Enders Game, A Review

If I could figure out how to do star ratings, I’d be giving Enders Game 4 out of 5 of them. I truly adored this book.

I read this book over the summer, and wrote a review on Goodreads, But I figured since the movie is out I have leave to post something about it again.

What I adored about this book is hard to explain, because its more of the mythos of the book than anything in Enders Game coverparticular. The story line was crisp, there was a clear progression of events and yet the end was wholly unexpected. The end result of the book I knew was coming, but how it came about was shocking to me.

For those of you who have yet to read Enders Game, and I suggest you do, it is about a young boy named Ender who is drafted into military school at roughly the age of six along with a multitude of others and graduates in an extremely short period of time after beasting in the schools ‘lazer tag’ war games in a zero-g room. He then goes and essentially takes private lessons from one of the greatest war heros of their age and ultimately defeats the enemy.

What the military, Enders siblings, his parents do to him is essentially child abuse of all kinds – emotional, physical, mental. That child is broken and rebuilt several times over the course of the book but to the society that Orson Scott Card has written, this sort of situation is normal and expected.

It’s a fascinating world to be sure, and I haven’t even touched on Enders siblings and their take over of Earth society via news and opinion pieces on the net. Peter is a sadistic  little shit who wants to take over the world essentially and he drags his sister Valentine into the plot, while Ender is in space learning how to be a soldier and ultimately destroyer of  an entire species.

Now, as to OSC and his own weird little bubble of reality, I tend to ignore the author when I’m reading a book. I don’t enjoy or agree with OSC’s politics or theological point of view, but I cannot deny that in Enders Game, he wrote a beautiful story and thrilling epic. If I could take just Enders Game and remove OSC from the equation I’d be a happier person, but I can’t, so I ignore the author. Which honestly, seems the safest bet.

As to the movie, I haven’t seen it yet. But my brother did. And he said he’d probably give the movie a 4 out of 5, because the cinematography and acting were great, but they cut out a lot of the Peter and Valentine take over the world bits. Bits I really liked! But this is Hollywood after all, and they can’t make a book into a movie with out ruining some small part of it.

That said, I’m looking forward to the opportunity to see the movie, I’m hoping I’ll get to see it soon, so until then I remain a true lover of Enders Game. Not so much of the books that followed (they’re a bit preachy for me) but I hold Enders Game in a spot of honor in my heart.

❤ Alissa

Advertisements

Romance Novels, A Study

Now, this isn’t so much a book review as it is a thought on a book genre. So, most of what I’ve read this year has been young adult novels, which are generally fantastic and I love them. But over the course of the  year I’ve found that I have sporadic bursts of romance novels. Where in I read anywhere between three and six romance novels in a row. And clearly I’m having one of the bursts now, I’m on book 3.

This isn’t a bad thing per say, but it does put me in a rather awkward position of desperately wanting someone to share my life with in a relationship-y kind of way. So, it doesn’t help when Army-Dude shows up and is moderately fantastic in the knee weakening kind of way.

BUT, this is not for my own personal feelings.

Over the summer, I posted a list of 10 things I’d learned about romance novels after a 5-book binge. I originally posted them on my tumblr, but here they are for easy reads:

1. They are decidedly unfair.
2. They give you unrealistic expectations in life.
3. Men are never how they are in the books.
4. They are extraordinarily addicting.
5. You fall in love every time.
6. There is always a moment of heartbreak, but they always manage to fix it.
7. A meddling family member/friend is always on hand to help them realize their love.
8. Happily ever afters are the norm.
9. That moment when you realize ‘love at first glance’ isn’t a thing in real life and your heart breaks a little.
10. You read, safe in the knowledge that the pairing you want will always happen no matter what and that restores, at least somewhat, your faith in love.

The thing about romance is you really get sucked into them and, well, the romance of the situation. And I for one, find it difficult to come out of it, which is why I probably spend a week binging on regency romances or cowboy heros.

Honestly, the list pretty much says everything I need to about romance novels, but I feel the need to defend them as well.

The tendency to dismiss the Harlequin novels as drivel and ridiculousness is moderately insulting, because regardless of what you think of them, someone put the time into writing them and coming up with a plot, no matter how… lacking they might seem. I imagine it’s similar to how I feel about “50 Shades of Grey” – which yes, I’ve read under my own volition.

To me, romance novels are an escape when I feel like I’m alone. Reading in general is always an escape, but when it comes to romance novels I can find love and feel in love and I just love that.

It’s a weak argument for sure, but there it is. I love feeling loved and romance novels make it happen for me as I continue my adventures in single-hood.

So, there you are. My study into romance novels. Any more thoughts? Let me know in the comments!

❤ Alissa

An Open Letter to Rainbow Rowell

Dear Ms Rowell,

Was it your goal to rip my heart out and make me pain when writing ‘Eleanor and Park’? Did you intend to make me want to read a series that could never possibly hope to exist except in ‘Fangirl’?

I hope you realize Ms Rowell that you have successfully scared me with your written emotions and feels. I’m fangirl_eleanor and parkbattered and bruised from the reading of your stories and I hope you can handle knowing that. And yet, I find that my life would have been very much not the same had I not endeavored to read your books.

Because regardless of the pain and suffering that occurred while reading ‘Eleanor and Park’, I was able remember what it felt like to be in high school love. I felt awful for Park and even worse for Eleanor and desperately wanted there to be an epilogue to tell me that they’d found each other again somewhere. Because mostly, Eleanor deserved it.

Park deserved it too, since he put as much of his emotion into the relationship as she did, but OMG does Eleanor need to be loved better than she was. I want to know what happens to her evil Stepfather and her siblings and mother.

Beyond that, my heart ached with every page and I loved it. Beyond words

As for ‘Fangirl’. WHY CAN’T I READ SIMON SNOW IN REAL LIFE? I’d have devoured his world like I did this book. I read this book in minutes practically. I loved it beyond words.

You, Ms. Rowell, are clearly one of us. You captured our fangirl-ness to a T and I found it hilarious to relive my own freshman year through Cath.

I mean, I didn’t have an older man wanting me or a twin sister or a father clearly in the throws of depression, but I lived that life of freshman not knowing how to live in college and make new friends.

So thank you, Ms Rowell, for reminding me of my high school love and helping me to remember what it was like being on the outside of a group and unsure how or even if I wanted to be a part of it.

Yours, emotionally scarred and loving it,

Alissa ❤

The Circus Arrives Without Warning, A Review

the night circus, book cover

I have very few words to explain how I feel about this book. Most of them consist of incoherent  noises and screams and “AMDIOWA;MEIAO” type responses.

The very basis of my existence – being able to read and enjoy the words written on the page and explain why I enjoy them – seems to go away with in seconds of my attempt to explain my love for Erin Morgensern’s debut novel “The Night Circus”.

First, yes, I’m aware its been out since 2011 and that it’s currently 2013. Yes,  I’m aware I’m coming a bit late to the game of reviewing it. I realized that I never actually wrote one in Nov. 2011 when I read the book for the first time, at least, not one I shared on Goodreads.

I recently decided to read it again, which is why I’m posting this now, and the reread solidified my love.

What I think I love most about this book is the prose. It’s just beautiful and truly transports the reader into this world of magic and intrigue. We follow the lives of Celia and Marco as they learn how to use their magic and then how they participate in the game their mentors have created for them.

With out spoiling too much, Le Cirque des Reves is the game and Celia and Marco are both competing and working together to create this circus that appears out of nowhere in the middle of the night and is only open at night. Not to forget that the circus is all in black and white and various shades there of. Very little color exists in the circus until you walk inside one of the many tents that make up the circus.

One of the other things I really loved about this book was at the start of each part, there is a brief clip and a quote. The clips are generally written by a character named Fredrick Thiessen, who is a German clock maker and he created the black and white clock that sits at the front gate of the circus. And the clock deserves a post all its own. But the clips are parts of essays or short briefs that he has written over time as he gets to know the circus better.

But to the story. With Ceila and Marco we have other characters tied to them and the circus. And essentially the book follows their lives as they revolve around Celia and Marco’s competition. Part of the problem for everyone involved is how to keep the circus going once the competition ends – and how they do that would give too many spoilers which I’m simply not going to do because EVERYONE SHOULD READ THIS BOOK.

Outside of Celia and Marco, my favorite of the cast of characters are the Twins. Both are “cat people” they work with the big cat kittens in the circus and are tied to the circus in a way that they really shouldn’t be. You know. With magic and such, it all relates to when and where they were born, but to explain would again give spoilers I don’t want to give.

It ends with them finding away to keep the circus (not telling you how :P) and an unexpected choice made.

Needless to say, I love this book. I adore it. It’s up there with my favorite books of all time. I desperately want Morgenstern to write a new book so I can find new ways to love her.

Rating: 5 of 5

❤ Alissa

#ReadChaos Month and Series Review

Hello lovelies!

Over the month of August I participated in a reading challenge from Prettybooks on Tumblr. The challenge was to read all three books in the Chaos Walking series by Patrick Ness.

I’ve never read anything by Patrick Ness before in my life so I figured this was a great opportunity for me to do so and participate in something with the Tumblr community. And I have to say, I never expected to like these three books as much as I did.

First, let me say that I love world builders, if you’re going to write a fantasy/dystopian novel your world has got to be perfect for me to get any kind of enjoyment out of. And this world that Ness imagined was beautiful. For example the very idea of Noise and that the entire planet is Information was fascinating to me, and that is what really drew me in.

The main character, Todd, is almost 13 or almost a man in this new world society of New Prentisstown, which is run by Mayor Prentiss. But to backtrack slightly, the settlers of New Prentisstown came from Earth and were settlers of the new world. At the start of The Knife of Never Letting Go Todd is the youngest boy in a town were all the women are dead. And the Noise is deafening. Noise is the thoughts of every man, every animal, every bug on this world.

Image

For spoilers reasons I won’t tell you why, but Todd ran away from home and whilst running away he met Viola. A girl. And she has no Noise.

The following two books, The Ask and The Answer and Monsters of Men follow Todd and Viola as they explore the world and finding their place in it. Eventually Todd is forced to delve into the history of this world of Information and Noise and how he is supposed to live in this world he was never prepared for.Image

As with most YA books, we find an OTP with Todd and Viola. And I won’t lie, I ship Todd/Viola HARD. But they both have to grow up and make choices that teenagers should never normally have to make. They fight (but not in a Hunger Games kind of way) and they do things they regret almost instantly. And what I love about them is that no matter what they will always go back to each other. Everything they do, ultimately, is for the other.

In Monsters of Men, Todd says “I ain’t leaving you. Not even in my head,” to Viola, and to me, that exemplifies their entire relationship through out the series.

I’m really trying hard to not give away too many spoilers because I seriously love all things about this book series. You’ll find love for characters you never thought you would and you’ll find sympathy in odd places.

But honestly, for me, everything good and wonderful about this book goes back to the world that Ness built.

You can find my individual reviews for each book on Goodreads here, here and here.

❤ Alissa

(PS. I have no idea how I did the thing at the top…)