Fangirl Friday- Doctor Who

Welcome to Fierce Fangirl Friday! ❤

Fierce Fangirl Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Jackie over at toomuchofabooknerd where you have the opportunity to do some healthy fangirling on your blog!

Whenever you have something, anything to fangirl about – whether it be a book, TV show, music, celebrities, your pet, the universe, finding your soulmate or just a recent meal that you’ve had – Fierce Fangirl Friday is your opportunity to do so! It doesn’t matter if it’s a recent obsession of yours or something you’ve been loving for a while!

The rules are simple ones, make sure you ping back to Jackie, and whenever there is a Friday that you need to fangirl, about anything, even if it’s not what your blog is usually about, have at it.

This week, I will be talking about Doctor Who. I was going to write this up after I watched the season finale but because I don’t have cable, I watched it several weeks after it aired so I felt like I missed the boat, but then the introduction of the 13th Doctor happened and I got a chance to talk about it here!

Firstly, I want to talk about this season so spoilers sweetie.

loved Bill. She’s great. She had that piece I think we’ve been missing in the last couple companions. She was just the chip girl. She wasn’t set up to save the Doctor, she wasn’t impossible, she was just a college student who worked in the cafeteria and served chips and she got dragged into this wonderful adventure. This is something that I’ve really missed in Moffat’s run as showrunner. This post will not get into all the other things I think Moffat ruined about the show but making the companion something that wasn’t just a shop girl, or a medical doctor on her rounds, or a temp, or whatever it was Micky was, and turning them into something else took something from the story for me. I wanted to feel like I can be the companion, and when that character is set up to save the Doctor somehow, it loses a bit of that feel. Bill brought it back, which was wonderful. She was great, not as great as Donna, but great.

The episodes that stand out are the 2 part finale, the one with the Roman soldiers and on where everything ends up being a simulation.

The simulation one was well crafted, something felt like something was off when the Pope wasn’t speaking English when the TARDIS was near by. At first, I was questioning why and then I figured someone forgot this plot point that’s been around since the start of the show because why not. As the episode ended it all starts to make sense and it’s very cool how it was done.

The Roman soldier one, the talk about the TARDIS translation thing where the Roman and Bill both say the other is speaking the language the other knows, reminding us that the TARDIS translates everyone so everyone can communicate. I liked the episode for more that just that, but that moment of remembering was cool.

The finale was great. The black hole thing, the weird guy who ended up being an old version of the Master before he went crazy at the end of 10’s run. The old extra scary Cybermen, there was a bit of Moffat from his early episodes before he took over. Not as creepy as Empty Child or Blink, but creepy.

loved how it ended with Mr. Filch appearing as the 1st Doctor. (I know this man has a real name and I know it’s David Bradley, but Mr. Filch.)

 

David Bradley

I’m so excited for Christmas. I liked David Bradley as the first Doctor in the 50th-anniversary movie Adventures in Space and Time. To be fair, I have never seen episodes with the first Doctor, but I’ve seen Mr. Bradley in several things that aren’t Harry Potter movies and I think he’s very talented and embraces the role well.

And this brings us to Jodie Whittaker the new Doctor.

Firstly, I’m excited.

I really loved 12 and I think he lacked for storylines, but I loved Peter Capaldi’s portrayal of the Doctor and I feel like he’s leaving too soon. I feel like he has more the do, but I have felt that way about 10 and 11 as well. (I wasn’t watching “live” with 9, but I think more than one season with 9 would have been great as well.)

It’s been established that Time Lords can change genders. Example:

The Doctor Falls

These are the same character.

Listen, the Doctor is an alien, and a fictional character who changes faces every 3 years. So stop saying the Doctor can’t be a lady because yeah-huh, and the Doctor is going to be a lady in a couple months.

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In my opinion, each reincarnation of the Doctor “evolves” from the previous Doctor, at least in the new series. I have seen 3 whole episodes of the original series.

Nine is born of the war- which is why he’s dark and searches to save people

Ten is born of love for Rose- which is why he’s light a fun

Eleven is born of loss – which is why he’s silly and childlike

Twelve is born of the realization that it’s time to grow up

What will Thirteen be born of– we’ll see when we see her first couple episodes.

What I look forward to most is when Jodie Whittiker is at the end of this line of Doctors. My favorite part of Doctor Who is 1. when someone says “Doctor Who?” and 2. when all the Doctor’s pictures appear. I don’t think we’ve had that with 12, which means it better happen in the Christmas Special.

I’m so excited for what will happen with the show. We’re getting a new showrunner, a new Doctor, a new companion, and hopefully a new life with be put into the show.

Here’s to new adventures, with a Lady at the helm.

What do you think about Series 10? What about the new Doctor?

Until next time Internet

Deanna

WWW Wednesday- July 19

WWW Wednesday is a meme currently hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s very simple – answer the three questions and leave a link in Sam’s post.

The Three Ws are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What am I currently reading:

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Roseblood by A.G. Howard

I am participating in a read-a-long with the Calendar Girls, and since July’s theme is Retellings, we are reading this Phantom of the Opera retelling. I’m a little over halfway through, and it’s interesting. I’m not familiar with the original, so I was walking in blind to the story. I will be putting up a review at the end of the month.

 

 

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Odd and True by Cat Winters

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley. I will be writing a review when I finish this, but so far I’m loving it. It has sisters fighting evil in the early 1900’s. It has pieces of the old west at the turn of the century. It’s really cool so far. I’m about halfway through this one as well, but I am loving it so much.

 

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The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

I’m listening to this audiobook while I drive back and forth to work, and oh man. This is great. It’s funny and smart and dirty (in a good way). Teenage boys. I’m loving the romantic parts and relationship between the three younger characters. I don’t think the sister is going to be around much longer if nothing changes as she’s supposed to say in Paris for school while they continue, but I’m liking how the three teenage characters play off each other. It almost makes me wish my commute was a little bit longer.

 

What did I recently finish reading?

31423196 Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray

I posted a review of this on Monday. It was a really excellent book. I’m looking forward to the rest of this series

 

 

 

 

194373I’ve been having the wonderful Stephen Fry read  Sherlock Holmes to me while I was driving and I just wrapped up The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. When I finish the whole canon, I’m going to write up a “review” of the collection. I just needed a break from the books. (It’s 60 hours of Sherlock Holmes I didn’t want to get annoyed with it.)

 

 

 

What am I reading next?

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Alex and Eliza by Melissa De La Cruz.

Durning this month’s Calendar girls twitter chat we were discussing next month’s topic which is Historical fiction and this book came up. It’s a fictionalized telling of Alexander Hamilton and his wife Eliza’s love story. I’m kind of excited about this book, and I hope it doesn’t disappoint.

 

 

 

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After I wrap up The Gentleman’s Guide, I’m jumping back into Sherlock with The Hound of the Baskervilles. I really want to listen to the whole Sherlock canon this summer. This is my favorite Sherlock story because it’s the first one I ever read when I was like, eight.

 

 

 

 

 

And that my week in books, what does yours look like?

 

Until next time Internet,

Deanna

Review: Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray

The Details

Publisher:   Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Published: April 4, 2017
Genres:  YA, Science Fiction, Fantasy
My Rating: 4.5 Stars

31423196GoodReads Blurb

She’s a soldier.

Noemi Vidal is seventeen years old and sworn to protect her planet, Genesis. She’s willing to risk anything—including her own life. To their enemies on Earth, she’s a rebel.

He’s a machine.

Abandoned in space for years, utterly alone, Abel has advanced programming that’s begun to evolve. He wants only to protect his creator, and to be free. To the people of Genesis, he’s an abomination.

Noemi and Abel are enemies in an interstellar war, forced by chance to work together as they embark on a daring journey through the stars. Their efforts would end the fighting for good, but they’re not without sacrifice. The stakes are even higher than either of them first realized, and the more time they spend together, the more they’re forced to question everything they’d been taught was true. 

My Review

I was skeptical about this book when I started it. I’m not the biggest sci-fi fan, I got this book through Uppercase in April, and I haven’t been completely let down by an Uppercase book yet, so I figured there had to be something that makes this books one of the best of April. I also signed up for Uppercase to read outside my comfort zone, and this kind of book is not one that I would have picked up on my own. Different can be good if you give it a chance.

This story is told in two in two different third-person narratives, one through the eyes of a young woman from the “new Earth” planet Genesis: Noemi. The other is a Data from Star Trek style robot guy named Able. The two stories have voices just different enough, Noemi thinking with her heart and Able thinking with his robot brain.

I mentioned in my WWW Wednesday post when I had just started reading this book that I was worried about human/robot love. The romance was not a big part of this story, I mean, it’s there, but the love in this story is more of a growth thing than a love thing. Both Noemi and Able have a growth arc that was interesting to read.

It took a little bit for me to get into this book, again because Sci-Fi isn’t exactly my thing, but I did greatly enjoy it. As our pair of heroes travel to the different planets that Earth has colonized, I became more interested. There’s a lot of really interesting elements that evolve as the story continues. I liked the Greek Myths that get intertwined in the story, as well as the religious aspects. Neither are overt, just themes that weave through the story and become part of the mythos of this series.

Watching the evolution of Able was an interesting aspect of the book. He starts out as a robot, just a machine with orders that he can’t walk away from. As Able learns and grows how he adjusts to the differences in the new world is cool to read about. His arc is the biggest of all the characters in the book.

Overall I think this book is an excellent one, even for a read that doesn’t exactly love Science Fiction stories.

I look forward to seeing the sequel, which is expected sometime next year. (My 2018 TBR is already getting pretty long lol)

Have you read this book? What did you think? I would love to hear from you!

Until next time Internet,

Deanna

Top 5 Wednesday: Children and Middle-Grade books

Top 5 Wednesday is currently being hosted by Sam at ThoughtsOnTomes. If you want to learn more about the group or are considering joining in, check out the Goodreads group. Each week has a different topic, and you just post five books that fit that topic.

This week’s topic is top 5 books for the Children.

This is an excellent topic. It made me think about the books that made me fall in love with reading. What are the books that I will give to my friends’ children as they get older (Other than those 7 books about the Boy Wizard)? This list became a list of books I read in 3rd grade. From the looks of it, I read approximately 700 books when I was in 3rd grade. Go 9 year old me.

 Harriet, the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh. Okay, first of all, I just now when getting the cover off Goodreads that this is a series of books and I never knew that and I’m kind of sad about that. You’d better believe when I gift this to my friend’s child this Christmas, she’s getting all 3.

This book was assigned reading in third grade. The movie with Michelle Trachtenberg and Rosie O’Donnell came out around the same time. So it was, like, a thing in 1996. I loved this book. This book made me pick up a notebook and start writing.  I mean, I may have missed the main point of the book by doing that, but I might not be doing this if I didn’t read Harriet, the Spy. Considering this book came out in 1964 and held up in the mid-nineties when I read it, I think this would still hold the imagination of the next generation.

The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner. I would safely bet that I read 20 of these books, in 2nd and 3rd grades. These stories (according to Wikipedia) have been around since the 1920’s, and book #145 was published in 2016. Between books 69 and 70 there is a 50-year gap, and I’m going to take a leap that Gertrude Chandler Warner didn’t write the books after book number 69 in 1948 (mostly because she passed way in 1971). All the ones I read were in the first 69. The later ones have all been published after I moved on to a different series.

These books are about 4 siblings that have no family and live in a train car at the start of the first book. Pieces of these books still stand out, like the youngest sibling’s chipped pink cup. They are sent to live with a grandfather in the first books, and from there they go on crime solving adventures. I feel like these books were in the same category as Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. There were kids that read those and kids that read The Boxcar Children. I read The Boxcar Children. I’m starting to think these books made me fall in love with crime stories.

 

Ramona Quimby by Beverly Clearly

I was looking for Ramona Quimby age 8 and discovered that it wasn’t the first book in the series, so I have included the first book as the cover featured. I probably read all of them, but Age 8 stands out the most in my head.

These are books about an energetic, odd little girl, Ramona, and her older sister. I think I was supposed to relate to Beezus, but I found something to connect to with Ramona as I sat in the reading corner and gobbled a bunch of these books up.

 

 

Tales of Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume

This is another set of stories similar to Ramona and Beezus but about brothers. Fudge is a more popular/ gets more attention younger brother of the main character, and I remember really relating to that because my brother was always able to be the center of attention while I wasn’t ever like that, even as little kids. I was always known as my younger brother’s sister. Even now if town I say my name and they say “Oh, {my brother’s name} sister?”

Bonus, it’s written by Judy Blume and is there a better author for children than Judy Blume? {The answer is no btw}

 

The Little House books By Laura Ingalls Wilder

These books. Okay, so I was reading these books (there are 9 of them) when I discovered Harry Potter, and I didn’t finish the series. I started reading them in 3rd grade and loved the story. I related to Laura and it there was a bit of adventure, and I knew it was a true story.  They are fun stories, interesting historical stories about what it was like to live in the new American West in the early 20th century.

 

 

 

SPECIAL BONUS BOOK!

So I’ve decided that with the top 5 and top 10 lists that I will add a Special Bonus! where I ask my friend Jen what she would add to the list and include that in the post.

Jen’s suggestion for books that got her into reading is a series that I have never read, but I remember my friends in elementary school reading.

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Redwall by Brian Jacques

So I read a Wikipedia article about these books and I’m still not 100% sure what these books are, but from what I gather they are books the talk about medieval times but with mice. Which, honestly, sounds pretty cool. Jen recommends them. There is magic and talking animals (except some talking horses), elements of supernatural and ghosts. It sounds pretty fantastic.

What books you remember reading in 3rd grade? Did they set up your reading choices for like like mine apparently did?

Until next time Internet,

Deanna

Review: Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan

The Details

Publisher:  Simon & Schuster UK
Published: August 29th, 2013
Genres:  YA, romance, paranormal, Gothic,
My Rating: 3 Stars

15801763 GoodReads Review 

It’s time to choose sides…. 

On the surface, Sorry-in-the-Vale is a sleepy English town. But Kami Glass knows the truth. Sorry-in-the-Vale is full of magic. In the old days, the Lynburn family ruled with fear, terrifying the people into submission in order to kill for blood and power. Now the Lynburns are back, and Rob Lynburn is gathering sorcerers so that the town can return to the old ways.

But Rob and his followers aren’t the only sorcerers in town. A decision must be made: pay the blood sacrifice, or fight. For Kami, this means more than just choosing between good and evil. With her link to Jared Lynburn severed, she’s now free to love anyone she chooses. But who should that be?

A darkly humorous take on Gothic romance, Sarah Rees Brennan’s Lynburn Legacy weaves together the tale of a heroine desperate to protect those she loves, two boys hoping to be saved, and the magical forces that will shape their destiny.

My Review

Just as a note this is the second book in a series so this review may contain spoilers of the first book. You can read my review of that book here

This book starts out with a great action scene with scarecrows come to life and fire and a battle. It’s great.

However, this book really reads like the middle book in a series. It feels like it’s building up to something that’s going to happen in the next book. I liked the first book more than this one because I felt like more happened in the first book. This book does dwell on what happened at the end of the last book with Kami and Jared and their link. They spend a lot of time avoiding each other because they think the other one is angry at the other one about the link. It’s a classic case of “communication used for drama” which I find annoying.

This book does develop the rest of the characters which is something I felt was missing from the first book. We learn more about Angela and Rusty’s life. We learn a lot of Rusty and his life and backstory. We also learn about Holly. These characters feel much less flat in the second book than the first.

There is a lot of coming up with a plan, and very little acting on the plan. A lot of build up for very little result, this is an issue that I find a lot of in second books. It feels like a bridge instead of a complete story.

Kami is an interesting and fun character. She’s a great narrator, and I enjoy reading her interpretation of the story unfolding around her. She has a distinct way of talking, that can be a little hard to follow, especially if you are unfamiliar with British colloquialisms but once you get used to it, her way of talking becomes easy to understand and follow.

I am interested in finishing these series. I want to know what happens in the battle with the Lynburns. I find Sarah Ress Brennan to be a very interesting writer and I’m attached to the characters.

So far I am recommending this series as a different and witty view of a gothic novel. It’s a different way of looking at magic and small towns. Kami is a great strong character. I will be reading the third book of this series soon (I got a couple ARCS and a book club books to read first). I will be writing a review of that book when I finish it.

Have you read the Lynburn Legacy novels? What did you think?

Until next time Internet,

Deanna

Review: Everything Must Go by Jenny Fran Davis

I received an E-read ARC of this book from Netgallery in exchange for an honest review.

The Details:

Publisher: Wednesday Books
To Be Published: October 3rd, 2017
Genres:  YA, Contemporary, Coming of Age
My Rating: 4.75 Stars

29401441Goodreads Blurb

Flora Goldwasser has fallen in love. She won’t admit it to anyone, but something about Elijah Huck has pulled her under. When he tells her about the hippie Quaker school he attended in the Hudson Valley called Quare Academy, where he’ll be teaching next year, Flora gives up her tony upper east side prep school for a life on a farm, hoping to woo him. A fish out of water, Flora stands out like a sore thumb in her vintage suits among the tattered tunics and ripped jeans of the rest of the student body. When Elijah doesn’t show up, Flora must make the most of the situation and will ultimately learn more about herself than she ever thought possible.

Told in a series of letters, emails, journal entries and various ephemera, Flora’s dramatic first year is laid out for all to see, embarrassing moments and all.

My Review

This book was something else. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but the blurb and the cover intrigued me as I clicked through the net gallery listings. When I saw the “told in series of letters” bit, I knew it was something that I had to try to check out.

The book is about a young woman, Flora, finding herself. She does it in a very weird way, but as the story unfolds you (as the reader) can see the change in her.

As I read the first part of the book, I read Flora’s voice with that obviously fake British accent, kind of like Madonna does sometimes. Flora is an upper east side Manhattan private school obsessed with fashion, but the fashion of the late 50’s early 60’s– very Jackie Kennedy. Her crush/ mild obsession with her history tutor/photographer Elijah reads exactly like something like that would read in my high school diary. I mean, it was just so relatable. Would I have applied to go to a somewhat ridiculous artsy private school in the middle of the woods to be close to a guy? No, but for Flora, that choice felt like something that could happen.

There are parts of this book that feel a lot fantastical, but then, it’s written in journal entries and emails by people who over exaggerate and love drama. So maybe the narrative isn’t exactly what happened, but that’s how Flora wants to tell them. Once the slightly ridiculous stuff starts to happen, as a reader, I was so used to how Flora spoke and saw things that it wasn’t that big of a deal.

I liked the Miss Tulip subplot. I think it balanced Flora’s life before Quare and after Quare. It’s a great reflection of the end of the book to the start of the book.

The other characters are also fun to follow. Especially as Flora begins to see them outside the view she comes to Quare with. There is a “no shell speak” policy at Quare, which means students can’t talk about how people look. Flora enters the school as someone who definitely is very into the shell and not much about what’s inside, so as she grows, reading how she sees people is interesting. It’s a first impression versus actually talking to people kind of thing.

I had some issues with formatting. Part of it is personal preference, and part of it was probably that I wasn’t used to how things look in an e-reader, and truth be told I read about 75% of this book on my phone which probably messed up the formatting a little bit. I feel like it a physical copy of the book the spacing will be different. Some of the journal entries seem to butt up against each other when I would think they’d be on a different page. But, again, I did read most of this book on an iPhone, so the formatting isn’t going to be perfect.

Overall, I loved this book. If you like coming of age/self-discovery stories, this is a book to look out for in the fall. Flora’s character is a very interesting one, and I found the format of this book different and interesting. There is also a bit that could very much read a slight to Lena Dunham, which I’m all about not giving praise to Lena Dunham.

I read a lot of books where the main character is a shy introverted outcast girl. Because those are the books that are being written and there is nothing wrong with those characters of books, Flora, however, isn’t that kind of girl. She’s shallow and thinks very highly of herself. I wouldn’t call her a mean girl exactly, but she’s definitely the kind of person that would look down her nose at a middle-class person. However, she wasn’t depicted as annoying, I mean, she a little annoying in the beginning, but when you start to imagine people complexly, they change a little.

This book was great, and I appreciate the opportunity to read and review it from Netgallery. I hope that Jenny Fran Davis has more books in the works because she’s an author to look out for in the future.

 

Until next time Internet,

Deanna

Top 5 Wednesday: Books with No Romance.

Top 5 Wednesday is currently being hosted by Sam at ThoughtsOnTomes. If you want to learn more about the group or are considering joining in, check out the Goodreads group. Each week has a different topic, and you just post five books that fit that topic.

This week’s topic is top 5 books with little to no romance.

I’m sure it’s clear by some of my reviews that I find unnecessary romance annoying– especially in YA. It can feel like everything ends up getting better because of a boy (usually a boy I read a lot of female narrators in heterosexual relationships). Romance has a place in books, but not all books. So today we celebrate those books that there is no romantic subplot or one that is such a small subplot that it doesn’t matter.

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1 A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving- This is my favorite book of all time. This is a book about love, religion, death and all sorts of other things. The love is a friendship/ family love. It’s hard for me to really pinpoint what is is about this book that I love so much, but this book is amazing. There is very little romantic love in this book at all.

 

 

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2 We Were Liars by E. Lockhart- This book is something special. There is a very small romantic subplot, but it has pretty much no impact on the storyline. It’s hard to categorize this book without *spoilers* but it’s about family and if you haven’t read this book, read it right now.

 

 

 

232720283 A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro – This book is set up so there could be the possibility of romance, but I don’t think there will be a romance between Charlotte and Jamie. And although this particular book does center around a previous romance, the actual romance doesn’t happen during the book.

I’m going to throw in all Sherlock Holmes books into this section. The original stories are about solving crimes, Holmes and Watson have little romantic subplots, save in The Sign of  Four when Watson meets Mary, but even in that, it barely a thing.

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4. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak- This is another book where love in an important part of the story, but love of humanity and family– not romantic. The Book Thief is a book like nothing else I have ever read. There will never be another like it. It’s one of those once in a generation book. It’s just great. It’s so different, with a different kind of narrator. It’s a story of death and war, and it’s dirty (I mean in a way the topic of WWII is dirty). You can tell opening it, it won’t be a happy book, but it’s just so good.

 

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5. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller – Although the first line of this book is “It was love at first sight.” This is a book about war and just how horrible it is. I read this book in high school on the recommendation of a good friend of mine that I worked with. I talked endlessly about Owen Meany, and she would talk about Catch-22. Honestly, I need to reread it because it’s been a while, but I remember it being that weird humor that goes over most a high school student’s head, but I remember it having such an impact on me overall. It’s an excellent book.

 

Romance has a place in books, but from the list above and the many other T5W posts that will be showing up today, it’s clear that romance is not needed to have a fantastic and memorable book. Love does not have to be romantic. Friend-love, family love, love of work, love of country, are just as valid a subplot of a story as romance.

What are your favorite non-romantic stories?

 

Until next time Internet,

Deanna