A collection of mini reviews because this blogger is lazy: Hamilton The Revolution, The Night Circus, Nimona & Vicious

I’ve been quite behind on my reviews for a few months now, and because December has been so busy, I haven’t had the chance to update my blog as much as I’d like. So I came up with an idea to combine a reviews of books I read months ago into one master post!

Behold, like, four reviews:

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26200563Lin-Manuel Miranda’s groundbreaking musical Hamilton is as revolutionary as its subject, the poor kid from the Caribbean who fought the British, defended the Constitution, and helped to found the United States. Fusing hip-hop, pop, R&B, and the best traditions of theater, this once-in-a-generation show broadens the sound of Broadway, reveals the storytelling power of rap, and claims our country’s origins for a diverse new generation.

Hamilton: The Revolution gives readers an unprecedented view of both revolutions, from the only two writers able to provide it. Miranda and Jeremy McCarter, a cultural critic and theater artist who was involved in the project from its earliest stages–“since before this was even a show,” according to Miranda–trace its development from an improbable perfor­mance at the White House to its landmark opening night on Broadway six years later. In addition, Miranda has written more than 200 funny, revealing footnotes for his award-winning libretto, the full text of which is published here.

Their account features photos by the renowned Frank Ockenfels and veteran Broadway photographer Joan Marcus; exclusive looks at notebooks and emails; interviews with Questlove, Stephen Sond­heim, leading political commentators, and more than 40 people involved with the production; and multiple appearances by Presi­dent Obama himself. The book does more than tell the surprising story of how a Broadway musical became a national phenomenon: It demonstrates that America has always been renewed by the brash upstarts and brilliant outsiders, the men and women who don’t throw away their shot.

Mini Review

“History is entirely created by the person who tells the story.”

Remarkable, beautiful, electric.

Those are the words that immediately spring to mind when I think about Hamilton: The Revolution. Obviously, I’ve never seen the musical because it’s still touring America and has yet to start it’s international tour, but after reading this book, I went out and bought the soundtrack and feel in love with the musical. 

I learnt so much reading this book, and not just about the musical itself but about the history of Hip Hop and rap, the real-life Alexander Hamilton, and the background stories of the actors and how they became a part of the show.

I really loved reading the lyrics and the footnotes attached, written by Lin-Manuel Miranda. It was so interesting reading about the inspiration behind certain songs, and what went into the creation of them.

I highly recommend this work of art for anyone who is a fan of Hamilton: The Musical.

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13611052The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway – a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love – a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Mini Review

“I confess, I don’t fully understand the point, even after all this time.”
“Nor do I. I suspect calling it a challenge or a game is not entirely accurate. I’ve come to think of it more as a dual exhibition.”

The Night Circus was an enchanting, mind-boggling story that enraptured me. It was confusing, lovely, frightening, elusive, all at once. There are times I loved this book, times I didn’t, times I wanted it to be over already, and times I never wanted it to end.

Put shortly, it’s a conundrum. A lot like the circus itself.

I don’t know what I expected going into this book, but I know I didn’t get it. Let me be clear: this is a purposely confusing book, but unlike many other confusing novels, this didn’t distract from the story. If anything, it enhanced the creepy, mystical atmosphere, and kept me reading. Morgernstern’s prose was beyond beautiful – it was seductive as her words draw you in and, even during the times where you have no idea what is happening, you don’t want to shut the book.

The characters were fascinating, yet almost two-dimensional in a sense. As there were so many characters, and the novel flitted quickly between their POVs, I couldn’t really get the best sense of each character. There were definitely a few that I could – the side characters – but the two main characters – Celia and Marco – were not as well-developed.

All in all, this was an entertaining book, although it was hard to read, and, not going to lie, my patience was tested a few times.

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19351043Nemeses! Dragons! Science! Symbolism!

Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are.

But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona’s powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.

Mini Review

“You can’t just go round murdering people. There are rules, Nimona.”

Oh my gosh!!!!!!! This is the cutest graphic novel I have read in a long time! Cute and entertaining and frightening and engaging. I was fully immersed in this unique tale, and never wanted it to end. Does anyone know if there will be a second book? Or something else written in this world? I would read the hell out of it.

Nimona is a gem. I honestly had no idea what I was getting into when I started reading this book – for some reason I thought it was a medieval graphic novel about kings, and it sort of is. But it’s also about superheroes, dragons, magic fused with science, shapeshifters, and villains vs. heroes. In one word: amazing. 

The characters were adorable and feisty, especially Nimona. I also loved the insinuated relationship between Ballister Blackheart and Ambrosius Goldenlion. The artwork was insanely beautiful: very colourful and bright, and just so alluring. The humour was fantastic too – I was literally laughing at every page.

Nimona definitely held up to the hype surrounding it. So do yourselves a favour, and check it out!

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13638125Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?

Mini Review

“But these words people threw around – humans, monsters, heroes, villains – to Victor it was all just a matter of semantics. Someone could call themselves a hero and still walk around killing dozens. Someone else could be labeled a villain for trying to stop them. Plenty of humans were monstrous, and plenty of monsters knew how to play at being human.”

I really enjoy V.E. Schwab’s books, but I’ve never really understood the hype behind her. Until Vicious. Because, holy crapVicious is an insanely good novel that drew me in from the very first page.

It was a book made for me. Y’all know how much I love villains, right? Well, this entire book is ABOUT VILLAINS. That’s right. Just villains. Amazing.

Seriously, the two main characters, Victor and Eli, are complete psychopaths who are obsessed with one another, but not in the way you’re probably thinking of – they just really want to kill each other.

I don’t want to say much about the plot, because the less you know, the better your reading experience will be. I can say that the novel jumps between tenses, and character POVs, very quickly: past, present, last night, ten years ago, etc. It makes the experience all the more mysterious, because you’re forced to put together the story for yourself.

Just read it. That’s all I can really say. Read this damn book. You’ll thank me.  

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Have you read any of these books? What are your thoughts? Do you ever get desperately behind on your reviews too? Let me know!

12 thoughts on “A collection of mini reviews because this blogger is lazy: Hamilton The Revolution, The Night Circus, Nimona & Vicious

  1. Satou Johns says:

    Oh the Night Circus! This is such a book! I like it a lot, there where things I did not like but in general is a good book! I agree that it was confusing at some point and it might have been a bit messy but it was decent enough to enchant me XD
    I always see the book somewhere and I had to comment on that haha sorry!
    Love the snow falling on your blog! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Sophie @ Blame Chocolate says:

    Lovely mini reviews, Laura! 🙂
    I haven’t read any of these yet, but I know for a fact I’ll love Vicious (it’s Schwab, what more could I say?) and hopefully The Night Circus. Thanks for the heads up on the confusing aspect of it, I hadn’t realized it was supposed to be that way and would have been a bit taken aback hahaha
    I’m not on the Hamilton fandom but I saw it everywhere, especially on Twitter and wondered why it was so popular. Guess I need to read it/watch the show/listen to the soundtrack sometime, too!

    Liked by 1 person

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