Flashback || A Book Review

Keeper of the Lost Cities: Flashback by Shannon Messenger || 5/5

In this unforgettable seventh book, Sophie must let the past and present blur together, because the deadliest secrets are always the ones that get erased.

Sophie Foster doesn’t know what—or whom—to believe. And in a game with this many players, the worst mistake can be focusing on the wrong threat.

But when the Neverseen prove that Sophie’s far more vulnerable than she ever imagined, she realizes it’s time to change the rules. Her powerful abilities can only protect her so far. To face down ruthless enemies, she must learn to fight.

Unfortunately, battle training can’t help a beloved friend who’s facing a whole different danger—where the only solution involves one of the biggest risks Sophie and her friends have ever taken. And the distraction might be exactly what the villains have been waiting for. 


  • This book was… not what I expected.
  • I thought it was going to be super action-packed. Just look at the cover! But it wasn’t. The majority of the book centered around the characters talking and planning.
  • And I love character development, I just didn’t expect so much of it.
  • My biggest issue with this book was the pacing. There’s some action in the first hundred pages, then little action in the next five hundred pages, and then LOTS of action in the last hundred pages.
  • I love the character development in this book for Fitz.
  • However, the other characters were neglected a bit.
  • I love the writing style.
  • I love that the world was further developed and we got to learn new things about it and see more of it.
  • I love that the story is character-driven.
  • Overall, it’s an amazing series, and I love it so much, but this isn’t my favorite book in the series. I still love it, though.
  • I love seeing the characters growing up.
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Lord of the Flies || A Book Review

Lord of the Flies by William Golding || 3/5

At the dawn of the next world war, a plane crashes on an uncharted island, stranding a group of schoolboys. At first, with no adult supervision, their freedom is something to celebrate; this far from civilization the boys can do anything they want. Anything. They attempt to forge their own society, failing, however, in the face of terror, sin and evil. And as order collapses, as strange howls echo in the night, as terror begins its reign, the hope of adventure seems as far from reality as the hope of being rescued. Labeled a parable, an allegory, a myth, a morality tale, a parody, a political treatise, even a vision of the apocalypse, Lord of the Flies is perhaps our most memorable tale about “the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart.”


  • By terms of symbolic meaning, this book is a masterpiece
    • I love how it portrays humans as savage animals
  • Entertainment-wise, it’s a resounding meh.
  • The pacing is slow.
  • The characters are shallow and two-dimensional. They have one or two defining characteristics, but that’s it. They exist to be symbols, not people.
  • I kept forgetting characters. They all have interchangeable names, especially Roger and Robert.
  • The writing takes some getting used to, but once you get in the flow of it, it’s fine. It doesn’t really stand out, though.
  • The ending was jarring. It didn’t flow from the rest of the book. It’s like, alright, now things have gone too far. Cue madness. Cue chaos. Okay. Let’s end it right now and tie it with a pretty pink bow.
  • It was boring, and I didn’t care about the characters or what happened to them.

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy || A Book Review

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee || 4/5

A year after an accidentally whirlwind grand tour with her brother Monty, Felicity Montague has returned to England with two goals in mind—avoid the marriage proposal of a lovestruck suitor from Edinburgh and enroll in medical school. However, her intellect and passion will never be enough in the eyes of the administrators, who see men as the sole guardians of science.

But then a window of opportunity opens—a doctor she idolizes is marrying an old friend of hers in Germany. Felicity believes if she could meet this man he could change her future, but she has no money of her own to make the trip. Luckily, a mysterious young woman is willing to pay Felicity’s way, so long as she’s allowed to travel with Felicity disguised as her maid.

In spite of her suspicions, Felicity agrees, but once the girl’s true motives are revealed, Felicity becomes part of a perilous quest that leads them from the German countryside to the promenades of Zurich to secrets lurking beneath the Atlantic.


  • Love the writing style and the humor
  • However I enjoyed the first book in the series, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, much more.
  • It wasn’t quite as funny, but that’s because the main character is Felicity, not Monty
  • I loved seeing what happened to Monty and Percy after the first book
  • I love how Felicity stood up for herself and was so stubborn. I was rooting for her the entire time.
  • However, while I liked the other two minor characters, Johanna and Sim, I wasn’t particularly attached to them.
  • Overall, it’s a solid read, but I don’t see myself rereading it in the future.

Read 10-18-2018 to 10-21-2018

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

Vengeful || A Book Review

Vengeful by V.E. Schwab || 5/5

Sydney once had Serena—beloved sister, betrayed enemy, powerful ally. But now she is alone, except for her thrice-dead dog, Dol, and then there’s Victor, who thinks Sydney doesn’t know about his most recent act of vengeance.

Victor himself is under the radar these days—being buried and re-animated can strike concern even if one has superhuman powers. But despite his own worries, his anger remains. And Eli Ever still has yet to pay for the evil he has done.


  • The writing style is lovely, as always.
  • The characters are amazing. I love them so much, especially Victor, and I just want to lock them away in a safe house and keep anything bad from happening to them.
  • But, I liked Vicious, the first book in the series, a tiny bit better.
  • The events were difficult to keep track of chronologically. In Vicious, there were only two main time periods, so it was easy enough to keep everything straight. However, in Vengeful, there are so many different times and places and characters, so it was hard to piece together what was happening.
  • I love the characters that were established in the first book, and I loved finding out what happened to them next. And I admired the new characters in this book, but I didn’t get quite as attached to them.
  • I didn’t understand June’s motives toward Sydney, but June was a really mysterious character. We know almost nothing about her. Which is interesting and all, but it made me confused as to June’s purpose.
  • After finishing the book, I still had questions. So hopefully there will be another book in the series.

Read 10-7-2018 to 10-12-2018

Vicious by V.E. Schwab || A Book Review

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab || A Book Review

Bridge of Clay || A Book Review

Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak || 3.5/5

The breathtaking story of five brothers who bring each other up in a world run by their own rules. As the Dunbar boys love and fight and learn to reckon with the adult world, they discover the moving secret behind their father’s disappearance. 

At the center of the Dunbar family is Clay, a boy who will build a bridge—for his family, for his past, for greatness, for his sins, for a miracle. 

The question is, how far is Clay willing to go? And how much can he overcome?


  • It’s beautifully written.
  • The characters are developed and complex.
  • I love the story.
  • But it’s very slow. It drags and meanders quite a bit.
  • I spent the majority of the book very confused.
  • I finished, and I was still confused.
  • And it didn’t make me feel anything.
  • The shocking moments weren’t very shocking. I kept thinking, That’s it?
  • I love how conclusive the ending is.
  • While the writing is very beautiful, I had to read almost two hundred pages before I got used to it. During those two hundred pages, I kept having to reread portions to understand what was happening.
  • A lot of seemingly unimportant details turned out to be important much later. Because I’d initially thought they were unimportant, I struggled to remember them later, which added to the confusion.
  • The book struggled to hold my attention. It wasn’t captivating.

Read 10-24-2018 to 11-3-2018

Book Review of I Am The Messenger

Mirror, Mirror || A Very Short Story

  1. Mirror, Mirror: What if your mirror started talking to you? What might the mirror say?

Jenny stood in front of the mirror, adjusting her makeup, when her reflection screamed. Jenny, of course, screamed in return. And cursed a bit as well.

“You look atrocious!” the mirror exclaimed.

Jenny, bewildered, couldn’t form a reply.

“Well, come on, don’t just stand there like a pebble or a lilypad or some other immovable object. Don’t tell me you’re incompetent as well as ugly!”

“What are you?” Jenny breathed, concerned that she might be going crazy.

“This is unbelievable. You really can’t recognize me?”

“Well, you look just like me…” Jenny replied.

“You’re very good at stating the obvious,” her reflection replied.

Jenny rolled her eyes. “You haven’t answered my question.”

“You still can’t guess? I’m your self-esteem.”

The Nightmare of Dentistry

I went to the dentist today. I despise the dentist.

But I have no cavities! Aren’t you so EXCITED that I have no cavities?! *Jazz hands*

I dislike the dentist so much because of the way they put their fingers in your mouth. Yes, they wear gloves, but still.

It’s also really wet. Yes, that drool sliding down your chin is yours, but it’s still spit. And it belongs in your mouth. And what about that suspicious clear liquid on the dentist’s glove? Is it water, or is it SPIT? My spit, but STILL!

Even more than doctorism, dentistry is one job I could never do. Day in and day out, you’re just sticking your hands in people’s mouths. So applause to all the dentists of the world for risking their sanity in order to keep people’s mouths cavity, pain, and dirt-free. *Claps*

ALSO. If there are any dentist out there reading this, please educate me on the rules of dentist-appointment etiquette. What the heck are you supposed to do with your tongue?!

  • Put it at the bottom of your mouth?
  • The roof of your mouth?
  • Follow the fingers/tools? This is what I tend to do. I try not to, but it’s not a conscious thing. Sometimes I remember not to, sometimes I don’t. But if I were the dentist and the patient were doing this…
    • Arachnid the Dentist (screams): AHHH! THE TONGUE IS ATTACKING ME!!! (Runs out of the office, leaving the patient strapped to the chair with multiple sharp objects in their mouth.)
  • Curl it up at the back of your mouth?
  • Lick the dentist’s tools?

When I’m at the dentist, I feel like a puppet. A very stressed puppet. Because here I am at the dentist’s mercy (I mean, if they wanted to, they could stab your mouth with those pointy tools) with sweat dripping down my back and the bright lights glaring at my eyes, masked dentists leaning above me with sharp tools at their disposal, thinking about all the other mouths these tools have touched (It’s the same principle as using a fork a restaurant), while the dentists are conversing with each other like normal human beings, occasionally asking you to tilt your head or open your mouth wider.

Why Diversity is Important in Media

I am an Indian human (technically Bangladeshi—but is that nationality? (Is it even my nationality since I was born in Canada? What IS a nationality? (I think my nationality is either Canadian or American and my ethnicity is Bangladeshi, but that is probably incorrect)). What even is the actual term for my race [I just did some minor Googling and I couldn’t find anything. There are multiple races from Bangladesh] I always just went with Indian (Bangladesh is on the Indian subcontinent) or generic brown).

So I have the average black hair, black eyes, and brown skin combo. But when I was a kid, I thought I was blond with blue eyes.

Seriously.

This wasn’t a color identification issue. If you gave me paint swatches, I could tell you black, brown, yellow, smaragdine, blue, etc.

This was because I had no idea what being blond with blue eyes actually meant. (Or what an Indian person was.) I thought it was a unanimous characteristic for hair and eyes. All hair is stringy, and all hair is blond. All eyeballs are round, and all eyeballs are blue. I watched a LOT of Barbie movies (and Dora the Explorer) and Barbie is blond with blue eyes. Therefore, all humans are blond with blue eyes (or they’re talking animals [thanks Dora]).

Person trying to teach me colors: What color are your hair and eyes?

Mini Arachnid: Blond and blue. (Note that Mini Arachnid has a giant mass of tangled black hair and giant, unblinking black eyes.)

I remember in kindergarten we had to fill out a questionnaire with our eye colors. I don’t quite remember what purpose this served. The options were brown, blue, and green. I chose blue.

When my parents corrected me…

Mini Arachnid (jaw drops): WHAAAAT?

So I asked them what their eye colors are, and they said black. This ensued in another round of dramatic gasping because black wasn’t on the list of options. But their drivers’ licenses listed their eye colors as black. So clearly someone was lying.

So, in conclusion, diversity is important because it prevents confusion among young children.

 

Arachnid Writes a Story

NARRATOR: Arachnid’s fingers dance over the keyboards as he weaves a story. Her fingers struggle to keep up as she records the symphony in her head.

ARACHNID slams her face into the keyboard after staring at a blank document for an embarrassing amount of time.

A lightbulb flashes into existence above her head as an idea comes to her. She furiously types.

She pummels the backspace bar, beating it bloody, then slams her face into the keyboard again. Random letters appear on the screen.

ARACHNID: Ugh! Why is this so hard?

LAPTOP: I’m sure it’s harder for me than it is for you. What with the beating my keys bloody and all that! (Glares)

ARACHNID: If only I chose to like something I was actually good at. Imagine how convenient it would be!

LAPTOP: And if you like something you were actually good at, you wouldn’t beat my keys bloody anymore! (Glares harder)

ARACHNID: Come on, Laptop, you’ve been with me through it all. Essays, stories, disgusting attempts at poetry… You must have some ideas!

LAPTOP (softening a bit): Well, you could try writing short, random pieces before you get back to the hard one. Just write whatever. Flex those writing muscles! Preferably without beating my keys bloody. Practice makes better, as a wise first-grade teacher once said.

ARACHNID: Whatever? As in anything I can think of? Like a scene where you give me writing advice?

LAPTOP: If you must. (Sighs)

ARACHNID: Aww. I love you, too.

Vicious || Book Review

Victor 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?


Vicious by V.E. Schwab || 5/5

  • It was a page-turner. I couldn’t stop reading, and my homework definitely suffered.
  • It wasn’t in chronological order, but it wasn’t hard to keep track of what was going on.
  • I fell in love with the characters.
    • It was interesting to read a story where everyone is morally gray. There’s no clear hero, and there’s no clear villain.
    • So who should you root for?
    • What if someone’s doing the right thing for the wrong reasons? Or the wrong thing for the right reasons?
    • I loved getting into the heads of the villains. And finding them relatable. Usually, you’re supposed to despise the villain. You’re supposed to gasp and go “How could they do something so atrocious?” But what if you know how and why? Do things change?
  • The writing style is beautiful, the characters are believable.
  • I was constantly asking questions and I was fully sucked into the world of Vicious.
  • Overall, I HIGHLY recommend this book. Go read it. Right now. You’ll thank me later.

Read 9/23/2018 to 9/26/2018


Read More: Review of This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab


Also, I think this song pairs nicely with Vicious.

Eye Contact: A Writing Prompt

  1. Eye Contact: Write about two people seeing each other for the first time.

 

The park’s loud, but the only thing I can hear is the scratch of my pen and the distant echo of an epic dragon war. There are knights with clashing swords and a blazing fire and medieval princesses that save themselves, and then the knights. It seems like most people need absolute quiet for their writing. And honestly, maybe if I was writing in a silent place, my stories wouldn’t be so horrid, but it’s not like I’ll find silence anywhere at my house. The park’s not quiet, but it’s the kind of loud where you can’t hear anything. Which is an improvement.

Currently, in my head, the hero is standing in the dragon’s jaws, about to retrieve the queen’s crown from its stomach (which is where the dragons in my story hide their hoards. It’s like a weird second stomach. More like a pouch or something, I suppose, since there aren’t any digestive juices.) But. However. My pen’s run out of ink.

I’m rooting around in my bag in the hopes that I brought another one (which I know for a fact that I didn’t) when a roller skater, screaming/laughing (I can’t really tell) jumps/falls/crashes into the bench. Like the comet in my book that started the fires the allowed the dragon population to explode. But on a smaller scale and less catastrophic.

But still kind of catastrophic because all of my papers fly everyone and rain all over the place. It’s not windy, luckily. But ughhh. It’s going to be a pain to reorder everything. I should’ve added page numbers.

She pulls herself off the bench and brushes some dirt from her shirt. There are grass stains on her knees. I don’t think this is the first time she’s fallen. She sticks out her hand to help me up. I wasn’t planning to stand up, but what is one to do? Be excessively rude and not take the offered hand?

“Sorry. You wouldn’t believe how many times this has happened. I must be setting some record. I’m exceptionally bad at skating, but I decide to do it anyway, all the time. I have no idea why. Am I talking too much? I feel like I’m talking too much, especially since I just ran you over. Sorry. I like talking. And skating. And writing. I just felt like putting a third thing in there because it seems evener. Even though three is an odd number. And you were writing, and I like writing. So I feel like we’re connecting. We’re basically best friends already.”

I don’t think she takes a single breath, and she talks in that too-much-sugar sort of way.

“Hi,” I say.

She’s picking out some leaves that got tangled up in her hair, but then she looks up and meets my eyes and I get kind of distracted. She has very big, very brown eyes.

She’s an exact replica of Naila, the knight-saving, dragon-fighting princess from my story.

Ask TheWebWeavers || How do I tell my parents I’m moving?

John Siebelink asks…

Dear Arachnid,

So, I’ve been planning to move out to California for almost two years now, but because I’m not too close with my parents I haven’t said a single thing to them about it. How do I bring it up that I’ve been planning it for so long without them accusing me of another rash decision I’ve been known to make in the past?

This was sent in early June. So I’m sure you’ve figured it out by now. But I’m going to answer the question anyway. Maybe it’ll help someone else in an eerily similar situation.

So. I think you have to convince your parents that this is not, in fact, a rash decision. Show them that you’ve learned from the past. You said in your letter that you’ve been planning for two years. So WE know that it’s not a rash decision. You’ve put so much effort into planning the move, it’s anything but. So how do you tell your parents that?

This is going to sound silly, but what if you made a PowerPoint with every last detail of your move planned out. Your job, where you’re going to live, a plan to get an apartment/buy a house, your movers, etc. This will probably be helpful for you as well, to figure out any last minute details.

If your plans are rock solid and well-thought out, your parents will know it’s not a rash decision.


Do you have any questions that need answering? Send them to Ask TheWebWeavers using the Contact Page. Please specify if you want your letter to be anonymous. If you want the world to know who you are (otherwise known as this small corner of the internet), we’ll add a link to your blog to help spread the love.