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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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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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, John Boyne

Theboyinthestripedpyjamas

“If you start to read this book, you will go on a journey with a nine-year-old boy named Bruno. (Though this isn’t a book for nine-year-olds.) And sooner or later you will arrive with Bruno at a fence.

Fences like this exist all over the world.
We hope you never have to encounter one.”

Before you read any further, this review will contain spoilers for The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. If you have not read the novel or seen the film, you should stop reading now.

John Boyne’s, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, tells the tale of Bruno, a nine-year-old boy who moves to Berlin with his family during World War II. Bruno moves to Berlin after his father is promoted to Commandant of a concentration camp (which Bruno thinks is pronounced ‘Out-With’). Being only nine-years-old, Bruno doesn’t know or understand what his father’s job entails or what the war truly means. All he knows is that he wants to be an explorer ad he’s suddenly got a whole new house and yard to explore. In his adventures, he stumbles upon a fence. On the other side of this fence is a camp full of people wearing ‘striped pajamas’. One of these people is another nine-year-old boy named Shmuel.

The two boys soon learn they have a lot in common, including having the same birthday, and Bruno returns to the fence on a regular basis to talk with his new friend. Neither of the boys have any idea why they’re on different sides of the fence or why one of them wears striped pajamas and the other doesn’t. They’re just two nine-year-old boys who like eating chocolate and playing checkers.

This book is truly a masterpiece. The first time I read it I was in eighth grade and it had such an impact that I have read it multiple times since.

Between required school reading and my own reading choices, I’ve read a lot of books on the topic of World War II. But none like this. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas gives readers a look into what it might have been like for children of the holocaust. Children on both sides of the fence. Instead of being presented from someone on the front lines of war or from a spouse of someone in the war, we get a unique reading experience by seeing the whole situation through the innocent eyes of a child.

There are many amazing aspects of this book, but one thing in particular that I think Boyne manages to succeed in is something that I find some author’s don’t always grasp. He writes children convincingly as children. While many author’s write excellent child characters, I find a lot of them tend to write children as being excessively brilliant or they will add some other trait in excess. While this is not by any means a bad thing, I don’t find a lot of literature now where kids are just kids. I’m not quite sure what this is, but whatever the reason, Boyne manages to take regular children and, without adding anything crazy, he created something magical.

Despite how good this book is, there was actually a lot of controversy and criticism surrounding this book. A lot of people had an issue with the fact that if Boyne’s novel was historically accurate, you wouldn’t find a nine-year-old in a concentration camp, especially not in Auschwitz. Many said that it did not portray the holocaust properly and feared that people would think the camps weren’t actually that bad. Personally, I think any book that depicts two young children dying just because one of them was Jewish cannot be mistaken for anything but awful.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is a moving and insightful novel. John Boyne writes convincing characters and puts them in situations completely out of their control and beyond their understanding. However, instead of dwelling on it and being miserable about the situation, these two children find comfort and friendship in each other, despite coming from seemingly different worlds.

This amazing novel shows that it doesn’t matter where you come from or what situation you’re in, at the end of the day we’re all the same. Children are not born hateful, they are taught hate, and that message is clearly stated in The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.

If you haven’t read this book yet, I highly recommend it. It’s absolutely phenomenal and it’s one of those books that when you start reading you can’t put it down.

Have you read The Boy in the Striped Pajamas? What did you think?

 

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F*ck! I’m in My Twenties

Fck Im in my Twenties

 

I’m an adult. {Insert terrified screaming here}

It’s true what they say, adulthood really does creep up on you. And it can be scary, terrifying even. You’re no longer in school, you’re expected to have or find a job, make enough money to buy a house, have a family, become a real part of the human race and contribute to humanity.

Instead, you might find yourself floating around, overly educated, probably without a job, barely enough money to make rent, and the idea of being responsible for a small human being isn’t even on your radar right now. If none of these things apply to you and you’re excelling in your twenties then I congratulate you, but if that’s not the case then you’ll probably find Emma Koenig’s, F*ck! I’m in My Twenties, just as helpful and entertaining as I did.

I absolutely love this book. I had been wanting to buy it for ages and when I finally did I was so pleased as it’s far better than I could have ever anticipated. Here’s a few things you amazing things can expect when you read F*ck! I’m in My Twenties:

“I look like a teen. I think like an adult. I feel like a kid.”

“How is it possible to have this many regrets already?”

“What is the age cut-off for hanging out naked with your friends?”

Now, I’ve been an adult for a few years now and it is definitely not what I was expecting when I was a kid. I thought, “I’ll go to high school, then university, get a job, etc., etc.”. Yeah, it doesn’t work like that. Something along those lines? Maybe for some. But I think it’s probably safe to say that your life will not work out exactly how you had planned it. Especially when you’re in your twenties.

So when you suddenly find yourself in adulthood-limbo, how do you get yourself out? Unfortunately, I don’t have the answer to this as I’m still in this limbo myself. This book also isn’t going to get you out of this limbo state, however, it does it make it easier to deal with until you can. Using her most popular blog posts as well as a ton of new material, F*ck! I’m in My Twenties, is a fun, new way to look at adulthood.

When you read this book it’ll feel like it was written just for you. Talking about relationships (or lack thereof), employment (or lack thereof), or education (which you probably have too much of), there is no other book like this that will explain what being an adult is really like (unless she makes another one which I hope she does). Through graphs, checklists, and illustrations, Emma Koenig took something that everyone experiences and made it entertaining and relatable.

Have you read F*ck! I’m in My Twenties? What did you think?

 

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