Tag Archives: humor

Book Review: Anatomy of a Misfit by Andrea Portes

Published September 2nd by HarperCollins US.

18340210Goodreads Synopsis: Outside, Anika Dragomir is all lip gloss and blond hair—the third most popular girl in school. Inside, she’s a freak: a mix of dark thoughts, diabolical plots, and, if local chatter is to be believed, vampire DNA (after all, her father is Romanian). But she keeps it under wraps to maintain her social position. One step out of line and Becky Vilhauer, first most popular girl in school, will make her life hell. So when former loner Logan McDonough shows up one September hotter, smarter, and more mysterious than ever, Anika knows she can’t get involved. It would be insane to throw away her social safety for a nerd. So what if that nerd is now a black-leather-jacket-wearing dreamboat, and his loner status is clearly the result of his troubled home life? Who cares if the right girl could help him with all that, maybe even save him from it? Who needs him when Jared Kline, the bad boy every girl dreams of, is asking her on dates? Who?

Anatomy of a Misfit is Mean Girls meets The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and Anika’s hilariously deadpan delivery will appeal to readers for its honesty and depth. The so-sad-it’s-funny high school setting will pull readers in, but when the story’s dark foreboding gradually takes over, the devastating penultimate tragedy hits like a punch to the gut. Readers will ride the highs and lows alongside funny, flawed Anika — from laughter to tears, and everything in between.

My Review: This caught my eye online and I was so excited about reading it! From the blurb, it sounded like a really funny but dark contemporary, a little like Looking for Alaska. It really was, though I’m really mixed about it. Anatomy of a Misfit is definitely going to be well loved – I think I’m in a minority of people still unsure.

I liked Anika, needless to say. She’s a very relatable protagonist, and I think Andrea Portes has captured the social hierarchy competition in high schools really accurately. Anika had a greatly developed back-story that’s the reason for most of her social struggle. The way she deals with things is often really funny. The protagonist did have a good voice but I didn’t click with her like I do with other characters.

There are two love interests… something which I instantly worried about because I can hardly ever tell either love interest apart. I’m useless. And truthfully, I got so mixed up with them… Even with the shocking ending, I had to reread earlier bits to make sure I was getting everything right. It’s probably mainly me being really forgetful though…

The plot is enjoyable and there are so many things dealt with in it. Every event was either really funny or really hard-hitting. There were some things, though, that seemed to just be forgotten about after a while – there’s one minor character’s story that could’ve developed more especially, I think.

On the back of my copy it talks about the story having a dark undercurrent flowing through the story, and lots of foreshadowing towards an unbelievable ending. That’s completely true. Every few chapters, there’s one that’s a flash forward, that’s so sinister sounding I struggled to figure out what could possibly happen! The last few chapters really do hit you like a punch to the gut. I could never have predicted it. At first I didn’t see how it was… There are hints in the plot, but because I got so confused between parts I don’t think it hit me as hard! The foreshadowing is very hard to see, but reading over bits made me kick myself a little. Portes leaves you in a bit of a daze at the ned of the story.

Overall, Anatomy of a Misfit was an enjoyable novel, but one that I expected to love more than I actually did. I think the protagonist was likeable, but didn’t really completely stand out to me – though I’m sure that many other readers will love her! The plot was so memorable and I’m sure I won’t every forget that ending… There were aspects I couldn’t get on with, but I’m sure I’d read another YA title from Andrea Portes!

My Rating:

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I received a copy of Anatomy of a Misfit from the publisher, in exchange for a review. In no way at all did this affect my thoughts.

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Graphic Novel Review: Bravest Warriors Vol. 1 by Pendleton Ward

Also by Joey Comeau, Ryan Pequin and Mike Holmes. I couldn’t fit them in the blog post title (:

Published by KaBOOM!, 31st August 2013.

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Goodreads Synopsis: The new hit Cartoon Hangover series from the imagination of Adventure Time creator, Pendleton Ward! POWER! RESPECT! Based on ADVENTURE TIME creator Pendleton Ward’s brand new animated series! Join Chris, Wallow, Beth and Danny, four 16-year-old heroes-for-hire, as they warp from galaxy to galaxy, saving alien races with the power of their…emotions. They’re noble, righteous and totally bodacious! This new series of original comics based on the new Cartoon Hangover series is sure to be a smash hit! This collection includes the first four issues, including the totally boss backup stories!

My Review: PENDLETON WARD I LOVE YOU.

Just had to get that out of the way. sorry. *Cough*I’m obsessed *cough* This was so fun. So, ridiculously, stupidly fun… I originally wasn’t planning on reading this, but I bought it on my Kindle. I’m so glad I did buy it- it was definitely worth it!

Bravest Warriors follows a band of four kids and one unofficial member (who is, probably, one of the coolest…), who defeat evil things with their righteousness. Sound silly? NO. Because this is what happens in Adventure Time, Pendleton Ward’s most famous work, and Pendleton Ward is awesome, and there is no way to deny that. ‘Nuff said (:

The world Bravest Warriors was set in was so rich with wacky imagination. It’s so difficult not to fall in love. Immediately, I was sucked into the world, and after the collected issues… I just wanted more! I’ll admit that the planet full of sad clowns was extremely creepy, but the extremely cute illustrations meant I could read it (: I fell in love with the artwork. It’s so pretty, simple yet really fun. Similar to Adventure Time’s art, which is probably a reason I loved it so much. Bravest Warriors is such a vibrant comic. It really stands out!

The story is very jumpy. It’s packed with events and it is pretty much all over the place and really random. But, I think that made it really loveable. It’s completely unpredictable and laugh-out-loud funny. Giant cats attacking spaceships. Sadness overtaking a world full of clowns. And zombies. None of them should go together, but they do. I’m not quite sure how this comic pulled it off, but it did!

The characters are so loveable. Each of them are all really different, but they made an awesome team. My favourite character? Had to be Beth, the dark haired girl on the cover. She was… awesome 😀 Though, of course, Miss Unofficial Fifth Member of the Team was equally fun. They’re all really easy to love, and I was really absorbed in their story. I ignored family on Christmas a bit, because I was so curious to see what happened to them!

Overall, Bravest Warriors is just a really fun comic. It’s not really to be taken seriously; it’s a silly, funny, random graphic novel, but it’s so easy to get stuck into. I’m really happy I got around to reading it! Recommended to MG fans of comics, but really, I enjoyed it a lot and I know a lot of adults did too, as I saw on Goodreads! The characters are loveable, and you’ll find yourself giggling manically at the story. Adventure Time fans will gobble it up.

My Rating: 

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I purchased Bravest Warriors through X Comics online.

Demigod and Monsters

Introduction by Rick Riordan; essays written by various other authors, published by Smart Pop Books.

*NOTE: This review is on the new, updated version of this book, which will be published soon and is now up to date with the latest Percy Jackson book*

Demigods and Monsters: Your Favorite Authors on Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians SeriesGoodreads synopsis: The #1 New York Times bestselling Percy Jackson series—The Lightning ThiefThe Sea of MonstersThe Titan’s CurseThe Battle of the Labyrinth, and The Last Olympian—features a dyslexic boy who discovers he is the son of a Greek god, the target of mythical Greek monsters, and the center of a prophecy that could change the balance of power in the world forever. In Demigods and Monsters, YA authors take on the series’ Greek gods, demigods, monsters, and prophecy, to add insight and even more fun to Riordan’s page-turner series.
The book also includes an introduction by Percy Jackson series author Rick Riordan that gives further insight into the series and its creation, and a glossary of ancient Greek myth, with plenty of information on the places, monsters, gods, and heroes that appear in the series.

My Review: I’m not entirely sure how to review this book, seeing as it’s not a story, as such! This review will be quite different to my usual ones.

I’m such a big fan of the Percy Jackson series! I’ve been a fan for years, when my dad used to read The Lightning Thief to my brother and I at night. I was so excited to start this, because it contained a collection of essays on the books, and Greek mythology relating to Percy Jackson. The introduction by Rick Riordan was really great, and got me into high spirits about the rest of the book. As for the essays in there? Brilliant! Bar a few that I couldn’t really get into, because they were a bit too detailed for me, the collection was very enjoyable.

They touched on some really interesting subjects, exploring into the symbolism and history behind Riordan’s awesome trilogy. Many are really in-depth, giving some really intriguing (and shocking!) information on Greek myths. I was really drawn into them, because the subject is just so interesting for me. So, even if you’re not a fan of the Percy Jackson series and just a lover of Greek mythology, it’ll probably still be worth reading. Also, many of the essays are laced with a pinch of humor, livening up parts. I think that made the writing even more fun.

Quite a few of the authors, I haven’t read anything from, though I had heard of many. One author I’d read from before was Elizabeth Wein, author of Code Name Verity. I especially liked her essay- it was very different compared to the mythological others. Her’s was all about dyslexia and ADHD, the disabilities that Percy himself has.

Lots of the other essays were great! My favourites were the ones not written like your standard essay. One was an author going over well-known Greek Gods and deciding which ones would be best as parents (She had an awesome choice!). Another author had the really imaginative idea of giving the Divine parents of some of the Half Bloods school-style grade (The American A-F), based on their parental skills. That one was pretty funny. My other favourite was by an author who had kinda fallen in love with Hades. That had a really good take on the Underworld God.

Lastly, I think that the glossary that took up the last quarter of the book. It’s a giant A-Z of all things Greek and mythological, mostly, and great for if you’re looking for answer to things in the Percy Jackson series, studying on mythology, or just an interested Geek like me.

Overall, Demigods and Monsters is not the kind of thing I read- it’s not a story, and  it’s kind of classed as Non-Fiction- because it’s basically studies on something. However, I grew to really enjoy it. The essays are fun, interesting, and give great insights into the background of Percy Jackson and Greek Myths. It’s a must for all Percy fans! I read the whole thing in about a day, really intrigued by the author’s takes on all of their subjects. The writing was really brilliant, serious and humorous at the same time. I’ll probably definitely read some more books like this, on books I like. I’ll also probably look out for some of these author’s books, too! I really enjoyed most of the writing, so I think I’ll enjoy their fiction stuff too.

My Rating:

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I received a copy of Demigods and Monsters from the publishers via Netgalley, in exchange for a review. In no way at all did this affect my thoughts.

 

The Taming of the Tights

By Louise Rennison, published by HarperCollins.

The Taming of the Tights (Misadventures of Tallulah Casey #3)Goodreads synopsis: Gadzooks! It’s another term at Dother Hall for Tallulah and her mates. But can they keep their minds on the arts with all those boys about…
After the thing-that-will-never-be-mentioned last term, Tallulah is keen to put all thoughts of Cain behind her. But that seems like that the last thing he wants.
Their performing arts college may have been saved by Honey’s mystery benefactor, but for how long is anyone’s guess. So will Tallulah finally get to wear those golden slippers of applause or will Dr Lightowler swoop down on her glory days?
Don your craziest tights and Irish dance your way to some surprising and hilariously unexpected answers…

My review: Hooray, more Tallulah!! I loved the first two books in the Tallulah Casey series so much, and was ridiculously excited when this came. Louise Rennison’s previous books have been so brilliant, quirky and hilarious, and this one was no different. Before Tallulah had even arrived at Dother Hall for another term, she’d already made me laugh out loud a good few times. Things only got wittier as the term started, with Tallulah’s crazy love life, teachers, and friends. The plot was just brilliant, again focused around a school play (The Taming of the Shrew, hence the altered title of this book). I sped through the book, desperate to know what happens to all of my favourite comedy characters, and there wasn’t a single chapter that was boring.

I fell in love with Tallulah’s personality all over again in this third book in her series. Usually in books,  I don’t like the make-up loving girly-girls, and prefer the kick-butt heroines, but Tallulah is one of my exceptions. She’s just so funny! A unique, cheeky protagonist, Tallulah always seems to make a mess of things in the most humorous ways possible. I just adore her, and I really like how she got really close to Charlie in this story. They make such a cute couple, and their date-ish thing about two thirds into the book just made me laugh so much.

As well as Tallulah, I also love her friendship group, The Tree Sisters. All of them are really awesome. They’re not as funny as Tallulah (though Jo kinda was in this installment), but I really do enjoy reading about their misadventures too. Jo in this book had quite a large part, thanks to the hilarious incident with Phil. I won’t go into detail about it, but it is one of the funniest points in the book.

Ooh, another point- THE DEAD RABBIT WAVING!!! You probably now think I’m mad. But, in the past two books, Rennison has put in the author’s note that she had this grim scene of a dead rabbit, but her family wouldn’t let her put it in. However, she snuck it in here. I’ve been wanting to read the scene so badly, even though it’s only a paragraph long. I was absolutely ecstatic when it appeared in the book. Look out for it. You shall laugh your head off, or cry because of the grimness. I laughed.

Overall, The Taming of the Tights was another brilliant read from another brilliant author. It’s crammed with ridiculously funny characters, and events, and there’ll be at least one point where you’ll find yourself laughing. Although I think the ending was a little too cheesy for me, the plot was just amazing. I honestly can’t wait for a next book (hurry, Louise Rennison, I want more!! :)). Just don’t read this in public, because people will probably give you funny looks because you’ve suddenly burst out laughing on the train, or something. This series is an absolute must for teenage girls!

My Rating:

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I received an ARC of The Taming of the Tights from the publisher, in exchange for a review. In no way at all did this affect my thoughts.

VORTEX

By S. J. Kincaid, published by Hot Key Books.

Vortex (Insignia, #2)Goodreads synopsis: The impossible was just the beginning. Now in their second year as superhuman government weapons-in-training at the Pentagonal Spire, Tom Raines and his friends are mid-level cadets in the elite combat corps known as the Intrasolar Forces. But as training intensifies and a moment arrives that could make or break his entire career, Tom’s loyalties are again put to the test.

Encouraged to betray his ideals and friendships for the sake of his country, Tom is convinced there must be another way. And the more aware he becomes of the corruption surrounding him, the more determined he becomes to fight it, even if he sabotages his own future in the process.

Drawn into a power struggle more dramatic than he has ever faced before, Tom stays a hyperintelligent step ahead of everyone, like the exceptional gamer he is—or so he believes. But when he learns that he and his friends have unwittingly made the most grievous error imaginable, Tom must find a way to outwit an enemy so nefarious that victory seems hopeless. Will his idealism and bravado cost him everything—and everyone that matters to him?

My review: WOW! VORTEX was absolutely brilliant. I had high hopes for it, because I totally fell in love with the book before, INSIGNIA, about a year ago. So, for about a year, I’ve been impatiently tapping my foot for the release of this. So, as soon as I received it, I dived straight in. Well, it was so worth the wait!

VORTEX began with Tom, back in Vegas, visiting his dad on a break from his training. Right away I was sucked into his world, and holding my breath at the tense bits and laughing my head off at the humor that came shortly after. I’ll be honest- I had laughed about five times, before Tom had even gotten back to the Pentagonal Spire- the place where he trains to become a combatant. And that wasn’t even thirty pages. As Tom returned to the Spire, not only were there many more funny bits, but also arousing suspicion around lots of characters. Blackburn, a guy who was made out to be the antagonist in INSIGNIA, I instantly became wary of. Then, there was — who was so obviously a bad guy, and then one of Tom’s friends, who I won’t give the name of here because I’ll spoil things. But I will say that This Certain Friend’s betrayal made a really excellent, thrilling plot twist to an already action-packed plot.

The whole story was structured so well. There really wasn’t a single moment where I was bored, or uninterested. The story began with a big, funny event, and then after that, the pace of the story never slowed down, or lagged in places. It was just all so brilliant, and there was such a clever outcome.

Tom Raines’s character was, again, just so awesome. He was cocky, clever and mischievous, and all of that was really amped up in this installment. Although his back-chatting did annoy me in a few places, where I really wanted him to be focusing so he can save the world and stuff, I really did like that cheeky element in him. It just made Tom such a likeable, realistic character. I also saw a lot of his feelings about his dad in this book, too. I felt a lot of sympathy for him there! And, Tom definitely developed in terms of bravery in VORTEX- he underwent the most traumatic thing (which, again, I can’t really elaborate on because I’ll spoil stuff!) and still carried on, determined to save the day by all means possible. I really adored that determination. Finally, MEDUSA! For those of you who don’t know, Tom kinda fell in love with her in INSIGNIA. I really love the development in that forbidden relationship in this book. It was so heart-breaking, yet heart-warming at the same time.

Overall, VORTEX totally blew me away… just like INSIGNIA. The plot was so brilliant, I really can’t describe the amazingness that the author has packed into this 400 page masterpiece. Tom was such a great character, and I really loved his relationships with his best friends, as well as the mysterious Chinese combatant Medusa. VORTEX is great for sci-fi fans (but read INSIGNIA first!!), and I’d recommend it also to fans of Robert Muchamore. Go grab a copy of this and its predecessor now, they’re must reads for all young teens!

My Goodreads rating: 5/5!

I received VORTEX from the publisher, in exchange for a review. In no way at all did this affect what I thought of it.

The School for Good and Evil

By Soman Chianani, published by HarperCollins.

The School for Good and Evil

“Sophie had waited all of her life to be kidnapped…”

Sophie is one of the prettiest girls in her village; and she has waited all of her life to get kidnapped by the rumored ‘schoolmaster’ in the hopes of being taken away to the Good part of the fantastical ‘School for Good and Evil’. She makes a friend, Agatha, the quiet, dark haired, pale girl who lives in the graveyard. When both are kidnapped and taken away to the special fairy-tale school, they expect that Sophie will be put into Good, and Agatha into Evil. But when they arrive, they are put into the opposite schools! Agatha is taught lessons for princesses, and Sophie taught how to be ugly- as the school is designed to train up the good and the evil to become fairy tale characters. Desperate to escape the castle of princesses, Agatha tries to escape along with the Evil-School placed Sophie who has fallen for a Good prince. But they cannot escape, unless they solve a riddle. A riddle that, in solving, will cause havoc in the school!

Will Agatha and Sophie escape, or will they become merely characters in another fairy tale? Read The School for Good and Evil to find out!

Judging by the covers I’d seen online, this book looked awesome. So I was absolutely over the moon when this book arrived! It was absolutely brilliant- a twisted tale for girls who likes their fairy tales with a bit more action.

Sophie was, really, a mean, stuck up girl who wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer. She made a really great character, just like Agatha- who was in fact the kind, pure-hearted one. They were both very different girls will well developed personalities and backgrounds, and I loved reading their story. The moral of this story was ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’- as Sophie and Agatha looked very different to the normal Good and Evil pupils.

I really loved the story line- It was clever, with lots of unexpected plot twists that kept me hooked. It was predictable how the two girls would be forced to become enemies in their own fairy tale story, but I really loved how the author played it out. There were lots of witty bits, and many of the arguments between the characters made me crack up. There was also an essence of True Love, as Sophie was determined to get the handsome prince, Tedros, but Agatha ended up with him as she was the real princess. The ending was brilliant, and fast paced, but I think the part where they found out who the schoolmaster was and what his purpose was with Sophie was a little too rushed. In think it could have been explained a bit more. Apart from that, I really loved this, and hope there a sequel, or another tale from Soman Chianani soon!

The Fault in Our Stars

By John Green, published by Penguin.

The Fault in Our Stars

Hazel was diagnosed at thirteen with the incurable Stage IV thyroid cancer, and was ready to die at fourteen. However, a medical miracle that only works in 30 percent of people shrunk the tumors in her lungs, leaving her with more years to live, and an oxygen tank to help her breathe. When she takes part for the first time in a cancer support group at her local church, she meets the handsome boy Augustus Waters, who had his leg amputated to get rid of his sickness. Hazel reminds Augustus of his sadly passed away girlfriend, and the two soon develop a relationship which will change both of their lives forever…

I’ve seen this book everywhere. Literally, everywhere. I wanted to see what The Fault In Our Stars was about, and why it had won so many awards, so I bought a copy, and it literally blew me away. It’s one of the most emotional, and one of the most witty books that I have ever read; many points made me laugh or cry. The story is heartbreaking… and heartwarming at the same time.

Hazel made a great protagonist. She was haunted by the chance of death, yet her spirits were high and she cracked lots of jokes. Her story was a really sad one which really makes you think about how hard it must be for other people suffering with terminal illnesses. So was Augustus’s story, that pulled at my heartstrings too. They both came together in the most coincidental way, and their love story was a roller coaster ride, and extremely well written. It was a real test of true love.

The ending was one of the saddest endings I have ever read in a book – it was powerful, brought tears to my eyes, and all too realistic. It was thought-provoking and unexpected for me, although I knew something horrible would happen to either lover.

All in all, this was a great introduction for me to john Green’s award winning writing. The Fault In our Stars is definitely now in my top-five-best-books-EVER. It is a thrilling read full of humor and tragedy, for YA’s and adults alike. I can’t wait to read another book by this author!