Saturday, March 29, 2014

Giver Trailer Talk/Discussion

My first though after watching this trailer was: 'Why isn't it in black and white? It should be in black and white.' I like to think that I've matured enough to not care if an actor has the wrong hair color or the wrong eye color or if there's minor world building things that are changed to work better in film, but this I am not okay with. The world being black and white was a major part of the Giver; the people lived in a colorless world until Jonah starts receiving memories and starts to see colors. That's a huge part of the world building, how the people are so oppressed and how there's such an absence of free will and creativity that there is no color. I feel like that aspect of the book needs to be in the movie.

My second thought: 'Why aren't Jonah and the Giver's eyes blue or a light brown.' Their eyes are described as pale while everyone else has dark eyes. This implies that they are special because they have pale eyes. I don't remember if it was stated in the book, but I always associated their pale eyes, and the pale eyes of the Seven or the baby (you know the other person with pale eyes), with people who are able to be "Receivers" or "Givers". So to me, that was another big aspect of the book that was missing from the movie.

Now, if I'm being honest, I don't remember a ton about this book. But what I do remember, I don't recognize in this trailer. I don't remember there being morning injections, but there might have been. I don't remember the society being really high tech, and most of the scenes shown in the trailer I didn't remember at all. The only ones I recognized were scenes with the Giver and Jonah and when the Giver is sharing memories with Jonah.

After watching this trailer, I'm scared for the movie. I remember really liking this book when I read it in school, and now I want to re-read it to remember everything. I feel like this movie won't live up to my feelings about this book, since this was one of the first, if not the first, dystopian book I had ever read. I definitely will go see this movie when it comes out but I'm going to wait and see what Rotten Tomatoes has to say about it, as well as what other online reviewers say about it. I have very high expectations, and I really don't want to be let down.

Let me know your thoughts on the trailer, and wether or not you plan to go see this movie? If you like these kinds of posts, let me know and I'll try to do more in the future. Sorry I've been gone for a while, school work got really hectic (but that's only an excuse). If it's an consolation, I have a HUGE book haul coming up, and it should be done by the end of the week (keeping my fingers-crossed that I will finish)! Thanks for visiting the island, and Happy Reading!

**Update: The reason the trailer is not in black and white was due to an error in communication between the film makers and the publicity department.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Saturday Reads - 2/15/14

So it's been two weeks since my first Saturday Reads, and I have decided to do this again! Just so you guys know what I'm reading, in and out of school, and where I am with these books. If any of you want to join in on my Saturday Reads, don't hesitate to comment and let me know what you're reading or what you plan on reading. Right now I'm reading five books, one of which is from my last Saturday Reads... Onto the books!

First Book: The Principles of Love by Emily Franklin

The "movie version" of Love Bukowski's life is picture perfect. She can roll out of bed and be at class in her new prep school within minutes because she lives in an amazing house on Hadley Hall Campus, where her Dad just happens to be the principal. And though she's just joined the ranks of the nation's future leaders and lushes of America, they've all become her best friends. Gorgeous upperclassmen crowd around her doorstep just to catch a glimpse of her performing her original songs. Life is sweet! 

Unfortunately, the not-so-glamorous reality of her life is that her Dad is the principal of the this prototypical New England prep school. Friends are hard to come by, and the only guys who come near her front door are the ones she wants to swat away. Not that there's a shortage of Hadley hotties; it's just that the one Love's singled out is an utterly incredible and totally unattainable senior. Now, Love will have to figure out the true meaning of her name to make her reality as awesome as her fantasies.

I started this book on Thursday, and I'm one or two chapters in. It's pretty good so far, but I haven't read much. I received this book through NetGalley, so I will have a review up once I've finished.

Second Book: Fifty Shades of Feminism edited/compiled by Lisi Appignanesi, Rachel Holmes & Susie Orbach 

The antidote to the idea that being a woman is all about submitting to desire. There are many more shades than that and here are fifty women to explore them. 

Fifty years after the publication of The Feminine Mystique, have women really exchanged purity and maternity to become desiring machines inspired only by variations of sex, shopping and masochism - all coloured a brilliant neuro-pink?

In this volume, fifty women young and old - writers, politicians, actors, scientists, mothers - reflect on the shades that inspired them and what being woman means to them today.

Contributors include: Tahmima Anam, Joan Bakewell, Bidisha, Lydia Cacho, Nina Power, Shami Chakrabarti, Lennie Goodings, Linda Grant, Natalie Haynes, Siri Hustvedt, Jude Kelly, Kathy Lette, Kate Mosse, Bee Rowlatt, Elif Shafak, Ahdaf Soueif, Shirley Thompson, Natasha Walter, Jeanette Winterson - alongside the three editors.

I'm still in pretty much the same place as last time I told you about this book, but I have made some progress. Meaning I'm 38 pages in. I haven't really found the time to read this, but I should have time in the upcoming week because I'm off from school. What I have read I've really liked. Each author raises interesting points, and makes me think about what I want to do with my life and who I want to be.

Third Book: Paris to Provence by Ethel Brennan & Sara Remington

Ethel and Sara beguile you with recipes and stories from their summer childhoods as they traveled with their respective families from Paris to Provence. In markets, cafés, truck stops, bakeries, bistros, and French family homes, the girls experienced their first taste of France, re-created here through recipes, stories, and photographs. 

Inspired by her memories of truck stop lunches sitting next to tables of grizzled truckers, Ethel gives us Steak au Poivre à la Sauce aux Morilles (pepper steak with morels). Sara’s whimsical game of using her asparagus as soldiers’ spears to guard her food from her sister is the source of her recipe for Les Soldats (soft-boiled eggs and fresh asparagus spears). Lingering over late-night dinners with grown-ups and listening in on their stories of the resistance and wild boar hunts inspired Ethel’s recipe for Fraises au Vin Rouge (strawberries in red wine syrup). Rosemary and its powerful scent, first discovered by Sara while hiking with her family in the Luberon Mountains in the south of France, infuses her recipe for Cotes d’Agneau Grillées au Romarin (grilled lamb chops with rosemary). From Îles Flottantes (poached meringues in crème anglaise) to Escargots (snails in garlic butter), and from Merguez (spicy grilled lamb sausage patties) to Ratatouille (summer vegetable stew), each recipe reflects Sara and Ethel’s childhood experiences in Paris and Provence. Sixty thoughtful, simple, and traditionally French dishes complemented by over one hundred luscious photographs will send you to your kitchen, and maybe even to France.

I finally got this book, after seeing it in an antique store in Montana and not being able to purchase it. I love this book. This book combines all of my loves in one: France, travel, cooking, and books. It's perfect. I'm currently on page 45, but I've already made a few of the recipes and they were delicious. Besides reading this book, I like to admire the photography, and just sit and hug it. It's that kind of book, you just have to give it the love it deserves.

Fourth Book: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

First published in 1939, Steinbeck’s Pulitzer Prize winning epic of the Great Depression chronicles the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s and tells the story of one Oklahoma farm family, the Joads, driven from their homestead and forced to travel west to the promised land of California. Out of their trials and their repeated collisions against the hard realities of an America divided into haves and have-nots evolves a drama that is intensely human yet majestic in its scale and moral vision, elemental yet plainspoken, tragic but ultimately stirring in its human dignity.

A portrait of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless, of one man’s fierce reaction to injustice, and of one woman’s stoical strength, the novel captures the horrors of the Great Depression and probes the very nature of equality and justice in America.

I'm reading this book for school, and I just started it. I'm currently one chapter (or 8 pages) in, and this book is huge! This book was assigned to read outside of class, and we have until May to finish this book. The way my teacher organized it is he group different chapters and questions that are due two weeks apart from each other. The first one is due Friday, and it's the first four chapters. Having only read eight pages, there's not much I can say about this book. I don't really know what this book is about, but I'm going to find out.

Fifth Book: Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare

The Tragedy of Julius Caesar is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1599.[1] It portrays the 44 BC conspiracy against the Roman dictator Julius Caesar, his assassination and the defeat of the conspirators at the Battle of Philippi. It is one of several plays written by Shakespeare based on true events from Roman history, which also include Coriolanus and Antony and Cleopatra.

I'm also reading this for school, but it's being read in class. First my teacher will summarize the scene for us, and then he will play the audio version of it. We just finished Act III Scene I and that's about 14 out of 28 pages in my edition of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. At school, thought we are reading this out of the textbook, and I have no clue how many pages it is. This is the second Shakespeare play I've read (last year I read The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet), and I find it much easier to read. Hopefully after I finish Julius Caesar in class, I will go on and read more Shakespeare. I really want to read one of his comedies, because so far all I've read is the tragedies. What are your favorite Shakespeare plays to read or to see?

So that's where I am right now. I've never read so many books at the same time, because I normally just read one at a time. Comment down below what you guys are reading, or if you've read any of these books before and what you thought about them. Ok then, Happy Reading!

Friday, February 14, 2014

January Favorites

It's a little late since it's the middle of February, but here are some of the things I loved in January.

Bastille's re-issued album, All This Bad Blood. Bastille is my new favorite band of always. I love every single one of their songs I've heard, and I just love their general sound. Each song has it's own meaning in this album, and they all interconnect to paint a beautiful, musical painting.

Disc One
1. Pompeii*
2. Things We Lost in the Fire*
3. Bad Blood
4. Overjoyed
5. These Streets
6. The Weight of Living Pt. II*
7. Icarus*
8. Oblivion
9. Flaws*
10. Daniel in the Den
11. Laura Palmer*
12. Get Home

Disc Two
1. Poet*
2. The Silence
3. Haunt*
4. Weight of Living Pt. I*
5. Sleepsong
6. Durban Skies*
7. Laughter Lines
8. Previously on Other People's Heart Ache
9. Of the Night*
10. The Draw
11. What Would You Do*
12. Skulls*
13. Tuning Out...*

*My favorites, if I had to choose, all though there isn't much of a point to me telling you my favorites because they are almost all my favorites. Even the ones I didn't star are amazing, and truly I love them all equally.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. I got this book in mid-January, and read it in a day. It was a quick read, and it was such a heartwarming story. It talked about it a little bit in my Winter Wonderland Tag (here) but now I'll give you a full synopsis, cover, and everything.

Orphan, clock keeper, and thief, Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks-like the gears of the clocks he keeps-with an eccentric, bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy booth in the train station , Hugo's undercover life and his most precious secret are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message from Hugo's dead father form the backbone of this intricate, tender, and spell-binding mystery.

With 284 pages of original drawings, and combining elements of picture book, graphic novel, and film, Brian Selznick breaks open the novel forn to create and entirely new reading experience. Here is a stunning, cinematic, tour de force from a boldly innovative storyteller, artist, and bookmaker.

I already said it, but this book was great. I absolutely loved every bit, from the characters to the setting to the plot. The illustrations were beautiful and I just want more of Brian Selznick's books. 5 stars. 5 stars.

Restoration Hardware No Crack Crème Superbe de Mains. Since it's the winter, the hands get very dry. This is great for moisturizing during the day, and I like to use Aquaphor at night.

Sherlock. What more do I have to say? After two years on hiatus, Sherlock is back with season three! I've seen two of the three new episodes and they don't disappoint. I can't wait to see the last one, and I hear that there is going to be at least to more seasons. I love that on BBC One they don't have commercials during the show, and you just have an hour and a half of straight content. It's wonderful.

NetGalley. I just joined NetGalley, and I've been able to read and review a bunch of great new books. They have a huge selection of books that you request if your a blogger, reviewer, librarian, or bookseller. The only thing is that a lot of their books are only available in Europe or Australia, so be careful of that when you request books.

I'd Rather Be Watching Sherlock Tee. I purchased this as a Christmas present for my friend, but it came late due to snow and she was on vacation so I still haven't been able to give it to her! Anyway, we're both really big fans of Sherlock and she recently redecorated her room in the style of 221b Baker Street, and it looks awesome.

Giraffe Onesie (my first onesie). My friend gave me my first onesie for Christmas, and it's a giraffe! It's adorable, and yes I received it in January because my friends and I are really bad at exchanging gifts on time... what can you do? I like this onesie, I can just lounge around in it and it's really comfy. It's everything a onesie can be.

So those are my favorite things from January. If you like this kind of a post, let me know and I'll continue to do them otherwise I won't unless there's something I really want to share with you guys.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Book Review: Bright Before Sunrise by Tiffany Schmidt

I received this book as an eARC from NetGalley, and it will be published on February 18th.

When Jonah is forced to move from Hamilton to Cross Pointe for the second half of his senior year, "miserable" doesn't even begin to cover it. He feels like the doggy-bag from his mother's first marriage and everything else about her new life—with a new husband, new home and a new baby—is an upgrade. The people at Cross Pointe High School are pretentious and privileged—and worst of all is Brighton Waterford, the embodiment of all things superficial and popular. Jonah’s girlfriend, Carly, is his last tie to what feels real... until she breaks up with him. 

For Brighton, every day is a gauntlet of demands and expectations. Since her father died, she’s relied on one coping method: smile big and pretend to be fine. It may have kept her family together, but she has no clue how to handle how she's really feeling. Today is the anniversary of his death and cracks are beginning to show. The last thing she needs is the new kid telling her how much he dislikes her for no reason she can understand. She's determined to change his mind, and when they're stuck together for the night, she finally gets her chance. 

Jonah hates her at 3p.m., but how will he feel at 3 a.m.? 

One night can change how you see the world. One night can change how you see yourself.

This book was adorable. From the moment I picked it up I could not put it down, and I had to physically force myself to stop reading and go to class. After I got home from dance, I picked up my kindle and read through until the end. The story flowed very nicely and was very fast-paced. I liked the characters and I couldn't wait to read more (obviously).

This story followed the alternating points of view of Brighton and Jonah, as they learn more about themselves and the world around them. Jonah discovers that maybe living in Cross Pointe won't be so bad, and Brighton realizes that she doesn't have to be what everyone else wants her to be. This novel raises important questions about who you are, who you want to be, and what you want to achieve in life.

Some of my favorite components of a romance are when two people start of as enemies that misjudged each other, and two people who are opposites yet compliment each other; this book has both of these things making it more enjoyable for me. This author also had a wonderful way of bringing her characters to life, and bringing us into their lives without stating facts about them.

I didn't like Jonah's girlfriend, Carly. Then again, we aren't supposed to like Jonah's girlfriend.From what we see, she doesn't have many redeeming qualities (other than her looks) and her reasons for breaking up with Jonah are very flimsy. She does some questionable things in retaliation against something that didn't even happen, which really frustrated me as did the fact that she has no proof for her accusations against Jonah other than a phone number on a flyer.

As the night goes on, Jonah realizes that Brighton isn't who he thought she was. He also sees the differences between Carly and Brighton and starts to suspect that maybe things hadn't been quite right between him and Carly lately. Jonah doesn't leave Carly to be with Brighton, he realizes that their relationship was having problems and he had reasons for dating Carly other than because he cared for her.

A wonderful story that made me happy, and I gave it 4 and-a-half stars (maybe I'm just being picky, but I just couldn't give it 5 stars). I will definitely be buying this book and re-reading it when it comes out (in 5 days!). Maybe having the physical and final edition of the book will bump it up to a five, but I don't know. I recommend this book for people that like contemporary romance novels, and novels that deal with self-discovery.

"Kindness is your social weapon of choice, but it only works because you've grown up within the system and it's what people expect of you."

"Nice is for people we forget."

"Your goal each day should be to make the world better by being in it."

"How do you think people describe you?"

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Book Review: Backward Compatible by Sarah Daltry & Pete Clark

I received this book as an eARC from NetGalley, and it was released on January 7th. This book is not suited for children under the age of 14.

WARNING: There is no sex in this book. Your Kindle or other device will remain at a pleasant room temperature. At no point will your panties drop. Your significant other will be allowed to snore in peace as you read. You may, however, laugh yourself out of commission.

Not too long ago, in a town that, depending on your current location, is either not super far or actually quite close... (insert Star Wars theme music here...)

It is a time of chaotic hormones. 

Two nerdy gents home for winter break have discovered a female gamer at a midnight release.

During the break, the gamer trio manages to reveal the game's secret boss, a hidden enemy with enough power to destroy anything in its path.

Pursued by other gamers who want to be the first to beat this boss, George and Katie race to level up, and, in so doing, restore decency and sexual activity to their personal galaxy...

I really enjoyed this book, especially once the gaming aspect started to intensify. I thought it was a good book, but it didn't blow me away. I really liked the characters; they were quirky, fun, and they were real people. The main characters are Katie and George and the point-of-view alternates between them as the story of their romance is woven together. Their romance starts with the classic "I hate you" phase, which I am a fan of (no insta-love). This book does not suffer from "Missing Parent Syndrome", which is also nice in a YA book. Speaking of YA, this book does contain crude humor and is not suited towards younger teens.

One thing I personally didn't like was that I didn't get most of the video game references. I did get a few, but most of them flew right over my head. It was really cool to follow along as the characters played the fame and not just hear "we beat the boss after a long, stressful battle". Each chapter was a level - chapter one is level one, chapter two is level two, and so on - and had a picture of the graphics from Fatal Destiny X, the game the story centers around.

George and Katie's relationship was really cute, and mainly consisted of them playing FDX and making out. Even though they first met in the beginning of the book, their relationship did not progress to fast, and they were often unsure of themselves. After a while their insecurities got a little repetitive (Katie's in particular) but it all worked out in the end. Their relationship was not the main focus of the book, and George and Katie still hung out with their friends (Anna and Lanyon).

Lanyon was great, he was probably my favorite character. He's hilarious and he's just a weird guy. Lanyon's trademark food is Snickers which he has an endless supply of and he never shares them (until he meets Heather). He has very few social capabilities, and his interactions with strangers left me in tears. Lanyon was just very entertaining and I wish I knew him in real life. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars, because it was enjoyable, the characters were great, but it just didn't blow me away.

"They take off quickly, which is good, because I try to skip up the walk to my house, only to slip on a patch of three snowflakes and fall on my ass."

"I see in Lanyon's eyes that he'd debating about giving up. He should give up. But his brow furrows and the Beeblebrox in him can't resist a final misguided attempt at love."

"You go over to that sink, splash some water on your face, do absolutely nothing to your hopeless hair, and go out there and jump on that boy who adores you. And the next time you worry about not being normal, just remember my words of wisdom. Fuck normal."