Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Book Talk - Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Greetings fellow earthlings! It's me, Unicorn. My friend recommended a book to me a few months back and a couple weeks ago, I finally read it! It's called Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, and it's another relatively dark book. This book is about a girl who committed suicide, but before she died, she recorded tapes explaining why she killed herself. Those tapes got sent around to everyone who was in some way responsible for her death. Then, a boy named Clay Jensen r
eceives the tapes; but he has no idea what he could have done that made Hannah want to kill herself. He was nothing but nice to her. So Clay listens to all of the tapes, traveling around the town to places Hannah mentions on them, and what he hears changes the way he thinks forever. (As always, this book talk will contain spoilers, but there will be a warning first.)

This book seems very dark and frightening, but it's actually quite good, and I liked it. I loved the little pictures of what buttons Clay presses, and I just think that added a lot of character to the book. I loved how it was a mixture of the tapes playing and Clay's narration. It made it very interesting how he went to the actual places Hannah mentioned, even though I kind of failed to see in what way it advanced the story. Why would Hannah send the people listening to the tapes to a park, for example? Yes, things happened there. But it didn't really do anything. It didn't seem to make Clay or myself understand her story any better. I think it was mainly just so there was something going on in the background, other than just Hannah's talking. But I did think the places were well described; even the old Blue Spot Liquor sounded so amazing that I wanted to be there. Even though it was described as old and shabby, I just want to see it. The descriptions in this book are overall well written.

(SPOILERS AHEAD. SKIP THIS PARAGRAPH IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THE BOOK.) One thing I didn't like at all was: the summary on the back of the book led you to think that Cole was responsible for her death. That was mainly why I picked the book up from the library; I wanted to know what he had done. But it was nothing, which was slightly disappointing. He just had that 'butterfly effect' when he left her in the room that caused her to witness a crime. But he really did nothing bad.

This is a shorter book talk, reason being that I don't have too too much to say about this book. I liked it and found it interesting, and I also related to Hannah at times (by far not to the same extent, though) but it wasn't an absolutely life-changing experience when I read this. It was really good, but not outstanding. I'd probably give it 3.5 stars. (Maybe 3.) Which is not that bad!

Comment below your opinions of this book, or if you want to read it, or book recommendations, or just overall anything! Opinions, thoughts, constructive criticism, etc.! Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, 16 February 2016

The Chocolate Book Tag

Greetings fellow earthlings! It's me, Unicorn! Today, I'm doing a tag! This is the Chocolate Book Tag! And you can never really go wrong with chocolate. Actually, I like candy better than chocolate. Candy as in gummy bears and the like. (I am totally not off-topic, as you can see.)

1. Dark Chocolate - A book that covers a dark topic

I'm going to go with 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher, which is about suicide. It's a good book, but a lot darker than the books I usually read.

2. White Chocolate - Your favourite happy/humorous read

I don't read many happy or funny books. (That makes me sound very weird and dark now that I think about it.) The most up-beat book I've read in a while is probably Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon.

3. Milk Chocolate - A book with a lot of hype that you're dying to read

For this I picked The 5th Wave Series by Rick Yancey and the Throne Of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas. These are two series that a lot of my friends have read and loved, and I can't wait to read them. Ahh, I have so many books on my TBR list!

4. Chocolate with a Caramel Center - A book that makes you feel all gooey while you read it

Not much really. I don't get emotional when reading books, especially not sad. Sometimes I'm shocked but I never cry or feel all bubbly or anything. I don't know why, I just don't.

5. Wafer Free Kit Kat - A book that surprised you lately

I think I'll actually go with Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon again. I'm not a very big contemporary reader at all, but this book was really captivating, because of the interesting twist with the allergies. It really wasn't too bad! (I'm not going to lie; my favourite part was the illustrations. Picture books never get old!)

6. Snickers - A book that you are going nuts about

Right now that would probably be Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J. K. Rowling, which I finally, finally read! I'm so incredibly excited!

7. Hot Chocolate with Cream and Marshmallows - A book you turn to for a comfort read

This is hard. I hardly re-read books, but I really want to start. I think if I didn't have such a big TBR list, I'd probably re-read books I like much more often. But the book I'd most like to re-read for a comfort read is Divergent by Veronica Roth. It's just so amazing and action-packed and I totally love it! It's just nice to re-read something you read a long time ago and remember all the parts. I personally like the part with the muffin in Divergent. I don't know why. You can click here to read my Divergent Movie Sadness blog post, in which I talk about stuff like this. (What's your favourite scene from your favourite book? Comment it below, I'd love to know!)

I hope you liked this post! Comment below with what you would answer to these questions. Or just give your thoughts or opinions or book recommendations for me and Pegasus or just anything! Thanks for reading!



Greetings fellow earthlings! It's me, Unicorn. Before you think 'This is about the Divergent movie? Really? That was aaages ago," here's why I'm posting this now: Basically, a while ago I was thinking about great books where their movie adaptations just weren't great, and of course Divergent by Veronica Roth came to mind. (Before I start though, I am warning you that this has major spoilers that will ruin the book for you. Do not read this post if you haven't read the Divergent Series. You have been warned. But I absolutely encourage you to read the books, I'm sure you will love them just as much as I did. Which is a lot.) This is my favourite book of all time, and it made me love reading so much (though I did like reading before I read it.) There were just so many things that weren't included. Take these, for instance:
  • The muffin shooting part
  • The Dauntless initiate girl who fell when jumping from the train
  • The part of the test where she's on the bus
  • When Christina takes the flag in the game for herself
  • When Four has to turn on the Ferris Wheel to get Tris down
  • Edward and the butter knife (which I'm actually glad they didn't put)
  • Drunk Four (which I also don't mind that they left out)
The reason I would have liked these scenes (except the last two) to be in the movie is because I feel like the book was built on many key scenes that show how life in Dauntless works on a daily basis. I loved all these scenes so much and thought they were what made the book so special and memorable for me. The movie included very few of them. I also found that other things weren't in the movie that were very important in the books:
  • Marlene and Lynn weren't there at all
  • Uriah was barely in the movie
  • Christina and Will never really have a relationship (or at least, the movie barely ever shows them even talking to each other without Tris)
  • Peter and Molly never interact, though in the books she was kind of his sidekick
  • A few other characters were also missing
  • None of the characters really interacted among themselves; most of the time they talked almost exclusively with Tris (and, if Tris was in the conversation too, then with her immediate friend group)
The characters in this movie made it so unique. I think that by taking away the characters, yes, they made the movie shorter, but they also took away one of the best parts, which was the different characters' relationships with each other. Tris has her immediate friend group of Will, Al, and Christina (later narrowed down to only Will and Christina, even later narrowed down to only Christina) and other than those people she never really talked to anyone. There was so little change in their relationships; there was rarely problems or tension with the people whom Tris was friends with. For instance, the capture the flag game in the book caused some tension between Tris and Christina because Christina took the win for herself. In the movie, that doesn't happen. I think it really helped define the characters that they didn't always perfectly get along and did things that the readers might not like them for. I think it added realism to the story. Nobody's ever perfect, and nobody's every completely evil. But the worst part was that the other, less important characters didn't ever interact among themselves. It was with Tris or not at all. But the ways that they had friends and enemies and acquaintances and all that was such an amazing part of the books. All the characters that were removed made the books special and enjoyable, but the movie took all of that out.

I had high expectations from this movie franchise, and I think they could have done really amazing things with it. The books were phenomenal and the movies really didn't live up to that. I think the reason the movies got so much attention and became so popular was because: a) All the readers had high hopes and had loved the books. b) The people who hadn't read the books thought they were great, most likely because they had no idea how much better the books were and how much the movies were missing.

But overall, this is an excellent example of why you shouldn't judge a book by its' movie. I think books are just usually better because there's much more time to describe people and their relationships with others, and I guess there just wasn't enough time to fit the complete story of Divergent into a movie, so a lot of key parts were removed. But honestly, a bunch of us Divergent fangirls honestly wouldn't mind sitting through a 3 hour movie if that meant it would be just as great as the book.

What did you think of the movies? Which did you like better; the movies or the books? Comment all your thoughts below! Thanks for reading!


Monday, 15 February 2016

Book Talk - Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J. K. Rowling

Greetings fellow earthlings! It's me, Unicorn. I've been reading a lot throughout January and
have actually already read several of the books on my 2016 reading list! One of those books is Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J. K. Rowling!!! I finally started this series! I am so so SO late to this train, I know. But at least I can now proudly say that I have read one of the books! (I'm planning to read all of them, of course.)

I'm sure most of you have read this book, but if not, I'll give you a short summary. Harry Potter is an orphan who has spent most of his life living with his aunt and uncle who love their son Dudley more than anything else in the world. However, you guessed it, they couldn't dislike Harry more. He sleeps in the cupboard under their stairs, that's how little they value him (their son Dudley even has his own playroom.) However, on his 11th birthday, Harry learns that his parents were very famous wizards, and that the scar on his forehead came from surviving an attack from the famous He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named. Harry then goes to Hogwarts, school of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where he is very famous and known as The Boy Who Lived. But just as he's getting settled in, he learns about mysterious things that are happening around Hogwarts. He investigates and learns that great dangers threaten him and all the other students; Harry has no choice but to put himself in great danger to save others. (There are great summaries on the internet that you can read. Written by professional people who write summaries. You know. Not me.)

I loveloveloveloveLOVED this book! It was so amazing! I'm really glad I started reading this series, because I would have missed out on an amazing series if I hadn't began reading this. I'm definitely going to finish this series. I loved the whole world they were in and all the ideas. I really liked that there were different houses and they all had points, and how there was a sorting hat and everything. I also love Quidditch and Hogwarts overall! There were so many details and amazing ideas and it was just overall fantastic. The world-building was so well done! I loved all the many different aspects of the world (the moving pictures and everything are so cool) and it was overall just epic. I normally don't read fantasy books with wizards, dragons, magic, etc. But when I read this, I was pleasantly surprised. I loved the characters and their stories and everything! I'm so excited to continue reading the series (I'm actually nearly done the second one when I'm writing this blog post!)

Here comes the most dreaded part of every book talk: the things I didn't like. Of course there are some - every book has pros and cons. In this book, I think so much time was used to describe Hogwarts and what was happening in a broader timespan ('the winter came and the lake froze,' etc.) that there wasn't really much dialogue. I loved the characters so much, though, and I think more dialogue would have helped bring them to life a little more (not that that didn't happen.) I also think the book took quite a while to get to the actual adventure part. Most of it was describing Hogwarts and Harry's journey there. But that wasn't bad either, to be honest, because I really loved Hogwarts and liked learning about it and everything. It seems so fantastic! I want to go there!

I'm going to give this book 5 stars. It was honestly phenomenal, and one of the best books I've read in a very long time. This might even be tied with my all time favourite book, Divergent. I'm so incredibly excited to finish the second one!

I also recently re-watched the movie of this book, and was amazed by the likeness. Lots of lines were exact quotes from the books, which is pretty great! I really loved both the book and the movie, and I would definitely recommend it to people of all ages.
Leave a comment below of what you thought of this book, or if you're planning to read it! (Book recommendations are also always much appreciated!) Thanks for reading!


Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Book Rant - 'Love' In Books

Greetings fellow earthlings! It's me, Unicorn. Today I wanted to do something I haven't really done before which is posting a rant about my feelings towards a book or certain type of book. In this case it's about something in books. Love.

Now, don't get me wrong, there's nothing bad about love in books overall (I personally am not a big fan of romance books, as you probably know, but hey, that's just my opinion). What I've seen a lot recently in YA fiction though is; a) the characters in teen romance novels always seem the same, and b) when there is love brought into a book with a different theme on the side, the love becomes unhealthy and the girl usually becomes completely dependent on the guy (he makes her complete and without him she wants to die.) These things annoy me a lot, so here comes a rant!

First of all, point A. To read this you must know, as said previously, that I am no fan of romance books. I've read a few and just not enjoyed them. They just aren't my thing. But I did read The Fault in Our Stars by John Green as well as Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon along with a few others (Fangirl too). I found that books that were solely romance books (unlike books like Divergent by Veronica Roth that have romance but are still largely sci-fi dystopian) usually had very similar characters. The characters always had their own 'cute' quirks that made them weird and were supposed to make them more likeable, funny and memorable. ("It's a metaphor.") I just found that all these characters were so similar and had personalities that were very much the same. There really isn't much variety.

Take Oli (is that how you spell it?) from Everything Everything and compare him to Gus from The Fault in Our Stars. I found that yes, they had different lives and different situations but they were both so similar and I kept on repeatedly noticing this as I read the books. There isn't much variety in love interests in YA romance. I find these characters are getting boring. But that might just be me. Maybe I'm the only one who's tired of this or who finds that the characters are similar at all. Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Next, point B. This one bothers me soooo much. There are so many books where there's a girl who's life is going pretty alright, you know, not really above average, but still fine. Then this boy comes in and their life is suddenly complete and perfect and all they want to do 24/7 is be with that person. Then, if the person ever leaves, they become an emotional disaster and are constantly unhappy and cry all day and basically just want to die without them. They see no point in life anymore except this one person. This annoys me. Women are always written in teen books as people who are weak and need a man to complete themselves. Can we get a book with a female protagonist where she doesn't fall in love, nor need a man? There are so many books that have a completely good plot and then the character falls in love and feels lost and hopeless without the person. Women should be able to be strong, independent characters. If the boy leaves or dies or disappears another way, then you shouldn't be devastated for the rest of your life! There are better things to do with your time! You aren't hopeless without him! You have friends and a life and better things to focus on! Ever noticed those aliens invading or that upcoming test that will determine your future or your school test that's upcoming that will determine if you fail or not? Oh yeah, THAT. I think characters really shouldn't be so dependent on men. We should show that women can be strong in fiction and everywhere in general, and don't need a man to complete them! I'm just sick of that. Your life can be complete and wonderful without a guy by your side. And I don't mean that romance books should end of course; plenty of people like them. I just think the girls in books shouldn't be depending on guys and have a completely miserable life without them. We need more independently strong girls in books!

Rant finished. This wasn't as long as I'd expected. I hope you liked and agreed with my rant! If not, that's great as well! Give us your thoughts down below in the comments! What annoys (or doesn't annoy) you about romance in books? Did you agree/disagree with my opinions? I'd lovelovelovelove to hear your thoughts and will be sure to respond!