January 2018 Wrap-Up

Resultado de imagem para ferdinandThis month started in the less expected way possible. And that was by watching Ferdinand with my little cousin. It’s a movie about a bull who’s raised to become a fighting bull. If you don’t know what that means, you probably live outside of the Iberian Peninsula.

Overall, I think it’s a fun movie, it raises awareness about the inhumanity of touradas.

27066151Then, I picked up Bookburners and read Shore Leave (Season 1 Episode 10) by Mur Lafferty. I absolutely love this episode, specially because it centers around Grace.

2536The same day I read Shore Leave, I finally finished The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis by José Saramago. To be honest, this was a somewhat fun book. Its ending was expected (it’s in the freaking title!) but Saramago still managed to make it weird to understand. Did he go and kill himself? Did he just decide to hang out with Pessoa one last time? Who knows? Not me.

29237211Later on, a friend of mine visited and borrowed Saga Volume 7 by Fiona Staples and Brian K. Vaughan, which I read in its integrity the day after. Oh, how I missed this series, it’s too bad I can only read one volume per year.  It’s a translated work, there are some things that still feel off, but it always gets me on a reading high.

22718724Later on in the month, I finished reading this month’s Book Club Pick – Ice Massacre by Tiana Warner. As you probably already know, I absolutely love this book, the universe it created was interesting and the author’s writing is absolutely mesmerizing.

26953321Continuing on the Bookburners spree, I read Codex Umbra (Season 1 Episode 11) by Max Gladstone. This episode is amazing, it lets us know how Norse came to be like he is and answers some questions we’ve had since the beginning of season one.

27825626After it, I read Puppets (Season 1 Episode 12) by Brian Francis Slattery. Overall, it’s a great episode and I can’t wait to read the next one, I have a feeling the season’s finale will blow me away.

Dark (2017)Later on in the month, I finished watching Dark‘s first season. This is the first German show I’ve ever watched, it was weird to not understand what the characters were saying and having to read subtitles, however, it’s worth it. I have to tell you, this show’s amazing and I can’t wait for season two.

27803021Continuing on the Bookburners binge, I read Keeping Friends Close (Season 1 Episode 13) by Mur Lafferty. Honestly, I’m glad it ended this way, if the arc were to be longer, it probably wouldn’t work for me.

828513Then, to finish the month with a bang, I finished reading The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. Overall, it’s a heartbreaking story about what it took to survive during the Holocaust. It’s a book that everyone should read, not because of its quality (it isn’t mind blowing) but because of what it means.

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The Murders in the Rue Morgue (C. Auguste Dupin #1) – Book Review

3301759Author: Edgar Allan Poe

38 pages

Genre: Classic Mystery

Synopsis: The Murders in the Rue Morgue is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe published in Graham’s Magazine in 1841. It has been recognized as the first modern detective story; Poe referred to it as one of his “tales of ratiocination”.

Source: Bought (in English)

This book tells the story of two horrendous murders.

The story is very intriguing, it’s seen as the first detective story ever to exist.

The characters are interesting, we can see that they spawned certain tropes in fiction, specially in this genre.

The writing’s amazing. It feels foreign at first, however, it’s easy to get used to it.

I’ve always loved Edgar Allan Poe and I’m glad to have finally read this short story.

Rating: 5 stars

Coincidences, in general, are great stumbling-blocks in the way of that class of thinkers who have been educated to know nothing of the theory of probabilities—that theory to which the most glorious objects of human research are indebted for the most glorious of illustration.

C. Auguste Dupin #2 – Book Review

 

1984 – Book Review

9577857Author: George Orwell

198 pages

Genre: Classic Dystopian

Synopsis: ‘It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.’

Winston Smith works for the Ministry of truth in London, chief city of Airstrip One. Big Brother stares out from every poster, the Thought Police uncover every act of betrayal. When Winston finds love with Julia, he discovers that life does not have to be dull and deadening, and awakens to new possibilities. Despite the police helicopters that hover and circle overhead, Winston and Julia begin to question the Party; they are drawn towards conspiracy. Yet Big Brother will not tolerate dissent – even in the mind. For those with original thoughts they invented Room 101 . . .

Source: Borrowed (in Portuguese)

This book tells the story of a man who lives in London after a great Revolution.

The characters are really simple, there isn’t much depth.

The story’s also quite simple, I was able to predict some focal story points. However, that only makes the book better.

You see, this book constructs a really interesting and intricate world. That’s where Orwell gets the cake, he’s able to whip up a nightmarish future, it doesn’t matter if you read it after 1984. The metaphors and symbols are important to everyone, specially now.

Rating: 5 stars

 

Perhaps a lunatic was simply a minority of one.

Book Club Discussion: Ice Massacre by Tiana Warner

What did you think of the synopsis? Did it reveal too much plot or too little?

ThatOneNerdyGirl – I think the synopsis is dead-on, it lets the reader know what the book’s going to be about without letting out too much information (especially about Meela and Lysi’s relationship).

EveryBookCounts – I agree. It could be shorter, though.

What did you think of the characters? Was there character development?

E- I loved the characters. I don’t think there was much character development in general, just in a few of the girls.

T- I think they’re the kind of characters we’d expect from a YA book. However, the author doesn’t make it painfully obvious, which is great.
What did you think of the plot?

T- I think it’s simple, however, it does somewhat become unpredictable in the last few chapters. I never expected that Meela would meet Adaro in this book, I thought that’d only happen in the sequel (that was obviously coming) .

E- It was pretty straightforward. It didn’t get that unpredictable. From the titles of the chapters you could easily predict what was going to happen.

 

Were there problems in the story?

E- It felt weird that, even after five years of intensive training, some of the girls would have certain behaviours. For example, Dani. She was a weird character for me, she didn’t feel real.

T-It’s weird that she’d start a mutiny so early on, however, we need to keep in mind that Dani, like Regina George, always was her group’s leader. To see her friends being bossed around by someone who isn’t her would obviously make her need to be the one bossing them around.
What do you think the author did right?

T- Definitely the fight scenes. It’s fascinating how the author was able to describe the fights, the scenery, the dead bodies and also everyone’s weapons without making it incredibly dense.

E- I loved the dialogs. The author portrayed emotion very well and I really liked the fact that each conversation contributed for the plot.

 

What do you think the author did wrong?

E- The “romance” with Tannu. I don’t think it was needed. It adds nothing relevant and doesn’t influence Meela whatsoever. She spends the whole Massacre without speaking or even thinking about him, so I think he could have been easily removed from the story.

T-It also perpetuates the whole ‘people of opposite genders can’t be friends without falling in love’ thing. Okay, the love’s one sided, but it’s still annoying.
What was your favorite quote?

T- “He and his mama walked down my driveway and back onto the dirt road, leaving me to wonder why so many people thought they could tell me what to do.”

E- “I liked the sea better than the earth and I sooner would’ve taken care of a snail than a baby.”
What was your opinion on the ending? Would you prefer if it had been different?

E- It could have been different but in this one requires a sequel. It sort of finishes the story of the book but starts the next one.

T-This is something that I see happening a lot in YA. However, I think, this time, it isn’t forced. It’s obvious the story couldn’t be wrapped up in one book, at least now we know we’re going to get another one to finish things off.
Do you have any questions about the book?

T- Did the author invent Eriana Kwai or did she visit an island and base her book off of that place? I’d love to visit the place that inspired Eriana Kwai.

E- Does the mermaids’ luring have anything to do with sexual orientation? Because, if it does, Meela should be lured.

T- I think it has to do with the mermaid’s biology. It would make sense, in this book we never see queerness being frowned upon so, if it had to do with sexual orientation, the mermaids would probably know. When Meela rejects her love for Lysi, it isn’t because she thinks it’s wrong to love a girl, she does it because she thinks it’s wrong to love a mermaid. Also, the mermen are also fighting, and they’re probably fighting men because of patriarchy. So, if the mermen knew they were able to lure gay men to the sea, they’d obviously let Adaro know. And if Adaro knew, everyone did.

Ice Massacre (Mermaids of Eriana Kwai #1) – Book Review

22718724Author: Tiana Warner

375 pages

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Synopsis: A mermaid’s supernatural beauty serves one purpose: to lure a sailor to his death.

The Massacre is supposed to bring peace to Eriana Kwai. Every year, the island sends its warriors to battle these hostile sea demons. Every year, the warriors fail to return. Desperate for survival, the island must decide on a new strategy. Now, the fate of Eriana Kwai lies in the hands of twenty battle-trained girls and their resistance to a mermaid’s allure.

Eighteen-year-old Meela has already lost her brother to the Massacre, and she has lived with a secret that’s haunted her since childhood. For any hope of survival, she must overcome the demons of her past and become a ruthless mermaid killer.

For the first time, Eriana Kwai’s Massacre warriors are female, and Meela must fight for her people’s freedom on the Pacific Ocean’s deadliest battleground.

Source: Netgalley (in exchange for an honest review)

This book tells the story of a girl who becomes a warrior – so she can kill mermaids.

The writing’s great, I love how the author writes fight scenes. She uses some exclamation marks, however, they don’t feel lazy.

The story is somewhat predictable, as it is usual with YA.

The characters aren’t very unique either, they’re cardboard cut-outs of YA character tropes.

However, this book’s really easy to read and very fun. When I picked it up, I always wanted to read more and more. Also, it’s the book Tumblr has always waited for- the romantic sub plot is about a girl who falls in love with a mermaid.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Book Club Discussion

The Return – Book Review

33234979Author: Dulce Maria Cardoso

272 pages

Genre: Portuguese Literature

Synopsis:

Everyone has gone away… We too should no longer be here.

Luanda, 1975. The Angolan War of Independence has been raging for at least a decade, but with the collapse of the Salazar’s dictatorship, defeat for the Portuguese is now in sight. Thousands of settlers are fleeing back to Portugal to escape the brutality of the Angolan rebels.

Rui is fifteen years old. He has lived in Luanda all his life and has never even visited the far-away homeland – although he has heard many stories. But now his family is finally accepting that they too must return, and Rui is filled with a mixture of excitement and dread at the prospect. But just as they are leaving for the airport, his father is taken away by the rebels, and the family must leave without him.

Not knowing if the father is alive or dead – or if they will ever find out what has become of him, Rui, his mother and sister try to rebuild their lives in their new home. This turns out to be a five star hotel in a quiet, seaside suburb of Lisbon, where returnee families are crammed into luxurious rooms by the dozen.

These palatial surroundings are a cruel contrast with the reality of returnee life. The hotel becomes a curious form of purgatory as the families wait to discover what will become of them – ever conscious of the fact that they are hardly welcome back in their homeland. Rui has his own personal struggle with his new life: growing up, dropping out of school, facing discrimination, and the ever-present worry over his mother’s deteriorating health and his father’s fate.

And then one night Rui’s father returns from the dead.

Source: Library (in Portuguese)

This book tells the story of Rui, a teen who has to leave his home because of the Angolan War of Independence.

This is a very ‘Portuguese’ book, I believe most people wouldn’t care about this story because they don’t know Portugal’s history and haven’t been affected by it.

I think this book’s writing is an attempt at being Saramago, I’m not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing.

The characters felt bland and unoriginal, their development wasn’t overwhelming either. Don’t get me wrong, the characters evolve, but in the way that’s expected.

However, the story makes everything suck less. It’s very emotional, it can make the reader feel bad for the characters, either for their ingenuity or for what they’re going through.

Nonetheless, the ending screwed it all up once again. It was incredibly underwhelming and, to be honest, the book could have ended a couple of pages earlier.

Rating: 3 stars

 

Não há nada por que nos rirmos mas se nos rirmos não estamos sozinhos. A maneira de a directora falar não dá vontade de rir, se não estivéssemos nesta situação não nos teríamos começado a rir. Tempos conturbados. Não conseguimos parar de nos rir, as gargalhadas pegam-se umas às outras, rimo-nos, alto, mais alto, não me lembro de termos rido tanto e tão alto. São tempos conturbados, se nos rirmos não estamos sozinhos e talvez consigamos adormecer.