Cinder | The Lunar Chronicles #1 | Marissa Meyer | Book Review

Who knew such a complex story could be so enthralling?

Hey, everyone, I haven’t done a book review in forever! I’ve been reading quite a few books though, so be on the lookout for more. Today I’ll be reviewing Cinder by Marissa Meyer. This isn’t really a new book. It was published in 2012. I’ve seen this book everywhere but haven’t picked it up — until now, and I’m so glad I did! It was such an interesting read.  Continue reading

Sakura White Gelly Roll™ Pen | Review

“Ice cream smooth.”

So today I’ll be reviewing something I’ve wanted for SO LONG AHHH. A white gel pen!

Yes. This is what I’ve been wanting forever. I draw quite a bit and have always wanted something to add highlights and write on colored paper with. A white gel pen is an answer. For a few months, I would use Wite-Out pens, but we all know how that turns out. They dry up, take too long to activate, scratch up your paper, let the liquid out inconsistently, and leave a crusty mess behind. So no, they aren’t the best to use as actual pens.

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This has just turned into a roasting sesh for Wite-Out, hasn’t it?

So that’s why I was so excited to find a pack of three at a local Michaels for about 3 bucks. Pretty good deal, especially for being such a large brand.

It’s time to run a series of tests to see if these pens were actually worth it. Continue reading

Journey to the Centre of the Earth | Jules Verne | Book Review

I started this book possibly an entire year ago.

And I guess you could say I was caught up with other things, but I finally finished it a few months ago. SO, I decided to review this. Now, you may be thinking, what book could this possibly be? And WHY did it take you so long to read?!

Well, as you can tell from the title, this book is Journey to the Centre of the Earth. And it sure as heck was a journey. Not exactly right from the start, however. Let me explain.

So I began the book. Frankly, it was boring. I was just waiting and waiting for the action to begin. Dozens of pages were spent explaining how the code was deciphered and their grand plan for how to get to the center. I was becoming really impatient and so, I dropped the book.

A few months ago, I picked it back up. In that short period of time in which I didn’t read the book, I had developed a newfound appreciation for good literature. This time, I took interest in the writing more so than the action. That mindset was really rewarding, and the book didn’t seem so dense and boring anymore.

Now, the journey really began. I reread the beginning (which honestly, was still a bit slow) and finally, the group made it to the crater.

About

Wow, I’ve been so caught up explaining my experience that I haven’t even introduced the book properly. Okay. So, JttCotE was written by Jules Verne, and it was first published on November 25th, 1864, in the language of French, under the title of Voyage au centre de la Terre (side note: I started taking French this year and am happy to report that I can fully understand the title. You proud? I’m… kidding.) So the edition that I read is technically not the original.it was translated by a guy named Robert Baldick. Poor guy. Never gets much credit. So I can’t say much about or criticize the writing itself… Because that’s not going to be relevant. Nevertheless, I liked the writing. This edition was published by Puffin Books (side note #2: I love the covers of their classics and that they all match…)

Characters

Axel

So where was I? Ah, yes. So, one of the main characters is a young man named Axel. He’s not an extremely dynamic character, except that he is generally level-headed, quiet, and has a fiancee named Grauben. He’s not too fond of the idea of traveling thousands of feet under the surface of the Earth, but as time progresses, he eventually comes around to his uncle’s way of thinking and becomes enthusiastic about the discoveries and making it to the center.

Professor Lindenbrock

In contrast, we have Uncle Professor Otto Lindenbrock, Axel’s uncle. He’s a rather eccentric character, but very accomplished. His level of patience is as low as the bottom of Sneffels itself. He’s the one who organized this whole… trip, and he never loses hope that they will reach their goal and live to tell the tale. He could literally be sitting in a volcano about to explode and he won’t panic a bit. 😉

Hans Bjelke

A simple, strong, and silent Icelander who’s technically just a tour guide. I think he’s said like two words in the entire book even though he’s always present. But Hans was extremely helpful in many cases with his knowledge and strength. For example, the time he found the group an underground river when they were dying of thirst, he was so appreciated that the river was called the Hansbach.

TL;DR

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Lindenbrock finds a secret code written by Arne Saknussem hidden in an ancient manuscript. He and Axel (mostly the latter) decode it and find that it’s the secret to getting to the center of the Earth: to hop right into Sneffels, a dormant volcano in Iceland. With Hans, they make like Saknussem (who, by the way, died trying to make the journey) and follow his instructions. Thus, they travel through the underground, making exciting discoveries (the Professor is more than thrilled), and finding themselves in fatal danger. And throughout it all, Axel wonders if they would ever reach their goal.

Methinks

Okay. This book surprised me. I like science fiction (although I don’t read it too much for some reason). I didn’t really like classics at the time. The thought of a science-fiction classic novel kind of repulsed me. As I mentioned before, I stopped reading it after a bit because it was getting quite boring. That’s the only thing that was kind of ‘eh’ about this book. I feel that the beginning was too slow. Who knows, maybe I’m just another “impatient Gen Z who doesn’t appreciate literature”.

*ahem* Anyway. Other than the slow beginning, I liked a few other things about the book. For example, the fact that (spoiler). The author was also super ahead of his time. This must have been an extremely unusual read in 1864. The characters and their actions were very 1894-esque. There wasn’t a very large amount of character development. It was mostly just the adventure and descriptions. I suppose that’s a refreshing perspective since I’ve read a lot of self-discovering books lately.

This was a good book. Not a fantastic, life-changing book, but definitely one I’ll talk about and recommend. I say that if you don’t read classics, but you like sci-fi (or vice versa) then don’t be afraid to give this book a shot. It’s a good bridge.

Rating

I give this 4/5 stars, because of the slow beginning and lack of dynamic characters and development.

Age

This is fine for anyone 13+, only because the vocabulary is a bit old-fashioned and it requires patience. However, there’s nothing ‘inappropriate’, so if a 10-year-old picks up this book and has a lot of patience and has a huge vocabulary, they’re good to go.


Thank you guys for reading this review! This is kind of a mixture between my freestyle reviews and organized reviews, but it was really fun. Also, peep that header I made? I actually like it a lot. What’d you think? And side note, I wrote over 1K words for this review. *thumps chest* BE PROUD.

– Hera

Animal Farm | George Orwell | Book Review

This was summer reading I didn’t do because I’m new to the school I’m currently going to… So this may be a bit boring. Just a heads up.
So because of my chattering classmates, I’ve heard a lot about this book. Mainly that it’s a political satire, and a bit boring and predictable. One even wrote anonymously, “…no one should ever have to be forced to read this uncultured book.” Like… okay?

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But moving on. I didn’t really have a choice to read the book, and who knows, maybe I’ll like it? So I picked up a copy and tried to begin reading. However, I had gotten one of the newer editions and it was filled with praise, prologues, introductions, author bios, etc. etc. Like, I JUST WANT TO GET TO THE STORY, I should not have to flip through 20 pages of Orwell’s publication story. Finally, I came to Chapter One.

I must say, I like the way Orwell introduced the characters, by just grouping them all together in a meeting. That was an interesting way to start off the book. As I read the book, I happened to realize that if I didn’t know that the book was a metaphor for the Russian revolution, it could have just been a book about animals on a farm. This is exactly the trait of a summer reading book, forcing you to have to research the book in order to understand it the assignment. .-.

Arbitrary note: I did not like Mollie, but I get where she’s coming from… I mean, it WAS kind of unceremonious for them to scold her for liking ribbons… even if they are a sign of obedience to humans, what if she just thinks they’re pretty?

The book does seem pretty slow, however… at the time of writing, I have finished Chapter 5 and even though a LOT happened in the first and second chapter (none of us were expecting the Rebellion to come THIS soon), it kind of slows down in the next three. The third, fourth, and fifth chapters are mostly about the animals setting up the Farm, with the exception of that one moment where Jones tries to take back over… and failed…
Not to say that I didn’t enjoy them. Even though the plot was boring in those three chapters, the way Orwell wrote it makes the text itself pretty engaging.

Things aren’t perfect on the farm after that, of course. If they were, it would make for a boring as anything book. Trouble had started brewing… And that’s all I can say without spoiling it. Unless, of course, you already know the story of the Russian Revolution and the Soviet Union.

My assignment was to research a bunch of people from the Russian Revolution itself, because like I said, you won’t be able to understand the full story without background knowledge. I’m not going to just release my assignment to the world, because it’s not a file, and will take 1,000,000 years to type out. But I will tell you that Mr. Jones is equivalent to the real-life Czar. That bit is clear.

Well, when I finished the book, it was… a very wow ending. Kind of profound. Like wow. Kind of sad. But I expected it… my classmates were right, it was predictable. It was still a good book. I quite liked it, actually. Something about it made it very realistic. And that’s sad to think that because it WAS based off of a real-life story. 😦 So the Russians had to actually go through that! And the Soviet Union emerged… if you’d read the book, it’s kind of obvious what had gone wrong with the SU.

Thank you for reading! 🙂

This was one of my lamer reviews. I promise I’m not a nerd.

-Hera

Page by Paige | by Laura Lee Gulledge | Book Review

Okay, so what with the starting of school and whatnot, I didn’t really want to get a hard read from the library. I was hoping for something light, and fun, and easy to read. (By that, I don’t mean like kindergarten language, but something that you don’t have a book-hangover with.)

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Just in case you weren’t sure what I meant by that.

So, I figured, what better book fits that criteria than a graphic novel?! So I went and looked up some good graphic novels online, and my eyes fell upon an interesting-looking book called Page by Paige. It was indeed a graphic novel. As I looked at the blurb and reviews, I was surprised to find out that it wasn’t your typical novel– light-hearted, tells a story, humor, etc. Instead, this book seemed to be more about the narrator, Paige, and her thoughts. It was more introspected, if you know what I mean.

Curious, I put the book on hold and retrieved it from the library a couple days later.

When I began reading it, I realized that it was going to be a very quick read. I’d say that I finished it in like 2 or 3 days, and even then, I only read during lunchtime at school because I have no friends. XD

Nevertheless, the book was more than enough company for me. It was very deep. Sometimes I related to it, and sometimes, I didn’t. One of my favorite lines in the book went something like this: Sometimes I think I was born with my eyes facing the wrong way. They face the inside of my head.

Or something like that, anyway. But I really related to that line. Although I’ve never had such a thought, it made me realize that that’s exactly what I do. I have more conversations with myself inside my head, rather than with others. But it’s not like I have a choice– remember me saying I had no friends? But to be honest, I don’t mind it too much. I always have myself for company, and sometimes, that’s enough.

Well, with the way I’m talking, you would have thought that it wasn’t a graphic novel, but it’s true! I’ve never seen a graphic novel to be more about someone’s thoughts than events that were happening. An example of the latter would be Smile by Raina Telgemeier, one of my all-time favorite graphic novels. You see, Smile takes place over a long period of time, around four years, whereas Page by Paige took place for just a few months. So that surprised me a little bit.

You may think that I’ve forgotten that there are drawings in a graphic novel, too. Don’t think I forgot. I LOVED the illustrations in this book. They were so beautiful, it’ll make you wonder why they stop putting drawings in YA books. And there was a little thing that I noticed that none of the reviewers mentioned…

The drawings are not all the same. If you’ll notice:

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(This is from the Hebrew version but whatever, I couldn’t find a better one. Also, apparently Hebrew is read right to left, so in the English version, the pages are reversed. Just wanted to let you know.)

Alright, so look carefully at the two Paige’s. See a difference? I did, somewhere halfway into the book. You see, the Paige on the right (left in the English version) is just a regular ol’ comic book character. Clean lines. Minimal shading. But the Paige on the left (right in the English version) is more… dynamic. More complex shapes. Lots of shading. More realistic. This represents the two sides of Paige– the one she thinks others see, a flat, boring, quiet girl who draws, and the Paige she is inside, a brilliant girl with tons of ideas and personalities. The book shows Paige’s journey of realizing that it’s okay to live inside your head, and also of becoming the artist she’s always been.

Hope you guys liked this new style of book review! I personally liked it much better than my old style. Like, comment, share, whatever. See y’all later! 🙂

-Hera