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Anne's IntermittentroPolis

I prefer to keep my reviews short but I can't guarantee them to be sweet. I don't mind discussing, analyzing, or raving but I'm just an inherently lazy writer/reviewer.

Currently reading

The Turn of the Screw
Henry James, Philip Horne, David Bromwich
Across a Star-Swept Sea
Diana Peterfreund
The Dream Thieves
Maggie Stiefvater
V for Vendetta - David Lloyd, Alan Moore Graphic novel? COUNT ME IN.

(For some reason, it takes me longer than usual to read manga/graphic novels which partly may be due to the fact that I savor great art. I'll see how it goes!)
Ferragost (Lumatere Chronicles, #2.5) - Melina Marchetta,  Kirsty Eagar Oh god, it's so good. It was soo great! I love the mystery and Marchetta reminds me why I love them so much even though I don't read anything much from that genre. There's the chill, the excitement and all the exhilarating clues that are subtly laid out in the story. For so short a story, the romantic atmosphere of course suffers but it was still there; I can't say it's sweet because this is, what, not juvenile and puppy love. But either way, I'm invested in this whole fantasy world and I just wish for another spinoff, sequel or anything extra from Skuldenore. I don't know how she does it but for such a somber story with a solemn ending, Melina Marchetta still manages to make me laugh.

Untitled (Lorien Legacies, #5)

Untitled (Lorien Legacies, #5) - Pittacus Lore Stupid Five. Fall of Five. Death of Five. This fifth book will be painful and get progressively more deathly. Seriously, don't kill Nine....noooo!
Allegiant - Veronica Roth Oh that was such a day-killer. This is really a small spoiler. One of Four's fears came true. My whole day just went straight to hell, but no worries because one thing I learned from this book is that the heart heals with time..along with other stuff like genes. So yes, I'm finally over this whole thrilling adventurous ride and I have to say, this trilogy did feel like a train ride. First, it's exhilarating, new, and even exciting. But then you adjust, the whole novelty dies down, maybe a train wreck occurs along the way, people die, get off, some are injured and do not make it to the end of this journey. And it's guaranteed, people WILL die, but it won't be like [b:A Game of Thrones|13496|A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1)|George R.R. Martin|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1369520317s/13496.jpg|1466917] where it's a dirty random bloodbath of favorite characters.
So everyone should know by now through the internet and/or the physical book that there are two narratives Tobias and Tris. That is crucial to the story, very important and please note it. That's as close as I can get to not spoiling anything for all the fanatics out there. The conversations are still as stilted and terse and I don't understand some of the sentence structures in the story. The primary device that egged me on was the plot itself. The story is a compelling read, the unraveling of all the mysteries, resolvement of all the mysteries and conflicts all get their turns. Allegiant is a more love-oriented and relationship-based story than action although there is a lot of that too. Roth manages to show the greatest qualities in the characters while depicting them also as flawed broken people who were constantly beaten down and discouraged by life. It is very touching to read but the characters do not express their emotions across effectively enough. Sometimes, their (Four and Peter and Caleb)facades crack and the narrative shows a vulnerable weak side of people and we show empathy. But then they bounce back resiliently and I find it hard to love them again. Even Tris says so.
It's getting harder and more difficult for me to articulate my ambivalent feelings towards this final book and I don't know how to talk about it without hinting too much or spoiling the mood. The middle of the book felt like only fillers, sort of unnecessary and probably there to build up relationships, tension and basically the whole new world they encounter out there. Okay, the whole irony while reading this book for me was that the world Tris and co. meet outside, this so-called HUGE plot twist, well, heh, my friend Mali already predicted it a couple weeks before the release of Allegiant. Funny thing is, Mali (only read the first book) and she was using the same plot twist for her essay in class and this happened like, what, a couple weeks ago? Roth just happened to have the same idea, used it, and surprised me. Nope, no shock there.

The Shawnees and the War for America: The Penguin Library of American Indian History series (Penguin's Library of American Indian History)

The Shawnees and the War for America: The Penguin Library of American Indian History series - Colin G. Calloway As a required reading material for my US Race Relations class, it wasn't bad as far as history books go. I've always been fascinated with the Georgian era although all the events take place in America. The whole history of the Shawnees is tragic and it's really sad that all of it is true.
The Fall of Five - Pittacus Lore I almost had to put this on my tearjerker shelf but then I changed my mind because I didn't cry. However, it was still shocking and traumatizing for me when the plot twist happened. Okay, in case you didn't hear the spoilers flying around the internet, you ready?...[s]One of the Garde dies. Like in the worst way possible. Look, you'll understand once you get to it. [/s] It was just plain depressing and it angered me so much. I felt like the whole death was just unjustifiable. My heart cracked completely. UGH. By the way, the 3 stars isn't for the horrible death; that would be unfair to the author. Academically, it fits the rating for the writing, the descriptions, and the number of plotholes I found in the story. Six's hair is described as blond in one chapter and then it's black in another. And really, that's such an elementary mistake that the editor should've caught. That's not something you can brush off when the character's appearance is unconsistent. This one wasn't as exciting as the other books since everyone mostly sat on their bums and hung out in Chicago. Not really planning but more like training and "getting to know each other". Seriously, the whole thing was like a motivational campaign and a social gathering. Nothing much happens (until the end) and I'm telling the truth.
Still Alice - Lisa Genova Reading this was just as deeply moving and poignant as this video. I only know a bare minimum of the essentials about dementia and what it entails. Alzheimer's disease is accurately portrayed by Genova which strengthens many aspects of her book. The riotous emotions and feelings Alice goes through is jarring and heartfelt.
I remembered also crying when I watched this brief video my friend insisted me to watch in the spring of my senior year. It was shocking and unexpected but not unwelcomed. Cancer books are so commonly scattered in bookstores and the internet but memory disorder books are a rare find. This one is a golden dragon relic.
Death of a Salesman - Arthur Miller Oh, how awful. To dream so big, it's just...man, the general mood of this story kills (literally). Most people have probably walked out after the play feeling terrible and cheated. Damn, now I want to see it and feel that way. This isn't a horrible book. In fact, it's a realistic eye-opening view at a poor man's life. This is most likely a story of someone else's life and small bits of it apply to countless people living today. Even though there's a death at the end, the salesman doesn't wring any sympathy from the readers. Only his family mourn but barely because half of them are numb in the wake of this tragedy. In the pages winding up towards the death, there was no sense of dread or premonition but it wasn't sudden either. We see loud examples of the craziness and delusions of grandeur interspersed freely between the pages. A psychologically crazed man is hardly someone a reader can relate to or even remotely like and even worse, the rest of the cast barely measure up. I did feel a faint pity for the whole family who has been beaten, worn-down, and embittered by life. Well, judging from the lot of talk and arguments, they weren't silenced though, no, not by far. I liked that author had a knack for word arrangement and semantics because I could vividly imagine how the actors would utter it. Despite all the low ratings, this book delivers in all parts that make this brutally realistic and all the more intense. This unflinching slice of life deviates from the standard fairy tale quality of a story. In other words, Death of a Salesman might just as well be a non-fiction considering the lifelike appeals of all the characters and the palpable anger and 'spite' brimming on the surface.
Gamer Girl - Mari Mancusi Okay I get that this is purely fictional and yet, I expected scenarios to be possible and not so far-fetched when it comes to realistic fiction. One of the elephantine/ginormous plotholes is something I wouldn't spoil. Never mind, here it is:tell me now, what are the odds that you will meet your crush purely out of coincidence on an online game? Yes, you transfer to a new school. then you start playing a game where you become best best friends (almost virtual online dating) with him. Uh, no, of course you wouldn't know it's your crush in real life because that would spoil the *gasp* mystery and not to mention, plotline. For such a beautiful cover, there were too many cliches to count with a lackluster outline of cliques and stereotypes to boot. The book did make me laugh at how cheesy some of the lines were.
What truly made me furious was the manga references. It just totally caused me to hate the whole manga-reading group. The author seriously needs to do more research on manga before throwing out random book titles. The words .HACK and Chibi Vampire made me cringe and I flinched at the ignorance of the characters (which is a direct cause of the author). Sorry, but it's true. A little bit of research and googling should've informed the author that 'chibi manga' is only a narrow section in the whole otaku world. What happened to shojo and shonen manga? Weren't there guys in the clique? What the hell did they read then? If the author can oh-so-casually throw out these titles, maybe she should've included Naruto, One Piece, Fruits Basket, Bleach, Fairy Tail, Vampire Knight, and countless others for the sheer popularity of them. I can't believe that such a great premise and idea turned out as slapdash sloppy work. This ranting comes now from a manga-loving old reader. Even when I read this book wayyy before I invested myself in anime and manga, I already found it to be lacking. This does an injustice to all otakus out there.
Imaginary Girls - Nova Ren Suma This is the kind of book that takes longer than one would imagine to finish. The writing is overtly descriptive and just plain creepy. Everything that's described has an ephemeral quality and makes the Ruby's world seem innately malicious. And that's the exact effect the author was going for. Throughout the whole time, I kept imagining there was a dark storm overhanging the whole town. In my mind, I never imagined Ruby's town to be sunny.
I felt that the cover definitely matched the story and the bright colors were eye-catching; however, that probably caused the wrong kind of readers to pick this book up since it looked like a cheerful beach novel. Personally, I'm not interested in the horror mystery genre but I was curious and you know what they say about the cat.
Charm & Strange - Stephanie Kuehn The whole unravelling of Drew/Win's history was so mind-boggling and it left me in tears.
Howl's Moving Castle - Diana Wynne Jones I've watched the anime movie a couple (dozen) times already so I thought I might as well read it. For those who only watched it, you're in for a treat. There were so many ways that he anime plot veered off from the original storytelling and where the movie itself was confusing as hell, the book just didn't even have those parts. It is a wildly intricate story with lots of details, hilarious witty insults, and some unique blown-out-of-proportion characters.
The book itself is definitely the better of the deal even though the movie lends some interesting elements never found in print. Howl and Sophie reappear in House of Many Ways in the later years. I wonder what they're up to?
The Princess Bride - William Goldman Can I even classify this as a fantasy? Frankly, the map was unneeded and I barely gave it a glance. Here were some hilarious quotes I dug up:
"'I WANT DOMINGO MONTOYA, YOU SON OF A BITCH,' and the six-fingered sword flashed again."
"...Fezzik smashed it again and a third time and then he brought his hands back a bit for leverage and he began to whip the beast against the walls like a native washerwoman beating a skirt against rocks, and when the snake was dead, Inigo said..."
"It was only when the giant got halfway down the incline that he suddenly, happily, burst into flame and continued his trip saying, 'NO SURVIVORS, NO SURVIVORS!' in a manner that could only indicate deadly sincerity. It was seeing him happily burning and advancing that started the Brute Squad to screaming."
"'I have no key,' Yellin replied. 'I swear on the grave of my parents; may my mother's soul forever sizzle in torment if I am lying.'
'Tear his arms off,' Westley said to Fezzik, who was sizzling a bit himself now..."
"He closed the door in her face. Without a word. Without a word. Buttercup ran. She whirled and burst away and the tears came bitterly; she could not see, she stumbled, she slammed into a tree trunk, fell, rose, ran on."
"'Vizzini I'm sorry,' he began. Vizzini napped on. Fezzik shook him gently. Vizzini did not wake. Not so gently this time. Nothing. 'Oh I see, you're dead,' Fezzik said."

Okay, I can go on and on with all the quote-worthy quotes. I'll stop here
Looking for Alibrandi - Melina Marchetta Marchetta, that woman, knows how to write even if this was her debut. I now understand why such a book would deserve a movie. It's not even the writing anymore but the words in the conversations that's laden with so much meaning. This is not up to par as Jellicoe Road (which I read the day before) and LFA is actually like a beta version of it. They're nothing alike though since the latter has so much more hidden broiling emotions and sorrow...if that even makes sense. Compared to other YA though, I can say this much: it is more serious, mature and realistic. It takes all the good and bad about teen years and presents it matter-of-factly. I enjoy happily-ever-afters so much that it sometimes shocks me when a book ends contrariwise. The end is bittersweet and not at all what I expected. Just when problems seemed patched up, new wounds suddenly break out. It was gutsy for MM to go for the unhappy ending but I felt content and satisfied with what I got.
On the Jellicoe Road - Melina Marchetta Now I understand why so many people said 'this is by far Melina Marchetta's greatest masterpiece'. The slow introduction and delayed unravelling of the mystery are all her trademarks. And I think I made the right decision to read all her other books before this one. Because nothing could have compared and perhaps I might've been disappointed in her other works if I compared them to Jellicoe Road. I just don't know now. My emotions are wrecked.