The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

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‘That is the angriest looking thing I’ve ever seen.’

Title: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet
Author: Becky Chambers
Why you should read this book: Because SPACE!

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

This is a book about cultural differences, friendship, family and love. This book is a journey. A literal journey. A journey to a small angry planet far away in the known galaxy. A ship specialized in wormholes is called to build a tunnel to link this angry planet to another one to save months of space travel. The journey will show us how different the members of the crew of this ship are.

How are they different? The crew is composed of different kind of beings: a human Martian girl organizing paperwork, a human captain, a sentient AI, two crazy and talented human techs (one with two dads and the other is a little person), a furry navigator that is not one but two beings in one, a chef/doctor with so many legs capable of fantastic things, a super cuddly lizard-like pilot, a weirdly pale human being with a passion for algae.

This description is very simplistic and it’s only the very little tip of the iceberg that is this amazing crew. I can’t tell you how much deep these people are because I can’t explain it without revealing everything there is to know about them. Every chapter has sections and each character has a space in which he/she/it/them/xyr can show us their pov. Every one of them has a different background. Even the humans are not alike; they come from different experiences, from different planets and from different realities.

Feelings are relative. And at the root, they’re all the same, even if they grow from different experiences and exist in different scales.

Throughout the book I was afraid something might go terribly wrong. I won’t say if it was true or not but let me tell you that the feeling kept me company until the very end. I was surprised by many of the things that happened!! Rosemary was a little bit like our inner voice because she explained how we judge other beings based on our perception of reality. That species that couples in front of everyone and it’s known for its orgies parties? A human can’t judge that based on what they think is right or wrong. So many things has to be put on perspective because each culture is different and accepting this fact opens so many doors to so many possibilities.

Humans had a long, storied history of forcing their way into places where they didn’t belong.

I loved Ohan, the navigator. Their species is really interesting and hard to understand but they are sweet and I imagine this furry teddy bear with long fingers and I’m happy. I don’t think they are really like that but that picture keeps me warm and serene.

A black hole was the perfect place to contemplate death. There was nothing in the universe that could last for ever. Not stars. Not matter. Nothing.

Lately I’m really into sci-fi novels. I love space and I love technology. I might not understand a lot about any of that but maybe that’s one of the reasons it fascinates me this much. If you are into space, into sci-fi and aliens, then this is for you. If you don’t know if you are interested, I say you can give this a try. Maybe you’ll find out this magnificent genre isn’t too bad after all.

I am always trying to bring people to the dark side (the sci-fi side) without success! But I never give up!

‘I’ll never understand how the rest of you expect brand new adults to be able to teach kids how to be people.’

Do I recommend it? Yes, read it now and love it forever.
Rate: 4/5

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Ready Player One by Ernest Cline ☆

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“Going outside is highly overrated.”

Ready Player One

 

Title: Ready Player One
Author: Ernest Cline
Why you should read this book: Because this is a journey inside one of the most wonderful virtual realities ever written.

Read the summary from Goodreads here

This is going to be one tough review to write because there are so many things I loved about this book but I have no idea how to put them into words.
This won’t be a traditional review, this won’t be a review at all; I won’t write much about the book but about what I thought while reading it. I just feel that if I start writing about the book then I would ruin all the fun for the first readers. I don’t want to be the party pooper of the situation. Just so you know, I loved it, it will stay with me forever and I will recommend it to people!

First of all I loved all the references, even the ones I didn’t get because I was too young during those years.
I was born in 1985 and I was lucky because I have a sister 6 years older than me that introduced me to so many things and gave me almost all of her videogames consoles when she was too cool for them. I am still not too cool for any of them; maybe now I’m only too lazy to give videogames much time. I was too little to know a lot of the 80s references that were used in the book not only because of my age but also because I didn’t grow up in the US but in Ecuador. Yes, we could watch a lot of US TV shows and movies but not everything, or at least that’s what I think because I don’t remember a lot of them.

“For a bunch of hairless apes, we’ve actually managed to invent some pretty incredible things.”

Every time the characters said something I knew I started grinning like a fool. I was so happy to relate to some of the excitement they felt! And when I didn’t know what they were referring to, I made my researches and now a lot of things are on my to-watch list. Just a few weeks ago I saw episode 0 of the new season of Mr. Robot and they were talking about Wargames and how the movie made people wonder if those hacks were truly possible and how it inspired the increment of security protocols. I found it very interesting and now I need to watch that movie: I really don’t know why I haven’t watched it yet.

Something weird is happening with my reading process. By sheer coincidence every book I read has something that I find in the book I start reading after finishing it. It’s a chain reaction I can’t seem to stop. Let’s see if this weird fate is going to repeat itself after this. This book had Vonnegut references and I came to know him from the last book I read and now there are a couple of his books I really want to read. How crazy is that? References, I just love them! I learn so many things from them.

“I was watching a collection of vintage ’80s cereal commercials when I paused to wonder why cereal manufacturers no longer included toy prizes inside every box. It was a tragedy, in my opinion. Another sign that civilization was going straight down the tubes.”

The whole looking for the “Golden Ticket”, the Halliday Egg, was intriguing and exciting. The “gunters” (the egg hunters) studied everything there was to know about the creator of the virtual utopia OASIS, to look for clues to find the egg. But OASIS is immense and Halliday liked so many things. I wonder how Wade (aka Parzival) found the time to learn, watch, listen, play and read everything. He also went to school and some of the things he liked best he did repeatedly. Are there enough hours in a day to do everything he did? That’s a miracle and Wade has my utmost admiration.

“No one in the world gets what they want and that is beautiful.”

It’s the future (a horrible one on top of that) but it has this nostalgia feeling and sometimes it’s hard to separate the two different eras. When this future didn’t remind me of the 80s, it reminded me of our time now. People living their lives through the internet, social networks, fake personas, scams, illegality, etc. In this future you create an avatar and that’s you. You can make it real or you can alter your appearance to be whoever you want to be, not really to deceive but mainly to feel better about yourself. Real life is ugly so you need your fake life to make you happy and if to do so you reduce your nose size, make yourself taller, thinner, prettier, so be it. You have the world and you don’t even need to get out of the house. OASIS is your everything, you don’t need anything else.

I’m not crazy about reality, but it’s still the only place to get a decent meal.

So take the virtual utopia everyone lives in, add a spectacular egg hunt with a multibillionaire prize, then add a very clever anti-hero with his virtual friends who are everything but perfect, complete everything with the evil corporation run by an evil villain who wants to rule the real and virtual world, and you have READY PLAYER ONE. The perfect combination of everything fun, smart and geek that will make you wish you were looking for the egg with Parzival, Art3mis, Aech, Shoto and Daito!

Are you ready?
Always, baby!

Do I recommend it? Yes, read it now and love it forever.
Rate: 5+++/5
☆: It made my “favourite books” list

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Homo Action Love Story! A tall tale by Ben Monopoli

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For me this is just beginning, and the journey and destination are both him.

Title: Homo Action Love Story! A tall tale
Author: Ben Monopoli
Why you should read this book: Because there is action, love, pro paintball players and pirates!

Summary from Goodreads:

Boots McHenry and his boyfriend Ryan are young superstars in the North American Paintball League, a high-stakes sport where losers face exile — five full years of it, on an island so secret no one can be sure it even exists. After Ryan has a tragic collision with an opposing team’s paintball, the rules of the game force the boyfriends apart.

Boots is shattered without Ryan, so when his best friend Clemente Santiago suggests a daring, high-seas mission to find the island and reunite the pair, Boots jumps at the chance. They assemble a crack team to join them, including fashion model and mixed-martial-arts champ Colby Kroft, hunky-but-shy sea-captain Marcus Tumble, and Piper Pernfors, the ex who’s aching to make Boots forget Ryan ever existed.

“Young people think they are invincible, that nothing bad will ever happen to them, and then something changes: they fall in love. And the world begins to seem a lot more fragile.”

The title of this book is kind of weird. I really didn’t know what to expect. I thought it was going to be a strange but light read. It was indeed a light read, I couldn’t stop reading; the story was intriguing, different, action fuelled and funny. Also hot, can’t forget that.

This is going to be a little spoilery review because there are a few elements I want to talk about and it will spoil the read if you want to get into the book.

This book is set in the future, it doesn’t say when, it’s just “the future”. Boots is our main character. He is 24 years old, is really rich and in love with his boyfriend of 2 years, Ryan. They both play professional paintball that seems to be the football of the future. They are famous, rich and people love them. Unfortunately, in this weird future where people can love whoever they like and you can’t catch sickness in no way whatsoever, when you get hit during a paintball match, you are exiled to an island nobody knows where is located.

Guess what?? Ryan gets hit; he is simu-killed and gets sent to Exile Island leaving our poor Boots sad and horny. He is young, I get why one of his first thoughts are: where do I stand on this relationship? Do I have to wait for him for 5 years? Can I move on and maybe fall in love again? It may seem shallow because he seems so in love with Ryan so why is he thinking about having sex with other guys? They didn’t have a plan if one of them was going to get exiled so Boots doesn’t know what to do. He has needs but he loves Ryan. They haven’t been together long and 5 years apart is more than double the time they’ve been a couple. Is their love that strong or is it a little superficial?

I didn’t have problems with him wanting to move on. It was maybe a little soon and that must have given him questions. Is his love for Ryan deep enough? Is he okay even if they are not together? Are they really meant for each other?

Some guys are cute and you want to pinch their cheeks and make sure they get home OK. Some guys are hot and you want them to bend you over a barrel and pound heaven into you.

Boots is horny; he isn’t looking for love since he still loves Ryan but what to do with his little problem? There is Piper, his ex, and he seems eager to win him back. Boots doesn’t want to get back with Piper; he cheated on him and broke his heart. That’s not going to happen but it’s hard: Piper is hot and Boots can’t hide his attraction. Like, really, he can’t hide it. His “attraction” is pretty evident. Oh boy, he really can’t look at him without the obvious reaction. But Piper CAN’T HAPPEN!

Boot’s teammate and good friend, Clemente Santiago, helps him find a solution to his horny problem. They had an intense and really hot night together. It’s supposed to be a una tantum thing and it stays that way. Clemente then suggested to go find exiled island so Boots can ask Ryan what he is supposed to do. That’s a great idea. Boots needs to know what to do with their 5 years apart. An adventure it is!

“Why, where we going, anyway? Where’s Colby work?” “The most fantastic of all places, Clemente. He works at the mall.”

They get a boat with a very cute captain, Marcus, and are joined by Ryan’s little brother, Colby, and unfortunately, Piper comes along, too. Piper is really pushy, a little too much. Boots keeps telling him he doesn’t want him back, that their love story is completely over, that they don’t have a chance to be happy together even if the body reacts a certain way. His attraction to Piper’s body doesn’t mean he wants also the rest of the package. Boots was hurt, heartbroken, that’s not easy to neither forget nor forgive.

The journey is an incredible adventure. Let me tell you there is a shark attack, there are also pirates who wear plastic stuff, and there is certainly romance. After their incredible night together, Boots starts thinking more and more about Clemente. He knows he doesn’t have a chance since Clemente is straight, but there is something about him that he finds intriguing. Boots thinks a lot about Clemente, a lot.

Boots is starting to like him more than just as a friend and it’s painful because it can’t happen. The feelings are overwhelming. Boots wants him, he really does. What does it mean? Can it be love? When did that happen? Was it because of their night together or that night made him realize more things about Clemente than he wasn’t paying attention to before because he was all hung up on Ryan? More importantly, is he seeing right, is Clemente showing something more towards him, something more than friendship?

WTF, as the old-timers say.

The journey to exiled island, the journey to love, the journey to freedom, is full of feelings, action, and a little bit of drama.
I had a hunch of what was going to happen. I didn’t want to believe it at first, but then I kind of wanted it to be true because that means what I really wanted to happen could happen and maybe things were going to be ok in the end.
I liked this book a lot; it’s difficult to put it down after you start it. It’s interesting and it’s not complicated. It’s the right book for me and I am so happy I chose it.

Do I recommend it? Yes, it’s a fun book and an interesting story.
Rate: 4/5

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