A Million Worlds With You by Claudia Gray (Book Review)

amwwy

Publisher: HarperTeen
Page Count
: 432

I read this book together with my fellow bloggers Cátia (read her review here) and Marie (keep checking back on her blog to see her review in the near future). A Million Worlds With You is the third and final book in the Firebird series, so if you haven’t read the previous books yet, I would recommend you do that first before reading the post!

This post will be rather short, seen as I never really like to talk about the sequels I read. They are much harder to review without spoiling than the first books, so let’s do this quickly.

AMWWY wasn’t exactly what I hoped for. While the series is still action-filled, packed with a couple surprised and a fairly quick read, the conclusion to it all was rather … anti-climactic? Everything that happened so far made this quite the epic story. Just think of all the worlds Marguerite and the others traveled to! We get to revisit some of them here, as well as whole new dimensions. However, the way it was handled felt a little repetitive. Marguerite chases her other self, Wicked, from world to world without ever being able to catch up, because they obviously can’t be in the same body. Instead of the logical reaction to recent events I thought of during the first couple of pages of the book, Meg takes all of 350 pages to come up with herself. And then the final solution seems far too easy in comparison to everything that happened. I just felt like people got let off the hook easily, when there should have been far bigger repercussions.

I’ve had a lot of time to think about the series while I waited for this final part and the more I thought about it, the less I liked Marguerite and her actions. She’s just so self-righteous and self-centered, judging everyone else but never truly fessing up to all the things she did wrong. Even in the end, it felt like she got absolution when she definitely shouldn’t have. Weirdly, and that truly never happens (except with The Magicians), I liked the second book, Ten Thousand Skies Above You, best. I am pretty sure it had to do with a the page time Theo was getting. He is one of my bookish hubbys and I love the guy. He was seriously lacking from this book, but then I am also kind of glad nothing too bad happened to him, because Marguerite never really deserved him anyway. I sort of came to terms with Paul, where I neither love him (like in book 1) nor dislike him (like in book 2) – now I am just sort of indifferent to him.

So, it was a fun book, but it could have been more in terms of the conclusion of the series

Fazit: 3.5/5 stars! Not a bad, but not the desired finale.

4s

Have you read the Firebird series? What’s your take on it?

Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray (Book Review)

ttsayEver since she used the Firebird, her parents’ invention, to cross into alternate dimensions, Marguerite has caught the attention of enemies who will do anything to force her into helping them dominate the multiverse—even hurting the people she loves. She resists until her boyfriend, Paul, is attacked and his consciousness scattered across multiple dimensions.
Marguerite has no choice but to search for each splinter of Paul’s soul. The hunt sends her racing through a war-torn San Francisco, the criminal underworld of New York City, and a glittering Paris where another Marguerite hides a shocking secret. Each world brings Marguerite one step closer to rescuing Paul. But with each trial she faces, she begins to question the destiny she thought they shared.

Publisher: HarperTeen
Page Count:
432

This is the second book in the Firebird series and as such I don’t recommend you reading on if you haven’t read the first one (you can find my review for it here). Also, I don’t intend to spoil anyone, but if you want to go into this blind, which I would also understand, I don’t suggest you read this review!

Ten Thousand Skies Above You is the second book this month that I’ve read with Marie @Drizzle and Hurricane Books. It’s so nice to have someone to fret about the story and characters together. We intend to do this more often in the future, so if you ever want to join in, just give us a shout out and we are happy to include you! Definitely don’t forget to check out her review of the book once it’s out!

It’s been a long time since I’ve read the beginning of the Firebird series, but somehow Ten Thousand Skies Above You manages to get you all caught up and nostalgic for parts of the first book before the real action starts. I remembered that the first book was completely different from what I expected it to be. I liked it, but I didn’t love it. Now, Ten Thousand Skies Above You changed that! I thought that this story would be similar to the last one, mainly about Marguerite and Paul, and while that wasn’t wrong of me it was a whole lot more too. As the blurb already tells us, Paul’s soul is being torn apart, called “splintered” here, and hidden away in distant dimensions where Marguerite now has to find and save him. I would have liked to get an explanation on HOW they actually do the splintering, but it allowed for some interesting developments to the story, namely Paul not being there all the time.

Quite honestly, I was really glad he wasn’t that big of a part this time, at least not by physically being there. The story needed to move forward and this way it could. It gave Theo the chance to shine and actually made me think that the love-triangle here was a real possibility – even so much so that I was rooting for him rather than Paul sometimes. Marguerite uses the time in this book to make up her mind about her feelings and about their other selves in different dimensions. Even though I found her conclusion a little disappointing, it made sense. Still, this wasn’t what most of the book was about!

We constantly find out about so many new things and background information we didn’t have before, it was exhilarating. Conley wants to rule the multiverse, but there are so many more people involved. My belief and trust in certain characters was shattered multiple times! I loved getting to see different universes again, although I remain of the opinion that there is still potential for even weirder worlds. There were so many twists and turns I really didn’t see coming and then it just ended. I know that cliffhangers are there to hook you, but there was no need for that! I was already dead-set on reading the third book by the time I reached the last page and that cliffhanger was just cruel. Now I will have to just sit around and wait for the conclusion to this epic tale that stretches across dimensions … not fair!

Fazit: 5/5 stars! The faster pace and the constant twists made this a fabulous read! If it weren’t for the cliffhanger I’d be SO happy right now.

5stars

I’m having a great reading year so far, slaying my TBR one book at a time! Have you read the Firebird series yet? What’s your take on it?

A Thousand Pieces of You Book Review

A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray is the first installment in the Firebird Trilogy. Even though I’ve already read it at the beginning of this year, I haven’t written a review yet, so here we go! Please beware of Spoilers!

A Thousand Pieces of You is about a girl called Margeruite (or just Meg), whose parents have invented something extraordinary that’s called a Firebird. The device allows you to travel to parallel worlds, but before the final test of the device, Meg’s father gets murdered by his assistant Paul and she is hell-bent on revenging his death. To do so, she and Theo have to follow Paul into the unknown parallel universes that are out there.

I really enjoyed reading A Thousand Pieces of You, but it was a bit different from what I expected. I thought it would be an action-packed read with several jumps from one universe to the next, but that wasn’t really the case. Meg is pretty quick to doubt Paul’s hand in her father’s murder and in fact we only visit 4 parallel worlds. That doesn’t mean it’s really a bad thing, just that it was an unexpected change in pace. However, there were some exciting twists and surprises and maybe it was necessary to spend so much time in one world in order to really show the Paul-Meg-connection. I have to give it to Claudia Gray though for striking a great balance with creating the different worlds.  There’s a futuristic, a very imperial-like and more familiar worlds and she managed to make them believable, reasonable yet still with that element that only comes with experiencing something new.

The love triangle worked quite well for me too, although I felt a little frustrated with Paul’s hesitation after the happenings in Russia. Nonetheless, I love his connection with Meg and how it resonated in every universe they went to. I mean that’s the real kind of love – the one that survives through time and space! No matter how charming he is, Theo never stood a chance against that.

Last but not least, I fell in love with the cover right away! I’m such a sucker for pretty covers and A Thousand Pieces of You has definitely one of the most stunning ones out there! Luckily, they continued with this style and the sequel, Ten Thousand Skies Above, looks just as beautiful. I cannot wait for its release this fall (I believe it to be around November 3)!

Fazit: very romantic read that portrays a real connection/not a revenge-story

So, would you be interested in reading this book as well?

P.S.: I found this song (Your Soul by RHODES) and thought it fitted the story perfectly. Therefore, I suggested it to Claudia Gray on Twitter and she replied that she loved it and added it to her book soundtrack! No idea if she really did that, but wouldn’t that be cool?

 

This Is Where I Leave You: Book vs. Movie

Since I haven’t talked about books in such a long time, and most of the books I read got adapted for the big screen,  I decided to compare the This Is Where I Leave You movie and book! Jonathan Tropper, the author of the book, also wrote the script for the movie, which lead me to believe that it would be a very faithful adaption. Some things definitely stayed the same, but there were more changes than I expected. I will give you a short summary of the synopsis and then name all the differences that I noticed, which means there are definitely Spoilers involved!

The core of the story didn’t change when it got adapted. This Is Where I Leave You deals with the fact that everyone mourns differently and that we all need our family sometimes – no matter how messed up it is. More specifically it is about four siblings and their mother, who have to sit Shiva (which is the mourning period in Judaism, where the first-degree relatives gather at one home and receive visitors for seven days). The family is not exactly close and it doesn’t take long for old rivalries, romances and accusations to surface again.

Now, before I get into full detail, I want to say that I liked the movie a bit more than I liked the book. The cast was chosen really well, consisting of Jason Bateman, Jane Fonda, Tina Fey, Adam Driver (so glad to see him in more movies now), Corey Stoll, Rose Byrne, Kathryn Hahn, Connie Britton, Timothy Olyphant, Abigail Spencer, Dax Shepard, Debra Monk and many more. The music was fitting the tone and I liked the pace of it. However, I think I enjoyed it more because I read the book before. Knowing all the background stories really helped making some scenes more emotional and meaningful. This Is Where I Leave You is one of those movies where you have to look at what’s underneath the surface to realise the struggle this family went trough and the love they have for each other.

But all that probably didn’t help you very much, so here are my more specific pointers on the differences between the movie and the book:

  • The first and most obvious difference I noticed was the fact that the family has a different surname. They went from Foxman to Altman for whatever reason … seriously, no idea why.
  • I enjoyed that we didn’t get to hear Judd’s thoughts. Of course that was necessary in the book – how else would you have told the story? But I sometimes really didn’t want to hear what he was thinking, especially not when he was horny again.
  • There was only one flashback to Judd’s childhood, which didn’t bother me while watching the movie at all, but ultimately ended up killing a lot of storylines. I usually don’t like flashbacks at all, but the one they did was perfect.
  • The entire background story of why Paul and Judd don’t get along was erased. Judd still dated Annie before she married Paul and that bothers him of course, but he no longer has this lingering anger towards Judd for ruining his career in sports. I actually liked that storyline in the book, especially because in the end it just amounted to a lot of miscommunication instead of actual feelings of hate.
  • The relationship between Judd and Penny was also different than in the book.  While teen book-Judd was madly in love with Penny, it seems that it was the other way round in the movie.
  • Okay, so there is this one thing, I am hugely relieved didn’t happen! Annie did not have sex with Judd in the movie! That was so messed up in the book and I just kept thinking how it would ruin Paul’s and Judd’s relationship forever, if Paul ever found out. Paul and Annie are such a lovely couple as well and while I understand Annie’s frustration about not getting pregnant, she went too far for my opinion.
  • The break-up between Tracey and Phillip was a little different. There wasn’t as much arguing involved and Phillip did not threaten to kill himself. I am not sure how I feel about that, but all the other scenes with Tracey were actually very faithful to the book.
  • Judd did not find out about Linda and his mother before all the others did. Which I sort of missed, because I actually thought the way he reacted when he first thought about it being a possibility was sweet. The way he just accepted it and didn’t judge them was great.
  • Judd never withdrew all the money from Quinn’s and his joined bank account.
  • I think I understood Horry’s and Wendy’s story a lot better, because I read the book. I could imagine some people not being as involved in their tragic, because they didn’t get the whole thing in the movie.
  • This is no particular difference, but Cole was beyond cute in the movie!

I hope I didn’t forget anything and I would love to hear your opinion! Have you read the book/watched the movie/both?

 

Summer Hit: The Night Shift

Apparently this years summer hit on TV is NBC’s The Night Shift. I’ve watched all six episodes that have been aired thus far and despite the show being only very mildly creative, I have to admit that I dig it.

Let’s start off with the basics: The Night Shift is a medical drama series that revolves around the night shift at the ER of San Antonio Medical Centre. You might think that it’s just like all the other medical shows on television and what should I say? Of course, it’s nothing entirely new, but I think the fact that they only show the actual night shift of one single day adds a nice note to the tone of the series. The doctors are pretty extreme, with most of them being (ex-)military, and you’ve got a nice variety of characters. What more could you wish for during the dire times of most TV show’s summer break? If you still need convincing, maybe you’ll find one of your favourite actors/actresses among the cast, which includes: Eoin Macken, Jill Flint, Ken Leung, Brendan Fehr, Daniella Alonso, Robert Bailey Jr., Jeananne Goossen, J.R. Lemon, Freddy Rodriguez, …

Now, if you haven’t watched the show and don’t mind a couple of Spoilers you might read on. Here’s the things I enjoy and think about the Night Shift and what’s to come:

  • TC is my absolute favourite character! I can’t wait to see what happens next with the whole Scott-Jordan-TC-Landry drama going on.
  • Although Ragosa can be a real douche, he’s actually really smart and I find it incredibly cute that he’s into Landry.
  • Drew finally came out, and he did so with a bang! I am worried for him though, because although I’d really like for everyone to be happy for him, the look on the faces of Rick’s platoon weren’t exactly all approving. I guess, I’ll have to wait for next week to find out.
  • I love Krista’s and Drew’s friendship! It’s one of my favourite parts of the show!
  • Topher and Kenny are a great comic relief of the show. I think they are both great characters.
  • The only one I didn’t really connect to is Paul. I don’t know why I don’t really like him, because he’s done nothing to deserve my dislike, but (except for epsiode 5) I just can’t find it in me to care for his character.
  • Next week (episode 7) we will have a hostage situation at our hands! I just heard a shot at the end of the promo and am really scared for TC, Jordan and Topher (who seem to be with the shooter). It’ll probably not be as bad as I think now, but still …

So, that’s all I have to say. I can’t wait to find out where they are going and if they’ll survive this summer. Although I hope to see more seasons of the Night Shift, reviews have been very mixed. What do you think about it?