I is back!

After a long hiatus, with summer job and college and crap, I am back!

To start off a new beginning, introducing the new look along with some updates:

1. Book Reviews

Book reviews will be more often posted probably. 

Ok. That was an awkward sentence. But there will be more book reviews, especially if I end up using Net Galley more often. The free books are handy sometimes and I like writing book reviews.

2. Chapter Snarks

For books that I find in particularly aggravating, I’ll review them chapter by chapter along with an overall review.

 

That’s it for now! 

Review: The Maze Runner

The Maze Runner
The Maze Runner by James Dashner

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

**Warning**: Contains cussing due to pent up RAGE.

******Also, spoilers.*******

What. The. Fuck. Is. This. Book.

After spending a week trying to finish this pile of words called a “book”, I was done. I skimmed those last few pages, because honestly, I couldn’t give a shit about this goddamn book anymore. What’s wrong with this book? Everything single fucking thing.

I’m surprised this book hasn’t been burned yet.

1. Crap Ass Characters

You know who sucks in this book? Everyone except Gally.

Let’s start with Thomas.

Thomas starts out in the Box (ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh that name is SO EVER OMINOUS!!!! IT’S A FUCKING BOX! *screams in terror*). He has no memory of who he is, just vague things like “I can ride a bike, but I don’t remember who taught me or how I learned or where I learned.” which he thinks of again and again and again and again and ag- OH WE GET THE FUCKING POINT, WILL YOU PLEASE JUST SHUT UP NOW.

Except for, lolno~, if Dashner stops, what else is Thomas going to think about? So Dashner goes all “Fuck you, Thomas is going to think that shit again.”

Throughout the book (though mostly in the beginning) Thomas gets sudden urges to do stuff, as if something had taken over his body. WELL SOMETHING HAS TAKEN OVER YOUR BODY AND IT’S CALL “ LAZY AUTHOR WHO DOESN’T WANT TO WRITE OUT PROPER CHARACTERIZATION AND DECIDES TO MAKE HIS CHARACTERS DO SHIT BECAUSE OF NONEXISTANT IMPULSES” SYNDROME.

Thomas makes “friends” with, of course, the fat boy, whose name is the normal fat boy name, Chuck. Now, I say “friends” because saying someone “will do” as a friend, is objectifying 1. Chuck, and 2. what a friend is. You can’t just pick someone and be like “Oh yeah, he’ll work as a friend.” Just, no. You can do that with screwdrivers, but not with friends. Obviously, to Thomas, a “friend” is just someone who you…. …. ….???…. with. What the hell does Thomas ever even do with Chuck other than that promise which was the most unsubtle way of foreshadowing Chuck’s most predictable and unnecessary death? They… talk about pointless things. And… shit… Oh, I think they eat together once or something…. Hmmmmmmmmm…. HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM….

You know, this isn’t a friendship AT ALL.

Thomas is supposed to be curious and smart, except for he manages to not think of even the most obvious questions. Or, even if he was about to faint from the number of questions boggling his mind (with which I gotta say, you must have some strange self control to make yourself faint from not asking questions…), he abstains because “OH THE ABLY GLARE! I CAN’T ASK THEM OR I’LL DIEEEEEEEEE!”

Just. Fuck you.

Thomas is also terribly stupid because, you know, standing there and watching people struggle to get back into the Glade (OMG CAPITAL LETTER! THIS MUST BE A LEGIT NAME! *gasp*) when you could totally run out and help them is ok, and slipping out the last second, when the doors are about to close and there’s no way you could actually be of any help, and also be technically committing suicide because no one survives the night is also ok.

Actually, I think Dashner was just trying to find some lame excuse to get Thomas to spend a night out in the Maze (ANOTHER CAPITAL LETTER! SO LEGIT!) and just FAILING.

Thomas is supposedly so smart though, because he manages to sidestep one of the Grievers. Right, because after TWO WHOLE years, no one, absolutely NO ONE has thought of dodging these things that are described as “stupid as hell”. 1. How did they manage to figure out that Grievers were stupid as hell? 2. If they’re stupid as hell, why are they such a danger? 3. If they’re stupid as hell, why has faking left not been an idea that anyone has attempted?

I am fed up. This stupidity. It’s killing my brain cells.

Of course, to make Thomas OH SO SPECIAL!!!! he has to have telepathy skills with the only human of the opposite sex in the Glade, because right, you can’t just speak out loud to each other. That would require too much energy which has already been drained too much trying to keep your dumbshit brains from imploding from stupidity.

You know, Thomas is supposed to be so smart, but he doesn’t actually figure out anything. Instead, they’re literally guided out via memories so Thomas doesn’t actually do any thinking at all. Plus, why hasn’t Thomas tried to choke himself out of horror? EVERYONE except Thomas, for some reason, refuses to speak of their memories at all. Why didn’t Thomas go through that? Because he’s Mr. Special Snowflake, that’s why.

Enough with Thomas.

What’s wrong with the other characters?

Chuck’s too “stereotypical fat kid who’s sentimental”. Minho is not a fucking scientist’s name. Plus, he switches between being an ass and being kind of ok in such extremes it’s unrealistic. He, along with everyone else, also decides to tell Thomas absolutely nothing until 50 pages after whatever had been the issue first gets mentioned.

Everyone’s also like “FOLLOW THE FUCKING RULES NO MATTER WHAT!” Except for, Thomas got off with it, so fuck that shit.

(For the record Mother Theresa is not a scientist. And, Chuck = Darwin? That’s kind of a far connection.)

I’ll say right now that my favorite character is Gally. Not because he’s the bad guy and I hate Thomas, because bad guys tend to be douchebags and douchebags are unlikable, but if you just stop for a moment and look at the situation, especially the scene where Gally accuses Thomas of being a spy, you realize that Gally is the only one who actually can think complicated thoughts. I was honestly surprised when Gally accused of Thomas of being a spy, because it wasn’t expected, it was original yet at the same time, made total sense.

Really, in that entire scene, Thomas should have been the “bad guy”. He was the one that just showed up in the middle of nowhere. Gally saw him in the Changing, which is usually associated with ominous things, so obviously it’s reasonable to say Thomas might not be so good of a person.

But Mr. Super Special Snowflake can’t ever be wrong, so bitch, Gally’s just fucking insane, that’s what.

2. random Capitalization of certain Nouns due to Fancy (?) names

What is up with these names? Just because it is THE maze, doesn’t make it the Maze. Just. No. You’re writing in English. Could you please follow English grammar rules and not just make proper nouns simply by capitalizing the first letter of regular nouns? I literally cringe every time I have to unnecessarily capitalize these nouns in this review because it’s just so WRONG.

These names aren’t even good.

3. What the Shuck.

You know. If you’re going to cuss, don’t be a chicken and use lame ass alterations of normal curse words. If they can communicate in regular English, what is preventing them from saying “fuck” instead of “shuck”? Also, why are only the curse words slanged?

You understand, curse words have culture behind them that cause them to be curse words. You can’t just make up a word that also is strangely similar to regular curse words and say “oh yeah, because isolation and slang”.

The only thing we get backstory for is klunk because shit makes klunk noises in their crap buckets. 1. TMI. THANK YOU BUT NO THANK YOU 2. That’s gotta be some dry shit to be making rattling noises in buckets. 3. IT’S SHIT. SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT. USE IT. I DARE YOU.

If these teenagers are going to curse, they’re going to curse like real people.

4. Completely Flawed Logic

Ok. Please tell me, if Grievers can climb walls, why haven’t they managed to climb over the walls and flip into the glade?

If Grievers are so easy to kill, why have none of the Gladers managed to kill one in TWO WHOLE YEARS even though they’re perfectly capable teenagers, who are also supposedly smarter than usual? Do I need to go on a rant about how our intelligence is the reason our species reigns over all others? No? Ok. Good. I was hoping you’d be intelligent enough to know that.

WHY, after figuring out that the Maze repeats itself on a monthly basis, are they drawing new maps? WHY WOULD YOU WEAR YOUR BALLS OUT RUNNING THROUGH SOMETHING YOU ALREADY KNOW THE PATH OF JUST TO DRAW THE SAME THING OVER AND OVER AGAIN?

Wouldn’t you expect these teenagers’ first reaction to the arrival of the first and only girl not “I call being the first one to fuck her!” but “Holy shit! A girl? Wait let me remember what the hell that is first because I’ve never so far interacted with one!” You can call being the first fucker when these Creators start sending prostitutes up every other week.

Also, you’re ok with rape jokes, but saying “fuck” is too much?

Fuck you, that’s what.

What the hell is up with that ending? It’s like Dashner wrote this entire book and then was like “Oh right, I need to add this part!” and just stuffed it in at the end. You know that whole solar flare crapshit? Well, it makes no sense in general and is scientifically impossible.

If the rainforests are dead, then humans are dead. End of story.

Rainforest survive because of water. It’s goddamn hot, but because it rains enough, forests grow there. If it gets hot enough that it can’t even rain anymore, humans aren’t even going to be alive at all. No bug would survive either, whatever this bug is supposed to refer to (a bug as in “buzz buzz” or “I’ve got a stomach bug”?)

You might say, “Well this is fiction! It’s doesn’t have to be realistic!”. Yeah, how about we add unicorns into the story? Demon TNT unicorns who decided to bomb the world to death with their mystical glamorous death ray? It’s fiction afterall! Now, you still wanna keep your point? No? Ok, cool.

Why do they need to farm when they get mayo and steak shipped up every week? Also, why are you guys sowing, growing and harvesting at the same time? Are there not seasons in the Maze? And do you know how hard butchering is? You can’t just throw random teenagers into the job and expect them to properly butcher a cow like it’s nothing.

Why are these so called “smart” teenagers so stupid?

I am just done with this book.

Conclusion

This book is for you if you like reading books about flat stupid characters (who are labeled “smart”) who spend 2 years running around a maze trying to find and exit when the exit has been right in front of them the whole time (of course and they’re also just no curious enough to figure that out) and need a Mr. Special Snowflake with IQ level of 0 to guide the way.

View all my reviews

Book Review: Nest

The following review was written for the book Nest, by Esther Ehrlich. Thanks to NetGalley for an ARC of the book.

Nest, as Esther Ehrlich’s debut novel, is a masterpiece of emotions. It’s written for middle graders, but I really enjoyed this book just as much. What makes Nest stand out so much is really it’s simplicity, conveying at the same time a deep message that most children’s books tend to avoid. It talks about life and death and the reader is forced to face it brutally.

Ehrlich has a talent for writing believable characters that you come to love. There’s a perfect balance of “immature little kid” and “intelligent bird lover” in Chirp. Joey is the “annoying boy next door” but also has his own problems and fears that make you pity and care for him. You have Miss Gallagher, who you like and you hate, who can be nice, but is also just as much of a jerk. There’s Rachel, who had teenager problems to deal with along with their mother’s sickness.

The plot of the book is simple. Chirp’s mother get’s diagnosed with MS and Chirp must find a way to cope with this. But Ehrlich executes it in such a wonderful way that it never gets boring or cliche. Everything was unpredictable in the best way. Everything in this book feel original.

I loved how Ehrlich makes references to From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and Annabel Lee, both which connect the reader to the book.

The prose in this book is beautiful. Smooth flow, beautiful descriptions but still altogether simple. I loved it wholly and definitely will be looking forward to more of Ehrlich’s books.

Apple

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Prompt:Your protagonist is an inanimate object granted sentience by a higher power.

It was Johnathan Apple’s worst choice ever to decide to see what it was like to be eaten with feelings. Had he known how much pain it would have caused him, he wouldn’t have prayed for so long about it.

Now it took his life which had been so short to begin with.

How unfortunate.

I don’t like those damn 39 Clues

Ok, this might be the randomest post in the world and you might be thinking, Livi, where da hell did you get this notion from? But I’ll tell you right now, I have a strong dislike for The 39 Clues series. Why The 39 Clues? Because that’s the series that my 6 year old brother is currently obsessing about and it just bothers me that my brother is in love with shitty literature.

Why is it shitty? I’ll give you a couple reasons:

1. It’s way too commercialized.

I’ll admit, I did read these books quite possibly when I was just a tad bit too old, which greatly reduced my reading experience, but I didn’t pick up the books because I had any idea what they were about. It was just that the cards on the front cover and the book covers made it seem super cool. So I read the series.

These books sucked.

There are many factors that contribute to a good book and one of them might possibly be interesting main characters? (*hint hint cough cough*) You have Amy, a 14 year old, first off and a nerd. And then you have her 12 year old brother, Dan, who’s the klutz/stunt man. It’s been a while since the last time I’ve read the books, so I can’t go into much more detail than that, but there’s one thing for sure and it’s that Amy and Dan are your most typical, cliche “Let’s go save the world! But wait, actually, we’re just two normal kids who SUCK at being people.”

It’s no wonder even just prestigious authors have been only able to produce a series of mediocre books at best.

So what attracts the audience if the actual books are only okay?

Well, quite possibly the line “The WORLD relies of YOU.” and the line “Can YOU help save the WORLD?” and the line “It is up to YOU to save the WORLD.” and the line “Can YOU help Dan and Amy save the WORLD?” and… oh you get the point. YOU are saving the WORLD. And if they couldn’t make it more obvious by scribbling it all over the front and back covers, you got the game too, which is even worse.

So, are YOU ready to save the WORLD by entering ridiculous 10 digit codes printed on mass produced cards into a little text bar, because that, oh my gosh, is totally going to save this WORLD from this non-existent destruction that only YOU can prevent. Like it totally specifies who the hell YOU is too.

But the thing is, kid’s love this. They love this false attention, the fake pride of saving the WORLD because it relies on them. And they think its super cool. And who doesn’t want to collect a bunch of cool looking cards and books with cool looking covers that are about saving the world?

2. We are not one big family.

I guess I’m thinking too much into this in saying that it bothers me, but the whole concept of how any slightly prestigious famous person is actually part of a family of super smart people really bothers me. One because there’s no way the emperor of China could be somehow bizarrely be related to Benjamin Franklin unless this serum (which I will explain in a second) ran in their bloodstream well before the human population was more than 10.

So, you may be wondering, what is this serum that I am talking about? Well, spoiler alert because you don’t find this out until the last book, but everyone is super intelligent not because they’ve worked oh so hard for it, but because they’ve got good genetics. And where did these genetics come from? Well this guy created a serum that made you super intelligent. And then he split it into four subserums, because you know, then his family would be super powerful and too intelligent. Not that this would be something you would worry about AFTER you’ve already succeeded in creating the serum.

Ok. So actually, are you telling me, books, that I’ll only succeed in life if I have super good genetics? Because it sure sounds like you are.

3. No. Talent comes in just one category

Ok. So apparently you can only be talented in one thing? Because following the logic of the serum, you’re only genetically altered to be super good at one thing, whether it be business or art or inventing or whatever, (though art and inventing are actually pretty related). But that’s not true for real live people. You can be amazing at golf and be an artist as well. There’s no conflict here….

Enough said about that.

So, in the end, The 39 Clues is of no good. I don’t like them and that’s that.

(Now I’m tired, so if you’ll excuse me for this half assed ending, I really have no energy left.)

Sacrifice

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Prompt: A journalist writing a story about living on death row begins to fall for one of the inmates she’s interviewing.

Blue eyes.

If there was one thing Kate Lorrie would never forget, it was those blue eyes. They were vibrant eyes, full of life and wonder, waiting to, no, wanting to see more of this world. Nothing in those eyes reflected the emotions one would think would come from a man sitting on death row.

“Hello, I’m Kate Lorrie, a journalist from the Good Day Times. I hope you don’t mind if I ask you a few questions about the life here.”

Those eyes shifted over to her and sparkled.

“Of course, I don’t mind at all.” The owner of these eyes was a vibrant young man, blonde hair, muscular – almost like your typical surfer boy, but he had an intelligent air to him, curious and always wanting to learn more.

Kate pulled a chair up and sat down in front of him.

“Life is good.” He said immediately, without even waiting for her to settle down. “Not too much food, not too little. There are showers here so you can wash up just fine. The water’s a little cold, but it’s more tolerable in the summer.”

He shrugged and fell silent.

“Oh, ok. Thank you Mister…”

“Jacob, Jacob Evans.”

“Thank you, Mr. Evans.” Kate shuffled her notes a little, slightly ruffled by his sudden outburst.

“I hope my sister’s fine.” He began musing. “It’s been a while since the last time I’ve seen her. She seemed to stop visiting after a while.”

“A while? Sir, how long have you been here?” Kate frowned.

“Ah, maybe four years.” He shrugged. Kate scribbled in her notebook. “It’s really nice here. You almost don’t want to leave, but leaving is inevitable on death row.”

He sighed.

“Death row is like a machine. Live people are forever going in, bodies forever coming out. It’s kind of depressing in here really, all these men and women waiting for their deaths to come. It’s cruel, waking up every morning, knowing that this may or may not be your last day to live yet none of your family is here to see you. None of them care anymore, because you’re a criminal and criminals aren’t family any longer because they’ve broken the trust of a family.”

His eager eyes dimmed.

“At least not in my family.” He added

Kate was about to ask him another question when the door creaked open.

“One more minute mam.” The prison guard announced. Kate nodded. When the door slid closed once again, she decided that none of the questions she had prepared would be fit to ask now. There only really seemed to be one question that nagged at her.

“Excuse me for asking,” She finally mustered. “What brought you here?”

He smiled real wide, pride in his eyes.

“To save my sister’s husband.” He pat his own chest. “He messed up, but it wasn’t his fault. There was no reason for him to die, so I came in and stepped in for him.”

Kate’s heart lurched.

He would come back to haunt her in her dreams for years to come.

This Dipping Time of Year

I like to call myself an amateur writer. Well, I am one. Or was one, until I crash every spring/summer where my drive to write simply goes down to the bottom of the ocean.

Yeah, it’s a yearly thing.

I actually used to contemplate about being a full time writer. Just, you know, what it would be like to just be surrounded by words all the times. I’d love it in the fall/winter. Not so much now.

It’s weird how I go through phases. Spring/summer are considered my more artistic seasons where my craving for art takes over and all I want to do is draw a comic or something become famous like the guy who created Homestuck. In fact, it’s so effecting that I don’t even have the impetus to write a blog post. It’s not that I’m lazy, my ideas are just coming out expressed as images on a panel and that obviously isn’t helping me write.

Currently, my writing has dropped down to a minimum of flash fiction every week and an occasional blog post about something else (like this one). I’m spending too much time drawing and sketching out an outline for my possibly very first webcomic. We’ll see how that goes. I’ll keep ya’ll updated on that.

I’d also like to excuse myself for not posting for the next 2 weeks due to an AMAZING vacation to Alaska with guaranteed 0 Wifi. (Of course, I could just queue a bunch of posts, but I hate queuing things.)

That is all for now.

Have a nice day.

That’s What She Said

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Prompt: “I’d seen some big ones in my time, but this one…..this one was huge.”

“God, Lisa, you just don’t understand!” Voices echoed from the other side of the wall. Mrs. Despona was getting a little frustrated. She could hear ever single conversation those teenage girls had in that other apartment and they were always, ALWAYS, about boys. “It was huge! Like… I’ve seen big ones before, but this one… this one was ginormous! I had hardest time getting it in.”

“What was it like?” The girl, who name was supposedly Lisa asked.

“Same as always. I’d thought, you know, since it was a little bigger, it’d be different, but not really.”

“Really?” There was a giggle. “You’ll have to show me next time around then. Maybe you could come over and it’ll just be the three of us.”

“It’s not official yet. Suppose to be three more weeks before I’m allowed to see it again. I was just allowed a sneak visit the other day, that was all.”

Mrs. Despona could not believe her ears. Where they talking about… about that thing? And moving in? She couldn’t believe her ears, girls these days really didn’t understand modesty at all… She shivered at the thought of hearing them possibly go at it and suddenly, she felt completely fed up with this.

No, she just couldn’t. She had enough of this trash. She stormed out into the hallway and banged on their apartment door. Moments later, a dead skinny girl, face caked with black makeup opened up the door.

“Yes, Mrs. Despona?” She asked, quite annoyed, a small sneer on her face.

“I will not allow it anymore! If you wish to talk about the size of… of” Her face flushed red. “Of pensises at least have the courtesy to lower your voice!”

The girl rolled her eyes and smirked at her.

“Please, Mrs. Despona, you’re thinking too much. We were talking about the dog that I’m going to get from the animal shelter in three weeks. Calm down. It’s just really big and doesn’t really fit in the cage they gave it and I just wanted to get it home as soon as possible.”

Mrs. Despona froze, wordless.

This was rather embarrassing.

Trollololol

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Prompt: The first men/women to set foot on Mars return to their ship only to find a large, strange insect on the door of the ship.

“Welcoming, the first people back from Mars!”

Applause ensues.

A man and a woman step out of the ship.

“Thank you, thank you. It’s been an honor. The journey was treacherous, but successful. Mars has now been explored by the naked eyes of mankind!”

Cheers rise up.

“Thank you.”

The doors of the spaceship slammed shut and revealed a huge picture of a strange bug.

Beneath the bug said:

“HA. YOU JUST GOT TROLLED!”

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