Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite First Sentences

Top 5 Wednesday was created by gingerreadslainey and hosted by Thoughts on Tomes. To join or learn more about T5W, go to the Goodreads group here. This week, we’re talking about our favorite first sentences of books. There are so many good starts to books I couldn’t mention here, but here are some great ones!


1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone by J. K. Rowling

“Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.”

2. The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, Book One) by Rick Riordan 

“Even before he got electrocuted, Jason was having a rotten day.”

3. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

“The morning after noted child prodigy Colin Singleton graduated from high school and got dumped for the nineteenth time by a girl named Katherine, he took a bath.”

4. Binge by Tyler Oakley 

“Go ahead, binge. I’m not saying go out and snort a bunch of cocaine or do anything that’s going to seriously put you or the people around you in danger, obviously.” (Okay that was two, but it’s really good, and I wanted to put it in. I’m sorry. Kill me. *Is way to sarcastically dramatic for no reason*)

5. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

“So she tells me, the words dribbling out with the cranberry muffin crumbs, commas dunked in her coffee.”


Comment Below: What is a great first line from a book you know?

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Book Review: The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard Book One)

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Title: The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard Book One)

Author: Rick Riordan

My Rating: ★★★★

Goodreads Summary: “Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother’s mysterious death, he’s lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers.

One day, he’s tracked down by a man he’s never met—a man his mother claimed was dangerous. The man tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god.

The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Trolls, giants and worse monsters are stirring for doomsday. To prevent Ragnarok, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years.

When an attack by fire giants forces him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents, Magnus makes a fatal decision.

Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die . . .”

My thoughts: 

The book starts off with Magnus talking about how he died, which is always an interesting start to a story. By starting the book off like this, I was pulled into the story, because not many books start with death. Additionally, the beginning was funny and sarcastic, which is an element I always welcome in books. After the initial introduction, The Sword of Summer continued to move along at a fast and compelling pace. It doesn’t take long for the action to start, which keeps the book going and kept me interested.

As I mentioned a little bit before, one of the best parts of this book, and Rick Riordan’s books in general is the sarcasm. He writes witty and clever characters so well, and I really love it. The humor often lightens the situation or just makes the situation even funnier than it already was. For example, here is an example of Magnus being sarcastic:

“That way if we fall,’ Sam said, ‘We’ll fall together.’
‘Sold,’ I said, trying to tamp down my anxiety. ‘I love dying with friends.'”

But not only is there a lot of good humor in the text, even the chapter titles are super funny! The first chapter is called “Good Morning! You’re Going to Die,” and the 50th is titled “No Spoilers. Thor Is Way Behind on His Shows.” I just thought they were all so creative and fun to read.

Although the book was very funny, I think there was still a good balance of seriousness, given that some hard things do happen to the characters, and it would be unfair to make everything a joke.

Like all of the Riordan books I’ve read, the characters in The Sword of Summer were interesting and interacted in ways that added to the book. (For example, from the quote above, you can tell the characters are funny together). All of the characters feel different and like real people. Magnus and everyone he interacts with feel like I could meet them on the street (if they were all actually humans, not things that exist in fantasy). And not only were the new characters great, but there were a few old ones too! Annabeth Chase from both Percy Jackson and the Olympians as well as The Heroes of Olympus is in the book. I won’t tell you where, so you’ll have to read to find out! (Or spoil yourself elsewhere on the internet). And Jason Grace from The Heroes of Olympus is mentioned during the book. I liked both of these characters (I loved Annabeth), in the other series, so I liked them popping up in this Riordan book as well.

Something else I really appreciated about The Sword of Summer was the diversity. Magnus is homeless, and showing a poor person doesn’t always happen in novels, unless it’s the point of the story. There is also a deaf person and a Muslim woman in the story, which adds to the diversity. Representation is so important, because it helps everyone feel included in literature and writing. Additionally, it helps young readers (and readers in general) relate to the story easier.

My last point is quite short, but being a Nirvana fan, I felt the need to include it: the Kurt Cobain references in this book make me very happy.

If you liked Riordan’s other books, I think you will also like this one. And even if you haven’t read any of his other books, I think you’ll like this. (But do yourself a favor and go read the Percy Jackson and the Olympians and then The Heroes of Olympus series).


Comment Below: Have you read The Sword of Summer? If so, what did you think of it?

Oregon Book Haul

For the header I made for this post, I was just going to find a stack of books, but I think this girl looks like me, so I thought it was cute. Just thought I’d point it out because I really like this header 🙂


I visited my family in Oregon recently, and I went to two different book stores while I was there. Here are the books I got:

Smith Family Bookstore – Eugene, Oregon

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Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes by Rick Riordan and John Rocco

Powell’s – Portland, Oregon

 

The Merciless by Danielle Vega

I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

Save Me, Kurt Cobain by Jenny Manzer

Kill The Boy Band by Goldy Moldavsky

Moonwalk by Michael Jackson


Comment Below: What books have you bought recently?

Burn, Re-Write, Re-Read Tag

I didn’t get tagged to do this tag, but I saw it on The Girl Who Read Too Much‘s blog, and it looked so fun, I just had to do it! (You can see her post here).


Rules:

  1. Randomly choose 3 books you’ve read. (Use the ‘random’ option on your Goodreads “read” shelf.*)
  2. For each group of three books, decide which book you’d burn, rewrite, or reread.
  3. Repeat until you complete three rounds (or five!).

Round 1:

Burn: Vicious, for sure. Although I read all 16 books (16!!!), I never thought they were well written. I had fun with them, but I could live without one of the books existing. Plus, there is the first arc of the series, so if I ever wanted to re-read some of the books after burning this, I could just read those.

Re-Write: This is the hard part! I don’t want to re-write either of these books! I guess, ultimately, I would re-write The Princess Bride. I can’t actually think of anything I would change, but I don’t want to re-write any of Like Water for Chocolate.

Re-Read: I read Like Water for Chocolate at what many would probably consider too young of an age. But you can blame that on my mother! She’s the one that told me to read it. I would chose to re-read this book, because when I read it, I think parts of the book went way over my head, and I think I would understand the book better now.

Round 2:

Burn: I know last round was hard, but this round is much harder. I like all of these books for very different reasons, and I don’t want to get rid of any of them! If I had to chose (which is the whole point of this tag!), I would burn Charlotte’s Web. This is because I don’t really remember many differences in the book and movie, so I would be okay with getting rid of the book. I hate that answer! But I would never probably re-read it, so I guess I would be okay with it being gone?! Not really, but this is hard!

Re-write: I really liked Go Ask Alice for the most part, but the epilogue was pretty lame, so I would re-write that. It felt like it was written for a commercial about why not to do drugs. The epilogue had little with the character, and was just a bunch of drug statistics. I would make the ending more satisfactory.

Re-read: I would re-read Stargirl, because I remember loving this book so much when I was in 5th or 6th grade, and I don’t remember really anything about it anymore. I think it would be fun to revisit and remember why I liked it so much.

Round 3:

Burn: I would have to burn a Percy Jackson book?! Nooooooo! This one landed under the burn category for no particular reason. I would never re-write it, because I love it the way it is, but I also don’t see myself wanting to re-read it. (Or at least not as much as The Bad Beginning). So I have to burn it! At least I still have all of the other Percy Jackson books to read! 🙂

Re-Write: I would re-write The Golden Compass, because I liked the story and for a lot of the book, I was very invested in the characters and plot. However, there were a lot of parts that moved too slow for me, so I would re-write parts to make them more exciting.

Re-Read: I would re-read The Bad Beginning, because I have such fond memories of reading this as a kid with my mom. This book is such a fun read, so I can see myself picking it up when I need a easy and adventurous book.

Round 4:

Burn: I would burn Mockingjay. The writing wasn’t as good as in the first two, and I felt like Katniss changed too much. There were parts I liked, but over all, it wasn’t as good as The Hunger Games or Catching Fire. I would rather just burn Mockingjay and re-read the first two.

Re-write: I would re-write The Perks of Being A Wallflower. There is nothing I can think of changing, I just feel that if I dared to change anything in Pippi Longstocking, younger me would be enraged and saddened that I don’t think it’s absolutely perfect.

Re-read: I would re-read Pippi Longstocking, because it’s always so fun to re-read books you read as a kid. I enjoyed reading this so much when I was younger, and I would love to dive into Pippi’s world again.

Round 5:

Burn: I guess I would burn Anything But Typical? I remember liking this book a lot, but this is the option I got stuck with. 😦

Re-write: I would re-write Of Mice and Men, because saying you would hypothetically burn a classic is as bad as actually doing it in some people’s minds, and I would be scared of how mad some people would be at me. Plus, I didn’t hate it, certainly not enough to burn it. But I also don’t really want to re-read it, because I don’t like it enough to do that. Additionally, I did not like the ending. At all. I liked this book for the most part, so I think I would really just change the ending.

Re-read: I would re-read Coraline, because it’s perfect when I want a creepy book. I think the concept is so weird and interesting, so I would love to re-read it, especially around Halloween.


I Tag: 

And anyone else who wants to do it! This tag is so fun, so I highly suggest doing it 🙂