2

Review: The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness


ABOUT THE BOOK

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
young adult post-apocalyptic science fiction dystopia published by Walker Books on September 9, 2008
first book in Chaos Walking trilogy

Imagine you're the only boy in a town of men. And you can hear everything they think. And they can hear everything you think. Imagine you don't fit in with their plans... Todd Hewitt is just one month away from the birthday that will make him a man. But his town has been keeping secrets from him. Secrets that are going to force him to run...

The new edition of this unflinching novel about fear, flight and the terrifying path of self-discovery features the short story, The New World. Set before the events of The Knife of Never Letting Go, it is the story of Viola's dramatic journey to the New World.

THE RATING



THE REVIEW

The Knife of Never Letting Go is probably the most difficult book I've ever had to read and then reread. It's ninety percent pain and ten percent sass so it doesn't go down smoothly, nope. It's also pretty much jumping from one adversity to next all the while hoping for some kind of relief. I just love it so much.

Todd didn't ask for a lot of things. Mainly, he didn't ask to be the only remaining boy in a town full of men. He didn't ask for a dog as a birthday present, he didn't ask to go pick apples from the swamp, he didn't ask to be forced out of his home just like that; he didn't ask for any of it. But why would he have asked for any of it, anyway. It's just how life works. Nobody said life would be fair. So we have Ness piling hard choices over hard choices on Todd; making him think long and hard, pushing him to his limits to shape him into a man of integrity and truth. It hurts so damn much because it's all so apparent in his Noise.

The concept of Noise is such an eye opener because of so many reasons. First, it shows what kind of terrible things a person can think about from day to day, hour to hour, minute to minute. When there isn't any choice but to have others listen to your thoughts all day long, it's dulling. Second, it takes away any hope of Todd ever having a childhood in a town like Prentisstown because there's just no end to nasty, ugly thoughts of men. Third, while Noise is a subtext in the post-apocalyptic world of Chaos Walking, it's something that's very real in our world. It's our minds known only to ourselves but, in the New World it's an impossibility which is such a thought-provoking concept.

The secondary characters in The Knife of Never Letting Go are very well-written, as is the norm in Ness books. There's Manchee. Oh, Manchee. He's the one companion that Todd didn't ask for but absolutely needed. Despite there not being many animals in young adult books, Manchee is a favorite because he talks and thinks and is just so honest and adorably innocent.

From the reader's point of view, we don't get to know much about Viola because Todd doesn't know much about her. Yet that doesn't stop me (and Todd) from admiring her. She's one hell of a girl! So brave and strong-willed which just goes to show just how good her upbringing was. She compliments Todd in all the ways that counts and stands up for herself when it comes to Aaron which is so satisfying to read about.

From the moment Aaron was introduced, I hated him and everything he stood for. I'm sure Mayor Prentiss is going to be playing a bigger role in the second and third books. However, in this book, Aaron is the worst. He's the Dolores Umbridge of Chaos Walking; infuriating as hell but there for a very important reason. Aaron reinforces Todd's strength of character just as much as the knife does. Aaron is the obstacle that everyone have to face in their lives, a breathing, living obstacle that pulls a person in two opposite directions. That forces you to choose.

Reading The Knife of Never Letting Go is like an experience in hope and hurt and everything and nothing in between. It's Todd, Manchee, and Viola banded together in search of a life away from all the crazy. It's them trying to put their best foot forward and believing in the goodness of people they meet on their journey. It's riddled with fantastic life truths placed so casually that you're traumatized for life and you don't even realize until you are. It's beautiful and the ending is the worst and I've never been so afraid to continue a series before.

THE QUOTES

'Life ain't fair.
It ain't.
Not never.
It's pointless and stupid and there's only suffering and pain and people who want to hurt you. You can't love nothing or no one cuz it'll all be taken away or ruined and you'll be left alone and constantly having to fight, constantly having to run just to stay alive.'
'The only place you belong is the place you can never go back. And so yer always alone, forever and always.'
'The Noise is a man unfiltered, and without a filter, a man is just chaos walking.'
'War is a monster...War is the devil. It starts and it consumes and it grows and grows and grows...And otherwise normal people become monsters, too.'
'Who am I to stop the end of the world if it keeps on coming?'

7

Burn Rewrite Reread Tag

I was tagged by Ellis to do this fun-turned-torture tag and I take full responsibility for saying yes. I do want to mention that for a moment there, I did feel somewhat conflicted about wanting and not wanting to do it. Like do you guys even know Ellis? What kind of people tag other people with the task of burning one of their favorite books? Playing favorites with your favorites? Short answer: our kind. It was fun, though (which it wouldn't have been if Saving Francesca and/or The Piper's Son were also in the options) (thank goodness I hadn't read them around the time I got tagged).

ROUND ONE

Is this my worst nightmare or is this my worst nightmare?

BURN
Oh, Simon Spier, I hope you forgive me for this. (Ellis, now that you've read this book, do you see my utter dilemma? Well, do you?) This book is my favorite contemporary this year and I just ship Simon and Blue so much and gah, it's all so adorable (re: the t-shirt scene is my favorite)!

REWRITE
I had such a hard time choosing the rewrite option for Vicious because Vicious is perfect as it as. (Getting me to choose between Vicious and The Dream Thieves is really asking me to choose which eye I'd like to lose which neither of them, thank you.) (Okay, more like right arm or left leg, but you get the picture). Anyway, I'd have this book rewritten to maybe include more flashbacks from the way things were ten years ago and that's it. Nobody touch anything else in this book.

REREAD
If you had any doubts about which book is my ultimate favorite, those should've been cleared by now because I love The Dream Thieves and will actually reread it for all times to come. I actually recently reread The Raven Cycle (raise your hands if you already knew this) and The Dream Thieves is still my favorite. Ronan Lynch is why Stiefvater began writing The Raven Cycle when she was nineteen (Ronan was called Seth back then, err) which is why I believe that The Raven Cycle is Ronan Lynch as much as it's Richard Gansey or Blue Sargent. In The Dream Thieves, Ronan comes to accept himself and his secrets as he goes through a journey from hating himself to not that I just want Hiro to build a Baymax to look after him because he's so damn precious.

ROUND TWO

Ellis surprised me with her kindness (her words) and so this round focuses on books that failed to impress me. Let's see just how much or less these books impressed me.

BURN
Perfect Ruin because this book is like a running joke among Kelly, Cee, Charlotte (when Cee made her read it) and I ever since we read it and were baffled by it. The idiocy of Morgan what's-her-name and all the herb-named characters and the way this book is perfectly ruined by all the repetitions is just-sigh. We've spent many a days discussing this book. Now we tease each other and are horrified if anyone of us (*points at Cee*) wants to read the sequel. And oh, the one thing this book had going for itself was the cover and then they decided to change that, so. 

REWRITE
Hands down, Avalon. It definitely had the potential to be amazing which is why I chose this option. You've a group of teenagers who steal for a living and rely on each other like a family, so it sounds like this book would be awesome. But no. Avalon has this main character who's tortured by the death of his parents and wants to buy their ship and in turn, their legacy, back however, he's being played by his mafia boss. I felt a genuine lack of connection to Jeth which stopped me from being invested in the story. Moreover, the whole conspiracy and its predictably factor really put me off. Oh, well.

REREAD
When I read Panic, I was left feeling underwhelmed and that's not a reaction one would expect from a book that's all about inducing panic in others just to have some summer entertainment. So yeah, rereading might make me like this book better. It more likely won't.

ROUND THREE

Well, back to being haunted by your favorites.

BURN
Sorry, World After I didn't want to do it, but Ellis pushed me. I love this book and love how strange it is in terms of its plot, the terrible use of children, the icky locusts, Pookie Bear and Raffe and Penryn and ah. But oh wait, I'm burning this. Err. Damn you, self!

REWRITE
Yes, in fact I do have a spoiler reason for wanting to rewrite this book. It has to do with a certain rape and the punishment for the rapist. I get it and it makes sense. But I still feel that it was dealt with in a slightly unsatisfactory way? Like it could have been better. That's my only issue because otherwise this book is perfection and I still remember crying all night for seven nights straight (could have been more than seven) while reading Lumatere Chronicles. Also, why isn't Froi of the Exiles and Quintana of Charyn one book? Someone please enlighten me.

REREAD
This book is Celaena Sardothien at her most vulnerable. This book is for a rainy day when you're feeling lost and want to know that there's Celaena out there who's having it just as bad as you. This is years after Sam Cortland and it still hurts so much. But it's also beautiful and I'm not going to say anything more because it's likely that I'll have a breakdown.


Phew, I did it. It took me almost two months so there's that. Ha.

So I'm going to tag the following people and trust that they're looking forward to treating their favorites in a similar way. Ahem.

Crini // All About Books, Lillian // The Whimsical Carousel, and Natalie // flowers in my books.

0

Review: Mad Max: Fury Road: Furiosa #1 by George Miller, Nico Lathouris and Mark Sexton


ABOUT THE ISSUE

Mad Max: Fury Road: Furiosa #1 by George Miller, Nico Lathouris, Mark Sexton,
post-apocalyptic comics published by Vertigo on 17 June 2015
issue number one of Mad Max: Fury Road prelude miniseries

High in the Citadel there exists a bio-dome of clean air and pure water, protected from the toxicity and anarchy of the Wasteland. Here the warlord Immortan Joe keeps his most prized possessions – his wives – imprisoned for his pleasure and his insistence that they bear him healthy male heirs.

Then, amid this cruel depravity, an unlikely rescuer emerges…the Immortan's most lethal warrior: the Imperator Furiosa.

From the mind of George Miller, the creator of the Mad Max trilogy, the prelude miniseries to the upcoming film Mad Max: Fury Road continues!

THE RATING


THE REVIEW

Ever since I watched Mad Max: Fury Road in May, I've been obsessed with it. It's a fact that if I think about the movie for longer than 30 seconds, I'll find myself on a Furiosa high. So when I got to know about there being a prequel comic exploring the events right before the beginning of Mad Max: Fury Road, my excitement was off the charts. I mean, so off the charts that I didn't even think about the possibility that it might just suck, let alone be anything other than extraordinary.

Imagine the extent of my disappointment at my discovery that a 40-page long issue of a comic managed to undo everything that made Mad Max: Fury Road so fucking awesome. I will admit that I was a bit confused about all the rape panels when I was reading it, but I chose to give the comic a chance and only focused on the good parts. However, it's been a week since I read it and I only find myself getting enraged at the direction the team took this issue in. In other words, I simply cannot ignore the colossal clusterfuck that is this comic.

If you've watched the movie, you already know about the plight of the wives and how it was done spectacularly well without any need of any sexually explicative scenes whatsoever. The comic is a whole another thing entirely and I'm ashamed that it's even a part of Mad Max: Fury Road because it's a poorly represented prelude to the actual movie.

First off, showing rapes on panel. While the movie trusted its audience to understand the kind of dire situation the wives were in, the comic blatantly shows said dire situations; not once, not twice, but a few times. What even is that? I tried to get past it but damn it, those panels really cheapened the rapes in a way that's just gross and highly uncalled for. It's also very deeply unsettling.

Second, the extremely gendered portrayal of the relationships among the wives. It's one thing for the wives to be treated like they are, but pitting them against each other with quotes like 'What would you know?! You're his favorite.' is just. Not. Done. I'm so tired of the male gender putting female characters against each other and getting away with it. Of them having one of the wives say 'you've got no balls' to Furiosa and get away with it.

This comic not only puts focus on what was done to the wives, it also takes focus away from what they managed to do. This kind of double negative really pisses me off. Where is the friendship, where is their unconditional love and care for each other that made the wives so substantial? Why was it reduced to this sham of them being damsels in collective distress who desperately needed saving and regularly turned on each other?

Third, altering the entire character dynamic of Furiosa. Not much is known about Furiosa's backstory and this comic being about Furiosa totally missed its chance to expand on her in a positive light. Instead of countless other back stories the team could have chosen to go with, they chose to give her a past of sexual assault. Because yes, even the badassest of the badass female characters cannot be empowered unless they have rape for their backstory. Not only that, the wives are shown as being untrustworthy and doubtful of Furiosa because of her gender. Also, Furiosa backhands the brides for not being grateful to all the luxuries that being wives of Immortan Joe grants them. What the fuck? That's extremely gendered and insulting of the character Furiosa. It's a disservice that I absolutely do not stand for.

The amount of rape in this comic is so ridiculous that it's pro-rape culture. The vulgar language (the term 'rawdog' has been used), the bizarre supposition that it's better to live in luxury as a victim of sexual abuse than in adversity and free because one doesn't want to be a victim sexual abuse, the assumption that women are incapable of respecting each other and working together as equals. That it just takes a single panel for the wives to suddenly see Furiosa as strong, that one of the wives stating that being raped is the same as being 'infected by poison' and that virginity is to be seen as something pure and to be highly prized. There are just so many things wrong with this issue, I give up. 10/10 would not recommend.

THE QUOTES

'I'm afraid for them. These are fine young women with strong minds. But if they stay here, they will perish, and with them, all hope.' 
'The Immortan had come to believe his own lies...to believe in his omnipotence. The following morning, she would show him the truth.'

16

Top Ten Tuesday: Reasons to Await the Release of Queen of Shadows


I considered doing a list of ten books, then imagined limiting myself but going over the limit anyway and then crying about all the awesome that's not out in the world yet. So I thought fuck it, it's better to cry over one title than ten twenty plus most anticipated ones.

Warning that this post is VERY spoilery for those of you who haven't read Throne of Glass series to which my response is: why the hell not?!


BRB drowning in ferocity
First off, THAT cover. It was probably my most awaited sequel cover reveal of 2015 (right after The Raven King which is now my most awaited sequel cover reveal of 2016 sobs). I'm all for the UK covers because they're white and Celaena looks so much more badass on them. However, I'm still slightly bothered that they reused the background of Heir of Fire cover because come on. Overall, I love the cover because it's just so fierce and that tagline is all kinds of awesome. And oh, I'm very much looking forward to the back cover because it apparently has a 'big dress' and is a favorite of Sarah J. Maas.


My 'fire-breathing bitch queen.' (Source)
Aelin Ashryver Galathynius, all. Yes, the name change is going to be very emotional. Despite Celaena Sardothien being the infamous Assassin of Adarlan, I know Aelin is going to be so much more.


Hi, my badassest queen. (Source)
As much as I love Celaena being a badass and knifing people while her blonde hair billows behind her, I love the notion of her having short hair and kicking ass like it's nobody's business. Also, in the first chapter of Queen of Shadows, her hair is auburn in an attempt to disguise herself which just makes me want to die.


Aedion af (Source)
So from the way of Heir of Fire ended, we all know that it's going to be up to Aelin to rescue Aedion and ohmygod, that reunion is going to kill me. Bye already, world.


Chaol sigh. (Source)
The ship name changed! Eeep. Yes, I'm very much a Chaelin shipper. In all seriousness, I do think Celaena and world domination is a legit ship, but I also very much care about Chaelin as they just fuck me up pretty bad. I cannot wait to see what's going to happen between them.


Rown Fucking Whitethorn (Source)
Rowan is back in Wendlyn but he's going to have his own POV which is going to be asdfghjkl. I think they're soul mates and I consider them the best of friends because I need more kickass male-female friendships.


The one Prince who failed to impress me with his princeliness (Source)
I haven't been a fan of Dorian because he's been too princely for my liking but hot damn, Heir of Fire was a Dorian Havilliard gamechanger. There were tears. Also, the first fucking chapter of Queen of Shadows broke me.


What a bitch. (Source)
Arobynn is going to play significant part in Aelin's life what with the vengeance and all. I need this book in my life because I want to see Aelin take him down. It might not happen in Queen of Shadows but I know they'll meet.


And that's how you witch. (Source)
So it's been a hundred percent confirmed that Aelin and Manon are going to meet and possibly have a few scenes together and I'll just lie down on the floor here.

IloveitIloveitIloveit.
Quotes likes these give me life.

P.S. All of these character images are from Sarah J. Maas's Throne of Glass pinterest board.

So how did I do? What titles are on your most anticipated list?

6

Monthly Recap: May


Hottest month that I ever spent on earth. Let there be not a repeat of this. Ever.

LIST OF NEWSWORTHY

I was mostly free in May which is why I could read and watch as much as I did. Little joys.
Still not over More Than This and that Nutella naan // Mother's Day coffee // 100 years of Coca Cola (those are actually bottles hanging) // THIS MOVIE
So Close to Home
I've been living in another state since mid-February and it's finally time to go home in June. As it'll be six weeks since her kidney transplant surgery, my mother will be able to travel. I cannot wait to be back home with my bed and my books and the best kind of summer weather.

When Books Matter So Much
Still crying over the fact that Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven King is coming out in March 2016 and waiting for the moment of joy when I go from 'why, cruel world' to 'releasing during the birthday month, yes.'

Also, just how beautiful and perfect Renée Ahdieh's The Wrath and the Dawn is and why do I want to reread it so bad. 

And oh, I relented and read Melina Marchetta's Saving Francesca and The Piper's Son and ever since I finished the latter, I haven't read another page.

Comic Craze
I discovered that there's a thing called an all-female A-Force when Cee tweeted this and OMFG, want. I read issue number one and it's fucking awesome! Loki, Dazzler, and America Chavez are my favorites.

So now I want to read all the comics again so I'm going to be reading anything that I can get my hands on.

Also, I discovered this CBR reader. It's very handy and minimal!

TV WATCH

Everyone, go watch Empire, okay?

My fav //Empire
Pretty much done with Arrow because what the hell was that season finale? Lame.
But oh, how I love The Flash and cried pretty much all the way through the season finale.
Finished watching season two of Brooklyn Nine-Nine and this show is my favorite comedy right now. Also, it isn't supposed to make me feel shippy things so why do you, B99.
I think Fresh Off the Boat is my favorite episode of the season yet.
I watched Empire and whoa, man this show! The best parts are the music which is mostly amazing, Cookie Lyon, Jamal Lyon, Lola, and just the Lyons being way too dysfunctional and messy.

MOVIE WATCH

LOOK AT FURIOSA GO // Mad Mad: Fury Road

Big Hero 6 (8/10) - Adorable and hilarious. Why isn't Baymax real yet.
Mad Max: Fury Road (10/10) - SO IN LOVE. What a perfection of a movie.


APP WATCH

I didn't download any new apps this month.


LIST OF READS

I managed to read eleven books and one comic and I don't think this much reading has ever happened before.

So many favorites this month!
Divergent by Veronica Roth (reread)
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab (reread)
Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson
Fans of the Impossible Life by Kate Scelsa
More Than This by Patrick Ness
All Fall Down by Ally Carter
The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh
A-Force #1 by G. Willow Wilson and Marguerite Bennett
Vicious by V.E. Schwab (reread)
Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta
Inherit the Stars by Tessa Elwood
The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta

LIST OF BLOGPOSTS

I wanted to blog but I had no time so I barely posted anything. I hope I can blog more because I miss it so much.

I posted my review of Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
I posted my updates about Bout of Books 13.0

LIST OF BOOK BUYS

I'm just glad I've read six out of the eight that I bought and/or requested.

Ahhh.
A Whole New World by Liz Braswell (thank you, Disney Press!)
Inherit the Stars by Tessa Elwood (thank you, Running Press Kids!)
Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta
All Fall Down by Ally Carter
The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh
How to Love by Katie Cotugno (won)
A-Force #1 by G. Willow Wilson and Marguerite Bennett
The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta

PLAYLIST

No playlist because I was too busy to listen to music. Sads.

How was your May?