Bookish Wednesday: The ABCs of University by Luke Patitsas

 

Hey all I’m back with a book I was requested to review by the author for this week’s Bookish Wednesday. It’s The ABCs of University by Luke Patitsas!

Plot: First things first, this is a picture book that is only 35 pages long, and it took me about 5 minutes to read it from end to end. I probably could have done it faster, but I had just woken up and I wanted to see what this email was all about. Secondly this doesn’t really have much of a plot, except poking fun at all the typical college drama and struggles. Frankly this is amusing but I wouldn’t buy it myself. That is partly due to me having gone through college and hating it, and partly because I’m a spendthrift and I can’t countenance spending $7 on a book that won’t hold my attention for more than ten minutes, not to mention it taking me less time than that to read. That isn’t to say that this is a poorly done book, the artwork is decent, and fits the style of a children’s picture book, but it’s not a sprawling epic you can really sink your teeth into either.

Artwork: Miss Loong did a pretty good job fitting the theme of the book, but most pages are fairly empty with just a single character and some words on it. For a picture book that is fairly lackluster, and leaves a lot to be desired. What is there though is well done, so credit must be due for that.

Overall: A fun book, but not worth the price it’s being sold at. At least to me, for others they may disagree, but I cannot advise anyone to buy it at it’s current price point.

For those who like: Picture Books, College Life.

Not for those who don’t like: Either of the above.

Bookish Wednesday: Accidental Duelist by Jamie and C.J. Davis

This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m back with the first book in a sequel trilogy that made me hate the original one. It’s Accidental Duelist, Accidental Traveler Book 04 by Jamie and C.J. Davis!

Plot: This book opens up with a point of view from Kay, one of my favorite characters from the original trilogy. In a move that absolutely disgusted me, it completely trivialized the entire original trilogy by pretty much making her absolutely useless in the years since Hal left Fantasma. And killing everyone she cares about except one grandson who she doesn’t get along with. This was the proverbial straw for me, and pretty much colored my entire impressions of the original trilogy, where there were plenty of faults already. I couldn’t finish this book, and that’s truly saying something for me, because I tend to finish every book I begin reading unless it really offends me like this book did.

Characters: Cari is our main character, and now that she’s all grown up she’s not a great character. She’s spoiled and argumentative and frankly I could see the impending character arc where she grows up on her journey in Fantasma from a mile away. So I didn’t really care for her, and since Hal was generally a poor main character anyways I had little hope she’d be any better. Kay, my favorite character from the original trilogy was reduced to uselessness through both age and political intrigue that shouldn’t have happened after the original trilogy.

Overall: Skip this book, it’s utter garbage for what it does to the characters from the original trilogy.

Bookish Wednesday: The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m back with a classic novel. It’s The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton!

Plot: The plot was pretty good to me when I was a kid although looking back it’s got too much angst for my tastes now. It deals with two rival gangs of young adults who are called the “Greasers” and the “Socs” (short for social). That being said it’s also highly controversial since the story details gang violence. Personally I have no problem with the story itself, I think I read it when I was 11 years old but I could be wrong and read it earlier. A couple fun facts about The Outsiders, it takes place in Tulsa, although that’s never stated explicity in the story. Secondly it was written when Hinton was only 16 years old. Considering that this book is highly controversial even today that’s pretty darn impressive for such a young woman to write.

Characters: Ponyboy is our main character and narrator, and while I don’t particularly like him now, he is rather well written and I did enjoy his character when I was much younger. The rest of the cast is great, although I think my favorite is Cherry if only because she’s written rather well.

Overall: This is a must read novel, if only because it’s been banned in some places because it’s “too violent”.

For those who like: High School Drama, Gang Stories, Drama, Action, Great Cast of characters.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

 

 

Bookish Wednesday: Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli

Hey all I’m back with a book I’ve been trying to remember the title for since I started writing my blog. It’s Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli!

Plot: The plot is okay, it deals with lots of issues that were highly uncommon for the intended reader’s age range at the time, including racism and being homeless. Honestly it’s all dealt with a bit poorly, it’s framed as a legend so it doesn’t really convey the seriousness of the subject matter at times. That isn’t to say that a kid won’t pick up on those lessons, but it’s not as reinforced as more contemporary books might handle the issue, and certainly not like Huck Finn does.

Characters: The cast is okay, honestly I don’t particularly like the cast all that much, but I remember reading this book as a kid and enjoying the story. Still the cast felt a bit forced for me at the time, which is partly why I couldn’t remember the title of this book.

Overall: A decent kid’s book, which has apparently been made into a movie according to Wikipedia.

For those who like: Fiction, Semi-controversial Topics.

Not for those who don’t like: Either of the above.

Bookish Wednesday: Accidental Mage by Jamie and C.J. Davis

Hey all I’m back with the sequel to Accidental Warrior for this week’s Bookish Wednesday. It’s Accidental Mage by Jamie and C.J. Davis!

Plot: The plot is really stereotypical, and honestly it was a huge disappointment compared to the first book. The fact that this ends the trilogy, but not the series, in such a slipshod manner doesn’t make me feel any good will towards the authors for what started out as an interesting and fun LitRPG series. If it sounds like I’m harping on the authors for creating a really bad series, it’s because I am. I was honestly expecting much more from them after the first book, but instead it continually was full of Hal being pompous and a bit of an ass even after he learned the “truth” behind the game. That was forgivable in the first book, because he wasn’t taking the adventure seriously much of the time and he was supposed to be an affable rogue. The later entries however didn’t get that excuse anymore.

Characters: Honestly the evil emperor trope was so overdone and played so straight that I couldn’t take his character seriously, the fact I have trouble remembering his name doesn’t help that fact. The rest of the cast was really quite disappointing as well, with Kay being again kept mostly to Hal’s shadow.

Overall: A terrible ending to the series, the first book was pretty decent, but take that as a standalone and you’d be mostly satisfied. The other entries were just a disappointment.

Bookish Wednesday: Accidental Warrior by Jamie and C.J. Davis

This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m back with a sequel to a book I covered over a year ago. It’s Accidental Warrior, Accidental Traveler Book 02, by Jamie and C.J. Davis!

Plot: The plot is okay, but honestly I was disappointed that it took the story where it did. Honestly I didn’t really care for Hal’s annoying antics as much as I had found them endearing in the previous book. The fact that he continued to rely on his Luck stat as much as he did just seemed foolhardy and a tool for blatant Deux Ex Machina whenever the authors felt like it. That said it’s not a completely terrible book, but the story is really not that amazing compared to other stories I’ve read.

Characters:  Honestly I can’t say I enjoyed Hal nearly in this second book as this the first. I could deal with the wise ass comments and the foolhardy nature he displayed since he was a gentleman rogue in the first book, in this book where he is supposed to be a warrior it just makes him look like a tool. Kay isn’t much better, running off and getting captured, again, in a really stupid manner. Honestly I didn’t enjoy the cast of characters in this book.

Overall: An okay sequel, if incredibly predictable and stereotypical.

Bookish Wednesday: Soulbound to a Dragon by Kurtis Eckstein

This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m back with a rather disappointing book. It’s Soulbound to a Dragon, Pantherians of Azra Book 01, by Kurtis Eckstein!

Plot: The plot is incredibly stereotypical and while there are a few new ideas the fact that the star crossed tragic lovers trope was in full play meant they were not enough to catch my interest or energy to bother getting past a certain point in the book. The setting is okay, it serves as sort of Urban Fantasy/Magitech sort of world, but the fact that the author decided to use the word Pantherian to mean all half breed characters despite the fact that the main character is a female with black hair and cat ears and tail was just the icing on the boring cake. I mean if you use the word Pantherian, you are going to think of a panther. Especially with that cover art. Sure you shouldn’t judge a book by the cover, but it’s a pretty obvious flaw.

I assume that it was a play on the word Therianthrope, meaning a human who can shapeshift to an animal form, but to have our main point of view character be a panther girl makes the entire word choice completely useless and nonsense when the next major character we meet is a half breed of a human and a freaking dragon. Pantherian doesn’t really fit for a species classification there now does it? Frankly with all that and the stupid tragic lovers trope being played straight for all it’s worth, it just meant I was completely and utterly unenthusiastic to bother reading past a certain point. I used to stick to my rule that I’ll finish out a story no matter how bad it is, but with the amount of stories that I’ve experienced over the years, and that has only increased exponentially since I started writing a few years ago, I’ve since had to modify my rules. Frankly the stereotypical plot and the nonsensical verbage all meant I had little reason to continue with the book. I had enough warning flags going off in my head to tell me not to bother with this story, so I listened to my instincts and didn’t bother reading past a certain point. Normally I don’t do this, as even terrible books deserve my time to utterly lambast them, but I had more important things to do.

Characters: Riel is our main character and point of view through which we see this world of Azra. Frankly she’s much too ignorant and way too pessimistic about her situation. Granted she has every reason to be given how ignorant she is, but it’s such an overdone stereotype that I couldn’t bother liking her all that much. The rest of the cast was little better, with Eli being our main male character.

Overall: Skip this book, it’s really not worth your time when you will likely waste reading or listening to this.

For those who like: Stereotypical Plots, Nonsensical Verbage even for Fantasy.

Not for those who don’t like: Either of the above, or mediocrity.