Monday, July 30, 2012

Bound by Book-To-Movie Law: Diary of a Wimpy Kid Roderick Rules

Book-to-Movie Law states that once you have read the book, you are bound by the media to go see the movie based on said book, and therefor compare to two.

Hmm. Would you believe me if I said I liked this movie? Because I did, genuinely. I think the cast for the movies is really starting to grow into their characters. They seem to be hitting their stride and the movies are getting better. Especially Rodrick (love Devon Bostick), his Mom (Rachel Harris is so great) and Rowley (I'll just say that Robert Capron does a good job). And I thought the romance translated much better to the big screen than it did in the book. This movie made me think that these series are each good on their own. Like, the books make a great series if you read them all as books. And the movies make a great series if you experience them only as movies. The movies are honest translations of the books. But if you watch the movies while reading the books, some of the inherent fun of the characters may be lost.

Needless to say, I am looking forward to the next movie in this franchise, Dog Days!

Bottom Line: As much as I know I should say the book was better, I think the movie was the winner in this one.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Cover Dresses I Want

I'm not the kind of girl who wears dresses, ever. Jeans are my pant of choice. But I do enjoy wearing fancy dresses on the rare occasions I need to wear one. They are few and far between, yet there is still a section in my closet with frilly, girly dresses.

Lately I have been spying book covers with gorgeous, flowing, mouth-watering dresses, and I want them. If I even knew where to begin, I would snatch up these favorites and add them to my collection.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday 7/25/12

HANGING BY A THREAD by Sophie Littlefield

The quaint little beach town of Winston, California, may be full of wholesome townsfolk, picturesque beaches, and laid back charm, but Clare Knight is about to uncover something underneath its thriving demeanor. Someone is hiding something, and it's as gruesome as the townsfolk, and their stately homes, are stunning.

Amanda Stavros, fellow classmate and resident of Winston, is gone and there's no sign of her ever coming back. Everyone says she was taken and murdered, but where's the evidence? Why isn't there a single ounce of proof? And why is everyone okay with this, except for Clare?

Luckily—or as it's been turning out, unluckily—Clare possesses a gift, an ability to see visions from the clothes she works with. And since her clothes come solely from the townsfolk, Clare has become privy to some startling and disturbing memories of these townspeople. Will she uncover who killed Amanda Stavros? Or is she just moving herself up in line to be the next victim of Winston?

So many good books coming out in September! I consider myself to be a huge fan of Sophie Littlefield, but the only books of hers I have read are the Aftertime series. Eventually I would like to be able to say I've read all her books, but for now I am waiting anxiously for this new start to a series. Sounds good, and I have high hopes!

Release Date: September 11, 2012

Monday, July 23, 2012

Dark Heart Rising by Lee Monroe

Though I liked the first book, Dark Heart Forever, I came away feeling unsatisfied. This second book, Dark Heart Rising, left me feeling the same way.

The story felt disjointed between Luca's story and Jane's point of view. These two characters play much better together. Apart, it was frustrating to see how they each still felt towards each other, but were denied these emotions. I was also disappointed in the way Jane so easily invited the new boy Soren into her life. That guy was a weasel! Totally creepy. I didn't like him at all, and didn't want Jane to go with him without thinking more carefully about what she was doing.

Also, I think it may have been too much to have vampires, angels (fallen and good), werewolves, and a myriad of other creatures all vying for attention. Perhaps Lee Monroe wasn't totally sure, exactly, what she wanted the book to be about. I have the third book, Dark Heart Surrender, already in my TBR pile. I will read it, but I won't hold high hopes for a good story. This trilogy may just not be for me.

Overall Rating: 3 Stars

Friday, July 20, 2012

Fifty Shades of Songs

I recently finished the Fifty Shades trilogy by E.L. James. A very interesting trilogy, to say the least. Some completely seductive characters, some, um, interesting scenarios, and a few tense moments here and there. A worthwhile read, if you are not embarrassed by blushing from a book. But one of things that struck me as unique was how my mind constantly thought of songs while reading the story. For example, I would be driving to work and hear a song on the radio that would make me think of Christian Grey. Has this ever happened to any of you?

Here are a few songs that struck me as a good soundtrack for the book.

Fix You by Coldplay
Little Lion Man by Mumford & Sons
West Coast by Coconut Records
S&M by Rhianna
At Last by Etta James
Hurts So Good by John Cougar Mellencamp

There is an official playlist at E.L. James' website, but these are just a few songs I think she left off. I like Christian's taste in music. And I love it when authors pair playlists to their books!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday 7/18/12

ASHES OF HONOR by Seanan McGuire

It’s been almost a year since October “Toby” Daye averted a war, gave up a county, and suffered personal losses that have left her wishing for a good day’s sleep.  She’s tried to focus on her responsibilities—training Quentin, upholding her position as Sylvester’s knight, and paying the bills—but she can’t help feeling like her world is crumbling around her, and her increasingly reckless behavior is beginning to worry even her staunchest supporters.

To make matters worse, Toby’s just been asked to find another missing child…only this time it’s the changeling daughter of her fellow knight, Etienne, who didn’t even know he was a father until the girl went missing.  Her name is Chelsea.  She’s a teleporter, like her father.  She’s also the kind of changeling the old stories warn about, the ones with all the strength and none of the control.  She’s opening doors that were never meant to be opened, releasing dangers that were sealed away centuries before—and there’s a good chance she could destroy Faerie if she isn’t stopped.

Now Toby must find Chelsea before time runs out, racing against an unknown deadline and through unknown worlds as she and her allies try to avert disaster.  But danger is also stirring in the Court of Cats, and Tybalt may need Toby’s help with the biggest challenge he’s ever faced.
Toby thought the last year was bad.  She has no idea.

I just adore this series. Each books gets deeper into the world and it somehow better than the one before it. I am a little nervous about a character with my name (and spelled correctly!), as I usually stay far away from reading books with Chelsea's in them. But I will not be able to pass this book up, and look forward to sinking my teeth in.

Release Date: September 4, 2012

Monday, July 16, 2012

Dark Angel by Eden Maguire

This book was pretty intense, but I'm not entirely sure why. There is not really a lot of action (until the very end), so maybe the slow build up of tension and evil made for the nail-biting pace.

Orlando is the first worthy boyfriend I have seen in a really long time. He works through his jealousy issues like an adult. I was rooting for him and Tania the whole time and was pleased that Tania was a strong enough female character to step back and remain true to her heart. I also liked that although Tania has mild paranormal powers, for the most part she was just plain human. It was refreshing to read a story about fallen angels, demons, and the battle between good and evil that had a human being at its core. The reality of forest fires in their small town was also kind of cool. Can you imagine growing up and being intimately familiar with the world of forest fires and firefighting?

My only real complaint is that Tania's waking nightmares and dark visions about past and future fires were great, but I felt that once Zoran and his cast of characters were introduced, Tania's paranormal powers vanished from the plot. It was also very difficult to know how old Zoran and his crew were. They had an awful lot of power for teenagers, but as adults they seemed creepy.

Nevertheless, I am a huge fan of Eden Maguire. There is something really tender about her writing and her characters that hooks it claws into me. I tore my way through her first series, Beautiful Dead and loved it. Stay tuned for reviews of the second and third book in the Dark Angel series, to come!

Overall Rating: 4 Stars

Friday, July 13, 2012

Fear Street Flashback (30)

Why? Because FEAR STREET was like, my favorite series growing up.

Originally released in November, 1996.

Well okay. I like this little Fear Street ditty a lot. There is not a lot of gruesome scenes, and most of the tension comes from an unusal place- school. When Lenny gets bullied by a teacher at school, the book brings up a very real issue that does not get a lot of mention in today's press at all. It makes Lenny so mad, too, which is great cause for concern by his friends. Spencer was very alluring and I couldn't help but like him. I wanted to see him get together with Diane! And then I also really enjoyed hanging out with everyone at night. After midnight provides a perfectly mysterious and dazzling setting for whatever activities might occur. This is a fun addition to the Fear Street series, and the ending will catch you by surprise!

Fear Rating: 2 out of 3 Screams

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday 7/11/12

FLESH & BONE by Jonathan Maberry

Reeling from the tragic events of Dust & Decay, Benny Imura and his friends plunge deep into the zombie-infested wastelands of the great Rot & Ruin. Benny, Nix, Lilah and Chong journey through a fierce wilderness that was once America, searching for the jet they saw in the skies months ago. If that jet exists then humanity itself must have survived…somewhere. Finding it is their best hope for having a future and a life worth living.

But the Ruin is far more dangerous than any of them can imagine. They are hunted by fierce animals escaped from zoos and circuses. They must raid zombie-infested towns for food and medical supplies. They discover the very real truth in the old saying: In the Rot & Ruin…everything wants to kill you.

And what is happening to the zombies? Swarms of them are coming from the east, devouring everything in their paths. These zoms are different. Faster, smarter, infinitely more dangerous. Has the zombie plague mutated, or is there something far more sinister behind this new invasion of the living dead?

Readers of this blog already know how highly I think of this series. So it should be no surprise that I will clear my schedule and devote some solid reading time to this third installment. I can't get enough of this world and these characters!

Release Date: September 11, 2012

Monday, July 9, 2012

Finding Sky by Joss Stirling

Joss Stirling has exceeded my rather low expectations for this book. Perhaps it was the bland cover, but I wasn't sure at all what to expect. Not the creepy hidden memories and flashbacks. Certainly not the edge-of-your-seat action that filled the last third of the story. It was a fast read, and turned out to be a good book, too.

The Benedicts have a totally cool lifestyle. Dangerous, yes, but pretty fancy nonetheless. Their alphabetical names cracked me up. The psychic powers/CIA mole aspect of the plot was not original, but Stirling made it her own I loved that Sky had such a spunky, geeky inner voice. Though I felt a little cheated that for the beginning of the book, Zed was a complete jerk, but then suddenly turns nice and Sky is okay with it. The Soulfinder bit has a nice ring too it, but needed to be fleshed out a little more. Plus, Sky seemed entirely too relaxed about being kidnapped, even with all of the drama of her childhood. She was a strong female character, yes, but I think it would have been more realistic if she panicked a little bit.

Sky's parents were cool, too. They had a strong presence in the story (so nice to see parents concerned about their kids in YA books!) but they also gave Sky a lot of freedom to do her own thing.

So as I mentioned, there was great action at the end. Enough so to make me want to pick up the second book in the series, Stealing Phoenix. This one is Yves' story and it sounds even more action-packed!

Overall Rating: 4 Stars

Friday, July 6, 2012

Inspired to Art (7)

The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney was a neat story about a modern girl dealing with very old magic.It was a good read and I liked it. Perhaps even better than the story, though, is the totally cool cover. There are intricate tattoos, and a mysterious bottle of red stuffs. Those who have read this book will know that the bottle holds the elusive Elixir of Life. The cover inspired me to make my own bottle.

I started with the coolest bottle I could find. It's not exactly the same, but it triangular and seemed to fit the theme. Then I added the gems and metal pieces and jewels of varying shapes and materials.

The red liquid is just water, flour (to make it thick) and a few glittery pieces. It looks a little like strawberry juice, but work as an elixir, no?

Some paint to make the bottle look vintage, and voila!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday 7/4/12


On remote Rollrock Island, men go to sea to make their livings—and to catch their wives.

The witch Misskaella knows the way of drawing a girl from the heart of a seal, of luring the beauty out of the beast. And for a price a man may buy himself a lovely sea-wife. He may have and hold and keep her. And he will tell himself that he is her master. But from his first look into those wide, questioning, liquid eyes, he will be just as transformed as she. He will be equally ensnared. And the witch will have her true payment.

 I have yet to read any of Margo Lanagan's stuff, so this will be the first work of hers I will experience. The cover looks so cold and frigid, but it is a mer-creature book and therefor I must have it. Hopefully this will make me want to read her previous books!

Release Date: September 11, 2012

Monday, July 2, 2012

Waking Storms by Sarah Porter

It's so extremely rare when a sequel is better than the first book. It happens, but not very often at all. I was excited to read Sarah Porter's first book, Lost Voices, but when it came down to it, I just wasn't as impressed as I had hoped to be. I was nervous about this second book, thinking that it was definitely going to disappoint.

It did not.

Waking Storms felt much more emotional than the first book. It broke my heart to watch Dorian suffer and mourn his losses, and yet made me smile while Luce and Dorian took their time to get to know each other. The kissing scenes was intense and powerful, filled with need and feelings, made even more so by the conflicted emotions of both Dorian and Luce. I loved seeing them together and longed for their next meeting when they were apart.

The supporting characters were stronger this time around, too. Nausicaa, Dana, and even the FBI agent were all very fleshed out, and the extra effort showed. These three felt strong enough by themselves to carry books about them all on their own.

There was still a pretty heavy save-the-oceans agenda, but I didn't mind that much. Sarah Porter weaved her message of caring for our oceans and the wildlife within seamlessly into the plot. I was quite impressed with this second offering in her mermaid series, and I am looking forward to the third book. After the ending in this one, I am expecting big things to come!

Overall Rating: 5 Stars