Book Review #33: The 100 by Kass Morgan

the 100 book cover
Image via hachettebookgroup.com

“No one has set foot on Earth in centuries–until now.

Ever since a devastating nuclear war, humanity has lived on spaceships far above Earth’s radioactive surface. Now, one hundred juvenile delinquents–considered expendable by society–are being sent on a dangerous mission: to recolonize the planet. It could be their second chance at life…or it could be a suicide mission.

Clarke was arrested for treason, though she’s haunted by the memory of what she really did. Wells, the chancellor’s son came to Earth for the girl he loves–but will she ever forgive him? Reckless Bellamy fought his way onto the transport pod to protect his sister, the other half of the only pair of siblings in the universe. And Glass managed to escape back onto the ship, only to find that life there is just as dangerous as she feared it would be on Earth.

Confronted with a savage land and haunted by secrets from their pasts, the hundred must fight to survive. They were never meant to be heroes, but they may be mankind’s last hope.”

After watching the first season and a bit of the second season of The 100 on Netflix, I decided to read the book that inspired the fan-favourite series. You know how they usually say that the book is better than the adaptation? Well, that’s not the case, especially for The 100. There were definitely interesting moments in the novel that I’m said to say weren’t translated into the show, but overall the novel was sub-par.

The only interesting and engaging character seems to be Bellamy, as Clarke, Glass, and Wells seem tied up in love triangles of their own (and sometimes with each other, in Clarke and Wells’ case). The story ultimately tells you what happens instead of showing you what happens. It leaves much to the imagination, in this case being that being the bad thing, and leaves us with characters we can’t empathize with.

When you have Sci-Fi or dystopian-like stories like this, you need to be grounded with your characters, settings and plot points. I honestly couldn’t care less about any of the characters.

In short, I’d say pass on the book and just binge watch the show.

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My Rating
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Book Review #32: You’re Never Weird On the Internet (almost) by Felicia Day

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Image via Simon and Schuster

Felicia Day is someone I admire for a few reasons; she’s overcome similar things that I have, and she’s a HUGE nerd/geek, like me. She also has a philosophy that I love, which includes lots of positivity statements. In her memoir, she shares a lot about her life, including deeply personal things, and it shows she has a lot of gusto.

She first describes her early days in school, then after a while being home-schooled for the rest of her schooling career. The tone of this book is definitely humorous, as the book is spattered with pictures such as a school photo of her younger self with a upside-down salad bowl photoshopped on her head. Felicia later describes her first gaming love, a online video game series called Ultima. Ultimately (pun definitely intended), Felicia’s game lead her to getting her first kiss with a boy she met through the game.

Amazingly, without graduating high school, Felicia made it to the University of Texas where she studied music and math, excelling in both. She had played violin since she was very young and had always loved math (not only because her grandfather urged her to pursue it due to his profession). After university she goes to L.A. to try to become an actress. Of course, in classic Felicia fashion, many funny hijinks ensue.

She eventually creates a web-series called The Guild based on the massively multiplayer online video game, World of Warcraft, which she may or may not have devoted her life to at one point. The series soon became a success, and she got roles in such media like Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-LongBlog and Supernatural. In 2011, Felicia created a YouTube channel called “Geek & Sundry” where she posted many various videos favoring all of “geekdom.’

During this process, things were not always sunshine in Felicia’s life. She had trouble with anxiety, depression, and disease, making a portion of her life very difficult. Her experiences with these struggles reminded me of my own struggles, and I think I connected with her more as I was reading. I even teared up a bit while reading.

Felicia Day has a way of pulling you in. Her novel is not something you can put down very easily, and I devoured it in less than two days. You’re Never Weird On The Internet (almost) has a fun, spunky atmosphere that shows amazing talent. You go, Felicia.

Book Review #31: The Farm by Emily McKay

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 “Life was different in the Before: Before vampires began devouring humans in a swarm across North America, before the surviving young people were rounded up and quarantined. These days we know what quarantines are–holding pens where human blood is turned into more food for undead monsters, known as Ticks. Surrounded by electrical fences, most kids try to survive the Farms by turning on each other…And when trust is a thing of the past, escape is nearly impossible.Lily and her twin sister, Mel, have a plan. Though Mel can barely communicate, her autism helps her notice things no one else does–like the portion of electrical fence that gets turned off every night. Getting across won’t be easy, but as Lily gathers what they need to escape, a familiar face appears out of nowhere, offering to help…Carter was a schoolmate of Lily’s in the Before. Managing to evade capture until now, he has valuable knowledge of the outside world. But like everyone on the Farm, Carter has his own agenda, and he knows that behind the Ticks is an even more dangerous threat to the human race…”

There seemed to be an overarching dullness to this novel that I only found was breached by a few moments in the novel. When Carter was first introduced, I thought, “Yeah! This novel might be going somewhere with him and his secrets and ladeeda!” However, it definitely went somewhere. Just nowhere necessarily exciting. Sure, there were some parts where I was glued to my book, waiting to see what happened next, but overall it was kind of dull for me. I mean, maybe it wasn’t descriptive enough in describing the Ticks or maybe I didn’t feel scared enough for the characters. I’m not sure. Maybe it was because that in an almost 450 page novel, not all too much happens. The ending however, was interesting, not sure where the author is going to go with that in the second novel. On the plus side I didn’t find the main character annoying. So it wasn’t THAT agonizing to read. It was just okay is all. If you’re looking for a new take on vampires, this might be the book for you. Otherwise, this may not be your cup of tea. I guess I’ll read the next book and see what happens.

My Rating
My Rating

Book Review #30: Rotters by Daniel Kraus

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Grave-robbing. What kind of monster would do such a thing? It’s true that Leonardo da Vinci did it, Shakespeare wrote about it, and the resurrection men of nineteenth-century Scotland practically made it an art. But none of this matters to Joey Crouch, a sixteen-year-old straight-A student living in Chicago with his single mom. For the most part, Joey’s life is about playing the trumpet and avoiding the daily humiliations of high school.

Everything changes when Joey’s mother dies in a tragic accident and he is sent to rural Iowa to live with the father he has never known, a strange, solitary man with unimaginable secrets. At first, Joey’s father wants nothing to do with him, but once father and son come to terms with each other, Joey’s life takes a turn both macabre and exhilarating.

Daniel Kraus’s masterful plotting and unforgettable characters make Rotters a moving, terrifying, and unconventional epic about fathers and sons, complex family ties, taboos, and the ever-present specter of mortality.”

If you are a horror buff or you like good writing and don’t mind the horror aspect of this novel then you need to read it. What can I say more? This novel was probably one of the best books I have read. It wasn’t perfect, but it was perfect in the way the story went and played out.

Joey was completely relateable and his personality changes quite a bit in the novel (for better and for worse), but you still consider him to be a likable character.

Everything was described so gorgeously–especially the horrific bits–and I wanted to eat it all up, (call me Hannibal Lecter).

What I really liked was the things that happened to Joey. Things just got worse and more bleak for him as the novel went on and I loved it. Call me a sadistic bastard all you want, but I found this to be one of the great factors of the novel. Kraus, like many authors, likes to put their characters through hell.

Overall, this novel was great and I would like to see more from Daniel Kraus.

My Rating
My Rating

Book Review #29: Orange Is The New Black by Piper Kerman

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With a career, a boyfriend, and a loving family, Piper Kerman barely resembles the reckless young woman who delivered a suitcase of drug money ten years before. But that past has caught up with her. Convicted and sentenced to fifteen months at the infamous federal correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut, the well-heeled Smith College alumna is now inmate number #11187-424–one of the millions of people who disappear “down the rabbit hole” of the American penal system. From her first strip search to her final release, Kerman learns to navigate this strange world with its strictly enforced codes of behavior and arbitrary rules. She meets women from all walks of life who surprise her with small tokens of generosity, hard words of wisdom, and simple acts of acceptance. Heartbreaking, hilarious, and at times enraging, Kerman’s story offers a rare look into the lives of women in prison–why it is we lock so many away and what happens to them when they’re there.

This novel is only the second adult memoir I have ever read and it gives a bit of improvement from the last one which you can read the review I gave for it here.

I found this novel really inviting and Kerman really relatable. At times this novel was a bit stale, as nothing much really happens, however I found her daily life in prison fascinating. The friendships she made in this novel were very dear to her and as a reader I could tell this wasn’t going to a be a novel about the oddities and atrocities of prison in America. This novel was about women and their relationships.

Now, I don’t mean to say I want to go commit a crime and jump into prison just to have close and sincere relationships with women of all ages, however it seems like a good way to do it. Just kidding… but I wish I could be close with someone like that.

I would recommend this book to anyone who has seen the series and recognizes the fact that it is also about women and their relationships. I can also recommend this novel to anyone who wants to pick up a non-fiction novel and gain something from it.

Now, with this novel being adapted into a series I can’t help as reader to look at differences between the novel and acclaimed Netflix Original Series (That people should watch! Because its awesomely good and I mean…Laverne Cox. ‘Nuff said). Some of the more recognizable characters in the series like Red, Sofia, and Pennastucky were actually characters from the novel. Events obviously, were not all the same, but I was surprised the peeing incident was in the book.

In conclusion, watch the show, read the novel. ‘Tis good. No matter which way you swing. (Could that be a reference to Kerman’s stint as a lesbian? We just don’t know.)

My Rating
My Rating