Friday, September 30, 2016

September Wrap Up

I started university at the beginning of September and that has severely affected the amount of free time I have. I don't have time to read as much as I'd like to and not even the books I'd like to, since I have to read a boring novel for a literature course (more about that in the October wrap up). I only managed to finish three books in September, but hey, that's something.

The first book I read was the fourth and the last book in the Lunar Chronicles, Winter by Marissa Meyer. I wrote a full series review after finishing that. In addition to the main series I read Stars Above, a collection of short stories about the Lunar Chronicles characters before and after the events of the series. I needed that to ease me off the Lunar world, my heart ached when I turned to the last page. I must reread the series soon, I think.

And the last book I read in September was the Throne of Glass, the first book in the series of the same name by Sarah J. Maas. I have heard so much about this series so I thought I would finally get into it, especially now that the fifth book was just published. I'm waiting to get my hands on that from the library (now on the tenth place), in the meantime I have to read the rest. The first book didn't fascinate me quite as much as I was anticipating, mainly because I don't like Celaena's character. The plot was interesting enough for me to continue on with the series.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Once Upon a Time season 6 episode 1 - The Savior Review

My favorite show is back on air! It was a pretty good premiere for the new season, we got to see a lot of bits that will hopefully play out nicely during the season. Still, knowing Adam and Eddy, I have my doubts.

I like that Aladdin was introduced and that he is (or was?) a savior. I'm very interested to learn his backstory. I don't mind that they changed the actor for Jafar but I do mind if they retcon something from Wonderland, I'm still mad how they handled Will on the main show. By the way, my first thought about that red bird was that it's a phoenix but more logically it's Iago. Hopefully Abu makes an appearance, too.

My favorite moment of the episode was Hook and Emma getting steamy on the couch, more happy couple moments, please! I'm tired of Emma always raising her walls, Hook is her true love, she should be fine sharing everything with him! Hook is still bae and devilishly handsome and all that.

Despite my love for Hook and identifying with Emma, Regina is the queen of the show. Bobby may be tired of playing Rumple but Lana Parilla is holding the whole show on her shoulders, bless that woman. Snow and Regina having a moment, man that was good. More friendship awesomeness, please!

I can't wait to see all the characters from the Land of Untold Stories, I wish there were some interesting ones. We could go back to the "fairytale of the week" style they did in the first season but I'm afraid the writers have lost that ability. Though I hear rumors that they are going back to the roots of the series and maybe doing a whole season arc instead of these half and half we've got since season 3. I'd like that very much, for some reason they haven't been able to keep those shorter arcs together and usually they feel rushed and not thought through.

Am I the only one who got hit by the fact how big Henry already is? He should get much more scenes, and good scenes, not those childish scenes they make him do. He has a girlfriend now, let's see some Henry & Violet! He's a big boy, make him do some big boy stuff! Maybe what's wrong with the show is that after season 1 Henry's role has been extremely insignificant except when he's the Author.

Oh, almost forgot! I liked Morpheus! Though I don't know if we'll see him again as Rumbelle's son, but the actor at least was nice and damn that burn on Rumple, own son telling his mom to avoid daddy dearie. If the writers can keep everything together, this should make an interesting season.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Fall TV

I generally hate fall because it has always been the end of everything nice: summer, sunshine, vacation etc. The only good thing about fall is that the summer hiatus ends and all the tv series come back on again. Here are the series I'm most excited about:

Once Upon a Time: my favorite, even though the writers are trying to ruin it with lazy plots. I have never had a bigger crush on anyone than I have on Hook. I will stay with the series til the bitter end.

Survivor: it actually already started, but man, I love it. It just keeps surprising and they always find people I can root for and wish to see again. Those all-stars seasons are just thrilling! It's a travesty that Survivor wasn't even nominated at the Emmy's.

The Flash: I enjoyed the second season a lot and have high hopes for the third. The characters are more likable than those on Arrow and the plot is at least at times lighter.

Arrow: I wanted the fifth season to be the last, so that Oliver's island arc would be nicely wrapped and they would have a satisfying ending but no. Anyway Felicity is still one of my favorite tv characters and her awesomeness deserves more recognition.

The Walking Dead: I somehow feel that I like Fear the Walking Dead more than the original and it's probably because they focus more on characters. My favorite TWD characters are Carol and Carl and they tend to get pushed aside from time to time. Still, that cliffhanger.

In addition I watch a lot of Finnish TV but I'm not going to bore you by listing those. One thing is for sure: I'm going to spend too much time watching TV and too little time studying, as always.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Book Series I Won't Finish

A couple of weeks ago I made a post about book series I have finished or caught up on. Now I thought I'd list the series I have read one or two books of but have no interest in finishing for one reason or another.

  • Fablehaven: it started out okay but then I lost interest. I don't know if it's because I'm too old for the series or because I have hard time identifying with the characters.
  • Maze Runner: I read the first book in Finnish and the translation was one of the worst I have ever read and the plot and characters didn't appeal to me either. I have not heard anything good about the sequels so I will just try to forget I bothered to read the first book.
  • The Mortal Instruments: I know a lot of people love this series but I'm not feeling it. In my opinion Clary and Jace are some of the most irritating and stupid characters ever and reading about their hardships offers nothing to me.
  • The Kane Chronicles: though I love Percy Jackson, somehow the Kane Chronicles never had the same magic and I lost interest.
  • The Carrie Diaries: Sex and the City is nothing special to me but I tried this series and it wasn't for me.
  • Skullduggery Pleasant: not sure if I spelled that right but this just wasn't my style
  • The Earthsea Cycle: this is probably the only one I feel guilty of because it has such a high status and people consider it one of the classics but I just found it boring.
If you can argue for some of these, please do! I'd love to hear reasons why I should continue with some of these series.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Monthly Recommendations | Science Fiction!

Once again, it's time for Monthly recommendations! The topic for this month is science fiction and though I like to think that I read a lot of sci-fi it turns out I don't, at least the kind I'd like to recommend. Also science fiction is a hard genre for me to define because it includes stuff like space adventures, dystopians and everything in between. Despite that, I have a couple of books to recommend.

First I'd like to quickly mention the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer which I'm kind of obsessed now. I just finished the series and wrote a whole review about it (including some spoilers). That was something really original with cyborgs and the Moon being inhabited.

The second book I want to recommend is Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. That, too was something totally different and I was thrilled almost the whole way through the book. The idea of a society where everyone is rather living in virtual reality than the actual world is very plausible. The quest for the grand prize is exciting and I can't understand what's taking so long to make a film out of it.

Lastly two books I read back to back: 1984 by George Orwell and Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. 1984 tells the story how world has become a totalitarian society where everyone worships the Big Brother, the great ruler of the country. Censorship is strong and people are brainwashed to follow the ruler. At the other end of the scale is Brave New World, where everything surrounds around pleasure and easy living. People are lazy and used to only pleasant and beautiful things. I can see that happening in the future of our world as much as Ready Player One and that is a little scary.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

The Lunar Chronicles | Series Review

I might have said this before but I love series and reading the whole series back to back. This summer my project has been the Lunar Chronicles and now I have finally finished it. I'm still reading Stars Above, the collection of short stories about the different characters featured in the Lunar Chronicles, but I don't consider it a necessity. It's a nice bonus after finishing the actual series when you don't wanna move on from that world just yet.

The first book in the series, Cinder, got me hook right from the start. Very original idea, though it is a fairytale retelling. That didn't play a big role but when there were allusions to the original fairytale it was fun to notice them and they had nice twists. I've read some dystopian novels but this was the first with cyborgs in it and it was interesting, and the whole future world felt realistic and well-planned. Some plot twists I guessed, like the fact that Cinder is Selene, but some were total surprises like Dr. Erland's role.

The second book, Scarlet, is probably the weakest of the four, mainly because I'm not a big fan of Scarlet. I don't know what it is about her, perhaps I've had enough of these strong, independent, outspoken female characters. Also the relationship between her and Wolf is a bit too weird for me. The chapters with Cinder and Thorne in them were way more interesting and fun. Still it's a four star read, maybe 4- if you have to compare with the other three books.

The third book, Cress, was again better than the previous. I liked that we had met Cress already, so we didn't get a totally new character out of the blue. Saving Cress kicked the story off with speed, only to slow down a little in the middle. Again I guessed some things like they all ending up in the same place eventually, but the journey there was interesting enough for it not bothering me. At times the Rampion crew reminded me of Firefly and the crew of Serenity, which I love. Probably the funniest part of the whole series was the kidnapping of Kai, in all its craziness and scrambling.

The last book, Winter, was quite different from the other three, mainly because it takes place on Luna and Levana's palace. The Lunar society felt very much like Panem from the Hunger Games with the sectors and dictatorship and the rich taking advantage of the poor. Again, a new main character was introduced in the previous book, which I liked. There were a lot more twists and turns than I expected, sometimes I had no idea how the characters were going to survive the dangerous situations they got themselves in. I expected at least one major death, other than the obvious Levana death, but it never came. The ending was maybe a little too happy, but I'm not complaining, it's good to have some positivity in literature for change.

My favorite characters are Cinder and Kai. They break a lot of stereotypes, Cinder being the handy mechanic and Kai the soft and sweet prince. I can identify with Cinder and I like that she's not the typical beautiful and quick-witted heroine. I thought I would not like the playboy Thorne, but his brother-sister relationship with Cinder was very amusing. Cress and Thorne were a cute couple, but I would have liked it more if Thorne actually wasn't that into her and she would have gotten a wake up call after dreaming all the fantasies. I could have done without Winter but I guess she had her role in the story and her struggling with the Lunar sickness was interesting and raised an important issue. Lastly, I have to mention Iko, she always managed to fill her role as comic relief.

All in all this is one of the best series I've ever read even with some of its faults. The characters and the world are well-built and the plot takes you to places you never could have guessed. I will definitely reread this someday.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

August Wrap Up

This August I managed to finish the total of four books (almost five) and three out of those four I enjoyed whole-heartedly. I'm quite satisfied with my reading progress this year, I have surpassed the amount of books I read last year a long time ago. Anyway, here are the books I read during August.

First I devoured Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in one night, because that's how I always read Potters. I'm trying to continue to reread all the Potters, I will probably read the Prisoner of Azkaban next month and after I finish the rest I plan on rereading the Cursed Child. I did a full review of the Cursed Child after finishing it, but I don't know how I feel about it after reading it a second time and getting some distance.

After the Cursed Child I finished The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. I was kind of disappointed to it because I had heard people describe it as a fairytale or children's story and I would never read this to a child. The main character was a child, yes, but the book really creeped me out and I disliked it.

Then I read The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and oh, how I loved it. I had heard a lot of recommendations about the Night Circus and I was not disappointed. The story was nicely weaved to two different times and the mystery surrounding the circus and the game held up until the last pages. I liked almost all of the characters, only Marco felt a little too intense to my taste. Despite that, a five star read definitely.

Lastly I finished Cress, the third book in the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. This is one of the best series I've read in a while, though a little fluffy at times, but well, it is a fairytale retelling and I'm not complaining. I just finished the last book in the series before writing this so I will be posting a full series review hopefully in a couple of days.