“A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning” by Lemony Snicket

BadBeginningObviously I’ve read this series before, but it’s probably been 10 years since I read it through. I remember when the books were still coming out and being so excited that “The End” was about to be released, and that was in 2006.

I decided to read the series again after I watched the new Netflix original version of “A Series of Unfortunate Events.” I think the actors look and act similarly to the movie that was released a while back with Jim Carrey as Count Olaf, but Neil Patrick Harris is the supreme Count Olaf.

In case you’ve never read the series or seen the show or movie, this series is about a trio of orphans, the Baudelaire orphans, who lose everything they’ve ever known in a terrible fire. In “The Bad Beginning,” they are forced to live with their despicable relative Count Olaf, whom they have never met nor heard of before. He’s pretty evil.

Sometimes it’s frustrating to read the books because you just know what a terrible situation these kids are in and how no one listens when they speak, no matter how rational the thought. I know it’s a fictitious work, but it’s still hard to imagine that there might be children who have to go through something like that.

The book is pretty short, so I finished it in I think two sittings. Next up is the second book, “The Reptile Room.” Also still reading “Buffering” by Hannah Hart but I’m making progress on that one.

Until next time,
Maegan

“Everything, Everything” by Nicola Yoon

9780552576482As far as teen fiction goes, I was pretty impressed with this book. I became interested in it after seeing a trailer for the movie that recently came out based on the book, so I put myself on the waiting list to get the audiobook from my public library.

The book is about Madeline, who basically lives in a bubble house because she has a rare disease where literally anything could kill her if she has a reaction to it, and Olly, the boy who moves in next door.

It’s a great story about young love (in a non-annoying way, because usually it’s annoying) and learning that the people closest to you might not actually be trustworthy. That’s probably not the main point of the book, but that’s what I took away from it.

While I was listening to the book, I thought that the story had a very obvious ending that I didn’t want to happen, and I wasn’t disappointed because there was a big, giant plot twist at the end. There wasn’t really a big reveal though, just a kind of gradual shifting of the plot. There was still a happy ending, but it also left plenty of questions unanswered. Maybe room for a second book? I do like the idea that the story lives on in your imagination though.

As I said, I listened to this one on audiobook, and it was pretty short so I got through it within a couple days.

I think sometimes I’m influenced by the person who reads the audiobook. It’s something about their voice or inflection or something, I just think to myself, “A normal person wouldn’t act like that or say those things.” I really like audiobooks where the author is the one reading because they know exactly how that character is supposed to feel in that moment. It’s even better when it’s a memoir read by the author because really, why even try to get someone else to read about your own experiences?

In this book, it sounds like the supposedly 18-year-old Maddy is a 40-year-old woman, so it was good but there was room for improvement.

Now I’m reading “Buffering” by Hannah Hart (still) and I just started “Two by Two” by Nicholas Sparks. I have a pretty substantial to-be-read list and it just keeps growing and growing so thank goodness for digital copies of books. Never thought I would say that.

For now,
Maegan

“The 5th Wave” by Rick Yancey

512And8xM0LThis book is pretty decent as far as young adult dystopian novels go. I first read it a couple years ago before the movie version was released and I remember being in shock and awe over all the twists and turns in the plot. It definitely keeps you guessing right up until the end. Then it leaves you hanging. So clearly I have already started reading the second novel in the series, “The Infinite Sea,” which I have also read before. I’m really excited about getting to the third book, “The Last Star,” because that one had not been released when I was reading this series the first time, so it’s all new territory.

I actually think I did a library foul because I borrowed all three books at once in e-book and audiobook format. But you can’t blame me too much because I’m getting through them pretty quickly. Plus I couldn’t chance it if someone checked out the next book after the one I was currently reading, because then I would just have to sit and wait until they were done and that is no bueno.

I like the writing in this book a lot because it is in human speak and the dialogue actually sounds like kids speaking, instead of what some adult thinks kids would sound like if they had gone to a secret etiquette-based boarding school in their formative years. And there’s just enough annoying teen drama to make it realistic but not so much that you sigh and consider chucking the book out your bedroom window.

So basically the plot is this: Everything is fine and dandy in Ohio/the world until *dun dun duhhh* the Arrival. The Mothership shows up in the sky and then the “Others” start making insanely terribly things happen to eradicate all human life. These things come in waves, i.e. “The 5th Wave” is eminent at the start of this book. Not surprisingly at all, a bunch of teenagers/kids figure out what is going on and try to handle that mess. But of course, the book ends pretty much immediately after some big action so you really don’t have much information about the impact of their actions.

One thing that gets me in this book: There’s this analogy that keeps popping up about humans being the cockroaches of the world compared to the Others, which is fine. Cockroaches are gross, but still. But there’s this other analogy that keeps coming up where the main character is referred to as a mayfly by her male companion. Like ew. If you’re trying to be sweet or romantic, how about a butterfly or something less ew? Really, you’re comparing this girl to a gross bug that hovers around water or something. Way to get some brownie points. But for some reason that is completely mysterious to me, this chick completely digs it and is all about being referred to as a gross bug. Her prerogative, I guess.

Anywho, now I’m on to “The Infinite Sea” while also simultaneously reading Jenny Lawson’s first two books, “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir” and “Furiously Happy.”

Just call me a book reading fiend,
Maegan

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” by J.K. Rowling

dh-us-jacket-artI wrapped this book up a few days ago and have been meaning to post about it. It took a little shy of two years, but I reread the series! It definitely sped up near the end when I started utilizing my access to audiobooks though. Plus there was a pretty sizeable gap near “Prisoner of Azkaban” where I just didn’t touch these books.

I forgot how in this book most of the action happens in the second half. Then again, it’s more than 750 pages, so half the book is like a regular book elsewhere. But when I was reading I kept thinking of all the things that I knew were going to happen but hadn’t happened yet and it made me realize, this book is LONG.

Just so you know, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” is not a good airplane read. I tried it and my hands started aching from trying to hold it up. So stick to your paperbacks and make sure they’re less than 750+ pages.

As always, I’m amazed at J.K. Rowling and her ability to create this world and all the things and people in it. It just comes off as effortless. I’ve ready way too many books where the author tries to force characters into relationships or gives them dialogue that just seems super forced and rushed for where that character is in the story. There’s none of that here. This book could be a biography for the way it flows and the depth of character it brings. I just love Harry Potter and I just love J.K. Rowling.

Side note. I went on a cruise to the Bahamas a couple weeks ago and I very nearly won Harry Potter trivia. I got 19/20 questions correct and had to go head-to-head against four other Harry Potter nerds. Unfortunately I was bested because someone else was able to answer what James Potter’s wand was made of, but it was truly a highlight of the trip.

Anyway, I just started “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir)” by Jenny Lawson. I got this book for Christmas and I have been looking forward to reading it. I’m only about three chapters in, but it is hilarious. I am excited about this book.

I also started the audiobook of “A Dog’s Purpose: A Novel for Humans” by W. Bruce Cameron because I saw the movie and it was adorable, but I just don’t know if I can get into this book. I’m on chapter three or four and it just feels like it’s dragging. Maybe it’s the person reading the audiobook, or maybe it’s the book. Either way, I’m just not sure I’ll make it through this book. Even though I want to because the dog in the movie was beautiful and I want to keep him forever.

Until next time,
Maegan

“The Crown” by Kiera Cass

The_Crown_CoverI finished this one a couple days ago while I was on vacation. Mind you, it’s not a very great beach read. But it did the trick.

I was super excited to read this book and the one before, “The Heir,” because I had never read them and they rounded out the Selection series. Lo and behold, I started losing interest.

You know the whole book is about the princess/future queen and her search for a husband that she initially didn’t even want to have. In the end she picks someone she’s had probably one and a half conversations with. So clearly it is true love.

And there’s just something about this character. Her people think she’s a horrible person but her many suitors disagree. Still, there’s nothing really that proves that she’s not a horrible person. It just seems like every time she tries to be nice and the author tries to show that she’s genuine, she comes off as fake and it just really doesn’t seem sincere.

But at least I finished it. So now I am trying to finish “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” which is a giant book when you’re trying to read on a plane. But I am also back to listening to the audiobook, which is much more mobile. Next I am planning on reading “A Dog’s Purpose,” by W. Bruce Cameron. I saw the movie a few weeks ago and I thought it was the sweetest thing so of course now I have to read it.

More later,
Maegan

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” by J.K. Rowling

91igIGBj0vL.jpgWe all knew this one was coming. Being the Harry Potter nerd that I am, I saw this movie within a few days after it came out and I went on the waiting list to check out the screenplay in ebook format as soon as I could at my public library.

I finally got the ebook, but it took a few tries to get it fully read because I was reading a few other things too. So I’ve been working on this one for a few weeks and I finally finished it this morning.

Clearly J.K. Rowling is the queen of the wizarding world and she continues to reign forever and ever. It’s amazing all of the things she has created and shared with us over the years. I particularly like reading her screenplays because there are little details that you might miss in the movie but are pointed out in writing and it adds to the story. What’s even better is this movie is independent of any other books, so I didn’t torture myself by comparing what should or should not be happening during the movie. It was a great movie. I already have the movie poster hanging on my living room wall.

But anywho, I highly recommend the movie and the screenplay for all Potterheads, and I’m sure I will end up reading it again one day.

I’m only a few chapters shy of finishing “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” and I’m also reading “The One” now, which is part of the Selection series.

More on that later,
Maegan

“Mockingjay” by Suzanne Collins

mockingjayYay, I finished a series! And it was straight up auditory. As in I only listened to audiobooks to finish the trilogy.

Like I said before, I was only reading this series to pass the time, and it worked pretty well. I mostly just listened on the drive to work but because there’s no school, the drive is considerably shorter these days. Alas, this morning was the morning that it came to completion.

There wasn’t much in this book that I didn’t remember from before, except a certain character death, which I probably just repressed because it was so traumatizing, tbh. And no, it’s probably not the character death that you’re thinking about. Other than that one thought that crossed my mind in this particular book of the three was that this book is really dark for a “teen” book. Like lots of death and dying and destruction and all that mess. But it is more realistic than a lot of other books who try to have the whole war scene going on where no one even sheds any blood.

Anywho, other than this series, I’m also *about* to finish “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” (hopefully tonight) and I just started the screenplay of “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” yesterday. I think that one will be a pretty easy read, as long as I don’t forget about it before my public library comes back to claim it.

Hopefully I will be able to make another post tomorrow because I will have finished the Harry Potter book, but I am also in the midst of cleaning my whole apartment and it’s glorious.

Ta-ta for now,
Maegan

“Before I Fall” by Lauren Oliver

6482837Ok, not going to lie, I only started on this book because I saw that it was becoming a movie and the trailer looked really good. So I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

In the beginning, I didn’t think I would like the book because it was about a *popular* girl, so I figured I couldn’t relate at all. But it wasn’t a typical mean girl story and there were a lot of good characters and I ended up liking it a lot.

One of the best parts about the book was the cadence. There were phrases that were repeated and pieces of poetry that were used and you would think that they were just helping the flow of the book, but later you would realize that each had a meaning and added value to the story.

Added value: Sarah Drew read the audiobook and I’m a huge Grey’s Anatomy fan so it was like April Kepner was telling me things about her life and it was great.

I do like a little suspense in my literature and this book had that too. The whole time I was thinking “There’s no way this can happen” and then at the end you’re left wondering, “Did that actually happen?” It’s really left up to the reader to determine how the book ended, which I liked.

Overall, I liked this book and it made me want to read more books by Lauren Oliver.

Read it, fam,
Maegan

“Catching Fire” by Suzanne Collins

catching_fireNaturally, since I read “The Hunger Games” I would be following up with “Catching Fire.” Of course I’ve read the whole series before, but it’s been a while so there were some details that I had forgotten about, but for the most part the story is pretty parallel in the book and the movie.

I don’t actually think I would have been able to finish this book without listening to the audiobook while I colored in my adult coloring book with my brand new Christmas present, aka fine tip markers. But I did it, yay! A few weeks ago… Yep, I forgot to post about the book after I finished the book, so I am about to double post here.

Anyway, I have to check with my public library to see if the audiobook for “Mockingjay” is available, then I can start on that one. I’m also working on “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” and I’m trying to decide whether I want to finish “This is Where it Ends.” I also just finished another book, but you’ll have to see the next post to find out about that one.

Until next time, aka a few minutes,
Maegan

“Me Before You” by Jojo Moyes

me_before_youSo I started this book several months ago with the hopes of finishing it before the movie based on it came out in theaters in June. Clearly I failed. I got about halfway through before the movie, saw the movie anyway, and then just couldn’t get any hurry up and go about reading it because I already knew what was going to happen.

It was a great movie, so I expected the book to be pretty good, and it was. A couple times I tripped myself up because the book is set in the UK and a few things were mentioned in casual UK terms. Like knickers. Or trainers. That one really threw me for a loop.

Anyway, around the time the movie based on the book came out there was a big uproar about the fact that one of the big plot points in the story revolves around physician-assisted suicide. Which I am not going to go anywhere near. You have your thoughts and I’ll have mine and we can just agree that Jojo Moyes did a very good job with the character development of all the people in this book. There was a lot of detail that went into each character in Louisa Clark’s life but there was just the right amount of vagueness in my opinion to leave a few things open for interpretation.

I may read some of Jojo Moyes’s other books one day, but right now I’m still working on my current list, which hasn’t really changed. I’ll let you know how that goes but right now I’m spending my weekend binge-watching Gilmore Girls so not much reading this weekend.

Until later,
Maegan