Reviews

2017 Reading Wrap-Up: Books #26-30

The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler – 4 stars

I can’t put my finger on why this wasn’t a five star read for me, but it just fell a little flat.

I appreciate the rawness of the monologues and the fact that I was uncomfortable when I was reading some of them. That means that they were making me think. I do think this is an important read and I am glad that I picked it up. I easily gave the monologues themselves 5 stars because of how personal they are and how I could relate to them in a way I didn’t expect.

I think one of my biggest issues was the fact that there was only one monologue for trans-women, so it kind of felt like it was excluding them in the discussion about women. Especially given the fact that V-Day is about fighting violence against women, and trans-women face some of the worst violence, it felt like a glaring omission to me. And yes, I realize that it is called The Vagina Monologues, but it just rubbed me (forgive the pun) the wrong way.

I thought that the additions at the end of the V-Day special were interesting because it let us see the impact V-Day is having on the world. They have accomplished so much, but we still have so far to go.

The Vagina Monologues

Wires and Nerve Volume 1 by Marissa Meyer – 5 stars

Iko is probably my favorite character from The Lunar Chronicles so I was ecstatic when I heard she was getting her own graphic novel. And I am happy to say that it did not disappoint.

I was a little apprehensive of the artwork when I first saw it, but I think that it really worked for the story. I also appreciate that due to the color scheme that was chosen, any blood from the fights is not in your face. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for it when I’m reading other graphic novels, but given the audience and the story, I appreciate the muted aspect of the violence.

It was just so much fun to see the entire gang. And I really enjoyed the new characters of the Kinneys. I know that we saw Sir Kinney in the other books, but he does play a bigger part in this. And I love the relationship between him and Iko. But I also loved Tressa. She was just so much fun!

I was so sad when it was over because I want to know what else happens! I want to continue seeing Iko being the badass, feminine, sassy person that she is. I also am so curious to see how the story goes from where it is to where it ends up in Stars Above. I cannot wait until volume 2!

Wires and Nerve

El Deafo by Cece Bell – 4 stars

This was so adorable!

I really love that this is a graphic novel for kids that focuses on not only what it’s like to live with a severe hearing impairment but also on teaching others how to interact with someone who has a hearing impairment. I love that whether or not you have a hearing impairment, you can related to a good majority of the stories. It features stories about trying to fit in, dealing with pushy friends, struggling at school, and first crushes.

The artwork is so cute and really conveys some great emotions. Even though the main audience for this is kids, I feel like anyone can read it and take something away from it. I also appreciate that Bell included an author’s note where she stressed that El Deafo is just her experience and that she is in no way speaking for all that are hard of hearing or Deaf.

Overall, this was a fantastic read and I think everyone should read it.

El Deafo

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander – 5 stars

What can I say? I’m Harry Potter trash. So when I heard that not only was there going to be a new edition of Fantastic Beasts but an audiobook narrated by Eddie Redmayne, I was sold.

I’m still in awe of the fact that Rowling came up with all of these creatures, what they look like, and their characteristics. My only complaint is that it isn’t longer and that there are several omissions of creatures mentioned throughout the Harry Potter series (such as hinkypunks and boggarts). I will never get tired of reading as much as I can about the wizarding world.

The audiobook is fantastic and it was like having Newt read it to me personally. If you can, I highly recommend checking it out.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery – 4 stars

This was the first time that I read Anne of Green Gables, and I must say, I really enjoyed it. I honestly had no idea what the story was going into it other than the fact that it was set in Canada.

I overall really loved Anne. She is smart, spunky, full of imagination, and so utterly driven. However, there were quite a few times that I was a little annoyed by her (especially when she went on long spiels about whatever is on her mind). It also was a little hard to imagine that she had so many disastrous things happen to her constantly. But like I said, overall, she was a wonderful character.

I also really ended up enjoying all of the side characters. And though I did expect a certain character’s death, I was still heartbroken when it happened.

Montgomery’s world is so easy to imagine as she does a beautiful job of painting a picture of what it would be like to live there. However, there were a couple of times where Montgomery’s writing was not my favorite. By the end of the book, I was over the fact that anytime Matthew said anything, he started with “Well, now, …”

I would highly recommend checking out the audiobook narrated by Rachel McAdams. She does such a great job with the story and it really enhanced my reading experience.

Anne of Green Gables

Reviews

Series Review: The Lunar Chronicles

Cinder – 4.5 stars

As with other books/series that I’ve been reading recently, I’m ashamed that it has taken me this long to read Cinder. I loved so much about this book and this made me look forward to reading the rest of The Lunar Chronicles.

First off, the characters are freaking golden. I love how Cinder is sarcastic and savvy and willing to do whatever it took to save herself and Kai. I love that Kai acts his age. He’s only 18 or 19 when he becomes Emperor and you can tell that. He isn’t perfect. He is just trying to do what is best for his country. I cried like a baby about what happened to Peony. I need Iko in my life. I like how Adri and Pearl stay true to the original story while still being their own distinct characters. I even enjoyed the other side characters like Dr. Erland and Torin. And Levana is just deliciously evil and I couldn’t wait to read more about her.

Normally, I’m against The Chosen One, but since this is a re-telling of Cinderella, that really didn’t bother me. I had my theories about who the lost Lunar princess was at her first mention and so when the reveal happened, I was happy to be proven right, which is usually not the case. I’m so excited to see what happens with that reveal later on in the series. Also, normally I’m against insta-love and insta-connection. But for some reason, it just worked for me in this book.

The only reason why I took off a half a star is because I wanted a little more world building. Like, how exactly did they come up with the idea of continents being countries? And the exact spread of letumosis throughout the entire Earth. And also, how the whole cyborgs are second-class citizens came to be a thing. Hopefully I’ll get some of these answered in the rest of the series and the novella bind-up.

Overall, though, I really really enjoyed Cinder!

Cinder

Scarlet – 5 stars

I just. *flails*

I love Scarlet. I love her with Wolf. I cried like a baby when Wolf turned on her (though I saw it coming and I knew he would be redeemed, but still, I think I felt my heart rip open).

I love Cinder. I love her friendship with Thorne. New brotp. Like for real. I still love Kai. And I need him to get his shit together. Because he needs to be with Cinder and not with stupid Levana.

I’m so glad we still got Iko. I would die if Iko couldn’t be a part of the book.

The story was engaging. I love how fresh Marissa Meyer makes the fairy tales and how she is weaving all of the characters together. I also liked that we got a little bit more world building. I just ahhhh!

Scarlet

Cress – 5 stars

I am so in love with this series and I really really wish I hadn’t waited so long to read it. Cress and Thorne are literally my OTP of the series right now because they are just too cute and ugh. My heart broke when Cress saw Thorne with the escort droid. Iko remains my forever favorite. I just love her so much. Cinder is growing so much as a character and I love seeing it. And can we just take a minute to appreciate Konn Torin? He’s always there for Kai no matter what and just bless him. Meyer continues to impress me with her writing and how she has created this complex world yet seamlessly integrates her stories while remaining true to the original fairytales. I’m just. AH!

cress

Fairest – 4.5 stars

It’s official: Levana is batshit crazy. And I absolutely LOVE her for that. It was really interesting to get to see her backstory to understand a little bit better how she got to be where she is in the Lunar Chronicles. Levana is just so psychotic. And Meyer writes it perfectly so that while we as the reader understand Levana’s motivations, we absolutely do not sympathize with her. If anything, Meyer has written it so flawlessly that we hate Levana even more. I love that she took us from Levana’s early childhood where her sister abused her up to her adult life. I’d say the only reason I took off half a star is because Levana is just so horrible that I couldn’t stand to give it the same rating as the rest of the series.

fairest

Winter – 5 stars

This was a perfect conclusion to the series. Meyer managed to keep the stakes high while staying true to the Snow White fairy tale. I love how she continued to weave the characters together. And while I know I’ve complained about characters not dying after the buildup to huge battles, in this instance, I am okay with it. Because, at least in the Disney versions, the heroes all live. And since she’s retelling fairytales, it really didn’t bother me. All of the main 9 characters, as well as Konn Torin are my beautiful space baby cinnamon rolls and I need them to live happily ever after for the rest of forever. I went on Tumblr right after finishing reading this and just embraced going down the rabbit hole of reblogging and liking all of the things. The book is long, but I never felt like it dragged. I truly felt like it was worth reading all 800+ pages. I just love this book so much and it is in my top three favorite books of the year.

winter

Stars Above – 5 stars

Oh my stars!

Why does this series have to be over?!

My favorite story was definitely Something Old, Something New. I was squealing the entire time I was reading.

I loved that we got to see Cinder’s origin story. I loved that we got to see Cinder and Kai’s first meeting from his point of view. I loved Meyer’s take on the Little Mermaid. It was really interesting to see the creation of Levana’s mutant army. I loved seeing Cress’s satellite origin story. Thorne’s backstory was just perfectly him. And Winter and Jacin’s story is just adorable yet sad because we got to see exactly why Winter begins to go crazy.

Everything about this was just perfect, in my opinion.

starsabove