#T5W | I’m (a) Game(r)

This week, we are talking about Books That Would Make Good Games.

One thing you may not know about me is that I’m a gamer. Sure, I spectate more than I actually play but I’ve always had a controller in my hand since the classic Nintendo Famicom. I had three PSX consoles, 2 PS One, 2 PS2, a PS3, 3 PSPs, a PS Vita, and a PS4 Pro. My brother and I are actually planning to buy another PS Vita because the one we have now is rooted in the Japanese PlayStation store. And if it’s not yet obvious, we’re Playstation fans. I’ve never even held a GameBoy or a Nintendo DS in my life. No joke. XD

My favorite genres are Japanese RPG, survival horror, and fighting games. Tekken 3 is like the national video game in the Philippines. Final Fantasy VIII was my top favorite JRPG until recently. And while kids spend the day with their dads in parks, malls, or fixing cars… I was helping him beat Silent Hill. Today, I still love Tekken and have grown to love Street Fighter. Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel has dethroned FF8 as my favorite JRPG so much that I am seriously contemplating on buying a Windows system so I can play the game’s re-release with 5000 extra voice over clips. And I think Resident Evil: Biohazard is one of the scariest video games ever! I can talk you to the ground about video games like I can with books and anime.

Anyway, I figure this is going to be a long post. I will not only name 5 (or more) books that would make great video games but I will try to mention games that can be good books too. And I will be categorizing them into genres/modes instead of the book’s genres. This is going to be fun!

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Review: A Study on Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

I enjoyed it. At the end of the day, that’s all you really need to know.

This book, at its core, is just like every modernized Sherlock Holmes story. Every situation fits conveniently perfectly to a story in the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes collection. Too conveniently. I’ve watched my share of those to recognize that trope. You don’t have to have read the original story to figure out which story the case was based on but I could imagine it would’ve been a better reading experience. I’ve only read A Study in Scarlet, ironically, and The Hound of the Baskervilles – and of course, watched the BBC adaptation. It would’ve been awesome to have those lightbulb moments as more and more clues come to light. Like, “Aha! They’re talking about so-and-so story!” I certainly had that while watching Sherlock. I love how this follows family relations of the three main characters – Holmes, Watson, and Moriarty. It’s a bit cheap to have their names sound like their ancestors but hey, you got me. (“James” Watson though. Hm.)

Trust me. I enjoyed this book. And I would gladly read the next one as soon as it comes out on paperback (so it’ll match my signed copy). However.

I was ready to rate this more than I did but while this is a rather fast read, some parts left me confused. It IS extremely readable though. However, there were parts that didn’t flow very well, as if the previous paragraph didn’t connect well with the next. There were times when I thought I actually skipped a page. It was THAT disjointed. And the characters were rather one dimensional. While there were character description and some backstory, I didn’t really know these characters. Jamie Watson, the narrator, was aloof and it was as if he was just… there. Charlotte Holmes tried to be as cold and unattached as Sherlock.

Also, I had to constantly remind myself that this is categorized under Young Adult. As you know, as long as the protagonist is 16-19, the book is considered YA. But I honestly think that this book would’ve benefited more from an older setting. College-age, maybe. This boarding school thing got so confusing. Everybody seemed so much older than high school age. I don’t think the story would be any different if it were set in an Ivy League. In fact, I would’ve been more convinced if it were. That would take care of so many things. And so many triggers, be warned.

(I also have to throw this out there: is it just me or was there insta-love? I mean, it could be just that the writing was so unconnected that I missed the part where Charlotte became Jamie’s “best friend”. I mean, I got zero from Charlotte so it could all be in Jamie’s head. But then right before the ending… ah, whatever.)

I admit that this is the first “descendants of Sherlock Holmes” novel that I’ve read and it follows that sort of formula. If your parents are doctors, people will assume you’ll take the same route. I get that. But it was like Charlotte was a reincarnation of Sherlock – from the violin to the drug use to the way she would unknowingly push people away. Jamie said it somewhere in the book, “I’m not John Watson,” or something to that effect. You don’t have to be. I just hate the idea of being defined by a famous relative. (This paragraph didn’t make much sense. Sorry, it’s 11PM.)

Overall, it was a quick and easy read. I definitely needed that after Battle Royale. While I did have a lot of not so good things to say, I liked this book. Confusing but enjoyable.

 Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.

TOP TEN TUESDAYS | Spring Forward!

I really could use that one hour. For sleep, for reading, for watching two more anime episodes… guh. But at least I get home with the sun still up and high in the sky.

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is the Top Ten Books on my Spring TBR.

I always say that I’m not much for TBRs but lately, I’ve been making lists of books that I definitely do want to get to this month, this season, this year. And actually writing them down so I won’t forget. That counts for a TBR, right? It makes me so excited; but not too excited. The reason why I never formally followed a TBR because I don’t want to feel boxed in like I’m obligated to read these titles just because in my head, writing them down means I’m committed. I ain’t that deep. LOL. But I’ve accumulated quite a few books that I really wanted lately. February was a huge month for me in terms of meeting authors and acquiring signed books. This list is basically by February book haul.

Spring starts on March 20 but it’s already upwards of 80s and 90s here in Southern California. I won’t have many upcoming releases on this list. Other than that, I own all of these titles. Man, what a difference. I wouldn’t be able to say that same time last year.

This list is in no particular order. I will definitely read these books but I can’t guarantee I’ll read all of them by the end of spring, June 20. We’ll see.

(I met the authors of these first four books in two days.)

  • Caraval by Stephanie Garber. I’m sure you’ve heard of this book already. It’s the most hyped book of the winter season. It is compared to The Night Circus. I loved that book. I’ve been hearing praise for Caraval left and right… except from people that I trust. Yikes. I saw how excited the author and the fans were for this book at the signing. The girls there were so passionate about it. But then I hear disappointments and DNF’ing from vloggers and bloggers that I trust. So… I don’t know. I still want to read it but I’ve heard some scary things.
  • Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones. I met her during her book launch the day before I met Stephanie Garber. I also have a special art print. It’s a loose retelling of Labyrinth and the way her fellow authors describe the writing, I really want to experience it myself. I love anything with music and I can’t wait to see how she put that into words.
  • A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi. I met her at the same event with S. Jae-Jones. I read The Star-Touched Queen last month and enjoyed it. (Today is the last day to pre-order this book and receive a perk.) I love her energy! I also love how she incorporated the Indian culture in her book. It was gorgeous. I already pre-ordered this and hopefully, I can get to it as soon as I receive it. (Release date: 3/23/2017)
  •  The Young Elites by Marie Lu. Rounding out the three authors. Yes, it was a very fun night. I absolutely love Marie Lu’s writing. I then managed to acquire signed copies of this trilogy. I loved Legend and I heard nothing but good things about this one. She has a new series coming out this year. I hope to read that too. Ah, I just love her.

[I realized that I have trouble starting (another) series without finishing the one I started before that. I did finish two series lately: Shades of Magic by VE Schwab and Orange by Ichigo TakanoSo I guess I can start some new ones now!]

  • As Red as Blood by Salla Simukka. I received this from Blogging for Books. I have 90 days to read it so I guess it’ll definitely fall into my Spring reads. It’s a thriller and that’s all I need to know. I’ve glanced at some reviews and they are pretty positive so I would like to go into this blindly.
  • A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro. I might read this next, after I finish Battle Royale. There’s a story behind this — I already bought a copy from Target. About a month after, I saw a signed first edition paperback copy at that same Target. I bought it and planned to return my unsigned one with the newer receipt. But then I just decided to pass it along to someone else who might like it also. I saw the book trailer at Target, yep the same one, and I got intrigued. The second book just came out so we’ll see how this goes.
  • Dust & Decay by Jonathan Maberry. I have all the books in this series. I told myself I will go through all of them last year but I only managed to read the first one. I enjoyed it so much and I’m definitely ready for more. I’m not really a “seasonal” reader so I’ll still read this in the middle of a park lush with trees and green grass. XD
  • The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski. Seriously, I’ve been wanting to start this trilogy for years. Ever since it came out. Now I have all three so there’s not reason not to marathon this, right? I honestly don’t know much about this trilogy apart from it’s about a pianist. Or there’s something about a pianist. That’s all. You got me.
  • Another Episode S/0 by Yukito Ayatsuji. This is a companion to Another. It is about Misaki Mei and her experiences with a ghost. Really, any continuation to Another, I will inhale it.
  • Loop by Koji Suzuki. This is the 3rd book in the Ring series. I loved Ring and Spiral. I actually wanted to read this in February but things got in the way. I want to hopefully get to this book this month. I wanted to read one Japanese novel per month this year and I already missed February.

That’s my list. I must stay, I’m genuinely excited to read all of these books. Hopefully, I get to them. Follow me on Goodreads to find out!