Sunday, July 22, 2012

Ranty Mood

So events this weekend have put me in a ranty/angry mood and I'm going to let off some steam. I'm going to talk about some current events news wise, events in my personal life and online drama. I could provide links to news stories and stuff, but that's more work than I care about right now, so as my favorite YouTuber, Phillip DeFranco says, "Google is a thing". And I'll try to keep this short.

First, the movie theater massacre that happened early Friday morning.
A) I am so sad and mourn for the family and friends of those who were killed, injured, or who were even there and had to go through such a terrifying experience.
B) I am angry that people and the media are more interested in talking about gun control (this country will never give up rights to bear arms, deal with it, and even if "stricter" gun laws were in place, that wouldn't have stopped this from happening) or violence in video games, movies, media, etc (you can't blame anyone else beside the gunman, he pulled the trigger, not a media franchise, or our society or anything else) than the victims. Yeah, those topics are more interesting, but trust me, nothings going to change on either of those fronts.
C) I am of course, appalled at what happened. And I'm intensely (morbidly?) curious as to why he did it.

Second, apartment drama.
There's a roach infestation here that started in the apartment above ours and has not been properly dealt with by management. We've had bug people here to spray twice and it has not solved the problem. Management didn't tackle this problem right away and now it's out of control and inconveniencing everyone. I literally thank God that we are moving into a new place on Saturday.

Third, internet/literary community drama.
Goodreads is a pretty awesome site for book lovers and the people who write them. One of it's biggest features is the reviews that people post about books. Over the past week or so (although I only learned about it yesterday) there has been a lot of drama and bad things going on between book reviewers and authors. Here's my take away from it.
If you review books on your blog (as I do, sometimes) try to remember what you learned about critiquing in school. Try to be constructive and don't make personal attacks on the author. Yes, you are entitled to your opinion, but you are NOT entitled to be an ass about it.
If you are an author that gets a negative review about some of your work, even if the reviewer is being a total troll, DO NOT ENGAGE! Many established and published authors will tell you to not respond, period, and some say to just thank the reviewer. There are many cases where an author has argued with a reviewer and it has never ended well.

Ok, I'm done now. If you'd like to know more about what I think on any of the topics I touched on. I'd be glad to respond either in the comments, or if it's a big enough discussion, I'll do a separate blog post. And please comment, I'd love to know how you feel as well. :)

Have a Happy and Relaxing Sunday and Thanks for Reading!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Book Review: The Magicians & Magician King

I'm reviewing these two book together because I believe that if you're going to read one then you need to read the second to finish the story.

(Taken from Amazon)

The New York Times bestselling novel about a young man practicing magic in the real world

Like everyone else, precocious high school senior Quentin Coldwater assumes that magic isn't real, until he finds himself admitted to a very secretive and exclusive college of magic in upstate New York. There he indulges in joys of college-friendship, love, sex, and booze- and receives a rigorous education in modern sorcery. But magic doesn't bring the happiness and adventure Quentin thought it would. After graduation, he and his friends stumble upon a secret that sets them on a remarkable journey that may just fulfill Quentin's yearning. But their journey turns out to be darker and more dangerous than they'd imagined. Psychologically piercing and dazzlingly inventive, The Magicians is an enthralling coming-of-age tale about magic practiced in the real world-where good and evil aren't black and white, and power comes at a terrible price.

(Taken from Amazon)

Return to Fillory in the riveting sequel to the New York Times bestseller and literary phenomenon, The Magicians

Quentin Coldwater should be happy. He escaped a miserable Brooklyn childhood, matriculated at a secret college for magic, and graduated to discover that Fillory - a fictional utopia - was actually real. But even as a Fillorian king, Quentin finds little peace. His old restlessness returns, and he longs for the thrills a heroic quest can bring.

Accompanied by his oldest friend, Julia, Quentin sets off - only to somehow wind up back in the real world and not in Fillory, as they'd hoped. As the pair struggle to find their way back to their lost kingdom, Quentin is forced to rely on Julia's illicitly-learned sorcery as they face a sinister threat in a world very far from the beloved fantasy novels of their youth.


Overall, I loved both of these books. :) These were a little different than what I usually read and I wasn't sure I'd like it, but it was so different, it just worked for me. I felt there was something very real and gritty about the world and how magic was handled and perceived in it.

I really identified with Quentin and I think that was the the biggest hook for me. I've felt much the same way as he does in the first book. Always looking for something more and sometimes not being satisfied with it. I also believe his life journey is pretty typical for a 20-something year old to go through (minus the magic stuff of course ;) ).

In the second book my favorite parts were the Julia chapters. You meet Julia briefly in The Magicians but she plays a much bigger role in The Magician King. Her journey also felt very authentic and a little tragic to me.

In the end these books are a coming of age story for the 20-30 year old crowd. If you liked Harry Potter growing up, then the first book should appeal to you. But really, these books call to the Narnia lover in me. The way Grossman handles the magical world and how one gets to and from it to our own is pretty much exactly like Lewis did in Narnia. But it isn't fan fiction, or a bad rip. It's more of an homage and it's done really well.

So five stars for both books. And like I said if you read the first you should read the second as well, just to get the full story.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Moving, Again

Sorry it's been so long since I've updated. I was going to do a post about ObamaCare but decided that the last thing the internet needed was one more opinion on something that can't be changed right now.

So, a life update! We're moving this month! Woohoo!

I've never liked the apartment we're in now. I only chose it because I had 2 weeks to move from Utah to Colorado and it was the first one to become available. I am never choosing an apartment via the internet again.

We never felt safe in this apartment and I was always ashamed to have people come over. The only thing that's better about our current place compared to the last place we lived in Utah is that the maintenance is slightly better, more square footage and our current residence allows dogs. But our new place is going to be awesome.

We're moving into a town home and for me anything with stairs in it makes it feel more like a house than an apartment. It's in a nicer area and the outside looks really nice. Technically, the town home has a little less square footage than our apartment, but I'm ok with that because a) lots of storage space b) two toilets! c) my laundry area won't be sharing space with the kitchen and d) private patio area outside the front door.

We'll be moving at the end of the month and I'm so excited. Of course I'm not overly excited for the moving cost but we're making it work. It is kind of ridiculous though with pet deposits. You get a dog from a shelter for like $100 but then pay $300 in pet deposits. I've been warning Happy this week that if he annoys me too much I'll decide he isn't worth the pet deposit. I'm totally joking of course, but it makes me feel better in the moment. :)

So once we move in I'll take pictures and post them and all that jazz. In the meantime, I put up another book review at the end of this week.

So Happy Independence Day tomorrow! Be safe with your fireworks and remember what this day is all about and what makes this country so great.