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Original Essays | August 18, 2014

Ian Leslie: IMG Empathic Curiosity

Today, we wonder anxiously if digital media is changing our brains. But if there's any time in history when our mental operations changed... Continue »
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veryinvisible has commented on (9) products.

Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Rift Part 1 (Avatar: The Last Airbender) by Gene Luen Yang
Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Rift Part 1 (Avatar: The Last Airbender)

veryinvisible, March 19, 2014

The Rift Part 1 is filled with hints of things we have seen in Korra. The story starts to feel like the time period is really taking on revolutionary ideas, which makes sense as to why Korra's time is so advanced. Toph is also a big part of the story now and we get a little more insight to her past and maybe even her future.

The only thing that bothered me is the dialogue. In The Search and The Promise, I was able to over look some of the redundant and overdramatic dialogue, but for the Rift it isn't so easy to do. Sokka's reoccurring joke is starting to become a bit too much, and though I do appreciate the effort, I think it is just unnecessary and not something I think Sokka would persistently do.

The ending definitely takes on an interesting turn and I am looking forward to see where that will lead. Seeing all the revolutionary ideas come into play is also very exciting and maybe we can get to see Aang and Zuko actually build Republic City.
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Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg
Better Off Friends

veryinvisible, March 13, 2014

“Better off Friends” should be renamed to “Better off Friends?”. The story revolves around the question, rather than the statement, of whether or not two best friends are really better off just being friends. That personally threw me off a little but, but that didn’t affect how much I enjoyed this book.

I absolutely love the writing style of the story. Each chapter alternates between their point of view, telling their story from his or her own point of view. Between every chapter Levi and Macallan would have short conversations, commenting on what just happened in the last chapter, which I just absolutely adored. Right away you can feel how close they are with each other, and how they interact. It was as if Levi and Macallan were actually telling you a story about their friendship in real life. Which also makes me thing this would be an awesome audio book!

I found myself laughing, tearing, and face palming as the story progressed. I was definitely rooting for them to get together, even before it crossed their minds. However, their friendship is so genuine that you start to wonder if they really are just better off friends. Especially because Macallan and Levi being just friends, and not in a relationship, is better than them not talking at all.

The story touches upon more than just friendship or relationships. Issues of bullying people with disability, the desire to become popular, and the importance of family are all important aspects revolving around Macallan and Levi’s life. Eulberg handles the bullying situation in ways that make you think how you would act in those situations. She make you wonder is that really what happens when you strive for popularity and is it really worth it? And she also stresses the importance of family and makes you appreciative of your own.
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Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer
Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1)

veryinvisible, February 1, 2014

Cinder is a cyborg mechanic version of the fairy tale, Cinderella. I absolutely love fairy tale retellings, but Cinderella is probably the most common fairy tale story Hollywood has retold. However, Marrisa Meyer turning Cinderella into a cyborg grabbed my attention from the start and left me wanting more.

The story follows closely with the fairy tale in terms of living with a horrible step mother, Adri, and two step sisters, Pearl and Peony. Instead of a present day version of Cinderella, Cinder lives in New Beijing (what use to be Beijing) with androids, portscreens, hovers, and much more futuristic advancements. Instead of doing household chores, which are left to the androids, she works as a mechanic, bringing in most of the family income.

Marissa Meyer has interwoven a classic fairy tale story into a dystopian world that is completely her own. The parallels between Cinder and Cinderella are done in a way that it wasn’t forced or cliche. The realistic relationship between the characters make the story feel more than just a Cinderella retelling, especially with the twists Meyer added along the way. Reading the story you can tell that Meyer’s world has been well thought out with a history of its own.

The other iconic fairy tale characters included were also a very nice addition to the story, which we are sure to see more of in the next few books. I am very excited to be introduced to the other fairy tale stories and see how they connect with each other. I have no doubt that I am going to be just as amazed with the next books as I was with Cinder.
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Allegiant (Divergent Trilogy) by Veronica Roth
Allegiant (Divergent Trilogy)

veryinvisible, December 9, 2013

By outselling the Mockingjay pre order sales five to one on amazon, Allegiant was easily the most anticipated release of the year. Allegiant is the final installment to the Divergent Series by Veronica Roth. The story continues in both Tris and Four’s point of view, making me wonder why Roth included Four’s point of view (even though I had a pretty good idea why). If you haven’t read Divergent or Insurgent, you probably shouldn’t be reading this right now (unless you want really want to).

The story centers on Tris, Four, and her friends leave beyond the gates that hold them captive in their deteriorating city. Outside the city they discover the truth and find safety in a new world they could possibly call home. However, problems arise that Tris and her friends cannot ignore and they work to uncover how serious the problems with their city and the outside world really are.

The constant switching and not switching between Tris and Four’s point of view every chapter was quite confusing, especially since its written in first person. I would find myself thinking “why is Tris so against this” when really it was Four’s point of view. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing, just quite annoying having to make sure who’s point of view I was reading in without the help of the third person point of view.

A big disappointment was constantly losing interest while I was reading. Divergent and Insurgent were fast pace enough that it held my attention even though not a lot of action may have happened. Since this book seems so big, the story felt dragged out. I found myself uninterested in the lives of Tris and Four, while only some parts sparked my interest. Things such as the new information of Tris’ family were the only things that kept me reading a little bit longer. Otherwise I didn’t really care for the interests of others as nothing major really seemed to be happening most of the time. However, I did like and appreciate the direction Roth seemed to be taking with the dystopian aspect of the world and the current state of the country.

Even though I didn’t enjoy the journey of the story’s conclusion, I did enjoy the ending. I appreciate how Roth tied up the ending with the overall meaning the trilogy stood for. The things she had to do with the ending was necessary to carry this out. However, for a book so long, as well as being the conclusion of a trilogy, more things should have happened that would make the read worthwhile.
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Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender
Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer

veryinvisible, November 26, 2013

Marie Antoinette is a serial killer. That was enough to draw me in, however it also made me a bit hesitant with the title being so obvious. Either way, I still wanted to give it a try.

Colette is introduced as a self absorbed, claustrophobic, American who lives with a seemingly selfless brother and mother, and just happens to have two typical, self absorbed, rich, best friends. Colette and her friends are going to Paris for nine days as part of a school trip and she is convinced it will change her life. When they all arrive in Paris it is everything Colette dreams of, until she finds out about the murders. Pushing that nagging feeling about the murders out of her mind, Colette discovers that her family has more to do with France than she ever imagined.

With a title like Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer, it is pretty clear that the rest of this story is obvious. Marie Antoinette, who has been long dead, comes back to life to kill. The only mystery to this is why she came back to started beheading all these people and how Colette becomes involved. The story is predictable enough that it caught me off guard for a few instances, but not by much. Those little twists were, however, wasted on the predictability of the story.

Announcing that Marie Antoinette is the serial killer right in the title, eliminates any chance of mystery the book had to offer. Having to figure out who the killer was would have made it a more intriguing read and probably just more enjoyable and less predictable. The characters seemed to be one dimensional, having little to no character development. The most character development came from Colette, but even that seemed forced. Her eventual revelation at the end was too quick and unnatural that it came off as both cliche and unbelievable. The story overall was anti climatic, even when Colette realized the serial killer is indeed the long deceased Marie Antoinette, which we all knew by reading the title of the book.

Paris was the main pull for me to read this book and I was greatly disappointed in the portrayal of what Pairs felt like to Colette. Colette seems to be describing what she is seeing rather than how she is experiencing it. I didn’t feel like I was her in Paris but rather she was telling me what she saw structurally. There was little to none on what any one else living in Paris was doing, only what was directly in front of her. If anything this was the biggest let down of the book.

Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer is a good book for a quick easy read with light mystery. Don’t expect too much from this book as it will surely let you down.
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