Monday, May 30, 2016

Review: A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin (spoilers)

     Reading the first couple of books in the Song of Ice and Fire series has just been a ton of fun. I love the show despite my general dislike of adaptations and think they've done a brilliant job with the story. But it's got nothing on the books. I love the writing, there's something about the flow of it that hooks you. The cast of characters is a giant, delightfully diverse, and unique group you can't help but either love or love to hate. And the world is pure genius, somehow familiar but still fresh and full of surprises.

     I read the first book, Game of Thrones, some time last year and absolutely adored it but was hesitant to start the second. The second season of the show is my least favorite and after seeing just how close of an adaptation season one was to the book, I was honestly dreading it. I saw it as a (gigantic) road bump in the series that I'd just have to get over. But I was nearly as wrong about it as Thorin's initial opinions of Bilbo. I enjoyed it so much more than I thought I would and it was completely due to the characters. The actual plot of this one was slow, but I love the characters so much I didn't mind. I like just sitting in the world with them and seeing them grow.

     There are so many small characters, though I can see why they were left out of the show, that really filled out the story for me. Arya's story line was full of extra little creeps from Harrenhal that made it so much darker and much more interesting than it was on screen. Arya as a character is phenomenal and you can start to see what a badass she's going to be in this one. She starts her list which simultaneously breaks my heart and makes me love her even more. She's never going to be a damsel  and makes sure everyone knows it. Even though she has pretty twisted side I still think she has a noble heart underneath. She also meet Jaqen, who is one of the most interesting characters in the series to me. He's so mysterious and dangerous and I'm a little obsessed with him.
     Davos is one of  my favorite characters in the series and reading from his point of view was incredible. His dedication is unrivaled and he's not afraid to tell Stannis the truth. Melisandre is an insane but interesting part of his story that is one of the people I love to hate. Her faith is so strong but some of the things she does are just disgusting.
     Speaking of disgusting, Theon is one of the worst. I hate his character through the first two books
and I don't think he has any redeeming qualities. He molests his own sister, his ego is even more
repulsive than his sense of entitlement, and he doesn't have a shred of loyalty. You could argue that he's loyal to his father and the islands but he just wants the power. He constantly disrespects his father's god and clearly doesn't believe in any of the things the people of the Iron Islands do. He's not one of them. The Starks raised him like family and he should have held some value to that. I despise him and don't feel bad about what's about to happen to him.
     Jon's story was one of the slower ones to me but still one of the most interesting. I love seeing beyond the Wall. I feel like his story with Ygritte isn't going to be as cute in the books but I still ship it. She's tough and stubborn and makes his life hell but I love it.
     Tyrion is my favorite character. He's brilliant and refuses to let anyone stop him. He proves over and over just how valuable he is. Cersei is the devil but watching them battle it out is one of my favorite parts of the series. The way he manages to manipulate and work the people around him proves that he was made for politics. Kings Landing is a jungle but he jumps right in like its nothing. I love watching him with Varys and just Varys in general. I think they're only two in Kings Landing that care about the people they're responsible for.  His bravery and ingenuity both before and during Stannis's attack was inspiring. I just wish he was working for the good guys.
    Dany's story wasn't as slow as it was in the show but it still wasn't my favorite. I thought it dragged and even though I love her I had to push myself through a decent chunk of her story line.
     I'm so happy that Bran's story is really starting. Jojen and Meera are amazing. I love all the strong females in the book and Meera is up there. I love that Bran is learning about magic, he and Jojen's abilities are so cool. Jojen is so odd but you can't help but adore him. I can't wait to see what all happens with this group.
     I'm not always sure how I feel about Sansa. I hated her in the first book, but she grows in this one. She's matured in this one, but how couldn't she? She's handling everything as well as anyone could. I just want to see her get more aggresive. She's strong, the fact that she can keep her head around Joffrey and control herself despite how petrified she understandably is proves that she's a Stark. I know she can't really do anything without getting killed but I hope we get to see her come into her own by the end of things.

    Overall I was pretty happy about where the story went throughout this one. It did seem a little slow at times but I think that was just because of the amount of POVs we get. Each chapter was around ten pages, which isn't super long but when there are this many people going it can be over 70 pages before you get back to somebody. So it's not really that it's slow so much as spread out. But, for the most part, I felt like everything was still necessary. I loved the big battle at Kings Landing, it was brilliantly done. I really adored seeing it from both sides with Davos on the other end, it added so many layers to it.You weren't just rooting for one side to win or lose, there are amazing and terrible people in both armies.
    Even though I feel like a lot of this book served as set up for the next one it was still an enjoyable time. I think Westeros is one of the most twisted places with some of the most twisted people that I've ever read about. If you haven't picked up the series, I don't know why you've read this but go pick it up. This story is unlike any other and you won't regret it.

4.5/5 Stars

Friday, July 3, 2015

I Finished A Book!

It's been weeks, guys. Weeks.

But I FINALLY MADE IT THROUGH AN ENTIRE BOOK AGAIN! I don't know what's been going on with 2015, but I've spent most of it in reading slumps and it's driving me insane. I think I'm six or seven books behind on my goodreads challenge. It's not the first time I've been this far behind either. It keeps happening. I get to the point where I'm this behind and then I'll go on a crazy spree, finish six books in a week catching up so I can go back into a bloody slump. It's not like I'm pushing myself to read a ton at once, my brain just starts working overtime and the only way to keep myself entertained is to start three books at a time. I don't seem to have the attention span for one book during these manic periods. The whiplash has been frustrating, to say the least.

But it seems this slump session is (hopefully) over and I'm trying really hard to keep myself from overdoing it. Instead of letting myself take on several books at once, I've been playing what I call the Chapter Game. I read a chapter, watch a video on a YouTube or some other quick thing, read two chapters, watch a thing, read three chapters, watch a thing, read two get the point. It's helped me to not only read the last half of Guilty Pleasures today, but to also get over halfway through An Abundance of Katherines by John Green. Which I'm loving so far.

It's a silly game.

I love it.

But back to An Abundance of Katherines. I'd heard that a lot of people aren't huge fans of this particular John Green novel, so I was hesitant to start. John Green is one of my favorite authors of all time. I love TFIOS and Paper Towns has been a favorite of mine since high school. He's also one of my heroes in general. I don't know what it is about summer but I can't not read one of his books. I knew I wouldn't hate this book because I just really love John's writing style, but I think it might end up as one of my favorites. Colin is such a unique character, who's brain power and social ineptitude reminds me a lot of my Dad. Which is probably why I'm rooting for him so much. He's like an awkward little penguin trying to navigate the American Ninja Warrior obstacle course. Hassan is hilarious and I love the balance he brings to Colin.

The plot is relatively unrealistic to me, but I don't see that as a bad thing. It's a book, I like my books unrealistic. Even contemporaries. I only mention it because that was one of the things people complained about the most. I don't care that it isn't likely for two teenage boys to take off on a random road trip and end up living with a stranger they met that day but it was fine because their parents were cool with it. I wish I could take off on a random road trip with no destination, I'm just too chicken. So it's nice to read about.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

A New Book Can Make All The Difference

Seriously, the best advice I can give anyone dealing with a reading slump is to ditch whatever they're reading and start something new. After talking to you guys about my disappointment with ACOTAR I packed it away with the rest of my books and dug out a new one that's out of my comfort zone.

Theres another good move to make when fighting a slump; pick something you wouldn't normally read.

I've really been loving Shelf Life Extention over on the BookTube and she's always talking about the Anita Blake series by Laurell K Hamilton. I found a super cheap copy on Amazon and figured I may as well give it a shot. It's an adult, urban fantasy series following an incredibly sassy and strong female protagonist. Anita Blake works on a special task force that deals with all things Supernatural in an America where vampires and other night terrors are out in the open. As an animator, Anita has a stronger resistance to the vampire's mind control, super human reflexes, and can raise zombies to help her on bad days.

I still feel like I'm in my slump, but now I think I'm heading in the right direction to escape. I read 70 pages last night, which on a good day is horrible but in a slump is amazing. I'll take what I can get, it's not the number of pages but what's on them that counts. (At least according to my overly optimistic mother.)

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

It's Not You, It's Me.

Guys. I have a confession to make. But before I make it, be warned that it will undoubtedly anger several people, even though opinions aren't really something to get upset over because everyone is entitled to theirs.

I couldn't get into a Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas.

Now before you start throwing things, know that I think Sarah is brilliant. Her writing is beautiful and unique, her characters generally lovable, and her worlds are out of this one. It also doesn't help that I've been in a bit of a reading slump since I started the book. I crammed six books in the week before I started and burned myself out a bit. I also kind of got evicted a few days ago and had to pack everything and be out in three days. Between those two things I haven't even felt like listening to an audiobook. But I think it might be coming to an end and hopefully I'll be reading again before the night is through.

I'd also like to say that I will be picking this book back up in the future. I hate reading slumps. They happen to me every couple of months and generally ruin a good book with their timing. I have a really strong feeling that if I try this book again while I'm in a different head space, I'll love it as much as everybody else does.

There were a few things about the actual book that got under my skin though. What really surprises me is that my problems are with her characters. I'm used to loving the people she writes, so it threw me off guard to automatically hate several of them. I can't stand Feyre's family. It's hard for me to sympathize with her being taken to Tamlin's when her whole family is horrible. Even her nice sister is petty, pathetic, self centered, and spoiled. The father is useless. I wasn't even a fan of Feyre. I found her whiny, rude, and socially incompetent on a whole new level. She's bitter, melodramatic and angry about pretty much everything. I get that her situation isn't ideal, but she got herself into this mess, the least she can do is suck it up. Again, I feel like my abnormally strong negative feelings are heavily influenced by my reading (being grumpy) slump.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Back To Blogging/What I've Been Reading

Hey everyone! Sorry I haven't posted in so many months. Between a move and the worlds worst internet I've fallen a bit behind. But that's alright, we'll just jump back in.

I hope you've all had a great few months filled with loads of books that have completely blown your minds. I've found some amazing ones since we've chatted last. I finally dove into the series Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi and I'm head over heels. I love everything about her beautiful and unique writing style. Her characters are messes, but so lovable and well written that you want to hug them all anyways. And the world, though it follows a few classic dystopian tropes, still managed to feel fresh. I've yet to be bored and can barely get myself to put them down. I only have the finally book in the series Ignite Me left to pick up. I always make myself break up a series, no matter how much I'm enjoying it, because if I don't I'll burn myself out on the characters/world. And when I say break up a series I mean that I'll usually spend years on one because I take so much time in between. But not with this one. This one has my full attention, and even though I've made myself read another book between each of these all I think about is finding out what happens to the characters I've grown to adore so much.

But since I break things up, I decided to finally finish the Infernal Devices trilogy by Cassandra Clare with Clockwork Princess . Even though I'm only about 250 pages in, its been an amazing 250 pages. You never have to wait long for one of Cassandra's books to pick up, and this one was jammed packed full of action from the very beginning. I love the this trilogy even more than her Mortal Instruments, which is another series I need to complete (I'm on book 5). I adore the Shadowhunter mythology in both series, but I love the setting in these ones. There's just something about London in the 1800's that I can't get enough of in books. I
also feel like she writes these particular characters exceptionally well. You can tell how much she loves them and it makes me love them all the more.

Thanks for stopping by! Make sure to let me know what you're reading and how you feel about the books I've mentioned above in the comments or tweet them at me here, RazzleFrazzleIv

Until next time, have a great life!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Top Five Wednesday: Favorite Couples (Contains some Spoilers)

Okay. So this is a day late. But better than late than never, right?

Choosing only five couples is ridiculously difficult. I love fake couples. I have more OTP's than I can count. When a couple I like finally gets together, I literally victory dance around my room...

My favorite couples also change on a regular basis. But heres who I'm loving at the moment.

5. Percy/Annabeth from Percy Jackson and the Olympians & The Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan: I've loved Annabeth and Percy from the beginning. Watching them grow throughout the books is one of the things I love most about both series. I will ship them until the end of time.

4. Alice and Cole from the White Rabbit Chronicles by Gena Showalter: I love these two together. They're both  sassy, spunky, stubborn little messes that I adore. I love the way they check each other throughout the whole book. They balance each other so well and I can't wait to see how they grow throughout the rest of the series.

3. David and Jess from Fire in the Woods by Jennifer M. Eaton: I just finished this book yesterday and I'm a bit obsessed with these two. Especially David. He is without a doubt the cutest thing in history. I love that he and Jess are both amazing characters on their own, as are most of these fine people, but become even better as a couple. Each of them are strong, smart, and brave as well vulnerable, raw, and flawed. They bring out the best in each other and I really need the second book to be out. Like now.

2. Lola and Cricket from Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins: I couldn't make a list about couples without mentioning one of Stephanie Perkins'. I love all of her books, and choosing just one was difficult, that being said, Lola is my favorite book of hers. I love Lola as a character so much, that whoever she was with would be on the list with her. The fact that boy is Cricket is just the sprinkles on top. The two of them are wonderful together. They support each others dreams, and love each others quirks. They understand each other so well and except the good with the bad. It also helps that I'm a sucker for a lost love comes back story.

1. Celaena and Chaol from The Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas: Even though these two didn't get together until Crown of Midnight I've shipped them since they first met. I love the way they challenge each other. They make each other stronger and would do anything for the other. When they danced; I died a little, when they finally got together; I had to set the book down so I didn't destroy it while I fangirled all over my room. When their romance was...errr...put on a temporary hold, I screamed so loud my Mom came rushing into the room to see I was being murdered. I still haven't read the third book, so I'm not sure how it continues, but for the sake of my little fangirl heart I'm just going to keep believing that they'll live happily ever after.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Getting Back In The Swing Of Things

Hey everybody, so as most of you know I was in Kansas for a week for the birth of my nephew. I've been doing my best to get back into the swing of things here on the internet as well as in real life. It's going slower than I would have hoped, but I think I'm finally getting into my routine again.

I finished Frostbite, the second book in the Vampire Academy series, a couple of days ago and it was pretty good. I wasn't as into as the first book but as far as sequels go it wasn't terrible. I only have a couple of issues with it. One thing I had a problem with in the first book as well, is the narrative. I'm not a huge fan of first person POV's and even though I like Rose as a character, I get really sick of being in her head all the time. Don't get me wrong, she's a badass, but I find Rose a bit whiny and as much I love some good teenage angst; that's pretty much all you get from her. It takes me a few chapters to get past it. The other problem I had was the end battle. It felt super rushed to me. We spent an annoying amount of time on Rose's melodramatic boy problems but we couldn't spend a few more pages on the only real action we get in the book? That being said, I did appreciate how a certain characters death was handled. It hurt me. A lot. But I think it was important for Rose's development. I'd give it a 3 out of 5 stars.

Now I'm re-reading Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief as part of the Percy Jackson read-a-long over on goodreads. I always miss Percy, his sass is some of my favorite. It's been four or five years since I first read the series and I'm really looking forward to getting to know it again.

I also started Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter. I'm only a couple of chapters in but I'm really enjoying it so far. Unlike in VA, I'm really digging the first person POV. Alice is a great character, she's snarky and I like the backstory we get from her right off the bat. I can't wait to get back to it and I think I'm gonna love it.