Review: Grisha Trilogy

shadowandboneSeries: Grisha Trilogy

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Read via: Purchased, Purchased, and Library

The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.

Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite—the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free?

The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfill her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.

But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?

Shadow and Bone

I had purchased this and the second book ages ago, but it was Lauren DeStefano’s tweets about Ruin and Rising that finally convinced me to start reading the series. This book was a fantastic start. I loved the mythology and the world that Leigh Bardugo has created. It felt very fresh and different. I enjoyed Alina from the start, and I think her development throughout the book is wonderful. She definitely displays a great mix of strength and vulnerability. The Darkling was probably my favorite character. I loved him, and I was just as intrigued with him as Alina was. Mal is the only character I was not sure about. I liked the back story especially the childhood friendship between him and Alina, but I was not a big fan of him otherwise. He lacked spark for me. However, all the secondary characters were excellent. Genya was especially brilliant, and she quickly became a favorite. While all of the characters were fabulous, I also absolutely adored the ending of this book. It was completely unexpected, and it changed all of my expectations for the series.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Siege and Storm

Once again I quickly found myself surprised. I expected the “on the run” plot to last longer. However, I loved the introduction of Sturmhond, and while I was not surprised by the reveal, I enjoyed it immensely. In addition to Sturmhond, we meet Tamar and Tolya. Both of them are fun and truly add to the series. I continue to not be Mal’s biggest fan, and again I found myself rather entranced by the Darkling (wrong of me, I know), but he definitely makes some disastrous choices which affect his likability. Overall, I thought this book was much faster paced than Shadow and Bone. Plus, it incorporates a variety of great settings and some fantastic new characters. Often castle politics/political intrigue can become tedious or frustrating, however, I thought such scenes were addressed really well here and kept me interested.  The climax at the end was shattering. My heart was broken completely as everything fell apart.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Ruin and Rising

Despite all of the horrors they are facing as the series comes to an end, the characters truly shined here. Everyone grows and shows such depth, and I greatly appreciated the beautiful friendship that the group shares. After being somewhat less present in Siege and Storm, Genya plays a larger role here which I loved. Nikolai remains hilarious and charming, but he also experiences some truly life-changing moments. Even Zoya has grown on me, and I found her to be marvelous throughout this book. Also, I came to like Mal particularly during the last half of the book. Harshaw and Misha were certainly my favorite new characters. Poor Alina faces impossible choice after impossible choice, but somehow she becomes an even stronger, more beautiful character.

Like with Siege and Storm, this book is fast paced and often seems to take the unexpected route. I especially appreciated the fact that nothing was black or white. This idea is evident throughout the series, but it is definitely more noticeable here. Alina may be the “hero” of the story, however, even she cannot be classified consistently as good. Similarly, the Darkling has made undeniably evil decisions, but he is not all bad. Books that allow their characters to operate in shades of gray are infinitely better for it as it is a more accurate representation of real life.

Rating: 4 out of 5

The Grisha trilogy is one of the best fantasy series I have read in some time. Leigh Bardugo has created a fascinating, original world populated by an incredibly diverse, intelligent group of characters. While I was not always a fan of the romance, I immensely enjoyed all of the other elements. Happily, I found Ruin and Rising to be a well planned, strong conclusion, and, in the end, I would highly recommend this series.

Review: We Were Liars

wewereliarsTitle: We Were Liars

Author: E. Lockhart

Read via: Library

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

If you haven’t heard of this book yet, I would be immensely shocked. It is everywhere. This is pretty much why I ended up reading it. Several bloggers I follow on Twitter were raving about this book, and I was convinced I had to check it out. Honestly though , If I were to sum up my feelings for this in one word, it would be “disappointing.”

The premise is quite fascinating, and the author does a marvelous job of keeping the reader in suspense. The questions and secrets were definitely what kept me reading. I’m infinitely curious, and I hate not knowing the answers. I had to finish the book so I’d know what crazy twist everyone’s been going on about. In the end, I don’t know how I feel about the twist. It was not one of my initial theories, so I liked the fact that I was surprised. However, I felt that the ending was wrapped up too neatly after everything that happens.

Okay, so the characters were what really did not work for me. I am a character-driven reader in general, and this truly came into play here. I understand having unlikable, difficult characters, but these characters just came across as flat, lifeless. I didn’t even hate them as much as I felt they were apathetic. I did not care if a single one lived or died. I need an emotional connection with at least one character, and this book did not offer that at all.

Overall, I found We Were Liars to be an immense letdown especially after all the hype surrounding it. I did enjoy the aura of mystery that inhabits the story, but without an emotional connection with the characters, I couldn’t like this one. Obviously, some people have truly loved this book, but it was not for me and I couldn’t recommend it.

Cover: 3
Plot: 3
Writing: 2.5
Personally: 2.5

Overall: 2.7 out of 5

Reread Lately #1

Just brief thoughts on books I’ve read for the second (or third or fourth…) time.

meanttobeMeant to Be

Lauren Morrill

“Meant to be or not meant to be . . . that is the question.

It’s one thing to fall head over heels into a puddle of hazelnut coffee, and quite another to fall for the—gasp—wrong guy…” 

This was the second time I’ve read Meant to Be, and I found it to be just as funny and heartwarming as I remembered. The romance is adorable and I love the setting!

Originally read: 8/31/12 – 4 stars – Original Review
Reread: 6/11/14 – 4 stars

 

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour amyrogerepicdetour

Morgan Matson

“The road home may be unfamiliar – especially with their friendship venturing into uncharted territory – but together, Amy and Roger will figure out how to map their way.”

I thought I’d read this at least one other time, but if I did I forgot to change it on Goodreads. Either way, I fell in love with this book all over again, and possibly, even more than the last time. I especially appreciated all of the supporting characters so much more this time around, and apparently, I loved Roger more (did not remember this but I guess we had a rough start).

Originally read: 4/21/11 – 4 stars – Original Review
Reread: 5/28/14 – 4.5 stars

breakingbeautifulBreaking Beautiful

Jennifer Shaw Wolf

As their small town mourns his death, Allie is afraid to remember because doing so means delving into what she’s kept hidden for so long: the horrible reality of their abusive relationship.” 

This is the only book I reread recently that I feel like I didn’t love quite as much. I remembered loving this book when I read it, but it didn’t quite capture me so much this time. It was still good, but maybe I’d built it up too much in my memory.

Originally read: 11/11/11 – 4 stars – Original Review
Reread: 5/13/14 – 3.5 stars

Possible Upcoming Rereads

Perfect Chaos by Linea & Cinda Johnson
The O’Malley series by Dee Henderson
Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers

Review: Since You’ve Been Gone

sinceyouvebeengoneTitle: Since You’ve Been Gone

Author: Morgan Matson

Read via: E-copy received at Book Con (thanks!)

The Pre-Sloane Emily didn’t go to parties, she barely talked to guys, she didn’t do anything crazy. Enter Sloane, social tornado and the best kind of best friend—the one who yanks you out of your shell. But right before what should have been an epic summer, Sloane just… disappears. No note. No calls. No texts. No Sloane. There’s just a random to-do list. On it, thirteen Sloane-selected-definitely-bizarre-tasks that Emily would never try… unless they could lead back to her best friend. Apple Picking at Night? Ok, easy enough. Dance until Dawn? Sure. Why not? Kiss a Stranger? Wait… what?

Getting through Sloane’s list would mean a lot of firsts. But Emily has this whole unexpected summer ahead of her, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected) to check things off. Who knows what she’ll find?

Morgan Matson has definitely proven to be one of my must-read authors, and this book only makes me even more excited for her next. Also, she has an endless ability to elicit an emotional response from her reader (at least in my case). I think she’s one of the only authors who has made me tear up in every book, and while I wasn’t sobbing during this book like I did in Second Chance Summer, there were certainly a few tears.

Since You’ve Been Gone did start a bit slow for me. It took me a few chapters to get completely hooked, but once I did, it was very hard to put down. One of the things that I struggled with at the beginning was that I had no idea where the story was going or even what kind of story this was. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing (and looking back I appreciate it), but it did have an effect on me. Honestly, I still do not know how I would classify this book which is pretty awesome. This is a romance but also a story of friendship. It’s a story about family but also coming-of-age.

I just want to keep these characters with me! I related to Emily in so many ways, and even when her decisions drove me crazy, I could understand and empathize with her and her choices. The growth she shows over the course of the novel was beautiful. Sloane was also a favorite which is somewhat amusing considering she appears in flashbacks. However, I loved the relationship between her and Emily. They start as the classic shy girl/popular girl combination, but slowly the layers are peeled back and it goes much deeper. Having just this friendship would have been enough for me, but there are also some incredible other friendships throughout the novel. Frank and Emily share a great bond that grows very organically and develops into this fantastic friendship and I loved the dynamic between Frank and Collins. Of the great supporting characters, my favorites were Collins (I LOVE HIM!), Beckett, and Dawn. Although Dawn’s storyline is the  one issue I had with this book as I felt her and Emily’s story was never fully resolved; I found this a little disappointing.

Overall, Since You’ve Been Gone is another Morgan Matson book to add to the favorites shelf. I was impressed by her complex and raw characters, her suspenseful and natural storytelling, and her ability to make me feel something for each character involved. I would highly recommend this book (and her others) especially to fans of Lauren Morrill and Sarah Dessen. Also, if at all possible go for a hard copy as there are lots of great inclusions (mainly playlists) that aren’t as well formatted in an e-copy.

Cover: 5
Plot: 5
Writing: 4.5
Personally: 5

Overall: 4.8 out of 5

Doctor Who: Series 5-7 in Quotes

 Doctor Who

Series 5-7 in Quotes

Yes, so I must admit that pretty much every word that comes from either River or Strax is immediately a favorite. It is probably due to the inclusion of so many of River’s quotes, especially, that I was required to do two separate posts full of quotes. Whatever the reason, you get double the enjoyment!

DW_5x01_The_Eleventh_Hour_195“And what sort of job’s a kissogram?”
-The Doctor
“I go to parties, and… I kiss people. [clears her throat] With outfits. It’s a laugh!”
-Amy
“You were a little girl five minutes ago!”
-The Doctor
(The Eleventh Hour 5.1)

“But you’re not the first lot to have come here. Oh, there have been so many. And what you’ve got to ask is…what happened to them? […] Hello. I’m the Doctor. Basically…run.”
-The Doctor
(The Eleventh Hour 5.1)

“Amy Pond, there’s something you better understand about me, ’cause it’s important and one day your life may depend on it. I am definitely a madman with a box.”
-The Doctor
(The Eleventh Hour 5.1)

“The writing… the graffiti: Old High Gallifreyan. The lost language of the Time Lords. There were days, there were many days, where these words could burn stars, raise up empires, and topple gods.”
-The Doctor
“What does this one say?”
-Amy
“‘Hello, sweetie.'”
-The Doctor
(Time of Angels 5.4)

“But…it didn’t make the noise.”
-The Doctor
“What noise?”
-River
“You know the [attempts to imitate the noise the TARDIS usually makes when it lands]”
-The Doctor
It’s not supposed to make that noise. You leave the brakes on.”
-River
(Time of Angels 5.4)

“You’re so his wife.”
-Amy
“Oh, Amy, Amy, Amy. This is the Doctor we’re talking about. Do you really think it could be anything that simple?”
-River
“Yep.”
-Amy
“You’re good. I’m not saying you’re right. But you’re very, very…good.”
-River
(Time of Angels 5.4)

“Didn’t anyone ever tell you? There’s one thing you never put in a trap if you’re smart. If you value your continued existence, if you have any plans about seeing tomorrow, there’s one thing you never, ever put in a trap.”
-The Doctor
“And what would that be, sir?”
-Angel Bob
“Me.”
-The Doctor
(Time of Angels 5.4)

“Dr. Song, I’ve lost good clerics today. You trust this man?”5x05_Flesh_and_Stone_109
-Father Octavian
“I absolutely trust him.”
-River
“He’s not some kind of madman, then?”
-Father Octavian
“…I absolutely trust him.”
-River
(Flesh and Stone 5.5)

“Father Octavian, when the Doctor’s in the room, your one and only mission is to keep him alive long enough to get everyone else home. And trust me, it’s not easy. Now if he’s dead back there, I’ll never forgive myself. And if he’s alive, I’ll never forgive him. And Doctor, you’re standing right behind me aren’t you?”
-River
(Flesh and Stone 5.5)

“Can I trust you, River Song?”
-The Doctor
“If you like. But where’s the fun in that?”
-River
(Flesh and Stone 5.5)

“Rory! That’s a relief! I thought I had burst out of the wrong cake. Again. That reminds me, there’s a girl standing outside in a bikini. Can someone let her in, give her a jumper? Lucy. Lovely girl. [whispers] Diabetic.  Now then, Rory, we need to talk about your fiancée.  She tried to kiss me.  Tell you what though, you’re a lucky man; she’s a great kisser! … Funny how you can say something in your head and it sounds fine.”
-The Doctor
(The Vampires of Venice 5.6)

“Please tell me you have a plan.”
-Amy
“No, I have a thing. It’s like a plan, but with more greatness.”
-The Doctor
(Vincent and the Doctor 5.10)

DW_5x10__Vincent_and_the_Doctor_306“Hold my hand, Doctor. Try to see what I see. We’re so lucky we’re still alive to see this beautiful world. Look at the sky. It’s not dark and black and without character. The black is in fact deep blue. And over there! Lighter blue. And blowing through the blueness and the blackness, the winds swirling through the air. And there shining, burning, bursting through, the stars! Can you see how they roar their light? Everywhere we look, the complex magic of nature blazes before our eyes.”
-Vincent
“I’ve seen many things, my friend, but you’re right: nothing quite as wonderful as the things you see.”
-The Doctor
(Vincent and the Doctor 5.10)

“The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice versa the bad things don’t always spoil the good things and make them unimportant. And we definitely added to his pile of good things.”
-The Doctor
(Vincent and the Doctor 5.10)

“You graffitied the oldest cliff face in the universe.”
-The Doctor
“You wouldn’t answer your phone!”
-River
(The Pandorica Opens 5.12)

“Well, I died, and turned into a Roman. It’s very distracting.”
-Rory
(The Pandorica Opens 5.12)

“Hello, Stonehenge! Who takes the Pandorica, takes the universe! But bad news, everyone, [jumps up from inside Stonehenge] ’cause guess who! Ha! Listen, you lot! You’re all whizzing about; it’s really very distracting. Could you all just stay still a minute, because I! Am! Talking! Now, the question of the hour is, “Who’s got the Pandorica?” Answer: I do. Next question: Who’s coming to take it from me? Come on! Look at me! No plan, no back-up, no weapons worth a damn! Oh, and something else, I don’t have anything to lose! So, if you’re sitting up there in your silly, little spaceship with all your silly, little guns, and you’ve got any plans on taking the Pandorica tonight, just remember who’s standing in your way! Remember every black day I ever stopped you, and then, and then, do the smart thing: Let somebody else try first.”
-The Doctor
(The Pandorica Opens 5.12)

“The universe is big, it’s vast and complicated, and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles. And that’s the theory. Nine hundred years, never seen one yet, but this would do me.”
-The Doctor
(The Pandorica Opens 5.12)

“Oh. Ok. I escaped, then. Brilliant. I love it when I do that. [Checks legs] Legs, yes. [Checks neck] Bow tie…cool. [Checks head. Disappointed] I can buy a fez.”
-The Doctor
(The Big Bang 5.13)

“There’s someone missing. Someone important, someone so, so important. Sorry everyone, but when I was a kid, I had an imaginary friend, theDW_5x13_The_Big_Bang_508 Raggedy Doctor, my Raggedy Doctor. But he wasn’t imaginary, he was real. [shouting] I remember you! I remember! I brought the others back; I can bring you home too! Raggedy man, I remember you and you are late for my wedding!
-Amy
(The Big Bang 5.13)

“River, who are you?”
-The Doctor
“You’re going to find out very soon now, and I’m sorry, but that’s when everything changes.”
-River
(The Big Bang 5.13)

“I’m being extremely clever up here and there’s no one standing around to look impressed! What’s the point in having you all?!”
-The Doctor
“Couldn’t you just slap him sometimes?”
-River
(The Impossible Astronaut 6.1)

“When I first met the Doctor, a long, long time ago, he knew all about me. Think about that. An impressionable young girl, and suddenly this man just drops out of the sky, and he’s clever, and mad, and wonderful, and knows every last thing about her. Imagine what that does to a girl.”
-River
“I don’t really have to.”
-Rory
“Trouble is, it’s all back to front. My past is his future. We’re traveling in opposite directions. Every time we meet, I know him more, he knows me less. I live for the days when I see him, but I know that every time that I do he’ll be one step further away. The day is coming when I’ll look into that man’s eyes, my Doctor, and he won’t have the faintest idea who I am. And I think it’s going to kill me.”
-River
(The Impossible Astronaut 6.1)

“What about Doctor Song? She dove off a rooftop!”
-Canton
“Don’t worry! She does that.”
-The Doctor
(Day of the Moon 6.2)

“Oh, this is my friend River. Nice hair, clever, and has her own gun. And unlike me, she really doesn’t mind shooting people. I shouldn’t like that. Kinda do, a bit.”
-The Doctor
“Thank you, sweetie.”
-River
(Day of the Moon 6.2)

“Time And Relative Dimension In Space. Yes, that’s it. Names are funny. It’s me. I’m the TARDIS.”
-Idris
“No, you’re not! You’re a bitey mad lady! The TARDIS is up and downy stuff in a big blue box!”
-The Doctor
(The Doctor’s Wife 6.4)

DW_60x4_The_Doctor_s_Wife_296“Then you stole me. And I stole you.”
-Idris
“I borrowed you.”
-The Doctor
“Borrowing implies the eventual intention to return the thing that was taken. What makes you think I would ever give you back?”
-Idris
(The Doctor’s Wife 6.4)

“You didn’t always take me where I wanted to go.”
-The Doctor
“No, but I always took you where you needed to go.”
-Idris
(The Doctor’s Wife 6.4)

“Goodbye?”
-The Doctor
“No, I just wanted to say… hello. Hello, Doctor. It’s so very, very nice to meet you.”
-Idris
“Please. I don’t want you to. Please…”
-The Doctor
(The Doctor’s Wife 6.4)

“There’s someone coming. I don’t know where he is, or what he’s doing, but trust me, he’s on his way. … There’s a man who will never let us down. And not even an army can get in the way. … He’s the last of his kind. He looks young but he’s lived for hundreds and hundreds of years. And wherever they take you, Melody, however scared you are, I promise you, you’ll never be alone. … Because this man is your father. … He has a name but the people of our world know him better … as the Last Centurion.”
-Amy
(A Good Man Goes to War 6.7)

“Oh, turn it off. I’m breaking in not out. This is River Song, back in her cell. Oh, and I’ll take breakfast at the usual time. Thank you! [dances DW_6x07_A_Good_Man_Goes_To_War_131forward, only to see a man standing in shadow] Oh, are you boys dressing as Romans now? I thought nobody read my memos.”
-River
(A Good Man Goes to War 6.7)

“It’s okay, she’s still all yours. And really you should call her “Mummy”, not “Big Milk Thing”.”
-The Doctor
“Okay, what are you doing?”
-Amy
“I speak Baby”
-The Doctor
(A Good Man Goes to War 6.7)

“You think I wanted this? I didn’t do this! This wasn’t me!”
-The Doctor
“This was exactly you; all this. All of it. You make them so afraid. When you began all those years ago, sailing off to see the universe, did you ever think you’d become this? The man who can turn an army around at the mention of his name: Doctor. The word for healer and wise man throughout the universe. We get that word from you, you know, but if you carry on the way you are, what might that word come to mean? To the people of the Gamma Forests, the word “doctor” means “mighty warrior.” How far you’ve come, and now they’ve taken a child. The child of your best friends, and they’re going to turn her into a weapon, just to bring you down. And all this, my love, in fear of you.”
-River
(A Good Man Goes to War 6.7)

“He’s called Alfie. And what are you doing here anyway?”
-Craig
“Yes, he likes that … Alfie. Though personally, he likes to be called Stormageddon, Dark Lord of All.”
-The Doctor
(Closing Time 6.12)

“No! He’s your dad! You can’t just call him “Not Mum”.”
-The Doctor
“”Not Mum”?”
-Craig
“That’s you! “Also Not Mum”, that’s me! And everybody else is [leans in to Alfie] “Peasants”. That’s a bit unfortunate.”
-The Doctor
(Closing Time 6.12)

“I’ve got a time machine, Dorium! It’s all still going on! For me, it never stops! Liz the First is still waiting in a glade to elope with me! I could help Rose Tyler with her homework! I could go on all Jack’s stag parties in one night!”
-The Doctor
(Closing Time 6.12)

“Such a basic mistake, Madame Kovarian: take a child, raise her into the perfect psychopath, introduce her to the Doctor. Who else was I going to fall in love with?”
-River
(The Wedding of River Song 6.13)

“You took my baby from me, and hurt her. And now she’s all grown up, and she’s fine. But I’ll never see my baby again.”
-Amy
“But you’ll still save me, though. Because he would. And you’d never do anything to disappoint your precious Doctor.”
-Madame Kovarian
“The Doctor is very precious to me, you’re right. But do you know what else he is, Madame Kovarian? Not here. River Song didn’t get it all from you. Sweetie.”
-Amy
(The Wedding of River Song 6.13)

Doctor_Who_6x13_The_Wedding_Of_River_Song_487“I have to die!”
-The Doctor
Shut up! I can’t let you die without knowing you are loved — by so many and so much — and by no one more than me.”
-River
(The Wedding of River Song 6.13)

 

“Is there a word for total screaming genius that sounds modest and a tiny bit sexy?”
-Oswin
“Doctor. You call me the Doctor.”
-The Doctor
“I see what you did there.”
-Oswin
(Asylum of the Daleks 7.1)

“So don’t you dare talk to me about waiting outside a box, because that is nothing, Rory, nothing, compared to giving you up!”
-Amy
(Asylum of the Daleks 7.1)

“Then why do you keep coming back for us?”
-Amy
“Because you were the first. The first face this face saw. And you’re seared onto my hearts, Amelia Pond. You always will be. I’m running to you and Rory before you fade from me.”
-The Doctor
(The Power of Three 7.4)

“You think you’ll just come back to life?”
-Amy
“When don’t I?!”
-Rory
(The Angels Take Manhattan 7.5)

“But it’s my best shot, yeah?”DW_7x05_The_Angels_Take_Manhattan_730
-Amy
“No!”
-The Doctor
“Doctor, shut up! Yes! Yes, it is!”
-River
(The Angels Take Manhattan 7.5)

“Sir, permission to express my opposition to your current apathy?”
-Strax
“Permission granted.”
-The Doctor
“Sir, I am opposed to your current apathy.”
-Strax
“Thank you, Strax. And if I’m ever in need of advice from a psychotic potato dwarf, you’ll certainly be the first to know.”
-The Doctor
(The Snowmen 7.6)

“Madame Vastra wondered if you were needing any grenades?”
-Strax
“Grenades?”
-The Doctor
“She might have said “help”.”
-Strax
(The Snowmen 7.6)

Doctor_Who_-_The_Snowmen_282012_Christmas_Special29_546“Good evening. I’m a lizard woman from the dawn of time, and this is my wife.”
-Madame Vastra
(The Snowmen 7.6)

“Go on, say it. Most people do.”
-The Doctor
“It’s smaller on the outside.”
-Clara
“Okay, that is a first.”
-The Doctor
(The Snowmen 7.6)

“We don’t walk away, but when we’re holding onto something precious, we run, and we don’t stop running until we’re out of the shadows.”
-The Doctor
(The Rings of Akhaten 7.8)

“I walked away from the Last Great Time War. I marked the passing of the Time Lords. I saw the birth of the universe, and I watched as time ran out, moment by moment, until nothing remained. No time, no space – just me. I’ve walked in universes where the laws of physics were devised by the mind of a madman. I’ve watched universes freeze and creations burn. I have seen things you wouldn’t believe. I have lost things you will never understand. And I know things. Secrets that must never be told, knowledge that must never be spoken, knowledge that will make parasite gods blaze! So, come on, then! Take it! Take it all, baby! Have it! You have it all!”
-The Doctor
(The Rings of Akhaten 7.8)

“The most important leaf in human history. It’s full of stories, full of history. And full of a future that never got lived. Days that should have been that never were. Passed on to me. This leaf isn’t just the past, it’s a whole future that never happened. There are billions and millions of unlived days for every day we live. An infinity. All the days that never came. And these are all my mum’s.”
-Clara
(The Rings of Akhaten 7.8)

“So I am a ghost. To you, I’m a ghost. We’re all ghosts to you. We must be nothing.”
-Clara
(Hide 7.9)

“According to my research, Sweetville’s proprietor holds recruitment drives for her little community. She is only interested in the fittest and the most beautiful.”
-Madame Vastra
“You may rely on me, ma’am.”
-Strax
“I was, in fact, speaking to Jenny.”
-Madame Vastra
“Jenny. If this weak and fleshy boy is to represent us, I strongly advise the issuing of scissor grenades, limbo vapor, and tripple-blast brain spitters.”
-Strax
“What for?”
-Madame Vastra
“Just generally. We are going… to the North.”
-Strax
(The Crimson Horror 7.12)

“Horse, you have failed in your mission! We are lost, with no sign of Sweetville! Do you have any final words before your summary execution? The usual story! … Fourth one this week, and I’m not even hungry!”
-Strax
(The Crimson Horror 7.12)

“How are you even doing that? I’m not really here.”DW714HD_2301
-River
“You’re always here to me. And I always listen. And I can always see you.”
-The Doctor
(The Name of the Doctor 7.14)

“If this works, get out of here as fast as you can. And spare me a thought now and then.”
-Clara
“No, Clara…!”
-The Doctor
“In fact, you know what? Run. Run, you clever boy…and remember me.”
-Clara
(The Name of the Doctor 7.14)

“I don’t know where I am. I just know I’m running. Sometimes it’s like I’ve lived a thousand lives in a thousand places. I’m born, I live, I die. And always, there’s the Doctor. Always, I’m running to save the Doctor, again, and again, and again. And he hardly ever hears me. But I’ve always been there.”
-Clara
(The Name of the Doctor 7.14)

“My name, my real name – that is not the point. The name I chose is the Doctor. The name you choose, is like… it’s like a promise you make. He’s DW714HD_2712the one who broke the promise.”
-The Doctor
(The Name of the Doctor 7.14)

All quotes are copied from Wiki Quote.
Doctor Who screencaps are from here and here.

 

Doctor Who: Series 1-4 in Quotes

Doctor Who

Series 1-4 in Quotes

Yes, the obsession continues, and to prove to any of you who have not seen Doctor Who what a brilliant show this is, I decided to share my favorite quotes from the first four series of new Who(it was getting too long to do all seven, so expect a post with Eleven’s era quotes soon). Okay, I lie. Mostly, I just wanted a reason to read a bunch of Doctor Who quotes, and this was born of that. But either way, you get to enjoy the humor, heart, and intelligence that the writers of this show have infused it with.

“Nine hundred years of time and space, and I’ve never been slapped by someone’s mother.”
-The Doctor
(Aliens of London 1.4)

Dalek_522“The Daleks have failed! Now why don’t you finish the job, and make the Daleks extinct?! Rid the universe of your filth! Why don’t you just die?!”
-The Doctor
“You would make a good Dalek.”
-Dalek
(Dalek 1.6)

 

“I don’t age. I regenerate. But humans decay; you wither and you die. Imagine watching that happen to someone that you—
-The Doctor
What, Doctor?”
-Rose
You can spend the rest of your life with me, but I can’t spend the rest of mine with you. I have to live on. Alone. That’s the curse of the Time Lords.”
-The Doctor
(School Reunion 2.3)

“Planet Earth. This is where I was born. And this is where I died. The first nineteen years of my life, nothing happened. Nothing at all, not ever. And then I met a man called the Doctor. A man who could change his face. And he took me away from home in his magical machine. He showed me the whole of time and space. I thought it would never end.”
-Rose
(Army of Ghosts 2.12)

“But here she is, Rose Tyler! Hm, she’s not the best I’ve ever had. Bit too blonde. Not too steady on her pins. A lot of that [makes a movement Army_of_Ghosts_471with his hand to indicate she talks too much] And just last week she stared into the heart of the time vortex and aged 57 years. But she’ll do.”
-The Doctor
“I’m forty!”
-Jackie
“Deluded. Bless. I’ll have to trade her in. Do you need anyone? She’s very good at tea. Well, when I say “very good” I mean not bad. Well, I say “not bad”—anyway, lead on. Allons-y—but not too fast. Her ankle’s going.”
-The Doctor
“I’ll show you where my ankle’s going!”
-Jackie
(Army of Ghosts 2.12)

“All right then. You really want to know? That’s the Doctor…Five million Cybermen? Easy. One Doctor? Now you’re scared.”
-Rose
(Doomsday 2.13)

“Rose Tyler, defender of the Earth… You’re dead—officially—back home. So many people died that day and you’ve gone missing. You’re on the list of the dead…Here you are, living your life day after day. The one adventure I can never have.”
-The Doctor
(Doomsday 2.13)

“Come on! We can all have a good flirt later!”
-The Doctor
“Is that a promise, Doctor?”
-William Shakespeare
“Oooh, 57 academics just punched the air!”
-The Doctor
(The Shakespeare Code 3.2)

“The wonderful world of space travel… The prettier it looks, the more likely it is to kill you.”
-Riley
(42 3.7)

Last_of_the_Time_Lords_011“I travelled across the world. From the ruins of New York, to the fusion mills of China, right across the radiation pits of Europe. And everywhere I went I saw people just like you, living as slaves! But if Martha Jones became a legend then that’s wrong, because my name isn’t important. There’s someone else. The man who sent me out there, the man who told me to walk the Earth. And his name is the Doctor. He has saved your lives so many times and you never even knew he was there. He never stops. He never stays. He never asks to be thanked. But I’ve seen him, I know him… I love him… And I know what he can do.”
-Martha
(The Last of the Time Lords 3.13)

“With Martha, like I said, it got… complicated. And that was all my fault. I just want a mate.”
-The Doctor
“You just want to mate?!”
-Donna
“I just want a mate!”
-The Doctor
“You’re not mating with me, sunshine!”
-Donna
A mate! I want A mate!”
-The Doctor
(Partners in Crime 4.1)

“Listen, Sister. You may have eyes on the back of your hands; but you’ll have eyes on the back of your head by the time I’m finished with you! Let me go!”
-Donna
(The Fires of Pompeii 4.2)

“It wasn’t the Doctor’s fault, but you need to be careful, because you know the Doctor’s wonderful and he’s brilliant, but he’s like fire…Stand too close, and people get burned.”
-Martha
(The Sontaran Stratagem 4.4)

normal_The_Doctor_s_Daughter_003“I don’t know where we’re going, but my old hand’s very excited about it!”
-The Doctor
“I thought that was some bloody alien thing! You’re telling me it’s yours?!”
-Donna
(The Doctor’s Daughter 4.6)

“You need to get yourself a better dictionary. When you do, look up “genocide”. You’ll find a little picture of me there, and the caption’ll read “Over my dead body”.”
-The Doctor
(The Doctor’s Daughter 4.6)

“Got a problem with archaeologists?”
-River
“I’m a time traveller. I point and laugh at archaeologists.”
-The Doctor
(Silence in the Library 4.8)

“Don’t play games with me. You just killed someone I liked and that is not a safe place to stand! I’m the Doctor and you’re in the biggest Library in the universe...Look me up.”
-The Doctor
(Forest of the Dead 4.9)

“Why am I handcuffed? Why would you even have handcuffs?”Forest_of_the_Dead_641
-The Doctor
“Spoilers.”
-River
(Forest of the Dead 4.9)

“Funny thing is, this means you’ve always known how I was going to die. All the time we’ve been together, you knew I was coming here. The last time I saw you, the real you — the future you, I mean — you turned up on my doorstep, with a new haircut and a suit. You took me to Darillium to see the singing towers. Oh, what a night that was! The towers sang, and you cried. You wouldn’t tell me why, but I suppose you knew it was time. My time. Time to come to the Library. You even gave me your screwdriver; that should’ve been a clue. There’s nothing you can do.”
-River
(Forest of the Dead 4.9)

“Time can be rewritten!”
-The Doctor
“Not those times. Not one line! Don’t you dare! It’s OK. It’s OK, it’s not over for you. You’ll see me again. You’ve got all of that to come. You and me, time and space. You watch us run!”
-River
(Forest of the Dead 4.9)

“When you run with the Doctor, it feels like it’ll never end. But however hard you try you can’t run forever. Everybody knows that everybody dies and nobody knows it like the Doctor. But I do think that all the skies of all the worlds might just turn dark if he ever, for one moment, accepts it […] Everybody knows that everybody dies. But not every day. Not today. Some days are special. Some days are so, so blessed. Some days, nobody dies at all. Now and then, Every once in a very long while, every day in a million days, when the wind stands fair and the Doctor comes to call, everybody lives.”
-River
(Forest of the Dead 4.9)

“I just want you to know, there are worlds out there, safe in the sky because of her. That there are people living in the light, and singing songs of Donna Noble. A thousand, million light years away. They will never forget her, while she can never remember. But for one moment, one shining moment, she was the most important woman in the whole wide universe.”
-The Doctor
(Journey’s End 4.13)

“It’s not that I’m an innocent. I’ve taken lives. I got worse, I got clever. Manipulated people into taking their own. Sometimes, I think a Time Lord lives too long…”
-The Doctor
(The End of Time 4.17/18)

“We will sing to you, Doctor. The universe will sing you to your sleep. This song is ending, but the story never ends.”
-Ood
(The End of Time 4.17/18)

DW_4x18_The_End_of_Time_(Pt_2)_0972“I don’t want to go.”
-The Doctor”
(The End of Time 4.17/18)

 

 

 

 

All quotes are copied from Wiki Quote.
Doctor Who screencaps are from here.

Review: This is W.A.R.

thisisWARTitle: This is W.A.R.

Author: Lisa & Laura Roecker

Read via: Library

This is W.A.R. begins with a victim who can no longer speak for herself, and whose murder blossoms into a call-to-arms. Enter four very different girls, four very different motives to avenge Willa Ames-Rowan, and only one rule to start: Destroy James Gregory and his family at any cost. Willa’s initials spell the secret rallying cry that spurs the foursome to pool their considerable resources and deliver their particular brand of vigilante justice. Innocence is lost, battles are won—and the pursuit of the truth ultimately threatens to destroy them all.

This review contains spoilers.

So, I loved Lisa & Laura Roecker’s two previous books (The Liar Society & The Lies That Bind), and I really wanted to love this book. It was interesting, and the setup for the story was intriguing. However, I just couldn’t connect to any of the characters, and while the ending might be realistic, I will admit to feeling rather letdown by it.

The plot of This is W.A.R. revolves around five very different girls. Willa Ames-Rowan was the core of the group, and her death initiates the action of the story. At first, it is just her two closest friends (Lina, Sloane) and her step-sister (Madge) who begin a war against the Gregory family, but shortly thereafter Rose joins the group. I will say that I liked the friendship elements of the story, and I thought it blossomed quite naturally. The other major characters in the story are James and Trip Gregory. They were strange. It seemed as if their personalities were always in flux to suit the needs of the story rather than the characters themselves.

The revenge/murder mystery idea is awesome, but I felt as if it wasn’t always executed well. The motivations of the characters were never completely clear to me, and I do not understand why Madge kept wanting to go after James when she knew that Trip was the one responsible. Also, did Trip sleep with pretty much everyone?! It was like he was everywhere, and committed every crime possible. I don’t know, but it was just awkward. Also, the entire book the girls are attempting to destroy the Gregory empire, but in the end, they just are paid off as well. I do understand that Trip was being punished, but I still felt disappointed by this ending.

Overall, I thought this story was a clever idea, but it did not live up to its potential. The characters were at times compelling, and I did enjoy the friendship between the girls. However, I thought the plot could be frustrating, and that the girls sold out at the end. While I would highly recommend The Liar Society series, I was not a fan of This is W.A.R. and I would be hesitant to pass it on.

This review contains spoilers.

Cover: 3
Plot: 2.5
Writing: 3
Personally: 3

Overall: 2.8 out of 5

Doctor Who: Thoughts on Companions from an Odd Fan

If you follow me on Twitter, you’re probably aware that I’ve developed a Doctor Who habit. In the last few months, I’ve watched six and a half seasons of the “new Who,” and I’ve fallen completely in love. If you have not seen Doctor Who, I would highly recommend it as it’s quickly become one of my absolute favorite series. Anyway, instead of just randomly rambling on about the brilliance that is Doctor Who, I’m attempting to limit my thoughts to just the companions (if you aren’t familiar with the idea of the Doctor and his companions here’s an interesting recap). For further clarification, I will only be talking about the reboot (I haven’t had time yet to explore classic Who), and only the “major” companions.

Parting_of_the_Ways_586Rose Tyler is the first companion of the reboot, and she tends to inspire opposite reactions. Most fans seem to either love her or hate her, and very few stand in the middle. Personally, I love Rose. Okay, some people probably just cringed, but really everyone’s allowed to have their own opinion, right? Sometimes though, if you admit you love Rose, “diehard Who fans” will immediately dismiss you because if you love Rose it means you are just one of those romantic fangirls who are easy to dismiss (read this brilliant article for more thoughts on “real Whovians”). Also, I’ve heard Rose dismissed as unintelligent, an airhead, etc. Rose might not be a high class scholar, but she is street smart, quick on her feet, and caring. I love Rose because of the way she throws herself into what she does, the love she maintains for her family, and the beautiful friendship between her and the Doctor. Do I also like the romance between the Doctor and Rose? Yes, I do, so sue me, but I’d still love them just as much were they only friends.

After Rose we have Martha (technically we get a glimpse of Donna first, but yes). Now, I think Martha had a hard time coming in directly after Last_of_the_Time_Lords_898Rose and the events of “Doomsday.” But honestly, I found her to be frustrating for the first several episodes. I understand that the Doctor is this larger-than-life character who everyone falls for a little bit, but at the start, Martha was obsessed with him and her possessiveness seemed rather groundless. Now towards the end of Martha’s run, I will say that I came to really like her. I think she eventually became the strong, vibrant woman who she was supposed to be at the start, and I loved all the cameos she made after her run ended (that’s a hint! Can we please see Martha pop back up?).

Silence_in_the_Library_059The third companion of the reboot could definitely be counted as a fan favorite. Donna Noble. The hilarious, frustrating woman who began as something of an airhead but became this beautifully aware, caring woman (of course, only to have everything ripped away). I did not expect to like Donna, but from the moment she appeared in the TARDIS in her wedding dress, I was a fan. Season 4 remains my quickest watched season. I think I completed it in about two weeks because I was hooked utterly and completely. David Tennant and Catherine Tate made a brilliant team, and I loved the dynamic between them.

 

Okay, here is where the “odd fan” bit of the title comes into play because the Ponds followed Donna. Amy and Rory are well-loved, and while I do DW_7x05_The_Angels_Take_Manhattan_697like both characters, I never completely came to adore them. I’m certain there’s something wrong with me as I feel like one of the only Doctor Who fans who does not absolutely love these two. Don’t get me wrong. The Ponds are awesome characters. I even teared up at the end of “The Angels Take Manhattan,” but they just do not rank as my favorites.

 

Clara and I have a weird relationship. I started watching the show because of her (Quick explanation: I randomly Doctor_Who_-_The_Snowmen_282012_Christmas_Special29_974follow fandoms via recaps and Youtube even if I don’t actually watch the show/movie. Often my weird tendencies lead me to eventually start watching some of the shows I stalk. Anyway, I’ve followed Doctor Who from a distance for years- which is why I knew how a lot of the storylines ended before I started watching- but it wasn’t until I began seeing videos about “the impossible girl” that I knew I had to watch this show). Now, I cannot give a complete opinion about Clara as I have only watched as far at “The Snowmen,” but I will say I absolutely adored her in both that episode and in “Asylum of the Daleks” so I do not think my opinion will change much after finishing season 7.

 

 

*Screencaps are from here & here.

Review: United We Spy

unitedwespyTitle: United We Spy

Series: Gallagher Girls #6

Author: Ally Carter

Read via: Purchased

Cammie Morgan has lost her father and her memory, but in the heart-pounding conclusion to the best-selling Gallagher Girls series, she finds her greatest mission yet. Cammie and her friends finally know why the terrorist organization called the Circle of Cavan has been hunting her. Now the spy girls and Zach must track down the Circle’s elite members to stop them before they implement a master plan that will change Cammie—and her country—forever.

It’s come to the end. Wow. I still am unprepared for this series to be over, but what a brilliant way to end. So in the week leading up to the release of this, I went back and reread the series. I fell in love with it all over again, and while it helped me to tie the various plots together better, it also made it even harder to say goodbye to this incredible cast of characters. I have never read a series quite like Gallagher Girls, and I will miss my adventures with these amazing girls. Ally Carter struck gold with these books, and I think it is a seriously underrated series.

Cammie would definitely make the top ten of my favorite YA characters, and she has come so far since the start of the series. In United We Spy, she is still dealing with the aftermath of the events from Out of Sight, Out of Time. However, she has not allowed the trauma and grief she experienced to break her, and she is determined to destroy the Circle for good. Things quickly begin to spiral out of control and it becomes nearly impossible to know who to trust. But of course, Cammie can always rely on Bex, Macey, and Liz. The friendship between these four girls is truly remarkable. They would literally die for each other, and after leaving the “safety” of their school, dying certainly becomes a real option. Cammie also has Zach. The relationship between these two is brilliantly written. United We Spy is not a romance, but there is romance in it. It’s refreshing to have a book like that, and Cammie and Zach prove to be incredibly supportive of each other.

I was quite worried as I began to read this book. It’s very hard to write a satisfying end to any series, but with Gallagher Girls, there were a lot of loose ends to tie up. I can happily report that Ally Carter manages the impossible, and United We Spy is a perfect, exquisite ending. Cammie, Bex Macey, Liz, and Zach are put to their hardest tests yet, and they will all be changed forever.

Overall, I was blown away by this book. It was heartbreaking, epic, adorable, hilarious, and terrifying. I found myself laughing aloud and also in tears. Saying goodbye to this series was extremely hard, but Ally Carter crafted an amazing ending that ties the entire series together. I would highly recommend Gallagher Girls. It’s both lighthearted and it reaches the deepest depths of emotion. Plus, it’s about a school for spies- what’s not to love?

 

SPOILERS AHEAD

Sorry, but I had to share this quote as it had me sobbing.
Also, it is the one issue I had with the book. It mentions parents being there, and it’s like a “normal” graduation. Then there’s all the revealing of Gallagher Girl secrets…color me confused with where the secrecy went, but I do love this still.

“What is a Gallagher Girl? When I was eleven I thought I knew the answer to that question. That was when the recruiters came to see me. They showed me brochures and told me they were impressed by my test scores and asked if I was ready to be challenged. And I said yes. Because that was what a Gallagher Girl was to me then, a student at the toughest school in the world.
What is a Gallagher Girl? When I was thirteen I thought I knew the answer to that question. That was when Dr. Fibs allowed me to start doing my own experiments in the lab. I could go anywhere- make anything. Do anything my mind could dream up. Because I was a Gallagher Girl. And, to me, that meant I was the future.
What is a Gallagher Girl? When I was seventeen I stood on a dark street in Washington, D.C., and watched one Gallagher Girl literally jump in front of a bullet to save the life of another. I saw a group of women gather around a girl whom they had never met, telling the world that if any harm was to come to their sister, it had to go through them first.
What is a Gallagher Girl? I’m eighteen now, and if I’ve learned anything, it’s that I don’t really know the answer to that question.
Maybe she is destined to be our first international graduate and take her rightful place among Her Majesty’s Secret Service with MI6.
Maybe she is someone who chooses to give back, to serve her life protecting others just as someone once protected her.
Who knows? Maybe she’s an undercover journalist. An FBI agent. A code breaker. A queen. Maybe she’s even a college student. Or maybe she’s so much more.
….
What is a Gallagher Girl? She’s a genius, a scientist, a heroine, a spy. And now we are at the end of our time at school, and one thing I know for certain is this: A Gallagher Girl is whatever she wants to be.
And, most of all, she is my sister.”

 

SPOILERS ABOVE

Cover: 3.5
Plot: 5
Writing: 4.5
Personally: 4.5

Overall: 4.3 out of 5

 

Review: Jellicoe Road

jellicoeroadTitle: Jellicoe Road

Author: Melina Marchetta

Read via: Purchased

Abandoned by her mother on Jellicoe Road when she was eleven, Taylor Markham, now seventeen, is finally being confronted with her past. But as the reluctant leader of her boarding school dorm, there isn’t a lot of time for introspection. And while Hannah, the closest adult Taylor has to family, has disappeared, Jonah Griggs is back in town, moody stares and all.

In this absorbing story by Melina Marchetta, nothing is as it seems and every clue leads to more questions as Taylor tries to work out the connection between her mother dumping her, Hannah finding her then and her sudden departure now, a mysterious stranger who once whispered something in her ear, a boy in her dreams, five kids who lived on Jellicoe Road eighteen years ago, and the maddening and magnetic Jonah Griggs, who knows her better than she thinks he does. If Taylor can put together the pieces of her past, she might just be able to change her future.

Yes, I may be the last book blogger to read this book, but I am so glad that I finally did. Jellicoe Road and I may have gotten off to a rough start, but by the end, I was completely enchanted and in awe of the remarkable story Melina Marchetta has woven. Due to all the love for this book, I had very high expectations, and now I can say that I completely understand why this book is so beloved.

Taylor is a character who may be hard to like initially. She’s quite rough around the edges, and often her behavior is questionable. As the story unfolds, however, her motivations become clearer, and she becomes a truly remarkable woman. Griggs starts off similarly. For the first several chapters I admit I had no idea why so many people loved this character, but slowly, like Taylor, Griggs becomes someone completely fascinating. Of course, Taylor and Griggs are not the only characters. Raffy and Chaz Santangelo may be supporting characters, but I quickly came to be entranced not only by the characters themselves but by the intriguing history they shared. Plus, the dynamic between Raffy, Chaz, Taylor, and Griggs was amazing. The scenes with the four of them were some of my favorite moments. Jellicoe Road also tells the story of another foursome who lived years before this one, and Marchetta manages to beautifully weave together the lives of Narnie, Jude, Webb, and Tate with Taylor, Griggs, Raffy, and Chaz.

The Jellicoe Road has seen too much heartbreak and loss, but the road has also witnessed great beauty and love. All of these things are combined into a breathtaking tale which is filled with twists and turns. I must admit, at the beginning of the book, I had trouble keeping the storylines straight, and I was utterly confused as to how these stories fit together. If you feel this way, keep reading! As the story progresses so much becomes clearer, and all of the things that may seem like loose threads are threaded together.

Overall, Jellicoe Road was an unforgettable book that has kept me thinking long after I turned the last page. I would highly recommend this book. However, be warned that there are some unique things about this book. First, Melina Marchetta is an Australian author, so there are some cultural differences. Second, the plot is very intricate and will keep you one your toes. In the end, both of these things are positive attributes. Jellicoe Road is a must read, and I am already wanting to return to it.

Cover: 3.5
Plot: 4.5
Writing: 4.5
Personally: 4.5

Overall: 4.2 out of 5