Rules of Civility

By: Amor Towles

So I’m taking a break from reading books coming to movie this year and read this book which was a quick historical fiction read with just enough substance to get you from start to finish.  It takes place in the late 1930s which I have found to be a very romanticized decade when focusing on the upper class which this book does.

Quick synopsis: Young New York native Katy Kontent spends a year evolving and growing while experiencing the Jazz nightlife of New York’s well to do.  Honestly that pretty much sums it up. If I tell you anymore I’ll have to put spoiler in front of it.

Spoilers

I enjoyed the constant wit throughout this book and I loved how modern KK was.  My favorite line in the whole book came from KK herself during the dinner party hosted by Tinker and Eve.

“ Bucky dear, his wife warned, you’re slurring your words.”

“Slurring is the cursive of speech, I observed”

I actually saved it in my notes so that next time I’ve drank too much and can’t speak correctly I can fire that one off.  This exchange is a prime example of the book though.  Lots of gin, lots of champagne, and lots of jazz.

With the book starting in the sixties you knew that KK and Tinker were not going to get together, but I was little surprised still that he was sleeping with Anne and then abdoned his whole life to slum in the dock district.  I figured he was going to die in the war like good old Wallace and that would be why they never got together.  I also thought it was ridiculous that Dicky pretty much told Katy to forgive Tinker.  He chose to prostitute himself out to old Anne and he chose to lie about it to K and to Evelyn, her best friend.  Maybe his dad did squander all of his tuition money and maybe sleeping with Anne was his only way to get his foot in the door and yes Eve did blow him off, but how is that Kate’s issue? I don’t know why she went looking for him or why she would even give him the time of day after that.  Especially since she worked hard for everything she had.

I loved reading about the parties and the lifestyle of the well to do that K would frequently brush shoulders with by chance or by meager connections.  Wallace of course was a doll and him dying during the war was unfortunate, but expected.   Dickey was adorable.  I love that he jumped in the tub with his socks on bc he was so excited for Katy and the note he wrote to the children and flew into their window as a paper airplane.

Our bastions are under attack from all sides.                                                              Our stores of ammunition are low.          Our salvation lies in your hands.               Peter Pan 

Adorable. I fell a little in love with Dickey that chapter.

The ending was mundane, the obsession with Washington’s rules of civility was overplayed, and someone help me but what was the last chapter even about? The two guys loading sugar onto the train.  Was it just a newcomers appreciation of New York or was there something I missed?

Now after it is all said and done.  I enjoyed this book.  I would give it 4/5 stars and I already went and reserved my copy of this authors other book.

Feel free to share your thoughts or comments below.

Happy Reading Friends!!27A2298F-02C2-4DE8-926D-FC67499BA828

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Every Day

By: David Levithan

So this is another book that is going to be coming to theaters sometime later this year.  I’ve decided I’m going to bust through all the books coming to movies his year so that if I go on a date and the other persons picks the movie then I won’t spend the whole time pissed that I have not read the book yet.

Quick synopsis: This individual inhabits a new body every time it wakes up.  Fall asleep one person and wakes up another person every day.  Always the same age, but never the same person.  A girl is met while inhabitating one body and love is started.

Very interesting premise for a book and I was hooked pretty quickly in.  The author is a beautiful writer and he has many quotes, examples, and points of view that were very intriguing and heartfelt.

Spoilers

The author was very insightful into the basic human life with this book and there were many passages that popped up that I copied and pasted for me to dwell on later.  The first one that really struck a cord with me was this.

“We all want everything to be okay. We don’t even wish so much for fantastic or marvelous or outstanding. We will happily settle for okay, because most of the time, okay is enough.”

Maybe because I’m recently going through a breakup, but this thought hit me hard.  How true is it that most of us settle.  We settle in relationships, we settle in jobs, we settle in our life without even thinking that we deserve marvelous.  Yes outstanding takes work and patience and perseverance, but why do we not think we derseve it? I know I sound like your high school guidance councilor, but I deserve fantastic and I’m not settling for okay anymore.  Maybe you should not either.

This next passage that got me is pretty redundant of the first so I’m just going to let you read it bc it you are in a similar place as me then you might need it.

“There are many things that can keep you in a relationship,” I say. “Fear of being alone. Fear of disrupting the arrangement of your life. A decision to settle for something that’s okay, because you don’t know if you can get any better. Or maybe there’s the irrational belief that it will get better, even if you know he won’t change.”

So this next paragraph that made me put the book down and think was this one.

“It’s only in the finer points that it gets complicated and contentious, the inability to realize that no matter what our religion or gender or race or geographic background, we all have about 98 percent in common with each other. Yes, the differences between male and female are biological, but if you look at the biology as a matter of percentage, there aren’t a whole lot of things that are different. Race is different purely as a social construction, not as an inherent difference. And religion—whether you believe in God or Yahweh or Allah or something else, odds are that at heart you want the same things. For whatever reason, we like to focus on the 2 percent that’s different, and most of the conflict in the world comes from that.”

Wow!  Yes we are all humans and yes most of us inherently want the same things.  We want to be accepted, we want love, we want to do right by those we love, we want to be a part of something bigger.  Why do we squabble about whose God is better?  Why do we put down someone bc they “look different” than us?  Really someone who “looks different” actually still looks more like you, thinks more like you, and feels more like you than your dog does.  However we still think that we are different.  I’m not perfect and I’m guilty of thinking I’m better than someone based off education, looks, or some trivial difference, but why am I focusing on the 2%? I’m going to try to start focusing on the 98% similarities and maybe I can make my corner a little bit nicer.

I know we got a little deep so lets jump back into the 16 year old incomparably love that is a huge part of this book. Our main character A is big time going for gold in love with Rhiannon.  Not because she is beautiful, but because she is kind, funny, and looks at the 98% in people.  I’m not a big fan of 16 year old love, but A seems super sincere and maybe a little desperate especially since he told R his big secret that he has never told anyone and she believes him and still loves him in spite of being a body stealer.  I also realize I keep using the he pronoun which is not accurate since A does not have a set gender, but I felt like his voice felt more masculine and I’m going with it now.

I was overly disappointed with the ending.  I didn’t want him to steal anyone’s body.  I know that would be murdering and probably turn into a host like Book, but maybe he could have found someone dying or someone who was an actually murder and taken over their body for good? And what was he thinking just picking some random guy for R to fall for?  That was weird.  You can’t force feelings. Just bc A thought he was a nice guy does not mean he was right for R. Maybe he chewed with his mouth open or maybe he made this horrible grunting noise during sex or maybe he was a nose picker. All things that A could not have accessed from his memeory but would drive someone insane to date.   I feel like the ending could have been reworked into something better, but maybe the movie will have a more Hollywood ending.

Of course I’m still going to watch the movie.  The spirit of the book is genuine and so thoughtful and the trailer looks cute.

Feel free to share your thoughts opinions insights.  Whatever’s.

Happy reading friends!! 19FA2F5C-56C4-408F-9882-1A42A975BE7B

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

By: Becky Albertalli

So this book is also coming to theaters soon and the trailer looks adorable so I wanted to read it before I watched it.  I always like to read the book first so that I can come up with my own visuals before the movie inserts them for me.

Quick Synopsis: Simon is a junior at creekwood high and has recently started a pen pal like relationship with a fellow student who is also gay and has also not come out yet.  The catch. Neither Simon nor Blue ( the email pal) know who each other is.

Spoilers

I think adorable is the best way to describe this book. Yes it is high school first time love. Yes it is predictable and mushy.  However with our main character being into guys there are loads of descriptions of sexy high school boys with soccer calf’s.  I remember having a thing for soccer calf’s in high school too.

There are quite a few instances in this book that I feel need to be touched on.  The blackmailing by Martin.  It annoyed me to no end that he was unable or unwilling to recognize that him using Simon to get close to Abby was indeed blackmail.  I was slightly annoyed that Simon seemed to start to give him a pass when they were running lines at the Waffle House and even more so when he had the audacity to out Simon on the school page.  I don’t care if he is funny or if his brother is gay.  Martin is a trash person and deserves to live in a house of trash.  I’m glad that Simon did not respond to the apology email and I’m glad he did not forgive him.

Moving on from trash people.  I also got a little upset with Abby for being upset that Simon did not tell her he was being blackmailed and proceeded to invite Martin to things where Abby was in attendance so that Martin would not tell his biggest secret to everyone.  Abby should have been a little more understanding and recognized how she was helping a friend in crisis even if she didn’t know it.

Unfortunately because I did watch the trailer for this book already I had an early assumption that Baum was Blue based off the gorgeous mocha skinned boy that appears in the trailer.  I love how the boys started their relationship solely based off personality without any idea what the other looked like.  I think more online relationships would have a higher success rate if you judged people off common interest and shared personality traits as opposed to looks.  Obviously.

The parents were so understanding which was amazing and really most of the school was very supportive when trash man came out for Simon. Besides for a couple douchbags most of the students didn’t seem to care too much about who Simon wanted to kiss which is great.  If it does not concern you then mind your own business.

I cant say it enough, but this book is adorable.  The last couple chapters when Simon and Baum are Facebook official just melt my cynical heart.  I hope you guys enjoyed this book as much as I did.

Happy reading friends!! 3C9A7307-FF10-4E13-BACC-9ED59D2765CB

Ready Player One

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By: Ernest Cline

I actually read this book mid last year before I had started this blog, but since this book is coming to theaters in March I’m going to do my thoughts and reviews on it now.  First off this was the first audio book I ever listened to and it was amazing.  It is read by Wil Wheaton who does an epic job with voices and tones throughout the entire novel.

Quick synopsis: This book takes place in the near future where the world has essentially crumbled and is now an ugly grim place where most people escape into the OASIS. The OASIS is a virtual reality created by James Halliday which consists of thousands of worlds that users can travel to and explore.  On the death of Halliday he releases a video with information about a hidden treasure hunt to find his Easter egg with the winner recieving his vast fourtune.

Out hero Wade Watts aka Parzival joins in this hunt for most of his life. The hunt takes him through obscene amounts of 80s trivial and pop culture, a love interest that surpasses basic beauty, and friends that are more than what you see on first glance.

In short.  This book is AMAZE-BALLS!

This next area is going to be full of spoilers so non readers beware.

So right off the bat I love when the main character is described as socially awkward and overweight.  I would much rather read about a real life description as opposed to beautiful people with perfect bodies and oh yeah they just didn’t happen to know they were beautiful because that commonly happens in the real world.  I love the concept of the OASIS school.  Hell I love the whole concept of the OASIS.  If the OASIS was an actual concept I would be a super nerd like Wade and never leave either.  Not saying that I’m not a super nerd now but moving on.

I thought it was perfect that Halliday hid the first key on the school world so that anyone regardless of money or ranking would have a chance to play.  Wade of course beat the first level on his first try while Art3mis has been trying to beat it for weeks.  I know he is our main character and had to be a BA, but that is a lot of spare time practice to be beating the entire video game on your first go.

A concern throughout the book is Wades interest and spare time.  He is so obsessed with Halliday and with finding the Easter egg that all of his interest and hobbies are what Halliday told him they should be.  Throughout the book he has zero original thoughts or extra curricular activities.  I know that finding the egg will change his live in good ways forever, but does he ever read a book or watch a movie that is not from the 80s? Even H (I know that is not how it is spelled but bc I did the audiobook this is how I picture his/her name) who is obsessed with Halliday’s quest just as much as wade still goes to other worlds and battles and does things not for the egg.  Art3mis has a blog.  Yes it is about the quest, but at least she is putting her own perspective on it.  And then Wade with nothing but school the stacks and that egg.

So now Sorrento and those Fucking sixers blowing up the stacks and killing sweet old Mrs. Gilmore and I guess also wades aunt and her boyfriend and all the other poor people there.  What a dick move.  I know they are desperate for that egg, but that is some serious psycho move to be murding all those people.  I understand why the organization is hiring all the sixers to find the egg, but it’s crazy to me that Sorrento thinks he is more than just a number to IOI. Maybe he has never worked for a big corporation before because he should have taken some early precautions for when IOI found an easier avenue without him.  A corporation like that will only keep you around until they find the next step higher than you then you are out.

The last great battle when Parzival called for help from the entire OASIS was pretty epic. It was very uplifting to see all the “little players” readily jump in to help stick it to the man.  Of course he won, of course he got the fortune, the fame and the girl.

I like how the book ended with him finally meeting Art3mis in person. I’m a sucker for a good love story.

Now I know that I left out ALOT of stuff from the book, but my toddler has been a monster all day and this is what you get. Feel free to comment like share tell me what I forgot to talk about what you though made the book amazing or how much you hate the book and think the movie is going to suck.  FYI I think this movie is going to be Fucking Stellar and I’m stoked about it.  I might have been talking about it since October so expect a post about the movie in March.

Happy reading friends!

One Dark Throne

By: Kendare Blake

This is the second book in the three dark crowns series. I enjoyed this book lots and found on goodreads that the series has been extended from two books to four books now which is very exciting.

Quick synopsis. The three queens have entered their ascension year and now it is open season for them to try to kill each other.  All the book one characters have returned to assist and observe the queens battle to their deaths.

Allright now for anyone who has not read the book this is where the spoilers start!!

Lets start with sweet Katharine who clawed her way out of the Breccia Domain and is now the undead queen.  She has the most mysteries surrounding her and I feel like some of them were still not answered in this book. So I get that the dead queens are influencing her viciousness and coercing her to do their bidding, but was their bidding the not making any more queens?  Also how did they know Katharine would consume so much poison that she was poison?  Is a dead queen in Katharine or is she just malicious on her own?  She did show humility when she toasted the first “death” of Arsinoe which was very short sided considering how readily she poisioned her the second time.  Also how did Pietyr get out of the Breccia Domain?

Lovely Mirabella and her love for her sisters.  I still think she is so boring. She was too scared to help Arsinoe in the woods, she would have been killed during the duel she initiated if it was not for Arsinoe, and she proposed to Arsinoe’s man days after she thinks she is dead. Seriously this girl is more of a train wreck than Katharine. Someone needs to lock her in a tower and let her have a good cry.

Arsinoe. I know last book I was rooting for queen Katharine and don’t get me wrong Katharine is still the best choice for what the island wants, but Arsinoe grew on me a lot this Book. She is brave and loyal and she truly loves her sisters. The way she ran into the arena to save Mirabella even though she condemned herself with that action.  And stupid Mira just watched her get shot in the back while she hid behind a tree and cried.  I’m excited to see what trouble Arsinoe gets into on the mainland.

Jules oh stupid Jules.  Her war gift is going to be epic by the time the queens return to the island. I just worry that she is going to be a cold and distant person now with Joseph dead. Also Natalie being dead is going to fuck Katharine up. Natalie was her voice of reason during the crazy episodes and I don’t think Pietyr can talk her off the ledge as well as he thinks he can.

Theories for the third book.

Mira and Arsinoe have to go back to the island. Obviously.

What is the mainland going to be like? Like is it 1950s there or present day?  Is it like where we live or does it have magic and talents hidden throughout.

Why will the queens go back?  Maybe an ominous note from Katharine?  Or an olive branch from her?  Maybe a trick from the goddess herself?  Now that Katharine has hopefully appeased the dead queens she can go back to being her former sweet self except I kinda like the undead queen and her rashness.

Will Mira and Arsinoe find their mom on the mainland?  Will Mira ever find a love of her own?

Questions and more await us for the third book.  Happy reading friends

Feel free to comment like share whatever your heart desires! 4B9A036C-F31F-4EE0-8226-690767DC0F73

Three Dark Crowns

By: Kendare Blake

First off this post is going to be nothing but spoilers so you have been warned!

I just finished the book. Like literally set it down 58 seconds ago and then started writing and all I can think right now is WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK!!!

Right off the bat how is Katharine not dead. What does she mean she did not fall?  What she just held onto the side of the cliff for a week while everyone was looking for her and then walked home?  Also why did Pietyr throw her into the pit?  Because having your head smashed in is better than your head cut off?  Either way still dead. And revenge on who? Pietyr?  What does revenge on him have to do with the crown?  Arsinoe? For the bear?  Mirabella?  For being selfless?

Oh Mirabella. What to say about you. There has been nothing but confusion and lies when it comes to her story. She really would be the best queen. Graceful, compassionate, powerful, and loyal.  All very queen like attributes, but I just can’t bring myself to accept her as queen.  I have a feeling in the next book there will be more deceit her way.

Arsione. WOW!! So if she’s a poisoner does Katharine have a familiar somewhere that is just waiting for her?  And why would her mother name her Arsione after a past giftless queen and then fuck up what her gift is?  Also props to her for going with the bear gig, and for wearing pants at her quickening, and for not caring that her face is bear fucked, and for being a straight up BA!

Jules and Joseph. I feel bad for Jules but they both need to move on. Joseph to Mirabella.  Jules to her cougar. Arsinoe threw your love bag in the fire and ruin your love. Sorry from your queen.

Billy, junior, William chatworth the third or whatever you call him started growing on me after Arsinoe got attacked by the bear and he offered to stomp on the flowers his father got for her. I really hope he doesn’t double cross her and is sincere about his efforts.  Also hope the candies were actually from his father and not him trying to take her out bc he knows she’s a sham.

Natalie.  I was not too sure about her at first, but she sincerely loves Kat and honestly just wants the best for her which she thinks is being queen.  She might have a few sociopath tendencies, but I’d be surprised if most of the poisoners didn’t.

Final thoughts for now.  The queens only wear black and have black hair and black eyes. Like they were made for mourning. Mourning of the lost parents and mother they never met. Mourning for the separation of their sisters. Mourning for the painful and treacherous upbringing and then the mourning of the death of their sisters. Their last real family.

This book was amazing!  I would love to hear thoughts, opinions, complaints, or anything!  Getting ready to start One Dark Throne and then I’ll post more!  Happy reading friends! 908846D8-26FA-4F7B-831B-731CEA74CB74

 

Quick shoutout to start reading this!

908846D8-26FA-4F7B-831B-731CEA74CB74This is not a full post this is just a quick shoutout that if you have not started reading Three Dark Crowns by: Kendare Blake then you need to!!  I’m half way through this book and it might be better than the Throne of Glass series by: Sarah J Mass which if you have not read you are missing out.  I’m sure I will have this book finished VERY soon and then I’ll have a full post on it, but in the mean time. Favorite queen?  So far I’m going with Katharine.  Happy reading friends!