the page count and was expecting it to be a lot larger then it is. But, I do remember enjoying it quite a lot.

Serenity | The state of being calm, peaceful, and untroubled

A BOOK THAT MAKES YOU FEEL CALM AND HAPPY

SE

I feel like this is a tough one to answer, as just about all books will get me stressed out at their main conflict points (if it’s written well, of course), but Starry Eyes defiantly made me feel calm and happy 90% of the time.

Oblivion | The state of being unaware of what’s happening around you

A NOVEL WITH A COMPLEX PLOT

Pathfinder

I feel like anytime you involve time travel, it can get a little tricky. When I first started this, it took me a second to get the rules, but once you figure it out, you’re golden. (Also, I am NOT, by any means, saying I support this author).

Rantipole | To be wild and reckless

A RECKLESS CHARACTER

The Cruel Prince

Jude was just…sigh.

 

Nefarious | Wicked, villainous, despicable

YOUR FAVOURITE VILLAIN

Winter by Marissa Meyer

I feel like I’ve answered some sort of variation of this for a lot of tags I’ve done. But, I’m still going to stick with Levana.

Ineffable | Too great to be expressed in words

YOUR FAVOURITE BOOK OR BOOK SERIES

It’s hard for me to pick a single one, but here’s a quick list:

  • The Dublin Murder Squad series by Tana French
  • Throne of Glass series by  Sarah J. Maas
  • The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  • The Kingskiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss

Trouvaille | Something lovely discovered by chance

A BOOK YOU DIDN’T EXPECT TO LOVE

Faithful Place

I was actually assigned to read this in a class, and I had no idea I’d fall in love with it and want to continue the series on my own.

Nostalgia | A wistful desire to return in thought to a former time in one’s life

A BOOK OR CHARACTER THAT MAKES YOU FEEL NOSTALGIC

TH

I read this right before I was going into high school, and often talked about in during freshman year. The first two years of high school were great, and that’s what this reminds me of.

Tagged:

Sara | Ally | Hamad


If you weren’t tagged and feeling like doing this one, go for it! Did you agree or disagree with any of my answers? Let’s talk in the comments!