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All posts for the month February, 2013

Reviews with a Mug Brownie: Matched by Allie Condie

Published February 18, 2013 by Britt

Actually a pickle. Close enough.

Plot: Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander’s face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate… until she sees Ky Markham’s face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it’s a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she’s destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can’t stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society’s infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

Uggghhh. Well, I’ve noticed that there is a significant lack of young adult novels on my blog, especially considering I am now 16 years old and that’s exactly what I should be reading, right? The main reason I don’t is because I take a very cynical approach to YA. General rules of thumb:

  • Boring teenage girl
  • Girl wants guy who is bad for her
  • Friendboy wants her too
  • She can’t decide
  • She stirs the pot in society since she matters so much
  • And then she goes with the bad guy.

And hey guess what? Matched followed the exact same rule of thumb plot. It’s another novel that’s shooting its arrows into the Hunger Games/dystopian kick. Just like there are people biting into the Twilight sparkly vampire thing. Most of the YA fiction nowadays is biting into a kick, and it’s all so poorly written, with the notable exceptions of those who set the trends to begin with. Even then, Twilight was bad, and Hunger Games was okay. Not great, but okay. Although, I don’t remember this happening with Harry Potter, or Percy Jackson. But then again, I was six when I started reading HP, and Percy Jackson is hard to pull off a spinoff without sounding exactly the same.

Okay, back on topic. Matched. I ended up getting this book for my birthday from Watson, and I’m sorry sweetie, but I have to tear into it. Where oh where do I begin? The caption is kind of misleading, since she had no idea the buddy Xander would come on there. She was freaking out anyway. And there was also some random artifacts, like an old compact, that seemed to have hardly any explanation besides it’s cool and belonged to my great grandmother. I don’t know why she chose a compact, it has no use in this universe, it’s just a thing.

There are also several mentions of several girls that just kind of… disappear. They’re unimportant, yet they still get mentioned and become a “What happened to the mouse?” scenario.

And while I was reading, I wanted to smack Cassia because the story should have ended around the eighth chapter. Yeah, you got what you wanted. You’re special. Oops, there was a mistake. No big deal. Go on with your life. That guy’s bad for you, no big deal. Move on. Be happy. NO. STOP. BE HAPPY WITH THE GUY YOU WANTED. STOP CREATING THIS STUPID UNNECESSARY LOVE TRIANGLE.

BUT NO. WE MUST FOLLOW THE COURSE OF STEREOTYPICAL TEENAGERS AND DISOBEY SOCIETY AND REBEL MAN. ROW ROW FIGHT DA POWAH.

Yes, these teenagers are given way too much power in these novels. Like they can honestly make a difference, especially given how stupid my generation is. Shut up, YA novels.

Also, the writing was bad. One thing I hate in novels is “I think I will do…” It doesn’t flow nicely in my head when it comes to teenagers. When I’m talking, or thinking, I use I’ll. I don’t use I will because it doesn’t sound good in my head. I just… ugh, who lets these people write? I need to write an angry letter to some editors. Grrrr.

And weird names are weird. Ky? Cassia? Xander? Really? I’m seeing a significant amount of C names pop up with main characters in these novels.

One star. TO THE SEWERS WITH MOST YOUNG ADULT FICTION.

Coming up next: Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger. I need to go back to reading that won’t make me lose brain cells.

Reviews with a Mug Brownie: Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

Published February 17, 2013 by Britt

Plot: Fat Charlie Nancy’s normal life ended the moment his father dropped dead on a Florida karaoke stage. Charlie didn’t know his dad was a god. And he never knew he had a brother.

Now brother Spider’s on his doorstep—about to make Fat Charlie’s life more interesting . . . and a lot more dangerous.

Hello, world! I am back and reviewing things. Here, have this.

So, this book is supposedly a sequel to the shenanigans that went down in American GodsI wouldn’t necessarily call it a sequel per se. More like a book that goes down in the same universe as American Gods but has all new characters except for Mr. Nancy, and even then he isn’t really the prime focus of the book because he kind of died. To use an analogy I’ve sort of used before, it’s like how Rick Riordan’s Kane Chronicles are set in the same universe as Percy Jackson. I hate using this analogy though, because Neil Gaiman’s writing is so different and the plot is different than  Percy Jackson. It’s like saying Battle Royale is Japanese Hunger Games because they are two VERY different entities, but you really don’t know how else to swing the person you’re trying to get to read the book and it’s just so frustrating.

Okay, back on topic. I liked this book much better than I liked its prequel. It had a plot that was easy to follow, and the characters were still a very interesting crew, and it was just a good good plot. But here’s the thing, I liked how in American Gods he used a complicated plot. It’s like he dumbed down his story for this one. While it was a good plot, and it was certainly less mature than its predecessor and more of just a silly whim. Spider is a great character, and he had an interesting backstory, but still they were more of a comedy than a fantasy novel with twists and turns.

But it certainly did have laughs, I’ll give it that. The beginning especially, considering how Fat Charlie showed up, even spoke, at the wrong funeral. Oops.

One thing I commented on in my American Gods were the short stories he just kind of slipped in there. This had a little bit of that in there too, but I understood their relevance here. These were Anansi stories rather than just some random characters from the past that didn’t seem all that relevant.

Overall, I liked the book. Good laughs, good plot, and really no prior knowledge of American Gods needed to understand it. Maybe it could have been a lot more twisty, but still very good.

Four and a half stars.

Coming Up: Matched by Allie Condie.

Time to start bringing in some YA in!

Birthdays!!!

Published February 11, 2013 by Britt

Dang my hair looks hot.

So, if any of you at all have been paying attention to the sidebar widget, you all would have seen that hey, I had a birthday on the 12th. HAPPY BIRTHDAY EVE TO ME!!!

And now I must discuss all of the cool and fun things I did last Saturday that may be considered THE BEST PARTY I HAD IN THE HISTORY OF EVER. That at least was general consensus.

I have two sets of friends that hadn’t really met each other before, plus a couple of stragglers who hadn’t really met anyone. So, with this fantabulous party of the century, I finally had an opportunity to introduce them. I knew they would love each other, and I was so super excited to see that.

I was correct in my assumptions. We talked, played cards, did a theater game similar to Whose Line is it Anyway, and played a bunch of games in the dark while my parents were locked up in their bedroom watching the Big Bang Theory. I threw the Gremlin out of the house and she chilled with some family friends.

I made off well as far as presents go. Handheld dry erase board, Adventure Time poster, BOOKS!, a Barbie Doll in reference to my The Most Popular Girls in School jokes (Think Mean Girls meets Robot Chicken. And Barbies), a sonic screwdriver, dry erase crayons, new phone case, jar of glitter earrings, a hug, a unicorn necklace, gift cards, and a song written by my friend because they are cool.

The board may be my new BFF because I am using it for books and blog post ideas. It’s also easily erasable, which is good. I decorated the back with stickers some college in Baltimore sent me. They say “Go Dawgs!” so I can sound like Randy Jackson. Also, DRY ERASE CRAYONS.

So yeah. Tomorrow is my real birthday. When I’m done partying with the family I’m going to put up a blog post that’s been sitting in my drafts about social networks and how much they suck. I’m having fun with life. Woohoo.

Reviews with a Mug Brownie: Rat Race

Published February 5, 2013 by Britt

From Wikipedia

Plot: An all-star comedy cast brings laughs from start to finish when a casino tycoon gives six money-crazed contestants the chance to win $2 million in a race from Las Vegas to New Mexico. Who will win this dash for cash is anybody’s guess, but one thing is for sure- it’s going to be a hilarious ride.

From the back of the DVD.

My turn!!! My mom loves this movie. It’s one of her favorites of all time and she was upset I hadn’t seen it. So she forced me to watch it.

And it was really, really funny. Everyone raves about The Hangover, which I kind of thought was stupid (I prefer Pitch Perfect and 21 Jump Street), and this was funnier than that. The stuff they do is so out there but just so great that I seriously just couldn’t handle it. You have Whoopi Goldberg, who should have bought a squirrel, Cuba Gooding Jr. driving a bus full of I Love Lucy cosplayers, Breckin Meyer learning never to cheat on a helicopter pilot, then Seth Green bopping around and wrecking cars left and right, Jon Lovitz getting stuck with Nazis, and Rowan Atkinson being… Rowan Atkinson.

There’s one thing about movies like this is that a basic plot like a road trip movie can go many different strange places and can end up as stupid/cliche or hysterical.  This was one of those movies, and the things they did with it were so creative and ridiculous to the point where it really was a good movie. I never saw anything coming until it actually was happening then and there. Some of the jokes were in poor taste, but a lot of the funniest ones are.

Also, Smashmouth.

Overall, very good movie, these guys are great.

Five stars.

Short review tonight… I’m distracted. XD And last review from the string of reviews I’ve done the past few days… I have stories!!!

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