Friday Fives | Wow! Endings

As per usual, I started #FridayFavorites back when I started up the blog again and wanted to make sure I kept at least one regular post a week. This was, of course, before I knew there were others out there. But I decided to keep it, especially since I have the whole year planned out. In December, I decided to change it to #FridayFives instead to have more room for topics. If anyone wants to join me, the list for future topics can be foundĀ here.

Today’s topic is on books that had amazing endings that completely blew me away!

I was literally dead after finishing this! I was not expecting that ending or how much it ripped my heart out and stomped on it!

I pre-ordered this book. I did not know this book was a series. I threw the book when I read that ending! I’m so excited that the second book is out.

A fascinating, twisty book with such an interesting ending, and something that made me truly think of justice and our (United States) justice system.

I’m not going to lie, I think Hank wrote a better book than John. Come at me, bro! I thought this book was fascinating exploration of humanity, privacy, and infamy. That ending left me so mad though! But it was soooo good!!

In the poem The Hollow Man, by T.S. Eliot, he ends the poem “This is the way the world ends/Not with a bang but a whimper.” This book relates to that line so much that I can’t even! It was a beautiful book with such a wow ending but one that was subtle and haunting and stayed with you for days later.

Happy Reading Darlings!

TTT | Books I Read In One Sitting

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly topic hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week she provide a topic and you are free to use that topic and/or variations of that topic to make your top ten list. A full list of the weekly themes can be found here.

There are some books that just drag you in and won’t let you leave until you finish them. Here are those books for me!

Yes, I’m one of those white people who didn’t learn about the Tulsa Race Riot until watching the first episode of HBO’s Watchmen. But since then I have been finding books, both fiction and nonfiction, to learn more about this event.

Dreamland Burning is such a beautifully written book about such a horrible time period in America’s history. Going back and forth between Rowan Chase, a 17 year old girl living in modern-day Tulsa, and Will Tillman, a 17 year old boy living in 1920 Tulsa, as they try to uncover what happened that night and how it affects all of us today.

Rowan Caine stumbles across an ad for a nanny position. She’s not looking for a new job, but she ends up taking it. But once she arrives for the job, the kids who seemed angelic at the interview are anything but, the house’s electrical systems keeps going on the fritz, and she keeps feeling isolated in this remote house. Yet, the whole book is Rowan’s confession to what happened because a child is dead and she’s the one in jail for it. Mystery books are one of those were I have to finish even if I figure out what’s going to happen. I either have to know I’m right or need to figure out who the killer is.

If you want my thoughts on this book then check out my review for it here.

I don’t think I’ll ever be over this book, it was that good! I read it in one day over the Christmas holidays. A book that has a mystery, lesbian necromancers, and a haunted gothic palace in space, sign me up!

I haven’t posted my review for this yet, but oh man, do I need to the next book in this duology! A retelling of sleeping beauty that has lesbians and a more developed magic system. In Briar, there are Graces, those granted with powers from the faeire kingdom, they’re able to give out spells and enchantments to those who can afford them. Alyce is the Dark Grace, someone born with dark magic in their veins. But Aurora and Alyce meet and soon become friends, then more.

Just like the four Hawthorne grandsons, I was pulled into the mystery of Avery Grambs. Who was she? Why did Tobias leave his entire fortune to her? What was up with this house? What really happened to Tobias Hawthorne’s son? So many questions and I need the next book in the series, NOW!

Also, is there a way I can explore this house? Pretty please?

Here is my review for the book.

I’m still shocked by how much I loved Hank Green’s book, especially considering that the only book by John Green I’ve actually finished is The Fault in Our Stars (I totally just blanked on the name of that book while writing this). While I enjoy the Green brothers YouTube videos, I’ve never been a fan of John Green’s books. I thought I’d read Hank’s and it would be the same. Yet, it wasn’t!

The storyline totally pulled me in, as well as the philosophical questions of fame and money and how much it goes to our head. Along with that, the questions on progress and technology, of those who are different from us. I have yet to get the second book because I’m wanting to re-read this one first (and I haven’t had the time to do that).

I legitimately stayed up until around 2 am to finish this book. That was back when I didn’t have as much of a problem with Sarah J. Maas, since then I haven’t really enjoyed her books as much. I’m also completely tired of the whole “mates” idea.

I could do a whole post on why I’ve changed my views on Sarah J. Maas, but a post by Between the Pages sums up basically all the same views that I have.

Anyway, I’m not saying her books are bad, nor am I saying she’s a bad person, but they’re just not my cup of tea anymore. If you like her books and they bring you joy, great! I’m so happy you’ve found a book/author you love! (This is not me being sarcastic, for those who know me, it may come off that way, and I apologize if it does. I’m being serious here).

I love Pip and Ravi so, so, so much!! Holly Jackson had such great characters, plot, pacing in this book that it kind of set a new standard for me on YA murder/crime fiction. I have a copy of the second book, Good Girl, Bad Blood, but I haven’t read it because I’m not ready to let go of Pip and Ravi!

This book was definitely difficult to read at times, due to the topic of forced marriages in the book, but I read it one sitting because I NEEDED to know what was going to happen to Naila.

After Naila is busted by her parents for going to prom with her boyfriend, they all go on a family trip to Pakistan to visit with family. Unbeknownst to Naila, her parents are arranging a marriage for her while she’s there. Definitely a book that needs to be read and a topic that should be talked about more.

Not going to lie, I was hesitant to read this since it was published by James Patterson. I’m so glad I did give it a chance because oh was it such an interesting twist on Jack the Ripper.

Audrey is born a lord’s daughter and has wealth and privilege set before her. Yet, she wants to cut up dead bodies. What girl doesn’t? But soon, Audrey is dragged into an investigation of a serial killer and her search for answers may bring her back to her own home. Again, a good murder mystery always keeps me up reading.

Happy Reading Darlings!

#FridayFavorites | Endings

I love a good ending. An ending you didn’t see coming is even better. When everything falls into place and the fog lifts, is one of the best part of a story. So, here are some of my favorite endings. Please note, I’ve tried to write the blurbs and my thoughts to not have any spoilers.

Yes, I’ve read all the Robert Langdon books. I was actually shocked by this ending and slightly terrifying.

Gosh, this whole book was absolutely amazing! That ending, gah, I desperately needed the second book. Still haven’t read it cause life, but I’m planning on it soon.

I didn’t expect the ending for this book. I was surprised and saddened by what had happened.

I’m completely obsessed with Sarah Waters! This masterpiece follows the stragely linked lives of two women, Sue and Maud. I was surprised by not only the ending but the midpoint twist as well! But finding out how tightly wound Sue and Maud’s lives are was so deftly written and surprisingly satisfying.

I finished this book with so many feelings! Such an amazing book, that not only has a great twist ending but also has an interesting theme(s) as well.

Happy Reading, Lovelies!

Carls Take Over the World

I was excited to have this book in my hands, especially, since I ordered it back in May. It was so pretty when it arrived too.

Firstly, I want to talk about is the actual writing of the book. I was surprised by how much I loved the writing style and how Hank Green broke through that fourth wall so well and effectively. I was also unbelievably happy, ecstatic, over the moon, insert any positive emotion here that April May was bisexual. Having queer representation in something that didn’t center around queer representation was so refreshing to read that I did a little dance when I read it.

The premise of the whole novel is how this young woman, 23-year-old, April May stumbles upon a giant sculpture at 3 am. She calls her best friend to come down and have them fill her “interviewing” this sculpture and in that interview, she bequeaths him the name “Carl.” First, I have to say that Andy Skampt is one amazing best friend because there would’ve had to be WAY more than a sculpture to get me out of bed at 3 am.

The next day, they find out that there are Carl’s all over the world, and April’s life changes quite drastically, quite quickly. She and Andy are soon brought onto TV to talk about New York Carl and the Carls in general. Soon, Andy’s dad a big shot Hollywood reporter sends them to L.A. to do a late-night show and to meet with a publicity agent.

In that late-night show, April goes off script, as per usual to ask if anyone else thinks the Carls are beautiful. She goes on to say “even if it was done for marketing, they are remarkable sculptures. It’s easy to forget how much time goes into things, like designing giant fighting robots for movies. It feels cookie-cutter, but thousands of person-hours go into their creation. We love them because they’re beautiful, and they’re beautiful because of hard work” (Green 49). We, of course, have April’s idea of what she thinks of them close to the beginning when she literally runs into them, but here is her first well-thought-out idea of the Carls. Hard work and perseverance and the dedication to one’s craft is most of the time today looked over for that finished product we see at the end. Who cares how my iPhone is able to connect me to my friends, family, and a stranger half-way around the world? Why spend time thinking about the false starts, the failed, attempts, the going back to square ones when I can just watch and enjoy the movie? It’s easier that way. But I did love the fact that she brought up this idea of the work people invest in their work.

Anyway, from this point on there will be spoilers for the rest of the book, so caution, proceed at your own risk.

Now that everyone is gone, we are going to delve deeper into the book. I’m skipping a lot of summary due to the fact that if you are reading this far then you probably have read the book.

So, April and Andy decide to make April May a brand and that when it starts getting into this whole dehumanizing someone who is in the public eye. First off, do I think this is going to stop anytime soon? No. People are assholes and will continue to be assholes because that’s what we are good at, or it seems that way most of the time. There are whole magazines, reality shows, and many corners of the internet devoted to discussing and tearing apart the lives of those who are in the public eye. April May is one of those people who is thrust into the public eye by her own volition. She wants to be a part of this story, and she wants the attention. She wants to know her life matters, which is not an uncommon idea. So, she goes the route of making herself a brand, a public persona, that no one truly knows.

And with that, there is always someone who will oppose a person like April May. That man is Peter Petrawicki who is under the assumption that the Carls are bad and will dominate humans. He never does anything bad, but the rhetoric he spews does end with tourist attacks on 4 cities and three men trying to kill April with a warehouse fire, yet, her body disappears.

We are left with a wonderful first novel by Hank Green that leaves us with tons to discuss and think about, as humans, which brings me to two quotes I want to focus on:

Quote 1: “The Dream, this creation of the Carls, it had been there for me to enjoy and I’d been ignoring it because I didn’t feel like I was going to get anything useful done. So what, though? It was marvelous. Just working through what other people had done gave me a feeling that this was all actually worth it. When you get stuck fighting small battles, it makes you small. Hopping from cable news show to cable news show to discuss controversy after controversy had made me small. I thought only about the fight, not why I was fighting” (Green 180).

Quote 2: “This is what humanity is, solidarity in the face of fear. Hope in the face of destruction. If the Carls are here for any reason . . . then maybe they’re here not to learn about us but to teach us about ourselves. I am learning more every day and I am learning now that even . . . As I was saying, even on this most terrible of days, even when the worst of us are all we can think of, I am proud to be a human” (Green 242, 248)

What are we truly like when something like this happens? Will we react with fear and apprehension or welcome and joy? This doesn’t only apply to alien beings that randomly pop up in big cities but to humans we meet each and every day. The fact that we are not this way with our own fellow beings, species is a travesty, but like April says she is proud to be human. She is proud of what has been accomplished and what can be accomplished by humans, by us. Most of this part reminds me much of what the Doctor from Doctor Who thinks of humans as so wonderful and beautiful. Coincidently, that is the same way the Carls think of humans too, when the beam falls on April and she enters the Dream one last time, she is met with Carl and is granted 3 questions.

One of them she asks “Humanity, what do you think of us?”

“Beautiful,” Carl replied.

Beautiful. Among all the fighting and tearing each other apart and even on our worst days, we are beautiful to beings that are far more advanced than us. Even though it’s fictional, it is more humbling than anything I’ve ever heard or read. Maybe because I would like to think that whatever other beings out there think of us that way.

I’m not sure what I’m saying or what I can say about the two above quotes can ever truly convey how they made me feel when I read them.

I’m left with more questions than answers and more things to discuss than I ever thought there would be. Along with desperately needing the sequel, like now, (please Hank?!). No, okay, didn’t think so, but a girl can hope!

For now, I will marvel in this beautifully written book I was given and the hours that went into making it. Thank you Hank Green for the words and the time and for “an absolutely remarkable thing (book)!”