Monday, November 30, 2015

Book Review: The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells

“By the toll of a billion deaths man has bought his birthright of the earth, and it is his against all comers; it would still be his were the Martians ten times as mighty as they are. For neither do men live nor die in vain.” 
- The War of the Worlds, by H. G. Wells

I'm not much of a science fiction reader and I probably wouldn't have ever picked this up if it weren't for my book club. Its one of the first books about alien invasion and it's so interesting. You know that this man wasn't influenced by other books or movies this all just came right out of his head. It's actually a little terrifying to think about it.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Man had not yet learned to fly when H.G. Wells conceived this story of a Martian attack on England. Giant cylinders crash to Earth, disgorging huge, unearthly creatures armed with heat-rays and fighting machines. Amid the boundless destruction they cause, it looks as if the end of the world has come.

The story follows a man who is at the scene of the first martian landing. We see the wonder, the terror, and the utter defeat he feels. The journey as he treks across England looking for safety and finding none. The ending is crazy and mind boggling but I think H. G. Wells went about the whole book brilliantly.

The man we follow is determined to live. And from the very first scene you can tell that hes going to fight before he just rolls over and accepts that life as he knows it is over. As he journeys he starts to see that humanity takes a lot for granted. We are the rulers of the earth and everything bows to our will. But when the martians come he see that we are like ants to the martians.

At the time this was written there were no planes and you have to wonder just how different it would be if aliens invaded earth now. We have a lot more fire power and I'd like to think we wouldn't be thrown into chaos and be picked off so easily.

Towards the end of the book we run into a character who has a whole system worked out to build tunnels under England and only allow the strong in. The whole save humanity by hiding and coming out to fight stronger thing. And I had to think how many dystopian books have I read where there's a community in hiding waiting to come out and fight? Really I think H. G. Wells had a time machine.

It struck me while reading that this book was more about the way humans act than the martians invading earth. When he describes the scenes where people are thrown into chaos it was horrifying. He put it in such a graphic way and when he described how the people were treating each other it was disgusting. But I've heard so many real life stories about how people act when they're scared and their only concern is for themselves it was believable.

But the main characters give you hope for humanity and that's something I loved about the book. You could see that even though there was no way that the one man could defeat a martian he was still going to try. You could count on it.

If you want a book that is going to make you think then I recommend this one. H. G. Wells was way beyond his time period and that fact just gives you more to digest as you read.

My Rating: 3/5 Stars
Author: H. G. Wells
Genre: Science Fiction
Published: 1898

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Top Five Wednesday: Top Five Hunger Games Moments

Oh hey look I'm not dead. So I've been thinking and I've come up with some stuff for my blog and it might be an odd couple weeks but I'm determined to get this blog going.

Starting with a Top Five Wednesday! And it's Hunger Games themed this week which is great since I'm hosting a read-along over at my Instagram. Top Five Wednesday is hosted by Lainey and you can check out the future themes here. Check out my favorite moments from the books and movies bellow!

  • The Meadow Song

One of my favorite parts in The Hunger Games is when Katniss sings the meadow song to Rue. Its very sad and heartbreaking but I feel like we get really personal with Katniss. I cried so much when I saw it in the theater. Jennifer Lawrence played it perfectly. 

Deep in the meadow, under the willow
A bed of grass, a soft green pillow
Lay down your head, and close your sleepy eyes
And when again they open the sun will rise.

Her it's safe, here it's warm
Here the daises guard you from every harm
Here you dreams are sweet and tomorrow brings them true
Here is the place where I love you."

  • The Cave Scenes (Do I love Peeta or not)

I loved all the cave scene moments/scenes. It was frustrating though since all of us knew that Peeta was being honest and Katniss didn't know. My favorite moment though was when they talked about the first day of school.

"Peeta, you said at the interview you'd had a crush on me forever. When did forever start?

Oh, lets see. I guess the first day of school. We were five. You had on a red plaid dress and you hair... it was in two braids instead of one. My father pointed you out when we were waiting to line up.

You father? Why?

He said,'See that little girl? I wanted to marry her mother, but she ran off with a coal miner.'

What? Your making that up!

No, true story. And I said,'A coal miner? Why did she want a coal miner if she could've had you?' And he said,'Because when he sings...even the birds stop to listen."

Catching Fire is my favorite book form the trilogy. I could pick five moments that I love just from it but I wanted to share moments from all  three.

  • Every Finnick Scene There Ever Was

Finnick. Everybody loves him and I could have killed Suzanne Collins after I read Mockingjay. Seriously. But I loved how Katniss didn't fall for him like every other girl and they were just friends. In Catching Fire she talks/thinks about his costume and how it does't cover much, his obsession with bread and her genuine surprise when she finds out he loves someone like Annie and hes not as shallow as she though. My favorite moment though is when they get the ointment.

"'Poor Finnick. Is this the first time in you life you haven't looked pretty?,' I say

'It must be. The sensations completely new. How have you managed it all these years?' he asks.

'Just avoid mirrors. You'll forget about it,' I say.

'Not if I keep looking a you,' he says." 

  • When Katniss Realizes She Can't Live Without the Boy With the Bread

The beach scene. When Katniss realizes that if Peeta was gone she wouldn't be able to get through it. He means so much more to her then she thought. And this scene was just full of feels.

"'No one really needs me,' he says, and there no self-pity in his voice. Its true his family doesn't need him. They will mourn him, as will a handful of friends. But they will get on. Even Haymitch, with the help of a lot of white liquor, will get on. I realize that only one person will be damaged beyond repair if Peeta dies. Me. 

'I do,'I say. 'I need you.' He looks upset, takes a deep breathe as if to begin a long argument, and that's no good, no good at all, because he'll start going on about Prim and my mother and everything and I'll just get confused. So before he can talk, I stop his lips with a kiss."

  • Katniss Fighting to Get Peeta Back

And then you have Mockingjay. Every time I read this book I cry and it's just so hard to get through. So much happens and it's upsetting but there where still moment that I  loved. Like when Peeta asks Katniss if her favorite color is green and Katniss responds. 

"A few minutes before four, Peeta turns to me again. 'You favorite color... it's green?'

'That's right.' Then I think of something to add. 'And yours is orange.'

'Orange?' He seems unconvinced.  

'Not bright orange. But soft. Like the sunset,' I say. 'At least, that's what you told me once.' 

'Oh.' He closes his eyes briefly, maybe trying to conjure up that sunset, then nods his head.'Thank you.'

But more words tumble out. "You're a painter. You're a baker. You like to sleep with the windows open. You never take sugar in you tea. And you always double-knot your shoelaces.'

Then I dive into my tent before I do something stupid like cry."

And there are my five favorite Hunger Games moments. I don't know how I'm going to make it through part two. I'm going to be a sobbing mess. I honestly can't believe it's been four years since I picked up the first book and decided to read it. #cries

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Book Review: The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

"Who do you think keeps this country safe so you can sleep at night?”
“I don’t sleep most nights. And to be honest, Your Grace, I don’t feel all that safe.”  

- The Girl in the Steel Corset, Kady Cross

The Girl in the Steel Corset isn't my typical read. I picked it up at the library when a friend suggested it and started reading it when I got bored. I got hooked. This book is a steam punk twist on Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Set in the the late eighteen hundreds its a creative, unique read that is worth every line.

Goodreads Synopsis:

In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one... except the "thing" inside her.
When a young lord tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back. And wins. But no normal Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch...
Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she's special, says she's one of them. The orphaned duke takes her in from the gas lit streets against the wishes of his band of misfits: Emily, who has her own special abilities and an unrequited love for Sam, who is part robot; and Jasper, an American cowboy with a shadowy secret.
Griffin's investigating a criminal called The Machinist, the mastermind behind several recent crimes by automatons. Finley thinks she can help and finally be a part of something, finally fit in.
But The Machinist wants to tear Griff's little company of strays apart, and it isn't long before trust is tested on all sides. At least Finley knows whose side she's on even if it seems no one believes her.

I was really surprised when I enjoyed this book. It didn't sound that promising but the further I got into the book the more I enjoyed it. With fight scenes, balls, the queen of England, and a man determined to take over the world with robots the story is fast paced and full of dark twists that keep you on your toes.

One the things that really made me love the story was the characters. I loved every single one of them. Finley Jane and her struggle with both sides of her. Griffin the orphan Duke who just wants to help others like him. Emily and her quiet way of helping everyone. Sam and his struggle with the robot parts inside of him. Not to mention Jasper, and Jack Dandy.

Kady Cross creates a world that is both dark and hopeful. Her descriptions are so detailed that you feel like you are a part of the story with Finley Jane and the Machinist. The dresses that Finley wears! One of my favorite things about the Selection series by Kira Cass were the dress descriptions and that's true for this story as well. Silks, satin, lace, corsets, gloves, and little gadgets that went with Finley's everyday outfit made the book seem just a little bit more real.

Steam punk is really not my thing but this book was an exception. The robots were cool but I was mainly excited about the whole "steel corset" thing. Finley's darker self can lift heavy objects and take down a grown man but shes still able to be injured and when Emily created the corset for her I was genuinely excited.

The plot and story line were great. It was really a very different book. I've never read anything like it. The whole automatons thing was a bit strange to me and when the master plan of the machinists was revealed all I could think of was The Great Mouse Detective. Seriously it made me laugh but it was a bit more mature and scary then the cartoon I promise.

This book was amazing and I definitely plan on reading the rest of the series.

My Rating: 4/5 Stars
Author: Kady Cross
Genre: Science Fiction/Steampunk
Published: May 24, 2011