Home · Reviews · Top Shelf Book Reviews

Twerp Book Review – Top Shelf Book Reviews #6

Hello there you groundhog days. Today I’m going to be reviewing Twerp by Mark Goldblatt. I already wrote a bad review of this two years ago, but it’s worth revisiting for this series. This book, before reading, was my second favorite book of all time.

I’m not 100% of how I found this book in the first place, but I think it was at my school’s library near the end of 5th grade. I remember on one of the last days of the year, my library was giving away the books it was taking out of the system to students and me and my friend Isaac went to get books. I got some book I can’t remember, and he got Twerp, and I asked if we could trade, and we did. It turned out that trade was meant to be.

I don’t remember whether or not it resonated with me at the time I got it, but I know it did in 6th grade. The book’s main character (Julian) is the fastest boy in his school, and that was the year I was incidentally trying out for my school’s track team. This mostly lead to disappointment that I wasn’t a very fast runner, but I also found it very easy to relate to Julian, as we were both boys in 6th grade who liked running.

On to the review portion of the review!

Along with the aforementioned feeling of relating to Julian strongly, a lot of other factors helped shoe this book to my second favorite book of all time. One of those factors is a story that’s okay with not having a predictable, perfect ending, but an alternative path that you wouldn’t have even thought of. Another is how (most) of the characters aren’t just boring stereotypes, but have an extra layer of humanity that makes them interesting to read about. Not to mention how good of a job Mark Goldblatt does in making it feel like we’re really in 1969, while also keeping the settings ambiguous enough for the story to make sense to someone born not even close to that time.

But even though the book is still the same good read it was when I read it in 6th grade, some of the relation I felt to Julian isn’t there. For example, I don’t run very much anymore, and I’m old now, so I lose the age and interests bond. However, the reason I still like the book and can kind of still relate to Julian, even though we have almost nothing in common now, is because he is a well-written character. If he wasn’t a well-written character, all bonds would have been cut, and I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the book at all. For me, this ability to still be able to relate to readers even though you have no idea what kind of person is reading is the true test of a writer’s ability.

In conclusion, you should read this book and tell me whether or not you agree with some of my points! I give this book a rating of 8/10.

Thanks for reading all the way down to the bottom of this review, I hoped you enjoyed it 😀

Hint for Next Review: tmucmk evmerlmamsmmtmimngmm without the m’s.


Reviews · Top Shelf Book Reviews

Things Not Seen Review – Top Shelf Book Reviews #3

Hello there you invisible people. It’s been a while since I made this weekly series, but it should come out on time for now on. Today as you read in the title, i’ll be reviewing Things Not Seen by Andrew Clements, the author of Frindle.

I only found out that this is one book of a trilogy after googling the book title so that I could get a picture of the cover, so I might read the next two books in the future.

I’m not positive about the first time I read this book, but I believe it was around the time that I read Brave Story, because I also remember buying the book at McKays. The first time I read the book, I was thinking of how different my life would be if one day I woke up and I was invisible. Needless to say, I was grateful I was visible.

On to the review part of the section!

After reading the book for the first time in a few years, i’ve been reminded of what it does well and the few slip-ups it has. My absolute favorite thing about the book, which seems to connect all of my favorite books to me, is that I can relate to the main character’s feelings and thoughts. This is a pretty simple thing, but it really makes a difference. Take The Outsiders for example. That book won the Margaret A. Edwards award and it continues to relate to teenagers 50 years after it’s publication. Clements’ writing stays reliably interesting the whole book through, and the characters stay lively, and do a pretty good job escaping the archetypes of book characters in Young Adult books.

*Minor Spoilers*

I also think it was very clever to have one of the only people Bobby could trust with his invisibility’s secret someone who it wouldn’t make a difference to, Alicia. Their bonding over the novel was done really well in my opinion, and I think that the conclusion finished up that chapter of their relationship nicely.

*Minor Spoilers End*

There are only two problems that I had with the novel, one of which being how it wrapped up perfectly. I hadn’t really thought about this as a problem before, but a friend said they had read the book and that was their criticism, so I took it into account. As I finished the book, I realized that they were correct. It ends in a perfect little knot. While I still liked the book’s ending, I can still understand that this is kind of a problem.

The other problem is that they never told the reader at the end of the book that there would be more books in the series! I literally didn’t even know that this was a trilogy until I looked the book up, like I said earlier. I think that it’s definitely a problem if you don’t let your audience know that they don’t have the full story at the end of the book. It ended well enough that I never even considered that there was more to the story.

Overall, not really enough problems to warrant any major point deductions.

9/10, not perfect, but better than average.

Thanks for reading all the way down to the bottom of this review!

I just had the idea that maybe instead of a Dictionary Taboo on these reviews, I could leave hints for what the next book will be, so i’m going to be doing that now!

Hints for Next Review: computer program comes to life




Home · Reviews · Top Shelf Book Reviews

Brave Story Review – Top Shelf Book Reviews #1

Hello there you rainbow yo-yos! This is the first episode of a series called Top Shelf Reviews (see NOTE), which you can find out more about here. I’m really excited for this project, and I hope you are too!

NOTE: I decided to change the name of this series to Top Shelf reviews, as RAREBOTS sounds like some kind of bionacles thing. Sorry if you liked that name.

Book Title: Brave Story

Author: Miyuki Miyabe

Genre: Fantasy


I’ve most likely mentioned before on here that this is my favorite book, so this is probably a little bit biased. Just warning you.

I found this book at McKays, which if you didn’t know is like a huge thrift store, but fancier and you can bring your stuff in to trade in for cash or in-store credit. The location closest to us is HUGE, and I was just wandering around being kind of overwhelmed by everything, so I wasn’t actually picking anything. We were getting close to leaving when my mom noticed that I hadn’t picked anything out to read/listen to/watch, so she picked up a book from a shelf based purely on the cover picture. I was slightly interested by the wavy writing on the back, so I thought I would try it.


*Sorry that the two pictures are drastically different sizes, I couldn’t find some that matched*

I read the book in about a week and a half, quickly digesting all of it in wonder. I realized when I finished that this was my favorite book, even surpassing Twerp.

What keeps this book interesting (even through 800 pages), was the world-building and character arcs through everyone. This was also one of the first impressions on me from Japanese culture, and I was reeled in even by the regular for them things, like cram school. Aside from that, the fantasy elements of the book are well-implemented and the themes and conflicts that arise throughout the book are intriguing and keep the characters fresh, along with mixing in plenty of allusions to past real-world events. The rivalry between two of the main characters didn’t feel forced, and the build-up and conclusion of this subplot were well-timed and well-written. The overall ending of the book felt like it was in the right place, and while some parts dragged a little bit throughout the middle, I think it finished strong.

However, some problems with this book are the aforementioned plot dragging on, and a little bit too much crammed into the story. On the first point, sometimes things got a bit slow, or things happened that didn’t seem to really but that linked to the main plot. That brings me to my second problem with the book, too many details crammed into the book. Even though it all wraps up well, my brain is usually a little bit clogged at that point, because it’s hard to comprehend every detail in the book while you aren’t focusing completely on it the whole time you are reading it.

Aside from these few complications, Brave Story is still my favorite book. Perhaps one day another book will take the crown from Brave Story, but that day isn’t today.

I rate it 9/10.

And now a poll, for the next book reviewed in this series.

Thanks for reading this post, I really appreciate it 😀

If you want to you can listen to my music here okay thanks!

Dictionary Taboo:

an expression designed to call something to mind without mentioning it explicitly; an indirect or passing reference.


Home · Reviews · Writings

Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley – A Review

(Due to either my idiocy or a mistake on WordPress’s end caused the entire review portion of my review posted earlier today to be deleted, so I have to rewrite the whole thing. Imagine how excited I am.)

Hello there you Death Note endings. Today, as you just read I will be writing this book review. Again.

I’m just going to go right into the review here, because I was going to be working on something else instead of putting time into this again.

I think this book is my favorite of the ones that I have reviewed recently so far. Without revealing too much of the plot, I can tell you this book is about a small town becoming popular, a brother gone missing, and a quest. I found the story to be compelling, the characters relatable and lifelike, and the bits of comedy mixed in there actually funny. I only have two problems with the book, the fact that it didn’t have an epilogue, when it was obviously the type of ending that needed an epilogue, and that the ending felt a little rushed. Addressing the first issue, if you read the book, you would understand that with the conclusion it presented, it needed an epilogue to wrap itself up. On the second, i’d say that almost the entire second half of the book is build-up to the end, with all the loose strings coming towards each other, but the ending was kind of jammed into the last few pages.

Overall, i’ll rate it 9/10.

yes, one day a book will not be rated 9/10

To directly influence the next review, please leave a vote on this poll! Please!

Thanks for reading this review, if you enjoyed it and would like to see more in the future then VOTE ON THE POLL and like.


(death note ending)



How to Ruin Everything by George Watsky – Review

Hello there you tusks. Today, as you probably deduced by reading the title, I will be giving a short review of George Watsky’s How to Ruin Everything, which is a collection of essays. If you don’t know, i’m a pretty big fan of Watsky (if you read this Dade tell Max thanks again), so I decided to get this book because I have typically liked his work in the past.

Genre: Essays

Even though the essays were not connected, aside from the odd reference shared between them every once and a while, I found them entertaining. I think that Watsky’s lyrical abilities transfer well into normal writing. The essay form gives him a way to tell the stories that would be too long for a song (ignoring Exquisite Corpse here). My favorite stories overall were probably Down to the Filter, Crying & Baseball, and The White Whale. I think that if you can handle Watsky’s music and poetry, then the book should be appropriate. I recommend it to any fans of Watsky or essays!

I think without thinking too hard, I would rate this book 8.5/10, with the point and a half off being only for the book feeling a little bit too short for 12$. But I suppose that’s an unfair criticism, so i’ll round it up to 9/10!

To determine what book I should read and review next, vote on the poll here! If you leave an other answer that’s a book I don’t have, then it will probably be a really long time until I can find it and review it for you, so keep that in mind.

Thanks for reading all the way down to the bottom of this post :9876543


Home · Reviews

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman – Review

Hello there you japanese balloon bombs. Today I have a pretty short review on a book I recently read, Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman. There are no huge spoilers in this post.

Neverwhere was certainly an interesting story. For a good time in the book, everything is normal for our main character, Richard. However, after he brings an injured girl he found on the sidewalk back to his apartment to help, everything changes.

Without giving away the plot, I can safely say that fans of fantasy, character development, and plot twists will enjoy this book. Brimming with descriptive words, the book really makes you feel like you are there, experiencing the scene unfold in front of you.

I rate this book 9/10, with the final point deducted simply because of the confusion throughout the whole book until it wraps up at the end. While sometimes the mystery can be a good thing, it just feels as if I was left in the dark for far too long.

That’s all for this tiny review. The book I read directly after Neverwhere, The Book Of Heroes by Miyuki Miyabe, was also amazing. Comment below if you want me to review that as well!


Home · Reviews

Wonder Woman 2017-REVIEW


This post has spoilers for Wonder Woman, and even if you just have a vague interest in it I HIGHLY RECOMMEND watching the movie first. Okay, you have been warned.






Today we will be talking about a superhero movie that starts with the discovery of a long lost object, the hero has a metal shield-like weapon, the hero and love interest fight in one of the world wars, against the Germans, where the male love interest who is played by a guy named Chris dies heroically in a plane crash near the end of the film, the bad guy is defeated, and it brings you back to the present day at the end.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you

Image result for captain america the first avenger

Wait, sorry! Typographical error, my apologies. I give you

Image result for wonder woman poster

a comprehensive (but not really) review by Jamie Watson


Joking aside, this movie was the best DCEU movie I’ve seen since it rebooted with Man of Steel.

And even though I made fun of its obvious similarities to Captain America:  The First Avenger, I think what on the surface looks like a simple bland story line is, upon closer inspection, a good movie with great Action, Acting, and Advocating for equal rights.


I think Gal Gadot was pretty perfectly cast, and Chris Pine also did a great job adding to the list of characters in superhero movies names Chris.

Untitled drawing

However I will note this is the first time one of these Chris’s has not been a superhero (oh wait, Robin

Image result for shots firedImage result for shots fired gif

Image result for ooooh gifImage result for ooooh gif


Okay, focus.

I really enjoyed the action that this movie had, and I thought that the story was good.

The comedy was substantial and supported the story, the way that Marvel *ahem* DC intended it to be.

Now, onto the action.

The scene where Diana and Steve are in the trenches and Diana leads the charge to push back the Germans is one many people were talking about. Image result for wonder woman no man's landPersonally the ‘exquisite, breathtaking’ No-Mans Land scene kind of confused me (and I say this about nearly every superhero movie) because of the impossibility of it all. But still,  I realize it is a SUPERHERO MOVIE so I’ll let it slide. This scene in particular looked fantastic and I think the action was good. However, I definitely wasn’t moved to tears by this sequence like some other reviews I read.

But my favorite action sequence from this movie (and I’m biased being raised on Avengers movies and cartoons) was the action sequence with the attack on Themyscira.Image result for themyscira


The large battle, the unconventional fighting style of the Amazons and how quickly the adapted to guns and new attacks was just so cool to me. And yes, while most who write about this movie are talking about how important this movie was for feminism and how it broke convention, I spend the post talking about fighting and battles. Hey, you read all the way down here.

Image result for themyscira battle

I just wish that it had either been later in the film or the prior moments in the film had emphasized the connection between the Amazons and our protagonist Diana. Even though the body count was actually large, to me it felt like it was a fight scene over too quick and done without enough backdrop, taking an awesome fighting sequence with lots of emotional potential and just making it a Transformers-esque fight for the sake of fighting. Or I guess, UFC.

Despite this I loved the action and aspects of the story, and I think the acting was great!

Now, nitpicking! 

There are a few things that confused me.

One, she was made out of clay. Just, WHAT?

I was really hoping they would ditch this because it is the second worst thing of Wonder Woman in general.

The first? Well, an invisible jet. So hopefully they don’t bring that back in Justice League.

Second, she aged up to her age in the film, but then hadn’t aged at all since the fight with Ares to 2017.

I don’t understand, but if you know please enlighten me!

Thirdly, her powers seem to be limitless. I can give leeway here because Marvel does similar things with Thor but it needs to be pointed out. She is fast, good with a sword, a shield, a whip, can flip a tank when she is enraged, her wrist ‘things’ can sent a shock wave out that throws people backwards, and those same wrist things harnessed the power of a Greek god and destroyed said god.

Which brings me to Fourthly, she destroyed the freaking god of war! there is no way she is on the same playing field with anyone other than Superman, and I don’t know of any Themyscironite. I guess it could be said that her determination helped and her wrist things just rebounded his power on himself but still, come on.

All and all the most successful woman directed movie of all time and the most successful DCEU movie gets 7.5/10 James Stars.

Did you like the movie? What are your thoughts? Comment them below.

Also what should my next comprehensive (but not really) review be? Old or new, movie, book, game, ice cream, let me know!

That is it and as I cried into a pillow on the season 1 finale of West Wing:

I am Diana, Princess of Themyscira

Image result for wonder woman

You will board my ship and restore the heart of Te Feti

Image result for moana

You killed my father, prepare to die.

Image result for inigo montoya