The Maze Runner – by James Dashner

Well, clearly I’m going to have to start reading faster if I’m ever going to have hope of getting through 50 books by the end of 2015. Admittedly, binge watching the entire run of Dexter with my husband the last few weeks hasn’t helped any… We are near the middle of February and I’ve just finished my 3rd book for the year, The Maze Runner by James Dashner.

I’m a sucker for YA novels. Yes, I’m in my 30s. Yes I like “grown-up” books too. But there’s always something about YA novels. Generally the ones I like are fantasy, sci-fi, or horror which are my three favorite genres. And don’t even get me started on dystopian stuff. Ever since I was 10 and watched Stephen King’s The Stand miniseries on TV I’ve been in love with these post apocalyptic settings.

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So this brings me to The Maze Runner. The main character Thomas finds himself without any memory of who he is, or even how old he is. All he knows is his name. He finds himself in a place called the Glade, a big open space completely surrounded by large walls with openings out into a massive maze. The only inhabitants of the Glade are other young boys, and they all arrived in the Glade the same way he did, missing all their memories.

Out in the maze a group of boys called Runners well, run, all day every day looking for a way to get out of the maze and back to the real world and hopefully their families. There’s also some really horrible creatures out in the maze called Greivers that everyone wants to avoid. Something is odd though, because while Thomas doesn’t remember anything, several things about the Glade seem familiar to him, and some of the other boys seem to think he’s familiar too. Things really begin to break down for the boys when a girl shows up…

I liked the mystery surrounding this story. There was clearly something up with the Glade and the maze, but none of the boys could remember anything. As the story progressed bit by bit Thomas began to piece things together. I also like when books have made up curse words and things like that, the kids here all call each other shuck faces, I may have to steal that one for myself! I’m going to start calling my friends damn muggle shuck faces…at least until someone hits me!

I thought it was a fun read, and definitely recommend to those who like YA or dystopian books.

 

Now, for the crochet!

This was probably too much of an obvious choice… but I decided to crochet a maze for this one.

MazeRunner2 MazeRunner

There was no pattern for this, I just crocheted a square of half double crochet stitches, and then slip stitched the maze free-handed on top of it.

Read – January 18th- February 10th
Goodreads Reading Challenge – 3 books down, 47 to go
9gag’s Reading ChallengeA book by an author you’ve never read before.
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

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Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham

I have been obsessed with the show Gilmore Girls since I first laid eyes on it. I’m not just throwing the word “obsessed” around lightly here, either. I’m talking an I’ve-actually-tried-to-talk-my-husband-into-moving-to-Connecticut level of obsession here. The fact that I’m going to be 32 in a little over a year and don’t have a well-read 16-year-old daughter, a cool wardrobe, a plucky can-do attitude, a quirky best friend named Sookie, and extremely rich parents that I want nothing to do with, is, well, frankly depressing me thinking about it!

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Anyway, back to the book at hand. My husband being the awesome guy that he is bought me this book authored by the Lorelai Gilmore herself, Lauren Graham, as a Christmas gift this past year. I’m going to admit, this isn’t generally my type of go-to book. Had I read the premise without the level of love and dedication that I have for Lauren Graham, I may have skipped over it completely. Normally if there isn’t a wizard, or some off planet battle, or historical vampires, or otherworldly beings, or some bleak future where we’ve all destroyed ourselves, I’m not all that interested. I know I may be glossing over what are probably perfectly wonderful books, something I’d really like to change.

Set in 1995 New York City, Someday, Someday, Maybe is the story of wanna-be actress Franny Banks. As we join Franny in her story, she’s 6 months away from the deadline she’s set herself to actually make it as an actress. If she’s not where she thinks she should be, she’s packing it all up and moving back to her simple life with simple goals and a simple career…and things aren’t looking so hot for her.

I really like the fun, fresh voice of Lauren Graham’s writing. Franny reminds me a lot of myself, she suffers from anxiety and self-doubt that I can totally relate to. The book is also broken up with Franny’s filofax entries, which basically becomes a character all its own. There are even a few passages written out as scripts are, and the has-been film student that I am and constant movie geek, I loved that extra flair!

So I’m here to say even if you find yourself leaning more toward horror, sci-fi, and fantasy like I myself do, give this book a try..someday, someday, maybe?  He-he see what I did there?

Now, for the crochet!

At first I fretted that I wouldn’t be able to crochet anything tangible from the book. The major themes of finding inner strength and courage, scripts, acting, etc didn’t really seem to lend itself to my idea of crocheting something inspired by the book. So I had decided if I couldn’t think of anything from the book itself, I’d crochet a little red jacket like the one on the cover. But, then it happened. I found my inspiration. Just as Franny has given up on herself, no job, no prospects, no love interest, no agent, nothing… she sees a red balloon.

But then I see there is a balloon, a single red balloon floating in front of the taxi, its white string just brushing the windshield, before the wind pulls it past us and it drifts up, up, up, and out of sight.
“You see that?” The cab driver says to my reflection in his rear-view mirror.
“Yeah.”
“How’d it get this far and not go pop?”

-Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham

This red balloon, as Franny begins to further reflect, is a metaphor for her life…how did she get this far and not pop? I knew the red balloon was a perfect symbol for this story, and I finally had my crochet inspiration.

someday someday maybe Balloon balloon book

For this, I didn’t have a pattern, I just made it up until it looked semi-balloonish to me.

Read – January 4th – January 18th, 2015
Goodreads Reading Challenge – 2 books down, 48 to go
9gag’s Reading ChallengeA book by a female author.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Have you read this book? What were your thoughts?

Introduce Yourself

A fellow blogger suggests in his post that as a blogger you’ve got to introduce yourself. I thought now would be a good time to do that, I’ve had the ability to read and review my first novel of the year, but as of right now am just a few pages into the novel I’m reading now (Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham) so I know it will be a few days before I have a full legitimate posting for ye dear readers.

My name is Laura. I pronounce that “Law-ruh”, but apparently about half the world pronounces it “Lore-uh”. That used to be a big pet peeve of mine and I’d jump on the opportunity to scold anyone saying it “wrong”. Sometime after high school or so I kinda just let that go, though. I’ll answer to Lora, if I have to…but I will silently hate it every time.

I turned 30 last year. I don’t feel 30, though. When I was a little kid a lot of the adults around me were in their 30’s, and they seemed a lot older than I seem now. I still like to eat sugary kid cereal, I still read YA novels, I still like a lot of the movies and cartoons aimed at kids…but I’m also obsessed with horror and dark stories and movies. Go figure.

I’ve been married to my husband for a little over 5 years, though we’ve been together since I was 19. We still don’t have any kids. I know being 30 that window of safely having children is closing on me fast. We do hope “someday” to have them, sometimes time just gets away from us. We do have 2 cats though, and some days when I’m crocheting with my fuzzy blue house robe on and my hair in a frizzy mess pilled on top of my head with two cats flanking me I’m safe knowing at least I’ve secured my spot as a crazy cat lady.

My day job sucks. I work as a subject matter expert for a call center. AKA I get to talk to all the lovely people screaming and cussing for a supervisor. I wont exhaust anymore of my time going into that, though.

I’m a big fan of being a fan of things…if that makes any sense. The first time I knew I loved being a fan was when I was a teenager and completely obsessed with the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Listening to them made me feel like I was in on some sort of secret that only the other fans of them knew about. I saw them in concert twice when I was 16, and almost a decade and a half later I got to see them again a couple of years ago…I totally cried when they came out on stage. My mom used to tell me about this time she saw Paul McCartney live in the early 90s. She said there was a group of older fans near her and they were crying, and I thought that was completely crazy! Well, I know what those Beatles fans were going through now.

Other things I’m completely obsessed with are – Stephen King, The Gilmore Girls, Muse, Harry Potter, The Avengers, Tom Hiddleston, Supernatural, Doctor Who, David Tennant, loose leaf tea, and of course reading, writing and crochet!

I have epilepsy – temporal lobe epilepsy to be exact, anxiety, and almost certainly something wrong with my gallbladder.

That’s basically me in a nutshell.

Once I’m done with Someday, Someday, Maybe I will let you return to your regularly scheduled programming of book reviews and crochet inspired by the book.

hat

Me making a face and a hat I crocheted a few days ago.

Stephen King’s Revival

Revival is Stephen King’s latest novel. A story full of nostalgia and what it is to get older. It spans several decades, with our narrator Jamie first meeting Rev. Jacobs when he’s 6  years old. The story itself is told as a narrative that Jamie is writing.

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Stephen King has always been a master at writing about nothing. I don’t mean that in a bad way by any means. What I mean is he can take simple mundane things like working up the nerve to ask a girl out, or learning how to play the guitar, and make them a complete page turner.

He’s also a master at crafting rich characters. Jamie here is like any old drug addicted guitar playing nobody, and you can’t help but love him from page one on. Jacobs on the other hand goes through a transformation that isn’t quite as lovable. I’m not sure you could say he’s the books villain, that title I’d say probably goes to death itself.  Jacobs goes  from an amazingly generous, sweet and trustworthy minister, to a guy that although he still generally cares about helping people, has a much darker ulterior motive, making him the creator of a lot of destruction that he become completely ambivalent to. Jamie and Jacobs weave in and out of each others lives, from the early 60’s to present day, leading to an ultimate ending that I’m honestly surprised didn’t give me a nightmare the night I finished reading this book.

Speaking of nightmares, Stephen King is of course well-known for his horror. Revival isn’t what I’d call a horror in the classic sense, but it’s definitely sprinkled with enough horror here and there to keep any fan of the genre hooked in my opinion. The end, though, is full on Lovecraftian goodness!

On Goodreads I rated the book 5, because I didn’t want to give it a 4. Truthfully though I’d say this book is more deserving of a 4.5. It’s definitely a good book, but for me the 5 star Stephen King novels are ones like The Stand and The Dark Tower.

Now, for the crochet!

The major theme running through this novel was lightning and electricity. When Jamie was a little boy, Jacobs used electricity as a hobby and a way to teach religion to the kids of his church. As Jacobs aged, though, he became more and more obsessed with electricity and this power he kept referring to as “secret electricity”.  So, without further ado, I give you a cute little blue lightning bolt, as inspired by Stephen King’s Revival

bolt lightning lightning_Revival

The pattern for this little bolt of electricity can be found – here

Read – December 31st, 2014- January 4th, 2015.
Goodreads Reading Challenge – 1 book down, 49 to go.
9gag’s Reading ChallengeA book with a one-word title.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

A New Adventure

As New Year rolled around, bringing in 2015, I was glad to be closing one of the worst years I’ve been through. As we all do, I began reflecting on my year and my life, finding myself wondering yet again why I hadn’t accomplished anything. A friend called me sometime after midnight of the New Year asking if I’d like to join him in some of his New Year traditions, telling me that the things you do on New Year day are supposed to set the course for the entire year. So, going by this New Year superstition, if I spent January 1st reading, writing, and crocheting, I’ll have one hell of a happy year!

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I thought if only I could find a way to do all three together – read, write, and crochet…

That brings me here, to this little blog. I’ve reviewed books before and enjoyed it, because there are few things in life I love more than talking endlessly about a good book. Except, maybe crochet. Really, it was my husband’s idea. I told him that I was thinking of making a book review blog again, but everyone has book review blogs, so what would make mine different? I don’t know where he got the idea, but he suggested that after I read the book I crochet something inspired by it, and post the crochet along with the book review.

So, here I am, ready to read and crochet through the year. Oh, and thanks to Goodreads, I have pledged to read 50 books this year. So, visit me again soon!