Review: American Gods by Neil Gaiman

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Book Details:
Author: Neil Gaiman
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Pages: 541 c.
Released: February 5th 2013 (10th Anniversary Edition)
Goodreads Rating: 4.10

Goodreads summary:
Locked behind bars for three years, Shadow did his time, quietly waiting for the magic day when he could return to Eagle Point, Indiana. A man no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, all he wanted was to be with Laura, the wife he deeply loved, and start a new life.

But just days before his release, Laura and Shadow’s best friend are killed in an accident. With his life in pieces and nothing to keep him tethered, Shadow accepts a job from a beguiling stranger he meets on the way home, an enigmatic man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A trickster and a rogue, Wednesday seems to know more about Shadow than Shadow does himself.

Life as Wednesday’s bodyguard, driver, and errand boy is far more interesting and dangerous than Shadow ever imagined—it is a job that takes him on a dark and strange road trip and introduces him to a host of eccentric characters whose fates are mysteriously intertwined with his own.

Continue reading

Update: World (One Country) Traveller

Hello all! In case you were wondering about the lack of posts as of late I managed to find a cheap last minute flight to Croatia for four days…so that’s where I am. When I’m back on Saturday I’m going to be writing another few reviews, an audiobook first impressions post, AND literary places I’ve been this month since, in the past week, I have been to TWO places from book adaptations (pictures will be included).
So yeah, that’s what has been happening recently. I was going to write a post here but then I realised I had no idea how to format anything on the iPad.
Here is a little sneak peek at what I’ve been up to:

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I’ve also been doing some more reading of The Maze Runner and I’m almost finished listening to City of Bones on audiobook…you know, on top of all the reading for my dissertation I’ve been doing.
What have you all been reading this week?

Dissertation: Adults and YA

Fellow book bloggers and book lovers, I am in need of some help.

I am currently working on my dissertation on Young Adult fiction and its adult readership and it would be great if you all could answer the following few questions in the comments and pass it around to other book lovers you know.

1. How old are you?
2. Do you read YA? Why or Why not?
3. How did you start reading YA?
4. Do you think YA books are marketed differently to other books? Expand

And that’s it! I know some of the questions might hold rather difficult and long answers but any help you can send my way will be greatly appreciated!

Thank you in advance and you all deserve a (cyber) cookie or two.

WWW Wednesdays (July 16 #1)

Saw this on a few blogs and decided to join in the fun. Hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

Here we go:

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Review: Will Grayson, Will Grayson by David Levithan and John Green

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Book Details:
Author: David Levithan & John Green
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: Dutton Children’s
Pages: 304 c.
Released: April 6th 2009
Goodreads Rating: 3.96

Goodreads summary:
One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two teens—both named Will Grayson—are about to cross paths. As their worlds collide and intertwine, the Will Graysons find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, building toward romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history’s most fabulous high school musical.

My Thoughts:
To be perfectly honest with you all when I first started reading this book I didn’t think I was going to like it. I was probably about 50-100 pages in and I wasn’t really feeling it, and then something happened and before I knew it the book was over. It’s like the characters and the story finally won me over and by the time I got to the end I didn’t was the story to finish.

I didn’t like Will Grayson at first (the first one we read). He was so set in his mind about things and very stubborn about doing anything that didn’t fall within his set of personal rules. Later on when he finally starts to open himself to a more Tiny type of thinking (stop worrying so much what other people think, date the girl etc.) I liked him so much more. When Will Grayson no. 1 and Tiny Cooper have their little…well big heart to heart – nothing involving Tiny could be considered little – in the dugout I felt my heart grow two sizes.

I enjoyed reading the second Will Grayson as well. I really felt horrible for him when he found out his secret online love ended up being his friend – I don’t even want to begin to imagine how much being catfished hurts. Seeing the growth in himself over the period of his story was beautiful – from denying his sexuality at the beginning to being able to come out to his mother and the rest of the school it’s all about the little steps towards a better, more accepting life.

But let’s be read here…even though the book is called Will Grayson, Will Grayson the story is about Tiny Cooper and I’m perfectly fine with that. I love Tiny. So much. I also envy him a little and his ability to so easily wear his heart on his sleeve. Sure you are more susceptible to being hurt but how do you live without living on the edge a bit. When I grow up I wouldn’t mind being a bit more like Tiny Cooper. And I think that is what this story is about; both Will Graysons feel the same way by the end of the book in one way or another.

One thing that annoyed me in the book was the lack of grammar from Will Grayson no. 2. I understand why it needed to be done, but it made me cringe every time I was reading it.

I don’t even know if any of this made sense, but I just had a lot of feelings about this book and I hope I managed to get my point across.

My Rating: 

On Goodreads I gave this a 5 because you can’t do half stars, but my rating is 4.5 out of 5. EVERYONE GO READ THIS IF YOU HAVEN’T.

Favourite Quotes:

“Maybe there’s something you’re afraid to say, or someone you’re afraid to love, or somewhere you’re afraid to go. It’s gonna hurt. It’s gonna hurt because it matters.”

“You like someone who can’t like you back because unrequited love can be survived in a way that once-requited love cannot. ”

“When things break, it’s not the actual breaking that prevents them from getting back together again. It’s because a little piece gets lost – the two remaining ends couldn’t fit together even if they wanted to. The whole shape has changed.”

“this is why we call people exes, I guess – because the paths that cross in the middle end up separating at the end. it’s too easy to see an X as a cross-out. it’s not, because there’s no way to cross out something like that. the X is a diagram of two paths.”

“maybe tonight you’re scared of falling, and maybe there’s somebody here or somewhere else you’re thinking about, worrying over, fretting over, trying to figure out if you want to fall, or how and when you’re gonna land, and i gotta tell you, friends, to stop thinking about the landing, because it’s all about falling.”

“i will admit there’s a certain degree of giving a fuck that goes into not giving a fuck. by saying you don’t care if the world falls apart, in some small way you’re saying you want it to stay together, on your terms.”

“That’s what the voices in your head are for, to get you through the silent parts.”

…it might have been easier to just put the whole damn book here.

Adaptation Report: Mockingjay Part One Second Teaser

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Before I start this (overly excited) blog post can we just take a minute to discuss how perfect the marketing team for this movie is? I mean, everything is perfect. Like I said in my previous post about the first teaser, they are making us members of the Capitol and we are eating it all up.

In the first teaser I was waiting for the signal breach from District 13, but of course it was too soon for that – but we got to see Peeta which was just as exhilarating. This time around Snow has, not only Peeta by his side, but everyone’s favourite rock star victor – Johanna Mason (and a whole bunch of peacekeepers).

This propaganda  piece was about the “unity” of the Districts, when the signal is interrupted by Beetee. Take a look at the second teaser in all its glory below (I know I’ve taken multiple looks):

“The Mockingjay lives!” OH YES SHE DOES!

I really have nothing but praise for the marketing team over at Lionsgate – they know the material, they know the audience, and they are just rolling with it. It’s perfect and everything we could possible want.

My hat’s off to you, marketing team.

The next promo is 100% going to be even better than this one. I really do think we are going to get Katniss in full Mockingjay attire – it’s the only way they can go now that the connection has been breached.

I don’t think I’ve been this excited for a movie in a long time, and this is probably due to how good Catching Fire was. The fact that Mockingjay is going to be two parts actually bodes well for the series because it can stretch out the story more as the last book was definitely rushed. This means MORE ACTION AND MORE DEVELOPMENT! AH! I just can’t wait.

Who is as excited as I am for the next teaser AND the movie release in November?

Review: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Book Details:
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Pages: 328 c.
Released: April 12th 2012
Goodreads Rating: 4.21

Goodreads summary:
Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.

Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

My thoughts:
This book was adorable – I really enjoyed the not super typical love story between Eleanor and Park. I get a big goofy grin whenever I think about it (be warned though, the book isn’t all sunshine and rainbows).

As I mentioned in my review of Fangirl, Rainbow Rowell really knows how to write characters. She knows how to make them so real, relatable and perfectly flawed that you forget you are reading about fictional characters. Eleanor and Park actually acted like their age, unlike in a lot of YA novels I’ve read.

I flew through this book because I constantly wanted to learn more about their developing relationship; to be part of their first experience with love. But also to find out about their lives when apart; who was writing on Eleanor’s books, will Park ever be able to stand out in the crowd and be different rather than staying in the shadows (both of which are answered in the book).

I think the only problem I had while reading it was the age gap – I felt old reading the book sometimes, but I guess in comparison to them I am quite a bit older so that only makes sense. It didn’t really change how I felt about the novel as a whole though, considering I still loved it.

I thought Eleanor’s character in particular was especially beautiful; one of my favourite characters in recent memory. I definitely preferred reading about her life than Park’s. It was heartbreaking and heart warming at the same time, and by the end of it you have to be happy that she made it out of the toxic environment that was her home – even if it meant leaving her siblings behind.

I liked the ending because it seemed really real. First loves don’t normally last, and for it to end the way it did was good…though a bit abrupt and awkward (which makes sense considering the circumstances). It wasn’t necessarily a break up, but it wasn’t a “stay together forever” thing either. They both knew what was happening.

This is definitely a book that I will pick up again and again to read and I bet every time I read it I will find something different to love about it.

My rating:
4 out of 5 stars. I would definitely recommend this book to people (in fact, I have). It’s a great quick read that has you totally invested in these kids relationship from start to finish.

Favourite quotes:
“Holding Eleanor’s hand was like holding a butterfly. Or a heartbeat. Like holding something complete, and completely alive.” 

“What are the chances you’d ever meet someone like that? he wondered. Someone you could love forever, someone who would forever love you back? And what did you do when that person was born half a world away? The math seemed impossible.”

“You saved me life, she tried to tell him. Not forever, not for good. Probably just temporarily. But you saved my life, and now I’m yours. The me that’s me right now is yours. Always.”