The Storyteller Speaks

I'm a creative writer who loves films and books. Obviously I'll be focusing on books here. I won't write reviews. More like impressions of what I think of a book. Enjoy. Hopefully you'll have my book on your blog one day.


TheeStoryTeller Speaks on...Beastly

Beastly - Alex Flinn


Okay...let's do this.


I give this book a star for one thing.


The story concept.


I was a huge fan of Beauty and The Beast growing up, like literally, that movie was life for me back then,  so naturally I love the concept of modernizing the story. 


Unfortunately, the TV show, the film based off of this book, and now the book itself, have failed to live up to my expectations. And just to put things in perspective, the film didn't do all that well and yet I still find it better than the book...yeah.


I know some people are like, it's a YA novel, you know what to expect. 


NO! Don't give me that.



Just because it's a YA novel, does not mean it shouldn't be held up to certain standards.


Okay, before I get into this, know that I stopped at page 100. I figured if the book wasn't impressing me by now, then what's the point? Hell the love interest had barely been introduced and I'm already 100 pages in? Red flag number one. But I did read a summary of the end and boy was I glad I stopped reading.





I'm not at all impressed with Flinn's writing skills (as far as this book is concerned). A lot of moments and lines are forced or just come off cheesy. Her characters are all stereotypes with no depth whatsoever. The whole online chat thing...I'll get to that later. I noticed grammatical errors and her use of pop culture isn't clever. It gets a bit annoying after a while. Apparently making up words is okay with her too. Loserishly was actually used as an adjective to describe an action. "Loserishly standing."  

I was a teen once, and yeah we made up slangs, but loserishly? 



I really wanted to love this book. I swear.




 Okay, here's what I expected. I expected the author to take the story and make it her own. I expected a modern day situation that reflected the theme of Beauty and the Beast. We all know the importance of recognizing that beauty isn't everything, all that glitters isn't gold, the grass is never greener, etcetera, etcetera.

I was ready for something new, familiar, but new. I was ready for the story to be told in a way I've never imagined.


Apparently the author didn't do much imagining herself. She literally tries to take Disney's Beauty and the Beast and put it into a New York City setting in a very literal way. From the fur and claws, to literally exchanging a girl for her father's freedom...more on that later.


I couldn't take this book seriously from the very beginning. This is supposed to be modern day New York right? It's supposed to be the real world. So why the hell is he in a chat room with the little mermaid, a frog, and a bear (Brother Bear? Ballu? Lil John from Robin Hood? Not sure which Disney bear he is).


Am I supposed to take this seriously? Its modern day New York and a frog is typing at a computer? Its modern day New York and Silent Maid aka Ariel, is trying to figure out whether she should give her voice for some legs.



If this is supposed to be a modern day thing, then why not make these characters more realistic. Witchcraft does exist in reality. Sure it may not be like the movies, but that right there is your fantasy element. In your world witches are real and can cast curses or hexes. You don't need to have literal fantasy characters to legitimize the Beast's curse.


 The mermaid: maybe she did something for a guy she liked out of kindness, but the mean girl at school takes the credit and now she doesn't know how to get her crush's attention. The frog: he could have been a trust fund baby, who's been cut off from the family and now he's trying to find a way back in. I mean there are many ways to modernize these stories and Flinn really didn't try.


The fact that Kyle turns into an actual beast is just ridiculous to me. I actually like the idea from the movie where he had scarring and weird tattoos that covered his body. That is what you call modernizing. Flinn doesn't modernize anything, she takes the same events from the cartoon and then tries to make them happen in the real world and it fails to crossover.


Example, the witch. In the cartoon, the witch comes to the prince as an old lady. She asks for shelter, the prince turns her away because she's ugly. She transforms into a beautiful fairy and casts the spell on him. 




Finn's version: Kyle (the homecoming prince, which by the way it's homecoming king but she changed the wordage just for the sake of copying the story lick for lick) asks the school's "gothic looking chick" to be his date for homecoming. She gets there, he makes out with his real girlfriend to embarrass our "witch" and later she casts a curse on him. Mind you while she's casting this curse, she is slowly transforming into a "hot chick" as Kyle puts it, right before his eyes. There is absolutely no point for this except to say well that's what happened in the Disney movie. But that doesn't mean it has to happen in this book.


There are so many other things Kyle could have done to prove he was deserving of that curse. Finn doesn't give us any of them. Instead she forces her story to stick by the original and that is the problem. 


Another situation, the love interest. I didn't get far enough to remember her name so let's just call her Belle. We all know how the story goes. The beast holds Belle's father captive and when she comes to rescue him, the beasts forces her to take her fathers place. Very big deal, and happens very early on in the story.


Finn's Version: I got to page 100 and there was no sign of the love interest, so clearly it did not happen early on. But when it did happen, it was "Belle's" father who broke into Kyle's home and was stealing. Since her father didn't want him going to the cops he says "Hey, you can have my daughter. See ya."




Did you not just say this was modern day New York? I don't care how you try to cut it, "Oh he was willing to sell you just so he wouldn't face punishment." Bullshit. There is no way that could work in the real world. This is the point where she is hindering the possibilities of her story, simply because she's trying to stick so close to the original story.


A retelling is called a retelling for a reason. It means you're allowed to change some things. It means you're allowed to deviate somewhat from the original, especially when you are trying to modernize it. 




Kyle is a spoiled teenage boy that does nothing but talk about who's ugly, who's good looking, who's rich, who's poor. I understand you want him to be a jackass, I understand you wan't us to dislike him, but stop forcing it. Kyle pretty much explains everything that goes on. He explains his personality, he explains his relationship with his father, he explains his every day life. Golden rule of writing people: Show, Don't Tell.


There are so many things he could have done, that would have the audience like "Wow, he's really an ass." I didn't think that the whole time I was reading. I was thinking, "Wow, he's really annoying." Even if you are trying to make this person unlikable, you still have to make sure your audience cares about him enough to want to know his story. 


Like I said, I didn't finish the book, so I don't know how his character arc ended. But judging by other reviews, no one learns any real lessons. However the book is as preachy as ever. Instead of revealing the theme as the story goes on, it's shoved down our throats. But we already know the theme anyway, that's what makes it so irritating.


Also, be consistent with your characters. Granted Flinn wasn't consistent about anything. In Kyle's case, one minute he's telling off his nanny, disrespecting her culture and country, the next minute he's apologizing for throwing a tantrum and telling the maid about how it's not her fault. Is he going to be a jerk, or be a jerk that's trying to change...pick one. At the moment, any kindness he does is an after thought. According to others the only change that really happened was him becoming more whiney.


Oh yeah, she tries to make it seem like they are millionaires. His father can afford the best of the best doctors, he can afford luxury apartments and condos because he's a newscaster?

I'm sorry but even if he is the most popular newscaster to ever live, his salary maxes out at around $130K a year.


For a book that is supposed to be a modern day story, there's nothing realistic about it.

There are a few beauty and the beast modernizations on my to-read shelf...hopefully they're better than this.








TheeStoryTeller Speaks on...The Einstein Prophecy

The Einstein Prophecy - Robert Masello

I've been reading a lot of Young Adult fiction lately, so it was refreshing to read and adult fiction book that still had my favorite elements, paranormal or fantasy. Masello mixes these elements well with the real world.


Einstein and the Others


I don't know much about Einstein and his history to be honest. I'm an English major, so we steered clear of the whole relativity thing.

But Masello has created an Einstein that is easy for me to believe. All of his characters are very well developed and have unforgettable characteristics, but I was most impress at how he was able to bring Einstein to life without turning him into a caricature. 

Yes, the familiar wild hair and heavy German accent are there. Did he always repeat the last words of his previous sentence in real life? Not sure on that one, but it's something I could believe. Masello made him very human to me. Having read this, I feel like I know a different side of Einstein that not many people are exposed to, and thats a true testament to the writer. 


The Plot



The one thing I will say that may be seen as a con of this book, it takes a while to kick off.  I came close to putting this on my lost interest shelf, but I just kept willing myself to continue reading it. But I'm glad I did. Once you get past the first few chapters, meaning once the first person is "attacked" by the ossuary, things pick up. And once it does, it doesn't slow down. But this is not a page turner, edge of your seat thriller. It takes its time, doesn't leave you on any cliffhangers, and allows you to soak in the events of the story, which was a very interesting one. I enjoyed how Masello weaves historical events into his fiction. Like how Lucas and Simone witness the iconic Sailor and Nurse kiss that became one of the most famous photos in history. And to think that Einstein could have helped to create the atomic bomb, well, that's not too far of a stretch is it?


What sometimes got on my nerves while reading though were the extremely long, comma ridden, sentences that had the author, who otherwise was a great writer, constantly interrupting himself to add anecdotes or descriptions, and making the sentence very convoluted.


A lot like the sentence I just wrote. That got out of hand sometimes, and I found myself reading a sentence over and over, trying to figure out what was said. But honestly, after a while I got used to it, I guess.


Overall it was a good read. Pretty straight forward and I enjoyed it. It's a story I wouldn't mind reading again.


TheeStoryTeller Speaks on...Vampire Academy

Vampire Academy - Richelle Mead

The very first thing that I thought of after reading this book is they should really change the synopsis on Goodreads.


It's not that the synopsis is irrelevant. The book is very much so about a half vampire girl training to guard her royal vampire best friend against the evil undead vampires called Strigoi.

I don't even know how to pronounce that but that's besides the point.


That is in fact the underlying story. But the book feels like an episode of Degrassi.




The story is less about the Strigoi and Moroi conflict and more so about popular vs unpopular kids, teen sex, teen drinking, dating older men, etc. The Strigoi and Mori conflict seemed more like story line B instead of storyline A.


Yes, every once in a while we're hit with a dismembered fox or bunny rabbit to remind us of the over arching story, but problems with school gossip, and Mia seem to over shadow those moments. 


However, what I do like is the author's ability to gradually explain the world. There are not very many, if any, information dumps. We're not having anything explained to us. If anything is explained, its at the right moment and it comes out very naturally. Like Rose is telling you the story and explaining parts you might not get. Which is essentially what all first person POV books should do. The story was fun for what it was. I mean teen drama is always interesting to me, and this is the first book I've ever read that deals with cutting, so I thought that was good in a bringing awareness to it way.


It kept me interested. If it wasn't for life stuff I would have read it a lot quicker. The way the book starts is very memorable and it sucked me in. Those are the moments I love. The first chapter had me like Neo.



Once I got passed the teen angst and hormones, I enjoyed the story for the most part.





Speaking of POV, I thought it was very cleaver how the author found a way to get into Lisa's head (literally). Instead of doing the whole Lisa is one chapter and Rose is another chapter thing, she came up with a very good and believable way for Rose to get into Lisa's head. Kudos for that.




All of the characters were pretty well developed and unique. The dialogue was really good. I've read so many trash stories where the author had no clue how to write a teenage voice, but this author did.



My only problem is Dimitri. I like him but I think his character is way too stiff. I mean he's seven years older than Rose, okay. But even then, he's only 24 or 25. In a sense, he's still very much in his developing years himself. But he acts like he's in his mid 30s instead of his mid 20s. I think he needs to loosen up. I get his personality is supposed to be a guy who's very serious about his work, but still, I think he's a little too serious for his age.


There's a pretty good balance of Lisa and Rose. I never felt like the story was more about one than the other. I never confused them with each other either. Their personalities didn't allow for that. Mia was an excellent adversary. I kept waiting for the author to redeem her in some way but she never did, which I'm happy about. Like i said in a previous impressions from a previous book, let the bad guy be the bad guy. *cough cough* Peter.






The End




 If you haven't read the book I suggest you skip this part because I talk about the end. Major Spoilers! You've been warned!



It's unfortunate that the end was the complete opposite of the beginning. It felt so forced. The whole book is about drama among the students and then all of a sudden we have this conflict with Victor, that was never nourished enough for me to even care. I felt like Victor went through some personality change. He was a character that barely ever showed up and when he did, he was just the feeble, about to die uncle. I mean at least make him a little unlikable so that when we get the surprise that he's a bad guy, it's actually believable. 


At this point it just doesn't make any sense since he is one of the more underdeveloped characters. The same goes for Natalie, we know her a bit more because she's more developed, but there was still no inkling of a girl that would do whatever it takes to save her father. But author didn't even make that a point. This is a young girl who is about to lose her father and she wants to save him. Any rash teenager would do that and if that was how it was presented, I would have been okay with that. Instead her behavior is just chalked up to wanting attention from daddy.


I understand that it was supposed to be a kind of twist, but even twists are supposed to be set up a lot earlier in the book. You have to plant some seed of doubt or suspicion. It doesn't have to be obvious but it has to be there, and the book is missing that.




Overall, I liked it. Not in love, but I'm interested enough to continue the series.








TheeStoryTeller Speaks on...Allegiant

Allegiant  - Veronica Roth

When I first read Divergent I thought,"YES! Something that's completely original! Something I've never read before!" 


I loved the characters, I loved the world, I loved the idea of the factions even though I knew that was just asking for trouble. But thats the point of every novel right? To ask for trouble for it's characters? Speaking of characters, I loved the fact that the side characters like Peter, Christina, and Caleb, were people. Not fillers. That is until Insurgent and Allegiant.


Imagine my dismay as I watched this series begin to crumble. As I watched Roth struggle to keep the originality of her story. Insurgent I felt was just an unnecessary filler book that completely dismantled everything I thought about the characters, but Allegiant takes that even a step further.


Okay, enough about the previous books. I have reviews on Goodreads if you wanna know how I felt about that. Lets get into Allegiant.



The only reason why I gave this a 3 out of 5 is because I actually do like the story.


I mean sure the plot didn't make sense at times. Especially with the whole, genetically damaged genes eventually making genetically pure genes if you procreate enough. If that were the case well then maybe my great great great grandchildren will have the cure for sickle cell disease swimming around in their veins. Anyway, so Veronica wasn't paying attention in Bio, I can relate. But research is always good for plots that have anything to do with Science. But regardless, I give her brownie points for at least trying to be different.




Most people felt like Tobias in Allegiant is to Tris in Insurgent. But I honestly don't think it was that bad. I completely understand Four's reaction to certain things, like being genetically damaged. That would make anyone feel insecure, especially if they have had that feeling for a while anyway. Bottom line is, no matter how tough Tobias appears, he's still a guy who was abused by his father as a kid and constantly felt or was told that he was worthless. Yes, he is insecure, and that makes him honest in my eyes. BUT, the whole not thinking things through situation is new to me. He was the one that always went off on Tris when she went on her little I'll sacrifice myself for everyone rampages 

More on that later.


But for him to just say okay to the chick he barely knows, while brushing off his girlfriend's warnings as jealousy, was so not Tobias in my opinion. You know what else was so not Tobias, that epilogue zip line scene. He sounded like Caleb, practically sniveling about how he didn't want to do it. I remember being like WTF, this doesn't sound like Tobias. Two years later or no, Tobias, who first of all overcame all of his fear landscapes, would not still be terrified of zip lining. And even if he was, he wouldn't show it. He would grit his teeth and get on the damn thing. I was so disgusted by him saying "Please. I don't want to do this." Did you somehow lose your balls during the two years that passed? Even the way he was talking to his mother and everyone else, it didn't even sound like his voice. I wasn't sure who it was and I think Roth might have noticed that too, hence all the clues she was dropping until she finally just blatantly had Tobias say "well I am your son Evelyn."


Sidenote: Roth does a lot of that. Telling instead of showing.  Instead of us just seeing something happen between two characters, somebody explains why they did what they did or how they're feeling. That is a storytelling no no.




Tris on the other hand, was way better than she was in Insurgent. Her confidence was back and she didn't turn into butter every time a gun was put in her hand. She had attitude, she was defiant, and she reminded me of why I liked her in Divergent. Even with her going in Caleb's place, I knew that was something Tris would do. But her death was not necessary. More on that later.


The sad part was watching characters that I really liked becoming flat fillers. Christina is only around when Tris needs someone other than Tobias to talk to. Same goes for Cara and Tobias. Caleb does nothing but mope around feeling miserable for what he's done. Uriah is the occasional "comedic relief" that is until he's... you know... blown up for no apparent reason other than it was about time for somebody else to die. Peter, who I liked for being proud of how much of an asshole he was, turns out to actually hate being an asshole. He wants to forget who he is and start over. Last time I checked, the memory serum takes away your memories, not your personality. Which is made even more apparent when it's stated later that the more "sharper" aspects of his personality came back.  I'm not even sure what the point of that was. Maybe if it had been made clear that Peter had some sort of inner struggle all along about the type of person he was, this would have worked. Instead it just comes off as random and pointless. I guess she realized that nothing had really happened with Peter lately, so she made something up.




So the genetically pure and the genetically damaged story has some kinks to be worked out, that is what it is. My problem is, why introduce a whole new conflict when the previous conflict has yet to be resolved. If we were going to go outside to the world beyond the gate and get some new crap shoved in our face, then the whole faction vs factionless dilemma should have ended in the second book. Or rather, it shouldn't have started in the 3rd book. Or it should have started and shutdown quickly. Anything to not have the plot so convoluted. Maybe she could have saved the whole GP and GD thing for a prequel series or something, I don't know. It's just too much going on in one book. It's to the point where we barely even know what's going on with the factions. They've been reduced to here and there snippets on the control room screens. I think I would have actually been okay with the 3rd book still focusing on the factions and factionless, and then ending with a group of people leaving the compound. Then we can have a few more books exploring the GP and GD conflict. Funny because in Insurgent, I was saying it should have been a two book series, but since she dropped this stuff on us, I'm thinking 2 more books could cover this new plot nicely. It's almost like halfway through writing the series she came up with another idea and felt like she just had to squeeze it in somehow. That was one of her biggest mistakes with this book.


The other was Evelyn throwing away years worth of work and determination just because Tobias asked her to. Its even more ridiculous to me because right before the scene Peter reminds Tobias that Evelyn almost got him killed by sending a group of people with guns after them when they were leaving the city, knowing that her son was among the people leaving. We also know that Evelyn doesn't take too kindly to betrayal. But low and behold Tobias says choose me or the city and it doesn't even take a second for her to choose him. You know I actually thought it was a trick. I'm reading and in my mind I'm like OMG, she's so faking it, something is going to happen, that was too easy! But no, nothing happened. She really was surrendering. And Marcus, Mr. Big Bad Wolf, was shut down by Johanna before he could even really begin to start a ruckus. And he actually gave up. Just like that. You mean that this conflict could have ended a long time ago if Evelyn had just surrendered? Then explain to me what the point of all this was? If all it took was for Tobias to say, "Hey mom, choose me," then why didn't they have that conversation when he was working side by side with her. Evelyn faked her own death for goodness sakes! You would think that having a family again is not exactly high on her priorities list. I literally pictured them fighting and Tobias force feeding her the memory serum. But it's almost like Roth is afraid of having completely evil characters. It seems like she tries to give all her bad guys some sort of redeeming quality, but it's really not necessary. Let a bad guy be a bad guy. That's their job. But since Roth apparently wants everybody to just forgive each other, we end up with a very anticlimactic end to that conflict. 


Now for that finale. That moment my friend told me is going to make my jaw drop. Honestly, it didn't. As soon as my friend told me I might not like the ending, I knew what was coming. I figured it would either be Tris or Tobias. And you know what, I would have been fine with it. It's realistic enough. I'm not the one to always want a happy ending anyway. But the way this ending happened was so forced, it's insulting. I can't help but feel like she, her publisher, somebody wanted this "shock factor". Cause lets face it, Tris's death was so unnecessary. It took away the chance for Caleb, the only person who actually did need redeeming, to prove that he wasn't a bad guy after all, just misled. I was completely okay with him sacrificing himself because it just made sense. But I just knew that Tris would steal the moment. But I didn't expect her to die because of it. I was expecting the whole she has more of a chance to survive the death serum thing. But David waiting with a gun? We don't even know what tipped him off. He just had a feeling because she had been running around with GD people all week? Thats complete bullshit. First of all, who else is she going to run around with? Those people are her friends and she's not going to cut them off just because you say they're damaged. Oh, and let's not forget that she saw him early in the day at a meeting! Don't you think if he suspected anything he would have brought it up then? But no, instead we get a random security lockdown that ruins the whole plan. If we had some clue or inkling that David was on to them, this might have worked. But instead she forces a situation that would allow Tris to die. And then we're supposed to be heartbroken for Tobias. First of all, it took pages for them to get back to the Bureau to learn what happened, by then I was just over it. The mini chapters of Tobias in his feelings didn't even move me because I was just pissed the whole time that Tris died is such a dumb way. I mean she had a whole conversation with David and was taking steps BACK. She could have dived behind some cover, grabbed her gun, shot David from around the corner and Initiate the memory serum and that would have been that. Hell maybe she could have took some shots too, but survivable ones.


I think in Roth's quest to be different, she threw logic out the window. But I'm sorry, to successfully kill off a main character, you better have a damn good reason to. That's why it's very rare, not only in books but in films. Roth could have gone so many ways with that ending. But she chose the wrong path for the sake of controversy, and that is the biggest disappointment about this series. 


You know what, that 3 out of 5 is more for the series as a whole. I would give this book more of a 2 out of 5.


TheeStoryTeller Speaks on...Bad Monkeys

Bad Monkeys - Matt Ruff

I haven't written anything in a while so here is a refresher on how I do my blog.


Number one: I don't write reviews. I write impressions. Meaning as soon as I'm done with the book, while I'm still reeling in the emotions and the experience I just had, I write how I feel about what I just read. I don't analyze, I don't nitpick. I focus on the story, the characters, and whatever else sticks out to me. That's all.  


Number two: This isn't a review. I said that already right? Well my point is I'm not writing to tell you whether I think you should read this book or not. I'm writing mainly for those who have read the book so we can freak out about it together. I mean it's not like you're banned from my blog or anything if you haven't read the book. Just be warned that I'm not going to hold my tongue so therefore spoilers will be made. Huge ones. Like book ruining spoilers. Like I will literally tell you what happened. So, you've been warned.


Now that's out of the way, lets get to it!



WTF just happened? This was my face when I came to the end of this book. Okay, wooosah.


I'll admit it. I heard this novel was going to be a mind fuck, so I was expecting a twist. But JEEZE, there was no way of predicting that ending. Kudos to Matt for that.




First, do I even like the story? Why yes, yes I do. It is well written and had my attention from the very beginning. Not once did it bore me. I'm talking 'up late on my kindle, knowing I should be going to sleep but not able to shut the damn thing off' good. A very original story, which is always a breath of fresh air. What I found the most interesting is how unsure I was about the kind of story I was reading, which I assume was a part of the trickery. I wasn't sure if the story was leaning more towards fantasy, or at least paranormal, or if it was a fiction based in reality. That question was certainly answered.




First off, we have a narrator we can't trust, which is always interesting. Is she crazy? Well it sounds like it, but more on that later. She's interesting to say the least. She's charming in a way but her insistence on being bad (stealing, drugs, skipping classes, and not being anywhere near as traumatized as she should have been after watching a man jack off to kids, all before the age of 17) made me question her moral values from the start. I say that, but she still fooled me. More on that later. The Doctor (no not that doctor), Truth, Dixon, Love, and all the other characters we met were distinct and well developed. They had personalities that I could remember and I loved that. No fillers here. 




Remember what I said about spoilers? If you haven't read it yet, this is your last chance to get out because I'm about to start getting specific. You've been warned.


Jane. Like I said above, I really didn't know how to feel about her from the beginning. Like I said, she's charming, funny, and seems like she just wants to make a difference in the world. But then again, she's not exactly a good girl, (refer to the list mentioned above.) and she treats her brother like crap. Plus, when the doctor comes in with files proving that she might be making her whole story up, well I really stopped trusting her then. But that's kind of the point. I think Matt wanted us to question her, but the trick is we only question her sanity. But I started to get an inkling of how bad she might be once the "pet boys" came up. I'm sorry, I'm 25 myself and I just can't think of a justification for drugging and having sex with under aged boys. The fact that she was even trying to clean it up to make it seem like oh she was young and stupid, she didn't hurt anyone. Right there I was just like wow, she's sick and a huge hypocrite. At this point, I wasn't reading because I liked Jane anymore. I was reading to find out how the doctor would see through her BS. How he would shut down this whole world she had created to deal with the things she'd done and how she would react to that. Well, shit did not go to plan there did it?


I See You


To my defense, before I get into the many twists and turns of this story, there were a couple I spotted a mile away. Her stories about Phil for example. Maybe everyone spotted this. I'm not saying I'm special, I'm just saying I'm one of you if you spotted it too. It was the way he kept popping up at the most random times. I wasn't buying that whole "he just knows when I need him" nonsense. Especially when he popped up in the middle of the night after her whole ordeal with the last pet boy. That's when I said to myself, she isn't really speaking to Phil. I mean how would he know to show up at that exact moment? Plus the fact that he barely talked much less go off on her about how crazy she was being. And them getting along? I doubt it. So i figured maybe he was dead and it was somehow her fault and she imagined their conversations to make herself feel better. Well, I was partly right.


Next was the X-drugs. You know how I said I wasn't sure what kind of novel I was reading. Well, I was sure of enough to know the whole X-Drugs thing was out of place. I mean drugs that turned you super human? Teleportation and time bending? I thought, "okay Jane, you're going a bit overboard now." From what I could tell, the world was pretty regular. The "evil" they were fighting weren't monsters, just people. I mean they were monsters, but you see where I'm going with this. There were no flying cars or any science fiction elements, so I knew the X-drugs just didn't fit. I didn't think the whole dream school situation fit either but apparently that's a thing. Guns that shoot heart attacks are a thing too. Okay, maybe there are some fantasy elements, but it was just something about the X-Drugs that made me think, okay now you're just pushing it. Besides, I thought she was making everything up anyway. Well, at least I was right about the X-Drugs.


Twists on Twists on Twists


Me after the first twist - Her whole story is true, she's not crazy, and Phil is the Doctor.


Me after the second twist - This whole thing has been staged, she's found Phil, he's too far gone, he tried to kill her with a bomb, and now she's got to kill him.


Me after the 3rd twist- He doesn't die. In walks Truth, alive. Wait, Truth is really with the troop? No! Phil isn't the bad guy. It's Jane! This was a set up for her since the very beginning. She's an undercover Troop. Phil is an undercover Bad Monkey. She's been evil this whole time. Her mother was right. 



A few last words between evil sister and her apparently "incorruptible" brother, and bam! NC gun goes off, Jane's dead, end of story


Which brings me back to this gif


WTF just happened?


I have a love/hate relationship with plot twists. I mean, when done right, they're really good. In this case, I'm not sure. I mean I got so confused I had to go back and read the last few pages over again...twice. This is why I'm only giving the book 4 stars. I'm not sure how satisfied I am with the ending at this point. 


What I do applaud is the whole story being told by the villain without us even knowing she is the villain. I mean like I said, I didn't think she was the greatest of people, but I sure didn't think she was evil. Sociopath maybe. Okay Sociopath and Evil might go hand in hand to some people but I try not to judge. Dean and Sam Winchester are sociopaths and they're doing just fine.

Kind of...



All in all, I did enjoy the book,and the storytelling was phenomenal. The twists were just giving me whiplash, that's all.







The Storyteller Speaks on... The Exorcist

The Exorcist - William Peter Blatty



So I'm one of those who saw the movie before I read the book. I hadn't realized there was even a book until very recently. 


I have to admit, out of 5 stars I would give the book a 3. Mainly because of the writing. I feel for the kind of book it was, the writing was extremely proper or "literary". I'm not sure if the author wanted the book to come off as something that should be taken seriously, but it just got annoying for me. Especially the repetitive nature of the writing. I got very tired of characters always saying "incidentally" this and that. And there were multiple times that he used words that I felt were just a bit much for a horror novel.


Then we have the characters themselves. I see why they were tweaked a bit in the film because in the novel, I wasn't really in love with any of them. Reagan obviously was the most interesting one but I found Father Karras' struggle with his faith a bit contrived at times. I mean I think the story of a priest who has lost his faith would be very interesting, but I feel that Karras didn't seem to want his faith back. The way he shot down every possibility started to annoy me. I mean when Reagan's bed lifted completely off the ground and floated vertically in the air, the fact that he even tried to debunk that with logic made me shout "Oh Come On!" I'm glad that in the film they steered away from his constant reasoning and made it clear that whatever was happening here, it was much more than a mental illness.


As far as the religious aspect...I always find that atheists are the only ones who seem to think there is too much religion in this story. As a spiritual person who does believe in God, I did not see this story as trying to tell some kind of moral message. I didn't even get a God always wins and the devil looses feel from it because the novel is actually very open ended. It makes you question what really took place. Was she possessed or was it hysteria like all the doctors said and Karras just fell victim to it? It's only the film that gives a very clear indication that she was possessed. So no, I don't see this novel as trying to shove religion down anyones throat. Just saying.


I think the book definitely deserves kuddos for inspiring the film but in all honesty, I actually like the film better. And that, my friends, is a first.


So I'm reading classics at the moment. I took a break to read Divergent, Insurgent, and Gone Girl. I was going to get started on The Fault in Our Stars, but I'm not really in the mood for love stories that will make me cry. I'm still dealing with a breakup, I don't need that in my life lol. So I've gone back to reading old books, starting with the Chronicles of Narnia series. Weird, maybe but I like reading the classic authors. As a writer myself, I want to be able to learn from the best. So if you're wondering why I'm reading older books, refer to this post.


The Storyteller Speaks On...Gone Girl

Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn

So here we are. My very first post on booklikes.



How exciting is this!

So naturally, we're going to start with Gone Girl, the book I just finished. Remember, this is an impression, not a review. My thoughts will be all over the place. You've been warned.

Now I have very mixed feelings about this novel. On the one hand, I think Gillian Flynn is an amazing writer. Her ability to create three distinct voices for her characters, and her effortless flow between POVs is something to be appreciated. She definitely has some unforgettable characters in this book, for better or for worse.

Now let's get one thing out of the way. Gone Girl is a dark book. I don't mean it's dark as in deep. Honestly, the synopsis will lead you to believe it's making some existential commentary on marriage. Nope. It's just twisted. So keep that in mind when you read this book if you are one of the very few who haven't already. You are not going to finish it and have some new outlook on life and marriage, not that kind of read.

Once you've understood that, I think you're apt to enjoy the book for what it is, a twisted rollercoaster ride that will keep you turning the page. All you have to do is get past part one. Granted, I don't think it's as incredibly boring as some people seem to, but it is a slow start. So slow, in fact, that I completely misjudged the book after reading a couple of sample chapters the year it came out. Part One is basically backstory and an introduction to Nick and Amy. Part two is where the action really starts, and that's halfway through the book, unfortunately. But like I said part one isn't that dreadful in my opinion. It kept me on my toes, and I couldn't guess what would happen next. Even if I had an idea, the book constantly had me second guessing myself. I loved that.

Okay, where do we begin... The characters!

As far as I'm concerned, there really are no "heroes" in this novel. Amy and Nick are both very unlikable people. What people fail to realize is the author is fully aware of this. I'm sure she didn't accidently make Nick a douche or Amy apeshit crazy. And honestly, I love it. It's refreshing to have characters that shy away from the quirky cool characters that are popular at the moment. The lovable characters that go through whatever arc and learn a meaningful lesson in the end. These two don't learn shit. It's unconventional, people may not like that, but I thought it was bold.

It was interesting to delve into the minds of two sociopaths. I never knew who to trust or what to believe. I could never pick a side because just when I started liking either one of them, they did something that drew a side eye from me. But one thing is for sure, they always kept me interested. Could I relate to them? No. But I wouldn't want to. It's also been a while since I read a villain that is as well developed as Amy. What makes her so scary is the fact that she is so brilliant (sometimes debatable) and beautiful and sweet. "Perfect" in most people's eyes. By "most people" I mean the people in the book. No one would ever think that she would do anything heinous. She was Amazing Amy for goodness sake. Yet she is a compulsive and pathological liar, vindictive, manipulative, and straight up insane. She actually believes that she is incapable of being wrong. Anything she does, no matter how outrageous, has some logical justification that makes perfect sense to her. The result is a character you love to hate. Or maybe just flat-out hate. Either way, she is a superb villain.

Fuck you, Fuck this, fuck that, fuck it, fuck, fuck fuck, fu--

As I said, I think Gillian is a great writer, but one thing that turned me off in this book was the number of F-bombs. I mean I'm no prude, but when it gets to the point where I stop and notice how many times the characters say "fuck," you know you're doing too much. At first I figured it was Nick's favorite word, but turns out it's every speaking character in the book's favorite word. There is a reason most creative writers will tell you to use cursing sparingly in your work. If you're going to curse, you got to put some weight on it. Let the audience know that shit just got real whenever your character starts cursing. But here, it just got annoying.

Wait, what just happened? (The Story)

You know how I said Amy's intelligence could sometimes be debatable. Well, my number one example is her making buddies at that long term motel she was staying at with Jeff and Greta. When has she ever made friends just to do it and why in the world start now when she's on the run? I thought for sure that Amy would be out of there the minute Gretta saw her picture on TV. I mean I don't care if you gain 20 lbs, get a bad haircut, and dye your hair. You can't change your bone structure, your eye shape and color, the shape of your features. It's no way Greta could look her in the face and not realize who Amy was. It also annoys me that we never get a clear answer of whether or not Greta knew. There were some moments where I thought she knew, especially since she seemed to want to talk about the missing girl on TV a lot and often tried to keep Amy from changing the subject. But when she freaked out about how much money Amy had, I realized she had no clue who she was. I mean if anything I would have thought Greta would be disappointed because she thought Amy would have had more money. There is also the fact that she literally said "I don't know who you are or what you're running from, but I know you won't call the police." Seriously? Are you that stupid?

Oh, and if Amy is so brilliant, she should have seen that robbery coming. She noticed how Greta and Jeff started acting weird, but she stuck around? Amy is this genius who thinks of every damn thing. I mean the most miniscule details are already checked off her list. So how did she not see that situation coming? Same thing with the Desi situation. I was shocked when she actually went with him to his home. Did she really think he was going to show her around, let her know she has the option, then give her money and let her leave? Come on. Yeah, Nick said she doesn't have a "bullshit detector," but that's kind of hard to swallow with all of her elaborate schemes and her brilliance being hammered into our heads since part 2. I get Gillian needing to hit her plot points, but I think she took Amy out of character to achieve those twists, which was a mistake.

How about that ending?


A part of me really wanted Amy to get caught, just because I didn't like her. But at the same time, I knew she was too good for that. What I didn't get was how Nick gave in so easily. I mean she says she's pregnant, and everything goes out the window? I mean, I'm not an advocate of single parenting, but I think Nick gets a pass. I just wish he would have put up more of a fight, but I guess the book would have been pushing 700 pages if that happened. Still, I felt it kind of anticlimactic for it to end on such an average note. A woman traps her man into staying with her via a baby. Does Amy not see that as boring?

I think those are all the comments I wanted to make lol. All in all, I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it either. For some reason, I get the feeling that this time, I'll like the movie better.



The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky *Very Very light spoilers* You might not even think they're spoilers...but just in case haha.

Where do I begin? When I saw the trailer for the movie, I knew I wanted to read the book first and I’m glad I did. My favorite parts of this book are the format it’s written in and the character Charlie himself. I love most novels that are not written in the standard narrative format. So when I saw that it was written as letters, I got really excited. There were moments where I felt like I was really reading a letter and it made things a lot more intimate. I guess I haven’t read enough books where a man is actually writing a sensitive male character, but I loved Charlie. He is realistic; although naive at times, but as I got to know him I just realized it was part of his personality. I knew that he was struggling with something and I appreciated how that underlining feeling lasted until the end when we finally found out what that was. I also appreciate that it was hinted at and not a full blown chapter dedicated to it. It just shows how he didn’t allow the incident to change him. Last year was a bad year for me personally and I like the motto “I am not what happened to me, I am who I choose to become.” That is pretty much the theme for this book so I really liked it. This book made me laugh, tear up, and just smile. I was never the social butterfly in school myself and I certainly did not participate. But I did have my 2 or 3 friends that made everything better. I am a girl, but I could still relate to this without a problem. WITHOUT feeling like Charlie was girly or overly sensitive. It’s truly a story anyone could relate to. Anyone who is/was an introvert and is/was a lot less concerned about being “cool.” I definitely recommend reading this book. It’s a refreshing read, and a beautiful coming of age story. I’m off to watch the movie now.

Oh and I only gave it four stars because there were times that I felt it got confusing and wasn’t enough detail, but that’s kind of what happens with a sort of stream of thought narrative.

Edit: Now that i've watched the movie, like every person that reads, I like the book better lol. But I'm getting my Masters in screenwriting for film so now I understand the differences between writing for film and writing for novels. But I think since the movie is written and directed by the author of the book, I think he did a good job with the movie version. I don't really understand his decision to tone it down. I guess so he could get a rating that's fit for a younger audience. None the less, I did like the movie.
Logan as Charlie was priceless. And I will say I like the relationship between Sam and Charlie in the movie better.

I Am Legend

I Am Legend - Richard Matheson *Spoiler Alert*

The only thing I really didn't like was Matheson not explaining the "pill" more. Like where did that come from? The whole ending kind of seemed rushed and a cop out, especially since the rest of the book is so detailed and engaging. I really wished he would have made this a full novel and explained how they discovered the pill, how did they know it would work. Or are their scientist among the living vampires? Has this pill been in the works since the outbreak or in recent years? So many unanswered questions. Other than that, it was a good read.


Fallen - Laury Falter I enjoyed this book. It was well written and it kept me engaged, mostly because of the suspense and mystery aspect. Falter is talented with description, there are scenes that i could literally picture in my head with such detail. Scenes that i know i would recognize immediately if the book were made into a movie. Trademark scenes like Maggie talking to the old man on the porch or the snake scene. I love it when books give you such a clear visualization of what's going on. Maggie is an interesting character. I love that throughout the whole book, she never came off as the damsel in distress. It was nice to get away from the quirky, awkward girl personality and meet someone who was confident and independent. I imagined her to be the complete opposite of soft spoken. Eran was also interesting in his own right. *Spoiler: I wish he hadn't disappeared for such a long period of time* I felt that was kind of unnecessary and there was never really a clear reason as to why he did it. The book left me wondering about him. I feel like I don't know him as well as i do Maggie but hopefully the second book will clear that up for me. Her makeshift family is wonderful. They are truly characters and i hope there will be more of them in the 2nd installment as well. The book is very fast paced. Being only 15 chapters long, it's relatively short in my opinion. It comes off as a bit rushed at times but maybe that's just me. All in all, definitely worth the read, very interesting story, and i look forward to reading the other 2 books in the series.


Existence - Abbi Glines *Spoiler alert all up through here, so be warned*

I did a whole rant on amazon, i'll try to keep it shorter here. First off Glines writing is horrible. Its choppy, no description, no back stories, all her characters are superficial and bland. Everything comes off entirely unrealistic. The way the characters talk, "My nose feels as if it may fall off from frostbite". My nose feels as if it may?! What high school student talks like that? Time obviously doesn't phaze Gline because she's constantly skipping through days at a time, sometimes even weeks. And a leading character shouldn't piss me off so much. Pagan is selfish, a liar, a cheater, and a dependent little girl. Which confuses me because she starts off with this I'm my own person attitude. Dank...first off can we talk about that name?! Dank?! You do understand that's an adjective used to describe wet and moist a cave or a dungeon. Anyway, Dank is suppose to be death and who knew death would be so boring. He barely speaks, he's barely even in the book period. He shows up, starts flirting with the gurl, singing her to sleep on some nights and talking to her in her head and now she's in love? He doesn't even acknowledge her at school! And speaking of that he goes from a spirit to a real person and that doesn't even prompt her to do some research or demand answers. I mean since we're taking pages from Bella's book... why not utilize Google. Oh yea and let's talk about how Glines tries to turn Leif into a bad guy at the end so we won't look at Pagan as a dick for using him the way she did smh. There is no drama because the antagonist is forgettable (what antagonist you say? exactly!), you feel nothing for the characters because like i said, no back story, so you know nothing about them. If i wasn't reading this book on my kindle, i would have thrown it across the room. The most annoying part for me with Twilight was Bella's little break down in New Moon, so a full book of a girl falling apart because her boyfriend left? a full 20 chapters? Yea i was pissed not even half way through. Umm Abbi, I'm sorry but better luck next time.