Again, But Better

81kW7J18kvL

Rating: 2.5 stars

I want to give a thank you to NetGalley for this arc in exchange for an honest review!

I went into this book not knowing that much about it, which is how I normally go into books. The beginning was okay, I was mostly entertained but by the time it got to the second half of the story, it wasn’t as good anymore.

This story is told by a girl named Shane’s perspective. She’s destined to be in a doctor after college because her parents have been trying to perfect her life in order to make sure that happens. However once Shane goes abroad to London, she switches majors to focus on writing for the time being, which she has to lie about to her parents. While she’s in London, she makes a lot of close friends, and almost develops a relationship with a boy named Pilot. Once things don’t turn out the way it was supposed to, Shane and Pilot meet again 6 years later just to turn back to 2011 once again to redo their experiences.

I thought that this was going to be better than it truly was. The one thing that was hard to get through was the writing; the writing style didn’t mesh well with me. It felt very unprofessional to me. The dialogue was unrealistic, the phrases, and the communication, it all seemed very forced. It also just seemed like a fangirl was talking about her favorite things most of the time. It was easy enough to get through reading this novel without many details.

Another thing that bothered me about this book was the characters because the author seemed to be trying to get Shane and Pilot together; it was really weird because, in the beginning, it was like insta-love, but then they didn’t talk for the majority of the time they were abroad. After 6 years, Shane boldly goes to Pilot’s office and brings up the past although nothing happened, besides the fact that she had and still has a crush on him. Even when they go back into time, the same thing happens essentially, until the end. It seemed to me that the book was going to be more romance based, but without directly showing the romance, it was still there.

Besides the romance aspect, the one thing that bothered me about Shane and Pilot was the fact that although they are 6 years older, they haven’t matured at all. They stay 26 or 27 when they go back in time, but the dialogue hasn’t shown any improvement as one would assume that they would. Also, if they went back in time, I assume that it would have roughly the same events happen unless either Shane or Pilot change them but it was rather different from what happened during the first part, which I feel was unrealistic.

One thing that I did like was that Shane was willing to put her relationship on hold while she figured out what she was doing with her job, and how to handle the problems with her parents, and she was focusing on herself, which was nice. I honestly think that the romance was unnecessary if the author continued on with this kind of attitude because I think the romance only distracted this point.

I also liked Shane’s friendships that she made while she was abroad, and how she still maintained some of those friendships afterward. In the beginning, I could relate to her a little bit with not having friends, but I lost that connection throughout the novel, which is a good thing on her part because Shane obtained friends and ultimately did what she wanted to do in life.

Overall, I felt that this book wasn’t for me. The writing and character development were very underdone and this book has a good plot, but because of the lack of those elements, it fell flat, unfortunately. It was entertaining in some aspects but in the overall view of this book, it wasn’t what I wanted out of reading something like this.

How I Rate Books

Hello! Today I am here to have a small talk explaining how I rate the books I read as I do. Some of you may have been wondering the thought process as I’m reading the books, and ultimately decide on what rating to give.

I don’t have a very complicated way of rating things. I usually rate my books based upon my feelings towards them and how they make me feel while I’m reading them. It also depends on the writing style and how well the story was executed, and those factors also affect the way I feel about the book.

This is my opinion on how I rate the books I read if you don’t rate your books as I do, it isn’t wrong, your opinions are just as valid as mine are. 

Also, if you want to know more detail about how I rate books, let me know down in the comments or contact me via email or social media!

1 star: I hardly give a one star out but if I have to it would because I didn’t connect with the book at all and the writing style, characters and such wouldn’t be very well developed in my opinion.

1.5 stars: I would probably give it a .5 higher if I liked a character in the book, but overall plot and writing style fell very flat.

2 stars: I would rate a book higher based on if I liked the character or if the writing style was better but everything else fell flat.

2.5 stars: I would rate this less than three because although it was okay, there would be some element that would be lacking

3 stars: This is my usual rating, and I would rate it because everything was okay, I just didn’t have any sort of connection to the story. It wasn’t good or bad, it was just okay.

3.5 stars: If I liked a character or more, and it helped me to keep going with the story to make it more enjoyable.

4 stars: This is usually my rating if I really liked a book, it’s because I had a really good time reading the book, but there are things that I didn’t like about the book that would be impacted enough to change the rating lower.

4.5 stars: I would rate it higher than a 4 because I received more emotions and I would be too excited after finishing the book, but there was something that I didn’t like to lessen my rating.

5 stars: I rarely give out 5 stars, unfortunately. When I do, it’s because I was totally invested in the book, and it gave me a lot of emotions and feels.

You: Book vs. Tv Show

 

Hello! As many of you have heard the book, ‘You’ has become a TV series. I thought I would put my thoughts into both perspectives of the book and TV show instead of just a book review. The book is pretty similar to the tv series, however, there are add-ins and a different view on the story itself between them.

‘You’ is about a man named Joe who is a stalker and once he meets Beck, an aspiring writer in college, he becomes obsessed with her; he stalks all of her social media accounts and those in her life as well. He follows her around, and watches her through her own house, and meets her again by “chance”. As he becomes more in her life, he wants to control it to the best as he can and eliminates the people who get in his way.

I have a lot of mixed feelings within these two types of media concepts of this storyline. I really like the approach that the Author took about having Joe as the narrator but also using the second person to describe Beck. I enjoyed watching the show because it was interesting to see how everything was played out, however, I think it was over dramatized for TV, and I think it took away the creepy aspect and made it be less of Joe’s mind and more involved with their relationship as a whole, that it made me forget his obsession with her a lot of the time. While I was reading it, it was Joe’s perspective the entire time so his thoughts at times were kind of disturbing the read about so it reminded me a lot of his intentions.

I really liked how the show was focusing more on Beck’s writing and I thought it was interesting and added more of her character. In the book, Beck was complaining about how she had writing to do, but I never read anything about her actual writing. I realized that in the tv show, there was more of Joe and Beck’s relationship and spending time together rather than in the book, which made me feel less like Joe needed to be with Beck like it deemed he should have been.

I feel as though the book had Beck bail on Joe multiple times in the fact that it made a clear statement that she wasn’t interesting all too much from the beginning because they went out for a while but Beck got caught up with everyone but him. Once Peach died, they connected once again, but the relationship spark wasn’t there; it was more of them just having sex. While in the tv show, there was a greater amount of time spent with each other that it almost seemed weird when Beck was bailing on Joe until we actually find out the truth of what else she’s been doing, so I think either way it’s a little confusing to look at.

I have come up with a list of similarities and differences I saw throughout the book and the TV series, let me know if I’m wrong, or if you would like to add anything:

  • Blythe is still a student that Beck goes to school with
  • Joe still has a relationship with Karen
  • Dr. Nicky still had a relationship with Beck
  • Paco and his mother/boyfriend aren’t characters in the book
  • Ethan was a character at the beginning of the show not hired later on, from the book
  • There isn’t a Curtis in the book
  • Ethan is in a relationship with Annika; Annika is not in the book only Chana
  • Chana(Annika) and Lee don’t really hang out with Peach in the book like they do in the show
  • The TV series is more writer based, and also dramatized more
  • The TV series also pays more attention to all the characters rather than just the main two characters
  • Candace is mentioned right away in the book, and we know Joe killed her; Candace is briefly mentioned throughout the show and apparently, she’s still alive
  • The book has less of them being in a relationship than in the show
  • The professor “thing” is only briefly mentioned in the book
  • Joe jumps out of the window instead of hiding in the shower
  • Joe goes to the hospital after the police officer finds him in the book, instead of sending the cop on his way in the show
  • Benji is pretty much the same, there are a few scenes of the interacting, doesn’t show but briefly mentions his death, not even showing what he did with his body
  • Beck still died at the end, Dr. Nicky was not blamed for her death
  • They didn’t have sex until halfway through the book, but still had a lot after then, even at the end of the book while she’s in the cage
  • Peach is still in love with Beck, has physical copies of pictures instead of her laptop
  • Joe broke into Peach’s house and followed her, but it was all briefly mentioned in the book
  • Beck and Joe didn’t see each other at the Dicken’s festival in the book
  • Mr. Mooney is old but still aware unlike in the show where he can’t talk or anything
  • Joe and Beck hardly live together in the book, he never makes her pancakes unlike in the show
  • Joe and Beck don’t really start a relationship until Peach dies; Beck is continuously bailing on Joe for most of the book
  • Beck does work with Joe only for a little while
  • The cage is still used as it was in both book and tv show

As a result, I have to say that I liked the book better than the TV show because I feel as though it gave a better feel for what the author was trying to convey about the characters feelings, however, I did give the book a 3.5 out 5 stars, because thought it was lacking in some areas where it didn’t fulfill the expectations that I had. I will say the show was still very entertaining to watch, so if given the chance, I’d probably watch the show over reading the book because the show was more enjoyable to watch rather than to read about because the TV series had the aspect which there was a lot more happening.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

51w1l2izxdl._sx329_bo12c2042c2032c200_

Rating: 3 Stars

“Nightmares and visual hallucinations were my new normal, apparently, and something about my behavior in the psychologist’s office made him recommend a long-term care facility”

I will say this now, this book was not bad, it has multiple flaws but it wasn’t terrible, to say the least. It more so was lacking and had potential. As I was reading this, it was more so a whirlwind of things I knew what was happening and then things I didn’t expect.

Mara Dyer is not her actual name, but I somehow skipped that and read the entire novel and discovered it after I did, but even with that fact it doesn’t change on how this book is perceived. Mara was in an accident that she wakes up from but cannot remember what has happened. Her friend Rachel, boyfriend Jude, and his sister Claire are dead because of this accident, which leaves Mara to feel immense grief. The grief turns into PTSD and she begins to have hallucinations. Mara’s father takes a case in Florida and so the family moves down there, and so Mara can have a fresh start. During her first couple weeks there, she meets Noah Shaw and begins to hang out with him, and he stays with her even when she starts to unravel her past.

When I started to read this book, it gave me a lot of nostalgia because when I was beginning my teenage years I read a lot of Wattpad stories, and the school atmosphere and how the characters acted with each other reminded me a lot of this book (I don’t mean that in a negative way at all).

I, however, feel as though there was a lot of build up with Mara and Noah that the main plot gets pushed away. Mara has hallucinations and weird things happen throughout the story, but I think in the first 65% of the novel is character driven, that the visions that she has become infrequent and by the end that there is so much of the plot added to it, it kind of made me feel overwhelmed. I also think that this book should have been a lot shorter than it is because of how much time is spent away from the plot.

I feel like Noah and Mara’s relationship, in the end, is very cute and I love them together. I think when they meet in the beginning that the author was trying too hard to make them start some kind of relationship that it’s clearly forced. When Noah and Mara have their first encounters, it seems awkward, as one would assume it would be, but the more frequent they begin talking to each other, it becomes forced. Also, the dialogue, for the most part, is accurate but when either Noah or Mara randomly say a word that I don’t think anyone would really know off the top of their heads, seems unrealistic, but I guess it doesn’t have to be since it’s fiction, it still is random.

“He would kiss me, right now, after everything I’d done. I was poison, and Noah was the drug that would make me forget it.” 

Mara and Noah are good for each other because now after all that has happened, neither one of them has left one’s side, and since the truth is out, Noah can protect Mara from whatever may come their way. All though it seemed a bit rough through the beginning of the novel, their relationship has gone a long way.

Some of the things that did confuse me while I was reading this was whenever Mara would hallucinate, she saw Claire, Jude, and Rachel, but Rachel only seemed to be the main person in her life. It did explain that Claire wasn’t close with her, which was understandable. Jude was her boyfriend at that time, and even though it was only for a couple months, that had more of relationship too. So even when Mara’s mother would say that she must miss Rachel, or something linking that to the accident and grief, I find it odd that he’s not mentioned.

Another thing is that Jamie becomes Mara’s friend and although he’s not really present outside of school, the author has made a point to make him a part of her life, but at the point when things get trippy (around 65%), Jamie just isn’t mentioned for the rest of the book, unless I missed something, but I feel like I didn’t.

The events that happen at the 65% mark become more interesting because this is the point where I actually didn’t know what exactly what was going on. I was trying to piece it together what happened because Mara is our narrator so we’re only getting information from her. I wish the author would have taken out some of the character development and added more to the weird power thing that Noah and Mara have because I feel like it was forced in there that it got explained to the point that we know has happened and the basics.

One other thing that I did like is, that authors tend to bring in added details of the main character’s family lives in the books, but they aren’t really relevant. With this book, Mara’s father has been working on this case, and it comes up every now and then, and I wasn’t sure that towards the end that we would hear anything about it. Not only did it happen, but there were also other parts of the story that were linked to it, so I liked that part a lot.

I know this review might come off as negative, but I did enjoy this book a lot. I did connect with the characters and I had fun reading their interactions. I also did enjoy reading the hallucinations and have the weird mystery of what’s happening that it captivating me into basically reading this book in one day.

Overall, this book was lacking in some areas but I did enjoy this novel a lot. I cannot say whether or not I will continue with this trilogy, but I will keep this book in mind, at least for a while.

“And just like that, I was completely, utterly, and entirely, His.” 

Wire Shoe

20180213_142420
This wire shoe project was the first project I had to create in my second semester, 3-D class.This project was to create a shoe using only wire to replicate a specific kind of shoe, which I chose to use a boot. This project was challenging and very time-consuming. I had to redo a few parts of the structure just to make sure it was sturdy and hold it’s shape. Also, I found it hard to add details, for example, the wrinkles in the boot. Using the wire was also quite painful because it stabbed into my skin, so I had to take multiple breaks just so my fingers can get a break. But overall, I’m happy with how it turned out.

Hard Sell

747541dd09b13d2f37abcdd66f32d0d5273c6dd0

Rating: 3 stars

I want to give a thank you to NetGalley for this arc in exchange for an honest review!

I requested this book off a whim of thinking that this kind of romance novel might be something that I’d enjoy. I didn’t go into this with any expectations so there couldn’t have been anything to disappoint me with.

I didn’t dislike this novel nor did I like it. It was as if I was reading it to read it. I didn’t feel any particular emotion towards this book. I think it might have had to do with the writing because it was way too informal for me. I understand why the author chose to do different character perspectives but it was too much.

This wasn’t as I was anticipating, I couldn’t connect with any of the characters because they’re not in the same social class as me and their age. I have nothing against people on Wall Street, it’s more of that I cannot connect with older adults who have a successful job and having a lot of money. I think if they had been more realistic as in, the constant going out, shopping and all that, instead they would stay inside on a Friday night or had some kind of response to the stress that they were going through would have made it more interesting. If the author hadn’t made them live basically in a perfect world, currently, then maybe things would have happened better.

The characters themselves were okay, they seemed like typical human beings, I didn’t really find one more interesting than the other. Usually, for me, I find characters more interesting and realistic during first-person perspectives but this time around, I didn’t unfortunately.

Overall, this was an okay novel. I think that if you have read this and enjoyed it, I’m happy. If you like cheesy, guilty pleasure reads, this book may be for you, even though it wasn’t for me.