Review for ‘The Song of Achilles’

The Song of Achilles by Madeline MillerDNF!

I did not even make it 100 pages into this book. I tried, really I did. There were entire passages of description that could have been taken out. The book could have been much shorter if, rather than describe every unimportant detail, Miller had just gotten to the point. I get it, show don’t tell, but readers do not need to see every detail. I’m truly disappointed because I had such high hopes for this book and it let me down.

It was too slow paced and I really just couldn’t get into it.

 

I give it a 1/5 star rating.

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‘Artemis’ Review

Artemis is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. I borrowed the copy I read but you can bet that I am going to buy myself one. Yeah, it was that good. (5/5 stars.) At one point, I even dreamed that I lived in the city on the moon.

One thing that I really loved about the book was the writing style. This is the first I’ve read any of Andy Weir’s work, so I didn’t know anything about his style going in. In Artemis, the style is very realistic, it’s practically stream of consciousness. It seemed as if the protagonist, Jazz, was having a conversation with the reader, or giving a confession. At times, the fourth wall was broken to actually address the reader. It worked very well for Jazz and her personality. I think that it was the best way to go about the setting, as well. Very few people have ever been to the moon. The way that Jazz interacts with the reader, and how realistically the story was written, make it much easier for the readers to understand how life in Artemis and life on the moon (yes, they’re different, a city has politics and the moon has different gravity) work.

Something that was obvious from the get-go was how much research Andy Weir put into this book.

Or, he’s really good at making things up.

There was a lot of chemistry and math, a lot of information about welding and physics and aerodynamics. It blew me away how tediously he researched everything. I learned a lot about gravity and space travel. The novel didn’t seem too information heavy, either, which is usually hard to do given how much explaining is needed for the general population to understand not only the basics of how Artemis works as a city, but how Jazz functions in her day to day life and how she completes her mission that compels the rest of the story.

I also enjoyed how diverse the story was. Jazz is Saudia Arabian, all of Artemis is possible because of Kenya, the aluminum is made on the moon by a Brazillian company. Honestly, I think the only recurring white character is Rudy, and he’s a rude Canadian (a character type that we don’t usually see…I’m talking about Canadians, not rude Canadians). It was very refreshing to read a book where the protagonists aren’t white Americans in a post-apocalyptic world or a John Green novel.

What? I’m not salty.

There was one thing that did confuse me while reading, though. Sporadically, throughout chapters, there were emails between Jazz and a character named Kelvin. This isn’t much of a spoiler, but if you don’t want to know anything AT ALL about the book, then skip this paragraph. These emails start off in the past to help establish Jazz and Kelvin’s relationship, as well as help explain how Jazz ended up where she is at the start of the novel. While reading, I thought that the emails were in real-time, which confused me because the events that Jazz relayed to Kelvin didn’t add up. If the emails had been time-stamped or said that they started 9 to 10 years previously, it would have cleared up the confusion that I had. I didn’t realize that the emails were taking place in the past until they caught up with the present, over halfway through the book.

The reason that I wanted to read Artemis is because Artemis is my favorite Greek goddess, so there is really no connection between the two other than the name of the city. Though this wasn’t a story about Greek heroes, I was not let down at all. This book gave me a rollercoaster of a ride and a rollercoaster of emotions. I recommend you pick up a copy.

April TBR

Artemis is a book that I’ve wanted to read since it came out. I originally wanted to read it because Artemis is my favorite Greek goddess…I actually had no idea what the book was about. If you also don’t know what this book is about, I’ll leave the synopsis below. This is the first I will be reading anything by Andy Weir, so I’m excited to see how I like it.

Jazz Bashara is a criminal.

Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you’re not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you’ve got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent.

Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down. But pulling off the impossible is just the start of her problems, as she learns that she’s stepped square into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself—and that now, her only chance at survival lies in a gambit even riskier than the first.

The Dark Prophecy is a book that I’ve been dying to read since I finished the first of the series. I am waiting to buy the book when it comes out in paperback so it matches the first one (which I bought in paperback), so I checked it out the hardcover from the library. I have always loved Rick Riordan’s writing since I started the Percy Jackson series when I was twelve. I’m excited to see where the story goes an how everything ties together because it’s obvious how much thought that Riordan has put into his series. Read the synopsis below.

The second book in the latest series from Percy Jackson creator Rick Riordan. The god Apollo, stuck in the body of a teenage boy, must undergo the second of his trials to regain his immortality.
I got The Edge of Falling from the library because they didn’t have the book by Rebecca Serle that I wanted (it’s down further on the list). I read the inside flap of the hardcover and the plot seems interesting, so I checked it out. I have previously read Serle’s Famous in Love so I know that I like her style.
Growing up in privileged, Manhattan social circles, Caggie’s life should be perfect, and it almost was until the day that her younger sister drowned when Caggie was supposed to be watching her. Stricken by grief, Caggie pulls away from her friends and family, only to have everyone misinterpret a crucial moment when she supposedly saves a fellow classmate from suicide. Now she’s famous for something she didn’t do and everyone lauds her as a hero. But inside she still blames herself for the death of her sister and continues to pull away from everything in her life, best friend and perfect boyfriend included. Then Caggie meets Astor, the new boy at school, about whom rumors are swirling and known facts are few. In Astor she finds someone who just might understand her pain, because he has an inner pain of his own. But the more Caggie pulls away from her former life to be with Astor, the more she realizes that his pain might be darker, and deeper, than anything she’s ever felt. His pain might be enough to end his life…and Caggie’s as well.

This one is also a book that I’ve wanted to read for a very long time, since it came out, actually. I just have never gotten to read it. The main reason that I checked it out from the library is that its sequel is coming out this month (Cerce). I want to read this one mainly because of the Greek mythology that has been interesting to me since I started reading the Percy Jackson series when I was younger. I’ve never read anything by Madeline Miller, so I’m excited to see if I enjoy this story.

Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the kingdom of Phthia to be raised in the shadow of King Peleus and his golden son, Achilles. “The best of all the Greeks”—strong, beautiful, and the child of a goddess—Achilles is everything the shamed Patroclus is not. Yet despite their differences, the boys become steadfast companions. Their bond deepens as they grow into young men and become skilled in the arts of war and medicine—much to the displeasure and the fury of Achilles’ mother, Thetis, a cruel sea goddess with a hatred of mortals.

When word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, the men of Greece, bound by blood and oath, must lay siege to Troy in her name. Seduced by the promise of a glorious destiny, Achilles joins their cause, and torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus follows. Little do they know that the Fates will test them both as never before and demand a terrible sacrifice.

Built on the groundwork of the Iliad, Madeline Miller’s page-turning, profoundly moving, and blisteringly paced retelling of the epic Trojan War marks the launch of a dazzling career.

 

I’m reading this book for class. I think that’s all I think I need to say.
But it’s actually a pretty good read. If you’re interested in writing scripts, I’d suggest picking this book up.
This ultimate insider’s guide reveals the secrets that none dare admit, told by a show biz veteran who’s proven that you can sell your script if you can save the cat!

This is the book that I was originally planning on checking out from the library. After reading its prequel, Famous in Love, I needed to read the second one.
Last summer I binge watched Famous in Love on FreeForm. Sadly, the only thing the show has in common with the book is the names of the characters. Both the book and the show ended with giant, and drastically different, cliffhangers. I did not want to confuse the plot lines of the two, and with the season premiere of the show last week, I need to know what happens in the second book.

After being plucked from obscurity, Hollywood’s newest starlet, Paige Townsen, has a hit film to her name and Rainer Devon on her arm. But being half of the world’s most famous couple comes with a price. No matter where Paige goes, someone is always watching. Soon she finds herself dodging photographers; hiding her feelings for her other costar, Jordan Wilder; and navigating tabloid scandals that threaten to tear her and Rainer apart—and end her career as quickly as it began.

As she navigates her new L.A. life in this sequel to Famous in Love, Paige finds that she doesn’t know who to trust: Old friends could be betraying her secrets, and new friends are keeping secrets of their own.

 

Once again, this is a book that I have wanted to read for a long time and I finally broke down and bought it. I have never read anything by Mary Beard and I am actually excited to learn a thing or two while I read this.
In SPQR, an instant classic, Mary Beard narrates the history of Rome “with passion and without technical jargon” and demonstrates how “a slightly shabby Iron Age village” rose to become the “undisputed hegemon of the Mediterranean” (Wall Street Journal). Hailed by critics as animating “the grand sweep and the intimate details that bring the distant past vividly to life” (Economist) in a way that makes “your hair stand on end” (Christian Science Monitor) and spanning nearly a thousand years of history, this “highly informative, highly readable” (Dallas Morning News) work examines not just how we think of ancient Rome but challenges the comfortable historical perspectives that have existed for centuries. With its nuanced attention to class, democratic struggles, and the lives of entire groups of people omitted from the historical narrative for centuries, SPQR will to shape our view of Roman history for decades to come.
So, in order to get free shipping for my order on ThriftBooks, I had to spend at least $10, the synopsis for this seemed pretty interesting so I just added it to my cart. I don’t think I’ve ever read Siobhan Vivian’s work, so I am excited to see how I like her work.

An intense look at the rules of high school attraction – and the price that’s paid for them.

It happens every year. A list is posted, and one girl from each grade is chosen as the prettiest, and another is chosen as the ugliest. Nobody knows who makes the list. It almost doesn’t matter. The damage is done the minute it goes up.

This is the story of eight girls, freshman to senior, “pretty” and “ugly.” And it’s also the story of how we see ourselves, and how other people see us, and the tangled connection of the two.

Now, with final exams, portfolios and projects coming up, and the fact that I have to pack up and move back home, I’m not sure if I will be able to read all of these books within the month of April. I borrowed Artemis from a friend a couple of weeks ago and really want to give it back to him soon, so that’s the first one I will be reading. And I checked out the three from the library, so I have to finish those before I turn them back in. Obviously, I will finish Save the Cat for class. But the rest of the books I’m okay with not finishing before the end of the month.
What books are you guys reading this month?

‘There’s Someone Inside Your House’ Review


I was thoroughly spooked.

The book was great until the end. Like I said, I was thoroughly spooked and had to speed read the entire thing so that I could actually fall asleep. (I still ended up having nightmares after I finished it.)

When I was reading, the story felt very well paced, it wasn’t rushed and it didn’t try to build up for too long. Yet, when I got to the end, I feel like there were a number of problems that went unresolved. I want to know what happened to the town and the people impacted by the murders. I want to know how the protagonist grows and moves on. I want to know how her relationship with her parents evolves.

There are so many things that I want to know, but never will.

The book just ends too abruptly for me. It’s a satisfying ending, but there are so many things that could have been explained.

 

Overall, I gave it a three out of five stars.

‘Wonder Woman: Warbringer’ Review

And my obsession with Wonder Woman continues!

I have wanted to read this book since the second I discovered it was coming out. And I was not let down.
‘Wonder Woman: Warbringer’ shows a different Diana and Themyscira than the one that Patty Jenkins showed us in the movie. We see more of this ‘Cult Island,’ as it is called, and we learn more about the Amazon way of life, rules, and regulations. The Amazons and their culture is more developed than in the movie. I really enjoyed seeing Diana in this light, and I don’t want to spoil anything so I won’t develop that any further.

In ‘Wonder Woman: Warbringer’ Diana is innocent. But she is also a kid; seventeen to be exact. She fights being the youngest of her people and being a teenager in modern day New York. That is something that I really enjoyed about the read, Diana was relatable in a way that isn’t really relatable. She doesn’t know how to work a smartphone, has never seen anything plastic, and has never flown in an airplane…but the way she feels about all of these new things is so relatable because we’ve all been there and experienced new things.

The ending was a twist that even I wasn’t expecting, and I’m pretty good at expecting twists. And that’s exactly what brought this book to five stars. The writing was well done, the characters well developed, which I enjoyed. But the twist ending worked. It didn’t seem far-fetched and fit character personalities. The twist ending was a real make it or break it moment; depending on how Leigh Bardugo handled the situation it could have gone off the rails and ruined the entire novel. But it didn’t. It tied it together really well and mended my heart (that had shattered a few pages beforehand).

Over 5/5 stars for a well-written ending that knew it’s characters.

How to get writing again!

Scrolling through Tumblr (I follow the #amwriting) I found a post that I think would help writers, including myself. Thank you, Kira Martin, for your wonderful advice!

Hello! I am a writer that is fairly new to the game. I realized I wanted to write full time a few ago. Since then, I’ve been working on a book, that I consider to be my baby; the masterpiece that will create my overall brand. However, I struggle with the discipline of it all. I have such a hard time getting myself to just sit down and finish! I’m currently working on my 23rd chapter but I know I still have so much to go. Working 40 hours a week isn’t necessarily helping either. Advice?

[asked by Anonomous]

 

What you’re experiencing is what a lot of aspiring/newbie writers go through–you need to sit yourself down and come up with a plan of action. And because it’s my style, here’s a list to help with that plan of action:

1. Find your motivation. What inspires you? Why do you want to finish your book? Why do you want to write? Once you find your motivation, surround yourself with it. Realizing that you will never be a career writer unless you write your book is a good kick in the ass.

2. Make writing a habit. The way to form habits is to do them daily. Put aside an hour every day to focus on your manuscript—you can even set an alert in your phone. Be very clear to everyone that if they interrupt you during this time that their deaths are on their hands. You’ll be surprised at how quickly it becomes natural (the writing, not the interruption murders).

3. Set goals. Find what works for you. A page a day? 700 words? Set you goals as your phone’s lock screen. Put sticky notes on your mirror. Do a goal thermometer and scribble out a notch for each chapter/page you complete. Hang it somewhere where you’ll see it every day.

4. Create a ritual. What I’ve always done is play some music, open my document, and read what I last wrote. By now, when the music comes on, I know it’s time to get to business. Combined with my habit of listening to the same song on repeat for days, I once accidently conditioned myself to open my doc when I heard a certain song. Find whatever works for you.

5. Consider your future. How serious are you about being a writer? For any sort of dream, there are risks/stresses/extra work required for them to come into fruition. If you can’t find time to write, you need to think about what that means for the future. In five years where will you be if you continue down this path? Where do you want to be? What are sacrifices (time/energy/money) you might need to get there?

3 Ways to Edit Your Own Book!

Thank you, Book Doctors, for this video and these tips. Check out the video here.

  1. Read it out loud!
    • Trust me, hearing is different than seeing.
  2. Have people read it!
    • But not people who are related/biased toward you
    • Join a critique group (Goodreads is a good place to meet people who love to read)
  3. Hire a professional
    • If you have a smaller budget, try a librarian.
    • Make sure that they are experts in your genre!
    • Do research before you pay anybody–you don’t want to get scammed.