Saturday, October 31, 2015

What I Read in September and October

Hi everyone!
So since I didn't post last month's list, I am combining it with October's list. And since I am back at college, this list also contains a lot of books I have read for classes I am in.
 Enjoy!

1. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell 
This was an interesting read, I had a love/hate relationship with it. There were parts I loved, and there were other parts I hated.  I will have a longer review up soon. 2.5/5 Stars

2. Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare 
This was the first play I had to read for my Shakespeare class this semester. It was okay, even though it was kind of grotesque in some parts. It is also one of his lesser known works, and there is a reason for that. 2.5/5 Stars

3. The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare 
This was a reread for me, and it was the second play I had to read for the class I am taking. I love this play, it is one of several plays that made me fall in love with Shakespeare. It is funny and ironic, and it deals with justice and mercy really well. 4/5 Stars

4. Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay
As a fan of Jane Austen, I was immediately intrigued by the title of this novel. It was the first book by the author that I read. I liked it, there were some surprises in the end, which I appreciated. I look forward to reading more books by Katherine Reay in the future. 3/5 Stars

5. Othello by William Shakespeare 
I really enjoyed this play, it was interesting and disturbing to see the affects of racism, as well as that of irrational jealousy. 5/5 Stars.

6. Shakespeare's Sonnets by William Shakespeare 
Also read this for class. It was interesting reading through all of them. We were required to pick several favorites and read them aloud to the class and explain why we liked them. Besides the famous Sonnet 116, I really liked Sonnet 40. 4/5 Stars

7. Cymbeline by William Shakespeare 
This was one of Shakespeare's last works, and it was an interesting read. In class we talked about how it seems like he took elements from all his previous works and smashed them into this one. I liked it, but I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had had more time to read through it more carefully. 3.5/5 Stars.

8. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling 

This was a first time read for me. I liked it, I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series. 3/5 Stars.

9. Hearthland Episodes 31 and 32  By Chautona Havig 
I continue to enjoy this series. I love how the author has developed and grown the characters, as well as introduce new ones. 3/5 Stars

10. Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare 
Measure for Measure was an interesting play. However, it was hard to follow what was going on. At the end everything is revealed, but there are still some questions that are left unanswered. 3/5 Stars.

11. Fairest (The Lunar Chornciles #0.5) by Marissa Meyer

It was interesting to read Queen Levana's story in anticipation of the release of the last book in this amazing series next month. I have already pre-ordered my digital copy of Winter, and after reading this book, I don't know if I can wait for it to come out in 10 days!!! I will have a longer review up soon. 4/5 Stars.

12. King Lear by William Shakespeare 

This was an interesting read. I was confused at some parts because I felt like it kept switching between scenes a lot. However, it was good and it held my attention. Since it is a tragedy, there is a lot of death, but it is really good. 3.5/5 Stars.

Happy Reading,

Janelle

P.S. If you have any book recommendations let me know and I will check them out. :)

P.P.S. I am kind of dabbling with the idea of doing a post on Shakespeare, or several reviews on some of the plays I have read so far. If you would like me to do this, let me know. 

Friday, October 30, 2015

Book Review: Cress (Lunar Chronicles #3)

Today's review is on the third installment of the Lunar Chronicles, Cress.



This is not only a continuation of the series, but it is also kind of  a retelling of Rapunzel. There are even some elements of this retelling that reminded me of Tangled, but it wasn't a rip-off of the movie.

It was full of action, intrigue, romance and there are a few twists throughout the novel that continue to make this series fantastic. I loved the characters, I loved how we got to know Carswell Thorne a bit more than in Scarlet. Another new character is introduced, Cress, who is a skilled, Lunar hacker.

I can't go into too much detail concerning the plot because I might accidentally give spoilers for the first two books in the series. But the as I mentioned before, the plot was good, and there was action and many twists. I liked how Marissa Meyer was able to write from multiple points of view in the third person, sometime when an author does this it is confusing, but she pulls it off masterfully. In fact, there was even chapter from Queen Levana's point of view.

The characters continue to be well-developed and they don't annoy me like some of the main characters in other YA books I have read. I love how in each book each character keeps becoming more developed, even Cinder, which I didn't even know was possible.

 Each book just keeps getting better and better in this series. I hope Marissa Meyer is able to do the same thing with the conclusion of the series, Winter, which comes out next month (!!). So far the YA series' I have read the conclusion was unsatisfying, but hopefully Marissa Meyer can satisfy her fans, especially since she pushed the release date back by about 6 months.

I listened to half of Cress and read the last half, not because I didn't like the narrator, it's just I was having a hard time trying to find time to listen to it, whereas it is easier for me to just sit down and read.

In order to help me pass the time until Winter comes out, besides school and work, I plan on reading/listening to Fairest which is a prequel to the series and is Queen Levana's story.

Happy Reading,
Janelle

P.S. If you have any book recommendations let me know and I will check them out. :)


Friday, October 23, 2015

Book Review: The Matched Trilogy

Today's review is on The Matched Trilogy by Ally Condie


I read this book after reading The Divergent Trilogy and Cinder. Several of my friends had read and enjoyed it, and the whole premise of the first book sounded interesting, so I read it.

I was intrigued by the whole concept of the Society and how they choose who people love and when a person's life ends. However, after a glitch in the Society's perfect system causes the heroine, Cassia Reyes, to question everything she's been taught.

Matched was a good introduction to the world of the Society and the characters. I enjoyed how it was from Cassia's point of view. It was slow moving at times, but I still liked it and it made me want to read the rest of the series to find out what happens. I gave it 3/5 Stars

The second book in the series was Crossed and it was pretty boring, I felt like not much happened and I didn't like how it was told from both Ky and Cassia's points of view because it was sometime confusing, there were times when Ky kind of sounded like Cassia and vice versa. It just dragged on, but the last 30 pages was interesting because something actually happened. I gave it 2/ 5 Stars.

 I wasn't going to read the third book, Reached, but I was looking for a book to read and it was the only book that was interesting at the book store I was at, so I bought it. It was interesting to see how Condie wrapped up the series. There was very little action,  again it felt like not a whole lot happened. The ending was unsatisfactory, there were just too many loose ends left untied (I can't go into detail because it is a spoiler.) And there were so many grammatical errors, which is terrible considering it was published by a major publishing company. I don't know if it is just the edition I have, or if it is in every copy of the book. I don't know. I am giving it 2/5 Stars because the ending was terrible, not much was resolved in 500 pages(!), and there were so many grammatical errors I was cringing every time I saw it.

The series as a whole was okay, it was not as good as the Divergent trilogy, and the ending was bad (I know I just said that). The third book had a lot of potential but then it just fell flat. I would give the whole series 3/5 Stars, maybe even less.

I really wanted to like this series and the first book was promising, but the rest of the series was disappointing.

Happy Reading,
Janelle

P.S. If you have any book recommendations let me know and I will check them out. :)