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* * This contains spoilers in brackets and white text * * 

Oh my god, you guys! This is an amazing sequel. Really everything I want in a good sequel. The characters are great, the story is interesting, and the writing is wonderful!

Allow me to explain.

In Prodigy we are back with June and Day, on the run from the Republic and looking for the Patriots, where they think they’ll find safety. The Patriots are happy to help June and Day, as long as the pair is willing to do a job for them in return. The job: assassinating the new Elector. They agree, but emotions are high, and there are things that the Patriots and the Republic are keeping from the pair. Will the assassination go off without a hitch? Or, will it all fall apart?

So, the first thing I want to say about this book is that it’s written wonderfully (yeah, I said that already but whatever). June and Day’s voices are both distinct, with June’s years of military making all of her descriptions detailed down to the number of tiles, feet of a room, to the types and styles of clothing. While Day’s is…well, I’m not too sure how to explain it. It’s definitely more…ground level. He’s not technical, more…informal (not necessarily written informally but he speaks like a “normal” person). It’s great. I do like the blue of Day’s text much more than the yellow he had in Legend which was much harder to read. (I do wonder how the red text he’ll most likely have in Champion will look). On a related note I do like how Day has colored text. It’s like…he’s got all this life in him, you know? He’s got all the color and round lettering while June, who is more technical and analytical, only get’s neat black and sharp text. It’s…it’s nice.

The characters also take a step up in this book. June and Day are in top form here. Their relationship is really connected to everything they do in this book, even though they spend much of it apart. [One thing I really like towards the beginning is that Day confesses his love to June and she doesn’t say it back to him, unsure if she does, shocked that he said it to her. And at different points in the story different characters ask do either June or Day love each other, some even pointing out the fact that they’ve known each other for such a short amount of time they’ve known each other or all of the things that happened in the first book]. I also do enjoy the continuing of Day looking for his brother and the different dreams he would have about his family. June’s dreams about her brother Metias were always heart breaking to read. [The reveal about Metias being gay and in love with Thomas did bring a level of tragedy to the fact that Thomas stabbed him, but it does exist in that whole “dead queers”/“bury your queers” trope which can upset people, so there is that].

The relationship between Day and Tess was also soul-crushing. Day’s description of Tess and how she’s changed from that little girl he met on the streets to the young woman and medic. Her feelings about Day are made obvious and the friction between them over Day’s relationship with June was thick. The way that ended made me put the book down for a few minutes, so I could think about it. Kaede really got the time to shine in this book, giving her a bit of depth that she didn’t have in the first book. The new characters, Razor, Anden (the new Elector), and a handful of named Patriots were all great, even the ones we weren’t supposed to like. 

[Though Anden is supposed to be like…twenty years old and is also clearly romantically into June who is only fifteen! That is just too creepy for me and I hate it. Like, Anden was a good character but that just really upset me. I hate it each time it comes up in fiction because it never really…feel natural. Not like two people falling in love (or in like) while dealing with the fact that there’s a huge age gap between them. I think the story could be done well, but I didn’t like it here].

The plot, oh, the plot. The twist towards the end was well set up, but I totally didn’t see it coming. The end was also nice. Sometimes I do get tired of stories where once the hero(es) win the old government is completely torn down and a new better one rises up. It’s nice seeing that all of that takes time and can’t be done over night.

MAJOR SPOILER FOR THE ENDING:

[WHY THE HELL DIDN’T DAY TELL JUNE THAT HE WAS DYING? Seriously, while most of the book was good but that fucking ending really pissed me off and changed to rating from a 4 star to a 3.5 star. Like, seriously. Why, why did he break up with her? Sure, there are hints, from June’s side anyways, that with the fact that June led to the death of Day’s family and the capturing of Eden, and that that wasn’t something he could get passed, but still! Why the hell didn’t he tell her and explain? What the fuck is with that! Jeez man.]

All and all, this is a great follow up to Legend and if you enjoyed that book then I highly recommend this one.

My rating 3.5/5
 
[ As seen on my goodreads: link ]
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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

[ As seen on my tumblr: link ]
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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

[ As seen on my tumblr: link ]
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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

[ As seen on my goodreads: link ]
 
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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

[ As seen on my goodreads: link ]
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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

[ As seen on my tumblr: link ]

[ As seen on my goodreads: link

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