Sunday, 30 June 2013

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

I have mixed feelings about this book. At times I felt it was beautiful and insightful, especially about how a person reacts to death, but at other times it felt melodramatic and downright silly. However, that's how teenagers are. As Uncle Mason would say, "Teenagers are so apocalyptic."

I loved the setting of the book. I loved how this little Southern town of Gatlin held so many secrets right under people noses. I loved how the history of the Castors was intertwined with the Civil War. The scenes of the Castor Library, how the Ravenwood house changed, and when the stairs whipped Ethan back. These scenes were so imaginative and I hope the movie gets them right.

This book had me reading for hours wanting to know how it ended. I read over 400 pages in a day. I was physically nervous about whether or not Lena would be claimed for the Light or the Dark. The authors Garcia and Stohl, despite the melodramatic teenage romance, are excellent stroytellers. They kept the suspense up until the very end.

But when I got to the end part of me wanted to throw the book against the wall. The ending was frustrating. Why Uncle Mason did what he did makes no sense. I suppose he was trying to protect Lena from Sarafine but it was pretty messed up. Then again all families are dysfunctional in some way. This was theirs I guess.

I have one question though and I want to read the rest of the books in the series to see if it answers my question. Considering the ending, it makes you wonder why Sarafine and Ridley ended up the way they did. I don't wonder about Larkin. He explains. It's just more fun. Sorry to be so cryptic but I don't do spoilers.

I am tempted to give it three stars because I wasn't crazy about the ending or the melodrama, but because the suspense kept me glued to the book for a almost a whole Sunday, I'll give it Photobucket
Hopefully the movie is as good as the book. There's some potentially really cool scenes. (I also may have read almost the whole book in a day because I've the movie from Netflix for a week now.)

The Movie
It was so bad. I've seen some books ruined by the movie version of them but this was atrocious beyond my imagination. The actors did what they could with a horrible script. My rating Photobucket

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Ready! Set! Read! Summer Challenge 2013 #bookbuster edition

At first, I wasn't going to participate in this summer challenge. When I first saw it I thought, "I already am doing a book to tv/movie challenge." But then I read the bookbuster categories and they are so creative! Here is more info about the challenge hosted by Ready! Set! Read!

Ready! Set! Read! heads to the big screen this summer! We've saved a seat for you.

This summer, we read the movies! The goal? Finish 8 titles that you've never read (10 for extra credit). The catch? Your choices should be books that were turned into movies, TV shows, or plays. You may also include books slated for film and/or theatrical adaptation. 

Start date: June 24
End date: August 31

 Choose one title in each BOOKBUSTER categories:

Book(taking a)stand: A book about a political, social issue, or sociopolitical issue that interests you.
Off to see the wizard: An otherworldly book. This book is set in an alternate universe or features an otherworldly species.
Oscar-Worthy: An award-winning book or its award-winning film adaptation. *Extra credit for an award-winning book that inspired an award-winning movie. This category may include award-nominated titles too.
Keeping it real: A book that is based on a true story.
Born to be wild: A book that takes you on a wild adventure.
Under the influence of ________: A book about the power/effects of not-so-true love. You know that genuine love is not the character's motivation. What is? You fill in the blank and let us know.
Second chances: A book you should have read but didn't. Maybe a book from a another challenge? Teen challenged: A book featuring a child/YA protagonist. *Extra credit for a story told from the child’s narrative perspective.
Emotional roller coaster: A book that stirs your emotions. Does the plot make you sad? Happy? Afraid? Hot and steamy? Heck! All of the above? *Extra credit for this bonus category.
Reverse Shot: A book that ‘flips the script' per se. This is a movie, TV show, or play turned book. *Extra credit for this bonus category.

 · Are you a blogger? Feel free to add a comment to this post with a link to your blog. We encourage you to write reviews and identify #bookbusterEdn somewhere in the subject line. We will check your blogs to keep track of the entries you earn (More on entries in the HOW TO WIN A PRIZE! section below)

· You can still participate without a blog. Leave a comment on this post saying that you’re in! Email us at as you complete your review(s). Your review(s) can take any format. Just be your-amazing-self and let the review(s) be reflective. We will not publish your reviews on this blog without your consent.

· If you’re on Twitter, feel free to use the hashtag, #bookbusterEdn so that we can find and support each other through retweets and discussions.

· At the end of the challenge, we will randomly choose one person to win a $20.00 Amazon gift card.

 · Each finished book + accompanying book review guarantees one (1) entry. However, there are ways to increase your odds. Each accompanying movie review earns two (2) additional entries. We encourage you to watch the movie and compare it to the book. Each Extra credit book earns three (2) entries.

No restrictions on page count.
Fulfill categories in any order.
You're also welcome to fulfill the categories without reading books turned movies.
Those books won't earn prize entries though.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Book
While Jay Gatsby is one of the most memorable characters in literature history, there just isn't much to this novel. Any comparison I make would cheapen it, but the book is simply about "partying." Granted the parties in the Roaring 40's were extremely glamorous, especially Jay Gatsby's parties.

I honestly don't like this book that much. I've read it before and I didn't really like it the first time. It's full of phony, dishonest, and shallow people. The narrator Nick Carraway knows this and shows contempt for everyone, even Gatsby himself. Why did he hang out with people he didn't even like? I'd love to ask the narrator this. 

He also clearly drank more than he leads on because all chronological order is thrown out the window. According to the commentary in my book, many have complained about this. I don't know why. The amount of plot in this novel could fill a Post-it note.

Nor did I realize how much Gatsby says "old sport." When I first read this I was in my twenties and thought it was appropriate for someone almost thirty to say. Now I'm thirty-eight and realize it's a silly thing to say.

At times the book is melodramatic and soap opera-ish. "I'm crying because I've never seen such beautiful shirts." That is possibly the most ridiculous dialogue ever written. The scene where Gatsby, Tom, and Daisy finally confront each other was absurd. I tried the first time to believe anyone would have such a confrontation and I couldn't. I still can't.

Things finally "get real" when there's a tragic accident. And...well...unfortunately if I told you any more there would be major spoilers. The ending of The Great Gatsby is both depressing and enlightening. The ending shows the reader is supposed to feel like these people are phony and shallow. I suppose that's actually what makes this book so brilliant. 

My rating Photobucket

The Movie
Coming soon! I can't wait to see Leonardo DeCaprio utter the words "old sport." Maybe if I get really bored I'll watch the Robert Redford version.