Things I’ve Seen And Wrote

Hello All,

I wrote a review for Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox over at Paper Droids in case the geeks who read this blog are interested. If you don’t see yourself as a “geek” and still want to read it, go ahead! We are all one people. You can find it here.

Also, I thought I’d bring your attention to this post by Sue over at DC Women Kicking Ass on a controversy that ocured over at Boston Comic Con. The “Superheroes: the Never-Ending Battle” panel answered questions on the representation of women and people of color that were a bit unsettling. Give it a read. It’s really interesting and it can be applied to books as well (the idea of having more positive female representations as well as people of color).

Lastly, there’s an EW article discussing the book-to-movie changes in the second Hunger Games film, Catching Fire, where giving Peeta the ability to swim is described as “we manned him up a little”. I wasn’t aware that swimming or not being able to swimming determined manhood. The issue isn’t with the act of giving him the ablity to swim but with the reason for why they did it. Poor choice of words folks. Here’s the article in it’s context.

Also, I’ve written some posts on various discussions on my tumblr if you want to check that out as well.

This is essentially self promotion and I feel like since I don’t self promote myself ALL THE TIME then it’s okay. Also, if you like what’s on the blog  then it’s not a huge stretch for me to direct your attention to similar things that I have written or have seen.

Ciao my fellow books fiends,

A. A. Omer

You Read What? Book Review: The Blondes

Author: Emily Schultz

Publisher:  Random House of Canada

  • Imprint:  Doubleday Canada

Date Published:  August 14th 2012

Format: Paperback

Source: From the publisher for an honest review

Synopsis:

A breakout novel for a young writer whose last book was shortlisted for the Trillium Prize alongside Anne Michaels and Margaret Atwood, and whom the Toronto Star called a “force of nature.”

Hazel Hayes is a grad student living in New York City. As the novel opens, she learns she is pregnant (from an affair with her married professor) at an apocalyptically bad time: random but deadly attacks on passers-by, all by blonde women, are terrorizing New Yorkers. Soon it becomes clear that the attacks are symptoms of a strange illness that is transforming blondes–whether CEOs, flight attendants, skateboarders or accountants–into rabid killers.

Hazel, vulnerable because of her pregnancy, decides to flee the city–but finds that the epidemic has spread and that the world outside New York is even stranger than she imagined. She sets out on a trip across a paralyzed America to find the one woman–perhaps blonde, perhaps not–who might be able to help her. Emily Schultz’s beautifully realized novel is a mix of satire, thriller, and serious literary work. With echoes of Blindness and The Handmaid’s Tale amplified by a biting satiric wit, The Blondes is at once an examination of the complex relationships between women, and a merciless but giddily enjoyable portrait of what happens in a world where beauty is–literally–deadly.

Number of Days It Took to Read: 4

Cover: 

The Blondes

An okay cover. It wouldn’t pop out on the shelf amongst other books though.

The Writing Score: 5 out of 5

Recommendation: Must Read

Memorable or Forgettable: Memorable

Rating:  4 out of 5

Review:

I’m so happy that this book is written by a Canadian and about a Canadian with chunk of the novel taking place in Canada.

First off, I’m not a fan of books being compared to other books because most of the time they aren’t like that book at all. HOWEVER, if you like The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood then you’ll love this. It’s essentially using the sci-fi elements of the Blonde epidemic as the background noise to a more character driven focus. Hazel is so normal and everyday that you can’t help but empathize for her and her situation. The writing is just spot on and it’s a great “gate way book” into the world of literary fiction for those who primarily read the more genre specific works. The reason why I didn’t give this book an overall rating of 5 was mostly due to the depressing situation and people who surround Hazel. The book stimulated me intellectually but I could only go so far in terms of being invested emotionally. That’s more on the experiences that I’m bringing to this book rather than the author herself so it won’t be the same for others who’ll read this.

I suggest reading it and then I suggest reading it again…and then again.

A. A. Omer

The opinions expressed here are mine and readers are welcome to disagree. In fact, I encourage it! I never believed in putting particular books or authors on some sort of universal pedestal but you’re free to put it on your individualized pedestal because I most certainly will.

You Read What? Book Review: Fire With Fire

Author: Siobhan Vivian and Jenny Han

Publisher:  Simon & Schuster

  • Imprint:  Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Date Published: August 13th 2013

Format: ARC (Advance Reader’s Copy).

Source: From the publisher for an honest review

Synopsis:

When sweet revenge turns sour… Book two of a trilogy from New York Times, bestselling author Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian.

Lillia, Kat, and Mary had the perfect plan. Work together in secret to take down the people who wronged them. But things didn’t exactly go the way they’d hoped at the Homecoming Dance.

Not even close.

For now, it looks like they got away with it. All they have to do is move on and pick up the pieces, forget there ever was a pact. But it’s not easy, not when Reeve is still a total jerk and Rennie’s meaner than she ever was before.

And then there’s sweet little Mary…she knows there’s something seriously wrong with her. If she can’t control her anger, she’s sure that someone will get hurt even worse than Reeve was. Mary understands now that it’s not just that Reeve bullied her—it’s that he made her love him.

Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, burn for a burn. A broken heart for a broken heart. The girls are up to the task. They’ll make Reeve fall in love with Lillia and then they will crush him. It’s the only way he’ll learn.

It seems once a fire is lit, the only thing you can do is let it burn…

Number of Days It Took to Read: 1

Cover: 

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I love the covers to the series. Burn for Burn looked awesome in hardcover and it’s sequel looks just as good. I find that it’s mostly the color scheme that makes it really pop.

The Writing Score: 3.5 out of 5

Recommendation: Great Read

Memorable or Forgettable: Memorable

Rating:  4 out of 5

Review:

I WANT TO READ THE NEXT BOOK.

I read Burn for Burn within a day or so and I’ve done the same with Fire With Fire. Despite the slow start and seeing part of the ending way ahead of reading it, it was still an addictive read that mixes aching suspense with teens who still haven’t learned that their hunger for revenge can lead to dire consequences. The characters are far more complex than you would think. I keep thinking I know who the bad guys are but people are far more complicated than they appear. I’ve said it before that having a story told in multiple POVs, especially in first person, is tricky because you can have characters that are more interesting than others. In this case, I wasn’t a fan of Mary’s POV but it did offer important information for readers later on and it didn’t hamper my reading experiences or slow down momentum.

I wish I could go into detail of all the moments that got me frustrated, angry and upset at and with the characters but this is a book where the less you know going into it, the better off you are.

This was one of the top 5 books I really wanted to nab at BookExpo America this past May and it really delivered.

A. A. Omer

The opinions expressed here are mine and readers are welcome to disagree. In fact, I encourage it! I never believed in putting particular books or authors on some sort of universal pedestal but you’re free to put it on your individualized pedestal because I most certainly will.