The Trials of Apollo: The Burning Maze Review!

“Full points for vagueness, girl, but I wanted the dirt.”

burning maze.jpgBack in February I finally read The Dark Prophecy and was completely underwhelmed. I remember reading the first installment to this new series with excitement and loving it and looking forward to where the story would take Apollo. When I came around to the second book, very early on I knew the story wasn’t doing it for me. Granted, it wasn’t the first time Rick Riordan had disappointed me, The Blood of Olympus is the testament to that, but when I closed the second book in this series I thought to myself, “I’m never reading another Rick Riordan book again.”

Luckily for me I have a weakness when it comes to Rick Riordan, nostalgia at its finest, and when I came across this book at the store I purchased it. And I am incredibly glad I did.

This book did what no recent read by Riordan has done for me. It gave me action, it gave me character development, it gave me depth, it gave me quiet moments, it gave me a death I didn’t think he had the guts to write, and it gave me a storyline that just wouldn’t quit. Nowhere in this book was there any dragging of the story the way The Dark Prophecy did.

We’re on book three and finally, FINALLY, Riordan gave Meg some depth. Early on in the book we see her beginnings before Nero gets ahold of her and I will admit that tears were shed, feelings were felt, and just like Apollo I felt the need to hug her. Up until now, I had a very hard time liking Meg. We’d hardly been given any information on her and for me it made it difficult to form an idea of who Meg was and who she is now. Upon ending this third installment I’ve come to appreciate Meg’s character and can now see why she is the way she is. And it is something that I think was desperately needed for her character.

Apollo exceeded my expectations in this book. The amount of character development that you see throughout the 419 pages found in this book is such a blessing (because I love character development lol) and the way his character has progressed throughout the course of these three books has been done in a way where it’s believable. A God like Apollo isn’t someone you expect to change overnight so these small doses of change are at a pace that doesn’t feel rushed, but also not to a point where it feels like it’s taking forever for him to show change.

I have to say, Piper and Jason have been my favorite appearances so far in these books, which I have found truly surprising. I wasn’t a huge fan of either one of them during The Heroes of Olympus due mainly to the fact that hearing Piper’s narration usually consisted of a rather large amount of time being spent on her talking about how she was the underdog which got incredibly tiring by the time The Mark of Athena rolled around. So when I first saw they were in this book I almost put it down because dear Gods I did not want to deal with either one of them. However, it turns out that both characters are much more likeable when they aren’t the ones narrating! A true blessing and an inclusion of characters that I think worked really well especially where Piper is involved.

The last thing I want to talk about is that major death that happened. I’m not a huge fan of it if I’m being honest and it’s not because I love the character that faced their untimely death, but because it felt out of place. Had this death happened in The Blood of Olympus I would’ve seen it fitting well with the story taking place, but because of the time spent with this character in this book I just didn’t think it was a death that fit entirely nor one that should’ve happened. I also can’t believe Riordan had it in him.

All in all, I gave this 4.5 stars because it was just so damn good and I’m so glad I decided to pick this up despite my prior disappointment. Damn you Rick Riordan!

AND WHY IS THE NEXT BOOK COMING OUT UNTIL FALL OF 2019?!?!!?!? wHY

 

 

 

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Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell Spoiler Free Review

A couple of months ago I read The Broken Girls, by Simone St. James and I remember thinking to myself it was going to be hard for another book to be as good as that one was. I am here now to let you all know that as of right now, Then She Was Gone, by Lisa Jewell is my favorite book I’ve read this year so far.

The book follows mother Laurel Mack 10 years after her youngest daughter, Ellie,lisa jewell disappears and is never seen again. We find Laurel trying to find it in herself to move her life forward rather than keep it in a standstill the way its been since Ellie went missing while also attempting to repair her relationship with her two other children. Along the journey of this moving on Laurel starts to uncover information regarding details of Ellie’s disappearance ultimately leading to the “big” reveal at the end.

It has been about a week since I finished reading this book and at least once a day I think about that heartbreaking ending. Make no mistake, the outcome of the story is not surprising. Not even one bit. It is incredibly easy to figure out what happens and nothing that is revealed throughout the story is shocking. And yet! This book is mesmerizing despite it. There’s still this feeling of foreboding throughout the book and the emotions you feel towards these characters definitely drives you to keep reading. I could not put this book down and stayed up until almost 4am to finish it. The last page of the story contained in this book is absolutely heart wrenching and I’ve never had a book have me sob in the way this one did.

The writing style itself was my favorite thing about the book. The changing POV’s throughout it and the tone in which it was written in really elevated the experience for me. Due to the fact that it was not difficult to figure out what happened, the writing is what makes this book a success. I would not have kept reading this book because of the lack of mystery and how easy it was to figure it all out and probably would have skipped to the ending if the writing hadn’t drawn me in and made me genuinely care for these characters.

I give this book 5 stars and definitely recommend it to anyone who likes a bit of mystery. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go look up other books by Lisa Jewell.

The Trials of Apollo: The Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan Review

At this point in time, I truly wonder why I keep bothering with reading books by Rick Riordan. I think part of me does it for nostalgic reasons and the other part believes it’s because I keep hoping my boyfriend Percy Jackson or my son Nico di Angelo are going to show up. Neither of which did in this book by the way.The_Dark_Prophecy.jpg

My biggest problem with this book is that it felt like it was much longer than it needed to be. I got halfway through it and it just felt like the story wasn’t advancing. Things happened throughout the book, but none of them felt like they were integral to the advancement of the plot despite it being part of what moved the plot. I don’t even know if that makes sense, but a better way I can say it is that this book felt like it went nowhere despite it going somewhere. I just. I don’t even know.

My second problem with it is actually the characters. Meg, Leo, and even Apollo are all annoying at one point or another. Actually the majority of even the side characters are annoying and it’s not so much about who they are, but the way they speak that just comes across incredibly offputting. Leo talks and I just instantly want to shut him up. I can’t stand him. It just feels like he’s trying so damn hard to be funny and I just sit there waiting for a joke and nothing happens. Characters like Emmie, Jo, and Calypso all speak in a manner that sounds normal. Even Lit has a change in tone the moment Commodus decides to kill him which to me just proves that Riordan exaggerates the way these characters speak.

The dragging of the story and the annoyance of characters aside, the book isn’t that good. I can find characters beyond irritating and still think the story is good and love it, but this book was just bad. Sure, I laughed at a few things, mostly said by Apollo, and there is some character development from Apollo himself, but other than that there’s reallly nothing memorable from this. I am just a ball of disappointment honestly. I loved the first installment to this series and had high hopes because Apollo has always been my favorite, but this second book just lacked so much that I genuinely believe that it was a waste of time to read it.

I give it 2 stars and even then it feels like I’m being rather generous.

Start of Something New

I’ve writen almost four versions of this post and if there’s been one consistent theme it’s the title being from a Disney movie. I’m clearly a very original person.

Last time I was writing this post, it was about how I was going to be working two jobs. Few days later I’m here writing a post about how I’m quiting one and keeping the other.

Six months ago I quit the first job I’ve ever had and it broke my heart to do so. I loved that job and I was damn good at it too. I needed to leave though. My mental health took a really big hit and the job was far too stressful so I quit and started a different job which is less stressful, but I quickly found out that I didn’t particularly like it. I also kinda suck. And it’s something that bothers me greatly because I never leave work feeling good about the job I did. That’s something that takes little hits at my mental health. Also, I just like feeling like I’ve done good work and in these last six months I just haven’t felt it no matter how hard I try.

Fast forward to present time and the possibility of moving near Disneyland, a longtime dream for me now, is just on the horizon. Of course, moving there is going to be expensive. Living there is also going to be extremely expensive and I can’t afford it on the salary and hours I get at this job I started 6 months ago. So I decided to get a second job. Where I used to work and now there’s a chance to move up at said job with even better pay and hours! I’d be moving by the end of this year or early next year and I need to start saving up as much as I can during the next year so I don’t have to worry too much about money when the time comes and this job is offering me the perfect things to make that dream come true.

There’s not really a point to this post other than I just wanted to talk about how now I’m going to be telling my manager I’m putting in my two weeks to go back to the place that I ran from last year and I am incredibly nervous and feeling guilty because I know we’re short people. But I feel like it’d be really stupid of me to let this opportunity get away from me when I know that I’d be doing better with just this one job than with both.

I’m also just nervious in general about taking this promotion at my old job. There’s more responsibilities now in the position I’m going to be in and despite knowing I can handle it, I’m of course thinking about what the toll on my mental health is going to be and whether I’ll be good at that too. Two days back at this old job and I feel like I’m where I belong though so I’m feeling very confident about the whole ordeal.

So yeah, this post is just my rambling about this whole situation and I thought it’d help to write this out before I go into work later to give my manager my two weeks notice. I mean, I’m making two dollars, tWO DOLLARS less at that job than the one where I’m getting the promotion! I’d be crazy not to take it!

Here’s to the start of something new and exciting! Also the most sincere of apologies to my manager and job I’m leaving behind. The guilt is real, but ya girl is going to be making bank so ha!

 

2017 Favorites!

It has been a really long time since I last attempted to do anything with this blog despite my constant thoughts about said blog. As this new year begins I’ve decided that 2018 is the year I shall attempt to give life to this blog.

I decided a good first post would be my favorites of 2017. This list is on anything new I watched, read, or listened to this year regardless of its release date and because I don’t want this to be a lengthy post, I won’t go into detail for every single thing, except for my #1 for each topic which I will reserve as last on each list. On some of these I also couldn’t just keep a top 4 so there’s quite a few thanks to my unwillingness to give the axe to any 😭

Without further ado, here’s my favorites of 2017!

Favorite Movies:

As a warning for this category, I did a horrible job at keeping track of movies I watched this year and so had trouble recalling the ones that I did. I also haven’t watched any movies that came out recently (The Last Jedi, Coco, and The Greatest Showman, for example) due to my anxiety involving movie theaters 😦

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In no particular order:

  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2
  • Spider-Man Homecoming
  • Rogue One
  • Logran
  • Get Out
  • Thor Ragnarok
  • Heathers
  • When Harry Met Sally
    • This movie is by no means superior to all the others, but for whatever reason I fell in love with it and is one of my absolute favorite movies ever. Heathers comes really close to my love for this one and both are two of my most rewatched movies this year.

Favorite Shows:

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  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine
  • Workaholics
  • Scandal
  • It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
    • All I have to say about this show is that Mac and Dennis Move to the Suburbs is a masterpiece. A MASTERPIECE!!!!!! I guess I’ll say a little more just because. This show had me laughing my butt off to the point where if Community wasn’t so damn funny, this show would’ve dethroned it as my all time favorite.

Favorite Albums + Favorite Songs from each:

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  • Harry Styles – Harry Styles
    • Kiwi
    • Woman
    • From the Dining Table
    • Sign of the Times
  • Dangerous Woman – Ariana Grande
    • Thinking Bout You
    • Everyday
    • Leave Me Lonely
    • Moonlight
    • Greedy
  • Glory Days – Little Mix
    • Your Love
    • Power
    • Touch
    • F.U.
  • Dopamine  – BØRNS
    • Electric Love
    • Past Lives
    • The Emotion
    • Clouds
    • The whole album really lol this one was my favorite out of all of them!

Favorite Songs:

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  • Get Low – Zedd x Liam Payne
  • Havana – Camila Cabello  feat. Young Thug
  • Bad Liar – Selena Gomez
  • Flicker – Niall Horan
  • Supercut – Lorde
  • Love on the Brain – Rihanna
  • Kiwi – Harry Styles
  • Dusk Till Dawn – Zayn feat. Sia
  • Be the One – Dua Lipa
  • Electric Love – BØRNS

Electric Love is by far my favorite and also my most listened to song of 2017, but all of these songs were at one point or another on repeat. If it weren’t for Electric Love, I wouldn’t have been able to decide on a favorite.

Favorite Books:

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  • One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
  • The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
  • Hyperole and a Half by Allie Brosh
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

I didn’t read that much this year (15 books), unfortunately due to to my reading slump, but the few I did were so good. I don’t have a #1 because each one of these were great in their own right, but The Hate U Give was by far the most impacting of the four.

So that’s my favorites of 2017! I’m really awkward at endings so Happy New Year! Until next time, bye!

 

The Haunted Mansion: Imagineering a Disney Classic by Jason Surrell

“When hinges creak in doorless chambers and strange and frightening sounds echo through the halls…”haunted mansion

I’ve always been a curious person. Particularly when it comes to what makes Disneyland, well, Disneyland. It could be said that I grew up with Disneyland. Technically. I live 6 hours away, but I’ve been attending the park since I was 1 1/2 and something I’m sure my parents now regret to some extent due to my obsession with the parks. I love knowing what goes backstage, reading about cast member experiences, and the history of the park and the man behind the magic, Walt Disney. Recently that curiosity has been in regards to the Haunted Mansion after reading somewhere a bit of the history surrounding the ride and watching a short documentary on it as well, so when I saw this book during my last visit to Disneyland a couple weeks ago, I had to have it.

This book will give you an in-depth look at the ride, how it works, the different sections of the ride and the stories that accompany them, what it took to  make it happen, the imagineers behind the ride, and addresses rumors that the Mansion has produced over the years. While the book centers mostly around the original ride at Disneyland, you also get a look at the other Mansions across the globe and a bit of their history. 

My thoughts on this book are quite simple: I loved it. In recent years The Haunted Mansion has easily become one of my favorite rides at Disneyland and I loved learning so many new things about the ride. One of the things I really loved about it is that it shows you not only the original ride, but the different variations that exist across the different parks. I for one loved learning more about Phantom Manor thanks to this book. I loved seeing how each park takes the original ride and turns it into something that fits the culture it exists in. The attention to detail from the Imagineers is absolutely incredible and my curiosity revolving around the imagineers has been peaked and can’t wait to read more about them.

If you’re a fan of the ride or just the Disney Parks themselves I would definitely recommend this. I loved and enjoyed it so much and can’t wait for my next trip to Disneyland in order to look more closely at the details I didn’t know about before. By far one of the best books I’ve ever read!