Hey guys! I can’t believe February is already over! I also can’t believe how much I was able to read this month, because things have been CHAOS. It does help that we are reading some short stories in my film/literature, which has been fun! Anyway, there’s a lot to go over, so let’s get started!
Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 by Akira Himekawa
Synopsis: (Vol. 1) Once upon a time, wizards tried to conquer the Sacred Realm of Hyrule. The Spirits of Light sealed the wizards’ power within the Shadow Crystal and banished them to the Twilight Realm beyond the Mirror of Twilight. Now, an evil menace is trying to find Midna, princess of the Twilight Realm, and the fragments of the Shadow Crystal to gain the power to rule over both the Twilight Realm and the World of Light.
(Vol. 2) Link awakens in the Twilight Realm, in the form of a wolf! Here he meets Midna, and she escorts Link to Hyrule Castle where none other than Princess Zelda bestows a question upon him—if the world is to be saved from the encroaching darkness, Link must recover the shards of the Shadow Crystal. The task will be long and difficult, and Link will need to use new powers he doesn’t know he has!
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I’ve already read volumes 1-9 of this series, but since it’s coming to an end, I thought I might read through them before I read the last edition. I mean, I’ve been following this series ever since it came out, so it’s been a few years since I read the earlier volumes. My thoughts? They’re still just as good as the first time I read them! Actually, I was able to appreciate volume 2 better. Volume 2 of this series was the first manga I ever read, so I was spending a lot of time trying to get used to reading backwards. I’m used to doing it now, so it’s easier.
I really love the video game of Twilight Princes (it was my first Zelda game, and it’s my favorite one), so I’m really happy to see the ways the authors honored the game. They not only kept nearly all the scenes in there, but they also added in new stuff to give Link a backstory, so I really like that!
However, I’m not going to rate these five stars since sometimes there can be some info-dumping for those who are reading without previously having played the game. But for Twilight Princess veterans, it could be a bit slow. Still, I highly recommend this series!
Rating: 4.75/5 Stars
Hedge of Thornes by John Carrol
Synopsis: Based on a true story, here is a gripping account of a young boy who learns the hard way that the choices we make can harm those we love the most. Because he desperately wants to know what is on the other side of a hedge of thorns, he puts his little sister in great danger. From his experience, we learn that God places boundaries in our lives because He loves us.
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I read this YEARS ago when I was quite little, and I honestly can’t remember what my thoughts on it were back then. But having read it again, I just decided that I couldn’t like this one. I liked the message, and the story was okay, but it was just too preachy for my tastes. The writing was great, though!
Like I always say, Lamplighter books are often hits or misses for me, so I never really know what I’m going to get with them. Unfortunately, more often than not they are misses. I’m not quite sure why, but even as a kid, I never much liked these books. I am seeing that ones I read as a kid and didn’t like, there’s a chance that I end up liking it if I reread it now that I’m older. That’s only happened a couple times so far, though.
Rating: 3.75/5 Stars
The Fly by George Langelaan
Genre: Short Story/Horror
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I had to read this one for my film/literature class, and I didn’t know what to expect. I don’t like horror, so I was planning on hating this. But , to my surprise, I actually really loved this short story! The writing was mysterious and definitely gave off the horror vibes, but the story, despite how strange it is, is excellently executed.
One thing of debate in my class was how Langelaan pulled off a strange shift in perspective, from the protagonist to the protagonist’s sister-in-law. A couple people in my class said they were confused by the sudden change because they saw no “cues” or anything that showed there had been a shift. However, I thought the “cue” was pretty clear, and the shift was done quite well in my opinion. Some people might consider what happened a form of head-hopping, which I don’t really like in stories, but this just seemed like a normal shift in POV to me.
I was completely absorbed by this story, especially the sister-in-law’s POV. Literally, when the end came, it was like a bubble popped and I was like, “Wait, what happened?”. But for real, the ending is extremely abrupt, and that’s the only thing I didn’t really like about it. But other than that, I highly recommend this short story, even if it is a little strange!
Rating: 5/5 Stars
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Genre: Science Fiction
Synopsis: It was a dark and stormy night.
Out of this wild night, a strange visitor comes to the Murry house and beckons Meg, her brother Charles Wallace, and their friend Calvin O’Keefe on a most dangerous and extraordinary adventure—one that will threaten their lives and our universe.
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I read this quite some time ago, and reading it again brought me right back there to when I had first read it. I had expected to come back to it with newer and different thoughts and feelings, but it was like reading it for the first time. Of course, now that I’m older, I could see messages and influences that I hadn’t noticed before. I had forgotten how involved Christianity was in this story, so I thought that was really neat!
I still love the characters, especially Charles (he reminds me of my youngest brother), and I think they are well fleshed-out. The story can be confusing at times, but it’s not so terrible that you can’t keep up with it! It is geared towards kids, anyway. Honestly, if anything, reading it again just made me more annoyed that they couldn’t make a decent movie out of this, because the movie they did make seemed to be a disappointment. I haven’t watched it, and I probably won’t since so many people said it ruined the book for them and they removed much of the good stuff out of it (like the Christianity I was talking about).
Anyway, if you haven’t read this book, I highly recommend it even if you aren’t a kid anymore!
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Story of Your Life by Ted Chiang
Genre: Short Story/Science Fiction
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This was another short story that I had to read for my film/literature class. It was a lot longer than the others, though, and a lot denser. While I read the other assigned short stories quickly, this one took my three days to get through (mostly because I had a lot of other stuff on my plate, though). There was a lot of physics and science involved that was hard to wrap my head around, so it took me a while to understand what was happening. But you know, I still don’t really have a grasp on what the physicist character was trying to explain. I was able to understand the impact of the story, which I’m glad for.
We watched the movie adaptation of this as well, Arrival, and I LOVED this movie. It was so beautiful, and I won’t lie; I’ve already seen it twice this week (in class, and at home). The way the story was brought from paper to the screen is incredible, and the movie just amplified the book. However, I do like the movie a bit more, which I guess sounds a little scandalous coming from a bookworm. But hey! The book was pretty darn hard to get through with all that physics!
That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the book. I actually really liked it! But it was a slower read than I’m used to, and it didn’t hold my attention that well, so that’s why I’ve taken of a bit of a star in the ratings. But the way Chiang used POV in this story is brilliant and I loved how he foreshadowed the plot twist throughout the story. I highly recommend this short story, and the movie as well!
Rating: 4.75/5 Stars
Let’s face it…short stories and manga got me through this month. But that’s okay! They are stories, and they count for my reading goal! I think I still did pretty good for how busy I’ve been lately, and I’m hoping to read a lot more in March since Spring Break will be coming up!
What did you read this February? Let me know in the comments below! And as always, God bless and have a wonderful weekend!
Synopses taken from Goodreads