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Line Catchers (2)

Today it’s my turn to take the proverbial wheel and run Line Catchers for the week. In case you missed Tally’s post last week, Line Catchers is where we pick a quote from wherever catches our eye, make it pretty (though Tally’s much better at that than I am) and post it with a quick little explanation/analysis. We post them on Sundays and they’re pretty awesome (or they will be when we have a larger sample set).

My Line Catcher for the day is a quote I find both comforting and scary, but overall I think it’s a pretty peaceful phrase.

Line_Catchers_2

Since hearing this quote for the first time on the internet I’ve learned that it comes from the movie “Men In Black” which I haven’t actually seen, which I know is probably bad because I might be taking this quote WAY out of context, but I’m going to risk it because I really love this thought.

I’d mostly like to focus on the first two lines and the last line, because I think there are many other things we’re going to discover in our time than the rest of the quote limits this idea to. In fact, I’ve made a second version that may be even more out of context, but I’m really trying to illustrate my point.

line_catchers_2.2

I’m one of those nerds who adores science and I’m pretty up on current scientifically accepted facts (I’ve got that the earth goes round the sun and that humans weren’t actually gorillas, but shared a common ancestor, and so on), so I would expect to be completely terrified by the though of something huge the entire human race has missed, but I also really love scientific discovery and how we aren’t done learning about our universe or those beyond, how there are still mysteries all around us. And I think this quote, though I’m pretty sure it’s from a dude trying to explain to someone else that there are alien squid things hanging out all over the planet (or something like that), explains how the things we accept as cold fact may be completely off base. And though the thought is unsettling, I like it.

Happy Sunday,
Rosey

Review: The Adversary by Erin M. Evans

the adversaryTitle: The Adversary
Author: Erin M. Evans
Pages: 352 (Ebook)
Rating: 2.5/5

A bit late of a review, I received a copy from Netgalley for review.

In the 3rd book of the multi-author SUNDERING series kicked off by New York Times best-selling author R.A. Salvatore, the award-winning Erin M. Evans throws her signature character Farideh into a maelstrom of devilish politics and magical intrigue. Captured by Netherese agents and locked away in a prison camp, Farideh quickly discovers her fellow prisoners are not simply enemies of Netheril, but people known as Chosen who possess hidden powers, powers that Netheril is eager to exploit—or destroy. As Farideh’s friends and sister race across the landscape on a desperate rescue mission, Farideh is drawn deeper into the mystery of the Netherese plot alongside two undercover Harper agents. But will her closest ally turn out to be an adversary from her past?

I’m starting to realize why these authors are the ones chosen to take part of the Sundering series. They are *brilliant*. Evans had my attention from the start, I didn’t know if i would enjoy this one, mostly because I wasn’t sure what to expect. Not knowing who the cast of characters were, I kind of stumbled around lost for a good long while in the beginning which made it hard to sit down for a continuous read. Once I got a grip on the who’s and what’s I think I started to enjoy myself.

Then the middle hit. I had to put it down until I had a chance to sit down and plow through it in one sitting just so I could get it done with. The plot slowed down to a crawl as all the characters struggled internally and while I got a great glimpse to their relationships, it was really hard to not just skim through after a while.On the other hand, the characters! I just loved each and everyone. Most of the characters I had fun reading weren’t human and it was interesting expanding my knowledge of the Forgotten Realms. One particular favorite was Mehen, the twins’ adopted father, a dragonborn. Wish I could have read more about him! The end had some lovely fights and Farideh stole the show. I enjoyed it much more than the rest of the book.

If you’re looking for an author with solid characterization skills and an ability to bring a fantasy world to you completely Evans is the one. This was a decent introduction to her but maybe I would have enjoyed it more if I had picked up her other books first. Perhaps in a different mind frame I could have enjoyed this story better. I’m not sure. Have you read it or any of the Sundering books so far?

Happy reading
~Tally

Flashback! A new feature

As we come back from our break it seems like everyone’s unveiling new features (have you heard about Line Catchers?), and I’m not one to argue. With this, I bring you Flashback! It’s basically exactly what you’d expect from the name: I head back to the middle readers and review a book I loved back when I read absome lighter topics (because nobody wants to hear me review The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest again (although there’s a fascinating biography of Stieg Larsson written by his lifepartner Eva Gabrielsson that I’d kind of like to reivew)). It could take off, it could sink dismally, but I think I’ll give it a try. My first flashback: Double Identity by Margaret Peterson Haddix.

Oh, and did I forget to mention the fun part? I’m not allowed to read any synopses, selections from the book, reviews, blurbs, etcetera for the first half of the review. The only thing I get to look at is the cover. Then I do my research (aka I read all or part of the book) and we see how bad my memory is.

I read Double Identity in fifth grade, and I really loved it. A lot. A few years ago I was at a bookstore and saw it used (I’ve mentioned previously that I have a habit of collecting books I liked when I was little *cough*theres’s a reason I have storage underneath my bed *cough*) and it’s been living in my house ever since. I reread it a while back, but it’s still been about three years since I last had a refresher.

[SPOILERS] but not necessarily correct spoilers:

As far as I can remember, main character Whoseit (no I don’t remember her name… Brittany? Elizabeth? Hailey?) has lived a life full of normalcy. Sure, her parents are weird and overprotective, but everyone’s are, and sure, they’re kinda stuck in the past, but that’s no reason to worry, right? Whoseit has a thing for peach flavored instant oatmeal (a surprisingly important part of the book), and really loves swimming.

One day nearing her twelfth (is it? Or sixteenth? I don’t know) birthday, Whoseit’s mom loses her mind. Her dad whisks away his wife and daughter in a car where he got the electric window controls switched out for the roller kind (also important), and leaves Whoseit in the hands of an aunt and adultish cousin (Jordan?) who are pretty weird. They treat Whoseit like someone very fragile and spend a lot of time looking like they’ve seen a ghost. As Whoseit settles in at her new home (by the way, where are her parents? She tries not to think about that), she realizes that it’s not just her eccentric family members. The whole town turns pale and wobbly when Whoseit enters the scene (she’s basically the antiKesha, the party always stops when she walks in), but nobody explains anything to her. As she realizes more and more that there’s something big she hasn’t been let in on, papa Whoseit sends a perplexing package full of cash and identification papers (I think).

(About here is where things go fuzzy for me, so hold on to your hats) It soon comes out that Whoseit is her parent’s second draft at raising children. The first was killed in a car crash around her twelfth (we’re going with twelfth) birthday and, get this, Whoseit is that girl’s clone. As hard as the parents tried to replicate exactly Whoseit 1.0’s childhood and upbringing, they kept getting overprotective of their daughter (they knew what was going to happen next, and sometimes they didn’t want that thing to happen), and ended up with, in Whoseit 2.0’s opinion, an inferior second choice.

After that discovery things sort of blew up and there was an evil scientist running around trying to catch Whoseit and figure out how to clone people but everything worked out well and Whoseit made it past the date of Whoseit 1.0’s death, which meant she was finally living her own life. The end. Good book.

Major apologies to anyone I might’ve offended with that one (really though, sorry). Let’s see how well I did.

First off, main character’s name is Bethany, not Whoseit. Secondly, it’s Bethany’s thirteenth birthday, not twelfth (though I was surprisingly close). Third, I was pretty close to getting Bethany 1.0’s name, Elizabeth, but I kind of thought both girls had the same name. But still. I was close. The evil scientist I remembered was actually someone who’d paid Bethany’s dad to clone him, then got caught embezzling from his science company and put in jail, so Bethany’s dad just cloned Elizabeth. The dude just wanted to know what happened to his clone. Cousin’s name: Joss, not Jordan. Indeed, Bethany’s father does send her an envelope full of cash and birth certificates, which kind of tips her off that there’s a little more to the story than she expected. All in all though, I did better than I had expected.

Quite honestly, rereading Double Identity was not what I’d hoped, but I guess that’s to be expected. I’ve grown a lot as a reader and a person (not to mention I’ve spent countless hours analyzing plotlines and symbols and all that literary stuff so I’m a little bit of a snob where I wasn’t when I was still in elementary school). It was kind of a blast from the past, which I find worthwhile. Also, Double Identity was a pretty solid middle reader. I’d give it 3/5 stars.

Cheers,
Rosey

Line Catchers (1)

Book quotes abound and as readers we all have our favorites. This is where Line Catchers comes in, where we hope to bring you some of our favorite lines from books, movies, or songs we enjoy. I’m excited to bring you some quotes I like and maybe you’ll learn a little bit about me too in the process!

night circus quote

I really love this quote so very much (in fact, I’ve shared it before but never a bad thing to share something you love twice, right?). I started writing novel length stories when I was fifteen and its something I enjoy doing. It’s not always easy business, any writer will tell you that so these are some words I look to when things are going slow. As a writer, this is my goal, to bring something to the reader that will stay with them long after they have finished reading. Erin Morgenstern is such a fantastic writer, her voice swirls around elegantly and it’s pure magic. I loved the THE NIGHT CIRCUS and its a story that’s stayed with me so I definitely recommend you check it out. It has one of the most amazing circuses you’ll ever attend, trust me. So even if you aren’t a writer, have a few lovely words to start your week.

Till next time!
Tally

Review: Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee

ophelia and the marvelous boyTitle: Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy
Author: Karen Foxlee
Pages: 240 (Ebook)
Rating: 3/5

I received a copy from Netgalley for review. This book is coming out on January 28th, so you can pick it up quite soon too!

Unlikely heroine Ophelia Jane Worthington-Whittard doesn’t believe in anything that can’t be proven by science. She and her sister Alice are still grieving for their dead mother when their father takes a job in a strange museum in a city where it always snows. On her very first day in the museum Ophelia discovers a boy locked away in a long forgotten room. He is a prisoner of Her Majesty the Snow Queen. And he has been waiting for Ophelia’s help.

As Ophelia embarks on an incredible journey to rescue the boy everything that she believes will be tested. Along the way she learns more and more about the boy’s own remarkable journey to reach her and save the world.

A story within a story, this a modern day fairytale is about the power of friendship, courage and love, and never ever giving up.

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy is a truly remarkable adventure that I for the most part enjoyed. I love museum settings and think that this is a story that both boys and girls can enjoy, especially as a read-out loud to a class story. In fact, I started out reading it out loud to a friend but ended up falling quiet and reading it to myself. Oops.

Ophelia was interesting, more so than the Marvelous Boy who I refuse to speak about for spoilerish reasons (also because I might end up yelling about a specific thing again. Which is a good thing, that means the author did good!). She meets him and refuses to believe in his fantastical stories about wizards and keys and the end of the world. I nearly wanted to smack him myself after he kept making Ophelia go after keys, it got a bit tedious. My favorite scene would have been Ophelia and the ghosts, that struck as the Snow Queen’s evilest of deeds. More so than the misery birds or the wolves, or that she wanted to kill a boy. The misery birds were pretty neat and scary, wish I could have seen more of them in the story.

It was a great read though I felt like the ending and the fight with the Snow Queen was rushed and slightly anticlimactic. The Snow Queen gave me the chills and I loved the flashbacks of Ophelia and her mother, but the other characters seemed to lack some character building. The ending came at a satisfying point even though I wanted it to continue for just a bit longer so I could get a few remaining questions answered! Overall though, I was happy to have picked this up and would definitely recommend it to any youngster or young of heart.

Stay warm!
~Tally

Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

fangirlTitle: Fangirl
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Pages: 433 (Ebook)
Rating: 2/5

In Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan,
but for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for
every movie premiere. Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.
Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

The beginning started out fantastic! I’ve very hard to please with beginnings but I was engaged with the story and read it at every spare moment (and not so spare moments). The writing shone and I really liked Cather and her fanfiction, which, personally I found really fun to read. But then, somewhere around the halfway mark, I realized something but crossed my fingers in hopes that Rowell (I’ve not read any of her other books) would have some fantastic twist that I wasn’t expecting.

I was disappointed. I was *highly* agitated. It stopped. Pretty much left me wanting to throw the book (ebook format mind you, I didn’t dislike it enough to throw my tablet thank you very much) across the room. What. Is. This. It meandered from one problem to the next with little resolution and I just wanted to be done with it.
Clearly I am not in the majority, people have just raved about this book and I was optimistic through the first half. Cather’s cute attempts and non attempts at college life were entertaining as were the glimpses of her writer life. Problems with her father, her sister, romantic relationship, finishing her writing class semester assignment, her mother, it all piled up on her. It was frustrating to see her deal (or not deal) with her problems. I could hardly bring myself to care after a point. At the very least I hoped she’d pull herself together. I was glad that she and Levi could bond together over Simon Snow (oh why didn’t you give us an ending on that string Rowell?) and just reading out loud together. That might have been the sweetest part of their time together.

Still. No ending. I am not sure if I need to commend Rainbow Rowell for her genius or wail at her for the injustice of it all. The ending… (or lack thereof) My dear reader, I will let you decide on your own. I will not take back my two stars though. This just wasn’t my cup of coffee but it certainly doesn’t mean it didn’t have any entertainment value.

Cheers,

Tally

Uprising by Jessica Therrien

Uprising by Jessica Therrien Oppression sequel coverTitle: Uprising
Author: Jessica Therrien
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Pages: 386 (paperback)

As many of you know I really like Jessica Therrien and her work. I’ve previously reviewed Oppression, the first book in her Children of the Gods series, and we did a great author interview in celebration of her new (though not so new at the time of this review because I’ve had this post on my computer for the past month and a half and just hadn’t uploaded it in all that time. Also it took me like a month to get to reading it after I got the book) book Uprising. I’ve finally finished the highly anticipated novel, and, as usual, I have some things to say. First, a no-spoilers summary:

Elyse and William are still in hiding, both as a couple and as a race. The Descendants, a group of partial gods living amongst the humans of the world, are still constantly working to conceal their secret while hoping to avoid the wrath of the Descendant big brother, the Council. Elyse and William are personal interests of the violent and powerful Christoph, member and leader of the Council and intent on the possession of their heretofore nonexistent child, the new oracle of the century. As lovers Elyse and William try desperately to prevent the conception of their child, are they as safe as their protector would have them believe?

I really liked this book for the first 72% (I know the numbers because Jessica Therrien and publishers generously reduced the price for a while and I bought it on my kindle), and then there was a plot twist I very much disagree with. I will not detail it here, but it wasn’t so much “oh no cruel fictional world” and more “wow that was a trope destined to make the rest of this novel worse and predictable.” And it did make things, in my opinion, worse, but there was still some unpredictability, which I am very much grateful about. Jessica Therrien pulled through with the writing and [SPOILER] having been recently pregnant with her first child, provided one of the most accurate pregnancies I’ve seen written in paranormal YA in a long time (Twilight, I’m looking at you) [END SPOILER].
All in all, a solid followup to a phenomenal first.

Cheers,
Rosey