Book Thoughts: Ready Player One

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If you follow my blog then you’ve probably guessed that I’m a huge nerd. In fact, if I’m guessing you’re one too. So from one book nerd to the next, Ready Player is truly an awesome read.

My favorite types of books have always been the ones that teach me something. And I don’t just mean a moral lesson to which I can apply my own interpretation, but the ones thatI feel as if I just took a crash course in French history, or Nautical studies.

Ernest Cline fills his books with vast knowledge of eighties trivia. From films to music and games, the novel is pretty much a geeks fantasy. The novel is set in the future where a virtual reality world exist called the Oasis. In the Oasis, humans can create avatars that allow them to recreate themselves as they want to be. The Oasis was created by James Halliday who upon his death set up an egg hunt within the Oasis promising to give the finder of the egg his vast fortune. With the stakes that high, he creates the worlds largest and most dangerous game ever played.

Wade is an interesting character that I felt I could identify with immediately. He is a lonely kid who spends his time reading , watching movies, or playing games just to escape the reality that he doesn’t fit in anywhere, and that his home feels foreign to him. The Oasis is his home. The place where he met his best friend, and where he educates himself on everything he wants to know. He is passionate about getting out of his drool life and finding the egg. He is a teenager who was learning things as he went and there were times where I wanted to slap some sense in that boy, but I was with him the whole way.

The novel teaches you to value intelligence and thinking outside of the box. I could definitely see how much of it parallels our own generation’s issues and benefits with the internet and technology. What I liked about it, is that while it reminds you that technology isn’t a bad thing especially because many times you end up meeting great like minded people, and you have the advantage of being able to teach yourself many of the things you want. The novel also emphasis the need to value nature and real life connections.

Overall a fun read that takes you away for a bit.

Book Thoughts: Maggot Moon

Hey everyone. I hope you all doing well, and for those of you who are doing Nanowrimo happy first week! Hang in there I’m rooting for you.

I’ve been busy working on a research paper for one of my seminar classes, but in between breaks I was able to finish Maggot Moon  by Sally Gardner. It was a quick read both because of its length  and because its a story that leaves you wanting to know what is going to happen. It’s a little gem of a book  that makes the reader really analyze our world. It focuses on friendship, family, bravery, and justice.

15798757Maggot Moon is an alternative historical sci-fi novel. It combines elements of World War II and Nazi Germany’s purification ideology, and the moon landing. Even though these events in real history occurred at separate times, Sally Gardner fuses them together to gives us a cruel portrayal of a world that just might have been.

Standish Treadwell is a young boy who has faced nothing but hardships his entire life. Bullied for being different and slow, Standish learns to keep his head down and not attract attention. He lives with his grandfather at the edge of the most poverty stricken district in his city. His world is full of informants, power hungry individuals, and cruel leaders. In Standish’s world, it’s best to not attract attention. However, Standish has a secret. A secret that could change everything. Standish has learned to keep quite for so long, and now he isn’t sure how to speak up. Then one day he has to confront everything he has tried to run from to protect those he loves, and to change the course of history.

I like these alternative history books because it makes you realize that these “alternative” histories could have been real. Thankfully Maggot Moon’s reality if fiction, however, the impression it leaves on you is real

Nanowrimo and October wrap-up

Is October really over? That was too fast for me. I love October its my second favorite month of the year, and I’m sad to see it go. Especially since November for me usually involves no sleep, stress, a few break downs, and too much chocolate for my own good. The joys of student life.

The beginning of October wasn’t a bad reading month, which is nice considering how little I’ll probably get done in November. Incidentally, I decided I won’t be doing Nanowrimo at least not in the traditional sense. I’ll try to write something every day, maybe a poem, or a very short story.  I’m not making any promises to myself. I love the challenge, but I know how hectic November gets, and I don’t need the added stress. I know many of us moan about  how frustrating the writing process can be. I feel that Nanowrimo makes you feel like you aren’t alone.  You get to see all these other people having fun with their characters, or getting annoyed with their stories, frustrated with the plot and you know the struggle is universal, so you feel better and you just keep writing.  Good Luck to any of you who are participating!

At the cost of neglecting some of my work, I managed to read ten books.  However, I definitely payed the price the last half of the month as my work load came with a vengeance and my books have temporarily gone back on the shelves.

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1. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Review– F. Scott Fitzgerald

2. One Flew over the Cuckoos Nest – Ken Kessey

I started this back in September for banned books week, however, I  didn’t finish it till October. The novel is set in a mental institute in Oregon, and is narrated by Chief. While Chief can sometimes be an unreliable narrator,  he makes  you think of society, values, and order. The novel makes you think about what does being crazy really mean.  I enjoyed reading this one. There was some very dry and dark humor, which I always appreciate.  The characters were well developed and although some things were difficult to understand due to Chief’s narration, I thought the haziness of the prose fit well into the story.

3. The Emperor’s Children – Clair Messud

Didn’t like this one so much. Although Messud writing is strong, it wasn’t strong enough to carry a novel with no real plot, and extremely unlikable characters.  The novel is multi-voice narrative and is set in New York in the months leading up to 9/11/. It follows three friends and some of their relatives. It delves into aspects of their daily lives , their jobs, and their romantic lives.  With the exception of maybe two characters, it felt like these people were fake. The kind of people that smile to your face, then plot all the ways they can one up you. Realistic sure. Fun to read about for about three hundred pages not so much.  It would have worked well if I could have managed to care for these characters or at least some of them.

4. Percy Jackson and The Sea Monsters – Rick Riordan

I stared reading this series awhile back and although I enjoyed the first one, for some reason, I never picked up the second one. Finally I did, and I forgot just how funny these books are. I am a sucker for Greek mythology well actually mythology in general. Rick Riordan does an excellent job of weaving it into the story, and he  makes it fun and interesting. I know that this is targeted for middle school kids, but don’t let that deter you. I think its great for any age, and at the very lease it will test your Greek mythology knowledge.

5.Burned Ellen Hopkins- Review

6.Restless  – Rich Wallace

I actually wrote a review for this one, but I forgot to post it on here. So here is the link to my goodreads if you’re interested.

7. Burial Rites -Hannah Kent

I meant to write a review on this one, but I just didn’t have the time. I enjoyed it immensely, and I think it is one of the best historical fiction books I have ever read.  After finishing it,  I walked around for the rest of the day and the second  still wrapped up in these events.  The novel is set in Iceland in the 1800’s, and it revolves around Agnes Magnusdottir who  was the last person to be executed in Iceland. Hannak Kent vividly paints these events. From the stark Icelandic landscape, to making the characters believable. She spent ten years working on this book and it shows. Her details and accounts of real events weaved seamlessly into the story.  That ending made me cringe wishing that history could have been different.

8. The Lies of Lock Lamora -Scott Lynch

I think this book should take some of the blame for the neglect of my school work. Once I started this monster I couldn’t stop. Essays to write were tossed to the side, so that I  could follow Mr. Lamora and his crazy crew around Camoor.  Again I meant to write a review, but I just had so much to say and not enough time and energy to try and articulate them. This was fantastic. I complete five stars in my book. It is described as a cross between  The Godfather and Oceans Eleven, and if that doesn’t sell you than picture all of this in a fantasty renaisannce Venice setting. It’s hilarious, clever, and witty and I better stop before I start  rambling

9. How to Talk to Girls at Parties.- Neil Gaiman

This is a nice short story which I believe is still free on Amazon. This was the first thing I read on my new Kindle, and I found it really enjoyable. The protaganist is a sixteen year old boy who doesn’t have much expeirence talking to girls. He attends a party with his friends in which he… well attempts to talk to girls. He manages to talk to some of the girls and  they turn out to be little  little stranger then he expected.  I need to read more Gaiman because all I hear about him are fabulous things, and if this short story is an indication of his bigger works than I need to get on it.

10. The Moon and More- Sarah Dessen

Dessen switched up her usual style and tried something new with this one, and for me it worked. The novel took me back to  that summer before college when my life felt like it was a crossroads. The main character Emaline was one one of the most believable teen characters I’ve read in a long time.  She wasn’t perfect, and some lessons she had to learn the hard way. She cared for her family and her friends, and had other worries aside from her love life.  Her fears were real and very relatable.  As always Dessen’s secondary characters were funny and made the story more enjoyable. Even though I read this in October, it felt like the fun summer read it was.

What did you read this month?