Matthew's World

Everyone has an incredible story and mine is just the beginning. My name is Matthew Phelps, I am 18 years old, my birthday is March 28, and I currently live in Miami, FL. I am pursuing a music career and hopefully someday I will be among those that are famous with extraordinary talent who have open and reinvented the music that we know today. I never shy away from adversity and love to tackle impossible problems and dreams. Failure is not an option in any shape or form! I cannot wait for what my future has to offer and hopefully one day I’ll be known around the world and meet the adoring fans that I’ve always imagine. I love each and every one of you. Thank you.
William Shakespeare's Star Wars: Verily, a New Hope - Ian Doescher Many of you would think, Shakespeare Star Wars? I have to admit at first I thought it was going to be awful but at the very beginning I was hooked on this adaptation of George Lucas beautiful masterpiece.

This book was well-written and personally believe that it brought on a new perspective to those who are familiar with Star Wars or have read many of William Shakespeare's work. I highly recommend this for those who have not or feel intimated when it comes to reading Shakespeare because I understood every single verse and have no confusion of the plot.

It does help that I've seen the films and it was exciting at times to play the film in my head and reading the dialogue. I love how the author brought out comedy relief with C-3PO and R2-D2 (who actually speaks at times instead of his constant beeps) and brought on an inner look into the adventurous Han Solo.

I completely forgot about that Luke doesn't know at the time that he's related to Princess Leia and was constantly portrayed as Romeo trying to rescue his damsel, Juliet (which was kind of disturbing at times).

I applaud the author for his hard work at maintaining Iambic pentameter and I literally cannot wait for the further plays to be publish and watch it perform on stage.
In the Shadow of No Towers - Art Spiegelman When I encounter Art Spiegelman with his award-winning creation of Maus, my world was utterly change in context of comic book reading and capturing the substance of history through comics. In regards to 9/11, I was researching books that capture this period in time and found that Art Spiegelman wrote this comic series and the library had it! So I checked it out...

I was in the 1st grade when this disaster exploded around the world and too young to understand the meaning or the politics that erupted after this event but Art Spiegelman relinquishes his paranoia, his frustration, and lost sense of sanity in this comic book. It deals with what he was doing on that day in NYC, his conspiracy theories about the US Government, and how Bush used 9/11 as a tool to lead us into war with Iraq.

Spiegelman courageously illustrated his ideas where no one dared to approach the subject and jokingly reveals how his ideals manifested quicker than the average American. I didn't like that it was so short because even though I understand clearly that he is truly piss about how nothing seems to be accomplished, he didn't discuss further about his family, friends, or even how America reacted to the aftermath of this disaster.

One concept that resonated with me deeply is he comically mentions that we need a third party called the Ostrich Party and talks about how this two party system is not helping the US anymore and I completely agree. We as a nation need a third party in Congress to eliminate this utterly useless feud among these parties and finally concerns ourselves with what is needed to accomplish a better nation for our fellow citizens.
Fables, Vol. 9: Sons of Empire - Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha, Andrew Pepoy, Gene Ha, Joshua Middleton, Inaki Miranda, Mike Allred This volume was different then the usual Fables in a sense that we got different insight into Bigby's life with Snow and the kids and why he isn't nice in regards to his father, Mr. North! We get insight about the Adversary and his mission to destroy earth which is creepy in regards to other fables who plan to destroy the earth.

What's interesting is I wonder in the previous volumes about what happens to Hansel and you learn about his cult ideas in regards to witch craft. I learn that Santa Claus is a fable and cannot wait for what's going to happen with Fabletown.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Vol. 1: The Millenium Puzzle - Kazuki Takahashi Growing up with the tv series, it was one of my biggest childish pleasures to embark on this series. I would never watch the show completely but I would understand the concept of the show.

This manga is great on bringing the background story of Yugi before the dueling tournament storyline kicks in. I'm afraid that his life before this is not that fascinating except his outburst into Yugioh when times of trouble are surrounding Yugi and his friends. I found it weird reading the manga because some of the characters name are either shorten or changed in the American version of the series.
Fables, Vol. 7: Arabian Nights (and Days) - Jim Fern, Jimmy Palmiotti, Andrew Pepoy, Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha, Bill Willingham I am always enchanted with Fables and how they show different arcs of character and how they have become the person they have because of the circumstances place by the adversary. I was shock that this volume barely had any action.

This volume introduces us the Arabian fairy tales and Sinbad. I did not like how because there was barely anyone in fable town who speak their language, half of the time was constant confusion between the Arabs and Fabletown citizens. Plus a useless battle with a Genie called D'Jinn

The great part is you witness Snow White and her kids at the farm after 5 years of being forced to isolation from Fabletown. Her kids are absolutely adorable and can morph into different wolfs and have many fur colors.

Then it randomly jump into this storyline about these two lovers who were made out of wood and their own personal transition into being human. Like in all fairy tales, every wish comes with a price and they immediately are chosen to spy on Fabletown and perform deedless acts. I'm curiously now what's going to happen to them when they caught.
March (Book One) - Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell, John Robert Lewis This is a great adaptation and an early introduction to the Civil Rights Movements. This is part one on the life story of John Lewis that covers from his childhood to being on the frontier in Nashville's Restaurant sit-in.

This graphic novel is essentially a timeline on how much change has been brought to light since the 1950s to now. The book introduces to Jerry Lewis getting ready to attend his office because his family is waiting for him as they attend to the Inauguration of Barrack Obama.

Since I've been an avid follower in the civil rights movement and reading Dr. Martin Luther Kings Jr. Letter from Birmingham Jail, it is refreshing capturing early introductions to important people that are crucial to the movement and even though it is the first book of a series, I hope they get more detailed on certain organizations and movements.

The illustration is phenomenal and while reading this on my kindle, I literally felt that certain images would pop out from the screen like a telephone ringing or Dr. King giving his sermon. I cannot wait for the rest of series to be published.
Love is the Cure: On life, loss and the end of AIDS - Elton John It has been over a year that I have wanted to read the book and I am excited that I finally finished it! Elton John's book introduces us to the story of one of the most important people that he ever encounter, Ryan White. I heard about this kid and knew his life story but not in details and this is a kid who truly help remove the stigma on HIV/AIDS and promoted change, love, and hope for the future. Elton John had an extreme case of alcoholism, sex addiction, bulimic, and was addicted to Cocaine. Because of the death of Ryan White, it was a wake up call for him and lucky went to rehab and has been sober ever since.

It is remarkable to hear about this from him because I honestly did not know how bad his addiction was and I am surprise that he is still able to sing after all these years. This book encounters memories of Elizabeth Taylor, Princess Diana, and countless others who inspired Elton's life and helped manifest his foundation, Elton John's AIDS Foundation aka EJAF.

I have to warn you, I fell into this trap that this book was going to purely on memoirs and its NOT! For about 90 pages, he talks about his friends and loved ones but for most of the book he talks about the history of HIV/AIDS, the destructive past that surrounded this plague, and talks about current events, and things that have become a milestone thanks to his foundation. Elton John uses references to articles in magazines and newspapers to inform where he is getting his information.

I believe this book is crucial and insightful and open my eyes to the chaos that is surrounding this planet and how we as individuals need to step up and start curing the world of diseases with love and dignity. He and countless others are truly passionate towards ending the world of AIDS through the help of government, pharmaceutical companies, foundations and charities and religious institutions. We need to remove the stigma when it comes to HIV/AIDS and fight for a better today, tomorrow, and future generations.

Diane Arbus: Untitled - Diane Arbus, Doon Arbus I've never truly admire or read a photography book except those in regards to famous celebrities. This collection of photographs were capture in 1969-1971 and deals with Mentally Handicap individuals ranging from kids to the elderly.

I found it really sad not because of them neon handicap, but because they were ashamed of who they are disguising themselves in mask or costume to escape the reality that surrounds them.

Even thought I wasn't captivated as I wished to have been, I am glad that I experienced the world through Diane Arbus lenses.

Thank you Diane Keaton & Oprah for this recommendation!
The Amen Corner - James Baldwin I've read James Baldwin before and when searching through plays at my local library I came across James Baldwin's play, The Amen Corner.

I was shocked to believe that he actually wrote not only one but two plays in his lifetime. He is a remarkable writer and the tone of his writing is by far one of the best in English literature.

For his first attempt in playwriting, the story was shocking with how this very influential pastor, Sister Margaret Alexander left her past and created a new one with the help of the church, only by the demise of her ex-husband, Luke (who shows up after ten years waiting for death to parish him) her world crumbles into pieces.

I love the fight scenes between Margaret and Luke, and the hypocrisy between members of the church who wait for the perfect time to destroy all the hard work that Margaret involved herself with the church.

The beginning was rough to focus because after every incomplete sentence, James Baldwin substituted an Amen! Which really got on my nerves!! After the first act, that's when the storyline and climax truly pick up. I recommend this book for anyone who loves characters who live in their paradox or any Toni Morrison readers...
Joyland - Stephen King This is official my first readthrough of one of Stephen King's novels. I have to admit that he is a great author. Especially the way he takes you to his world and make you feel as if you've known the characters all your life. This book was absolutely spectacular when it comes to Crime, Love, and learning life through the eyes of the characters. My favorite character was the little boy Mike and how he had his innocence intact while knowing that he has Muscular Dystrophy.

This book is about an 21 year old boy name Devin Jones, who is clueless in life but gets hired in the summer at an Amusement park called Joyland, located in Heaven's Bay, North Carolina. While working, he is recuperating from a breakup and gets to know new acquaintances/co-workers, and city locals. In Heaven's Bay, he learns about a girl name Linda Gray who was murdered inside the Haunted House and no one has been able to solve whose Linda's killer.

Once Devin learns about this mystery it is up to him and a boy to solve the murder. Sadly I have to admit that Stephen King did not do a good job at hiding who the killer was because by the time I was almost at 100 pages, I already figured out who the killer is but the nonetheless it had a great plot and great characters. I look forward for his other works and hopefully see this book on the big screens someday!
Metropolis - Osamu Tezuka, Kumar Sivasubramanian This was 100x better than the previous book I read of Osama Tezuka (Nextworld). I've seen the movie that this manga is based on let alone be disappointed that it was loosely based on this book.

This book is about this villain named Duke Red who has created this fascist party, The Red Party. He created an illusion of black spots using rocks to make it seem the world is going to end. He ask this scientist to create an artificial being and wreck havoc. Unfortunately, The being is created called Michi (Unisex Name) only to safely escape with the doctor. She grows up and doesn't know about her abilities and returns back to the city with the doctor. Duke red finds out, kills the doctor and tries to captor Michi. Once Michi is in the presence of Duke Red, she finds out she is a robot and starts destroying the ship and plans to kill all humans. In the end, Michi dies because the machine that holds the black spots gets destroyed and the rocks is what gave Michi her cells and powers. Everyone believes she's an outcast only to realize that Michi's one source of hope was destroyed by Duke Red.

I love how they added Mickey Mouse illustrations, and I love the concept of the book. But sadly, the plot was weak and focused on other characters that did not really contribute to the plot. This book reminded me of an early outline of Astroboy because Michi had similar features and appearance as Astroboy and reminded me a little bit of Superman with the same name of the city and Michi's flying abilities.
Flight Volume 1 (v. 1) - 'Bengal',  'Bill Mudron',  'Catia Chien',  'Clio Chiang',  'Chris Appelhans',  'Derek Kirk Kim',  'Dylan Meconis',  'Enrico Casarosa',  'Erica Moen',  'Hope Larson' I will keep it short...

The animation was phenomenal and the very few short stories that I read where fantastic but to me it was a little too much. I should have read the description before jumping into conclusion that this was one main story instead of short stories. I love Kazu Kibuishi with his series, Amulet, and thought the story was going to be about adventure with planes. At first I liked the first story and as I kept reading I realize they were short stories, particularly I do not like short stories so I quit reading it. I usually don't do this but I realize there was a new short story after every 2 or 4 pages. I can't handle it but otherwise it was fabulous work on the writers and illustrators!
Watchmen - Dave Gibbons, John Higgins, Alan Moore Before I review this book, I will keep it short and simple! I saw the movie first but at the time I found it rather a waste of my time. But over the years I kept seeing reviews to read the comics so I became open minded and read it!

Thank God I Did! I really like this comic book and I would rate it either an 4 or 5 but I tell you why I rated it as a 3. It is LONG! It's 400 pages worth of storyline and illustrations and I thought I would never finished it. I read this like in March and its just these last 2 days that I picked it up and read where I left off. I absolutely love Dr. Manhattan and his storyline was great and I would read it faster than the other characters.

At times I could only read 20 pages because Alan Moore wrote another comic within this comic book which I understand it relates to the current situation of this graphic novel but it was too bizarre and I found it rather useless to be added into the comics. Thank You & Goodnight!
Mockingjay - Suzanne  Collins Compare to the previous two best selling books, this was not what I expected but nonetheless I truly cherished it as the final book of the trilogy. It starts right where catching fire left us as Katniss is recuperating from the aftermath of the Quarter Quell. I believe the book could have been longer because like the other books, she describe and writes about the journey to different cities and in this book, one moment they are in District 8, then later on they catch a hovership and send off to District 2 and it feels like more of an errand than a journey.

I can congratulate her on how it kept me reading consistently figuring out how she would kill Snow and I don't know why but I felt as if Katniss was Harry Potter and finally going to kill Snow, little to be known, she doesn't and instead blacked out through the rebels renegade. I thought Peeta was going to battle Katniss as Snow reprogrammed him or that Gale would die. I burst into tears when Prim died because I was not expecting that at all. The author made it simple and early on for me that Katniss was going to end up with Peeta and sadly end her friendship with Gale. He changed so much through the course of this book that it didn't shocked why she wouldn't end up with him. I originally was going to read this book when I read the other 2 books last year but I'm glad that I didn't!!! Taking a year to read the final book really helped me adapt so much of what has changed in Katniss's world and since its been a year I read it, I connect with Katniss and Peeta more as they process old foggy memories. If I could sum up the book it would be... Spectacular. Bittersweet. Memorable.
Inferno - Dan Brown I usually do not write reviews for the books that I read but I absolutely adore Dan Brown when it comes to the Robert Langdon series. Instantly, the reader is introduced to Robert waking up in a hospital (thinking its in Boston) only to realize that it is a hospital in Florence, Italy. He cannot remember what he has done in the last 36 hours and only to be surprised when a girl comes and shoots one of the doctors. Yikes!

I was captivated by the whole atmosphere of Florence & Venice; its art, architecture, and sense of culture. Dan Brown did a fabulous job paying a tribute to one of greatest writers in History, Dante Alighieri. What I did not like about the book was the sense of constant plot twist of who is evil vs good. Apparently its the main antagonist, Bertrand Zobrist. So essentially, I wasted 200 pages to realize that the whole chasing scene between Robert vs WHO & Consortium was just a misunderstanding that they believed Robert was working for the wrong side and not that he suffers from amnesia?... The ending was ruined for me. When we discover that the virus that Bertrand Zobrist created finally was spread around the globe, making almost everyone infertile just pissed me off. I thought it was going to be a big bang ending with Robert Langdon saving the world. Instead the virus infected everyone and there is no cure to fix it.

So essentially Zobrist won the battle and Robert Langdon wasted his time figuring out the clues only to know he failed to save the planet. Everything is happily ever after and Robert flies back home to Boston. The End.

Currently reading

The Cuckoo's Calling
Robert Galbraith
Progress: 122/455 pages