Sep. 7th, 2015

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Okay, so this is the second time I’ve read this book and I still love it!! My heart still raced, I sighed in anticipation and the end still got me railed up.
 
This is such a good book!
 
Okay, so the plot is this: Cassia Reyes has just turned 17 and in the Society that means she has to be Matched; a process where the Society calculates her perfect mate. In the beginning she is very excited, this is a new and important step in her future, and when it turns out that she’s Matched with her childhood friend, the smart and handsome Xander she couldn’t imagine a more perfect night. But later on when another face flashes across the Matching screen Cassia is forced to rethink her place in this “perfect” Society as she chooses the perfect Xander and the mysterious Ky.
 
Doesn’t that sound awesome?
 
As I started in my review of Crossed Condie is talented with words. The way she has Cassia describe things is interesting and vivid. And the way she has written this story makes it so hard to put the book down. You’re in suspense waiting for so many things to happen; you just have to know the answers! (Fun fact: When I first read this book I finished it in seven hours).
 
Since this whole book is told from Cassia’s perspective we don’t get that much deep detail about other characters; we see them how Cassia sees them. If she doesn’t like them then the reader doesn’t really like them either. Two examples I can think of right now are Xander and how you get a sense of how smart he is because Cassia (among other people) mention it multiple times. The other example is Ky (of course). The way Cassia talks about Ky’s balance, the way he moves and speaks; the reader falls in love with Ky because Cassia does.
 
This book is beautifully written and a real page turner that gets you excited for the second book (too bad the second book doesn’t live up to expectations.)
 
My Rating: 5/5

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Crossed, written by Ally Condie, is the second installment in the Matched Trilogy and continues the story of Cassia and Ky. It saddens me to say that this book did not live up to the expectations I had for it.
 
But before I talk about the problems I had with the book I’m going to talk the good things that are in the book.
 
I think that Condie is a pretty good word smith. The way she describes setting or how people are acting is vivid, though sometimes it can bog down the story. It was also nice to hear Ky’s voice in this book and learn more about his back story. The inclusion of new characters was a nice thought. I also like that the first page of this book is Dylan Thomas’ Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night.
 
Now for some of the problems I’ve found in this book.
 
Let’s start of with the plot. Part of me wants to say that there is no plot but I know that’s not true. There is a plot; a very slow-not-that-interesting plot.
 
The plot is basically Cassia and Ky trying to find each other in the Outer Provinces and then finding this rebellion. And that’s it. That is not enough to fill a 367 page book. Ky and Cassia don’t meet up until the book is more than half over! And nothing in that book is interesting enough to really hold the reader’s attention.
 
Now on to the characters! All of the new characters seem pretty hollow and one note. Though I was starting to like Vick. But over all they were lame, Eli added nothing and I got real tired of Indie really fast.
 
Also, Cassia and Ky have the exact same voice. Literally the exact same voice. Sometimes I forgot who was narrating the chapter.
 
So overall the book was boring and disappointing and the end made me mad. It was so hard to get through too.
 
My Rating: 2.5/5
 
This is honestly a little higher than I would actually give it because of the first book and because I don’t believe in skipping books in a series.

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So I finally finished the Matched Trilogy with the final book Reached and I have to say that I found this to be a satisfying ending to the series.
 
At this point in the story Cassia, Ky and Indie have joined The Rising and along with Xander they have infiltrated the Society ( along with other members of The Rising). With the introduction of The Plague in the Society, The Rising has taken over and everything seems to be going smoothly.
 
That is of course, until the discovery of a mutated Plague that rocks the public’s faith in The Rising. With people dying in drives it is up to Cassia, Ky and Xander to find a cure and save the day before everything they worked so hard for will fall apart.
 
Doesn’t that sound interesting? Of course it does.
 
The best part about this book, as with the previous books, is the character relationships and writing. Unlike Crossed I felt like Xander, Cassia and Ky all had different and unique voices– this could be because each of them have very different feeling about The Rising.
 
I’ve always said that Condie had a way with words. The way things are described is lovely and I never once felt like it was overbearing or confusion.
 
Each character was really put through the ringer during this book. Hy and Cassia are apart for a fair amount of the book which frustrated me to no end. They spent most of second book apart and now they’re apart again! I was so mad. But, the relationships are still amazing. The friendship between Indie and Ky was lovely and one of my favorite parts of the book.
 
But the character who goes through the most the most is Xander. It was great to watch him go from someone who was so sure of himself, in what he knew and his role in things, and The Rising to someone who is lost, unsure and lonely all while trying to do right by everyone is just…it really made me feel for the guy. I just wanted Xander to be happy!
 
I won’t say too much more in fear of spoiling things, just know that I did enjoy this book. Less than the first but definitely more than the second.
 
I think fans of the series would enjoy this book, as I said I find it to be a satisfying ending. The whole series in emotion driven, so I feel like some parts of the plot can be silly– I giggled more than once during reading– but at the end I’d say that this series is all about the character relations and romance which it delivers on.
 
My Rating: 3.5/5

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I recently finished The Maze Runner by James Dashner and…well, I liked it but I’ve still got some weird feels about it.
 
So, what’s this book about?
 
Well, the story follows a group, more specifically Thomas, who are trapped in a large maze. They remember nothing of their previous lives except for their first names. With the arrival of Thomas and the first girl Teresa things rapidly start to change and these kids only have a limited amount of time to solve the maze or circum to terrors of the maze.
 
I think this a very interesting idea. Hell, it’s part of the reason I picked up the book (the other reason is because Dylan O'Brien is starring in the movie). But an interesting isn’t the same as ‘good’ (which is a subjective term anyways).
 
I’ll start with the characters…the most important ones anyways. In this book we have Thomas, Teresa, Alby, Newt and Minho; a lot of characters to deal with but I think Dashner handles them very well. Even though some of the fake slang made me giggle and roll my eyes but these guys sound like teens. I believed that Dashner really caught their voices but still made them all distinct enough to be likable.
 
I honestly feel like Dashner did a better job with Thomas’ relations to the other boys than his relationship with Teresa. That whole thing just felt forced to me. I understand that they were supposed to have this connection that he was rediscovering but…it was just unnatural. Perhaps because it seemed so immediate as soon as she woke up. But I don’t know.
 
My favorite relationship in the book also happened between my two favorite characters, Newt and Alby. I could really feel their friendship and how they did care for each other, even though the book is told though Thomas’ eyes.
 
Overall I think this book is unbalanced. The beginning…well most of the book actually, we’re all confused about what’s going on. Again, this is because we experience things through Thomas’ eyes and he’s kept in the dark about a lot of things for most of the book and it was frustrating, as it was supposed to be but there;s a difference between the reader being frustrated and feeling the character’s frustration.
 
The last third of the book is really good. It’s fast pace and exciting but I’m not sure if it’s enough of a pay off for the rest of the book.
 
All in all I like this book well enough and am looking forward to the sequel. I really feel like this isn’t so bogged down with “dude” that it alienates ladies. I recommend reading this before watching the movie.
 
My Rating: 4/5

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 Solving the Maze was supposed to be the end. Thomas was sure that escape from the Maze would mean freedom for him and the Gladers. But WICKED isn’t done yet. Phase Two has just begun. The Scorch. There are no rules. There is no help. You either make it or you die. The Gladers have two weeks to cross through the Scorch– the most burned-out section of the world. And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them. Friendships will be tested. Loyalties will be broken. All bets are off. There are others now. Their survival depends on the Gladers’ destruction– and they’re determined to survive. (Summary taken from Goodreads)
 
I actually finished this book a while ago and didn’t write up a review on it mostly because school and life in general got in the way. But I’ve got some time now and here’s what I think.
 
As far as sequels go this one is pretty weak. I’ve read a lot of things that talk about second books in trilogies being some of the hardest because it’s the middle of an overall story while still having a beginning, a middle, and an end in itself and this book…well, allow me to explain.
 
This book starts not too long after the first book ended. It’s the same night actually where we have a little interaction between Thomas and Teresa. I’m still not a fan of their relationship but the moment was cute. We even get a glimps of a memory. Then everything goes to hell: Gladers running around screaming, Teresa’s been kidnapped, and there are crazy people outside the windows begging to be killed. It’s all confusing but brings up interesting questions for the reader to ask. Namely, “What the hell is going on?”
 
Similar to the first book in that respect. But the difference here is that the first book was all about finding the answer to that question. While in this book we get the answer pretty early on. This in and of itself isn’t a bad thing, but the answer is lame and can’t really hold a book on its own.
 
The Gladers are being put through the title of the book and it’s just boring to read. The problem is that none of this is devoted to exploring more of the characters. All we get is Thomas and his inner thoughts about the situation which is boring because Thomas is boring. I’m sorry to say for those of you to like him, but I don’t find him very interesting. He wasn’t even my favorite part of the last book. All the characters I really cared about are either dead or pushed to the side because no one is talking to each other.
 
Then Thomas get separated from the group with this girl named Brenda and I just didn’t care. Though I don’t think that Dashner can write girls. Or at least girls in relationships (of any kind) with Thomas. Because as soon as it started up I rolled my eyes so hard they almost fell out of my head because I didn’t care.
 
Even with the introduction of Group B and everything there was a lack of caring on my part. I find that to be a real problem when the plot hinges on the characters being in mortal danger.
 
Most of this is weird though because the writing style isn’t slow or boring. Everything is fast paced and simple, very clear to understand and none of the scenes dragged. So the was a fast but boring read.
 
I don’t know.  This book did not make me excited to read the final book, though I am going to read it. This is just a disappointing follow-up to a book that I really enjoyed.
 
My Rating: 2.5/5

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* * This contains spoilers * *
 
Guess who just finished the long slog of a book? If you guess me then, my friend, you are most certainly right.
 
This is kind of weird, I’ve been reading this book for…a long while now and have been angry every step of the way. But now that I’ve finished I feel as though I have nothing to say. Which is completely untrue. I have a lot to say. Perhaps too much. Maybe that’s where this…loss of words is coming from.
 
Oh well. I’ll charge forward and ramble if need be.
 
One thing that bothered me throughout the whole book was the fact that Thomas didn’t have his memories back. Yes, this is away to keep the mystery for the reader but it was all really unfair I felt. There were hints in the second book that his memories were…leaking (?) through and I couldn’t wait to at least learn something more about Thomas or any of the other characters.Like…Thomas had a choice– which was so freaking pointless since they decided to try and force him anyways– and he chose'no’. The guy who wanted answers through the whole series and then, when everything’s being offered he just turns it down!
 
Now, that in and of itself didn’t piss me off. No. It was later on in the book when Thomas was having a dream with all his memories were just right there! At the tip of his fingers. And what does Thomas do? He walks away! What the hell? Like, I (sort of) get it.He’s moving forward and doesn’t want the past to follow him.Except…there are times in the book where Thomas thinks “…if only he remembered…” or something to that effect and all I could think was “YOU HAD A CHANCE TO HAVE YOUR MEMORIES AND ALL THE INFORMATION YOU’D NEED AND YOU WALKED AWAY!!!” I was so angry every time that came up.
 
I also don’t like Brenda. Like, I’m not sure Dashner can write romance (Thomas/Teresa was my least favorite parts of the first book and I didn’t like it in the second book either) so every time that came up I just rolled my eyes. But I also just didn’t like her character. That could be because I experience her through Thomas’s perception and I really hated Thomas in this book so that could be it.
 
Also, Thomas was super fucking whiny in this book! Seriously, I couldn’t stand him for a lot of it. Especially when it came to him and Teresa. He just claims to be done with her in the beginning of the book. And I guess I get it. What happened in the second book hurt him. Okay. Except we know why she did it. She did it because she was told to or else Thomas would be dead. She played it safe to save his life. But then he never forgives her! He forgives Gally and Aris (who was with Teresa by the way) but not Teresa! How the hell is that fair? Why doesn’t he forgive her??
 
Which is actually another reason I don’t like Brenda because it feels like she was just put there to replace Teresa.
 
Ah.
 
There’s also the writing which I feels lack in a lot of areas.Thomas always felt very…reaction-y to me, or like he would"forget" about certain things which I thought would have been on his mind during the whole book. Like When Thomas and the Gang, sans Newt, were in the city. Fine, they were going on about their new lives or whatever, but it seemed like they totally forgot about Newt until the just decided to go back to the Berg. Then Thomas is all “How could he forget about Newt” or something and I’m like, “Yeah, Thomas, how could you? Or Minho?”. Then after they leave the Crank House and are all like, “We gotta go to Right Arm” and I’m sitting there thinking that was the plan all along.
 
Everything just came off very disconnected to me.
 
I blame the writing honestly.
 
Also…WHY THE HELL DOES THOMAS (AND MINHO) TRUST BRENDA AND JORGE?? Like if he’s supposed to just be done with WICKED and not trust anything they have to say or be suspicious about anything to do with that, then why does he just trust them from the get go? Shouldn’t he be worried that this is all some kind of weird WICKED test? I know it’s not but still, it should stay consistent.
 
And why doesn’t Brenda just tell Thomas that getting to the safe space was the plan? Why all this running around? Sure Thomas didn’t want to know anything about Chancellor Paige, but Brenda could have mentioned it at some point. Just keeping it a secret didn’t really seem t make much sense other than another surprise for the audience. But whatever I guess.
 
I guess there was just so much that I wanted from the story.Like…I would have been more into it if Thomas had his memories. He would have to actually deal with what he had done in the past. Then him trying to take down WICKED as a redemption would have had more impact because he would actually have an idea of what he did. He would be able to make informed decisions about everything, and he would struggle with the whole “Should I actually go back to WICKED to possibly save the world” instead of only thinking about it once or twice. That would be something I would have enjoyed reading. Maybe I would have liked this book if Teresa had been the main characters.
 
There’s probably a whole lot more but I can’t think of it right now. This review is a long ramble anyways. But I’m done and won’t be reading anything else in the series. Probably. Unless there’s more Newt, Alby, and Minho.
 
My Rating: 1.5/5

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I’ve read Unwind a couple different times now and I absolutely love it each time I read it. Neal Shusterman did such a good job creating this whole world with it’s broken system and…just, everything! I think it did such a god job.
 
The book starts sometime after the second Civil War. The war was over reproduction rights and the compromise was Unwinding– where the parents have to keep the child until they turn thirteen. Then between thirteen and eighteen they can be taken a part, their parts being donated to other people, that way they’re not ‘dead’. We meet our first main character, Conner, and he’s being sent off to be Unwound for being unruly. Our second main character, Risa, was “Stroked”– left on the door step of a family, like some kind of adoption– as a baby and was living in a Orphanage. She’s being sent off because she can’t continue in her profession and the last main character Lev is a Tithe (I believe that’s what it’s called) who was basically born to be Unwound. And they are all on the run.
 
I want to say that I really like the characters in this book, even the asshole characters. That’s never really happened before, there would be characters I didn’t care about or something of that nature but here, I love them all. Watching the main characters grow and change; going from being reckless to a leader, naive to someone who’s more street smart. The writing is also pretty good, it flows well and even all of the future stuff is well explain and explained simply, which I really like. It makes things easy to understand.
 
But one of the best things about this book I think is the world building. It’s detailed but not too detailed. I mean that, the story wasn’t bogged down with explanation,  it was natural within the text. You barely notice it. Which I think is a good thing, to not call attention to it.
 
I hope that makes sense.
 
But really, I love this book and I suggest that you all read it. Now, I’ve seen people talk about whether this book is Pro-life or Pro-choice and I’m not going to give my opinion on this matter. Pick up the book and decide for yourself!
 
Rating: 5/5

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I read Unwind awhile ago and re-read it not too long ago to write a review on it. Around the first time I read that book I fell in love with it and didn’t know about any sequels. So imagine my surprise and glee when I discovered UnWholly.
 
A summary:
 
“Thanks to Connor, Lev, and Risa—and their high-profile revolt at Happy Jack Harvest Camp—people can no longer turn a blind eye to unwinding. Ridding society of troublesome teens while simultaneously providing much-needed tissues for transplant might be convenient, but its morality has finally been brought into question. However, unwinding has become big business, and there are powerful political and corporate interests that want to see it not only continue, but also expand to the unwinding of prisoners and the impoverished.
 
Cam is a product of unwinding; made entirely out of the parts of other unwinds, he is a teen who does not technically exist. A futuristic Frankenstein, Cam struggles with a search for identity and meaning and wonders if a rewound being can have a soul. And when the actions of a sadistic bounty hunter cause Cam’s fate to become inextricably bound with the fates of Connor, Risa, and Lev, he’ll have to question humanity itself.
 
Rife with action and suspense, this riveting companion to the perennially popular Unwind challenges assumptions about where life begins and ends—and what it means to live.” (taken from Goodreads)
 
This book is wonderful. Out of the sequels I’ve read lately (The Scorch Trials and Crossed) it is the best. There’s development of the characters, the new characters were interesting and added to the story rather than made me roll my eyes, and the things I learned about unwinding were interesting and make me want to know more! It’s everything I want in a sequel.
 
I’m not too sure how long after the first book this takes place but we start off with a brand new character named Starkey, who I love to hate. I’ve seen him described as a charming sociopath and while I don’t know to categorize a sociopath I can definitely say that he is smart, but only out for himself in the end, really to trample all under foot if it’d help him in some way.
 
Connor, my dear, sweet Connor is dealing with a lot in this book. He’s in charge of the entire Graveyard, working hard to keep all the kids safe and alive until they’re past the legal age of unwinding I like that Connor’s much more focused on planning thinking before he acts. Makes sense with the events of the last book and with the fact that he’s in charge of a ton of kids. But the weight of the world is on his shoulders, at least he thinks so. He’s simply thinking too much and has very little confidence in himself as a leader. But he works so hard and I really just wanted him to succeed! One thing I really liked was the relationship between Connor and Risa. It never over powered the overall story but it still effected these two leaders and it was so real, their concerns and frustrations rang very true for those characters.
 
Lev and Miracolina were also the best. Watching his relationship with her and how it grew in the short weeks (I think it’s weeks). The end of that relationship was perfect in my opinion. Couldn’t have done better.
 
Then there’s Cam, the rewound modern Frankenstein monster. A lot of stuff with him centers around whether or not he’s human or has a soul. I’m not going to talk too much about it because I think it’s best experienced first hand while you’re reading it.
 
Some plot reveals in this book kind of step away from pro-choice and pro-life stuff, moving in a new direction. I’m interested but I kind of wish Shusterman explored that a bit more. Anyways, onward to the third book!
 
My Rating 5/5

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Wrote this awhile ago actually.

So I just finished reading Marie Lu's Legend and wow. I really enjoyed this book an it was an incredibly quick read.
 
The story is about a young woman’s, June Iparis, searching for her brother’s killer, believed to be a young man named Day. Along the way she discovers damning information about the people around her as their paths crossed and lived intertwined.
 
I’m not too sure how my description of the plot does the book justice but I assure you the it was very entertaining. I think one thing this book really has going for it was the world building. It’s detailed enough to give us a good idea of everything and how it looks– it also helps that the setting is Los Angeles in the Republic of America but still. You just get such a good sense of the setting and the broken system. I could gush for a while on about the world building but there are other things that I like about this book. That would be the characters!
 
Well, the two main characters and a few of the side characters.
 
June and Day are two sides of the same coin. They’re both very smart and have a wide variety of talents. Reading in the characters’ voices was really great to see how they think and operate within their respective worlds; high society and a street rat. They both have such distinctive and funny voices that I couldn’t put the book down.
 
My favorite secondary character is a man named Thomas. There’s just so much to his character. His disdain for people in the poor sectors is so real and I enjoyed any time he came up in the book.
 
But this book not perfect.
 
The thing I find that doesn’t work so well in the book and made me giggle the whole way through was the “romance” between June and Day.
 
Now, I’m not opposed to romance in YA books. But I think there’s a time and a place and a speed for things like that and I’m not sure there was time for it here. It all felt too fast; they acknowledged each other as attractive and then…BAM! There’s mention of meeting parents!
 
That was all just way too fast for my taste.
 
But I do recommend this book to fans of YA dystopic novels. It’s an awesome read.
 
My Rating: 4/5

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* * This contains very minor spoiler * *
 
So I finished Jala's Mask and came away liking it well enough. The writing is, overall, good. One problem I think fantasy (and science fiction) can fall into is being too descriptive. Yes, I know, details help flesh out the world, but I do think there can be something as too much detail that can slow down the story. Jala's Mask, fortunately for me, doesn't fall into that trap. But, there were times where I actually wished for more details. Mostly in the later half of the book where the plot really kicks in.
 
Honestly, I think this book would have benefited from being at least two books. I know, I know, with so many series out there have a stand alone book is a nice break. But I think that another book would have really helped some of the problems I found with the writings. Especially in the later half of the book! (view spoiler) And we could have learned more about the Five-and-One Island's culture and customs.
 
Though I did really enjoy the fact that LGBT+ people were treated as normal as everybody else. And none of the LGBT+ characters we met/got a name in the book were killed off which is nice change from other things I've read. There was another little thing I like about how a person's gender didn't really matter for one's profession. Like there are men and women sailors. Like after Jala becomes Queen and a married couple comes up ask for her blessing and gifts. And the wife is a sailor who ask for something practical while the husband ask for something decorative so that he could look pretty/nice for his wife on their wedding day. It was a small moment but it made me smile.

All and all I really liked this book and am glad I brought it. Would recommend to people who like fantasy but are also looking for something different from the medieval European based fantasy.

My Rating: 3.5/5

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* * This contains minor spoilers for the ending * *

I read the complete collection a few days ago but am only writing the review now since I actually have some time.
 
I haven't read too much Yuri manga because usually the stories aren't very good (or at least I don't think so), or I feel like the story is written for the male gaze and it's just creepy. But this story was a nice surprise, I'm glad to say.
 
First I want to say that I really loved the art of this manga. It's all very cute, the characters are easily identifiable and the only time the art got "sexy" was when sexy things were actually happening. Like there were no creep angles.
 
I also really liked the story. From friends to lovers. It all flowed very naturally to me. There wasn't any contrived drama there to keep Mariko and Akko apart. It all just...flowed so well for me!
 
Plus Mariko and Akko are just super cute together. All there dates were cute. And they're first time was just wonderful.
 
The supporting cast were all memorable and fun. Sugi-san is a playgirl type character who always has boys fawning over her, but she's always there for advice if Akko needs it. Plus I love how she never outed Mariko and Akko, even to their friends. Just made me smile. Tamanin was also just a pure delight. She's an otaku character who's not depicted as a loser creep. She was fun to be around and loved partying and life. It just left me with a happy feeling. Plus the end made me tear up. When Akko basically says "Just because we're friends doesn't mean we have to share everything together. But because we're friends they'll accept us." or something to that effect. I just...I really almost cried you guys.

This is one Yuri manga I highly recommend.

My Rating: 4/5

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Personally I wasn’t too interested in seeing Big Hero 6. The movie looked fun and entertaining enough but it didn’t call me to go out and see it. Good thing it was Veteran’s Day and I had to watch my siblings. Haha.
 
This first thing I want to say is that the animation is beautiful. I think Disney has made progress with their 3D animation. I can’t really explain it but the animation feels less…fakey than it looked in Tangled and Frozen. All of the characters looked nice (reused character designs aside) and the backgrounds were lovely. The flying scene was simply beautiful.
 
The story is pretty simple I think. The protagonist, Hiro Hamada, is out to capture for revenge the person responsible for his brother’s death with the help of Baymax the nurse-bot and a group of friends. That’s the basic plot and it’s fine. Some of the pacing was a bit off, too fast in places but it mostly fine. Hiro’s relationship with Baymax is the core and it works really well. How these guys make you fall in love with a robot is beyond me (it’s for toys I know), but god I want a Baymax. Tadashi and Hiro’s relationship, what little we see, was also well handled and I found myself wanting a bit more of it.
 
The other characters fall kind of flat. They don’t go beyond their stereotypes but were still fun to watch and I wasn’t rolling my eyes at anyone’s antics.
 
This movie was a fun time, the animation was beautiful and I’m glad I got to see it. I recommend it to all.
 
My Rating: 4/5

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For those of you who don’t know The Book of Life is a movie produced by Guillermo del Toro and it was directed by Jorge Gutierrez. It is an animated comedy that follows a young man named Manolo who is struggling between fulfilling his family’s expectations and following his heart. We follow Manolo through three fantastic worlds where he must face his greatest fears. (paraphrased from a summary written by 20th Century Fox).
 
Now I had seen a lot of trailers for The Book of Life and I couldn’t have been more excited. For one reason it was because it was centered around Mexico and the Day of the Dead. This is a topic that I haven’t seen explored in too much american media so it was nice and fresh. The other reason is because of the animation, which is beautiful and very distinct. I believe it’s from the same people who gave use the cartoon El Tigre and if you’ve ever seen that show then you’ll be able to see the influences.
 
What’s missing from that paraphrased synopsis is the part about the love triangle. Now, love triangles are kind of hit and miss in media. They can either be well written or completely unbearable. Here…I thought it was cute. There was no point in the movie where I was rolling my eyes because the love triangle was getting in the way of the story. I also found everything else easy to follow, the character’s actions were understandable and I was never scratching my head at any other their actions.
 
Okay…so I was scratching my head a bit at the mayor’s, Maria’s father, actions but I rolled with it for the sake of the movie.
 
I love most of the characters. Manolo was a sweet heart and always tries his best. Joaquin can be seen as a bit of a jerk but you really get the sense that he cares about Maria and his friends. Maria is a cool character. She reminds me a bit of Fiona in some aspects but she’s still lovely.
 
All in all this movie was thoroughly enjoyable and I think everybody should go watch it.
 
My Rating: 4.5/5

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* * Old, old review * *

Recently I watched Divergent. I had planned on watching this way back when it came out in March, but I wanted to read the book first. It’s something I try to do as often as I can.
 
And I couldn’t get past the first 200 pages. So I didn’t see the movie.
 
But I decided to watch the movie, spoiling the book (that I still plan on reading) for myself, trying to see if it would be better or at least entertaining.
 
It wasn’t, I will try to explain.
 
I will talk about the good first.
 
I think this movie looks nice. The living areas for each faction were unique and distinct. The gray, simple houses of Abnegation couples with the fact that they all looked the same really drove home their individuality. The Erudite building was all white, bringing to mind modern and futuristic. It was all very nice.
 
The music and costumes were simply okay. Nothing special or anything like that but nothing that I felt was wildly out of place. So good job there.
 
Now for the bad.
 
I’ve never seen Shailene Woodley or Theo James in anything other than this movie, and based on their performances here…they seem pretty boring. I mean, they weren't bad, they did their parts just fine, but they were boring. But to be fair, everyone seemed a little bored during the movie.
 
I also think the plot is ridiculous, but I also felt that it was ridiculous in the book. One thing I was sad about as I watched the movie was the lack of characterization Tris’ friends got. They were barely characters and I didn’t feel any emotions between the any of them. This was especially true for Al. That really bothered me because while I was struggling to read the book I did enjoy Tris’ relationship with her friends; her relationship with Al was my favorite. And it was completely missing in the movie. Boo.
 
Also, the movie completely dropped the ball on the romance between Tris and Four. I haven’t read it in the book but in the film it came out of nowhere and was pretty weak. I didn’t believe it at all and rolled my eyes at all the ‘I love yous’, they didn’t feel earned.
 
I won’t comment on the last third (?) of the film because I’ll be here all day. Just know that I was thinking, “This is ridiculous and stupid” the whole time.
 
I don’t know who this movie would please, people who haven’t read the book probably won’t be too entertained and fans of the boo will probably be disappointed since this movie is so mediocre. Oh well, just another lame YA adaptation. Hopefully The Maze Runner will be better.
 
My Rating: 2/5

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* * Old, old review * *

I watched The Maze Runner movie a few days ago and held off writing this up because I needed to process all of my feelings towards it. So after a lot of thought I can safely say that I liked it. But I think the fact that I read the book kind of ruined it.
 
Allow me to explain.
 
I really fell in love with the books: the characters, the relationships and the writing. Honestly, the story is very silly– I feel this way even more since I started the sequel– but it is still an entertaining read. Hell, one of my favorite things about the book was the relationship between Newt and Alby and the relationship between Chuck and Thomas. I simply don’t think the movie delivered on that.
 
Now, the movie did a lot of things wonderfully. I think most of the interactions in the movie work. Dylan O'Brien is a very talented actor and the rest of the cast was wonderful as well. There was a lot of chemistry there. I think Will Poulter was a real stand out in the movie. My favorite was the dynamic between Gally and Thomas.
 
Acutally, Gally in general is much better in the movie than in the book. I understand his feelings and motivation a lot better than in the book.
 
But other rather important  characters felt a bit lack luster. Like Alby and Chuck. Simply didn’t hit me as hard.
 
That’s my main criticism of the film.
 
The set and sound design were wonderful. The maze looked huge and impossible. They way the doors moved and the maze shifting were amazing and gave a them a great sense of weight!
 
The designs of the Grievers were terrifying. A mixture of spiders. scorpions and some king of weird gelatinous monster. I actually jumped a couple of times.
 
I felt like the story, for all the changes they made, was tight and concise. I’ve seen fans of the books complain about aspects of the movie so it’s really up to each person to decide if the movies worth it or not.
 
My Rating: 4/5

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 So, I love watching giant monsters fight. Love them so, so much. Pacific Rim is one of my favorite new movies (yeah it came out a while ago but I’m sure you know what I mean) and it’s one of the only things I like about the Transformers movies. The second and third still blow in my opinion but when the fourth one comes out I’m going to watch it. So I was wicked pumped for Godzilla and…it wasn’t what I expected.
 
Like many people when I went into the Godzilla movie I expected the king of monsters to wreck some shit and spend its time beating up some monsters. And you know what, all of that did happen…just not exactly in the way I was expecting.
 
This movie centers on the human characters and how they’re dealing with these giant monsters that have woken up. The main character we follow through all of this craziness is Ford Brody, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, as he tries to make it back to his wife, Elle Brody played by Elizabeth Olsen, and child, Sam Brody played by a dead-eyed soulless child Sam Brody. Ford is also dealing with his strained relationship with his father played by Bryan Cranston.
 
But since the movie focuses on the human characters how do they hold up?
 
Well…Bryan Cranston was amazing. He wasn’t on screen for long but from his introduction to his exit he was great; the emotions, his struggles as ‘the one man who saw it coming’ were wonderfully played. Aaron Taylor-Johnson on the other hand…
 
I don’t think Aaron Taylor-Johnson is a bad actor. I liked him in other things but here he comes off as pretty emotionless. I don’t know if that has anything to do with his character being a military man or if he was directed that way but yeah, I kind of felt disconnected from him. Like I wanted to get back to his family but that’s because families being separated from each other like that but I just wasn’t connected to him. Elizabeth Olsen was only really there to be worried about her family and scared but she did it well.
 
Actually, I think that’s a good way to sum up the whole movie. it did what it did well. That doesn’t mean it was perfect or the best thing to hit the big screens but I found it entertaining and enjoyable. Which is exactly what I want in a giant monster movie.
 
Also when Godzilla actually got to wreck shit it was awesome!
 
My Rating: 3.5/5

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