The Amazing Book Is Not On Fire, Dan and Phil

TABINOF

The Amazing Book Is Not On Fire aka TABINOF aka the book that is now tied with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows as being my favourite book of all time.

TABINOF is the story of Dan and Phil aka Dan Howell and Phil Lester aka danisnotonfire and AmazingPhil.

I have a few books written by Youtubers and even more on my list of books I need to get. However, this one is definitely my favourite. I’ve watched Dan and Phil longer than any other Youtuber and even though I’ve never met them in person, it feels like I have because they’ve been there (or their videos have) during major times in my life.

I remember exactly where I was and what time it was when I first saw this video:

I was at the public library at four in the afternoon because I was part of a volunteer program and I was waiting for my reading buddy to show up when I got an email to say Dan had uploaded a video called ‘?’. Of course I had to watch it right then and there and it was all I could do to not scream out loud.

I got home and the first thing I did was preorder it off their website. It was kind of expensive because I live in Canada and they’re shipping from the UK, but it didn’t matter because in a few months time I would have Dan and Phil’s official book in my hands.

You would all be correct in assuming that I got some very strange looks when I went to the mailbox and found it in there. I practically ran home and opened it to find the book, a bookmark, and Dan and Phil pixel people stickers. Once again the only time I’ve been this excited to get a book was with the final Harry Potter.

I stayed up until three in the morning reading it and I regret nothing. If the final Harry Potter novel didn’t exist this would undoubtedly be my favourite book. However, Harry Potter is a thing so the two shall remained tied.

But what is TABINOF? I’ve been going on and on and how I bought it and how amazing it is and yet I haven’t said why it’s so amazing. Well I’m not going to go into great detail about the things in the book because that would be a spoiler and Dan and Phil specifically asked people to try and not spoil things because some people don’t have the book yet.

That being said, if you really don’t want to know anything about the book then you should really stop reading NOW. If you don’t want to see any spoilers STOP READING! Watch this video instead of Dan and Phil talking about the book and tour.

Alright, any spoilers from here on out are your own fault.

This book is so Dan and Phil. Reading it just felt like I was watching one of their videos or their livestreams. It’s a really good thing I was home alone when I was reading it because I was literally laughing out loud. The book is written like a back and forth conversation with each line labeled as being Dan or Phil saying it.

All I could hear as I’m reading the back and forth was “tone down the bantz” and it just made me lauigh more. The pictures in the book are amazing. They included pictures of themselves as babies (adorable), in their school uniforms (wow), and a whole bunch of pictures none of us have ever seen before (I was freaking out).

There’s a page featuring text messages back and forth between the two and they are absolutely hilarious! I actually to take breaks between reading each of them because I couldn’t stop laughing. There’s one in particular that I laughed for literally five minutes. I won’t tell you what it said, but I will tell you it involved wasps.

I took the “Which Dan and Phil (or Phil and Dan) Dining Chair Are You?” Quiz and it turns out I am the grey chair. Yeah, I can get on board with that.

One of the most highly anticipated things people have been waiting for in the book is the story of what really happened in Vegas. Ah, the infamous Vegas Video. Dan and Phil went to Vegas for Dan’s birthday and they vlogged a whole bunch of stuff, but the footage was lost when Dan’s hard drive stopped working.

So they wrote about it in the book. And let me tell you, you’re not even ready. I was not prepared for the Vegas Story. I was so excited to finally read it and let me tell you, it’s a rollercoaster from start to finish!

TABINOF is absolutely one of the best books I have ever read. I’ve already shown it to friends and family members and they just look at me like I’m crazy while I show them all the pictures and things in it. Undoubtedly they’re wondering what I’m doing with my life freaking out over these two guys in dinosaur and lion onesies.

I’m especially excited because Dan and Phil are actually on tour right now. At the moment they’re only touring the UK, but they’ve talked about going to other countries so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they’ll come to Canada.

If have read the book then make sure you check out the ‘Making Of’ video below!

I seriously recommend buying TABINOF. If you’re a fan of Dan and Phil I guarantee you’ll love it and even if you’re not a fan of Youtubers I still suggest you buy it. You can do what Dan and Phil said by sniffing it (I can confirm it smells like a book) and then using it as a coaster.

Though please don’t tell me if you use it as a coaster, mine hasn’t even gone on the coffee table, it’s only been on soft surfaces so far.

Have you read TABINOF? What did you think? Let me down below, but remember, no spoilers!

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Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut

Slaughterhouse FiveThis isn’t a review, per se, but more my first thoughts on the novel.

I had been planning to read Slaughterhouse Five for ages now and I finally did it. I bought it at Chapters and read it whenever I got the chance and I actually really liked it.

I’m not 100% sure I got it though, which is why I’m not doing a proper review. I understood the story and from hearing other people talk about it I know what it was saying, but I think this is definitely a novel I’ll need to read a few more times before I can fully appreciate it.

I actually liked this though, not getting it 100% on the first go. Some books I finish and I really enjoyed them, but it’s straight onto the next one.

I finished Slaughterhouse Five and I just kind of sat there thinking about it, trying to figure out what it all meant.

I got really excited when I finally understood the title of the book which, for years now, I had no clue why it was called what it was called.

I definitely need to read this book again because even though I don’t think I got it, I did really enjoy it.

It’s just one of those books that is so talked about and was (and still is) so influential. I definitely recommend checking out Slaughterhouse Five if you haven’t already. You might read it and not understand it, but I think, in this case, that’s okay.

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The Walking Dead Books 1-4, Robert Kirkman

TWD Books

****Warning: This post will contain spoilers for The Walking Dead comics, issues 1-8 (books 1-4)! If you haven’t read them yet and are planning to, don’t read this!****

I had been wanting to read The Walking Dead comics for ages. I’m a huge fan of the show so when I found out my local library had all the books I’ve pretty much been reading them nonstop. And are they ever different from the show!

I already knew about a lot of stuff that happens in the comics through the magic of the internet so I knew that there would be a lot of differences. However, I wasn’t quite prepared for some of them.

For instance, Lori’s death. Totally different from the book to the show! In the show, she dies giving birth to Judith (who lives) and Carl has to shoot her in the head to make sure she doesn’t come back. In the comics, she dies during The Governor’s attack and when she falls she crushes Judith to death. I knew this was coming because I read about it online, but it was still a bit of a shock when it happened.

A lot of people have talked about why they didn’t do this on the show and instead kept Judith the “Walker Car Alarm”. Even though the show can get pretty graphic and horrific, I’m not sure they could actually show a baby (even a fake one) being crushed to death under it’s dead mother. Now she’s a toddler though so I’m not even sure Judith is safe.

Something I really wasn’t prepared for in the comics was Carol. I love Carol in the show, she is absolutely one of my favorite characters and she is so badass. In the comics however, she is… something else. First she gets together with Tyreese, then when they break up she starts hitting on Lori… and Rick… and Lori and Rick together. No really. She suggested the three of them get together and raise Carl and Sophia and the baby as a trio. This is just one of the many things she does in these books that I found kind of strange. But really, all the characters in the novels are a little strange.

I’m currently reading book five which has issues nine and ten. I know I have a lot more to go and I’m definitely going to read them because they are enjoyable. But, and this is probably the unpopular opinion, I do enjoy the show more.

Don’t get me wrong, I like both, but I feel like I can get more invested in the show. When I watch the show, I watch it for hours and I feel like I get to know the characters. Then, when a character dies, I feel something about it. If it’s a character I liked then I’m sad, if it’s a character I didn’t like then I’m glad they’re gone. But I can finish one of the books in a couple hours and when a character dies, then that’s it, I turn the page and they’re gone. I turn the page and they’re just not being drawn anymore.

I just feel like, with The Walking Dead comics, I don’t really have time to become invested in these characters like I do in the show or like I would with other comics I’ve read where the characters are in hundreds of issues.

However, that is not to say these aren’t amazing. They are. They’re different from anything I’ve read before and, while I prefer the show, I am thoroughly enjoying them and am excited to keep reading.

Have you read The Walking Dead comics? What did you think?

Buy The Walking Dead Book One on Amazon

Buy The Walking Dead Book Two on Amazon

Buy The Walking Dead Book Three on Amazon

Buy The Walking Dead Book Four on Amazon

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Reviews

I love reviews, both writing and reading them, whether they’re for books, movies, or episodes of shows. Despite this though there has been a serious lack of reviews on this blog. Why? Two reasons:

First, I don’t like posting reviews I’m not happy with. I feel like there will inevitably be something I write that I’ll look back on and wish I had written it different. As a writer, this is just how things are and I’ve accepted that. But if I write and rewrite something (like I did with my Avengers: Age of Ultron review that was meant to go up last week) then I probably won’t post it right when I meant to. I want to be able to go back and reread the reviews I’ve written and be happy with majority of what I said.

I also don’t want what I write to seem forced. I want it to be genuine and for everyone reading my reviews to know I was being genuine. If I read a review and it seems like people are saying what they’re saying just for the sake of saying it, then I’m not likely to believe it, am I? And I figure people will probably think the same about my reviews.

If I say I really enjoyed a film and a book, I’m saying it because I mean it and I want to make sure all of you know that.

The second reason is lack of time. For some reason everything in my life decided to get crazy all at the same time. This means that there are certain things that get done on time and other things that don’t. Unfortunately, blog posts and fanfiction haven’t really been at the forefront of what I’ve been doing recently as other things have been taking up about 95% of my time.

A lack of time means that I might end up rushing a review which then leads to problem #1 that I talked about. I swear I need like an extra set of arms that are specifically for working on blog posts and reviews.

So what does this mean for my reviews on this blog? It means that sometimes reviews won’t be posted when they’re supposed to or when I want them to. Things seem to be calming down slightly (I think, I hope) which means I should have more free time to get back on track with things.

Reviews will resume soon and hopefully they will be something that I’m happy with and that you enjoy reading.

Thanks so much!

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Handle With Care, Jodi Picoult

Handle With Care

I discovered early on that Jodi Picoult was of those authors who wrote novels I would enjoy no matter what they were about. I own many of her books and even though I haven’t read all that are my shelf right now, I have read many of them. Among these is Handle With Care which may be my favourite of her books up to this point.

Every parent worries about their child getting hurt, but for Willow’s parents, Charlotte and Sean, it’s a daily fight against broken bones and casts and trying to help their daughter find her place in a world that really wasn’t made for her. Handle With Care tells the story of Willow O’Keefe, her family, and the struggles they face. Willow was born with osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) Type III, also known as Brittle Bone Disease. This essentially means that Willow’s bones are like glass. When Willow suffers a severe break it results in her parents going to see a lawyer, though things don’t go exactly as they had originally planned. Instead they end up in a wrongful birth lawsuit which begs the question, “If they had known Willow was sick, would they have kept her?” This lawsuit pits Charlotte and Sean against each other, Charlotte against her best friend Piper (who was also her OB/GYN), and Charlotte and Sean’s oldest daughter Amelia against the whole world. A truly moving story with tests and turns you won’t see coming.

As I said before, I have read several of Picoult’s book, but this was one I had been wanting to read for ages. When I finally got it, it only took me a few days to get through it as I could just not put it down.

Brittle Bone is a rare disease, the first time I heard about it was in an episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and from that moment on I really wanted to learn about it. Jodi Picoult does an excellent job of explaining the disease and how it works and what it’s affects are, as well as the various treatments for it, without giving readers and information overload.

Now, one of my favourite things about Picoult’s novel is the way each of her chapters is told from the point of view of a different character. It helps keep the story interesting and adds so much depth to each character as you get a chance to learn a little more about them throughout each of their chapters. The first time I read one of her books I thought this style of reading would confuse me, but it all flowed together so well and now I look forward to seeing which character is up next. This actually had a lot of influence on my writing style in regards to BYB and have done the same method where each chapter is told from the POV of a different character (though I’m still working on the flow thing).

Writers have the challenge of creating characters who have many different dimensions and sides. No one wants to read about a flat character, a perfect character, or an evil character with no redeemable qualities. Sure, sometimes that’s the point, but in majority of books that’s not what people what. And that’s not what writers want either. Handle With Care contains characters who, whether they get a POV or not, are far from two-dimensional and boring.

You love them and you hate them. Charlotte, she loves her husband and her best friend, but she’ll risk losing them to do what she has to for her children. Even if it means people all over the world hate her. As a reader you will hate her for some of the things she does, for how oblivious she becomes to some of the people around her (like Amelia) while she’s focused on Willow and the lawsuit. But you also can’t help but love her for the same thing. For loving both her children that she risks everything. I think the only character I didn’t hate or dislike for any reason was Amelia. She’s a teenager caught in the middle of her parent’s lawsuit and you can’t help but feel bad for her. Even when she’s acting like a bratty child, you can’t dislike her. Because she is just a child and while everyone is trying to shield her from the lawsuit, they’re not doing a very good job.

Something else Picoult does that I love is intertwines her storylines. Charlotte’s lawyer, Marin, at first seems to be a character who’s adoption storyline was totally separate from her interactions with Charlotte and the family. But as the story progresses you see how it relates. How this woman who was given away at birth could connect to this family who now has to say they would have terminated their pregnancy if they had known about Willow’s illness. And let me tell you, there is twist you will never see coming.

Written in Picoult’s usual (and wonderful) style, Handle With Care is a moving and intriguing novel that you will not be able to put down. By far my favourite of her novels that I’ve read, I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a new read. I can’t wait to pick up her next book and see what’s in store.

Have you read any of Jodi Picoult’s books? Did you have a favourite?

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The Hobbit Book .vs. The Hobbit Films

The HObbit vsAs a writer, a lover of books, and a lover of films, one of the things I always take special notice of films adapted from books. Sometimes they turn out great, absolutely amazing (see: The Fault in Our Stars)! Other times… well, other times we don’t talk about it.

Today though, we are going to talk about it, it being The Hobbit. I actually really enjoyed The Hobbit films and I absolutely love the book. If I’m being honest, the movies actually made the book more enjoyable for me because I could picture the characters in my head (which is helpful when twelve of the characters are dwarves with similar names!).

But I’m not here to go on about how amazing the book was or how fantastic the films are, those things will be written in my individual reviews of them. I’m here to talk the differences between the films and the book.

Well, the first and probably most obvious difference is that there is ONE book and THREE films. Why? Some people say it was a money grab, that Peter Jackson was just milking the film to be like Lord of the Rings. Personally, I think it’s because Jackson knew it would make a better trilogy than trying to squeeze everything into one, two-hour film. I mean, I can’t even imagine Bilbo leaving the Shire at the start of the film and somehow they pack everything into two hours so that they can reach the Battle at the end. Not possible.

The next difference, and probably one that stands out most in my mind, is Tauriel. She was not in the book at all. Peter Jackson included her because this is the 21st century and you can’t release a major film series that has no strong, female characters. Admittedly, her being a strong, female character was overshadowed a little bit when they stuck her in a love triangle, but hey, more on that when I review the second film.

Tauriel

The barrel scene in the film is also completely different from in the book. In the film we see the dwarves and Bilbo escape in the barrels and drift down the river. In the process Kili gets injured and this leads into a whole new storyline. Does this happen in the books? Well… sort of. They do escape in barrels, but the barrels are sealed and the elves actually deliver them themselves without ever knowing it.

*Slow clap for the Elves of Mirkwood*

Legolas, Elrond, Radagast, and Galadriel are not in the book at all, but all play quite a large role the films. Everyone who’s seen Lord of the Rings knows who Legolas, Elrond, and Galadriel are, but I doubt most people who read The Hobbit were expecting to see them in the films. As for Radagast, he was hardly even mentioned in the books, but played quite a large role in the films.

Finally, Azog is dead in the books. No really. One of the main antagonists of the entire trilogy does not exist in the books.

Whaat

Right? I was so confused when I realized this. Bolg, Azog’s second-in-command is the leader in the book, Azog was killed over a hundred years before the events in the book take place!

Now, these aren’t the only differences between the book and the films, and there are more lists out there just like this one. However, despite these changes, I genuinely enjoyed the book and the films. I like them for different things and in different ways, as I usually do with books and movies, but I still like them nonetheless.

Have you read The Hobbit? Seen the films? What did you think? Was there anything that stuck out in your mind?

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Through the Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll

Through the Looking Glass

So I realized recently that I had reviewed Alice in Wonderland shortly after starting this blog, but I hadn’t done Through the Looking Glass yet. So, I decided it was about time I fixed that!

I read this book ages ago and then I read it again for school a couple years ago. I absolutely loved it, how can you not? It’s got music and poems and crazy characters. However, I can also admit that this one left me significantly more confused than Alice did. I’m not sure if it was because I read it for school or if it was because it was actually more confusing than the last. I’m thinking both.

Both is Good

Through the Looking Glass follows Alice as she travels through a mirror to an alternate world. Just like in Alice in Wonderland, Alice encounters many strange happenings in this new reality. She meets Tweedledum and Tweedledee, encounters the Mad Hatter and the March Hare for the second time, and also meets Humpty Dumpty. She meets all of these wacky characters while crossing various brooks to reach new parts of the world. Its essentially a giant game of chess in which Alice travels through various parts of the world and when she reaches the end she’ll become queen. As someone who loves chess, I thoroughly enjoyed this part of the book.

However, my favourite part of the book was when Alice reads the “Jabberwocky” poem. All throughout the book, various characters give Alice their interpretations of the poem, but no matter what it is, Alice still never fully gets it. Though this doesn’t stop it from being brilliant. “Jabberywocky” doesn’t really make much sense, which is sort of the point as it’s considered a nonsense poem. But despite it not making sense I really enjoy reading it. Its a great poem and is really fun to read out loud. You can find a link to the full poem below.

“Jabberwocky”

This really is a great book with a lot of great aspects, though I must admit that I enjoyed Alice in Wonderland more. There were definitely certain aspects of this book that I enjoyed, like meeting Tweedledum and Tweedledee and the “Jabberywocky” poem, however I enjoyed the story of Alice in Wonderland more.

Have you read Through the Looking Glass? What did you think? Did you prefer Alice in Wonderland or Through the Looking Glass?

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