Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone GirlGone Girl by Gillian Flynn

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am still relatively new to thrillers, but even I can see Flynn’s Gone Girl is a great asset to the genre. I listened to the audiobook so instead of drawing me back to the page time and time again, this novel had me sitting in the car even after I had pulled up to my apartment just to finish the current chapter. I’d frantically pause before the next one began otherwise I knew I would be caught for another twenty minutes at least.

While others may have seen the twists coming, Continue reading

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Pacific Rim: The Official Movie Novelization

Pacific Rim: The Official Movie NovelizationPacific Rim: The Official Movie Novelization by Alex Irvine

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

WARNING: Spoilers for the book and movie ahead. 

After falling in love with the movie, it was natural that I read the novelization. Irvine crafted an excellent tale with intriguing details that were absent from the movie due to the inherent limitations of film. However, what really ruined this novelization was one paragraph near the end of the novel that was different from the movie.

One of my favorite aspects of the film was the relationship between Raleigh and Mako. It is one of the few examples out there of a male and female working together without the need for romantic undertones. After the pair resurface from saving the world in the movie, they embrace as best friends drawn closer together by virtue of a shared experience. The novel has them kiss and provides an anecdotal thought from Mako that she had wanted to kiss Raleigh ever since she first laid eyes on him in his room. This lasted for only one paragraph, and I wish I had never read it.

It was as if the author had belatedly realized that he wanted there to be a romantic interest and tossed that in at the end. That he couldn’t have a complete book without some sort of romance. There was no buildup and no tension. If that paragraph were removed, the plot would not change. This was a novelization and was not the basis for the movie, and this change severely disappointed me. I enjoyed the deeper look into the world of Pacific Rim, but if I were to recommend this book to anyone, I would tell them to skip that paragraph. It has no effect on the plot, and ruined that moment of character development by turning Mako Mori from an incredibly awesome woman who could kick butt and run in the same world of robots with the best man into a ditzy female, consumed by her attraction to the protagonist.

Book Review: The Book Thief

The Book ThiefThe Book Thief by Markus Zusak

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Book Thief is one of the most fascinating and enjoyable books I have read recently. The voice of Death as the narrator is appropriately witty, sarcastic, blunt, cynical, and hopeful. The brilliance of the book lay only partially with the choice of narrator. What makes this book special is that Death tells you outright what is going to happen. He is clear and blunt, yet when what he foretold does happen, it is just as emotionally wrenching. While I may have been frustrated at times while waiting for an anticipated event to occur, the power of the emotional impact made up for it.

Additionally, the characters were well rounded and had hidden aspects of personality that were cleverly revealed throughout the book. I would rate this book 5 out of 5 stars. My only disappointment was the frustration of waiting for something foretold to occur, yet that very experience made the book more impactful.

This book tugged at my heartstrings making me cry and laugh, often within a few pages of each other. Highly recommended.

Do you have a book you think I should read? Loved or hated The Book Thief? Let me know in the comments below!

Book Review: Self Editing for Fiction Writers

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself Into PrintSelf-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself Into Print by Renni Browne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

While I don’t agree with quite everything in this book, it was a well-written way to wake up to some amateurish mistakes that I have made in my own writing. I enjoyed reading it, and will keep in on my shelf to reference through my revision process. If you have a strong sense of your own voice, I highly recommend taking a look at this book to help refine your writing and edit out easy errors you never knew you had.

Book Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a WallflowerThe Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After hearing Stephen Chbosky speak at the University of Notre Dame, I had high hopes for this book. He didn’t let me down. This book tugged on my heartstrings at each page turn. If you’ve ever felt a moment of loneliness or a time when you felt like you were misunderstood, then this book will resonate with you.

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Sorcery & Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot

Sorcery & Cecelia: or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot (Cecelia and Kate, #1)Sorcery & Cecelia: or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patricia C. Wrede
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was written by two authors writing chapters back and forth to each other, a style known as the Letter Game. I first read this book back in middle school, and it inspired a friend and I to start our own letter game. Little did I know that those thirty pages of drama shoved back and forth between the two of us would be the spark that set my writing brain alight. As I work now on editing my own novel, I can’t help but look back on Cecelia and Kate’s adventures.

This book is the tale of two girls who write letters back and forth to each other about their adventures in a way that inspired me to write myself—first with a coauthor and then alone. I can give no higher recommendation.

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