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Along that Yellow Brick Road Pt 7

Last book, I said that it was a good stopping point for the series. After reading the seventh book, The Patchwork Girl of Oz, I completely stand by that. The opening book even included a stupid reason as to how our “Historian” was able to reach our friend Dorothy: telegraph waves that somehow got to Oz. I wish I was joking, but Baum is honestly lucky that these books are for children and that I’m already dedicated to reading all of these books.

New characters were introduced that really never went anywhere. They could have been interesting but the focus when back to Dorothy and Ozma. There was a fun adventure that was wrapped up way too quickly. It was your basic fetch quest mission trying to get items where getting one took half the book while everything else was lost. Also, I have the feeling that everyone decided to forget the all-powerful Glinda the Good. Everything could have been solved easily with less effort and travel.

An Entirely New World Pt 2

In this book, we have journeyed back to Narnia in order to save the world yet again. We learn that the year spent on Earth for our four siblings equals hundreds, if not thousands of years, in Narnia. Supernatural world follows supernatural timelines. As you have probably seen from my reviews of the Oz series, I’m usually all for this. Except for this time, it was not worth it.

In this book, the characters spent the majority of the time sitting around and talking. Adventure is usually what these books shout out as their main appeal: explore this supernatural world. I was more than halfway through the book before the characters even traveled across the land. They listened to a story for a good amount of time. They argued about what direction they were going in when they finally did actually get moving. There was really nothing of substance happening in the story. It felt like that author was trying to either capture the magic of the previous book or do some really bad foreshadowing or the next book, but I’m leaning toward the former. I hope the next book is something worth reading.

Life’s Treasure Hunt

Seeing the world in the eyes of a child can be both magical and heartbreaking. Especially when you are aware of how heartbreaking the entire story may be. As a millennial, at least I think I am one, my life was revolved around the after-effects of 9-11 and the most recent War on Nouns. This book contains one such tragic story.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer tells the story of Oskar, a child who is trying to find meaning and some way of connecting to his dad after his tragic’s death. Through this child’s eyes and as he connects with others to try and figure out the one mystery that may “complete” his life, you are left with heartbreaking moments as you discover other “childish” characters who seem to be unable to let go of that past. Because that might be the meaning that we are all looking for: a way of trying to live after the darkest of times.

Just Trying to Live Your Life

I think a lot of people have their niche in which they may or may not feel that you fit in with the outside world, but it’s your world. For me, that world included anime, manga, and books, which eventually lead to the blog that I’ve had for a couple of years. I’ve even been judged for not being “girl” enough, whatever that means. I then found The Wallflower by Tomoko Hayakawa that felt too close to home in so many ways. I am in fact protagonist Sunako Nakahara without having my privacy invaded by a bunch of dudes.

This manga, in so many ways, is a crazy rollercoaster ride from beginning to end. We follow four, super-attractive guys, as they move in with the expectation of turning Sunako into a “lady,” filled with all the stereotypes imaginable while Sunako is just trying to live her life watching horror movies and true-crime documentaries: something that everybody is doing nowadays.

Also, for everyone’s well-being, the characters are all eighteen. I don’t care if it says everyone is in their first year of high school. That was a mistake, and we are not questioning it. Just remember 18, mainly for this one character who can’t keep it in his pants. You’ll know who I’m talking about.

Down the Rabbit Hole

It is the final week of spoopy month 2021, and I decided to read what should be considered a classic since the movie came out: Coraline by Neil Gaiman. I mean, this is a children’s story, right? It shouldn’t be that scary, right? Wrong.

The entire time I was reading, I was switching between two thoughts: this is the perfect book for October two thoughts and this should not have been written for children. The creepiness factor was there the entire time, and I was on the edge of my seat. I’ll be watching the movie for the first time soon (no judgment) to see what they decided to replace to make it more child-friendly. Great horror story, I just won’t be reading it to a child anytime soon.

Adding Horror to the 60s Pt 2

I have finished reading Lovecraft Country, and what can I say besides how fantastic the book was. I understand why it was made into a TV show; I just hope it did the book justice. Even though the stories are seemingly disjointed, there is a very clean wrap-up at the end.

One of the things I enjoyed most about this book is the realism. Sometimes when there are supernatural elements in stories, you have to suspend disbelief to a great extent. Some aspects of the story are based on stereotypes which are not very hard to believe that there would be people who believed in that sort of thing, such as the Magic Negro. Yet still surprising you enough the everything would still come as a surprise as you didn’t know what story. No black person died during this book, which is a plus. Also, I love a good villain to hate. What could be better?

Adding Horror to the 60s Pt 1

Spoopy season is continued by my reading of seemingly connected horror stories. I’ve taken the adage to heart: if they make an adaptation, it must be good. I’m confident that no one has said that, but I’m pretty sure that is the only reason why I’m reading Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff was turned into a TV show. So far, the book is fantastic. I do not want to put the book down between stories, but I have tests to study for and experiments to conduct.

One thing that I love about the book is that stories revolve around Black people. It varies rare to consume something within the genre that doesn’t evolve all the black people dying or lasting the entire situation only to die at the end. Giving the setting of 1960s America, the realism of the characterization and character interaction adds to the horror in a very Get Out way. If that movie was not an inspiration in some way, I would be surprised. I guess I’ll have to wait a bit to get through the rest of the saga.

A Not-so Scary Classic

I decided that my first post for this year’s spoopy season would be a classic. I think that almost everyone knows about The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Whether it’s from watching the Disney movie, watching the apocalypse-based TV series, or just everyone’s general knowledge of the horror that is the headless horseman. I don’t think you can go a Halloween season without this story being pushed in front of you, but I would like to posit that this is not the horror story that we were lead to believe it is.

I will agree that the book’s atmosphere is perfect, but probably not in the way you were imagining. If anything, this should be a story of karmic retribution against a terrible person who got exactly what they deserved. Everyone has grown to love Ichabod Crane from his many iterations, myself included. Still, man, is he a terrible person, and we should not celebrate him the way we have.

Along that Yellow Brick Road Pt 6

I have read the sixth, and what probably should have been the final, book of the Oz series. Everything was wrapped up cleanly, and there really didn’t need to be anything more. The perfect thing happened: Uncle Henry and Aunt Em finally believe Dorothy and do not think she is telling stories or incapable of understanding reality, respectively. Also, having adults argue with chickens on chick-rearing was never something I ever expected to read.
Again, in the Oz fashion, we are on an exploration around the fairylands that Oz also inhabits and meet the many different creatures. This was more interesting than the previous book since we saw how these creatures interacted within the bigger narrative within the world rather than just showing up. Also, there is a bit of action that I can not tell without spoiling a large portion of the book, but it does help with the overall world-building. Overall, this was a cute book.

Utopic Dystopian Pt 4

I have reached the final book of The Giver Quartet. And it must be my favorite of the entire series. Son is the book that truly combines all three previous stories together. We follow Claire, a Birthmother from the community. She has a different experience from many other people: she feels love, and the only thing she wants is her child.

My favorite part of this book is the comparing aspect as Claire goes to different communities. Previously, you would have to go based on your memory of previous books to do this. This is the first time we experience going through all of these communities through the protagonist’s eyes. Each community has different ideas of how life should be left, so it’s interesting to see how interactions change based on new information.

I am honestly happy that I read this series, just for this book. This was the perfect ending I could have imagined for this series. Everything truly came full circle.

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