The Thrilling and Mysterious: A Review of Caraval

Title: Caraval

Author: Stephanie Garber

Series: Caraval #1

Published January 31st 2017 by Flatiron Books

Genre: Fantasy, YA

Pages: 432

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic.-Goodreads

My Review:

I do not think I have ever said I disliked a book in a review.

And it will not be today!

I loved this book.

I think it was a really good book. Was it the best? No. Was it great? No. But, was it entertaining? Yes. Did I buy the last two books in the series? Yes.

The last two are wins in my book.

While I have read through a few reviews to get this review, not a lot were positive. A lot said that the characters, setting, and plot was bland. While it may not have been as well-developed as one could wish, I do not think it was horrible.

Twitter @wickandfable

Scarlett was an interesting character. I think she was really unique. Yes, she was kind of static. But, what was she supposed to do, hate her sister? The only idea she had was to protect her sister. That never changed, but how do you expect it too? She learned that she was not to trust people’s words and to trust people for their actions. While she may not have been the most creative character, she was fun to read about. I related to her a lot. I think she was really confused and did not know how to deal with anything.

Julian and Tella were cool. I think I saw the whole Julian plotline sooner than I would have liked. I wish he had a been a little bit more unpredictable. Also, Tella kind of made me super mad. I know she could not technically have been completely upfront with her sister, but she was so rude for the things that happened.

The idea of Legend was really interesting. I think that his storyline will be developed more in the next two but I wish we had a bit more of him. I cant say much without spoiling but I am intrigued.

I think Caraval seemed really pretty. I liked the descriptions. It was interesting to look at the map and the places that they went to. I do agree with others that sometimes it was hard to follow. A few plot points were not on the map and I had no clue how they got to the places they went to so fast.

But other than those things, I really liked it. I think it was quick and entertaining. It has been on my TBR list for way to long.

Sorry for not making this a long blog. I really am tired and needed to write this. I did not think that it was necessary to write a huge review since most bloggers have already read it.

As always, thanks for reading

A Bookie

Monday Book Haul

Hey guys!

I recently got a Visa gift card from my grandpa. I had no clue what to buy with it but my mom kept saying I should buy groceries and gas.

Well mother is going to be disappointed because guess what I spent it on…

BOOKS

Tehe

I just ordered them five minutes before I posted this.

I consider each book I buy an investment because one day I would like a huge library so, every book I buy goes toward that goal.

I purchased them from the Strand in New York because they are my favorite bookstore in the world. I was going to buy them from a local bookstore in the town where I live, but I did not want to talk to the guy who owned the store. People have told me he is weird and talks too much. I am too anxious to talk to anyone.

So here are the books I bought:

Legendary by Stephanie Garber

Finale by Stephanie Garber

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

I am so excited for these to come!

I got them all in hardcover so they were all a hefty sum, but I wanted them. I already have Caraval in hardcover. And I plan on getting all of the Grishaverse books in hardcover.

Let me know what books you guys got recently.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

End of the Month: March was Madness

So the end of the longest month I have had yet this year. Half the month I had finals and the second half of the month I had spring break. It was intense. It was really hard for me to write quality blogs while in this intense schedule I have.

It also seems like April is going to be the same way. My classes are insanely fast-paced and have so much work for each class already.

But, here is my wrap-up for March.

Book I Read:

Posts I Wrote:

Damn I Posted a CRAP ton!

Movies/Shows I watched:

  • Julie and the Phantoms
  • My Best Friend’s Wedding
  • WandaVision
  • Raya and The Last Dragon
  • Deathnote (The Anime)
  • Chaos Walking
  • Rewatched all of the Marvel movies

Aghhhh I am so bad at posting in April this year. I am sorry guys. I hope you guys like really late wrap-up posts.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

WWW: AGH I AM SO LATE

For those that dont know, WWW is a meme and this meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived on Taking on a World of WordsAnd it involves answering the 3 Ws!

Agh I am writing this at 11pm on Wednesday. School is kicking my ass this quarter. I need to spend some really lengthy time just doing homework this weekend to get ahead.

Anyways, here we go…

What am I currently reading?

I am reading:

And I Darken by Kiersten White

What did I recently finish?

I just finished Caraval by Stephanie Garber. I will hopefully have a review of this up soon!

What am I reading next?

I am going to read A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab!

Okay, okay, okay it might take me a while to finish my currently reading, so I might not see you guys this next Wednesday. I have so much going on. But, I will be reading and trying to bust some posts out. I swear eventually I will be on top of everything.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

TTT: Book I would most want to throw in the ocean…

“Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.” -That Artsy Reader Girl

This week’s theme is:

Books you would like the throw into the ocean

  1. Now, this post is going to be really short. I dont think I could even come up with a book that I hate enough to write for this list. It would be so disrespectful of me to do such a horrid thing.
  2. If I Stay by Gayle Foreman

No seriously, that is the list. I have never read a book that I hated as much as I hated this book. I read this years ago in like a day just so I could see the movie, and I hated the book so much I didn’t go see the movie.

I absolutely hate it.

I could never compare my hatred for another book as much as I hate this one.

I remember there was controversy over bookstagrammers burning books for cool photos. But, I would not care if they burnt all of the copies of this book for Instagram.

Anyways, that is the post. I saw the topic at 9pm on Tuesday and thought “Hell yeah, I can bash If I Stay.” That is literally the only reason I decided to write today.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

WWW: What am I going to read next?

If you don’t know what WWW is, then why do you live under a rock? Just kidding! It is a meme and this meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived on Taking on a World of WordsAnd it involves answering the 3 Ws!

I finally finished Kingdom of Ash which has ended a huge series. I think I am going to take some time to read a few stand alones or smaller series.

What am I currently reading?

I am reading Caraval by Stephanie Garber.

Cover of Caraval

What did I recently finish?

Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas

I finally did it. I finished. My review went out Monday of it go check it out.

Kingdom of Ash Cover

What am I reading next?

The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

The Diabolic Cover

This is just one book of many that I could read. I am so excited now that I can also start the ACOTAR series. I dont know when I will start though.

Anyways, I hope you all enjoyed this.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Places in Books I Want to Live in: TTT

“Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.” -That Artsy Reader Girl

This week’s theme is:

Places in books you want to live

Ah, I am so excited about this one. I think about this a lot.

Clearly some of my answers are going to be very obvious but I will try to surprise you as best as I can.

  1. Hogwarts

Reason: Ummm do I even need to explain

Hogwarts Castle from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

2. Terrasen

This is such a beautifully described place. And I love the smell of pine so I think the Pine forest would suit me well.

Depiction of Terrasen from this website

3. Torre Cesme

I mean just for the library alone. And to meet the Baast Cats. I would love it there.

Tower of Pisa I am pretending is the Torre Cesme

3. New York

I mean this is from a lot of books that I love, most recently, Dash and Lilly and What If It’s Us. It has also been my dream to move to New York. So, any excuse to talk about New York, I am game.

Picture of Times Square New York

4. Doon

I have loved Doon ever since I read the books. I think it sounds so beautiful and I also really want to go to Scotland.

Doon Cover

5. Wonderland

More specifically, the Wonderland that Marissa Meyers creates in Heartless. And probably before the Catherine becomes evil.

Alice in Wonderland

6. The Maze

I love the Maze Runner. I do not think being in the Maze and living in the Maze would be great. But, the men there. Oh my goodness. I would do it just for that.

Picture of the Maze Entrance

7. Watford School of Magicks

Not as great as Hogwarts, but I loved Carry On and would love to see this other magic school.

Map of Watford

And with that, I end my list. I could not think of ten places. I really like these places.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

The Finale: I did it, I finished Kingdom of Ash

Title: Kingdom of Ash

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Series: Throne of Glass #7

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance

Published by Bloomsbury YA on October 23rd 2018

Pages: 984

“Aelin Galathynius has vowed to save her people ― but at a tremendous cost. Locked within an iron coffin by the Queen of the Fae, Aelin must draw upon her fiery will as she endures months of torture. The knowledge that yielding to Maeve will doom those she loves keeps her from breaking, but her resolve is unraveling with each passing day…

With Aelin captured, friends and allies are scattered to different fates. Some bonds will grow even deeper, while others will be severed forever. As destinies weave together at last, all must fight if Erilea is to have any hope of salvation.

Years in the making, Sarah J. Maas’s New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series draws to an explosive conclusion as Aelin fights to save herself―and the promise of a better world.” -Goodreads

My Review:

Here it is…

The long awaited post.

The Throne of Glass series was one of the first books I heard raved about when I began this book blog and getting started in the Book community. And here it is, I have finished the final book in this series.

It has taken me a while.

I stopped reading the series for awhile and then I picked it back up but I had to restart. But, here I am. I have finished. It has been a lot of focus and sweat and tears and just everything to get this series done.

And when I say crying, I mean CRYING.

To put into perspective the last few hundred pages I had to read of this book, I cried for 5 hours the night that I finished. I had 300 pages left in the book and I just decided to finish it one night. I meant to read a little, but once I had read the first 100, I was already in tears and knew that I just needed to keep going. I finished it in a few hours and just tears.

I mean I had to drink so much water for how much I cried.

UGGGHGHGHGHGFfke;lfrefhaeorgklhdaklgf (sorry I got crazy)

This was such a good book. I have so many feelings about it.

First thing is first. This was the best way to end this series. I think that it was a really really good book. It made me so happy and so sad at the same time.

Second thing, I am looking back through my notes on the book and the biggest thing I wrote about in the beginning was how my Mom bought me a bootleg copy of this book. I swear. The pages are not the same quality and the binding was so bad. but, I still read it and I am pretty sure I am reading the right book.

So, I am going to try and make this into a spoiler-free review but I can not 100% guarantee. This will most likely have a few spoilers that I will forget to not mention. But, I will try to list a warning.

The story started off a little confusing but I think I just forgot a few things form the ending like names and such from EoS after reading ToD. I just was very excited to see when Chaol met up with the group again and dropped the hugest bomb on them.

Then there was a lot of sex, like right off the bat. I do not think that the other books had NEARLY as much sex as this one did. I mean there were a few heated moments in the others but this book had more sex scenes than all the others combined, I swear. And Maas kept putting them right in between really intense action scenes which really tickled my funny bone.

I also hate it when the POVs get interrupted during the action scenes. I get that it builds suspense. But, some of the POV changes just hurt my brain. There was one point where we had three storylines going and three chapters in a row left off with a cliffhanger and when we got back to the original chapter, I did not care anymore because I wanted to learn about the last one and I forgot all about this other storyline.

Maas does have unique way of using POVs and I really do like her use of them. I have read other multiple POV stories that just confuse the hell out of me. I think that Maas makes a great use of them, other than what I just stated above. I like to see how everyone’s story comes together in the end and where they all end up.

Two of the characters are in captivity together. While most books would probably put two characters who are friends or have a strong well built relationship together, Maas puts two characters who barely know each other. It then grows these two people closer together and makes a strong trauma-bonded friendship. I think that was a cool aspect because it was not just two friends suffering it was two strangers who became friends.

Aelin is such a strong character. Before I read this series, there were not a lot of strong female leads in the books I was reading. But, now I think this really opened the way for even stronger female leads and more badass women in fantasy. Aelin has been a near and dear friend to me these past years reading this series so I am really glad that I was able to read about her and hear how her story ended. I cried a lot about the ending. well actually, I cried a lot throughout the whole book for her. I felt as though she was a real presence in my life. I am really sad to see her go but thankful for everything she has taught me about being a woman and being a queen.

Rowan, Chaol, and Dorian have been the most amazing co-main characters in the world. They have al taught me about love and loss. I felt strong connections to them all. (If they were real people, I would consider polygamy). I think everyone they ended up with in the end was spectacular. All of their journeys really teach you a lot about the world.

Manon will always hold a special place in my heart. She went from someone who felt as though the world was rotten and dark and hating everyone, to learning to feel feelings and to have love for those surrounding her. She also rides dragons, (which let me just say Maas, I almost threw your book in the garbage when that one part with Abraxos came up).

Yrene, Lysandra, and Evangeline were phenomenal. Lysandra really held her own and is trying to make her way in a male dominated society. Evangeline melted hearts and showed strength even though she was young. And Yrene showed how women can save the world.

The plot of this story was really good. I think the story was really long and drawn out but it was not a bad mix. The only storyline that seemed too drawn out and almost unnecessary was Lysandra and Aedion’s POVs. Mostly because they kept losing battles and it was just the same thing every time we focused on them. I think Maas could have played with the impersonation storyline a bit more. I am really upset that Nox Owens and Aelin did not meet up at the end.

As you all know, I cried a lot during this. I strongly felt as thought Maas was going to pull a Divergent on us. SPOILER ALERT: but she did not and I am so grateful. I would not have been able to handle that loss.

Ugh, I have so many things to talk about with this book. I loved so many things. I think that if you have not started reading the series yet, you need to. It is one of the best stories that I have read in a long time. I dream to read the series again like it is my first time. Who knows, maybe in a year I will go back to reading it and not remember anything.

Anyways, I do want to put this series behind me. I think this review was a little jumbled. I have been writing my thoughts down into the a journal when I read. But, I am not sure if that is helping since I do not put spoilers in my reviews. I think I am going to start doing review/discussions. Like an overview at first but then a deep dive later so I can talk about what I liked. We shall see…

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Life Update: Cause I didn’t know what else to write about…

SO, this week has been pretty boring for me.

It is spring break for my school, but because of the pandemic, I stayed at my apartment.

I am basically doing a Marvel movie marathon.

I am watching them all in release date order, which I have never done before, and it is pretty fun. but, the week has left me with little time to read, hence the small amount of posts.

I got straight As in all of my classes this last quarter. I think this was one of the hardest quarters I have had. The classes were so boring and online school is really testing my patience. Thank god we are almost done with that.

I have been doing a lot of research into when I can get my vaccine. I want it so badly. My co-workers and I are planning on starting hot yoga once we all get the vaccines.

I am excited for next quarter which will start on Tuesday. I just paid for my last textbook and for my tuition. After this, I am going to just peruse my courses that are uploaded on Canvas.

I have 200 pages left to go in the Throne of Glass series. I am super excited about finishing it. I have not had this strong of a connection with a series since I read The Maze Runner or Harry Potter. I am just ready for it to be done but sad to see it go.

I did not have a lot to update you guys on but I needed something to post for this week. So hope you had a good time with this tiny post.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Chaos Walking: Was it Worth it?

A Chaos Walking Poster

Director: Doug Liman

Release Date: March 5, 2021

“In Prentisstown, Todd has been brought up to believe that the Spackle released a germ that killed all the women and unleashed Noise on the remaining men. After discovering a patch of silence out in the swamp, his surrogate parents immediately tell him that he has to run, leaving him with only a map of New World, a message, and many unanswered questions. He soon discovers the source of the silence: a girl, named Viola.” -Google

Review: Okay so please please please read what the synopsis says of the movie.

Go on.

Do it.

I wrote it above so you did not have to look it up.

Okay, you read it?

Now forget it.

This movie was nothing like it described. First, the germ was not mentioned in the movie at all. Like, not at all unless I was not paying attention enough. They did not “unleash” the noise on the men. He does not discover a “patch of silence.” He has no map and the girl is not the “source of the silence.”

That being said, I thankfully did not read that before I went into the movie. I just am a huge Tom Holland fan so I went to see it. But, my god, I would have been so confused if I had read the synopsis before I saw the movie. So, I am sorry if you have not seen it yet and had to read that. It just does not accurately portray the movie at all.

I think the synopsis goes along with the book and not the movie. But, that was just something I wanted to pick at before we went into the actual real review of the movie.

Just, if you are expecting what it says on Google, they only got it half-right. Trust me.

Now, dont get me wrong, the movie was good. Just, holy cow, not what I was expecting.

Also, the trailer is misleading too. Not as much, but holy hell there was a lot in the trailer that was not even breached in the movie.

UUUUGGHGHGHHDIHFdklfhsdfjklf clkjnlkvbitenfovtguv (oops sorry I was angry)

And holy cow I am going to have a few spoilers in the next paragraph.

So many questions were left unanswered. Like what are the Spackles? We get one glimpse but nothing else. Why do they not attack women? Why are women not affected by the noise? Why did the Prentisstown colony leave the original civilization? What does the original civilization look like? Like, where are the other civilizations? If Todd had a good or was supposed to have good control over his noise, why did he suck so bad at hiding everything? What was Nick Jonas’s role? Why were there so many supporting characters with no explanation? Who was the preacher? What did the Preacher want?

WHAT THE HELL?

Literally, so many questions. I went into this movie blind, and I came out with even more questions than I did when I knew nothing about the movie.

Photo of Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley in Chaos Walking

The story was exciting. It had a really good motorcycle/horse chase in it that really got my heart rate up. (SPOILER) But, then the horse just died (sorry grandma) out of nowhere. Like, they did not have to end the chase that way. (SPOILER) And do not get me started on the dog.

The story starts off really interesting. It opens with a quote that I did not have time to read because my roommate who I went to see the movie with was giggling the entire previews. (Our local theater played the same 3 ads for twenty minutes. We could not stop laughing at the heroine addiction commercial because it was a guy floating in an elevator. You had to be there.) It goes on to bring in Tom FREAKING Holland and his cute puppy. We kind of begin to understand the noise, but as I said earlier, I still have so many questions.

We get introduced to his town and then to his father and his father’s male partner? Lover? Roommate? Friend he shares a bed with? I am not sure. That was not delved into. I am not even sure it was his real father because the synopsis said surrogate parents. But, he kept calling him Dad. I dont know. It was kind of a confusing movie.

And then comes the spaceship, (not a spoiler it was in the trailer) and Todd finds it and here starts the adventure in the plot. He sees a girl for the first time and comically is trying not to freak out while also thinking she is hot while she is not trying to freak out because she can hear his thoughts.

She gets captured by a man who can do A LOT with his noise. Why can no one else control the noise like he can? UGGGGHHHH. Anyways, Todd tries to help her get out of that town and they go on a crazy adventure, yadayada, normal thriller movies plot line.

But, holy god the plot did not answer a lot of questions. Now, the books the movie was based on is a trilogy. So, it would make sense that they are laying the ground work for a sequel, but that much ground work is intense. I dont even think they will be able to make a sequel because this movie was just such a bummer. Like, the rotten tomatoes score is a 21% as of March 18th at 10:07pm PST.

Death Note (2017) got a better score than this movie. Pitch Perfect 3 got a better score. A movie called Lesbian Vampire Killers (2009) got a better score than this movie. Holy crap.

Daisy Ridley in Chaos Walking

I enjoyed this movie. I dont think this was the worst movie to exist. But, really. The disgusting, live-action Death Note got a higher ranking than this movie. Oh god.

Ugh, this is making my head hurt. Let me talk about something that did make sense; the casting.

Tom Holland in Chaos Walking

Tom Holland was fantastic. He played the dorky teenager seeing a girl for the first time really well. Also, he played the hero role really well, but, he was not as good as Daisy Ridley. He also had quite a few shirtless scenes that I very much appreciated. I, again, only watched this movie because I knew Tom Holland was going to be in it.

Now, they really are setting up their movie for failure in two ways. One, they got the movie buffs who read the premise or saw the trailer and thought it would be good, who are now all leaving the theaters confused and disappointed. Two, the hoards of teenage girls who came to see this movie because pretty Tom Holland was in it are going to be PISSED. you wanna know why? Because that the ass shot that we got WAS BLURRED. Like seriously. I mean he was great being the dorky kid who has never seen a girl before. But, you have got to be kidding me. The fact that I was teased with an ass shot and then not given it made me want to scream. Those two groups were probably a majority of the people going to see this movie and they are all not going to be giving good reviews of the movie.

Daisy Ridley in Chaos Walking

Now, Daisy Ridley was AMAZING. I have only seen her in the newer Star Wars movies so I was excited to see her play this role. And she did it REALLY well. I think she outplayed everyone in the movie. She was probably the biggest role. She passed the Bechdel test. She had an amazing performance. I think that if the movie wasn’t so confusing her role would have been even better. Like, her character was great, but she was only allowed to be awesome for a little bit. Like, just so much was going on it was hard to focus on her I feel like. I think that she somehow had a smaller role even though SHE WAS THE MAIN CHARACTER (you cannot tell me Todd Hewitt is the main character) because she was a woman. Women in film are not represented well. But, maybe that will be another post.

The other actors were great. But, those two got the most screen time. Shoutout to Cynthia Erivo, playing Hildy, who was the only other living female in the movie who got a speaking part. She was a badass town leader and mayor of the town.

So, now that I am unpacking everything, I get more and more frustrated. One, the movie was confusing. Two, the ass shot. Three, there will most likely be no sequel, I am calling it. Four, the female representation SUCKED, but what can you expect from a movie where they literally have no women in one town. Five, the animals.

When I was in the theaters watching the movie, I had a great time. When we left, I had exclaimed how I was a little confused, but I thought it was pretty good. My roommate chalked it up to the sequel needing to come out. But, now that I am here and did research and am reflecting on the events in the movie, I am unsure about my resolve that this was a good movie.

And, I try not to outright say I do not like things.

But, this movie, kind of sucked.

It is a great movie to watch once. I think it was cool. But, by god there was so much missing. I dont know. I dont want to deter anyone away from the movie. I actually want a bunch of people to watch it so that we can get a sequel. But, yikes.

Anyways, I hope you guys had a good week. I have been a little MIA and just putting out random stuff because the last two weeks I have been so stressed about finals so I have not read that much. But, today before the movie I did a lot of reading, and hopefully next week there will be a decent amount of posts.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Star Rating: 2.5