Friday, June 14, 2013

(My) Most Anticipated Book Movies of 2013

After Harry Potter and Twilight, book movies are becoming the thing and are doing much better than they used to. Who hasn't read a book and wished, at least once, that your favorite characters could come to life on the big screen. There are multiple book movies coming out this year, some I've read before and some I just love the trailer. While they can almost never replace their book counterpart, I can't help but get excited about some of these movies. Here's my list of most anticipated book movies of 2013.What are yours?

 1) The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
This is, most obviously, my number one "can't wait" pick. I remember sitting in line most of the day for the Hunger Games. My sister and I dressed up like Katniss and Prim and my friends dressed up like people from the Capitol. It was an awesome experience, a great movie adaptation, and I can't wait til Catching Fire so I can finally see Finnick on the big screen!

2) Much Ado About Nothing
I just finished reading the play, I've watched the trailer multiple times, and I love Joss Whedon so this is a MUST for me! I started getting interested in this just because of the director and because I recognized many of the actors in it from his other shows. The trailer for this movie got me to read the play and I can't wait to see it in its entirety on the big screen!

3) The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
I thought the book was great and after watching the trailer (about 20 times) I am super excited for the movie! I am wondering though, how close this will stay to the book. Judging by the trailer I'm already noticing a few things that I'm not sure of. Though, besides the comparison, I think this movie is going to be amazing... even if I'm not the biggest fan of Lilly Collins.

4) The Host
Well, I'm not really a Stephanie Meyers fan but I thought the book was ok and I was intrigued to see what they would do for the movie. I finally saw it a couple weeks ago and I was impressed. They did the internal conversations well and, although they did change a few things, I thought it turned out pretty good.

5) Ender's Game
The funny thing is, I didn't even like the book while I was reading it. It was only when I finished it that I realized "wow, this is awesome!" The trailer looks amazing and it has one of my personal favorite actors: Harrison Ford!!!! (Yeah, I still have a crush on Han Solo). I am currently rereading it now for my sister's bookclub and am getting really excited.

6) The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug
While this series isn't as good as The Lord of the Rings I love this world! I can't wait to see more of Bilbo and that hottie dwarf Kili (The actor is also playing my favorite character in City of Bones - Luke).

7) Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters
Yeah, they made another one. As if the first one didn't totally crash, burn and ruin everything that was amazing in the book. Despite all this, I am looking forward to seeing what they're going to do with this one. And I also want to see Nathan Fillion as Hermes.

8) R.I.P.D.
This is based off of a comic book so I've never read it (I just can't get into comic books) but the trailer is just hilarious!

9) The Seventh Son
This movies is based off of the book "The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch." I also have not read this book but it sounds interesting and it stars Jeff Bridges and Ben Barnes.

10) Jack Ryan
I've seen the movies that has Harrison Ford as Jack Ryan and I'm looking forward to seeing Chris Pine take over the role with Keira Knightley (my favorite actress) playing his wife. Maybe I'll try reading one of the books before this comes out.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Much Ado About Nothing

 Much Ado About Nothing
William Shakespeare
Summery from Goodreads...
The action is set in Sicily, where Don Pedro, Prince of Aragon, has recently defeated his half-brother, the bastard Don John, in a military engagement. Apparently reconciled, they return to the capital, Messina, as guests of the Governor, Leonato. There Count Claudio, a young nobleman serving in Don Pedro's army, falls in love with Hero, Leonato's daughter, whom Don Pedro woos on his behalf. The play's central plot shows how Don John maliciously deceives Claudio into believing that Hero has taken a lover on the eve of her marriage, causing Claudio to repudiate her publicly, at the altar.

Last year, in my literary club at my college, we had a “things we've never read” confessional type thing. I admitted that I had never read any of Shakespeare’s plays. Everyone was in an uproar. I mean, I had seen one or two plays of his preformed in the park within the last couple years but I had never read one. I can now proudly say that my sister has finally succeeded in introducing me to the old play-write and now I want more!

The Good, The Bad, and the Krazy...
My sister has constantly been telling me that I should try reading “Much Ado About Nothing,” and since Joss Whedon's version is coming out in theaters soon I had incentive. Finally last week we sat down and read it aloud together. I loved it! It's a story of love, treachery, assumed betrayal, and overcoming stubbornness. The overall story was gripping and interesting but I must say my favorite parts, the parts that I keep rereading, are whenever Benedict and Beatrice are on the page together, bickering and refusing to admit they have feelings for one another. I can't get enough of these two character's, I have watched the 1993 version with Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson about 3-4 times already and it's never enough. Branagh is dreamy as Benedict and Emma Thompson masters Beatrice. Although, I do admit Dogberry is a bit.... much for me. If you love comedic romances and bickering couples, like I do, don't miss this Shakespeare play!

What is your favorite Shakespeare play/movie?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Review for Rebel Heart (Dust Lands #2)

Rebel Heart (Dust Lands #2)
Author: Moira Young
Genre: Dystopian
Pages: 432

Summary from Goodreads…

It seemed so simple: Defeat the Tonton, rescue her kidnapped brother, Lugh, and then order would be restored to Saba’s world. Simplicity, however, has proved to be elusive. Now, Saba and her family travel west, headed for a better life and a longed-for reunion with Jack. But the fight for Lugh’s freedom has unleashed a new power in the dust lands, and a formidable new enemy is on the rise.

What is the truth about Jack? And how far will Saba go to get what she wants? In this much-anticipated follow-up to the riveting Blood Red Road, a fierce heroine finds herself at the crossroads of danger and destiny, betrayal and passion.

Warning: If you haven’t read Blood Red Road there may be some slight spoilers...

The Good, The Bad, and the Krazyness…

            The Dust Lands world is definitely one of the more grittier dystopian's I've read and I love it for that. When I first read Blood Red Road I was quickly hooked. Young’s unique narration and Saba’s strong character and voice pulled me into this post-wreaker world that’s inhabited by pioneers, oppressors, and freedom fighters. My type of world. And who can forget the dreamy rascal Jack? It was definitely one of my favorite books of 2011!

            In Rebel Heart, Young returns with our heroine Saba, along with Emmi and Lugh, as she struggles between the decision to leave the area, find a home and settle down or fight for the man who she gave her heart[stone] to.

            Right in the first chapter, the author pulls you in and makes it hard for you to put the book down even when you know you should be doing homework. The characters are instantly alive and you feel for them throughout the book. Despite fighting so hard to get her twin back, Saba is realizing that things with Lugh can never be as they had been before. They have both changed so much through their experiences that they are having a hard time seeing eye-to-eye on anything anymore. The disappointment of finally getting what you wanted, after so long of fighting, is a hard thing to overcome and you can either mop or get mad... let's see what Saba does. Emmi, who was once the bane of Saba’s existence, is now much closer to Saba than before, and a lot stronger in her own way. I absolutely love the development of the relationship between Emmi and Saba from the first book til now. Having a younger sister myself, I was appalled at the way Saba treated Emmi in BRR. But seeing their relationship now, and how it’s grown, has been amazing.

            Saba is definitely a reluctant hero (my favorite type) and while she tries to do right, she is constantly disappointing those around her. Whether she was right or wrong in her choices is up to the reader. I wanted to throttle many of the characters because of this. Saba didn't ask to get pulled into anything, or for people to join with her in her quests, and they are constantly berating her for her choices. Under the Angel of Death there is just a girl trying to survive. Young develops her characters so well that from the first page to the last, my heart constantly broke or soared for them in their ups and downs.

            There’s more fights, more blushing and kissing, and more DeMalo! I enjoyed the plot and the pacing worked well. I’m a little unsure about some of the seemingly mystical stuff that was going on though. Are there magical forces in this world or is it all just superstition? I’ve been wondering since BRR and I’m still not sure. My one complaint in this whole thing is that I wish Jack made more of a presence. I need my scoundrel fix! He was constantly in peoples thoughts but not there in person as much. It worked well for the story but not for my obsessive fangirlness! 
 5 Elf Cookies

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Review for Ubik

Author: Philip K. Dick
Genre: Science Fiction
Pages: 272

Summary from Goodreads…

Glen Runciter is dead. Or is everybody else? Someone died in an explosion orchestrated by Runciter's business competitors. And, indeed, it's the kingly Runciter whose funeral is scheduled in Des Moines. But in the meantime, his mourning employees are receiving bewildering - and sometimes scatological - messages from their boss. And the world around them is warping in ways that suggest that their own time is running out. Or already has.

Philip K. Dick's searing metaphysical comedy of death and salvation is a tour de force of panoramic menace and unfettered slapstick, in which the departed give business advice, shop for their next incarnation, and run the continual risk of dying yet again.

The Good, The Bad, and the Krazyness…     

So, I’m taking a Sci-Fi literature class this semester and this was the first book on the list. I don’t know why I took the class because I really don’t read pure sci-fi stuff. But the class was titled “When Good Worlds Go Bad” so I had to give it a shot. While I can see how many people will probably love this book it just wasn’t my cup of Ubik. Perhaps it was because I didn’t use as directed like the book implies I should do.

            Right at the beginning, Philip K. Dick tosses you into a brand new world with no idea what’s going on. There are many new words that you have no clue to their meaning but don’t worry, things do get explained eventually. Maybe it’s the “eventually” that got to me. Things in this book seemed to happen either too slow or too fast.

            I did enjoy the plot though. After an explosion, time seems to regressing and our (anti?)hero, Joe Chip, must struggle to find out what is happening before it’s to late. It’s amusing to watch character from a technologically advance world (1992) fall back to the old days of biplanes and motorized cars. 

            The characters seemed a little underdeveloped and there were so many that it was hard to keep them all straight. Maybe that’s why the author almost always used their full names when referring to them. Everything was very distant and there was a lack of connection to the characters. Joe, as I’ve stated earlier, seems to be a bit of an antihero. He has a good job in a top company but he’s always broke and in debt. Though he is a bit of a slob he is loyal to his boss and is determined to figure out whats causing the world to regress. Normally this seems like a recipe for success but it fell short for me. Chip is an interesting character but, like the rest of them, felt underdeveloped.

            The world is probably the most interesting thing about this book. It’s a world of psi’s and anti-psi’s. Everything costs money: opening your front door, turning on the shower, getting the news, and everything is run by automated machines with attitude, which is probably the funniest thing about this book. All in all, I won’t read it again but I can appreciate it.
 2 Elf Cookies

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Of Triton

****"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted by Jill at the Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.****

 Of Triton (Of Poseidon #2)
Author: Anna Banks
Pages: 256
Expected Publication Date: May 28th 2013 

In this sequel to OF POSEIDON, Emma has just learned that her mother is a long-lost Poseidon princess, and now struggles with an identity crisis: As a Half-Breed, she’s a freak in the human world and an abomination in the Syrena realm below. Syrena law states that all Half- Breeds should be put to death.

As if that’s not bad enough, her mother’s reappearance among the Syrena turns the two kingdoms—Poseidon and Triton—against one another. Which leaves Emma with a decision to make: Should she comply with Galen’s request to keep herself safe and just hope for the best? Or should she risk it all and reveal herself—and her Gift—to save a people she’s never known?

 Of Poseidon blew me out of the water when I read it and left me screaming for more! It made me laugh out loud and grin almost every time the main characters were on the page together and I LOVED the world. I can't wait for more adventures with these characters and to find out what happens next! Is it May yet???

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: My Top [Five] Best Bookish Memories

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and it features top ten lists of various topics.

So, I really couldn’t come up with ten bookish memories so I just stuck to the nice number that is five. Don’t know if they really fit but here they are:

1) Dead Poet’s Christmas
Maybe this is a little outside the box of this category but it is one of my favorite bookish memories. The English club I was in at my college put on an event called the Dead Poet’s Christmas. It was where some English professors dressed up like famous authors (Jane Austen, Mark Twain, Hans Christian Anderson, ect) and they would read some of that authors work. I was in a dreamland hearing “Jane Austen” read from Pride and Prejudice (and then the same scene from Pride, Prejudice and Zombies), and “Charles Dickens” reading from a Christmas Carol with The Ghost of Christmas Present right next to him (actually, Dickens was one of my female It was the perfect night.

2) Winning a book t-shirt from an author on my birthday
Okay, so it was the night before my birthday that I got the e-mail but it totally made my day winning a t-shirt for one of my most anticipated reads (Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen). Then later the next month I actually won an autographed copy of the book! The author put in different notes throughout it about her favorite parts, what she was thinking when she wrote it, or little bit of history. The best part is that I totally loved the book and went all fangirl when reading it. It was very cool!

3) Standing in line for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows
2007 was a very Harry Potter summer for me. It was the first time I had read any of the books or seen any of the movies (I was 18). I waited in line at B&N for hours waiting for my very own copy of the last book (first and only time I waited in line for a book release). That summer I also went to a Harry Potter movie marathon and saw movies 1-4 and then the 5th one at midnight. That was a great summer.

4) Listening to an audiobook with my sister
I don’t listen to audiobooks that often but for some reason I checked out The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong on audiobook from my library. One day when we were cleaning, my sister and I put it on and started listening to it. For the next few days, we would just sit together and listen to this audiobook while knitting or cleaning or resting and it was just really cool being able to experience the book at the same time. No one had to keep their mouth shut for fear of giving a

5) The Library Booksale
The library booksale is something I look forward to every spring and fall. It’s where I buy the majority of my books. Our county has one giant sale that lasts for a week. My family goes to the preview sale every time, then once during the week, at the ½ price sale on Saturday, and then on bag day ($1 to $5 a bag) on Sunday. Last fall I think I came out of it with 50-60 books or more (most books were $0.50 to $1). It was a good sale!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Review for The Mark of Athena (Heroes of Olympus #3)

The Mark of Athena (Heroes of Olympus #3)
Author: Rick Riordan
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy/Mythology
Pages: 586

Summary from Goodreads…

Annabeth is terrified. Just when she's about to be reunited with Percy—after six months of being apart, thanks to Hera—it looks like Camp Jupiter is preparing for war. As Annabeth and her friends Jason, Piper, and Leo fly in on the Argo II, she can’t blame the Roman demigods for thinking the ship is a Greek weapon. With its steaming bronze dragon masthead, Leo's fantastical creation doesn't appear friendly. Annabeth hopes that the sight of their praetor Jason on deck will reassure the Romans that the visitors from Camp Half-Blood are coming in peace.

And that's only one of her worries. In her pocket Annabeth carries a gift from her mother that came with an unnerving demand: Follow the Mark of Athena. Avenge me. Annabeth already feels weighed down by the prophecy that will send seven demigods on a quest to find—and close—the Doors of Death. What more does Athena want from her?

Annabeth's biggest fear, though, is that Percy might have changed. What if he's now attached to Roman ways? Does he still need his old friends? As the daughter of the goddess of war and wisdom, Annabeth knows she was born to be a leader, but never again does she want to be without Seaweed Brain by her side.

Narrated by four different demigods, The Mark of Athena is an unforgettable journey across land and sea to Rome, where important discoveries, surprising sacrifices, and unspeakable horrors await. Climb aboard the Argo II, if you dare....

The Good, The Bad, The Krazyness…

YEEEE!!!!! This was my most anticipated book of 2012! I bought it right when it came out (I know, I’m really late getting this review up) and I almost never do that. Rick Riordan is one of my favorite authors so I had a lot of expectations… it was beyond all I could have ever hope for!!! Great characterizations, plot, descriptions, and, like all of Riordan’s books, very quotable! His best book so far!

The two groups of demigods have finally come together to become the seven heroes of the prophecy. As with all hero journeys, this one is filled with great peril; monsters, ghosts, and reflections, oh my! And don’t even get me started on the spiders. I think they’re the most vile and evil of all monsters, I can barely read when they’re on the page. Why did there have to be spiders??? … moving on. The issues between Rome and Greece are far from being reconciled and there is a lot of tension as the Argo II tries to land in Camp Jupiter. We are told more about the quarrel between the two groups and how it began. We were just talking about the Roman Empire in my world history class the other day and I think the author really captured the paranoia of the ancient Romans and how a mob forms.

As in the other books in this series, there are multiple narrators. I’m glad Riordan made all of them from Camp Half-Blood (Percy, Annabeth, Piper, and Leo) in this book. The Camp Jupiter characters are cool but I’m a bit biased, I prefer reading from the Greeks POV. Camp Half-Blood forever!
And for the first time we get to hear things from Annabeth’s POV! Besides Percy, Annabeth is my favorite character and I went all fangirl when I got to hear her side of things; especially her thoughts on her relationship with a certain green-eyed son of Poseidon. They have got to be one of the cutest couples I have ever read! There were many times I would start smiling like krazy, or go “aww” at some of the stuff they did. I thought their relationship was done very well. Not overdone, or unrealistic, but for two warrior demigods it was perfect. There actually was a lot of couples in this book, more so than his previous series. I didn’t mind some of them but there was just the slight impression of a love triangle. Or at least it was imagined from a jealous almost-boyfriend. That I could have done without.

If I had to nitpick one thing, I would say that I thought the middle could have been cut down a little. It seemed that some of the stops the demigods made were just so we could meet up with some new mythological characters. They were great scenes but some of them seemed to slow down the main story just a bit.

This book has a brilliant opening with reunions and battles, a fantastic journey in the middle with introductions to new gods, visits from familiar ones and more battles, and a mind blowing finale that leave you begging for the next installment. The Mark of Athena is everything a fan could want out a book.

Q: Who is your favorite character in The Mark of Athena?
A. As awesome as Percy is I think the prize goes to Annabeth in this book! She definitely makes one of the top five on my "awesome, kick-butt chicks" list!