The only math equations I enjoy…

Had to re-post… it has a certain logic that speaks to my soul.

chasingtheturtle

The only math equations I enjoy....the ones that add up to a good book

The only math equations I enjoy… the ones that add up to a good book^^

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Book Review – Across the Universe

Across-the-UniverseFrom Goodreads:

A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder. 

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone – one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship – tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn’t do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed’s hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there’s only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

Page border by Casey Carlisle

Across the Universe Pic 1

I enjoyed this book, but didn’t fall in love with it. Starting with great premise; the consternation of Amy, with the description of emotions bubbling through her head, to getting cryogenically frozen (akin to drowning) is definitely a page turner. That was my favourite part of the novel. Shortly following, I wasn’t as riveted – maybe because the story became more about politics than space travel and technology (am I revealing my geekiness?)

Beth Revis has a great style, effortlessly tumbling from the page to create an aging spaceship, hurtling through the empty spaces between stars, desperately clinging to some semblance of life inside a metal shell. There are some similarities to ‘Glow’ by Amy Kathleen Ryan, which I reviewed days ago, although ‘Across the Universe’ is much more palatable.

I was distracted by the alternating narration between Amy and Elder, just as I was getting settled in the voice of one character, it would switch with the next chapter. The strained relationship between these two did not shy away from realism, but I wasn’t totally invested in the coupling. It lacked some passion. For some reason Elder held no appeal for me at all.

Across the Universe Book Review Pic 4 by Casey Carlisle

I appreciated the mechanics of the community on Godspeed – equally foreign as delicately balanced… and Amy’s presence upset the applecart!. Her addition to the closed society was dealt with brilliantly, and I definitely got a sense of her isolation and anxiety with Revis’ narration.

Across the Universe Pic 3

There was an element missing from this story for me. Be it the intensity between Amy and Elder; too many secondary characters and not enough rounding out; or a majority of the text spent dealing with the sovereignty of Godspeed, I was left wanting more.

Although not overly surprised with the reveals for the plot, I can’t say I predicted what eventuated. Revis weaves clues through her storyline expertly.

Across the Universe’ is not a book I’d recommend to any die hard sci-fi fans, but if you’re into YA and are looking for something different, an easy read, then you may enjoy this. Overall, not too bad. I will give the second installment in the series ‘A Million Suns’ a go, and maybe it will help fill my need for more intensity and tekkie gadgets.

Across the Universe Book Review Pic 3 by Casey Carlisle

Critique Casey by Casey Carlisle  © Casey Carlisle 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Book Review – Hyperbole and a Half

Hyperbole and a Half Book Review by Casey CarlisleFrom Goodreads:

This is a book I wrote. Because I wrote it, I had to figure out what to put on the back cover to explain what it is. I tried to write a long, third-person summary that would imply how great the book is and also sound vaguely authoritative–like maybe someone who isn’t me wrote it–but I soon discovered that I’m not sneaky enough to pull it off convincingly. So I decided to just make a list of things that are in the book:

Pictures
Words
Stories about things that happened to me
Stories about things that happened to other people because of me
Eight billion dollars*
Stories about dogs
The secret to eternal happiness*

*These are lies. Perhaps I have underestimated my sneakiness!

 Page border by Casey Carlisle

I laughed. A lot. Tears in my eyes, aching abdomen. Laughed so hard I was coughing and gagging.

I nearly did not read this book – I think it was because I was being a bit of a book snob… and I’m so glad that at midnight one night I thought ‘What the hey-‘ and could not put it down.

So in the early hours of morning I was sitting in bed wheezing and cackling until I finished it. Except for the part on depression, for that I was like  0_0

I was amazed at how expressive Allie Brosh drew the illustrations, having created them in Paintbrush and intentionally rough – I loved them! Upon seeing the first pic of her dog, I thought Ermagerd This is hilarious!

If you have dogs, or love dogs, or want a dog…. Or want to train dogs, this is a book for you.

Go read it. GO NOW! You won’t regret it.

The only reason I’m not giving it top ratings is because – yes, I’m definitely am a book snob.

Hyperbole and a Half Book Review pic 1 by Casey Carlisle

Critique Casey by Casey Carlisle   

© Casey Carlisle 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Book Review – Shiver

Book Review Shiver by Casey CarlisleFrom Goodreads:

For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf – her wolf – is a chilling presence that she can’t seem to live without.

Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human… until the cold makes him shift back again.

Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It’s her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human – or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.

Shiver’ felt a little long for me – only because it was hard to get into; the pace was slow and not a lot happened. I did enjoy the relationship element between Grace and Sam, even if it was a little stalker-esque. I’d hoped for a darker tone with the werewolf treatment for this novel, but it focused more on the pack mentality and ‘canine’ forms rather than something monstrous and half-human-half-wolf, fighting against an inner evil vying for control over the physical body. It was very light and fluffy and failed to hook me in.

Book Review Shiver Pic 3 by Casey CarlisleMaggie Stiefvater does have a beautiful way of writing though, she has a lyrical turn of phrase which helps paint beautiful scenes in the imagination. She also has a great knack for world building and underlying mythology in her novels, and where ‘Shiver’ failed to captivate me, it was still an interesting concept.

As far as story goes, I found it ultimately very predictable and unoriginal. It followed a formula rife in YA paranormal romances; which I could have overlooked if there was something that hooked me, but unfortunately ‘Shiver’ fell short.

Grace was a strong character, which is the most redeeming quality of this book. She is intelligent and observant, juxtaposing Sam’s alternate point of view (which I had a little trouble relating to). As the narration alternated between Grace and Sam, I kept getting pulled out of the novel, distracted by trying to find a connection and get my bearings. I felt if the novel had remained with a single character and was only half its length, it would have been a far superior story.

There have been a lot of parallels drawn between this book and ‘Twilight’ by Stephenie Meyer – and even the sparkly vampires were more menacing than the wolves of Mercy Falls. I wouldn’t particularly recommend this book; maybe to a younger audience – early teens – but I’m uncertain if many would have the attention span to complete the novel.

Book Review Shiver pic 2 by Casey Carlisle

Critique Casey by Casey Carlisle © Casey Carlisle 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Film vs Novel – Odd Thomas

Some people have a hidden darkness inside, and others are just evil in a human suit!

Film vs Novel Odd Thomas Review by Casey CarlisleQuirky. That is the best word to describe this story – in either book or movie form.

Being a huge fan of Dean Koontz, I find his books comforting in a familiar way, he always has interesting characters, and most of the time it’s easy to visualise a movie created in your minds eye straight from his easy read narration. If I had to rate the book, I’d have given it three out of five kisses. While it was not anything new (with elements of previous stories evident in it’s composition,) left me feeling like I’d read it before. But it is darkly comic and filled with witty banter to keep you grinning from start to end.

The movie, in turn, remained true to the tone set in the novel, although more upbeat and focused more on the irony so that it would have broader appeal. If it had included a lot of the darker aspects in the book – like the backstory of Odd’s  parents – I can see how it would have not only interrupted momentum, but killed the delicate tone of the film. So too would the inclusion of Ghost Elvis – in the novel he complimented the narrative well, but if transposed onto the big screen, would have been seen as camp.

A new aspect to Odd’s character, psycometry, was introduced in the film production as a tool for presenting information to the viewer, and this by no means subtracted from the experience. I can see how it replaced the information dumping and internal monologue from the book. It was a very clever way to get the information across without distracting from the fast pace of the story.

Odd Thomas Review Pic 4 by Casey CarlisleThe special effects in the movie by far surpassed the visuals I’d dreamt up as I read the book. The addition of one of my favourite actors, Anton Yelchin, had me jumping with joy  – he is such delicious goodness! The person I’d imagined from the printed page had been much more clean cut and nondescript, so Yelchin’s interpretation of Odd greatly enhanced my appreciation for ‘Odd Thomas.’

Odd Thomas Review Pic 2 by Casey CarlisleHis co-star, Addison Timlin as Stormy was great in the role, however the version I had in my head was a little more sexy–girl-next-door; but that comes down to personal preference on physical attributes and her performance embodied everything that Stormy was in the novel right down to the tenor of the dialogue (and charades) of Odd’s journey to save the town of Pico Mundo.

It’s a pity that the film production was marred with contractual and budgetary problems, delaying it’s release and marketing campaign, leading to  straight-to-DVD release in some countries. I felt it deserved more fanfare, the issues surrounding production and release consequently hobbled any chance of the franchise being picked up… This adaptation is one of the better creations in the world of book-to-movie transitions.

I’d have to say that in comparing the value of both the book and the film it’s a strong tie with me. While the movie was a visual feast, the novel delves into the underlying darkness and its insatiable thirst to pollute everything around it.

Critique Casey by Casey Carlisle

© Casey Carlisle 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Book Review – Glow

Its about choice… your right to chose what you believe in, about the life you want to live… and having that taken away from you.

Glow Book Review  by Casey CarlisleFrom Goodreads:

What if you were bound for a new world, about to pledge your life to someone you’d been promised to since birth, and one unexpected violent attack made survival—not love—the issue?

Out in the murky nebula lurks an unseen enemy: the New Horizon. On its way to populate a distant planet in the wake of Earth’s collapse, the ship’s crew has been unable to conceive a generation to continue its mission. They need young girls desperately, or their zealous leader’s efforts will fail. Onboard their sister ship, the Empyrean, the unsuspecting families don’t know an attack is being mounted that could claim the most important among them…

Fifteen-year-old Waverly is part of the first generation to be successfully conceived in deep space; she was born on the Empyrean, and the large farming vessel is all she knows. Her concerns are those of any teenager—until Kieran Alden proposes to her. The handsome captain-to-be has everything Waverly could ever want in a husband, and with the pressure to start having children, everyone is sure he’s the best choice. Except for Waverly, who wants more from life than marriage—and is secretly intrigued by the shy, darkly brilliant Seth.

But when the Empyrean faces sudden attack by their assumed allies, they quickly find out that the enemies aren’t all from the outside.

This book was like attending a great dinner, the conversation is scintillating, controversial and has your stomach turning even though the food is outstanding. I say this because I am massive lover of all things sci fi, and the storyline of Waverly and growing up on an Arc travelling across the stars (essentially) peeks my interest. Like a great meal, I devour it! Then you have the science vs. religion aspect to the novel, and the things the cast of characters do in the name of either. It’s brutal, shocking and confronting.  To say this book made me uncomfortable is an understatement.

On pure entertainment values, I did not enjoy Amy Kathleen Ryan’s novel at all. It left a sour taste in my mouth… the violence, the fanaticism, none of it left me wanting to recommend this book to anybody.  However it was thought provoking and explored the human spirit when pushed into extreme circumstances.

The religious aspect got preachy towards the end and spoiled any desire to want to continue with this series. Amy Kathleen Ryan is a great writer and tackled a whopping number of taboo topics in ‘Glow,’ and her style is pleasant to read; although the religious aspect (being a personal thing for me) felt like I was being bludgeoned to death with it in her novel.

Waverly and Kieran are both young and unprepared for what eventuates in this novel and need to find their own strengths to pull through – it was a great change from the couplings where one is rescuing the other, or completing the other. This was an evolution of self… under stress. And they face multiple challenges in ‘Glow,’ which I found rewarding. Waverly was ultimately the strongest of the two, steadfast to her principles; whereas Kieran struggles to find his footing.

As in space, having only a certain amount of resources, and that claustrophobic feeling of living in steel corridors with the darkness and cold emptiness pressing in, threatening to end your life – you got a real sense of a person’s insignificance in the vastness of the universe.

Glow Book Review  Pic 1 by Casey CarlisleI did get the feeling that Amy Kathleen Ryan bit off more than she could chew with parts of the book – where the boys ship descended into ‘Lord of the Flies’ territory – many issues they faced were too easily resolved. She also did a lot of information dumping, but I wasn’t opposed to most of it, as it helped explain and educate the reader on the working and science of the ship. I was not too sure where this novel was going at times (maybe because there is just so much crammed into it) so it was difficult to predict. And because it is the first in a series, don’t expect the ending to tie things up in a pretty bow for you.

I applaud the book on its controversy, but blaze it on the execution. What could have been an outstanding and dark novel was overshadowed by religious propaganda.

Glow Book Review Pic 2 by Casey Carlisle

Critique Casey by Casey Carlisle  

© Casey Carlisle 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Book Review – The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer Book Review by Casey CarlisleFrom Goodreads:

Mara Dyer believes life can’t get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there. It can. 
She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her strangely unharmed. There is.
She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love. She’s wrong.

Firstly, the style of Michelle Hodkin was phenomenal. I am so envious of her turn of phase – she is imaginative and eloquent, and this was by far the most outstanding quality. The supernatural, or paranormal theme that plays out in this book is subtle, it doesn’t fall into a fantasy world, which added legitimacy and realism to the narration.

Mara’s internal dialogue is enrapturing; her struggles with overanalysing her surrounds and overlapping visions and flashbacks give it a touch of a psychological thriller. Michelle Hodkin has written a refreshing take within the YA genre that left me wanting more. The story itself is more about an inner journey, as outwardly there is no epic quest, rather a revisitation of past dramas intermingled with a current one.

I normally detest flashbacks – they are so overdone, but this storytelling tool was used in ‘The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer’ to show you facts eluding to what is happening to Mara and let the reader draw their own conclusions.

The character of Mara is easy to relate to, her confusion, fear and a strong feeling of being out of place or lost shines through as she tentatively tries to connect with those around her. I managed to guess what was going on early in the piece, but was surprised with unexpected twists at the end.

source:  Pinterest - Gabriel Briefs

source: Pinterest – Gabriel Briefs

Daniel and Joseph, (Mara’s younger and older siblings) are equal parts adorable and annoying; you really feel a sense of family here and how the band together to deal with their parents. It is the type of dynamic and camaraderie that you see in many families.

Your typical scruffy but gorgeous guy – Noah – makes the perfect match for Mara and I liked his never-say-die attitude from the get-go. He provides the rock that Mara needs to work through her issues. If you like obstinate boys who always grab your attention with witty banter, then you’ll love Noah.

Besides the well rounded characters and amazing writing style I can’t say too much more without posting spoilers, so I’ll end it here. I highly recommend this for your collection, it is a great change of pace from you typical paranormal themed book. For people not overly into this genre, Hodkin’s book would be a good intro.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer Book Review by Casey Carlisle pic 2

    Critique Casey by Casey Carlisle

© Casey Carlisle 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.