Book Review: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: Books 1 & 2

magnus-chase

I didn’t write a review for the first book, so this is a review for both “The Sword of Summer” and “The Hammer of Thor”.

These were actually my first Rick Riordan books, so I have nothing to compare them to. I don’t need to compare them to anything though because they were so amazing! I’m pretty picky when it comes to the books I read so that’s say a lot. Here are the reasons why you should read the Magnus Chase series:

  1. The Main Character is Relatable:
    If the main character isn’t relatable, I have a hard time getting into the book. That was not the problem here. Magnus Chase was sarcastic, witty, and kind of a dork. Everything that I am. He also has a resemblance to Kurt Cobain (which it talks about in the book). There was never a time that I thought “Hmm, he’s kind of annoying”, which is sometimes I often think about main characters.
  2. Diverse Main Characters:
    One of the main characters is a Muslim that wears her hijab and prays 5 times a day. Another character is a deaf elf. The other characters learn sign language to communicate with him instead of treating him as an inconvenience. In book two a (magically) gender fluid character is introduced.
  3. There’s a Singing Sword:
    One of the supporting character’s is Magnus’s sword that can talk and sings top forty hits.
  4. No Mushy Romance:
    Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy some romance in a book, but I dislike the mushy/teenage angst romance. That’s often the risk I take with YA novels, but not in these books. This book focuses on action and friendship, like in Harry Potter.
  5. Never a Dull Moment:
    I had a hard time putting these books done. Alas, work and sleep are a thing so I had to sometimes. When I was reading, I was up late totally engrossed.
  6. Crossovers:
    I haven’t read any of Rick’s other books, but I have some friends that have. Magnus’s cousin Annabeth has a small role. She mentioned dealing with Greek and Roman gods/goddesses. I looked it up and it is Annabeth Chase from Percy Jackson. I thought that was interesting. Her parts are small in both books, but it looks like she will have a larger part in the third book. Percy Jackson will most likely make an appearance in the third book because he was mentioned in the second one (Annabeth wants to introduce him to Magnus). Now I definitely need to read the other series’.
  7. Norse Deities:
    If you haven’t guessed by the ‘Gods of Asgard’ part, this series is filled with Norse mythology. Riordan adds his own flair to the personalities of the gods and goddesses. Thor is addicted to Netflix and Heimdall (introduced in book two) likes to take selfies.

In conclusion this series was epic and you really need to read it. Like right meow. I give this book 5 stars. That’s rare for me, but it’s happening.

five-stars

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Thyroid Update

I’ve gotten behind on my blogging again. Woops! Work has been busy and I’ve also been working on my taxes (I’m a horrible procrastinator). Taxes are tedious when you’re in business for yourself.

Anyway, on to the thyroid update! February 29th was my latest appointment with my Endo. They had me get bloodwork done before my visit so I could have the results once I got there. I asked them if I could go to the Quest near me instead of making the hour drive to their office just for bloodwork. They sent the lab request (supposedly) and I got my blood drawn and sent to my Endo. On the day of my appointment, I made the hour drive there then waited another hour past my appointment time just for them to tell me they had sent the wrong request. I made the trip for nothing. My Endo was supposed to be telling me how my levels were doing since she had weened me off my Methimozole. Since they didn’t do the right tests, she couldn’t tell me anything. I was pissed! They couldn’t have called me before I made the trip and waited an hour? I also had to pay a co-pay just for her to tell me nothing. While I was there they did the right blood tests and said they’d call me in a few days with the results.

Two weeks pass and still no call so I finally call them. Of course the nurses are always rude when I call. After holding and transferring I finally got my results! I don’t have to go back on my Methimozole and my thyroid levels are normal. That’s good news right? I’m just not sure what I’m supposed to do now. Since I didn’t get to talk to the doctor about my results, I’m not sure if I still have Hashimotos. I’m assuming since it’s an autoimmune disease I do, but just my thyroid levels have gone back to normal? I don’t know. My next appointment isn’t until June. The nurse also said I don’t have to go on Synthroid for hypothyroidism. I guess since my levels are normal I don’t have to do anything. She didn’t really tell me what to do. I’ll still control my diet and not eat inflammatory foods. I’ll still probably go on the Paleo diet just to be sure. I’m going to take this as good news though. My levels are normal! I just hope they stay that way.

Upcoming posts:
1. Sachet Tutorial (sorry guys, it’s coming. It’s been giving me trouble in editing.)
2. Book Review: Tempest Rising
3. Movie Review: The Danish Girl
4. Movie Reviews: Infinitely Polar Bear and The Spotlight
5. Tutorial: Witchy Mug

Book Review: The Seven Rays

The Seven Rays by Jessica Bendinger

You are more than you think you are.

THAT IS THE ANONYMOUS MESSAGE that Beth Michaels receives right before she starts seeing things. Not just a slept-through my-alarm-clock, late-for-homeroom, haven’t had-my-caffeine-fix kind of seeing things. It all starts with some dots, annoying pink dots that pop up on and over her mom and her best friend’s face. But then things get out of control and Beth is seeing people’s pasts, their fears, their secrets, their desires. The images are coming at Beth in hi-def streaming video and she can’t stop it. Everyone thinks she’s crazy and she’s pretty sure she agrees with them. But crazy doesn’t explain the gold envelopes that have started arriving, containing seeing keys and mysterious tarot cards. To Beth, it all seems too weird to be true. You are more than you think you are? But here’s the thing: What if she is?

The creator of Bring it On, Jessica Bendiner, brings her teen savvy writing to this paranormal romance, The Seven Rays. 

*May contain some spoilers*

This book was a random find at the library. When I read the summary, I thought this book was gonna be great. Boy was I wrong. When I got home from the library, I did what I normally do with a new book and I looked it up on Goodreads. It had gotten a lot of bad reviews. That should have been my first clue. But I decided to give it a go because a lot of times I don’t trust other people’s reviews. Plus, I found out that the author also wrote the movie Bring it On. That was a hilarious movie, so I thought ” How bad could it be?”

It actually started out really good. If I don’t think a book is interesting, I have no shame with abandoning it and moving on. I really liked the main character though so I kept pressing on. She was hilarious and didn’t put up with anyone’s crap.

The first thing I didn’t like was the romance. It was a Disney-love-at-first-sight romance. She fell in love with this guy on the first day of meeting him. That’s also when they shared their first kiss. I hate when books portray these unrealistic relationships.

Another thing I didn’t like were the supporting characters. Beth’s “best friend” was a douche. Her love interest was very non-descript, and her mother was very secretive. I thought they would eventually explain the mother’s actions, but they never did.

This book was very weird. I didn’t mind it because I thought they’d eventually explain everything in the end, but again, they didn’t. This is what upset me the most. The ending. With all the build up, it was very anti-climatic. There were a lot of things left unexplained. There were a lot of loose ends. I thought that maybe the writer maybe left it this way to make room for a second book. I looked on Goodreads, but there was no mention of a second book. I tried to go to the book’s website but it was out of order. This book was published in 2009 and if there hasn’t been mention of a sequel by now, I highly doubt there is one.

Another thing I’d like to point out is the lewd humor. I didn’t have a problem with it, but others might. With all the sex talk in this book I don’t think that it should have been in the YA fiction section. Definitely should have been in adult fiction. There was minimal swearing though.

In summation, I give this book 2 stars. The only reason it gets 2 stars and not one is because I really liked it until the end. The ending best ruined the whole thing. I was very disappointed in this book. It could have been executed a lot better. I would NOT recommend this book to anyone. Unless of course you like disappointment, then by all means, go ahead and read it.

Book Review: Would-Be Witch

[May contain a spoiler, depending on what you count as a spoiler. Well be labeled as such. Look for the asterisk.]

Would-Be Witch by Kimberly Frost

“In the small town of Duvall, Texas, the only thing that cause more trouble than gossip—is magic. The family magic seems to have skipped over Tammy Jo Trask. All she gets in the way of the supernatural are a few untimely visits from the long-dead, smart-mouthed family ghost, Edie. But when her locket–an heirloom that happens to hold Edie’s soul–is stolen in the midst of a town-wide crime spree, it’s time for Tammy to find her inner witch. After a few experiences with her dysfunctional magic, Tammy turns to the only person who can help: the very rich and highly magical Bryn Lyons. He might have all the answers–and a double-oh-seven savior faire to boot–but the locket isn’t the only thing passed down in Tammy’s family. She’s also inherited a warning…to stay away from anyone named Lyons…”

I was debating whether to give this book three stars or four. I’ve settled for three and a half instead.

The first star comes from the book immediately pulling me in. It was able to hold my interest long enough to get hooked, which is kind of hard for me these days. It’s becoming harder and harder to find a book that can captivate me all the way to the end. This book was able to do that. Each chapter had a great cliff at the end that had me constantly saying “just one more chapter”. Before I knew it, it was 3am.

The second star comes from how close the magic in the book came to real magic. This wasn’t “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” kind of magic. I really appreciated that. Of course some things were different to make the witches unique to the story.

The third star is because of the low levels romance in the book. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a hopeless romantic so I love me some romance. But I hate when it gets in the way of the plot. I found Would-Be Witch in the adult fiction section so I thought it’d be basically pornographic, but it wasn’t. The author kept the sexiness to a PG-13 rating.

The half star is because of the characters of the book. The lead character, obviously a woman, wasn’t the typical annoying, damsel in distress lead female. She actually got things done. The only thing I didn’t like about her was she was a little…stupid is such a strong word. We’ll go with dense. She was a little dense. Only slightly. She didn’t know what Garlic was or the Red Light District. Some of her decisions and reasoning was pretty daft as well. She did have her clever and funny moments too. We’ll just say she was quirky.

The other characters were okay. I didn’t hate them, but I didn’t love them. That’s why they only get half a star.

Now on to the reasons why the book didn’t get five stars.

Like I mentioned earlier, there was minimal romance, but the romance that there was was a messy love triangle. I have love triangles, unless they’re done right. The only love triangle that was done right was in Cassandra Clare’s “The Infernal Devices”. This live triangle was just rather annoying.

Even tho the story as a whole was entertaining, I felt like the writing was a little all over the place. I kind of felt like some pieces of the story didn’t really fit and were kind of pointless.

***Possible spoiler*** the mission of the main character was to find her locket that had been stolen. I felt like she kept getting distracted and even forgot about the locket for about half the book. Thus, making the ending rather anti-climatic. That kind of ruined the book a little for me.

All in all, I would recommend this book to a friend, but I’d tell them to add it to the bottom of their “To Read” list.

*Warnings* This book is an adult fiction novel. There was some swearing and sex talk. It didn’t offend me, but it might offend some. This book also contains vampires and werewolves, but nothing like Twilight.