2-Review Tuesday: Tandem & Nil

July 8, 2014

Tandem, by Anna Jarzab & Nil, by Lynne Matson

Tandem, by Anna Jarzab
Amazon // Goodreads

Tandem had a ton of my favorite things (quantum mechanics, many worlds theory, a princess with a fabulous wardrobe, political intrigue) but somehow they just didn't come together to create something I really loved. The last quarter of the book was the best, despite a cliffhanger ending. The cover and book design were beautiful.

Nil, by Lynne Matson
Amazon // Goodreads

Nil had an intriguing premise but saccharine insta-love dragged the whole book down. It was nice to see the setting as the main antagonist instead of an evil ruler or an all-powerful government. The subtitle to this novel should be "Survivor: Supermodel Edition". Seriously, good looks must have been a requirement to land on Nil.

2-Review Tuesday: Sekret & The Mirk and Midnight Hour

June 10, 2014

Instead of a putting all the short reviews of books I read in a month in one post (6 or more at a time), I came up with a more practical solution: 2-review Tuesday, where I do quick reviews of 2 books at a time. This week, presented to you Spoiler-Free:

Sekret, by Lindsay Smith & The Mirk and Midnight Hour, by Jane Nickerson

Sekret, by Lindsay Smith
Amazon // Goodreads

Sekret was beautifully written, with vivid prose and authenticity to the time period and culture of Soviet Russia. With the setting and the juxtaposition of the paranormal, this one is different than anything I’ve read before.
Although the ending felt a bit awkward and forced, this book is well worth the read.

The Mirk and Midnight Hour, by Jane Nickerson
Amazon // Goodreads

This story starts slow. Nothing really begins happening until around halfway through the novel. While many of the original ballad elements were there, it just didn’t feel like the Tam Lin I know and love. However, it was a different take than I've read before: it's set in the time of Civil War and instead of the Fae we have hoodoo. It made for an atmospheric read. My favorite thing about this incarnation was the relationship between Violet and Seeley. It was a sweet and heartwarming contrast against the darker elements of the book.

Divergent Movie Review

April 3, 2014

We're all just robots "riding the train until the end of the line."

Out of the Divergent trilogy, I liked Divergent the most. After the fiasco that was Allegiant, I wasn't sure I even wanted to see this movie. I was apprehensive on the way to the theater: Would it be good? Better or worse than the book? Worth the two hours and $5.75 ticket price?

The overall Divergent story was there. They changed quite a bit from the book, but that's the obvious course when you are transforming a 487-page book into movie format. In my opinion, the changes were for the better overall. The drama and suspense were amped up and a few parts worked better than in the book. I'll keep this review spoiler-free, but some things, like the ending, were better handled in the movie.

However, while the movie possessed stronger story-telling, the characterization suffered. I wasn't impressed with some of the casting decisions (*cough*Shailene Woodley*cough*). The characters just didn't do it for me. I didn't feel much empathy for any of them at all. They were all like the Dauntless robots, mind manipulation serum not required. There was only one touching moment where I actually felt something (hint: it has to do with Tris' mother).

My overall rating: Entertaining, but I'm glad I went to the Super Bargain (i.e. the cheapest) showing. While liking the movie more than the book was the biggest surprise, the popcorn was the best butter-soaked part of the whole experience.