Top 5 Wednesday: 5 Least Favorite Books of your Favorite Series

Hello, this is another Top 5 Wednesday which was started by Lainey at Goodreads

This week’s Top 5 Wednesday is Least Favorite Book of your Favorite Series. Now for me this doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a bad book, it just not as good as the other books in the series.

  1. Fairest from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

This book is the case of an underwhelming prequel that doesn’t really give us anything new. While I did enjoy reading about Luna, but the story was too short and didn’t tell us what we already knew. Look here for my review of the book.

2. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

I actually liked this book. I liked seeing the back story of Voldemort (which they shamelessly left out in the movie). But this book was basically a lead up to the final book. I also didn’t like how the romance subplot that took up most of the book, and would have loved to see more of the Harry and Dumbledore relationship.

3. Mockingjay from The Hunger Games

This book suffers from Return of the Jedi syndrome. Which is when a second movie or book of the series is really good that it overshadows the 3rd book. I really enjoyed Mockingjay especially the political aspects of it, but I also felt that the ending was very rushed.

4. A Feast for Crows from A Song of Ice and Fire

Okay, this was another book I actually like, but it did have its problem; mainly because it didn’t feature my favorite characters and also the South. But like Half Blood Prince, this book is focused on the build up to what happens in the next book. I’m glad that the show actually decided to combine both a Feast for Crows and Dance with Dragons in one season.

5. New Moon from Twilight 

First of all, yes I read the Twilight books, all of them. I was going to say Breaking Dawn because the ending was so underwhelming and disappointing but I feel New Moon was my least favorite because it was a book where nothing really happened. I know it introduced the werewolves and also developed Jacob but it was mostly about Bella weeping for Edward and not really giving her any character development.

Top 5 Wednesday: DNF-Did not finish

This is something that I wanted to do but never had the time, so this is my top 5 Wednesday which was started by Lainey and theirs a group on Goodreads.

This week is Top 5 DNF or Did not Finish, which is the top 5 books you didn’t finish. This was tricky because  I usually try to finish a book no matter how boring it is, so I am going to included series I didn’t finish as well.

Disclaimer: I know some of these books has fans, but this my opinion. If you like any of these books fine, they just weren’t for me.

  1. The Winner’s Curse:

I just couldn’t get into this book. I heard great things so I decided to read it, and it was such a chore to get through, and I also felt that the characters were very bland and uninteresting.

2. Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

This is a case of when I though I was getting one story, but I wound up getting a different story. I thought it would be a retelling of Alice in Wonderland with zombies, but what I got was a story that is basically Gossip Girl. The beginning I thought was really good, but the book as it went on failed to live up to expectations and I got bored.

3. The Quarantine series by Lex Thomas

 

When I read the first book, I thought it was all right. The premise excited me, but when I read the first book the story was cliched, and the characters were uninteresting and dull.

4. The Girl Who Would be King: by Kelly Thompson

This is another example of excited by the premise, but disappointed in the story. I like that it dealt with powers that the two leading girls had, the execution of the story was disappointing and boring that I couldn’t finish it.

5. The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

This was a series I felt was over hyped. I was a little underwhelmed by the first book and the world building which I felt was confusing and it had a twist that anyone could see coming. I may pick it up again because I heard the book series gets better, so I may finish it.

 

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass) with Spoilers

Summary (via Goodreads): “A line that should never be crossed is about to be breached.

It puts this entire castle in jeopardy—and the life of your friend.”

From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.

Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.

Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena’s world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie… and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.

My Thoughts: This is where I feel that the series begins to pick up and really expand the world that it is in. While the first book was a great start to the series, this book is where I realiazed that the series was great.

First, I liked Celaena’s development in this book, after winning the tournament she is now indebted to the king and has to do what he says or he will kill Chaol. I like that instead of killing her intended targets, she lets them go and puts them in hiding. She is also told of a rebellion coming from the other kingdom and feels she is conflicted with what she has to do, and what she believes is right according to Nehemia. I think Nehemia’s death was handled very well, and that is what lead to Celaena’s development.

Chaol also gets character development, and also feels conflicted in working for the king, along with Dorian, who has to deal with his father. I know it is still a love triangle, but it’s an example of romance done right in which the characters are actually developed and you care for them, rather them having them be in love because the plot said so.

The plot also expands the world that the story takes place in. The book discusses what happened to Celaena’s parents and finding out she is the lost princess and also part Fae, which were a species that was mostly killed off. While some “lost princess” tropes are annoying this one actually surprised and had several hints throughout the story.

I think this was a great second book and elevated my love for the series.

Grade: 4.3/5

My Thoughts on Indiana Jones 5

Yesterday, if you may not have heard it was announced that Disney/Lucasfilm is planning on having another Indiana Jones film with Harrison Ford starring and Steven Spielberg directing.

For my own history of Indiana Jones, I am a fan of the movies mainly, Raiders of the Lost Arc and Temple of Doom, I even kinda like Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (i know, i know).So of course, this news excited me because I would love to see more Indiana Jones movies, since Disney is doing a good job with the Star Wars franchise, it only makes sense to bring back Indiana Jones.

My only reservation is that Harrison Ford, as great of an actor he is, is not getting any younger, so so I don’t know if he will play Indiana Jones full time or try to pass the torch (or hat and whip) to someone else.

What I would like to see is Indiana Jones reunited with Short Round (now possibly played by Steven Yeun from The Walking Dead), and have them team up and maybe hopefully if it all goes well he gets to lead the franchise. But that’s just my opinion. I hope this new film will at least get the public more confident in the Indiana Jones franchise and have it become resurrected like the Star Wars franchise.

American Crime Season Two Review (TW: rape/sexual assault) and Spoilers

American Crime is an anthology series on ABC, and not to be confused with American Crime Story which is currently playing on FX. This series was created by Academy Award Winner John Ridley, who wrote 12 Years a Slave. While I didn’t watch the previous season, I did hear great things about it which made me want to check out season 2, and season 2 did not disappoint.

This series starts off with an alleged rape that happened at a basketball team party, and it quickly deals with issues of race, class, gender and sexual orientation and how it all inter-laps with one another. The victim is Taylor Blaine (Connor Jessup), who is a scholarship student at Leland Academy, find out out he was possibly raped based on some pictures taken of him. His mother Anne Blaine (Lilli Taylor), trying to go the school and the police to try to get answers. Also a the center piece of the story is Leslie Graham( Felicity Huffman), who is the dean of Leland Academy trying to maintain the schools image and Coach Dan Sullivan (Timothy Hutton) trying to make sure no one on the team was involved.

It also affected a very prominent family in the school the LaCroixs (Regina King, Andre Benjamin and Trevor Jackson). Whose son is also at the center of the controversy because he hosted the party and is also over the age of 18, and had is name in the paper.

What I loved about the show was how it toke an issue such as rape and had a positive portrayal of male rape, which is hardly seen or discussed in the media. The performances was also very great especially coming from Connor Jessup and Lilli Taylor as mother and son. I also liked how it portrayed an African-American family who is upper class and how they had lawyers they could talk to and police who they are friends with.

Connor Jessup does an extremely good job as playing playing both a victim and a perpetrator in which he shots one of his attackers and coming to terms with what he did. Episode 7 in particular was his showcase, and also the directorial work by John Ridley.

I also want to discuss how great the writing is and how the writers combined together race, class, gender, and sexual orientation in a way I have not seen on telekinesis, since maybe The Wire. The shooting episode and the aftermath was I think some of the best episodes I have seen this TV season.

My only negative with this season, was the public school drama. I felt it was kind of unnecessary to have in this season and could have been saved for another season. I also think the ending may divide fans since it didn’t have a real conclusion

I really hope this show gets a third season because I think it is one of ABC best series of the past few years and deserves a chance to grow.

Grade: A

Season MVP: Connor Jessup and Lilli Taylor

Best Episode: Episode one, seven and eight.

Zootopia Review

Over the weekend, I saw Zootopia which is the latest Disney animated film. The movie is about a bunny named Judy (Ginnifer Goodwin) who wants to become a police officer in Zootopia and constantly has to prove herself that as a bunny she could be a good police officer. She has to solve a missing otter case and in order to do so she calls for the help of Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman) a sly fox.

What I liked about the movie was at first the characters, both Judy and Nick have great chemistry and I like the fact that they don’t get together in the end. I also like the theme which is basically about discrimination and how we shouldn’t judge each other, but it did it in a way that didn’t try to beat you over the head with its message.

I also liked the subtle animal humor it had which reminded me a lot of Bojack Houseman and who animals live in that world. There was also some adult humor which included a great Breaking Bad reference.

I think this was one of Disneys best animated movie in the past couple of years, and I think they are still on a roll.

Grade: A

Daredevil: Season one review

With season 2 of Marvel Daredevil coming up I think it is important that I share my thoughts on the first season.

First, let me address my thoughts on the 2003 movie. I didn’t hate the movie as much as most people did, I just thought it was okay. The directors cut, however is much better and I recommend that you check it out.

The show however, is so much better than the movie and I am so glad that Netflix was a part of it. It starts with Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) and his partner Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson) starting their own law firm it Hells Kitchen. The story also sort of picks up after the events of the first Avengers movie and how Hells Kitchen is rebuilding after the Loki’s attack which they call the incident. The rebuilding is being lead by Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio), after a young women named Karen Page(Deborah Ann Wool) uncovers some illegal dealings that Wilson Fisk is involved in she works with Matt and Foggy to uncover the scheme.

Let me start by telling how great Charlie Cox is as Matt Murdock/Daredevil. While Ben Affleck did a good job on the Matt Murdock side, Charlie Cox does a great job playing both characters.

Another highlight is Vincent D’Onofrio as Wilson Fisk. He plays such a villainous character with so much empathy and is one of the best villains in television and also in Marvel.

Also, the action and fights in the show are the best I have ever seen on television. Just watch the 2nd episode and see the hallway fight which was done in one continuous take and tell me I am wrong.

This show was truly amazing I am so excited to see season 2.

Grade: A+

Season MVP: Charlie Cox and Vincent D’Onofrio

Best Episodes: Cut Man, World on Fire/Condemned and Daredevil