Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Reading and Writing Wednesday

This week the book versus movie match up I'm going to do is My Sister's Keeper

I haven't review My Sister's Keeper on the blog, but I think I mentioned it somewhere. Anyway, this was the first Jodi Picoult book I had read, so I wasn't yet used to her book's "formula" and I really liked this book. Kate, the eldest daughter suffers from leukemia (a cancer which my mom fought - and beat) and her parents have a second daughter, Anna in order to keep Kate alive. Through the book, you see the perspectives of many of the characters involved, which leaves you feeling empathy for all parties. Then, there is a massively shocking ending. And that pretty much sums up the book. Since I read this book, I have read a few other Picoult books, and I can't describe this book with as much hoorah as I probably did when I first read it, but alas, I really did like it when I read it.

Cue a few months later, and a movie comes out. I was surprised by the casting of Cameron Diaz, as she is almost always a joker, and I didn't have much exposure to Abigail Breslin so I didn't have any preconceived notions. Well, I watched this movie on a plane, and the ride was over before the movie was. Up to the point that I got off the plane, I sort of though, "ehhh, not bad, not great but still good" The acting and casting ended up being really good, my biggest problem with the movie was that the passage of time was a little awkward, and that the writing style didn't translate to film very well (almost like they didn't care to try very hard). Then, a few nights later, I finished watching the movie and.... WTF?!! That's not what happened!! First of all, the kidney issue is dealt with differently, making movie Anna seem like a bit more of a jerk, secondly the ending is a bit reversed, no? Like why not just take what happened in the book and make it the complete opposite for the end?? Cause that's what they did! It really irritated me. I get that movies aren't always going to go exactly the way they book did, but why instead of making a movie on 3/4 of a book and then doing whatever you wanted, write a different 3/4 beginning and then do that for the ending. So stupid. The movie also lacked the relationship the brother, Jesse had with his parents in the book, which I thought was kind of important.

Overall, I think each on their own were fine, but that they should of either followed the book, or made a different movie.

Verdict: Book was better, and movie was not close enough to the story line.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Goodreads Summary: St. Vladimir’s Academy isn't just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger...

Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.

Why I Read This Book: To be honest, I hadn't heard of this series or author before, but through Goodreads I had discovered the Bloodlines book and marked it as 'to-read'. I finally got around to getting a copy of that book and was about to start it when I learned that this it was a spin off of Vampire Academy. Well, I HATE when I read books out of order (to the point where I panic if I don't know what book to read next in a series - cue Women of the Underworld!) so I had to read the Vampire Academy series first, and now I am!

Review: I'm so glad I found out about this series! I really liked this book a lot. I found the book confusing at first, it definitely has a lot of elements that other vamp books don't have, which was fantastic as I am getting somewhat vamped out (and was actually reluctant to get into this because of that) but the fresh ideas in this were fantastic! Dhampirs and Moroi and Strigoi are all unique and fascinating. Rosa and Lissa have a great relationship which is fun to read about, and there was enough romance to make it cute, but not too much that it took away from immersing yourself into the stories world instead of just the main characters love story. Without giving away too much, I also love that even though the book was first person narrated, you got to see different perspectives as well. I thought it was fantastic.


Wednesday, 18 April 2012

My OWN Meme

Memes are something about blogging which I always enjoy, and I decided to start my own (sort of, but not really at the same time - I'll explain). It's probably being done by someone somewhere else, so I won't claim that it is my own original idea, but I haven't seen it thus far and want to write about it.

With many books being made into movies, I thought it would be nice to do a movie review about a book I have read. Many people do this anyhow, as I noticed quite a few blogs I follow with Hunger Games recaps.  Some weeks I may even do a small spin on it and talk about just a movie that had originated from a book that I want to see, but have no desire to read the book.

Today, I'm going to do both! Because it's my meme and I'll do whatever I like!! Also, the reason that it's not really a meme but kind of is that I'm not going to be adding a linking tool (at least not right now) until I show myself that I can a) actually commit to doing this weekly, b) learn enough about HTML and stuff to do it right, and c) see if any of my followers actually like it enough to want to participate (as really, that is the essence of a meme...)

So, what do you name a meme?? Hmm, I'm going to go with...

Reading and Watching Wednesday

I thought this pretty much summed up everything I'm trying to do nicely, and included a day to post, and a little alliteration too (always a bonus). I am by nooooo means skilled at pictures on the computer, but I did come up with this little one for now. I am thinking about (slowly) learning a few computer basics (someday) so hopefully it will evolve over time! Another good thing about this meme is that Hollywood is constantly supplying me with new material! So here is my picture :)

Yes, I used Picnik... but it's Audrey, so that makes it better :)

And, without further explanation, here we go with Reading and Watching Wednesday!

Today I'm going to compare: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (American movie version)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Goodreads Summary: Mikael Blomkvist, a once-respected financial journalist, watches his professional life rapidly crumble around him. Prospects appear bleak until an unexpected (and unsettling) offer to resurrect his name is extended by an old-school titan of Swedish industry. The catch—and there’s always a catch—is that Blomkvist must first spend a year researching a mysterious disappearance that has remained unsolved for nearly four decades. With few other options, he accepts and enlists the help of investigator Lisbeth Salander, a misunderstood genius with a cache of authority issues. Little is as it seems in Larsson’s novel, but there is at least one constant: you really don’t want to mess with the girl with the dragon tattoo.

IMDB Synopsis: Journalist Mikael Blomkvist is aided in his search for a woman who has been missing for forty years by Lisbeth Salander, a young computer hacker.

I haven't done a review of this book yet (I'm going to review the trilogy when I finish book 3).

I won't get into the pros and cons of the book, I'll save it for the review, but I will for the movie. I thought the movie did a good job of keeping true to the book, especially in the more hard to swallow situations, right up until the end, which was changed quite a bit. I think this was done in the interest of time, as the movie was already quite long. I liked the casting for every character I think, no one let me down, even the characters that don't matter a lot were well cast, which was great. Biggest let downs of the film were:
  • The ending, I don't like when a movie changes the book so much. I don't think it really matter all that much, however it does seem a little less believable than what happened in the book.
  • There is a huge spoiler in this movie for book 2. If you have not yet read book two, I would hold off on seeing this movie until you have. I'm not sure if it was important enough in the movie to be memorable, but it irked me that it was in there. It just means that they will have to change the second movie quite a bit to make up for that blunder.
  • I had a love-hate issue with the accents used. LOVED they were there, as it made it better, sometimes hard to understand what they said though.
  • The very beginning - what a waste of like 8 minutes during the opening credits.

Some high points:
  • Again, great casting. Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig did a fantastic job. Craig has so much more range as an actor than I would have expected.
  • The soundtrack was rocking, it really helped you get into it, which is always great in book to film adaptations.
  • The setting, god I want to go to Sweden now!

Verdict: I really liked both of these, but the book was better. 

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Goodreads Summary: I’m pushing aside the memory of my nightmare, 
pushing aside thoughts of Alex,
pushing aside thoughts of Hana and my old school,
like Raven taught me to do.
The old life is dead.
But the old Lena is dead too.
I buried her.
I left her beyond a fence,
behind a wall of smoke and flame.

Why I Read This Book: Did you read Delirium? If not, go get it now! If so, you know perfectly well why I read this book.

Review: Loved! This book was a little confusing for the first two chapters until I got the hang of the "then" and "now" bit. The book was super informative why being totally aloof at the same time. I was absorbed in it, if I hadn't been in the middle of exams it would have been a one sitting read, and even still studying all the time it only took me 3 days (BF does not understand how stopping reading a text book to read a book can be considered a 'break', BF is so silly). The twist and turns in this book were pretty surprising, and at first I was confused as Lena seemed so different, but it all came together as the book went on. I had pre-ordered this book, and then when it came I put off reading it because I was looking for a copy of 'Hana' and couldn't get one. I decided to read this anyway, does anyone who read Hana think I should have waited??

Anyway, I can't say much else without spoiling, but get your butt in gear an go get this book!


Friday, 13 April 2012

My To Be Read List

I know I am not alone in having an out of control TBR list. With new books coming out all the time, picking up new series' that already have several books, and discovering books that you didn't know you wanted to read, the number can add up pretty quickly. However, my TBR list is starting to overwhelm me. As of today, I have 410 books on my 'to read' lists on Goodreads (which I have broken into 'to-read-soon' to give me some guidance on what to pick up when I finish a book, 'to-read-own' so I can keep track of what I have (as it's harder now with ebooks) and just plain old 'to-read') And, I'm currently reading 3 books. For me, my TBR list is sort of like a 'to-do' list, and since I'm adding to it much fast than I am taking from it, I'm actually feeling stressed!

The challenge I'm working through this year is helping, the 2012 TBR List challenge, however I need to make a pact to myself not to add any new books to my 'to-read' list until the end of the summer, just so I feel like I'm getting a better handle on it. If I'm truly excited about a book, I'm not going to forget about it anyway, so really there isn't much benefit in adding to to the list. I'll just read it when I'm read to.

I feel the stress subsiding already!

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Narrative Loserdom by Ryan Collins

Narrative Loserdom: From Journal One
Goodreads Summary: Justin Taggart doesn’t know anything (about being a loser). He likes girls and plays sports and has some friends. Unfortunately his fear of rejection outweighs his ability to deal with these well. Mostly there’s Sterling, the girl of his dreams who knows how to stop his heart by not knowing he likes her. Another thing is trying to get money with Adam, who’s rich anyway so it’s more about hanging out. As for Justin, he makes ends meet by mowing people’s yards with Adam, and sometimes by breaking into vending machines and selling late-night cable programming to peers (also with Adam). But it’s not like he doesn't feel bad about it, since Jesus died for his sins. School is pretty terrible with all the work and practice, but there are a few people there worth mentioning. Anyone who picks up his journal will be in for something, if they feel like getting through a lot of grammar and spelling problems. They’ll probably end up seeing that they shouldn't have looked at it anyway, because this is someone’s private anthem of girls, grass, and loserdom.

Why I Read This Book: I was given this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Review: This book is written in short, journal style chapters from the POV of the main character, Justin. Justin is a high school student, with normal high school issues, engaging in normal (although often not well thought out) high school student activities. I liked this book's flow, I liked the characters, and the stories were often pretty funny. I could relate to how many of the characters acted, as in the not so distant past I was a normal high school student as well. Justin and Adam reminded me of regular guys just like the type I went to school with. The book is pretty short, so its a quick read.

There were only a few things I thought didn't fit with the book that well. 1) Justin seems to become crazy religious out of nowhere about 1/3 of the way through the book. Any time before this part, if God is mentioned it seems almost sarcastic, or a that church is a chore forced upon him. I'm not against Christian books or anything, I have read a few and enjoyed them, it just seemed forced for the character, and it fit in awkwardly. 2) Since the book was short, and I read it in a few days, I thought it was unnecessary to remind the reader of who certain characters were. For example, Ace is a big part of the first half of the book, but then he goes away for a little bit (which is fine) but then later he is mentioned, and who he is is re-explained, but I didn't have any trouble remembering who he was. Its seemed odd.

Otherwise, the book was good, and as the title includes (From Journal One) I assume there will be more, which I will definitely be interested in reading when they come out.


Monday, 9 April 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading??

This weekly meme is one that helps keep track, and let all my readers know, what I have been reading lately, so I like it. Hopefully I will remember to write it every week!

Last week, I didn't get much reading done. It is the end of the semester, and I'm pretty busy with school.
I read:
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
Beauty Queens
and Narrative Loserdom by Ryan Collins (for review)
Narrative Loserdom: From Journal One

I started reading, but haven't yet finished:
Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
Pandemonium (Delirium, #2)

And I plan to start reading:
Modelland by Tyra Banks
Modelland (Modelland, #1)
(I'm really curious since the reviews for this are SO bad, I have to try)

I'm also picking through:
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Scarlet Letter

And that's pretty much it. My last exam is Saturday, so after I get the house cleaned up, as that is also being neglected, hopefully I will have some more reviews to write up!

Happy Reading :)

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

March Wrap Up - 2012 TBR Reading Challenge

It's that time again for the monthly wrap-up of the reading challenge I am participating in this year. March was not a great reading month for me, I have been working a lot, and doing some final assignments for school. I only managed to read and post about 2 books this month! How sad :(  I did also finish The Girl Who Played With Fire Though, I have just been waiting to post until I have all three read.

The I read and posted about were:


The list that I had planned to read this month was:
Bitten by Kelley Armstrong
Vampire Diaries: The Return - Nightfall by L.J. Smith
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
Glory in Death by J.D. Robb
The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson
and maybe one or two more.

The crossed out ones are actually finished. I guess I hadn't even planned on Summer and the City, it just happened. I did just finish and post about Beauty Queens. Currently I am reading Narrative Loserdom (ARC), Pandemonium, and The Scarlet Letter and with school wrapping up in about 2 weeks, I can't see why I won't get those finished as well as some others I am dying to get to! (See this post for what those books are)

DismantledAlso, with this month's wrap up there was a contest for a green book cover! The one I chose was: Dismantled by Jennifer McMahon
I love the cover of this book (and I loved the book as well!) It is several shades of green, some nice and some sickly. The photo of the girl, which doesn't line up manages to look innocent and frightening all at the same time. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a little bit of mystery and suspense!

Well, I guess that's it for this month, pretty pitiful, but I'll make April better!

Happy Reading Everyone :)

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Beauty Queens

Goodreads Summary: The fifty contestants in the Miss Teen Dream pageant thought this was going to be a fun trip to the beach, where they could parade in their state-appropriate costumes and compete in front of the cameras. But sadly, their airplane had another idea, crashing on a desert island and leaving the survivors stranded with little food, little water, and practically no eyeliner. 

What's a beauty queen to do? Continue to practice for the talent portion of the program - or wrestle snakes to the ground? Get a perfect tan - or learn to run wild? And what should happen when the sexy pirates show up? 

Welcome to the heart of non-exfoliated darkness. Your tour guide? None other than Libba Bray, the hilarious, sensational, Printz Award-winning author of A Great and Terrible Beauty and Going Bovine. The result is a novel that will make you laugh, make you think, and make you never see beauty the same way again.

Why I Read This Book: This was a popular book around blogs a little while ago, and the description sounded really awesome, so I bought the ebook (and then put off reading it for a long time!) But it was on my official 2012 TBR Challenge list, so I picked it up a little while ago.

Review: My short review of this would be that it is not as good as the cover and description make it seem, but it's still good. I liked the story, and I liked all the satirical references, and I liked the ending as well. Some of the things that I didn't like were that they called all the girls by both their name and their state, which was crazy confusing. I'm finished the book and I could hardly keep the girls straight. This really took away from me connecting with a lot of the characters in the book. Another thing I didn't like, even though sometimes they made me laugh, was all the footnotes! This may have been the fault of the ebook version, but all the footnotes were at the end of the chapter rather than the page they were referenced on, and sometimes by the end of the chapter they didn't make any sense.