» The Martian Chronicles — Ray Bradbury.

Sunday, July 22, 2012
5:40 PM

This was not a bad novel. In fact, the concept was interesting. Humans finally found a way to fly to Mars and attempt to colonize it. Yet problems arise and of course everything is not as simple as it may seem at first.

This took me a while to read because I kept getting distracted. That's the thing with this book; I found it hard to pick it back up after putting it down. It was all right once you start reading, but there is that feeling you get when you look at it sitting there. You just feel like you don't want to read it.

Each chapter tells a different story about different characters, and some of them come back in later chapters, but not many. I feel like there is a crowd of people that came out of the novel, all of them pretty much faceless, but there is an abundance of them. It's like Ray Bradbury recycles personalities, if you know what I mean. Different characters talk and act too similar for me to think of them as distinct people. The only character I actually liked was Mr. Stendahl. He was insane, creepy, obsessed with Poe's works. He really stood out.

The chapters are not interlocked besides the setting and major events. They simply tell about people living their lives on Mars, what happens to them, from the earliest astronauts to the last people left on the red planet. I was expecting more action, and there was little to none. I was expecting the different stories to connect in some brilliant way in the end, but that never happened. Oh well.

Ray Bradbury's writing style and I did not get along. It's not something I usually read, but I was prepared to be surprised. Nevertheless, his way of writing failed to hook me and make me keep reading constantly. The only reason I sped up the reading towards the end was because I basically said "Oh fuck this" and rushed to finally finish it.

Overall, the novel was okay. The plot was interesting, some individual stories were nice, the fact that the book covered a large span of time was cool so you could see how the whole colonization of Mars went. The writing style did not float my boat, and most characters were quite boring.


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» Shatter Me — Tahereh Mafi.

Thursday, July 19, 2012
4:56 PM

I cannot understand why so many people loved this and have been recommending this to me. I am not going to lie, I read 338 pages of this and I still have no idea what was supposed to be so amazing or captivating about it.

Here we have a summary. Juliette's touch is fatal to other living things. Thus she has been locked up in an asylum and did not touch anyone for exactly 264 days. That is until she gets a cellmate who is — surprise surprise — a male about her age and is incredibly handsome and gorgeous and perfect and he will become her bird so she she can fly fly fly away! What the fuck.

Let's start with the positives. I like the idea of an insane girl being locked up for having a power that kills. I like the concept of a crumbling world, and things changing and all that. The whole deal with The Reestablishment sounds interesting. 


The only reason this book is called a "dystopia" is because it is set in a supposedly crumbling world, yet there was no word-building whatsoever. I really found it hard to care that the clouds are the wrong colour, or that birds don't fly, or that they are trying to get rid of languages, or that there will be a war. I can keep going.

This belongs in the romance section. The instalove in this novel is evident, and I do not buy the whole "childhood friends" thing. It seems like it was added in as an excuse so the author did not have to build up a relationship gradually and could just start writing scenes of Juliette and Adam swapping saliva. They're making out in the shower 100 pages in, for Christ's sake. What is going on.

Everything is just so terribly convenient it's not even funny. Adam just happens to like Juliette since childhood and she liked him back. He just happens to be among the people who wanted to find Juliette. He just happens to have immunity to radiation. He just happens to be immune to Juliette's touch.

Adam is a completely flat character. The only thing I remember about his personality is the fact that he is in love with Juliette. That is completely it. He has no little habits I can recall, nothing that makes him his own person. His purpose is to be a pair of lips Juliette can suck on once in a while. It is quite disgusting. 

Warner was a cheesy villian. The only character I actually liked was Kenji, who actually seemed to be more intelligent that Juliette and Adam combined. Winston was cool too, until he gave Juliette that leotard at the end. What the hell was that. 

Where did the ending come from anyway. It appeared out of nowhere, with no buildup or foreshadowing or anything. Just — bam. And it is suspiciously similar to another fandom, which makes me a sad panda, because I like those movies. 

Juliette just seemed weak to me. I understand that this book was supposed to be from the point of view of an unstable, insane girl who spent more than 200 days in isolation. Yet throughout the book she is either whining, petrified in fear, wishing to die, et cetera. 

Also, um, Juliette, if you can apparently crush concrete with your bare goddamn hands then why 
Why didn't you 
Why didn't you just bash Warner's skull in? Instead of, you know, firing a gun at him with your eyes closed

The writing was dreadful. The metaphors were painful, like the author was trying way too hard to be creative and poetic. I know that the writing is the reason most people liked it, but it just made my head hurt. I head to reread some sentences a few times before they actually made any sense. 

"I'm an old creaky staircase when I wake up." 

"I catch the rose petals as they fall from my cheeks, as they float around the frame of my body, as they cover me in something that feels like the absence of courage." 

"Every organ in my body falls to the ground."

"There are 400 cotton balls caught in my windpipe."

"Warner thinks Adam is a cardboard cutout of vanilla regurgitations." 

And I'm probably going to read Unravel Me, too.

rating: ★★☆☆☆ 

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