Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions

Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was a quick, fun read, but also deeply thoughtful and a bit life-affirming. Adichie wrote the book first as a response to an email from her friend about how to raise a feminist daughter. I’d like to think I’m raising a feminist daughter and son, but am I? I opened this book not just as a reader, but as a parent. I was very interested to see if Adichie’s advice matched some of the choices I have made.

The 15 suggestions that she outlines are so detailed, some to me are so obvious. Not for raising a “feminist daughter”, but for raising a good human. I recently “suggested” to a pregnant friend not to raise her kid to be an a$$hole, as a boy was a super jerk at my son’s soccer game a few weeks ago. She agreed that this should be the basic goal of every parent. After experiencing life as a parent, I don’t always think this is true. I try to not judge other parents, but sometimes I definitely do.

Adichie addresses judgment in her letter. She also talks about gender roles and marriage. I honestly loved this little book. The 15 suggestions are impactful, but also assured me of many of the choices I have made. I borrowed it from the library, but I feel like I want a copy of my own. Something I can refer back to, something I can share with my children when they are older.

While I think the "letter" was fun, it was also serious, but told in such a way that you don’t notice. The tone is light, as though it really is a letter from a friend giving you advice. I could disect each of the 15 suggestions, but I'm not going to. Instead, I am going to keep them within me and share them with people I know. Even if you don’t have a daughter, or don’t have children, this is something you should definitely read.

Monday, July 16, 2018

The Scorpio Races


The Scorpio Races grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. Maggie Steifvater created a story that was magical, but grounded. There was so much sadness, yet remarkable moments of joy. I wanted more. I want to know more about the Connellys. I want more of Holly. I want more of Thisby. The Scorpio Races has left me with one of the biggest book hangovers in a long time. I can't stop thinking about Puck and Sean.

Puck Connelly had me all the way through the story. Her story was compelling and uncompromising. She was brilliant and a force that swept its way through the island. I loved her determination. She was young, but also a woman. We watch her learn and grow and leave the girl she was behind. She was the heart of The Scorpio Races.

Sean Kendrick was its strength. He was “an old 19”. Sean had been through so much in his life. After so much time, he thought he had everything figured out. But nope. Even an old 19 doesn’t have everything figured out, because he is still only 19. Life may have had him grow up early, as with Puck, but it’s not done with either of them. Sean, with severe determination, perseveres against everything working against him.

The characters worked so well in this story. But the setting, the island, seemed to be a character too. Thisby had its own personality. It stormed as storms brewed among the residents. It welcomed them with calm mornings and gave them what they were asking for in the middle of the night. I would love to read more stories, not just of the characters I’ve already met, but ones that take place on the island. Maybe of when the Races first started, maybe of a race 20 years later. I’m interested in a race Benjamin Malvern was in. Maybe a race that Holly decides to enter. There are so many stories that can be told, not just of ones with Puck and Sean.

So, I’ve read Steifvater’s Raven Cycle and now, The Scorpio Races, I wonder what The Wolves of Mercy Falls will have in store for me.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Anne of Avonlea



Another trip to Prince Edward Island, another book in the Anne of Green Gables series read. I loved Anne of Avonlea. Anne is more grown up, though only 16 at the start of the novel. She, Gilbert Blythe, and two other friends have returned from Redmond College to take up teaching positions. Anne and Gilbert teach their students and along with their friends Diana and Fred, form the Avonlea Village Improvement Society. 

Anne and Diana’s friendship grows and matures, as they do. Anne is very much treated as an adult, she teaches, and she helps Marilla raise children. Talk of marriage surrounds her. It’s a bit strange to me, as by the end of the story, she is just 17. It seems like she has a lot of responsibility at her age, though admittedly, it was a different time then. There are also different opinions on whether Anne needs more schooling. Some residents of Avonlea Village say, no. Though she wants to go back to school, Anne loves teaching. Her students love her. She loves them. She takes her work very seriously, feeling deeply for each pupil. Were people really so mature as teenagers at the beginning of the last century?

Though I fully enjoyed the story, watching Anne and the residents of Avonlea grow, I wish there was a bit more plot. Anne of Avonlea seems to be a snippet of Anne’s life for the two years between Anne of Green Gables and Anne of the Island. A lot of exciting, surprising, interesting things happen, but I didn’t really feel a thread that held them all together. In a weird way, it makes me want to read Anne of the Island more. With how this book ends, there is so much bound to happen in the next one.

Monday, July 09, 2018

The Surgeon


The Surgeon is the first novel in the Rizzoli and Isles series by Tess Gerritsen. It was recommended to me not just as a reader, but as something to read as a writer. Gerritsen creates compelling, multidimensional characters that you love and hate at the same time. She weaves subplots easily into the main storyline. She creates surprises. The pace is amazing. A 350 page paperback does not take a lot of time to read, as the story grips you.

Characters are always what keeps me reading a story. I really connected with Catherine Cordell and Thomas Moore. They were amazing. Catherine was so quietly strong and defiant. She went through something horrible, beyond horrible, and though it took time, she worked through it. I loved Detective Moore. He was strong, caring and vulnerable. He was practically the perfect man, though his flaws made him seem more real. I was drawn to him, wanting to know his reactions and his thoughts on everything.

Then there was Jane Rizzoli. I disliked her, but admired her. She was a woman working in a man's world. She endured mean-spirited pranks, and purposefully being left out. She was full of resentment, family issues and had a chip on her shoulder the size of a boulder. As I was reading the novel, I couldn't believe this was the character the series would be based on. Yet, I could also understand it. More than Catherine and Moore, Rizzoli has the most room to grow. She learned about herself and others in this novel, and I'm interested to see what else she learns.

I haven't seen the Rizzoli and Isles television show. I watched way too many police procedurals, and I'm still not over it. That being said, I've seen the actress who plays Rizzoli on the show. Angie Harmon is gorgeous and tall, with beautiful hair. That is not what the Rizzoli of the novels looked like. Of course, they changed it for television. But that's not the only difference. In the first Rizzoli and Isles novel, there is NO ISLES. Where is she? When does she enter the series? In the next novel, right? So, while I might not be watching police dramas, I will definitely be reading them. One book and I know I will read more about Jane Rizzoli and hopefully soon be reading about Maura Isles.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Unlocked: An Oral History of Haden's Syndrome


You can read the story for free here.
Unlocked: An Oral History of Haden's Syndrome is the prequel novella/short story to John Scalzi’s Lock In. I loved Lock In and am very eager to read Head On. Lock In was a mystery set in a science fiction world, but that wasn't Unlocked. Unlocked answered some questions for me, but also raised some more. Reading about the creation of the Agora and how people lived there, reminded me of Ready Player One, while the threeps reminded me of Surrogates, though they are less realistic.  It was interested to read how people who had Haden's Syndrome became their own people and faced ostracizing once the "novelty" of personal transports went away.

Of all the characters, the First Lady stood out for me. Margie Haden was strong and vivacious. She was the real power of the presidency. If it wasn't for President Haden's wife contracting the disease (and subsequently having the disease named after her), how would it have been handled. Once it was "under control" would threeps have been invented? Would it just be about maintaining bodies in their "vegetable" state. Having Marcus Shane (a Michael Jordan level basketball player?) testify too about what the disease did to his toddler son was also a way to get American emotions on the side of the researchers. Of course it is his son, Chris Shane is the star of Lock In and it makes sense to see how his young life played into the beginning of Haden's Syndrome. There are so many questions though. Where did the disease come from? Was it man made? Why isn't there a cure yet? Will the robot uprising actually be Hadens taking over the world? When will regular people get their own threeps?

Unlocked gave me a chance to whet my appetite for Head On. I thoroughly enjoy Scalzi's writing and am exciting for the next adventure.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Lumberjanes: Out of Time



The more I read the Lumberjanes series, the more I love them. These are some fantastic girls. Their personalities shine. They are so different, and they love each other so much. They love Jen. I was glad we got to spend more time with her. Being their Camp Counselor must be so hard! They are always getting into trouble, sneaking out, or fighting the supernatural! What is Jen to do? Jen understands the girls more in Out of Time, and she learns more about Rosie too. I think this is the most we've seen Rosie. Rosie is usually this overarching presence, without being involved directly in what the girls do. This time though, Rosie finds herself in the midst of not just saving Jen and the girls, but the whole forest.


I really liked that we got to see more of the forest and what lives in those woods. Is every creature living there evil? Are any of them? We learned more about the Bear Woman too. I feel like there's so much more to that story.

What about Abigail? When are we going to see her again? Because she's not done with the forest or Rosie. What happened to her was sad, but she did not deal with it well. She was an interesting character, a real contrast to those we've met so far. 

Jo was a stand out for me too. She always seemed like such a leader to me, sure of herself and her place among the group. In Out of Time we got to see her have doubts. She had to deal with one of the Scouting Lads from earlier in the series. April befriended Barney and we got to see him return with his kitten (which was a call back to the brainwashing story, so that was fun). Barney wants to be a Lumberjane so much, he wants to go on adventures and thinks these girls are amazing. Through this interaction, we get to see Jo grow as a person, become more mature and reflect on herself. We also get to see her call her Dads and what that reveals about the camp the girls are in.

Lumberjanes: Out of Time was the fun and uplifting story I wanted it to be. I'm so glad I have more Lumberjanes waiting for me. I've introduced them to my daughter too. I'm excited to start talking to her about these fun and fantastic stories.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

It


I think I have a love/hate relationship with Stephen King. I mean, I love him, his books, his tweets. He's smart and interesting whenever I see him in interviews. His books just floor me. They're usually long, tense, complex, filled with characters I love, characters I hate and characters that get long, complex backstories, only to have them killed off on the next page. I've definitely needed some recovery time.

I started reading It months ago, in the middle of a reading slump. I managed to crawl my way out of it and back to the novel. (Piece of advice: If you're in a reading slump, picking up a novel that's over 1000 pages is probably not a good idea.) It was just so long! Once I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down, but looking at that super thick paperback made picking it up daunting. I did it though, because I had to know what happened to Bill, Ben and Bevvie, to Mike, Richie, Eddie, and poor Stan.

Ben was utterly my favourite character. I know it was Big Bill who was the star of the story, or maybe Pennywise the Clown, but Ben stood out for me. There is something about him that I connected to. I don’t know if it’s because he was a target, or because he changed so much from the child he used to be to the amazing adult he became, but I loved Ben. I want to know more about him, I want to know about his future. I wish I could have spent more time with him.

Also, I loved the Turtle. From the first moment of its mention, I had to know how It was connected to The Dark Tower. King has created his own universe/multiverse, and we see characters pop up from different stories. I remember feeling the same way when I read Insomnia, but this was even better. It was more subtle. If you have never read The Dark Tower series, you wouldn't be missing anything by not knowing about the Turtle connection, but if you're a fan like me, you will be struck, tickled even. It makes me want to dive back into The Dark Tower and find the Turtle references. (Also, what was Shardik doing when all this happened?)

Though it took me a while to get through, I really enjoyed It. I think it also sparked in me the urge to read more of King's books. Maybe Full Dark, No Stars, maybe The Stand, I have been thinking about Night Shift too. I wonder if any of those characters will show up again. I'm not sure what else I can say. It's a long book, but a lot happens and I don't want to give any of it away. It is worth the time to read it. I'm glad I got to spend time with The Losers Club.

*Side note: There have been so many great book covers over the years, I wanted to share them. I found the one for the French translation of It, but it was a little too gruesome for what I was wanted.


Saturday, June 09, 2018

Wonder Woman: Flesh

The end of Wonder Woman: Flesh was fantastic. I couldn't have asked for it to be better. Though it feels like a "middle" book (it definitely leaves off on a cliffhanger) there is character growth. We get to see not only Diana change, but also Hera and even Apollo. I was starting to feel bad for First Born, but nope, I don't. I think I feel bad for Cassandra though. I don't think she saw that coming. I would like for Zola to learn something, to be more active in her own safety. I understand that everyone is some kind of god or demi-god, but still, something. Also, I could have used more Orion.

Again, I find myself enjoying the art. I love the thick lines and expressiveness. Wonder Woman's smirk after a certain fight was perfect, and so telling. The art of Flesh and of the series so far, has been engaging, not just fitting well with the story, but adding to it as well. Flesh has left me very excited to read Bones. There are battles to be fought, destinies to be fulfilled, babies to raise. Diana has suffered so much loss, but also gained so much love. What is next for Wonder Woman?


Monday, June 04, 2018

The Sun and Her Flowers

I'm so glad that I picked up The Sun and Her Flowers. I've slowly been reading more poetry over the last couple years. I had, of course, heard of Milk and Honey. It was on the Bestseller's list, bookish people were talking about it, my cousins were talking about it. Then, Rupi Kaur published another book. People were excited. When I saw The Sun and Her Flowers looking up at me from a display table, I felt I had to read it. I hadn't heard much about the new book yet, as it had not been as hyped as the first. Though since purchasing, I've been seeing more and more about it.

I connected with The Sun and Her Flowers, enjoying the words, the structure, the images. I've read that people are not sure that it is actually a book of poetry. I can see why they might think that. Rupi Kaur writes about being the child of immigrants, relationships, and discovering herself. They could easily be topics or sections in a memoir. There is memoir in Kaur's words. To me, however, The Sun and Her Flowers is poetry, even if you count the entire book as one long illustrated poem, the poem of her life.

There kept being short passages, moments, that I had to share. So, I Instagrammed them. They connected with me, the whole book did, the struggles that Kaur goes through. How often do we compare ourselves and our paths to others? I know I do all the time. As a mother, friend, daughter, writer, reader, and so many other ways, I have compared myself to others. How can I be there for my children more? Is my husband happy with me? Why aren't I writing more? Why can't I read as much as all these other people?

Kaur reflects on immigration, focusing much on the journey of her mother. It made my wonder about my own parents, particularly my mother (though both from Trinidad, my parents met here in Canada). From the stories they've told me, my father did all right. It was still difficult, but he wasn't sheltered the way my mother had been. My mother was the youngest and a girl. I also wonder about the difficulties her mother faced. She was a single mother bringing her children to a new country, leaving a place where, from what I can tell, her husband had been beloved (he died in a car accident when my mother was seven). They are powerful words indeed to make me thing about all these things.

The Sun and Her Flowers is a book I can see myself coming back to over and over again. It is a book I could just let live at my bedside or on my desk. A book where I can just randomly open a page and read a few words. A book full of words to meditate on, consider, question and inspire. I look forward to reading more of Kaur's work.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Deadpool 2

The after-credits scene is a must. If you walk out before you see it, you're missing out.

I laughed and cringed my way through Deadpool 2. It was fantastic. Was it better than the first? I don't know. I'll just have to watch the first again to find out. The maximum security prisoner was amazing. All the new characters were great. I loved Domino. I loved Yukio. I loved how it all connected. All the main characters go through some kind of growth. Not just Wade, but we see Cable, Domino, and Colossus all learn and grow. They find something in themselves and in each other. Even though the movie is extremely violent and funny, we can see how much caring there is in the way the characters treat each other, even if they are being a$$holes.

You know, we never see Deadpool sharpen those katanas, but they are extremely sharp. Just a thought.

I do have to mention that Vanisher was hilarious, all the cameos were amazing. 

This might be one of my shortest posts. I don't know what else to say about the movie without giving things away. If you were a fan of the first, you will definitely be a fan of the second.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Avengers: Infinity War


These posters are pretty cool
I had so many feelings. It was tense and intense. So much happened. I have so many theories. Hubby thinks he knows how it will all work out. Since what happens in one movie affects the rest of the MCU, I wonder what's going to happen on S.H.I.E.L.D. or in Ant-Man and The Wasp. I can't really talk about anything without giving away something. If you look at the trailers, they're pretty vague too. They are spectacular images and bits of dialogue... not even dialogue, just sentences, phrases. In Infinity War there is always something happening. The movement of the story never stops.

I am going to talk about Thor meeting The Guardians of The Galaxy, because it is hilarious and it is in the trailers. Thor is amazing, Star-Lord is amazing. They all are. I love how Thor interacts with the Guardians. He somehow gets a moment with all of them. The entire sequence from him hitting their ship, to the end, is fun and funny. In general, when any of the different groups met, it was funny. These were the times where I think Marvel and the Russo brothers could add some hilarity. 

Loving these
I loved Vision and Scarlet Witch. I loved Okoye and Black Widow. I loved Dr. Strange and Spider-Man. As many characters as there were, I think all, if not most of the main ones got to have a moment, something that told the rest of them who there were and what they could do. Is it crazy that I think that? Oh well. Seriously, if you haven't seen this movie yet, go see it as soon as possible. Honestly, I want to see it again already. I don't even know if I've digested the movie yet and it's been a couple days. Like I said, I still have so many feelings. I think I might have a movie hangover. 

Infinity War Trailer

Ant-Man and The Wasp Trailer



Monday, April 16, 2018

Fracture Me


I raced through Fracture Me. It was almost all action. The story is told from Adam’s perspective and follows him from the the final battle in Unravel Me, to the events right after. We find out what happened to some of the people from Omega Point, and we also learn more about what is going on inside Adam’s head. I think I like Adam better now. It’s his devotion to his brother James that pulls me. Their relationship can be very much parent-child instead of older and younger sibling. He would do anything for James, even leaving Juliette to take care of herself. Also, James, what power does he have? After everything we've learned in the series so far, he has to have a power. Will it be devastating or sweet like him?

Again, I find myself falling for Kenji. He's amazing. In his own way, he also loves Juliette. I don't know if Adam understands that. I feel like Kenji sees something in Juliette, connects with something that he has yet to express to anyone. Kenji is brave, strong, intelligent and full of hope. His natural charisma and leadership draw people to him. The other characters want to do what Kenji says. Even though he was a big part of Fracture Me I still don't feel like I know enough about him. I hope Ignite Me and Restore Me will teach us more about Kenji....in addition to how everything will play out, whether people like those living at Omega Point will find freedom, and if The Reestablishment will get taken down.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Omens


I love Olivia. She's amazing. She's smart, but sweet and also ruthless. Omens was perfect. I loved every scene. I loved her. I enjoyed each character. I don't know if Olivia's parents are guilty, but she is certainly going to have a crazy adventure finding out. Gabriel. Damn. He is also amazing. An intriguing, beguiling character. I can't imagine meeting a person like him in real life.

I am without a doubt hooked on the Cainsville series. I also can't believe this is the first book I've read by Kelley Armstrong. I'm a fan now, though. I am going to read all the Cainsville books. I want to read the Otherworld books. I also picked up Sea of Shadows, so it looks like I will be reading Age of Legends too. Basically, after reading Omens, I'm a fan.

I don't want to say too much about Omens because I feel like I'll give the story away. The book starts off with the big revelation that this well-to-do socialite is adopted and actually the biological daughter of serial killers. She discovers this and her world is shaken. The paranormal aspects of the story is subtle, woven in slowly, only becoming more substantial as the story progresses. I enjoyed the light sprinkling, slowly building. I imagine it will continue to build like this throughout the series.

Seriously though, I NEED to know what is going to happen with Olivia and Gabriel. There is something there, right? Maybe by the the end of Visions I'll get to see it. Maybe it will take the whole series. They are what are going to keep me coming back. Olivia is so interesting and intelligent. Gabriel is mysterious, but infuriating (in a good way). Their dynamic is special. Also, Patrick. Who is he? What is he? How will he influence Olivia's life? Will Grace have a larger role? Also, gargoyles. I can not resist a good gargoyle.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

International Day of Pink

Yesterday was Pink Day and my children’s school encouraged everyone to wear pink. They sent out an email reminding us about the International Day of Pink and what it means. So, of course, someone laughed at my son for wearing pink on Pink Day. I’ve used this extra day to quell my rage. I called my husband to let him know; he called the school and talked to my son’s teacher. She said that 75% of the class wore pink. She was sad to hear that another student laughed at the boys who wore pink. These children are 6 and 7.

Part of me feels bad. He didn’t want to wear pink. He wouldn’t tell us why, but we could guess. He owns 2 pink polo shirts, which I bought because he went through a faze of loving both polo shirts and pink. Then something happened last year and he stopped wearing them. When we asked why, he wouldn’t tell us. But like I said, we could guess.

It just makes me so sad. My 6-year-old son can’t wear a shirt and colour he loved because he is afraid that someone will make fun of him. We all wore pink yesterday. 3/4 of his class wore pink. But the voice he remembered was the one laughing at him. It makes me want to cry. I’m so sad for him and also for this other boy whose parents are holding him back.

I'm not really sure what else to say. I'm sad. I'm worried. I'm concerned. I am glad though, that his teacher is being supportive and seems to be doing her best to make sure that my son and all the students in the class understand what the International Day of Pink is supposed to be about.

Monday, April 09, 2018

X-Men '92: The World Is A Vampire

The nostalgia factor is high every time I open up an X-Men '92 comic. X-Men '92: The World is a Vampire is not in the same continuity as the rest of the the Marvel Universe. These are the X-Men I grew up watching. (I wish the show was still on Netflix.) Just looking at the cover makes me happy. I'm so happy with the art too, the way everyone is drawn may not be exactly the way they looked in the cartoon, but the essence of the characters are still captured, they feel how I want them to feel.

As the title suggests, the X-Men find themselves battling vampires. They are also without Cyclops and Jean Grey. Cyclops has decided to retire and Storm is in command. They have reopened the school, so there are students to worry about when Alpha Red comes knocking. I love the addition of Psylocke and Bishop, two amazing characters and two characters who do well balancing out Storm and Beast's thoughtfulness. Side note: look who is in love with Storm, not that I can blame him. The battles were exciting. Relationships were tested, new ones were forged. I really hope we get to know the students a little bit more. This edition of X-Men '92 was what I wanted it to be.

I was a little less happy with the final part of the graphic novel, Jean and Cyclop's story. It was still exciting and saw the characters having a pretty big revelation at the end. It was just missing something that the rest of the novel had. Maybe because it was so short, the story didn't get to fully develop. That stuff with Mr. Sinister was creepy though. Something about Jean's hair too. I know that's superficial, but it's just an example of how the art was different and didn't flow from the previous parts of the graphic novel. Maybe it was fine, being a different story, with completely different things happening to Scott and Jean (no vampires), but I don't know, her hair just bothered me.

All together, X-Men '92: The World is a Vampire hit all the right notes. There was the call back to the show in the '90s, and there was also Storm, Beast, Pylocke, and Bishop all being amazing. Wolverine and Jubilee were great. I'm excited to read the next (and final) X-Men '92 installment.

*If you search for, "the world is a vampire" Smashing Pumpkins comes up, not this book. I had to make sure I included "X-Men" to get what I wanted.

https://youtu.be/8-r-V0uK4u0

Saturday, April 07, 2018

Unravel Me

Unravel Me was the perfect long weekend read. The children had their games and movies, I had my book. It’s times like these where I’m glad I bought the ebook. When it is late, I’m tired, but I need to stay awake, an ebook can light up the dark.

Unravel Me was exciting. I had no problem reading this book for hours and hours last weekend. It was easy to make my way through each event, each problem, the conflict, and the explosions of power. Tahereh Mafi had me hooked. So even when we were (finally) home and I should be sleeping, I just had to read "one more chapter". I barely had time to think about the story, the plot twists and surprises. There was one surprise, in the last third of the story that I didn't expect at all. I should have seen it though. It makes sense based on other things that happened in this story and Shatter Me

Adam drove me a bit nuts though. I'm interested in reading his perspective in Fracture Me. Like Destroy Me overlapped with the first and second books, Fracture Me overlaps with books 2 and 3. I'm hoping to warm back up to Adam Kent. Juliette drove me even more nuts. Just when I though she had finally grown up, gotten some backbone, something happened and she would crumble. I could understand Castle's frustration. Juliette was so positive and happy at the end of Shatter Me, I was surprised at her behaviour in Unravel Me. I think by the end though, Juliette was where she needed to be. 

I'm still thoroughly confused by Warner. I love him, but hate him. I have more sympathy for him now, but he really needs to believe he can change. I have no idea what is going to happen to him. I feel like he could go either way, he could go nowhere.

Kenji was the real stand-out for me though. What is his story? What are his secrets? I can definitely relate to Juliette's curiosity for her friend. She grows to care for him deeply, knows that she can rely on him, but she knows almost nothing about him. She wants to learn more about him and so do I. I'm hoping that happens soon, and I hope he is around for a long time.

I think I am officially out of my reading slump. All I can think about right now are the characters of the Shatter Me series. I'm also still thinking about the characters of Ready Player One. I think I need more fast-paced excitement. I wonder what will be next.

Monday, April 02, 2018

Ready Player One


I finished the book and I saw the movie on the same day. I didn't intend for that to happen, but that's just how things worked out. I don’t feel like I can give a fair evaluation of the movie. I think it was good. It was entertaining. It was fast-paced, so there were no lulls. The effects were good. I liked the actor who played Parzival, I think he did a good job. I liked the energy of the movie. I like the more modern references that the included, it was fun seeing the Spartans in the big battle (part of me was expecting an AT-AT though). I felt like Sorrento could have been more menacing. I would have liked more Og. I wanted more of Aech’s backstory. I would have liked more for Daito and Sho as well.  Also, why did they change Sho’s name. Shoto is a great name. So, while entertaining, the movie left me with mixed feelings. I actually think if I hadn't just finished reading Ready Player One, I would have liked the movie more. My sister-in-law, who didn't read the book, thought it was great.

The book was fantastic. I loved all the references. I liked the tasks after finding each key, having to find each gate. I liked the final gate. I liked the perfect Pac-Man game. Parzival was brilliant. Art3mis was brilliant, strong and fierce, yet shy. I loved Aech, everything about his story was so relatable. I loved how much we could learn from Aech. Og was hilarious. He was perfect. I loved castle Anorak. I loved the final battle, but also the final scenes afterward. Parzival grew so much as a person. He grew up. The contest wasn’t just about escape for him, it became so much more. Ready Player One definitely exceeded my expectations.

I’ve read that Ernest Cline is writing a sequel. I’m excited to read it. I know that some people are nervous because Ready Player One is such a great stand-alone novel, but I’m excited. Instead of being left to wonder if Parzival ever reveals that final secret, I’ll be able to find out. I’m excited to see how Parzival and Art3mis grow together, to find out what happens to Aech and Shoto. What about Og? Does Sorrento get away with it? What about humanity? Can the world become a better place?

So, I definitely recommend the book. It’s just so much fun. I think that I recommend the movie.The movie is good for people who haven’t read the book. For those who have read the book, I recommend taking the movie as it is and not as what you expected it to be.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Avengers Assemble: The Forgeries Of Jealously


Based on the goodnight thank you poem by Kelly Sue DeConnick at the end of this collections, I think Avengers Assemble: The Forgeries Of Jealously is the last Marvel book DeConnick worked on. I really enjoyed seeing the Avengers through Spider-Girl’s eyes. I also loved how each partner she had was trying to teach her something. Team Lady-Spider was pretty funny. I loved Spider-Girl and Logan. I like how there was some other big global crisis going on (one of stories from earlier in the series?), but the Avengers were still taking the time to help Spider-Girl find her missing teacher. It was a good, fun story.

Two things bothered me just a little about the story. I don’t feel like the art always fully conveyed the emotion or thoughts of the characters. Maybe it was just the style. I don’t know. It was still good, it just didn’t hook me the way other artists have in the past. The other was the final end. I think I expected something more exciting, like Avengers Assemble, or funny like Science Bros. It was good, emotional, and it showed the connection Spider-Girl made with the team, but it was still missing something for me. Maybe I’ll find it on a re-read. Because I did enjoy it, like I did with the entire Avengers Assemble series. I definitely see myself flipping through these pages again.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Captain Marvel: Rise of Alpha Flight


I need to know more about Abigail Brand. I’ve only see on her in bits and pieces. I know she has green hair and wears green glasses all the time. I’ve seen the character on Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and in the Spider-Woman motion comic, Spider-Woman: Agent of SWORD. She’s pretty wicked. She is hard and strong and smart. I’m also pretty sure she’s not human. She’s the boss though, but not of Alpha Flight. Captain Marvel has been given command of this station. A desk job? Low key? Maybe, maybe not.

I feel like Carol is barely there for a day when there is a problem. There is a delegation to deal with, but also problems on the station. There are explosions, goo, weird creatures, and the dead. Captain Marvel barely gets time to get her feet wet. Brand tries to get Carol to focus, but she's not one for standing around. When it is time for Alpha Flight to meet a threat head-on, Captain Marvel flies out there with them.

I loved the characters I got to meet in Rise of Alpha Flight. I knew who Sasquatch was, but I had never read a comic with him in it. He's great. So is Aurora. I loved Puck. I loved Wendy. I want Wendy to be around forever. The aliens were certainly interesting. Some people just don't listen. It's nice to know the Kree's reputation spans the universe.

Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas did a fantastic job. I really connected to the art of Kris Anka and Felipe Smith. The comic covers were amazing. Captain Marvel: Rise of Alpha Flight was full of humour, emotion, excitement, and Carol Danvers' amazing attitude. It is the book I needed to read.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Destroy Me


With Restore Me coming out soon, I thought I should actually finish reading the books I own of the Shatter Me series. I read Shatter Me two and a half years ago and for some reason didn’t keep going, even though I thoroughly enjoyed the novel. I also follow Taherah Mafi on Twitter and I think she's fabulous. I bought Unite Me, the collection containing the Shatter Me novellas months ago (from Better World Books), and still didn’t read it right away. There are just so many stories and so little time. 

Destroy Me is the first of the novellas. It is the story of Warner, the young man obsessed with Juliette and head of Sector 45. Destroy Me is from his perspective and gives us a look into his mind and motivations. We learn so much about him. It begins right after the events of Shatter Me. Warner is recovering, not just from his injuries, but from losing Juliette. Destroy Me dives into how deep his obsession is with her. I don’t know if he can live without her. While Warner is recovering, I wonder what Juliette is doing. Is she more closely examining her time with Warner? Is she trying to dissect his motivations and her own reactions? Also, was what he saw at the end real? Destroy Me has urged me to get back into the series, one that will have more books coming out in the future.