Sunday, September 4, 2016

August in Review

August is gone. AUGUST IS GONE, PEOPLE! How are we already on our 9th month of 2016? And why has this whole year been such a massive dumpster fire? But as we leave the scorching months of summer for the (for Floridians) equally scorching months of Autumn, hope is in the air that this year will STOP IT RIGHT NOW OR I WILL TURN THIS CAR AROUND. 

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. 6/10.When I read SIX OF CROWS by Bardugo a few months ago, I became an instant Bardugo-dite--a fan for life. I was so eager to jump back into the world of Grishas, so I did. With the first book in the Grisha Trilogy, SHADOW AND BONE.

While Bardugo clearly realized more of her full potential in SoC, SaB was okay. I finished it in a day. I'm jumping at the chance to get my hands on SEIGE AND STORM--but I can't figure out why.
Aside from the imaginative setting and refreshingly unique take on Russian folklore and culture, there was nothing about this book that I LOVED. But also nothing I hated.
I didn't particularly like the MC, Alina. In fact, I didn't particularly like anyone in the story. There wasn't really any character that I identified with or felt myself rooting for. None of them really stood out. Maybe because, for a huge chunk of the novel, the story revolved around being beautiful and the vanities of the Little Palace and the Grisha in general. It started to feel a little too... catty. Too typical in it's "plain girl is mean girled, gets makeover, becomes hawt, is still super boring and uncomplicated but everyone falls in love with her anyways because now she iz hawt." The story lost a lot of depth as soon as Alina started admitting how beautiful she was. *eye roll* 

But Bardugo's writing style is so fluid and enjoyable. Even if I wasn't totally buying what she was writing about, I was flying through this book because of how she writes about it. Her style is clear and concise, and she balances exposition and description with action and dialogue VERY well. There's something to be said about a story that is enjoyable to actually READ. As in the syntax and tone and flow, rather than the plot and characters.


Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. 6/10

Those playwriting classes I took in college? Totally worth it. If for nothing other than the fact that I could dive into this and not be totally thrown off by the stageplay format. I can absolutely understand why a lot of people struggled with it. Prose fiction and stageplays are two VERY different creatures. And for the poor souls who didn't listen to the millions of people (including Rowling herself) screaming at the top of their lungs, "THIS IS NOT A BOOK, IT'S A PLAY! THIS IS NOT A BOOK, IT'S A PLAY!" they didn't stand a chance.

Formatting aside, you could tell very quickly that Rowling didn't have much to do with this other than lending her name as the headliner on the cover. It felt more like some strange version of Harry Potter fanfiction. And while I appreciated the depth of the story and how realistic the writers tried to make it (Harry not being the wonderful father we all thought he would be, Ron and Hermione in a very normal, uninspired marriage), it had very little of the magic that draws one (that drew millions and millions) to the series.

I must've been cursed this month to read books that had, like, NO likable characters, because, damn it, it happened again. Pretty much every character in this play is a bit of a dick. Aside from Scorpius. He was cute. And his crush on Rose was adorable.

But I'm not convinced Tiffany and Thorne have ever actually spent time around adolescent boys. Their voices were SO random and inauthentic that I was actually laughing out loud sometimes at the absurdity of their dialogue. They were quite obviously young boys written by older men who forgot what it was like to be a kid. EVERYONE felt like a strange caricature of themselves. OOC (out of character) alert!

As a novel, in Rowling's expert hands, this story might've been what we all hoped it would be. But it had only the barest traces of the Potterverse we all know and love, and while it was an interesting addition to the series, it felt wholly unneeded and like a concession on Rowling's part to let someone beat her laid-to-rest series with a stick.

Star Trek: Beyond: 6/10. Holy deja vu, Batman. Haven't we seen this before? Don't get me wrong, two hours of Chris Pine is never a waste, but this felt a bit like a cookie cutter movie. Ship blows up, oh no! Something happens to crew, oh no! Something from the Federation's past comes back to bite them in the ass? OH NO! It was good, I still enjoyed it, but sadly, it brought nothing new to the table.

Suicide Squad: 4/10. I don't wanna talk about it... *shakes fist at Warner Brothers* *curls up into a ball*

Side note** I made bread from scratch. It was a solid 7/10. I AM A DOMESTIC GODDESS! *googles how to boil an egg*

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

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