November 17th, 2015

Cat with book: Yawn

Book 42 of 2015: The Sign of the Cat

The Sign of the Cat by Lynne Jonell
Rating: Okay (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

I have a confession to make: I'm horrible at seeing plot twists coming. I rarely guess what's going to happen next in a movie or TV show. I think it's because I don't want to know -- if I know, it's a lot less fun. That being said, I saw the answer to every single mystery in this book a mile ahead of time. From the biggest to the smallest, I was able to easily spot what was going to happen.

The story was about a boy who can speak the language of cats. How did he learn? Turns out anyone can learn to speak cat at a certain age, it's just that most cats don't bother to teach people. (I loved that detail, it was the high point of the story for me.)

The land the boy lived in lost its princess, killed by someone the characters were told was a bad guy. The main character had no idea who his father was. The supposed good guy who was "searching" for the princess happened to kidnap the boy "by mistake". Through the story we learned the truth of who the boy's father was, what happened to the princess, and other very unsurprising things. It was so obvious once you saw all the pieces how they were going to come together.

One of the biggest failings of the book was the bad guy. He ate not just cats, but kittens. Okay, author, you write a book about a boy who can talk to cats, thus you know you're likely going to get cat lovers as readers. How amazingly heavy-handed is it to have your bad guy eat kittens? Hell, he ate kitten pot pie with furry ears and tails sticking out of it. What the hell sense does that make? Who would want to eat any meat with the fur still on it?

I got about 70% through the book before I started skimming, and once I realized I really had no interested at all in reading the ending, I gave up on it. If I hadn't been able to see every plot twist coming, I probably would have enjoyed it more and finished it.

Next up: Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld. orangerful and I both have a hit-or-miss experience with Westerfeld, and Zeroes was in both of our To Read piles, so I figured I'd give it a try next. So far, about 10% in, I'm seriously indifferent to it. It's kind of an interesting idea (the characters have "super powers", but the powers aren't all that super at all; unfortunately they're not "not super" in an interesting way). I'm disappointed, as I loved Westerfeld's Leviathan trilogy so much. Oh well, maybe it will improve as the story goes on.

Passed on: I was offered Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys for review, and I was very tempted to accept it. loupnoir recommended her first book, Between Shades of Gray, which I enjoyed, so I was tempted by Salt to the Sea (LOVE that title). But the subject matter (some battle in WWII) just didn't interest me at all. Of course, the subject matter in Between Shades of Gray hadn't interested me either and I ended up really enjoying reading that, so Salt might have worked for me, but... I have a whole lot of books I'm waiting to read, so I decided to pass on Salt.
Chi_ :o

Movie: The Circle

I watch very few movies, because generally I multitask too much during them, so it takes days for me to get through them (I endlessly pause it or have to backtrack to see what I missed). I'm kind of a little burnt out on my game right now, so I've been watching more Netflix than usual. A movie caught my eye, so I checked it out.

GAH! It could not have been a better fit for me if it had been written for me personally!

The movie opens with 50 people in a dark space, each standing on a lighted circle. If they move off that light or touch each other, a loud warning sound blasts. If they stay off their light, they die.

Even if everyone does everything right, every two minutes, one of them is killed.

After a few deaths, they learn more and more about how the person is chosen to be killed. Collapse ) The next hour and change is all about how people act, what makes them turn on each other, how personalities come out, all sorts of plotting and planning.

It's not gory at all, there's not a single drop of blood. It's all the psychological end of things.

I wish they would have ended the movie a moment sooner -- I like open-ended things better. The ending as-is wasn't at all bad, it just could have been even better.

If you don't like dark movies, this is a big pass for you. But if you're interested in seeing how people act when in horrible situations, then The Circle might be a good fit for you.