Book Review: Monsterland by Michael Okon

Monsterland by Michael Okon

Synopsis: Welcome to Monsterland, the scariest place on earth.

When world markets are decimated by a crippling plague, philanthropist, and billionaire businessman, Vincent Konrad decides to place monsters in a theme park setting to promote education and tolerance. Copper Valley is chosen as the primary site for the park in the United States.

Wyatt Baldwin, a high school senior is dying to go to the opening and when he lands special passes to the park, he and his friends are expecting the experience of a lifetime.
After all, in a theme park where real zombies, werewolves, and vampires are the main attractions, what could possibly go wrong?


“Who decides who is human?”

I recieved an ARC copy as I’ve requested to review it in exchange for an honest review.

Monsterland all in all wasn’t really a bad book. I found some of the characters well-rounded, and some of them not so much. The plot was quite predicatable although I did like the idea and theme of the story, I just had a quite hard time plowing through it. The story had a lot of switching POV’s between the characters, which I think was one of the reasons I kind of found it a bit of a “meh” and sometimes I find the chapters a tad bit too short, or maybe too long without that much action that I find it borderlining to boring. The writing style is not much of my thing but I liked how the author shaped the story and how he made it to take shape in the reader’s head.

A rather suspenseful and thrilling novel, great for Zombies, Vampires and Werewolves fan. Although for me in all honesty, there was a lot of potential in this book but it didn’t rather live up to my expectations.

I give this book 3 ⭐

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Book Review: Ann, Not Annie by Sage Steadman

Ann, Not Annie by Sage Steadman

Synopsis: Ann, not Annie, is tired of her nominal existence and has vowed to turn things around by dating the hottest guy in school, Jacob Waters. Easier said than done since Jacob isn’t even aware she exists. The truth is, due to Ann’s lively temper she spends more time in detention with the rest of the school rejects than she does fantasizing about Jacob Waters wearing spandex.

Her best friend and devout alien believer, Lisa, doesn’t like the changes she’s seeing in her BFF. Neither does Danny Feller, a fellow detention inmate and resident lost boy who has started keeping an extra watchful and unwanted eye on Ann.

When a chance encounter in an empty hallway changes everything, Ann finds all her dreams coming true and she is well on her way to living the perfect life she’s always wanted. But appearances aren’t always what they seem and Ann is going to have to face not just cold hard facts, but also her past.


So let me just say that I liked how this book started. I tend to have problems when books don’t start as great as I want them to be (especially the ones that aren’t well-known) because I sort of have a hard time trying to get into it and pick it up again. Like I just force my self to read the book and get it over with to pass up a review and stuff. But this book surpassed my expectations. I honestly thought that this would turn out to be a whiny book- (no offense to the author) but it was not. I loved how Annie- I mean Ann (she hates to be called “Annie”) is quirky and is just true to herself at the beginning. I can relate myself with her about how brash she is at times and very loud-mouthed. But as the book progressed and I got to know Ann more, in a sense, I noticed how insecure she was in some ways. How she wants an “easy” life, or normal per say. I understood how she felt considering that she’s only fifteen and has been acting as the mother to her younger brother, for her mother’s been buried down with alcohol since her father passed away. How all the responsibility has been dumped on her shoulders at such a young age. How she just wants to escape and probably live her should-be normal teenage life.

So of course, she couldn’t pass up the opportunity of dating Jacob Waters, the hottest guy at school, when he suddenly has his attention on her. Thus, pushing Danny Feller, the smart, charming, responsible and-noticed-Ann-from-the-very-beginning guy out of the way. I just knew from the first time that he made an appearance in the book that I was going to like him. Just the idea of him reading Walden just gives me the heart eyes. And add the fact that he keeps on quoting lines from the book, just makes me want to fan my face. He’s not like any typical hormone-driven teenager, but rather a think-about-the-consequences kind of guy. He’s quite the opposite of Ann, really. While Ann is all feisty, I find Danny sweet and charming, and is very capable of standing his ground. It’s not everyday you get to see a teenager like that — or read– or… you get what I mean. And did I forget to mention that he’s a drummer? Well, there you go. A book reading, quoting, smart and sexy drummer. It’s not hard to like him at all.

By pushing Danny aside, Ann finds herself turned back by her bestfriend, Lisa, and hanging around the T.F.P crew like she’s part of them. Going to parties (which Ann doesn’t usually do) and drinking (but she vowed to never be like her mother). Being the girlfriend of the most popular and gorgeous guy at school definitely has its perks.

Ann didn’t think that she’s in danger with Jacob until one night at a party, where Ann drank too much she could barely help herself that Jacob locks her in, in a room with himself and tries to sexualy assault her. Ann tried to escape and get help when a friend of theirs frantically knocked on the door asking if Ann was there. Apparently some of their friends knew what Jacob was capable of and broke the door to get in, and the attempt to rape Ann was obstructed.

The story ends with Ann realizing that she was too caught-up in her own miserable life that she didn’t notice that there were people, real friends, who still cared for her. The characters in the book ends up reconciling with each other, even her mother along with her brother William, and her Uncle Joe. And with Ann, kissing Danny (vice-versa) and Danny, calling her Ann. But she corrected that by saying “Annie.”

Basically, I liked the pace of the story, definitely not dragging and not too fast. This book is a light read and I could easily finish this in one sitting. Although it was pretty much predictable and I’ve read many books of the same quality, I could pretty much say that the plot of this book was written carefully to make it believable, real life like. And it turned out to be. The emotions portrayed in this book felt real, too.

I’m not about to disclose any farther scenes in this book, so I’m going to end my review here.

I give this a 3.75 rating, rounding it up to 4 ⭐

This story reflects that we should always remember to look around, because it is then that we notice the little things.

The spoonerism loving,

Fate Klorida

Book Review: The Lonely Hearts Bar by Konni Granma

The Lonely Hearts Bar by Konni Granma

Synopsis: With high hopes of conquering Hollywood, the novel’s main character goes to Los Angeles to study directing and screenwriting. On the way, she ends up at a roadside bar that uncannily links the destinies of the main characters, who had given up everything to follow their dreams. What’s in store for the young rebels in Los Angeles? Does your dream have another side, one that’s just as enigmatic and invisible as the far side of the Moon?


(I received a PDF copy of this book as I requested to review it)

The first thing that drew me to the book was the cover. I thought it was very pretty and and had a teenage adventure vibe on it. Based on the title and the cover, I really had no idea what to expect and assumed that this may be a ‘hapened all in one night’ kind of book, just like Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn. As it happened, this book isn’t like that at all, but it does value friendship to the utmost level. I think the friendship between the characters is actually one of the things that I came to like about this book. But aside from that, I had a hard time staying on track with the story. I sort of started reading this as soon as I received the copy but I always come up pausing or taking a time off and I just decided that I really didn’t like it that much. I didn’t get to relate with the main character (Connie) as much as I wanted to, but I did like Mr. BB. I think he’s my favourite, with David coming up next. And the way this book was written was a bit off, and I just have to reread lines to make sure I was reading the right one, because out of the blue a should-be new paragraph just sprouts out of the same line. And also the way the conversation between two or three characters just transitions without warning just bugged me, because I’ve had a hard time figuring and keeping on track with who’s saying what. Definitely needs work on that part. But I did end up finishing this book, so I guess that’s a plus. I also liked how this book keeps on mentioning the band Oasis because I loooove Oasis too. This book is about Cinema though so there are quite plenty of movies mentioned in here, some that I got to see, and some that I haven’t came around yet. I also give a bonus to the ending because I really hadn’t expected that, and I kinda loved it. The author did a lovely thing, putting just the right amount of emotion and intrigue in there.

All in all, I give this book 3⭐.

“I had come back to where it had all begun.”

– Konni Granma, The Lonely Hearts Bar

Ready Player One: A Book Review (and thoughts for the upcoming adaptation)

– Ernest Cline, Ready Player One


Since a movie adaptation of Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One will be coming out soon, I decided to do a book review. I really wouldn’t have thought about doing this if I haven’t come across the trailer of the movie on Facebook, because I had no idea at all, that the book was going to be made into a movie, directed by Steven Spielberg.

My initial reaction about this was shock. I was relatively shocked. And excited, ecstatic, electrified, and not quite ready. Those emotions just ran through me in some kind of rapid succession, one after the other, before doubt finally settled in.

I’ve encountered a lot people who has issues when books get turned into movies because the movies tend to leave a lot of important details from the book behind. There are even times when the movie plot actually wanders away from what was written in the book.

Books-to-movies such as the ff.: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn / Movie directed by David Fincher; My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult / Movie directed by Nick Cassavetes; Insurgent by Veronica Roth / Movie directed by Robert Schwenke

I’m not holding any grudges among the people mentioned above. Really, no. I just opened up the subject because I wanted to clear myself and make you guys understand what I felt when I found out Ready Player One was adapted into a movie, and also to prove my point. And the point is that: I am having second thoughts about the movie because I am afraid that the plot will amble away from the book.

As I’ve mentioned, a lot of people have issues about books-turned-movies wandering away from the original plot, and I’m no different from those people. But of course, I’m always up for something new. Preferably, the good kind of new. Although, to be quite honest, I’m kinda catching feels about this book adaptation because it’s Steven Spielberg doing the directing after all.

Know him? Of course you do. He is, after all, dubbed the highest grossing director in capital H-istory! *examines my nails*

He directed these movies I’ve watched growing up, and had came to love:

Jurassic Park (1993)

E. T the Extra Terrestrial (1982)

The Adventures of Tintin (2011)

These are only some of his works. I didn’t even get to mention Indiana Jones, and I love Indiana Jones (with the influence of my uncles) and Harrison Ford. So to speak, I’m not entirely losing faith that this movie will turn out great.

Come on, Spielberg! Bring on the big guns!

And that, ladies and gentlemen, was me. But on another note, if any of you guys haven’t seen the trailer of Ready Player One yet, and is interested, just click the higlighted, blue letters below ⤵

Ready Player One Official [HD] Trailer


And now that I have said my peace with the upcoming movie adaptation, let’s move on to the book. *insert pterodactyl screech*

In the year 2045, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

Review: Is it so bad that I’m actually getting jitters while typing this?

Okay, so it’s been a long time since I’ve read Ready Player One but I distinctly remember that I finished this book in one day. I was just that consumed with the plot, with everything that was happening, and it was just that interesting and engrossing. I had gone overtime reading this book because I just can’t seem to put it down. And when I do, I just find myself drifting away, wondering what would happen next.

This book just made a big impression on me because the story mostly talked, or revolved about the 80’s/90’s culture, and although I wasn’t born in those times (but in the decade after) I grew up with the influence of the previous years. I’m not talking about the fashion sense they had back, but the songs and the games, God the games.

You guys still remember Pac-Man? The yellow M&M who has a mouth as big as the Grand Canyon and unbelievably eats everything it comes across? (well, except for ghosts) Super Mario Bros.? Galaga? Burger Time? Dungeons of Daggorath? Just thinking about these arcade games brings me a big wave of nostalgia, and these are only few the games mentioned in Ready Player One. If you loved playing these games while growing up, I’m more than certain that you will relate to the book. And I guess it’s one of the main reasons why this book held so much appeal to me because it reminded me so much of my childhood.

And just to make things clear to those who haven’t read the book yet, 85-90% of the plot happened inside the OASIS (Ontologically Anthropocentric Sensory Immersive Simulation): is a simulation game/virtual world where the people spends most of their time in the fully immersive multiplayer game, complete with thousands of planets, never-ending quests, than in the real world which happens to be a total mess. Because apparently,

in the year 2045, reality is an ugly place.

So in other words, the OASIS is kinda like social media (in my opinion), but more adventurous and creative.

The creator of the game, James Halliday, had spent his final years creating history’s most celebrated easter egg hunt inside the OASIS. The grand prize, his entire multi-hundred-billion dollar fortune, and the complete control over the OASIS.

So that’s where the killing comes in. I’m not planning on disclosing any part of that story here because I’m opting for a spoiler-free review. Although, take note that I found Ready Player One an action-packed book that just kept me on my toes like I’m actually part of the hunt. And the last few chapters were so climactic that adrenaline was coursing through my body and the ending just brought me into an abrupt halt even though I already saw it coming. And for the characters, I’m just happy on how they came out to be. How they found friends and confidants when that was the last thing they expected to find with the ongoing hunt. I didn’t find any big issues with them or whatsoever, but there’s Aech, and omg I wasnt expecting that! And I loved how feisty and smart Art3mis was. The characters were just so well-rounded that it’s never easy to forget them.

Also, it’s just quite impressive how Ernest Cline thought about the plot of this book and made it happen. Just thinking about all the facts and history of the of the 80’s his team and he, had to look for and scour. All the research they made, the time and dedication they put into this book is just downright amazing. Although there were some flaws and errors, it was still fun to read. It would probably take me forever to write this book if I was the one who thought about the plot. And I just have to give it to the author with how effortlessly he transitions talking about the past times and the future, complete with details, although with faults, but still made me conclude just how clever he is somehow.

If you love playing videogames, I highly recommend this book. Or if any of you know someone who does, do tell them about this book if they haven’t read it yet because they missed out on a lot.

My rating: 4.5/5 🌟

So my review ends here.

And I hereby proclaim that Ready Player One is a Must Read.

Your ever loyal gunter,

Kate

Not So Currently Reading

We’ve all experienced that one (or more) time/s where we’ve been “currently reading” a book that’s been opened and read to only a couple of pages, but then we just STOP because we’re just not into it or is just not our taste, or it’s quite boring. I’m pretty sure we’ve experienced all that in some point of our bookworm lives, right? And I am about to tell a little tale about my personal experience of that situation right here.

And why am I suddenly having the urge to tell all about this?

Because I’m experiencing that RIGHT NOW.

Do any of you have Goodreads? I’m pretty sure you guys do. Because this particular site is what spiked me to write this article about ‘not so currently reading‘ for I have marked/put one book in my ‘Currently Reading’ shelf and it has been sitting there for ages. Okay, maybe just a month. But for me, that felt like a very, very, very long time because once I put a book in my ‘Currently Reading’ shelf, I am ACTUALLY currently reading it. And that says a lot about a book that has been sitting on my shelf, unread, for about a month. But it’s not like that I’d come to read all of the books that are in my shelf, because I haven’t. But that latter situation is different because I CHOSE NOT to read those books, and why is that? Probably because I have a big problem about ending books that just have too good of a story that I’m dreading to finish the final chapter, finish the story, finish everything. That actually happened when I was reading the Divergent Series. I personally didn’t touch Allegiant months after I’ve finished Insurgent. Or maybe it reached a year. I was just THAT scared of ending the story. And add the apprehension of ALREADY KNOWING that Tris was going to die BEFORE I read the book. I HATE SPOILERS. Because those things just SUCK. Those things made me cry way ahead of time, and I just- UGH!!

Does that make me a spoiler now?

Oopsies.

Anyway, we’ll take that subject up another time. #stressing

[Back to the topic.]

Now, what do I do when I START to get bored with a book? I continue of course!

Not the answer you were expecting?

Well, here’s what I think: You were just STARTING to get bored with a book and you haven’t even reached the middle, yet. And trust me, the middle part is where the good things actually start to happen. I’ve experienced that more than once when a book just started off as a drag and I just WANT to give up, toss the book away (in a figurative way because I could never do that) pout in the corner, and whine. I’ve experienced that a couple of times, but what did I do? I picked up the book, and read it. And I didn’t regret doing that because I would’ve missed quite an interesting story if I shoved the book under the mat and left it there to rot.

On another note, it’s okay not to finish a book if it just rips your brains out of your head because of the boredom it’s inflicting on your part. I experienced that once, too, and I gave up on the book. Personally, I just try to reach halfway of the book and see if it gets any better, before finally giving up.

And that, right there, is a piece of advice.

But people’s opinion do vary, and I just voiced mine.

So, what do you do when you start to get bored of a book? Share your thoughts and story of your ‘not so currently reading’ experience!