Sunday, January 20, 2019

Review of "The Lost Gate" by Orson Scott Card

Brief Summary: The Lost Gate tells the story of Danny North and his discovery of a hidden power which opens up his world.

Long Summary: Danny North is an outcast in his family due to his lack of god-like powers. When he plays a prank, on cousins he is in charge of watching, the family threatens to kill him. Danny figures out he is a gatefather and knows he will be hunted by the families if they find out.  He escapes from the compound and starts a life on his own. He develops relationships along the way as he explores his new powers.

Overall I really enjoyed the book. I was excited to continue the series with "The Gate Thief".

Rating: 4.5/5

Other Works: A Town Divided by ChristmasChildren of the Fleet

Review of "The Host" by Stephanie Meyer

Brief Summary: The Host details the integration of an alien with a human body and the struggles that ensue between the human and the alien minds.

Long Summary: The Wanderer is an alien who is implanted into a human host and then deals with the host mind still being present. Melanie and her brother were on the run and thought they were the last humans alive. While raiding Melanie runs into Jarrod another human. The three of them then become a family. Melanie sees her cousin on TV and decides to try and find her without her brother or Jarrod. She is tracked by the Seekers and jumps to her death to avoid becoming a host. Her body is able to be repaired and the Wanderer is put into Melanie's body.

The Wanderer wakes up and can tell something is not right. Her host body obeys her commands but she is having problems accessing Melanie's memories. As she remembers information she passes it along so Jarrod and Jamie can be found by Melanie keeps trying to block her. Eventually Wanda and Melanie reach an agreement and go to look for Jarrod and Jamie. They end up almost dying but find them. The reception is not a warm one and it takes a while for the community to trust and accept Wanda as they come to call her. The story continues with twist and turns and the changing of feelings as well as an unexpected relationship.

Overall I really enjoyed this book. While Twilight was very romance based and driven I feel The Host has more depth to it. The feelings of both the host and alien are explored as well as the feelings of the humans involved. I am very glad I read this book and look forward to reading more from Stephanie Meyer.

Rating: 4/5

Other works: The Chemist, The Twilight Saga

Friday, January 18, 2019

Review of "Scrappy Little Nobody" by Anna Kendrick

Brief Summary:  Scrappy Little Nobody is a biography about Anna Kendrick how even though she has had success in Hollywood she still feels as if she doesn't belong.

Long Summary: Anna Kendrick recounts her life from her beginnings as a child in theater in New York to her rise to fame in Hollywood. My interest in Anna Kendrick began with seeing her in Twilight. Her character was peppy and fun in stark contrast to Bella. The next time was in Pitch Perfect. I loved chorus in high school so love a musical movie. I was excited for Pitch Perfect 2 and Into the Woods. In this story Anna describes her parents giving her and her brother freedom in New York City for auditions. She describes in detail how even then she didn't fit in but made it work. The best part of the book for me came when she started describing her life in LA. She was living in an apartment with roommates for what seemed to me a long time into her "success".  I think this just speaks to who she is as a person. I also appreciate her descriptions of arriving to the red carpet so uncomfortable because you don't wanna crease the dress for the upcoming pictures. Honestly for someone who thought it might be fun to be famous it sounds like a nightmare. The title fits perfectly because as she describes in the book she is to herself still a scrappy little nobody, even with the admiration of fans throughout the world.

I would recommend this book if you are at all interested in origin stories, and learning more about the trials and tribulations of becoming a celebrity in Hollywood.

Rating: 4/5

Other Works: Pitch Perfect Songbook