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The Irregular at Magic High School Vol. 2

The Irregular at Magic High School, Vol. 2: Enrollment Arc, Part II (The Irregular at Magic High School, #2)The Irregular at Magic High School, Vol. 2: Enrollment Arc, Part II by Tsutomu Satou
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The story was great. However, there was something wrong with the translation or the editing. There were too many question marks that cannot be explained away as extra punctuation. It was more like a question, like the translator was asking if that was the right word used. Also, in more than two instances, the wrong name was used even though further dialogue revealed the correct person to whom the speaker or the narrative referred. One bone I have to pick with the original author, though, “Why can’t you simply say who is speaking?” Though since this is a translation, you would think that the translator could include it for the benefit of English-speakers.

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Afterworlds

AfterworldsAfterworlds by Scott Westerfeld
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Scott Westerfeld is one of my go-to authors. When books are being released, I always consider reading his books. That’s why when this book came out in 2014, I got myself a copy to read. Now, almost two years later, I have finally started the book. That’s already a bad sign- waiting over a year to read it. The plot seemed interesting and I read anything that interests me. However, my main interests are science fiction and fantasy and this book disappoints in the fantasy area. I am not exactly a fan of YA paranormal romance. I have to be in a special mood for that. I also do not like the ‘child as an adult’ protagonist. That turned me off the first story. I was willing to go with the second story but I do not like skipping parts of a book. I’d rather leave it unfinished. So I have stopped reading this book at chapter 16 and I will not continue.
Another minor issue is the characterisation of the protagonist. She is apparently Indian-American but this is not apparent until she recounts a tale about her mother coming from India despite the fact that her last name makes multiple appearances in the first chapter. It just did not dawn on me that Patel is an Indian name (despite the fame of Dev Patel from Slumdog Millionaire). That and another issue which I would not name to avoid political incorrectness firmed my resolve to drop this book and never pick it up again.

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The Rest of Us Just Live Here

The Rest of Us Just Live HereThe Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I’d read the Chaos Walking trilogy and I was just blown away. However, I have been dithering about reading Patrick Ness’ other books based on their synopses. Now that I’ve read this one, I think I may have been right to dither. The synopsis of this book led me to believe that I would be reading about normal people with superhumans in the background. That was not the case. Maybe, it is just me but I disliked the protagonist. I may just be some horrible unsympathetic person but I had no sympathy for that protagonist and that coloured my whole perception of the book.

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How To Train Your Dragon

How to Train Your DragonHow to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I saw both movies before I read this book which I picked up on a whim when I saw it in the library. It was surprisingly good. I enjoyed it. There was more detail than there was in the first movie and it explained why the second movie was so drastically different. What bothered me before the story got so engrossing that I forgot about it was the blatant sexism. There were not only very few females but there were also jokes that belittled feminine interests. Apart from that the story was engaging but it did make me wonder when there are so many groups campaigning in First World countries for gender equality if it is a good thing to encourage gender inequality in children.

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Gone Girl

Gone GirlGone Girl by Gillian Flynn

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Gone Girl was a surprise. I don’t read thrillers. I make exceptions for crime and mystery stories. I avoid horror like the plague. However, this was the ‘it’ book a couple years ago and since it was handily there in the library, I borrowed it to read. I was pulled in. Both narrators were very unreliable in the beginning. However, I have to wonder if I was more disparaging of Nick than the wife because he was a man and I am a woman? The diary entries that Amy wrote were convincing to me until Nick revealed that it was all a plot. Now I was not seeing him as a murderer. The wife was gone and Nick may have been responsible but there was no evidence to prove it. Besides, who would think of a sociopath when there’s a case like this? You expect a crime of passion or a random event. The thing that bugs me though is, how did her parents not realise that their daughter is a sociopath? They have degrees in psychology.

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The Science of Discworld IV: Judgement Day

The Science of Discworld IV: Judgement DayThe Science of Discworld IV: Judgement Day by Terry Pratchett

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I love the Discworld series. I like science well enough. However, for a book that claimed that gods are fantasies that people insist on believing and religion just a way to control the people’s minds, there was quite a lot of preaching. The scientific chapters went on and on about scientific principles that I, with only a high school science education could barely understand. The Discworld chapters were the only reason I kept reading this book instead of dropping it. Even then, the characters seemed more like avatars to carry a message rather than characters in a story. Even the main Discworld characters seemed unimportant to the true message: Science is the way forward for mankind, turn away from religion or at least from belief in things that have no physical, rational or logical existence. At least, in my opinion, that seemed to be the message.

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Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451: The Authorized AdaptationFahrenheit 451: The Authorized Adaptation by Tim Hamilton

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I started to read the novel for this book and could not finish it. Something about the way, Ray Bradbury wrote bothered me so much that I had to put the book down. So it was a good thing that I also borrowed this adaption from the library. I was able to finish it. It seems, then that the future that Mr. Bradbury was talking about in his book has come true, at least in respect to me. I couldn’t read the novel but I could the shortened adaption. In my defence, could I just say that I did want to read the story but the prose drove me away. The lyrical phrases, the philosophical ramblings- I just couldn’t continue. The graphic novel was more concise but the pictures made it hard to follow in some parts. Another reason why I didn’t want to read the story may have been that I just didn’t find it all that interesting. Who knows? Well, I liked it well enough, so three stars.

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