Break Up (I’m a different person today than I was 3 years ago- and that’s okay)

A week ago, I opened a Rick Riordan book (Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer) and waited for the magic to happen. I waited to be carried away to another world where myth and modern-day reality inter-twined and teenagers could be badass. I flipped through first one page, and then another, anticipating the moment I would be hooked, addicted.

But I made my way to page 20, to page 50, page 103 and I felt…nothing.  For the first time,Rick Riordan’s books didn’t completely captivate me.  I felt that the humor was trying too hard (and failing even harder). Instead of suppressing snorts and giggles, I was trying not to roll my eyes. Instead of  empathizing with the main character, I wanted to shake him. I wanted to grab him by the shoulders and tell him to make up his mind: “Do you want to have a pity party or do you want to be glib?”  By the time the love interest arrived on the scene, I was frustrated by the cliches. Sure, let’s have the beautiful girl be violent for no reason- teenage girls everywhere will finally have a positive role-model to emulate and teen-boys will learn to fantasize about “real” women.

I closed the book. I got to a point where I had to say stop.

And do you know how that made me feel? I felt terrible. Disloyal- like a shitty friend.
I felt old and out of touch, like I couldn’t empathize with teenagers any more. This despite the fact that I’m sixTEEN! (and think nothing of randomly capitalising words).

I stewed over it for a while. Was I moving out of my childhood, to become ‘mature’? Was I becoming elitist and snobby? Becoming choosy with my books?

Today I finally managed to kick myself out of my funk. I read books for enjoyment, I told myself. I do it because I love being sucked into new worlds and caring about characters.
There’s nothing to be ashamed about.
So, I shouldn’t feel guilty for failing to be sucked in. It’s not my fault and I’m not hurting anyone by doing it. If nobody’s blaming me, I don’t need to blame myself.

I don’t care if I sound like a cliche: I’m growing up and I’m moving on. I’m not the same person today that I was three years ago when I opened up the Lightning Thief and devoured it instantly. I’m not even the same person I was a couple of months back when I cried when Blood of Olympus was released.

Does that mean I think Rick Riordan is an idiot and his ideas are pond scum? Definitely not. Uncle Rick got me interested in Greek Mythology. His books were an instrumental part of my early teens as I bonded with friends over them and secretly wrote PJO fanfiction. In fact, it’s because I respect him and his writing style so much that I will probably never open another Rick Riordan book.
I don’t want to remember slogging through his books, forcing myself to like them and hating myself when I didn’t. I’d rather have the happy nostalgia of fond memories from his first few books.

It sounds like the end of a relationship, doesn’t it? With lame excuses on one side and heartbreak on the other. But it’s not like that. It’s not like that at all. Uncle Rick’s franchise is stronger than it has ever been before. If the PJO fandom is sad about my departure, it’s secure in the knowledge that there are a million teens and pre-teens out there willing to love it.  And I’m not hesitant about my decision. I can’t afford to be because there are a million books out there waiting for my love.

I could hang around, trying to ‘make things work’. But it wouldn’t be good for me, and I respect myself. I’m in a more insightful place today than I was a week ago, and I can finally appreciate this quote:

“Just because I liked something at one point in time doesn’t mean I’ll always like it, or that I have to go on liking it at all points in time as an unthinking act of loyalty to who I am as a person, based solely on who I was as a person. To be loyal to myself is to allow myself to grow and change, and challenge who I am and what I think. The only thing I am for sure is unsure, and this means I’m growing, and not stagnant or shrinking.”

-Jarod Kintz

Blood of Olympus

Book: Blood of Olympus (Heroes of Olympus #5)

Author: Rick Riordan

The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus, #5)

Blurb:

Though the Greek and Roman crewmembers of the Argo II have made progress in their many quests, they still seem no closer to defeating the earth mother, Gaea. Her giants have risen—all of them—and they’re stronger than ever. They must be stopped before the Feast of Spes, when Gaea plans to have two demigods sacrificed in Athens. She needs their blood—the blood of Olympus—in order to wake.

The demigods are having more frequent visions of a terrible battle at Camp Half-Blood. The Roman legion from Camp Jupiter, led by Octavian, is almost within striking distance. Though it is tempting to take the Athena Parthenos to Athens to use as a secret weapon, the friends know that the huge statue belongs back on Long Island, where it “might” be able to stop a war between the two camps.

The Athena Parthenos will go west; the Argo II will go east. The gods, still suffering from multiple personality disorder, are useless. How can a handful of young demigods hope to persevere against Gaea’s army of powerful giants? As dangerous as it is to head to Athens, they have no other option. They have sacrificed too much already. And if Gaea wakes, it is game over.

My thoughts: 

This is the end of the Heroes of Olympus series and the end of books based on Percy Jackson and the Greek Pantheon- Something that I was pretty depressed to hear about but after reading the book I’m starting to wonder if it may be for the best.
Five books in a middle-grade series another five in a young adult series as well as several companion books like the Demigod Files and Gods of Olympus…I think we’ve had a pretty good run.

In this book Percy is featured a lot less than he is in the other books. Don’t get me wrong! He’s still doing heroic stuff but  this book emphasizes that he’s a normal guy. A capable and heroic guy for sure. But at the end of the day he’s just a normal guy with an affinity for the sea, crazy loyalty and just a little bit of heroism. In Blood of Olympus, Percy Jackson stands back a little and lets the rest of the demigods take center-stage.

We get a deeper insight into  the terrifying depths of Nico’s mind. We see the dynamics of Hazel and Nico’s sibling relationship. I wouldn’t say Nico shines in this book (can you imagine him doing that?) but a lot of the focus is put on him. For the first time, we get to see things from his point of view. This was something I had just been dying for-especially after his major reveal in House of Hades.

We finally get to see Reyna and her entire back-story which had been alluded to in Son of Neptune but never brought out. It sounds like an uncommon pairing, but Nico and Reyna get along really well…as friends. Her point of view was the most surprising and enjoyable in the book. She’s not a total ice queen; but she is more mature and has gone through stuff which is a lot darker than what the others have gone through.

Piper…she was the character everyone loved to hate. She’s a daughter of Aphrodite and guys I think we all (as well as the monsters) underestimated her. People thought she did a lot of growing in the last book but whoa, in this book she will blow you out of the water. Do not underestimate the power of…love and charmspeaking and emotions and gut-feelings and instincts.

Leo matures a little bit in this book (although he’s still as hilarious). After House of Hades, he’s a bit Calypso-obsessed and no matter how much I ship them, I kind of found it annoying. As always, he relies more on his wit, words and cunning (are you sure you aren’t an Athena kid, Leo?) than on his brawn. But Leo, fans everywhere want to know- What’s up with all the self-sacrifice?

The idea of family was explored in this book with intense sibling relationships beign featured (Yay for Thalia and Jason, Hylla and Reyna and Nico and Hazel!) and yes, Gaea was partially defeated by taunts of failed family.

This was the end of the entire series and Uncle Rick had a lot of loose ends to tie up. Unfortunately, the last quarter of the book where he tied up everything felt a bit rushed and over-simplified. I was prepared for character deaths and horrible cliff-hangers but everyone got their happy ever-afters. I felt a little bit cheated. I expected tears and bloodshed but instead there were pegasi and smiles all around.

And the ending is why this book gets such a low rating. Somehow, it manged to leave me disappointed and unsatisfied with everything wrapped up just too neatly. I think I’ve outgrown the series, but then this is the end.

My Ratings:

Cover: 4/5

Plot: 4/5

Characters: 3/5

Romance: N/A- (Romance took a major backseat in this book)

Ending: 1/5

Plotholes: 3/5

Overall Rating: 2.5/5

I would recommend to: Anyone who hasn’t finished the series yet. It’s not my favorite ending but at least it is an ending.

Will I read his next book: Maybe. The Magnus Chase series comes out next year and it’s based on Norse Mythology. While I love Norse mythology, I kind of feel that I’ve outgrown Riordan and his somewhat childish (but hilarious) writing style.