Sunday, May 1, 2016

April in Review

So, my favorite thing about April is... EARTH DAY! Though I can't say I enjoy the irony of celebrating the planet that sustains us only one day a year, it's still a wonderful chance to give back to the planet and reflect on the sort of impact you have on it. If you didn't get a chance to give back or want to understand why doing so is important, watch the movie Racing Extinction. It's a serious eye opener. But prepare yourself for some feels.    

This April I participated in Camp NaNoWriMo (see this post for more info) and, HUZZAH, was successful...-ish in meeting my (meager) word goals for my new WIP. Only thousands upon thousands upon thousands of words to go! *cries internally* 

It's also been an okay-decent month for my consumer heart! Finished two games in a week (not bragging, it's a shameful reflection of how much free-time I have, meh), saw some movies, and read some books. Without further ado, here's my April in review: 

Winter (The Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer

So, I have a few issues with Winter

1. I couldn't help but shake the feeling that a lot of this book was filler to make it longer. I have NEVER read such a long YA novel before. There was a whole lot of recapping in all the wrong places and I found myself skimming through much of the book (mostly slipping entire pages at times). I NEVER skim. I FROWN upon skimming! How DARE I SKIM? 

2. And then there was my realization that Wolf and Scarlet were completely useless characters in terms of affecting the plot. Literally NOTHING would change if their characters were removed. 

3. And then there's that moment when it becomes the Hunger Games. Poor people live in districts sectors where they do hard manual labor so the rich and extravagantly dressed people of the Capital Artemesia can live their luxurious lives. Teenage girls arrives, becomes the "face of the revolution," leads poor people in a rebellion against rich people. Love interest is captured, used as an unwilling voice against teen girl's uprising, underdogs triumph anyways, governing ruler is killed. The end. Sound familiar? Suzanne Coll--er, Marissa Meyer tried, unsuccessfully, to throw in some kind of political theme that just did not work against all the deeper themes  so successfully established in the previous books. The revolution became the focus in a Hunger Games-esque move that made me wonder whether this dark turn had been a poor suggestion made by an editor and not Meyer's instinctual course of plot. And I would've much preferred them to use guerrilla tactics, have a face-off at the end, and then have the entirety of Luna's people (poor and court alike) betray the psychotic queen who mistakenly thought she was loved and supported by the people she oppressed.

4. The lack of focus on Winter, the TITLE character of the book. Every book before had been centered around the title character, with a wonderful balance of moments that continued to tie the other characters into the plot and to each other. Not the case in this one. And Winter and Jacin were such deliciously wonderful characters that I feel we were horribly shortchanged by the imbalance of time given to them.

That being said, not once did I consider putting the book down. Which says something I suppose! The series has made me a definite fan of Meyer's writing. I'll await the release of her next book, Heartless, with baited breath!

Vicious by V.E. Schwab. 
This was my first book by Schwab, though she's been on my reading radar for some time. And I'm SO GLAD I finally sat down with one of her stories because it's made me incredibly eager to get ahold of the rest! The way in which Vicious' story was told is very unique, with seamless transitions from past to present throughout the book. The time shifts were never jolting and really added to the pace of the book.
I really enjoyed her fresh take on "superheroes" and "supervillains" (called EOs/Extra-Ordinaries) and how they get their powers. Many summaries and reviews boast the book's "moral ambiguity," the weight of which I never really felt as it seemed obvious who were the bad guys and who were the good (both MCs are sociopaths really, which made for a disturbingly fun read). It had a Frankenstein (though someone else has said X-Men) meets Count of Monte Cristo feel to it and I couldn't put it down. Really looking forward to reading Schwab's other books!


Infamous: Second Son (PS4): 6/10. In which a sassy Pete Wentz takes Seattle by storm--er--smoke. Lackluster character and story building. But clever Banksy-ish tags that you get to spray paint around the city.

Shadow of Mordor (PS4): 9/10. I'm a huge Tolkien fan, but have come to realize how little I know about the lore of Middle-earth outside of the books. Shadow of Mordor DEFINITELY filled in many of those gaps in my knowledge and understanding in a very immersive way. While the learning curve had me frustrated at first, once I got the hang of things (and changed the skin to female character and badass, Lithariel) I immensely enjoyed the game! It was also extremely satisfying to see the whole of the Orc army under my wraith-y control. Mwahaha >:)  

Jungle Book: 6/10. TORN. FEELINGS. OPINIONS. TORN IN HALF. On one hand I enjoyed it. Was a little trip down memory lane, but that lane just happened to intersect disappointment avenue. A dark plot, voice casting that missed the mark (Bill/Scar/Walken), and some painfully slow scenes took away from the greater moments. Will now go watch the '67 version to make all right with the world again.

~Be mindful of the things that precious time is spent on.~


  1. Your thoughts on WINTER and mine are almost exactly similar! CRESS was so perfect at almost effortlessly juggling all the plotlines without ever sacrificing CRESS herself. I felt like WINTER tripped over backward trying to follow some vague outline from the original story, but got too tied up in all of the loose ends and characters and new themes etc etc etc to really shine. However, it was a massive task, and I don't envy Meyer...

    1. I'm so glad I wasn't the only one who felt that way!! I was just totally baffled by the direction she chose to go in >_< You could feel in the writing how overwhelmed she was by trying to tie all those narratives back together. I imagine she needed a major vacation after finishing that final draft, haha!